Grace for a Pregnant Mama

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This pregnancy took us by surprise. We were eager to increase our family, but it hadn’t happened for us, so we almost felt like it would never happen. And then BANG! Positive test. I lived high for one week…and then it hit – all-day morning sickness and fatigue. With Annie, my pregnancy had been a breeze. This one is a complete opposite. For almost two months, I would lie on the couch all day with absolutely no energy and no desire to eat anything except beef and French fries. I was sick…I was whiny. I wasn’t Stacy.

What to Drink??

Water made me literally so sick I thought I would vomit. So, I tried drinking tea. Nope, that wasn’t any better. I couldn’t even drink my beloved coffee. Some days, I got by with little to nothing to drink because it just made me feel bad. My wise friend Erin from The Humbled Homemaker told me to just give in and get some Sprite – I needed something to drink. I felt like I was shriveling up inside. For several days, I was hard headed and told her I could make it…and then, in a moment of weakness, I called Barry at work and asked him to bring home some Sprite.

Me, the lady who had been without soda for almost a year, gave in and had a two liter of Sprite – and let me tell you something, friends – that was the best thing I had never tasted in my whole life. I’m sure my body just soaked it right up. Eventually I figured out that I could also drink Simply Orange orange juice and organic vegetable juice.

I wasn’t cooking at all. I was sending Barry to the store for processed bagels, salty potato chips, and Cheeze Its…he was cooking dinner or bringing it home. That’s how I was making it from day to day. I was physically unable to cook. Because this pregnancy took us by surprise, I wasn’t fully prepared – so I didn’t have a freezer stocked with pre-made foods like a good whole-foodie would say I should have had. And if I had, I probably wouldn’t have been able to swallow it anyway. I know lots of people would say “tsk, tsk Stacy. You should always be prepared and have the foods you need on hand.” Sometimes when you’re packing up your entire house to move and then a pregnancy hits, some things have to fall by the way-side for a bit.

Image by ebruli 

What to Eat??

How far I had fallen. I was actually ashamed of myself for a while. And then I took off my whiny baby panties and smacked myself. This is stupid. I am hungry. I am thirsty. If water and cooking were making me sick, I was still going to have to eat SOMETHING. I wanted a big, greasy burger from the fast food joint. I wanted French fries loaded with mounds of ketchup…and if I had to smell it cooking, I would hurl. And ice cream – I could eat massive quantities of ice cream, which I was able to make since it didn’t have a smell. Sweet relief – food and drink. I’m so thankful that I finally gave in and ate something.

I came to realize very quickly that there are certain times in life when a Mama needs grace. Grace from God. Grace from her family. Grace from her friends. I couldn’t cook – I needed Barry’s help. I’m not always going to be able to cook a whole foods meal for my family. I want to, but for me it’s not a reality. That’s why the 80/20 Principle is such a huge deal around here. I have to feed my family, even when I feel like crap. If that means that occasionally we have a $1 McChicken, then so be it. And God bless that McChicken.

Image by reid

Grace

I realize that I may be shunned by the Whole Foods community. I know what they would tell me – I should get off my lazy panties and cook dinner anyway – even if it made me yak. You know what I say? That’s dumb. I’m asking for grace from you – I try to do the best for my family and teach you great things about whole foods…but I don’t always eat them.

I always want to keep it real around here. So, I’m confessing to you – I’m not a Real Foodie. I’m not. I won’t ever be. I will feed my family to the best of my ability…but some days, it’s not going to happen. This pregnant mama may need some Sprite and broasted chicken every now and then for the next little bit. I’m coming clean with you. Amen.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

*This post is linked at Simple Lives Thursday on GNOWFGLINS, at Finer Things Friday on Amy’s Finer Things, at Weekend Whatever on Your Thriving Family, at Pennywise Platter on The Nourishing Gourmet, and at Proverbs 31 Thursday at Raising Mighty Arrows.


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her two children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.

  • http://www.TheSimpleHomemaker.com Christy, The Simple Homemaker

    Girl, I love you!!! Amen!!! Hallelujah!!! (Please fill the rest of this box with similarly enthusiastic statements of strong support and agreement!) Seriously…wonderful post! And you gave me the courage to finish a post I started on a similar topic. Bless you, my friend.

    • Stacy

      :-) We gotta stick together. Thanks for the support – I’m here for you too, just so ya know.

