EEN IETS DUURZAMER KRAAMPAKKET

Giving birth in The Netherlands is totally different than in Colombia, where I am from. Starting with the fact that the pregnancy gets followed by a midwife, instead of a doctor. Another new thing for me is ‘kraamzorg’. A kraamzorg carer is a person that helps the midwife during the labor. After the baby is born, she will keep on visiting your house for a week to look after you and your baby and to teach you and your partner how to care for your newborn. With kraamzorg also comes a ‘kraampakket’. I needed to make sure that I would receive a kraampakket before the day of birth. A kraampakket is a maternity package that contains all the necessary products that the midwife and assistant will use when they take care of the mother and baby during delivery, birth and the first week after that. It is very common here in The Netherlands to give birth at home, and therefore the insurance gives you all the products of the kraampakket. You will need this in case you give birth at home.

Depending on which insurance you have, you will get the maternity package for free. Lucky for me, I didn’t get it for free. I say lucky because when I checked what the package contains, most of the products from the insurance are not eco-friendly or organic. After doing some research, I decided to gather all the products myself so they would be a little bit more natural and organic. Next to the kraampakket I added some extra products for the baby that I will need. Those things are not necessarily for the giving birth process, but to use afterward. Here are the products I gathered:

Duurzaame kraampakket

This package contains:

  • Sanitary pads from the brand Yoni made of 100% organic cotton. It has no plastics or perfumes.
  • Cotton pads made of 100% organic cotton.
  • Large mats made of 100% ecological filling and they are biodegradable. These mats are to protect the matress before and after giving birth.
  • Belly button lace made of 100% cotton from the brand Nobamed. This lace is an alternative to the plastic navel clip.
  • Sterile wound compresses from the brand Nobamed.
  • Washable post-partum slips from the brand Carriwell. These are to ensure that all the bandage down there does not shift and can be hygienically worn.
  • Diaper cream, nurturing cream and milky bad oil from the brand Naif. Naïf skincare products are vegan, cruelty-free and made from natural oils.
  • Organic cold-pressed shea butter from the brand Zoya Goes Pretty. This product is to prevent cracked nipples.
  • Washing nuts and liquid from Seepje. This detergent is made from nuts that contain a natural form of soap called saponin. The natural soap gets released with the contact of water. Seepje is hypoallergenic and chemical free. The liquid version of Seepje is made from powdered nuts. The packaging is made from old milk bottles from England.
  • Organic alcohol.
  • Organic healing wool from the brand Popolini. This wool is to repair damaged skin for the baby and the mother.
  • Organic and chemical-free diapers and wipes from Lilydoo. These products are chemical-free. The wipes are compostable. (Note: I am planning to use disposable diapers during the first days or weeks. After that I will use washable cloth diapers.)
  • Organic and fairtrade baby castille soap and liquid soap from the brand Dr. Bronner via biggreensmile.com. These soaps are made from extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, hemp oil and pure essential oils. There are no perfumes or other additives so that’s good for sensitive skin.

 

 

With Love,
Alisson

 

 

SaveSave

THE BABY STROLLER MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLES

Looking for the right stroller can be very tiring while pregnant. There are so many different types, models, and colors. On top of that, every brand claims to make the best stroller ever. During my search, the only thing I was clear about, is that I wanted a stroller as sustainable as possible. In my research, I found a Dutch company that makes green strollers in a circular way: Greentom. The designer Bart Bost is the man behind Greentom. He makes strollers from almost one hundred percent recycled materials. Their mission is to design, develop and produce smart and sustainable products that make the world a little bit greener. For their strollers, they use recycled plastic bottles. This helps because the waste does not end up in our rivers, oceans, on our beaches or in landfills. At the end of its lifecycle, all of the Greentom products can be reused or recycled.

I wanted to give it a try and got the Carrycot model in color beige, with the frame in white. As soon as I got it, my husband and I were curious about it and started putting it together. The stroller was to ensemble very quick and easy. It feels lightweight and rides very smooth. I like it that the stroller grows up with the baby. When the Carrycot gets too small (or de the baby too big), I can use the reversible version. The frame stays the same, you only need to get the extra reversible or the classic chassis. These you can use the rest of the stroller time.

Greentom is the proof that circular products can be beautiful and timeless. You can use smart, cool and functional green products and make a difference.

I took my Carrycot stroller for a test ride. I can’t wait to start using it for real when the baby is born!

Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

 

Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

Discover more about the world of Greentom here: https://www.greentom.com/nl/

With Love,
Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

13 THINGS I DIDN’T EXPECT WHILE EXPECTING

As you might know, I was unexpectedly pregnant and not busy at all with anything that has to do with the topic. The information I had about pregnancy came from movies, series and some women who shared their experience with me. I thought I knew what to expect: tiredness, vomiting and feeling nausea. I survived the first 27 weeks and realized that there were many things I didn’t know. Every single woman has different experiences but here are a few of the things I’ve learned from my own pregnancy.

It took me some time to accept this pregnancy and to go through my first weeks. Forget everything you have seen in movies. This is how it really feels:

1. The pregnancy test is positive, let’s call the doctor!
Wrong! I live in The Netherlands, where pregnancy is followed by midwives. The chances that you will see a doctor are very little. The first thing you have to do when a pregnancy test is positive is to call your midwife. Don’t feel surprised when you get your next appointment in at least four more weeks! They will first want to see you when you are 8+ weeks pregnant. And remember: you are pregnant from the first day of your last period. Make sure you have your agenda with you when you do the phone call.

2. If everything is alright, you will only have one sonogram per trimester.
If you are as naive as me and think you will get a sonogram every month, you are wrong. If everything is ok you will only get one per trimester plus the one at 8 weeks. In total, you will have one sonogram at 8 weeks, at 20 weeks, at 30+ and one close to the due date to see if the baby is positioned well.

3. Your belly is not growing but your hips and butt are.
Say goodbye to your normal jeans and say hello to: leggings? Well yes. You will be too big for your normal clothes, but too thin for maternity clothes. Much of the first trimester is a strange experience. You know that you are pregnant, but you don’t feel pregnant.

4. From one day to the other you will turn into a dog
Oh, all those smells you didn’t mind before, you do mind now. A lot. I couldn’t stand the smell of onion, red bell pepper, my kitchen, my bathroom, dirty clothes, the sink…

5. Morning sickness or better yet all-day-sickness
From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep you might feel nausea and disgusted by food. I couldn’t eat anything until 4-5 pm. Besides dry crackers, everything else made me want to throw up. This feeling started to disappear from the 14th week on.

6. You will forget what it’s like to eat normal food again
Crazy cravings are something inevitable. But for me, rather than cravings, I got into a fight with some ingredients. I couldn’t see or smell onions, leeks, red bell pepper or spinach. As a vegan, it was hard sometimes to cook without those ingredients. Luckily my partner did all the cooking because I felt too nauseated to cook.

7. Your breasts will get bigger
Or not, like mine. My boobs haven’t got any bigger and there’s a big chance that it’s going to stay that way. For my mother, it was the same, but she was still able to breastfeed three beautiful daughters. It’s really true that not all women are the same.

8. The pregnancy glow
Before looking pretty and radiant you might look ugly and tired. During the first 20 weeks of pregnancy my skin started to change, I had more freckles than before, my scalp began to get dry and my hair began to fall off, which gave me empty spots in my scalp. Luckily now, after 27 weeks all those things disappeared. I wouldn’t consider that I glow, but I don’t have those symptoms which made me feel “ugly” anymore.

9. The tiredness is real
Your new bestie is your bed. You will spend the whole day dreaming about when you will get to lie your head on your pillow again. Some days I could sleep all day, wake up to eat and go back and rest again. You will feel bad – when your husband has been neglected. You get over it quickly and then get kind of mad that he doesn’t have to feel like a big piece of poop like you. Totally unfair. This feeling of being tired all the time disappeared when I was around week 14. Slowly it started to come back at week 16 and it keeps on during my pregnancy so far.

10. Sleep on your belly while you still can
From week 20+ it starts to get challenging to sleep. You can only sleep on your right side, and you will constantly wake up to go to the bathroom. By week 25 it gets really difficult for me to sleep comfortably without waking up in the middle of the night to find a comfortable position. On my right side I get heartburn and on my back, I can’t breath good. The only side I can sleep on is the right one. Just the one side I was not used to.

11. Say goodbye to the morning sickness, say hello to more discomfort
As soon as you start to feel better about the morning sickness, other discomforts may appear. For me, I felt good for about one week and then some pains started to come up. The body is constantly changing and adjusting to the new life you are creating. For me, it started with heavy migraines. From one day to the other I had a very bad headache that turned into a migraine. It lasted two days and went away. Then a lower back pain and pelvic pain followed. Some days it was heavier than others. It lasted a couple of weeks but it eventually went away. Suddenly I started having heartburn. That is a burning sensation in your chest after you eat. It’s caused by the hormonal and physical changes that happen in your body. This symptom disappeared after a couple of times. Since the beginning of the pregnancy I was having bladder control problems, but since week 24 it got worse. I might need to do some pelvic exercises to get back my control. Since my body is making extra blood from week 20, I started to have heart palpitations. This extra blood results in a heart rate that’s about 25 percent faster than usual. This feels like your heart is beating extremely fast. Heart palpitations can be normal and nonharmful during pregnancy. When I feel it, I have to sit down, breath and wait for it to pass. The latest discomforts I have are leg cramps, thanks to my growing belly and the pressure from my growing uterus. All these discomforts are for a good cause. But we are still allowed to joke about it right?

