I thought I would share with you some of the easier, more difficult and neutral things we’ve found so far doing this challenge.
Are you doing this as a family? I’d love to hear how you’re going! Also, the kids are going to do a Q&A at the end of the month so if you have a question for them drop it either in these comments, on the video, or over at our instagram – @sustainablejudaism
Another waste free video for plastic free july! Hope you enjoy it. Do you prefer to bring your own jars, or bags when shopping at the bulk store? I like to bring a mix of both, but mostly cloth bags. I’ve even been making my own from my stash of fabric I like to buy and never use! 😉
Let me know below what you prefer and what your favourite thing to buy at the bulk store is!
Today we had our ultrasound and found out the gender of our baby! I’m so excited to have found out to be honest. Even though I am usually quite sceptical about finding out the gender, I feel like the sonographer took the time to explain to me why it was definitely the gender she said it was. Obviously I’m not sharing that right now, or those sentences would have been a lot more coherent! Anyway, we are telling friends and people we see in person. The children know, so it’s certainly not a SECRET secret. But I don’t want to just share it on the internet, you know?
Other than that, I had a little bit of bleeding this week. Post-sex, which is the worst way to bleed in my opinion. I mentioned it at the ultrasound and the sonographer checked the placenta. It is quite close to the cervix apparently and while it’s not a problem now, I will have to have a follow up ultrasound later in the pregnancy to check it has moved (which apparently is likely). But it could be a reason for the bleeding.
I’ve got a cold which is no fun. 🙁 I guess it was to be expected seeing as it’s a bad Winter for it, and I have a low immune system due to pregnancy. Hopefully it clears up soon, it’s already been a few days, and I lost my voice!
20 weeks pregnant
We’re getting used to referring to the baby with a gender, and I actually love how this is helping everyone feel more connected to the baby. Like they are a true member of the family who just isn’t here yet. So different to the others. I mean, the children were much much younger, so it was different in that way anyway, but I’m really enjoying being pregnant and having older children.
I think I’ve had a UTI this week? I fixed it with a home remedy, but it was quite uncomfortable! This on top of my cold (when will it end?!) is really frustrating.
21 weeks pregnant
I had a midwife appointment this week, and I felt so so so much better afterwards. I hadn’t realised just how stressed I’d been feeling about everything pregnancy related, it was really nice to talk it through and have Mary reassure me!
Little baby was so wiggly that we could hardly measure the heartbeat properly! But we certainly knew they were there because we could hear the big swooshes as it tried to avoid the doppler! It makes sense that I can feel so much movement!
I measured slightly bigger (22 weeks), but that’s not a problem at this stage. Though that compared with the larger size in the ultrasound and a bit of a gut feeling is making me come to terms to possibly giving birth before my due date.
I went to the doctor today, not only to get my thyroid checked but also just to check my asthma. I’ve been taken around 6 puffs of Ventolin a day, and just coughing my lungs up. Really I feel like I’m just about coughing the baby out it’s so bad. Anyway, I was so glad I went to the doctor because she explained to me the risks involved in taking a preventer puffer (larger baby), and the risks of uncontrolled asthma in pregnancy (which I definitely had), and really there was no choice but to take the preventer. That all happened today, so fingers crossed it works, and I don’t have to be on it all Winter!
22 weeks pregnant
22 weeks! I am still sick, and holy smokes I am sick of it. The preventative puffer has been working really well, and my asthma has completely gone away. Thank you Hashem! I am still very blocked up, and am suspecting I have some sort of sinus infection, not just a cold anymore. I don’t think it’s been the flu – I’ve still been quite able to get around and do things, just tired and run down, but not bed ridden.
I’ve been trying to take it easy this week to get better. I’ve realised that this hard core cold combined with pregnancy means I can’t just rely on my usually excellent immune system to keep me going without any extra rest.
Can still feel this baby move inside me all the time. It’s quite sharp and strong, more like Eli than any of the others. I’ve started making Ahava’s pregnancy scrapbook because I got out the boys ones, and I love looking through them and comparing everything week to week with this baby. It’s a shame to not have hers! So I’ll do Ahava’s and this baby’s at the same time. Just collecting photos at this stage.
My sleep has been terrible. It’s certainly a bit better than it was (thanks to the asthma going away), but I still have a cough that likes to appear at bedtime (I think when I get cold, and when I lie down), and that combined with the numb hips and legs I get is quite distracting in the night.