  • http://christianmommyblogger.com Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger

    I am not a Real Foodie either. There. I said it. Moving, getting settled, feeling lazy. Just not always into it. We can’t do it all. We can’t be all all the time (though we try)…thank God for grace…literally.

    • Stacy

      We sure can’t do it all…we try, but we fail. I need more and more grace every day.

  • Casey

    Thank you for this post! Your honesty is refreshing. We all do what we have to do. :)

    • Stacy

      I’ve always been honest – sometimes it gets me in trouble. ;-)

  • Christina

    I was sick for 6 months with my first son. All I wanted to eat were potatoes & peanut butter. My dear husband, who’s allergic, would be in the kitchen gagging as he fixed me a pb sandwich to keep me from losing it. With my second (who is 8 weeks old today!) I was hardly sick at all, only lost it once, but I had zero energy, so hubby fixed most of our food the whole time. I never really had cravings like I did the first time, but hubby did make a few runs by Firehouse to get me some fries with bbq sauce and I had to have tea from Pal’s about every day. Sometimes more. Just in the last 3 weeks or so I’ve been doing the cooking again.

    We try to eat as healthy as we can, but you do what you gotta do to get through. I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years now, so the smell of meat in any form would make me nauseous, I definitely didn’t crave it! =) I say feed that baby whatever they’ll let you take! This too shall pass and when it does, you can get back to your normal. Thanks for keeping it real!

    • Stacy

      Beef…it’s totally beef. And ice cream. Lots of ice cream. :-) Pal’s ROCKS!

      • http://theboymeetsgirlblog.wordpress.com Michelle R

        I was a vegetarian for about 12 years too. Somehow my hubby convinced me to eat chicken when we were dating but I never got into beef and could hardly stand to cook it for our family. When I was pregnant with our son in 2010 there many times I’d have him running to Burger King for a Whopper and I’d be sitting in the recliner feeling like I was going to die of hunger because there was nothing else that could satisfy me.

        • Stacy

          Oh my gosh! Whoppers are where it’s AT! Bring on the beef! :-)

  • Sherri

    As I read this blog I had mixed feelings. One, I am very excited for you and your family. Children are certainly a blessing from God. I have 3 of my own and a step-son. We are beyond the baby age (all of my kids, except one, are adults and the youngest is getting ready to hit the teenage years). However, I was a little discouraged that anyone might think a “real food” person might think less of someone in your position, or anyone for that matter, because of how they eat. It really made me stop and question if I give off the attitude of being better than other’s because of the way I choose to eat. We are not 100% there. We are close, but we still, from time to time, eat things that aren’t considered “real food”. It is a journey and I think it’s a journey we will always be walking on and never completing. I love your 80/20 rule! Most of our family thinks we have lost our mind because we try to eat “real food”, not processed and we are on a extremely tight budget so that we can hopefull meet our goal of being completely debt free (home and all) in less than 8 years. It isn’t as easy as it seems (we still have 3 children living at home~~1 in college, 1 graduates high school in may). We still pay for everything for them except for the one car payment because they are still in school. We started our real food journey about 2 1/2 years ago, but are just starting our debt free journey. We don’t want to come across as better than anyone else. We just know how eating “real food” makes us feel, so we choose a different lifestyle of eating! Just as Christ followers are no better than non-believers, real food eaters are no better than those whose choose to eat differently! We Christ followers just happen to be “saved by Grace”! I hope that you get to feeling better so that you can enjoy the pregnancy!

    • Stacy

      Sherri,
      I used to read several blogs that made me feel “less” because of the way I chose to feed my family. They showed NO tolerance for anyone who didn’t eat a whole foods diet. I’ve quit reading those blogs. They were not encouraging or uplifting – which is always something I hope to be.
      I do the best I can – and we DO feel better when we eat whole foods…but I also know that God is in charge, not me. Some blogs give the idea that if you eat whole foods all the time, nothing bad will ever happen to you. But that’s not how we think – sin in this world means none of us are immune to bad things.
      You are very right with everything you said – and I’m quite sure that no one has ever felt that you give off a self-righteous attitude. :-) I think you’re quite wonderful.

  • http://threemonkeysinthejungle.blogspot.com/ Shari

    Thanks Stacy for sharing! I honestly think this has got to be the best blog post I’ve ever read! I can totally relate. I would crave sour candy, cheeseburgers, french fries, and buffalo wings during pregnancy. And, lots of bread. Probably because my body needed some energy. Salad sounded awful and water made me sick too. I was often too weak from throwing up and the constant nausea to cook. I just made more effort later in pregnancy but still allowed treats or cheats because a stressed preggo mama with a 2 year old and a not even 1 year old needs Dr. Pepper. And, to that I say, Amen!