12. From one day to the other your belly will grow
I spend the first 5 months waiting for the belly to start showing. Sometimes it got a little bit awkward because people started wondering if I was really pregnant. When someone asked how the baby was doing, I felt insecure because the belly was still small. As if something was wrong with the baby. Suddenly between week 24 and 25, my belly started to show. But it wasn’t until week 27 that you could really see the belly very well. Some women have big bellies, some small, but the size has nothing to do with the health of the baby. This was my mantra to avoid feeling bad when someone had a negative comment on my small bump.

13. You will question everything
The voice in your head can make you crazy. Suddenly from the second semester on, I developed a little voice in my head, suggesting that I was doing everything wrong and probably was killing my baby. You start questioning everything you do, from the way you sleep to what you eat and so on. I am a little bit controlling so maybe this symptom was bound to be worse for me. My Google searches showed me that it’s clear that many women are asking the same questions: “Is it okay to do this? Is it bad to drink that?”. The best thing to do is to let go and trust that everything is alright. Because most of the times, EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT.

 

Being pregnant is a miracle. The female body is a miracle. To be able to grow a life inside is almost surreal. Even though being pregnant has been tiring for me,  I try to celebrate the good things and not to focus on these annoying symptoms. So, my dear fellow pregnant friends, let’s all relax and enjoy this moment. (I’m saying this now because I had a good night of sleep. Tomorrow I might feel annoyed by my own advice).

With love,

Alisson

 

More pregnancy topics:
Flying while pregnant tips
Perfect outfit for a growing belly
Unexpectedly expecting

 


Follow me on Instagram

Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

TIPS FOR FLYING WHILE BEING PREGNANT

Flying while pregnant might feel a little bit scary. Some women have to travel for business, some other for pleasure. In my case, I wanted to travel to my hometown in Colombia to visit my family and spend Christmas together. I am currently living in The Netherlands and had to take an intercontinental flight to visit my family. Luckily I was well prepared and now I want to share my tips with you.

1. Get a pregnancy statement from your midwife or doctor.
Most of the airlines will allow you to fly up to week 34 of the pregnancy. Before that time you will need a recent pregnancy statement with information about the due date and any complication. Regulations differ from one airline to the other, always check before you travel. Two days before the flight, I went to my midwife and had a regular control. There I got the pregnancy statement free of charge. I am currently at the end of my second trimester of pregnancy, which is the best time to travel. I was 26 weeks on the day of my flight.

2. Wear comfortable clothes.
The best thing to do is to wear separate pieces of clothes. Forget about jumpsuits and overalls. Wear instead leggings and a big sweater, or a dress. You will be going to the bathroom more often and you need easy clothes to make the process less annoying. Bring some extra clothes in your carry on bag for when it get’s cold in the airplane. During my trip, I wore a legging with a big sweater. Under the sweater, I wore a spaghetti top. As extra layer, I had a basic long shirt for the cold and a thin blouse for when we arrived. We flew from Madrid to Bogota and the difference in temperature was very big.

3. Wear long socks.
Long socks help you against swelling and aching legs. Best is if the socks are a little bit tight, to keep the blood flowing. During the flight, I only wore one pair of socks, but I had an extra pair of thick socks just in case it got cold.

4. Wear easy to take off shoes.
Comfortable shoes are a must. The best is if the shoes have no laces but expandable elastic panels. It is very common for the feet to swell. Elastic shoes makes it comfortable for you to survive the pit stops to the toilet. Every time I went to the toilet I put my shoes on and when I came back I left them under my seat. If you don´t have this type of shoes, you can wear your regular shoes but bring a pair of slippers to wear around the cabin.

5. Choose a seat in the aisle.
Since you will be standing up more often than normal, it´s better to have a seat in the aisle. For me, it didn´t matter much because I was sitting next to my husband and he didn’t mind standing up every time I needed to go out. It helped him to do some stretching. But if you are travelling alone, it’s better to sit in the aisle. I personally don’t like to sit close to the bathrooms because of the smell. Since the pregnancy, I have turned into a dog. I can smell everything very well. This time I chose a chair far from the toilet. That way I was able to walk a little bit and do some stretching.

