It’s been a while since I’ve logged on and life has been moving quite fast since my last update. As my pregnancy progresses, I have found it a little difficult to focus on anything other than our upcoming arrival which has attributed to the lack of recent posts. On top of that, we finally made the move from the city where I spent most of my adult life in and have finally settled into our new place about an hour away. We had a gender reveal party for our “Lil’ Sprout”… and can finally say, “it’s a girl!”
We recently said goodbye (for now) to Austin’s parents who moved to Idaho which was bittersweet because while we already miss them dearly, we are glad to see them happier in another state. We’ve also attended numerous birthday parties, a bridal shower & other happenings in between “A” working double shifts in preparation for our baby girl’s arrival. We’ve started getting her room together, attending birth classes with The Mighty Mama Movement and have been diving nose deep into our baby books to help get us ready for the big day. It’s been busy, but it feels good to be accomplishing so much and making all these positive changes over the past few months.
I was just 20 years old when I moved to Oceanside, California which was vastly different from my hometown of Defiance, Ohio. I traded four season weather & corn fields for seemingly endless sunshine & palm trees. Growing up in a small town, I had no idea what California would be like to give you a better perspective, I went from a population of about 16,000 to 175,000. I left my slow-paced life behind, learning how to drive on four-lane highways for the first time and adjusted to a routine of moving independently fast. Oceanside was also where I landed my job representing Dell and traveled across Southern California leading me to so many adventures from San Diego to Simi Valley. It’s the place where I met hundreds of business owners and learned their stories, crafting unique plans to help them grow for nearly five years. I had the pleasure of helping so many of them celebrate their grand openings, anniversaries and expansion which is a collection of memories I’ll never forget.
I spent my latest years in this city exploring all the vegan options it had to offer, compiling a list that I’m proud to say casually made itself to in the top 5 search results for “Vegan restaurants in Oceanside” without any ads or promotions. I never expected it to reach that kind of status and simply created it to help other vegans or adventurous eaters navigate plant based options nearby. I’m glad it’s been beneficial to so many and will try my best to update it whenever we are feeling up for a visit again. That city meant so much to me for so long because I had reached so many milestones there like leasing out my first apartment by myself and meeting my true love for the first time. It’s the place where I told him he was going to be a father and where we shared many beach walks long before that. You can read more about our sweet beginnings at “What It’s Like Dating as a Vegan and How I Met My Match” and “How Finding Out I Was Pregnant Saved My Life“.
However, some time before I was pregnant, I knew we both needed a change. My wonderful “A” was commuting over an hour to work while I was finding myself completely burnt out at my job. Once I finally had enough, I decided to resign which was such a freeing moment for me because I was able to focus on my personal life more. You can read more about it in the blog post titled “Why I Left My Job as an Essential Worker to Save My Own Health“. It’s inspired friends & strangers to take control of their lives and realize that their well being is worth more than struggling in a “successful” career. Another factor that played a major role in our move was the need for more space while expecting a child. We realized our outrageously expensive studio apartment wasn’t going to cut it for the three of us and I needed to space to “nest” before the baby arrived. It ultimately became our driving force to find a new place, so we spent every available moment looking rentals closer to Austin’s job that had the things we were looking for.
Life in Alpine
We moved to Alpine in April after touring various places that just seemed to miss the mark. Ironically this became the city we started touring in and finished our search after months of exploring nearby places. We immediately fell in love with Alpine after our first visit. Austin’s family had lived here for some time before, making him familiar with the area although he hadn’t visited it for some time. I personally looked forward to a new place offering a fresh start for us and a smaller population than my own hometown in the Midwest…14,000 to be exact, making it much more family friendly. We were able to finish the move over the span of a few days after signing our new lease and one big haul thanks to our “village” including a good amount of family and friends. Instead of being a stressful move with me unable to help lift due to the pregnancy, it turned into a fun moving party with burritos and beer (sparkling water for me).
Our new space is just the right size for our little family right now including an extra bathroom & bedroom for baby Aurora’s nursery. It has a peaceful, countryside feel with us waking up to the sound of peacocks & falling asleep to bullfrogs. We’ve also seen a few wild turkeys which our dogs are equally delighted about. It’s a much better pace for us than the big city life filled with sirens & threats from the growing population of transients. Another bonus is that the rent is much lower than what we were paying before offering us a chance to finally get ahead of our expenses and making a few of our friends want to relocate here too. We love our neighbors so far and look forward to stepping out and saying hello to them every morning… unlike our last neighbors wouldn’t even hold the door or elevator for you with an arm full of groceries! But, that’s just city life I guess…
It’s really incredible how a new environment can impact your health & wellbeing. Our fur babies have been so much calmer since the move, I think partially because of all the wildlife they get to see and the fact that there are more places we’re able to walk them than when we lived in the city. I think Austin smiled in his sleep for a good week after we settled in and I found my stresses just melted away with the new, improved quality of life. We’ve been exploring new restaurants nearby and have found our new favorite burrito spot which has been a consistent craving during this pregnancy since the start of the second trimester. As we continue to branch out more in this area, I’m starting to compile a new list of our favorite vegan friendly taco shops and other spots to try so stay tuned for a some new lists to check out for Alpine and other places closer to San Diego.
This second trimester has been full of highs and lows, but has felt very different than the first. You can read more about this in “What to Expect: First Trimester of a Vegan Pregnancy“. My nausea completely disappeared and I spent more days more moody than ever. We found out our baby’s gender around 19 weeks during the growth & anatomy scan which was one of the most exciting things that happened this trimester. As my pregnant body continued to grow, I became a little more self-conscious about how I looked and was even downright irritable at times especially when it came to food. I’m so thankful to have such a supportive partner because “A” always knew just the right thing to say or do to help. I had a nice boost of energy and finally got to feel the “glow” everyone always talks about during pregnancy. But, once my blood started to increase by half its volume around week 22 I noticed that I needed daily naps again and watched the number on the scale increase faster than I thought it would. Luckily, our midwife team assured me that everything is still moving along nicely and I’m looking good. I found my energy coming back around week 27 giving me a chance to get back into daily yoga practices and catch up with things like chores around the house & weekly meal planning.
I’ve been combating some lower back pain from the extra weight and pelvic pressure over the past few weeks along with hot flashes due to the rising temperatures now that we’re into the summer months. Between the extra hormones, weight & blood volume increasing it has me sweating a lot more than usual during the day & night. It’s so crazy to think my uterus has grown to the size of a basketball and our baby has been kicking nearly every couple of hours at this point. We’ve had so much fun being able to really bond with her through rubbing & talking to the bump. I found out that my placenta is anterior, meaning that it’s located in the front which typically makes it harder to feel movements but we were feeling her little flutters around 14 weeks so we’re sure she’s a strong one. I’m finally to the point now in the third trimester that her kicks & jabs are starting to hurt… But, it’s all a sign that she’s doing great, so no complaints from this mama! Stay tuned on some tips of what to expect during the second trimester and products that helped me along the way. I’ll also be sharing some posts about our decision to choose midwifery care and a natural, home birth.
More Updates to Come
As I jump back into the blog, I have a few new recipes to share like Vegan Ramen, Vegan Philly Cheesesteaks & Meatball Subs along with a few others we found to be super satisfying. I’ll also be sharing more information on the topic of veganism including Why Honey Isn’t Vegan and easy steps on How to Go Vegan. As we get further into our pregnancy, I’ll post more about How to Host a Vegan Baby Shower and Maternity Photo Tips & Tricks to help you make the most out of your last trimester. You can find more frequent updates through my Instagram feed below.
As always, thanks for your love & support.
‘Til next time!
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