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  • Writer's pictureHayley Burchell


(June 2017)

​Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the start to your weekend. : ) Here’s a quick overview of my pregnancy from 29 weeks to 32 weeks (current). I can’t believe how far along I am!


BABY’S NAME: We STILL can’t decide on a name. Any suggestions! We will choose a couple and decide when we see Baby B in person!

NESTING: I am DEFINITELY nesting more. For me this means, consolidating and organizing the house. I haven’t had much time, but the little I have done helps me feel prepared. Why is this?! Haha

NURSERY: I’ve been bargain shopping a little since we are on tight budget. I got some goodies at a designer sale that were a GREAT FIND! I also ordered the crib and found a cool rug online over Memorial Day Weekend for 68% OFF. Heck yes! I’ve been looking for sales like this and continue to do so to find other little goodies for Baby B’s room. I also found a NEW Ikea dresser, side table, and lamp for under $300 at a garage sale in a nearby neighborhood. It’s all about the deals! I’ll use the dresser for Baby B’s changing table- it’s perfect!


  1. MY ANEMIA- It is under control and being “monitored” by my OBGYN and my naturopath. I am still feeling energetic but definitely have moments of feeling tired and sluggish. I find this is directly related to when I’m not feeding my body the appropriate nutrition and sufficient protein and iron rich foods.

  2. Here’s some great info on amemia from Mama Natural

There are several indicators that your body is anemic. You may have just a few symptoms, or you may have all of them. Keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by other pregnancy issues, like blood pooling in the feet, hormonal changes, or lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels (source).

  • Light headedness and dizziness

  • Rapid or irregular heart rate

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dark circles under the eyes

  • Excessive fatigue

  • Trouble concentrating or brain fog

  • Pale skin, lips and nails

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Weakness

  1. SICKNESS- You guys, I got hit pretty hard with a pretty major cough for the last 2.5 weeks. Kai came home with a cough one day and then a few days later I had swollen glands which shortly turned into a cough. Boo! I just know that while pregnant, our immune systems are weaker so it helps me not be discouraged even though it’s still tough when I RARELY get sick!


    1. I have been taking the following 1-2x DAILY:

    2. 2 tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar 2x daily (I gargled when I had a sore throat for 10 seconds 2-3x a day to kill the bacteria)

    3. 6 drops oregano oil 2x daily

    4. Roughly 20 drops of Kyolic Liquid Garlic drops 2x daily

    5. 4-5 drops of Pure Encapsulations liquid D3 1x daily (in addition to my Vitamin D3 tablet)

    6. 2-3 droppers full of Wish Garden Cold Seasons Symptoms (for pregnancy) 2x daily

    7. I have been taking the following DAILY:

    8. Shaklee Alfalfa Complex tablets- 10 3x (yes, this is a lot but I swear by it)

    9. Contains alfalfa and spearmint

    10. Shaklee Garlic Complex tablets- 3 3x

      1. contains garlic, spearmint, and rosemary

    11. An extra 1-2 probiotics (in addition to my regular regimen)

This has helped clear up what I’ve been dealing with in my chest and nasal. I think the sleep factor didn’t help with my healing because I was going to bed late a few nights and still getting up in the middle of the night 1-2 times to pee. So fun! : )

  1. WATER- Oh my goodness... give me water! My body has been craving more and more water, especially at night. I am working on drinking even more water than before.

  2. BRAXTON HICKS- I’ve been having more contractions increasingly. They are smooth and a reminder that we are getting close to meeting Baby B!

  3. LIGHTNING CROTCH- THIS IS REAL. HAHA! Do you ever have sharp pains by your groin or nether regions? This is happens when nerves in this area are being triggered if the baby hits or kicks your cervix. It is random when I feel this quick sharp feeling, but it has only happened a handful of times that started at about week 29. I find I get them when I am standing or walking. Usually a quick little stretch feels good.