    • Stacy

      :-) Amen for SURE! Even when you’re not sick as a dog, you’re too tired to even roll off the couch. LOL I love the second trimester. It’s soooooooooooo nice.

  • Jennifer Hensley

    Oh Stacy! Oh how I can relate. I too am pregnant with baby #2 and my first trimester was an absolute NIGHTMARE!!! I was so, so, so, sooooooo sick. I couldn’t even stand to smell my own shampoo in the shower without gagging! I got off soda a long time ago but soon discover that Coke was the ONLY thing I could stomach. So, I stocked up on caffeine free and made it through the days. I also found that chewing sugar free original flavored bubble gum was like a miracle drug. Literally the moment I got done eating I would pop in a piece and that was the only thing that would keep my food down. Thank you sweet Jesus, I’m well into my second trimester and the sickness is mostly gone!!! Everytime some woman would say “oh, I was sick my whole pregnancy” I would cringe and pray that wasn’t gonna be me. Thanks lady. That makes me feel a lot better is what I wanted to say. So, I wish you the best with the rest of your pregnancy!

    • Stacy

      Jennifer, the second trimester is a good send! :-) We’re kickin’ it now…I’m only sick on some days, which is VERY sweet relief. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!

  • Julia

    Stacy I sooooo appreciate your honesty. I have struggles with this the last 2 years or so. Just the other night, I fed my 3 boys a frozen pizza. It was either that or a stressed out mama. (And remember, stress is not good for you either!) Some days I feel like all I do is cook, cook, cook, so I am actually trying to come up with a few (acceptable to me) compromises so that I can spend time with my boys. I have also had problems with a few blogs that I have read that seem to make everything from scratch and frown on those that don’t. I am going to follow your advice and quit reading them because they are heaping on more guilt. We are doing the best we can with what we have. PLease continue to share, be honest and encouraging to those of us who are reading. That is why you are one (of 2) of my very favorite blogs. Keep up the good work. God’s grace will be upon you!

    • Stacy

      Honey, stress will kill you sooner than anything else. :-) Enjoy your boys…for soon they’ll be men and you’ll miss them. <3

  • Julie

    Hey Chicky Congratulations to you and Barry and you eat whatever your heart desires honey and do not feel one bit bad about it.
    Sending Hugs, Julie

    • Stacy

      Thank you Julie! :-) We’re really excited!

  • Jennifer

    God Bless you, Stacy! In a blogging world overloaded with judgmental foodies and applaud you for standing up and keeping it real. Thanks for your honesty!

    • Jennifer

      sorry for the typo “and” should be “I”

    • Stacy

      That’s my goal. Thanks Jennifer! :-)

  • http://www.soulicious.net Kim

    While your honesty is refreshing, I gotta say McChicken? Really?

    • Stacy

      The pregnant body has a mind of its own. ;-)

  • http://www.livingmyportion.wordpress.com Robin Duncan

    Congratulations Stacy on baby #2. I was in the same boat you are with my second. If I cooked it, I couldn’t eat it. Meat was the worst. It will pass. As for what you are feeding your family, don’t beat yourself up. The Lord knew before you were born that you would be going through this. I love the 80/20 rule. Your efforts will certainly be rewarded. I pray you feel God’s grace daily. Blessings!!

    • Stacy

      And I do feel it daily…along with His blessings. :-) Thanks Robin!!

  • Linda

    You are doing what you have to do, for you and your family, That is all that matters! Your health is most important. This season will pass.You do have a lot on your *plate* now.
    Linda

    • Stacy

      As my Daddy says “This too shall pass.” :-)

  • Lydia

    While I try to eat a whole foods diet, we are busy during the week that we often have to grab supper on the run. However, we still try to fix real food on the other nights that we are home. You, however, are pregnant. You are not going to be able to always do what you know is better for your family. If you can’t handle cooking right now, at least you are providing nourishment to your self and baby. That’s your main job right now. If others are criticizing your lifestyle at this juncture in life, then you don’t need them around. Do what you need to do and don’t others stress you out because you aren’t living to their standard. Life is too short!