Thankfully this week I got my foam roller out and did some work on that, and that night I had the most AMAZING sleep! I had listened to what the massage therapist had said when I got my pregnancy massage a few weeks ago, that the numbness was most likely from the muscles in my hips, bum, and thighs being out of wack, and put that into practice by rolling them out! I’m so glad it worked so well, and that this is something I can do at home and not have to get a massage once a week for!
So we are pretty excited about starting Plastic Free July tomorrow. To be totally honest, I’m nervous about how we’ll go (mostly about me getting too tired due to health and pregnancy, and therefore “needing” to go get stuff in plastic), but also excited about the challenge. The kids all seem super on board, and actually excited for it, which is good. They need to be excited to get through the challenges!
If you’re thinking of doing this with your family, I hope the following video helps you plan it out and have a conversation together so you’re all on board! Below the video I’ve included a few books I love on zero waste living, and also some videos and links that you night find useful. I’m hoping tonight we can watch some of these videos together as a family, just to see how other families do it, and that it’s possible!
This week was fairly uneventful. I hate these weeks between the last ultrasound and feeling proper movements. So much nervous feelings, and anxiety. I feel it much more this time having had a miscarriage last time, then I ever did with the others.
I did have some weird pain this week – a sharpish pain in my cervix, as I was going for a walk. I was thinking maybe UTI? Who knows. If I remember I’ll tell the midwife (spoiler alert: I did not remember).
16 weeks pregnant
This week I did the week in the life project (well, I took the photos as I do most years, but I never do anything with them!!). And I realise how unexciting our days/week is. I feel for Ahava, who is the main one suffering through this pregnancy (read: watching too much TV).
I am more and more sure of the baby movements I thought I could probably feel last week! This is exciting. I would never normally say publicly at 15+_ weeks that I could feel baby movements, but I guess with a fourth child, you could say I’m pretty confident in what I feel.
Ahava is more and more sure the baby is a girl, and I need to start talking to her properly about the possibility of a boy, and how good this would be.
17 weeks pregnant
17 weeks. I’m getting tired often still. I definitely felt that initial rush of energy a few weeks ago as the nausea cleared, but I’m back to being tired and grumpy again! I want to focus on healthy eating for the baby. Lately I’ve been a bit scared of having gestational diabeties for some reason and I think healthy eating is really the best way to avoid that.
18 weeks pregnant
At 17+1 week I had my midwife appointment and everything went well. Ahava and I heard the baby’s heartbeat, which was very reassuring. I love having Mary as a midwife. We talked about how the due date based on my period was so much earlier than the ultrasound date, and I explained that I was confident in the later ultrasound date because of my wacky periods. And that date feels right to me what with the holiday before hand, and the new moon on the due date. Anyway, when she checked the fundal height she was like “yep, definitely around 17 weeks!” and I love that midwives have that talent.
Anyway, feeling very happy about having a private midwife, and I got some books I won’t really have time to read. Haha.
Basically all of my pregnancy symptoms have gone now, and while I thought I had a very easy first trimester (and really, it was very easy), I’m realising as I start to feel better just how generally “meh” I felt the last few months. I do seem to get tired easier than before, and I can feel when I bend certain ways, or lift something heavy that there are twinges in my muscles – the relaxin hormone doing it’s job already. I’m also breathing quite heavily all the time. Partly pregnancy and partly my asthma which has flared up the last two weeks. Unfortunately I don’t think the heavily breathing is going away any time soon, and we’re going into Winter, so most likely the asthma will flare up a few more times before the season is over!
I am not a fan of these next few weeks, when everything feels normal, and you don’t feel pregnant at all, and there are no little baby movement and kicks to reassure you. It’s a tumultuous time. I’m finding it particularly difficult after the missed miscarriage I had last pregnancy. Realising that the baby could pass and there be no symptoms with me, and my body just continue with the pregnancy makes it even more nerve wrecking.
I suppose it’s made worse by the pregnancy induced anxiety I’m experiencing. It’s not extreme, but similar to what my regular anxiety is like when it has flared up. Things like having to get out of bed in the middle of the night after something’s woken me up and going in to check the children are breathing, or worrying any time Luke drives anywhere. Even worrying about the kids when they’re at school. These are all very unfounded fears, and things I that don’t usually bother me, so it’s tiring to have them again. In writing this down I’m realising that this heightened anxiety is probably what’s lead to my higher stress levels (that and a badly behaved 3 year old!). I’m trying to actively “nourish” my mind (my word for the year!) with meditation and calming things like cups of chai.
