Pregnancy: The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Pregnancy is an amazing process, like no other, and I was lucky enough to feel pretty darn good for the majority of this time…with some definite exceptions. I realize that many women have it a lot worse (and a lot better) than me, this is just my own experience. At the end of the day, all of these pregnancy symptoms are nothing compared to the gift that we’re about to get as a result. With that said, let’s get real about growing a baby, shall we?

First trimester:

The GOOD: for whatever reason, I didn’t experience much nausea in the beginning. In fact, I’m happy to say that my entire pregnancy, I’ve probably been nauseous about ten times total. Sure, I experienced other “stuff,” (keep reading) but not so much of this classic symptom. The best part about the first trimester was the realization that I actually had a baby growing inside me! It wasn’t easy getting pregnant, (thanks to birth control throwing my hormones off) so we are that much more thankful that it did happen. Though it was still our little secret during the first trimester, I spent it on cloud nine just thinking about our baby-to-be!

The BAD: the first 13 weeks of pregnancy consisted of lots and lots and lots of naps. Everything made me exhausted, even sleeping. I didn’t stand a chance against this kind of tired – by early afternoon, my eyes were closing and my bed was calling…pretty much everyday. I guess growing a human is exhausting. Luckily, I was able to schedule nap time after getting everything done earlier in the day, so I often gave in, listened to my body, and napped like crazy.

The UGLY: instead of the typical nausea, my ‘ugly’ pregnancy symptom was much less common, but equally uncomfortable. Apparently, when baby starts to grow and push on internal organs, but still isn’t  large enough for everything to find its place in there, things can get a little ‘mixed up.’ Not once, but twice early on in pregnancy, I ended up in the ER with a distended bladder, meaning that my bladder had stretched out and was not able to contract to pee like normal. I had to get a catheter in order to drain my bladder. Twice. Told you it was ugly…

Second trimester:

The GOOD: sharing our baby news was definitely the highlight of the second trimester. At the 12/13 week marks, odds of miscarriage greatly reduce, so that is when people typically let the cat out of the bag. We shared the news with our families and close friends earlier on with much excitement. We even got all corny and put a ‘bun in the oven’ for our friends to find when we invited them over for drinks (seltzer for me…always seltzer for me.) After the three month mark, I shared on OHH and social media. At the beginning of the second trimester, I didn’t really look so pregnant yet, but soon after, strangers would start to comment, ask, or congratulate me. That made me realize that my body and my baby were really growing, that this process was really happening. Best of all, towards the end of the second trimester, I began to feel baby girl moving around inside me which is, by far, the coolest feeling in the whole wide world.

The BAD: the end of the first trimester and most of the second trimester was like one long aversion to meat. I typically get a good amount of protein from poultry, meat, and fish, so my diet was thrown off…not to mention my ability to cook dinner. The hubs definitely got the short end of the stick on that one…While we’re on the topic, I should mention that while I didn’t really experience abnormal cravings, my body definitely wanted more fresh fruit and refreshing smoothies. One thing that I’ve had every single day during my pregnancy is avocado and I’m pretty sure that habit will not stop with baby’s arrival 🙂

The UGLY: here’s another weird and ugly symptom for ya, as I seem to be the queen of them! After a perfect report at the dentist just a week prior, I started to notice that my bottom gum felt like it was splitting from my teeth and that there was some space there that wasn’t there before. Sure enough, it was the very start of pregnancy gingivitis. I was pretty shocked as I try to take really good care of my teeth, but apparently it’s not uncommon. Luckily, with daily flossing and mouthwash, this went away within a few weeks and hasn’t returned.

Third Trimester:

The GOOD: the best part about my pregnancy is that I’ve been able to continue to work out and stay active the whole time, which is pretty huge for my sanity and happiness! Fingers crossed that this continues these last few weeks leading up to the big day as I’ve heard that continued exercise can pay off during labor. Don’t get me wrong, I take things pretty easy, don’t let my heart-rate get very high, and rarely break a sweat, but the continued movement has been great for my well-being, mentally and physically.

While I don’t push myself the way that I used to, I have been able to continue jogging, spinning, yoga, light weight-lifting, and circuit training, while really listening to my body and taking it slow. If something hurts, or just doesn’t feel right, I stop. For the most part, working out always makes me feel much better, so I keep doing it. With additional size comes a bit more difficulty, so I imagine that things may slow down over these next few weeks and that’s o.k. too. At a minimum, daily walks and prenatal yoga help to get the blood pumping and are better than nothing!