    • Stacy

      Amen, sister! Amen! :-)

  • Kaye

    Thanks stacy for keeping it real! We are usually super healthy eaters, but I’m also in the first trimester and have a toddler to care for, etc and salads, fish, etc are grossing me out! I’m craving red meat, dairy & pasta (smothered in cheese of course). It takes everything I’ve got not to whip into a burger joint on a daily basis! I know after the first tri is over, I’ll be back to normal (hopefully!) And I can nourish myself w some salads! Until then my strict foodie husband is my greatest accountability partner bc he refused to eat processed & fast food, so it kinda have to get off my tired butt &cook! Thankfully he is very generous w watching elijah while I nap or doing chores for me! I got a good one!

    • Stacy

      Sounds like it. :-) Congratulations on your new little one!

  • Annie

    You can only do your best. No one can judge you but God alone. I for one am so proud of you. I don’t blog but I love reading yours and getting ideas. I am 44 going on 45 years old married to my soulmate for 23 years and I find you and Berry to be an insperation. I am debt free and trying to do my best switching to whole foods and homemade cleaners ever since I was diagnosed with melanoma this past October.

    Hold you head up high girl you have nothing to be ashamed of. Your doing a great job! God bless you and your growing family. I am here praying for you and cheering you on all the way from Texas.

    • Stacy

      Thank you Annie! :-) I really appreciate the encouragement…and I LOVE Texas! :-)

  • Kasi

    Stacy, I hope you feel better sooner rather than later, but take that Grace while you need it – that’s what its there for after all! I hope to hear more about your pregnancy as you progresses, just found out I’m expecting as well & it’s kinda cool to be going through the same thing at the same time. (I’m getting pretty yakky too, and it really is hard to keep up with a toddler while being so dang exhausted!)
    Keeping you in my prayers. :)

    • Stacy

      I know…Annie doesn’t slow down just because I do. ;-) Congratulations!!

  • Joyce Tschetter

    Amen! What a great post! I had horrible morning sickness ( all day) with both pregnancies. I joke that my daughter Grace should have come out a french fry, because that’s all I could stomach for the 1st 4 months. That and slurpees! I love your honesty, and I agree whole heartedly! God Bless!

    • Stacy

      French fries are where it’s AT! :-)

  • Chi Chi

    If it makes you feel any better, if I lived near you and we were friends, I would eat greasy burgers and french fries with you! Just for moral support, you know cause that’s what friends are for. In fact, I think I am going to get some french fries with extra ketchup in honor of you! :)

    • Stacy

      Think of me with each bite! :-)

  • Carissa

    Love it!! I think we all can’t be ‘perfect’. I had to start realizing that the 80/20 rule was just going to be part of my life because sometimes it’s just too much of a headache trying to be healthy 100% of the time.

    • Stacy

      I think all women struggle with trying to be “perfect.” I’m finding out more and more that no one can ever achieve that status…and that’s SO FREEING! :-)

  • Janet

    I so love that you are real. I want to eat real food too but when I am working and the hubs is working OT – we eat out or starve. our jobs want us capable so we try our best by getting the most healy food out we can, but food and drinks are needed for life so get what you need to stay healthy.

    • Stacy

      Without food, we die. :-) Or end up at the hospital with an iv stuck in our arm. lol

  • Donna W

    Hon, you hang in there! In 2 Corinthians 12:8, Paul tells us of God’s words to him. “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'” He has a purpose in all things. You may have reached a whole new audience with this post. I’m a fan. I have a feeling that ladies everywhere are saying, “AMEN!” :)

    • Stacy

      Thank you Donna. :-) I really appreciate the encouragement!

  • Janine

    I am 10 wks pregnant with number 6. This is the first one where i have been on a whole foods diet. It was really easy a month ago. I kept wondering lately why i feel it a greater struggle to choose the best foods. Duh! Maybe because i am pregnant. Thanks for pointing that out. Now i can give myself a bit of grace too! Glad i read this today.

    • Stacy

      Congratulations Janine!!! That’s so exciting! :-) I’m glad you read this too.

  • Jessica

    Wow this post is so perfect! I have tons of food allergies and should be following the Gaps diet like my boys are. I have felt really guilty for how far I’ve fallen this pregnancy. All I wanted first trimester was bagels and cream cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. My main allergies are wheat and dairy!! But I gave in a lot, and even had diet pop a handful of times. Thanks for the guilt relief, although that photo makes me want to go get curly fries right now!