I still have a bit of disbelief about the pregnancy still. I mean, telling people has helped, as has seeing the ultrasound (seriously FELL IN LOVE with the baby at that ultrasound!), but still, I felt so out of baby-land that this feels like a crazy dream!
Last week (13+2) I met with Mary – my midwife. I am so excited she is available to be with me again for this baby. She was with me with Ahava, and was one of the midwives I had during my anti-natal appointments with Eli. I love her philosophy and approach to midwifery, pregnancy and birth, and she is a dear friend. Very accepting and kind, and strong as well!
This week I also had my 12 week ultrasound (13w0d), which went well. I will have to go back to my GP to get the results, but I imagine she’d call me if there was anything abnormal. The technician walked me though it and said that everything looked great. They’re specifically checking the fluid behind the neck, and the nose bone cavity for signs of Downs Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. I’m a very low risk anyway, as I’m only 31 (I realised just this week that I have been telling every medical person I spoke to up until this point that I’m 30, but I am actually 31! Oops!), and have no biological family history of any of these things, nor does Luke as far as either of us know.
I’ve started dreaming a bit about the birth, and have started with my pregnancy meditation from the hypnobirthing book. I still have it ripped to my computer for Eli’s pregnancy! I don’t except I’ll read the book again (or maybe I will if I can find it in the library), but feel like the meditations to listen to daily (or thereabouts) are sufficient seeing as I’ve birthed in this style twice before. I hope to have a birth similar to Ahava’s – in ease, efficiency, and timing. I find imagining where I want to give birth, and different positions, time frames and situations, helps with mentally sorting through what I do and don’t want to happen, and how to deal with various scenarios. Basically it helps me feel prepared. I don’t imagine it would be helpful for everyone, but this kind of daydreaming really helps me a lot.
At 12w2d I had my booking in appointment with the hospital. I elected for shared care. The hospital only really caters for shared care with the GP, but I will be doing it with my midwife – Mary. I will still need to see my GP semi-regularly (every 6-8 weeks) for thyroid checks and medication changes if necessary. I did this system with Ahava, and it worked well. I don’t need to see the hospital now until 36 weeks or something like that, which is great. I don’t fancy going back any more regularly than that.
Excited to welcome baby number 4, at the end of Oct/start of Nov. 🤰 Loved deeply by its older siblings already who have been begging for Luke & I to let him or her join our family for quite a while. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I thought it would be fun to document the two weeks leading up to Pesach (Passover). For Passover we are required to clean out our entire house of any chametz (any of the 5 grains that has touched water for more than 18 minutes before being completely cooked). So we’re talking about pulling out all furniture and cleaning thoroughly behind it all, cleaning down all surfaces, toys, books etc. Obviously getting rid of all this food from the house (use it up, don’t throw it out!), and then kashering the kitchen and changing over most kitchen tools and appliances to Passover friendly ones.
It’s intense. As with everything there are different levels of observance – we aim for orthodox observance.
It’s probably obvious, but this is just a glimpse of what the week was like – I didn’t document every part of it!
I’m sharing some questions and discussion points to talk to kids about each day of the omer. I’ve also included an affirmation each day. You can see more of these on my instagram – @jewishaffirmations
Day 2 Gevurah in Chesed Discipline in Lovingkindness
What does discipline mean? Discipline when we talk about love usually means self control. Why do you think we would need discipline / self control in love?
Imagine that you had a friend who loved giving compliments and this was the way they gave their friends love. Every day, many times in the day they give you compliments – they like your hair, they like your beanie boo, they like the drawing you did, they like… well, everything, and they always tell you!
Do you think you might get sick of that after a while? Do you think your friend is showing self control and thinking about how you feel, if you’re starting to get annoyed by their compliments all the time?
I know sometimes when I am tired and grumpy I like to be by myself. Do you ever feel like that?
If someone comes up to you and gives you a big bear hug and lots of kisses when you’re feeling that way, does it feel like love to you? Not really – this is why it’s important that we have self control when we love people. We need to be sure that the love we’re giving people is going to be received the right way, and that it will actually make the person feel loved!