I was also very relieved when my doctor accommodated my request to avoid the glucose drink (full of sugar and genetically modified ingredients) to test for gestational diabetes; he did a simple blood test to evaluate my sugar levels and rule out GD. Thanks, doc!

The BAD: in addition to the exhaustion, extra weight, constant trips to the restroom, swelling, nerve pain, stretching skin, and all else that comes along with the third trimester, I also had quite the scare. At 37 weeks pregnant, I was going about my day, feeling absolutely fine when all of the sudden, I felt an intense pain in my back. I happened to be in the pharmacy when this came on and actually had to fall to the ground as the pain prevented me from standing or walking. After causing quite a commotion, (Sag Harbor Pharmacy’s staff is the best and took such good care of me!) my husband arrived and we went to the hospital…wondering…are these contractions? Is the baby coming?! Fast forward hours later and it turns out that the pain was the result of a kidney stone. Apparently, they can be common during pregnancy (although I’ve never heard anyone else I know getting so lucky!) So, that was a crazy day. Although the bad was not fun at all, it’s nothing compared to the ugly…

The UGLY: if you thought that the catheter, gingivitis, and kidney stone were ugly, just you wait! Trimester three kicked off with the start of an itchy rash on my growing belly. The rash soon got worse and spread. And then it got even worse and continued to spread. Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any worse, it got worse and spread…until it was pretty much all over me, completely unbearable, and totally debilitating. At its worst, I couldn’t sleep, had no appetite, was an emotional mess, and struggled to focus on the baby…or anything but the rash. Known as “PUPPPS” (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) or “PEP,” (Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy) there is very little known about this horrible diagnosis.

I tried herbal treatments, topical steroids, antihistamines, biopsies, oatmeal baths, moisturizers, minimizing my wardrobe to a few select cotton shirts, and doing anything I could to get some rest and relief. Six or seven weeks of absolute misery finally lead to some relief in the dose of oral Prednisone. As someone who hates taking medication and prefers living life holistically, I was so torn about trying all of these drugs, but was too desperate not to. I trusted that my doctors would not put baby at risk and thankfully, the Prednisone helped to make life bearable again, so that I could return my attention to happily growing baby.

We still don’t know much more than the fact that pregnancy can cause the immune system to lash out (aka rash out) and the only known solution, along with some meds, is to hang in there until baby arrives, when things should clear up pretty quickly thereafter. So, that’s the plan…

My best efforts point to what I know: food. Desperate for some relief, I’ve minimized gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and caffeine in an attempt to tame this beast. Although my diet is pretty clean and healthy, I’m committed to doing my best to rule out anything that may be causing extra inflammation. I’ve definitely noticed that my symptoms worsen after consuming cheese, so I’ve broken up with cheese until further notice. While I’ve never really been a huge cheese lover, (I prefer peanut butter…by the spoonful) pregnancy has me craving fresh mozzarella and I’ve always been a fan of plain Greek yogurt. While they sure are tasty, it’s just not, at all, worth it.

PUPPPS affects one in every 200-300 pregnancies. When I was at my worst and I hadn’t slept well in weeks, I constantly wondered WHY ME?! But then I would remind myself that everyone is dealing with something, whatever it may be, and to keep my eye on the prize, a beautiful, healthy blessing <3 Fortunately, all of the wild and crazy symptoms I experienced affected me and not really the baby. Although times got tough, I wouldn’t change taking it for the team for anything. Some women love being pregnant, others hate it. My feelings on pregnancy are bitter sweet, as you can now imagine. That will never change the fact that I am 1,000% positive that it will all be worth it in the end when baby girl is here! The countdown is on!

One Healthy Breakdown: nothing good in life comes easy, right? Babies included.

What’s Really on My Mind for 2014 and Why YOU Should Care

The saying “this is the first day of the rest of your life” never really resonated with me because there’s always tomorrow (well, hopefully…) But, today? TODAY is the FIRST DAY OF 2014. That feels more real to me, more concrete, more attainable. I can’t really picture the rest of my life, I can’t picture 20, 30, 40 years down the road, but I can picture the next 365 days and I can grasp what, how, and why they’re going to be absolutely amazing.

sabatino-060Rewind back to the fall. I was having a conversation with a friend about what really drove me to start One Healthy Hamptons and what I dreamt it to be. The goal of OHH is to provide a resource and a community to celebrate and grow health and wellness here in this amazing place we call home. I wanted to rejoice the uniqueness of this beautiful place full of incredible people and outstanding resources. But why? Why me? Why here? Why now?