    • Stacy

      I’ve found that life is entirely too short to dwell in the guilt that most mamas carry. :-) Be encouraged! This too shall pass. Congratulations mama!

  • Christina

    Stacy, you do your best and leave the rest. I was nauseous throughout the entire pregnancy (my first is 6 months old). The. whole. thing. It’s a most strange feeling nauseous and hungry at the same time. Sounds like you are doing the best you can and really, if you normally eat tons of whole foods then you have prepared well for the pregnancy, surprise or not. Congratulations!

    • Stacy

      Thanks Christina! I’m so blessed to have finally rid myself of the daily nausea…some days it still strikes, but I feel good most of the time now. :-) This pregnancy has certainly been different than my first.

  • http://www.pagesbyheather.blogspot.com Heather

    Okay, why am I not getting updates in my google reader…and I TOTALLY MISSED THIS AMAZING NEWS!!!! So happy for you!!! And I am glad to hear that things are going better. I’ve been fairly lucky in that department and just figure out ways to keep plugging along through the mind numbing, full body exhaustion that sets in when I am pregnant.

    Yes, we do the best we can and sometimes we make sacrifices that we would rather not make, but God gives us grace and we do the best we can with what we know at the time!

    Again so happy for you! And the kefir is growing great in my kitchen and many of my friends homes as well…sharing the wealth.

    Heather

    • Stacy

      Thank you Heather! So happy the kefir is doing well. :-) I am looking forward to starting mine again when we move!

  • http://www.thedoityourselfmom.com Anna@The DIY Mom

    Pregnant mamas totally need grace for the first trimester especially. I too crave meat and protein in massive amounts right now. I have even bee craving unusual kinds of meat like Tilapia or breakfast sausage, that we can really get here in China, but just trying to focus on how many good things we can still get in this city. I am just entering my second trimester so I hope to start feeling better soon. Overall though this pregnancy has been slightly easier than my first two and my sons are able to help me some, so I’m very thankful for that. I hope the rest of you pregnancy goes smoothly.

    • Stacy

      It is soooooooooooooooo much better now at 4 1/2 months. But at first it was rough. You’ll feel better soon too….eat all the sausage you want. lol

  • Brandi B

    It was so refreshing to read this. I am new to the idea of whole foods/super healthy diet. Sometimes I do really well, and other times I get busy, or I give in to my husbands pleas to just order a pizza or run to Burger King. Then, I read some blogs and I feel like such a failure! Not that those women aren’t great! I have so much respect for them and their ability to stick with it. But, it’s so good to know that other women who are on this whole foods path are in the same place as me! We are all trying our best, and doing everything God has given us the grace to handle at that moment! Way to go Stacy!

    • Stacy

      No one has any reason to beat themselves up for doing their best. That’s silly. :-) You’re doing great! And if you need encouragement, you just give me a holler.

  • Brenda

    Oh yes, Ooooh yes I can relate. I’m three months pregnant and just had three tacos from Taco Bell for dinner last night. We don’t EAT fast food! hahaha That goes out the window when I’m pregnant. The blue boxes of mac and cheese and I have also been getting very friendly recently as well. Tired as I am, with a toddler to feed, and a still touchy tummy I eat what I can when I can! The whole foods/vegetarian diet is currently on hold! I only feel a tinge of guilt. We just started a business too… I’m too busy to care if this potato is organic!

    • Stacy

      During these times, I think we should just focus on getting that potato in our belly. LOL

  • Rachel

    Thanks for the info! I felt kinda bad when my midwife told me at my 16-week check-up, “oh, you’ve gained 7 pounds already! You need to stop eating so much sugar and fried food!” I had been so nauseated my 2nd and 3rd months, and one thing that seemed to help was GINGER ALE– I was going through 2 or 3 two-liters a week. I felt bad about it, but my husband assured me that it was better for the baby to have some empty calories from sugar than for me to lose it all and the baby get nothing. Now I’m much better, and able to make my own granola and cook chicken again without gagging. I’m glad the time of Honey Nut Cheerios and Rice-a-Roni packaged dinners are over for now, but I am thankful God blessed me with some convenience foods during that tough time. (How did our ancestors ever make it?! Kudos to them!!)

    • Stacy

      You and me both! Were it not for those convenience foods, we would have gone hungry! Thank God for them! :-) I am sorta sheepish that it look me so long to just give in and drink the Sprite.