FOOD: I’ve been eating pretty clean- no gluten, corn, or processed sugar for the most part. I have my cheat days but don’t overdo it. I also do my best to stay away from dairy but allow myself sheep yogurt or goat cheese sometimes. Here is a brief overview of what I eat:

  1. Breakfast:

    1. Oatmeal w/ cinnamon, berries, almond milk, and nuts

    2. Sourdough toast (w/ sourdough “starter”) and sheep yogurt w/ berries, nuts/gluten free granola- granola has NO commercial oil- canola oil- (must be expeller pressed sunflower, etc) or sugar- sometimes sweetened w/ maple syrup)

    3. Protein smoothie

    4.  organic greens, low glycemic fruit (berries, apple, etc.), ½ avocado/coconut oil, ice, coconut milk/almond milk + protein powder

    5. organic peanut butter/nut butter, cinnamon, maca, cacao powder, ½ banana (sometimes), coconut milk/almond milk + protein powder

  2. Lunch:

    1. Lentil soup

    2. Salad w/ protein, avocado, and nuts

    3. Organic/Pasture Raised Egg salad on sourdough toast w/ ½ avocado

    4. Protein smoothie

  3. Dinner:

    1. Protein (wild salmon, organic/grassfed chicken or beef), a green veggie, sweet potato, and maybe a side green salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, lemon, avocado

    2. Chicken vegetable soup

    3. OCCASIONAL- Gluten free pasta, w/ meat sauce, veggies, and salad

Do I drink coffee?- Occasionally, yes. Sometimes we buy organic coffee to brew at our house which it’s nice to have in the mornings. For a couple weeks I was making iced coffee with a little nondairy coconut and almond creamer and sweetening with a dash of organic maple syrup. I found that I was starting to crave it and sometimes felt like I needed a pick me up in the mid-afternoon. Other times in the recent weeks, I’ve gone to a coffee shop and bough regular coffee or iced coffee, but I personally don’t recommend overdoing it in the coffee department while pregnant. Again, if you can buy organic- then that is best. If not, and you need your coffee, I think 4oz a day is a good amount. I have since stopped drinking coffee because I want to alkalize my body and reduce my acidity levels.


FITNESS: Being that I was sick for about 2 weeks and wanted to let my body heal, I missed my workouts. I was able to go to my cardio boxing class this last Wednesday and have done some exercises at home since then. I’m still feeling strong overall and have a strong core. I’m working on strengthening my pelvic floor and doing my kegels.

***Check out some amazing Prenatal Sculpt Workouts HERE from Knocked-Up Fitness 

EMOTIONAL/SPIRITUAL: I’m still feeling positive and getting more and more excited! We continue to pray specifically for my labor and delivery and for Baby B’s overall health and his future. As a family, we believe in the power of prayer and continue to trust God with all he has for our son (this goes for Kai as well). On an emotional level, I feel even keeled and relaxed. When I encounter stressful situations, I am continuing to work on my deep breathing and learning to smile and stay positive. I definitely give in to the anxiety sometimes, but I notice a major difference in my health and overall well-being when I remain calm.


I’ve been doing a lot of reading and love what Mama Natural has to say about fetal heart rate monitors. This is my personal opinion. I have never used one but I think this is good information for all mamas. We all want the best for our babies so make this a personal decision based off of your OWN research and gut or opinion. : ) 

The below info is from Mama Natural- a great source for all things pregnancy, baby, and parenting.

What is a fetal heart monitor?

Just like it sounds, these at-home monitors are used by mamas—and sometimes family members—to listen to baby’s heartbeat.

There are two basic kinds of at-home fetal heart rate monitors:

·       Dopplers, also known as doptones or Doppler probes, and

·       Fetoscopes, which closely resemble stethoscopes.

If you have a midwife, she likely uses a fetoscope at appointments.

What do fetal heart monitors do?

The Doppler uses high-frequency sound waves and is a handheld ultrasound device, while fetoscopes work by amplifying sound. The ultrasound waves of a Doppler pass through your skin and tissue into the baby, where they bounce back after encountering movement. The Doppler then translates that movement into amplified sound.

Why do mamas use them?

Companies that sell fetal heart monitors advertise them as a way to have peace of mind by making sure your baby’s heart is beating strong. It is reassuring to hear your little one’s heart, and it can be fun to share that experience with your family. Some moms have reported listening to the baby as part of their nightly routine, or using it to show the other kids what it means that mama’s pregnant. (source) (source)

How soon can I hear my baby?

Professional Doppler equipment can pick up a baby’s heartbeat somewhere between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.

At-home models, however, can’t detect a heartbeat until after the 5th month, or 20 weeks.

A fetoscope can sometimes detect a heartbeat as early as 14 weeks, although 20 weeks is more common.

Top 10 risks of fetal heart rate monitors

What these companies fail to mention is that at-home fetal heart monitors can carry some serious risks. 