Why not just let people do what they want to do? Health is already a huge part of this community; we love our fitness classes, our kale salad, and our fun nights out, embracing the Hamptons scene, all while penciling in the next day’s workout…right? But, is it a positive thing? Are we just going through the motions and working out to make space for the fun? Are we indulging with thoughts of cardio and detox? If this is you, don’t worry, this was me too.

I started OHH because I am so DONE living like that. We only have one life, only 364.5 more days to enjoy and embrace 2014. So, unless we’re enjoying the process, it’s really just a big, huge waste of valuable time. I started One Healthy Hamptons because I was DONE with this deranged mindset. DONE with society’s pressures to ‘get skinny.’ DONE with the cycle of overindulging followed by detox, diet, and cardio binges. Ugh, what a miserable, unbalanced way to NOT enjoy all of the valuable time we have on this earth. I was DONE with the negativity that’s been so closely wound into such positive concepts of health and wellness. DONE hearing, seeing, judging others, done being jealous, done overdoing it for all of the wrong reasons. I know if I was DONE, that lots of others must be just as fed up, just as ready to turn things around. Once I hit this realization, things began to shift, especially as my eyes opened to the unique world of wellness throughout the Hamptons. Health and wellness became a positive passion, not a negative obsession. One Healthy Hamptons resulted from my growing passion to turn negativity to positivity and to spread that positivity throughout the place I love to call home as much as possible. To connect people over the common theme of embracing health and wellness.

I started One Healthy Hamptons to get the message across, not just to other young girls with deranged mindsets from society’s impact, but to an entire community of diverse people, that being healthy and fit, making wellness a priority, doesn’t have to be a sacrifice at all. It can actually be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process with huge positive outcomes. Eating healthy is fun. Working out is fun. Trying new things, challenging our selves, pushing the limits, attaining goals – it’s all fun. The things that make us feel our best, our strongest, our healthiest, are GOOD for us and they deserve to be embraced.

For me, 2013 was a huge year of personal, professional, physical growth. I gave up time at the gym and put that energy into enjoying moments with family, friends, and growing professionally. (Yes, LESS time working out is what I’m preaching here.) Less dreaded time on the treadmill or elliptical, fewer hours, and less sweat. Why? Because I was DONE working out just to get it over with. DONE eating bland food just to wear certain clothes. DONE detoxing on Mondays to make up for a fun weekend. I do it now for enjoyment. I workout because I ENJOY it and I eat what I ENJOY. One Healthy Hamptons is built on the premise of balance in life, not extreme exercise, not cutting calories, or cutting fun in any way. That’s so last year.

And, ya know what? I’m healthier and fitter than I was last New Years. I’m not perfect, I’m not balanced, but I’m closer and I’m happier. And I’m here to share the health and happiness with YOU. Living a healthy lifestyle and embracing it can be a balanced, ENJOYABLE process. That’s really what a resolution should be about. A goal that you aspire to reach with a process of getting there that is ENJOYABLE. Or else what’s the point?!

My drive to start this community, One Healthy Hamptons, came from the desire to fully embrace the positivity of health and wellness and to make it that much more accessible for all of us. In a few short weeks, once we’ve settled into 2014, gotten used to our routines, and hopefully taken the holiday decorations down, health and wellness in the Hamptons is going to be the MOST accessible it’s ever been. We’re throwing a party and it’s called Hamptons Wellness Week. For one week only, all things healthy and well Montauk to Westhampton will be RIGHT at your fingertips.

If you want 2014 to be THE year, YOUR year, then join me. If you’re ready to set yourself up for success, if you’re DONE with the negatives and ready to CELEBRATE, or you’re ready to make this your healthiest year yet, you’re invited to Hamptons Wellness Week. If you want to learn, try, and grow, you’ve got to be there! Where?

Sign up for Hamptons Wellness Week on January 12th at Hampton Coffee’s Experience Store in Southampton, meet me there between 8 and 11am or 4 and 6pm to commit to getting fit, reinvest in your health, learn a ton, and have some fun. Participants in Hamptons Wellness Week will get: SEVEN premium fitness classes of your choice that work with YOUR schedule, SIX lectures to learn the skills to make 2014 knock your socks off, nutrition consultations, natural facials, a party and tasting at Fresh, the Hamptons top restaurant for healthy, local eats. PLUS, the first 50 to sign up will get awesome gift bags to kick off the week/year/healthier YOU!