6. Walk and stretch frequently.
It is important to walk and stretch in the cabin every one to two hours. Even if you don’t need to go to the bathroom, you should get up or do some stretching while sitting. Sitting for long periods of time can make your feet and ankles swell and your legs cramp. Take off your shoes and elevate your legs by resting your feet on your bag under the seat in front of you. If the seat next to you is empty, put your feet up on it. Pregnancy makes you more susceptible to thrombosis and varicose veins. It’s important to keep your blood circulating. When you are walking make sure you sit down as soon as there’s a whiff of air turbulence and while sited always keep your seat belt fastened under your belly and low on your hips.

7. Drink plenty of water.
The air of the cabin is dry, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated and drink as much as possible: only water. Try to avoid coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks.

8. Bring enough snacks for the flight.
Pregnancy can make you more hungry than you were before. During a long flight, you will get enough food, but in my experience, it’s not enough for pregnant women. The same morning of the flight, I stopped at the supermarket in the airport of Amsterdam and bought snacks for the flight. Remember that you can’t bring any liquid. Choose solid foods like nuts, wraps, sandwiches, cake, and bread. You can store the food in your carry on bag and have it always with you.

9. Spend the night in a hotel before.
If your flight is early in the morning and you need to be at the airport before dawn, the best is to spend the night in a hotel close by the airport (unless you have someone to bring you at that time). This was my first time to spend the night before in a hotel, and I found it very relaxed. I was able to sleep  longer than if I would have slept at home. The hotel offered us a ride to the airport that only took 10 minutes. I felt good to starting the long trip in a relaxed way.

8 IMG_8509

Sit back, relax and enjoy your flight! I hope these tips help you to have a smooth flight while being pregnant. Do you have any tips? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

OUTFIT: PERFECT FOR A GROWING BELLY

Dungarees are perfect for a growing belly. They are practical, comfortable, stylish and versatile. Last summer, I was lucky enough to score a second-hand denim overalls at a vintage market in Amersfoort. As my belly begin to grow, I have put them back in my closet and now wear them almost daily. When I wear it, I simply adjust the straps to my comfort and voila! This is my favorite piece of clothes at the moment, I have been wearing it since week 15 and hope to still wear a couple of weeks more.

On these series of pictures, I show you how I style the dungarees in two different outfits. The pictures were made in Amersfoort by the photographer Mitchel Lensink.


What I´m wearing:
Dungarees // Blur goes vintage market in Amersfoort
Sweater // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Shoes // Pinatex via En& vegan webshop
Beanie // Vintage kilo-shop in Paris

 

What I´m wearing:
Dungarees // Blur goes vintage market in Amersfoort
Sweater and bag // Kringloop Amersfoort
Shoes // Pinatex via En& vegan webshop
Sunglasses // Unicenter market in Cologne

P.S.: I made a Pinterest board where I gathered my favorite pregnancy styles. Check it out for more maternity outfits ideas.

With Love,
Alisson

Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Pinterest
Like my Facebook page
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

SaveSave

UNEXPECTEDLY EXPECTING. MY JOURNEY TO ACCEPTANCE​

On a normal day at work, I was feeling a little bit sick and extremely tired. All of a sudden, I threw up and the realization came to me: I’m pregnant. My husband came to pick me up and on the road home, we stopped at the pharmacy to buy a pregnancy test.

Next morning I peed on the little stick and before I had the time to think what was going on, the stick revealed: I was 5+ weeks pregnant. Suddenly I felt numb, lost and overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe that it was happening.

My partner and I have had the “baby” conversation before and we agreed on having children. But I never expected it to happen so soon. My negative thoughts and all the anxiety led me to a state of denial and feeling shock during the first four months of my pregnancy. This pregnancy is not necessarily unwanted, it just came as a surprise accompanied by emotions, completely different to how I thought women are supposed to feel about pregnancy.

I am a grown-up woman, married to the love of my life, living in a beautiful and spacious house with an adopted dog, we are financially ok and I feel very blessed to be able to get pregnant. Wasn’t I supposed to be happy now?Cause I didn’t feel happy at all. Mentally I wasn’t prepared to have a baby yet, and I was not feeling joy or happiness with the new reality of becoming a mother in only eight monthsThough, about one thing I was sure: Our baby is definitely welcome. 