Risk #1: You’re not trained to use a fetal heart monitor

Without proper training as a sonographer, it can be difficult to pick up the baby’s heartbeat. Maybe baby’s in a bad position, or maybe what you think is their heartbeat is actually your stomach digesting the salsa you had with lunch. Any internal sound picked up on unsophisticated equipment by someone who isn’t trained in the device can sound like a heartbeat.

Risk #2 You don’t know how to recognize a dangerous change

Again, without the proper training, it’s not a reliable method to read a baby’s heartbeat. You could be falsely reassured by finding your baby’s heartbeat, when in reality, you’re not likely to recognize a problem even if you do find the heartbeat. Unless you’re trained in sonography, how will you know how to detect a change in heart rate or rhythm that may indicate a potential issue?

Risk #3 Delaying medical treatment

There have been cases where mothers felt that something was wrong but delayed medical care after they supposedly found their baby’s heartbeat on the fetal heart monitor. This false reassurance literally cost this mama her baby’s life in this case reported in the British Medical Journal.

Risk #4 Unable to hear a heartbeat

On the other hand, it can be hard to hear a heartbeat sometimes, and it’s all too easy to convince yourself that something is wrong. Maybe baby is in the wrong position, is not big enough to hear yet, or there’s some other reason the fetal heart monitor isn’t picking anything up. But that doesn’t mean anything is wrong, as mama may assume in a worried state. (source)

Risk #5 Don’t stress out

Not being able to hear your baby for whatever reason can cause a lot of stress for Mama, which results in stress for the baby. The resulting flood of hormones causes physical changes for mama, and can have harmful effects on your developing baby. (source)

Risk #6 Damaging ultrasound waves

Doppler fetal heart monitors carry even more risk, as they expose the baby to ultrasound waves. Websites that sell at-home fetal monitors insist they’re safe and that the FDA has found no adverse effects. This business reassures moms that even the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine says they’re safe. However, these statements were issued back in 1993. Ultrasound machines are now 7 times more intense than they were 23 year ago when that statement was issued.

An FDA biomedical engineer and Ph.D. says:

“Ultrasound can heat tissues slightly, and in some cases, it can also produce very small bubbles (cavitation) in some tissues.” (source)

Animal studies have revealed that ultrasound waves can heat the brain, and result in brain hemorrhages and damaged intestines after exposure. While an at-home fetal monitor isn’t likely to be as strong as the machine at your local hospital, the ultrasound waves are still present. And the risk increases the more often you use the device. (source)

Risk #7 Baby’s instinct

Babies instinctively move away from Doppler radar waves, which can make it hard to hear their heartbeat in the first place. These sound waves are so distressing to them that they instinctively know to move away—that whatever this thing is, they don’t like it.

“We should respect this behavior, assuming that it occurs for good reason, and make responsible decisions on the recreational use of such devices, taking the baby’s development into account.” (source)

Risk #8 Bad equipment

Since these at-home devices aren’t sophisticated pieces of equipment, they don’t give very accurate results.  You could get a higher-powered device, but that will only increase the potential for damaging ultrasound waves. The better machines also cost a few hundred dollars, making it an expensive and dangerous hobby.

Risk #9 Just get an ultrasound if neededRoutine ultrasounds aren’t a good idea, but if one is medically indicated, then be sure to have it done by an experienced sonographer. They’ll be able to get in and out of there quickly to limit your baby’s exposure to ultrasound waves. Don’t rely on a home baby heartbeat monitor to do the job of professional equipment and a trained sonographer. (source)

Risk #10 An unethical sale

Doppler fetal heart monitors are actually prescription medical devices, even though some websites are unethically selling them over the counter. They’re in the same category as the ultrasound machine found at your doctor’s office. 

According to the FDA, both Doppler fetal heart monitors and ultrasound machines are:

“Prescription devices designed to be used by trained health care professionals. They are not intended for over-the-counter sale or use.” (source)

I hope this was helpful information, mamas. Again, this is only my (Cate) personal opinion and choice not to use a fetal heart monitor. Do what is BEST for YOUR family. 

Thank you for all of your support to Ila and me- we are incredibly grateful and love to know we are not alone in our journeys of motherhood.

Blessings to all of you and please let me know if you have any questions!

All My Love,


Thank you to my 4-year-old photographer and son Kai Lucca and to Tiff Marie Maternity for this gorgeous and ever-so-soft and chic Cora Maxi dress

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