One Healthy Breakdown: I resolve to write more concisely in 2014 😉

One Healthy Fiancé

This week’s One Healthy Guest is someone I know pretty well, my fiancé, Nick! Learn how Nick balances life as a developer, One Healthy Hamptons insider, and of course, the luckiest man in the world…

91. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did ‘life as you know it’ come to be?

I moved a lot when I was a kid, which meant I got to experience a lot and meet a lot of people, but it wasn’t until settling in the Hamptons that I truly felt at home. Although people come and go, this place is a constant for me. After college, I passed up a good opportunity at a finance firm in Manhattan to work at a small development company out here. My fear was falling into a career that years down the road, would just be a job, not a life. I started at the bottom and worked my way up, learning everyday. I was involved in every aspect of the job. It didn’t take me long to realize that this is my passion. I truly wake up everyday and love going to work, it’s not just a job, it’s my life. I now have more knowledge and confidence in my own designs and skills, but the learning never stops. I’m not sure if my love for real estate was always within me or if it developed with experience, but I know that now it is my true passion.

97 gloverWhen I met my fiancé, Kiley, (you may know her) my focus shifted from friends and fun to building a career and a future. Real life. Our relationship gave me a sense of foundation to really go for it. In 2011, I started the company DeMarco Development (site coming soon!) Kiley and I support each other daily in our own goals. We’re each building our own businesses while building a life together. Now, we live in a farmhouse in Sag Harbor village, close to the village and the ocean. We’re lucky.

2. What’s something you overcame and how?

Moving around a lot as a child was a challenge. It was sometimes a struggle to settle in and get to know new people. I tried to be tough and suck it up. Starting a new life in a new place was always hard, but because of sports and school, I met friends fast and it always worked out. The Hamptons is my home. It’s quiet sometimes, which is great for getting work done and relaxing, but the summer brings fast-paced fun and excitement. It’s the best of both worlds.

3. What is your favorite workout? Favorite weekend activity?

I lift weights most days. Weight lifting at the gym and playing sports, like ice hockey and golf, are my favorite ways to stay active.

As for the weekend, I like to catch up and get a lot of work done on Saturday mornings to plan my week ahead. During the summer, my favorites are golfing, family barbecues, and going to Montauk with friends. I love the relaxed beach-town attitude in Montauk.

47863_553311577123_817022_nAs for the winter, I like to go out for a nice quiet dinner. I love watching football on Sundays, just relaxing on the couch with no agenda.

4. As a young man, developer, fiance, business owner, and a member of the Hamptons community, how do you maintain balance in your life?

Time management is really important. I’m organized (super neat, I put Kiley to shame) and prioritize work and family on top of all else. I like to think that I balance a healthy lifestyle. Going to the gym is crucial for me to release energy, stay in shape, and feel my best. I have to keep up on the job sites, so staying fit is important. I have gotten into such a habit of going to the gym after work that I feel ‘off’ when I don’t go, it’s just a part of my day and I always make time for it. Eating is something I’ve become much more aware of over the past few years. I know I’ll feel better after eating chicken and vegetables than I will after three slices of pizza.

5. Any great healthy/balance tips for other busy men?

When it comes to work, work as hard as possible and then work harder. Same for fun and relaxing. I am pretty strict about my routine during the week, but I definitely let myself relax and indulge on the weekends. Decompressing makes it possible to get up Monday morning and work twice as hard. Also, small changes are better than nothing. I’ve made small, doable, shifts, like choosing Ezekial bread for sandwiches, Greek yogurt, fresh fruit for snacks, and much less frequent fast food. Kiley kind of put a damper on me enjoying fast food, but it’s obviously for the better.

6. What food items do you always keep in your house?

Peanut butter and jelly, Ezekiel bread, hummus, eggs, apples, and Chocolate Haagan Daaz (with chocolate sprinkles.) One Healthy Hamptons pretty much takes over the kitchen, but I’m allowed a little space in the cabinets and the fridge for the above.

7. What is your favorite indulgence?

My favorite food in the world has always been an everything bagel with cream cheese. Other indulgences are watching football on Sundays and Raisinettes at the movie theater.

8. How do you make health a priority in your home?

I live with One Healthy Hamptons, so I don’t have a choice.

9. What is your FAVORITE thing about living in the Hamptons?

I love the non-stop action: the real estate market, summer excitement, and Christmas-time fun.

One Healthy Breakdown: A good balance, time management, organization, and some fun make for success.