Being pregnant is something I have always associated with something bad. Thus, ever since I started to be sexually active, I have been protecting myself against an unwanted pregnancy and I have even had discussions with friends about the different birth controls methods.

A thought that kept me from feeling good is that being pregnant is not so common anymore at my age. I honestly wanted to wait until turning thirty and have a more “successful” career first. In my group of girlfriends, we all felt that way – as wanting to become independent women that work and succeed in something. It seemed as if being a mother, at this age, didn´t go hand in hand with those goals.  

So from one day to the other, I had to accept that it´s ok to be pregnant; that I am old enough and prepared to be a mother. Wait there, a mother! Me?! 

During my first months, I didn’t tell anyone of my friends and family.  My partner and I sought help from the midwife. She was very helpful and referred me to see a specialist in women’s mental health. That’s where my journey to acceptance began.

By talking openly about it, I learned that all the thoughts I had about pregnancy and how women should feel, came from unrealistic sources. I have based my images on movies, series, commercials and on pregnant women in general. Talking with the psychologist and other women with similar issues, made me realize that not everyone feels thrilled about pregnancy and parenting. But the feeling of shame and guilt that comes with not feeling what society tells you one should feel, makes it hard to talk about it. I think it’s not socially acceptable to feel bad for being pregnant because, on the other hand, there are lots of women struggling to become pregnant. In a way, others might have more difficulties than one has. And while I acknowledge that all of that is true, it does not take away from the fact that becoming pregnant at a time when I wasn’t mentally prepared for it, was also very difficult to process. 

Coping with an unplanned pregnancy requires time, space and a network of support. For a few weeks, I felt overwhelmed, lonely and lost. But then, with the help of a midwife, a psychologist, my partner, and Google, I found the energy to do things to make me feel better.

To start, I let go of all the beliefs I had about how I was supposed to feel. I allowed myself to feel everything I was feelingSadness, griefgratitude, worry, confusion, excitement. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. But by allowing myself to feel them, they went through my system and away. I started to remind myself that these negative feelings didn’t make me a bad person. It also didn’t mean that I don’t love the baby I carry.

also found peace at doing things at my own pace. I put on hold all the side things that I wasn’t ready to do. Such as: start telling my family and friends, downloading pregnancy apps, buying clothes, -“how to” books, baby clothes, nursery, toys and all of that. I just didn’t start with this until I felt ready. I decided to first focus on my mental health and to only stress about those other things after.

By staying true to what I felt, I started to feel better. It took me four months to tell my family and friends that I was pregnant. To my surprise, they responded with nothing but joy, and completely understood how I had felt. 

A couple of months ago, it wasn’t in my short-term plans yet to become a mother. My life doesn’t look like now, how I thought it was going to look like, but I feel good about it. I have overcome unexpected situations before, and I know I can do this as well. I have the support of my partner who has been amazing throughout the process. Not ever, has hgiven me any negative feelings. His happiness and positivism helped me cope better with the situation. He is open to adjusting his life and to do this together with me. I have come to realize that I can still do the things I want to do, and it’s more fun knowing that I will have my family to share them with. 

Are you or were you feeling like this during your pregnancy? How did you cope with these feelings? Leave me your tips in the comments below.

Because I don’t only want to complain, I made a list of funny pregnancy memes. Check it out here and let’s have a laugh!

unexpectedly pregnant
This is me while carrying a 22-week baby.

 

With Love,

Alisson

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Like my Facebook
Follow me on Instagram

 

FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY: PERFECTLY EXPLAINED IN 15 MEMES

A little bit of pregnancy fun. As you know, I had a rough time accepting my unexpected pregnancy. With some professional help, I have been able to feel better and better. I survived the first trimester and found these memes that best explained how I felt during those months. Here they are for you to enjoy:

1. The oh-so-annoying nausea.

1

2. The whole day. Every day.

2

3. Can’t remember when was the last time I enjoyed food.

3

4. Pregnancy weekends be like:

4

5. The struggle is real.

5

6. Is it clear now? Thanks.

6

7. Please don’t judge me.

7

8. Eating get’s harder and harder.

8

9. Fatigue.

9

10. Will never know.

10

11. All that space!11

12. Yes, please!

12

13. It doesn’t matter. Always tired, never not missing normal life.

13

14. Yep. Too big to fit my normal clothes, too thin to fit pregnancy clothes.

14

15. Yes, it’s so beautiful to be hungry.. and to feel nauseated.. and to not be able to eat, and to start crying, and to hold it… I need to pee!

15

16. One extra because I say so.

16

With Love,
Alisson

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Like my Facebook
Follow me on Instagram

%d bloggers like this: