My First Experience With Labor

The closer it got to my due date the more nervous I became about when I would go into labor. During the last month of my pregnancy my doctor had me come into the office each week to check how my body was preparing for the delivery. And each visit I would be asked if I was feeling any contractions. And every time my answer was, “No, I don’t feel anything” My doctor would tell me that I’m not dilating and that my pelvic bone wasn’t softening much or widening up to prepare for the delivery. That was a cause for concern because that could mean that I would have the baby later than my due date. This would be a problem if the baby is over 2 weeks late. At that point the baby would be very big and their would be risks to the mother and baby during delivery. So 2 weeks before my due date the doctor reached in and broke a membrane within my vagina to help my body move along in preparing to deliver. Because we had a chance of a late delivery our doctor suggested we pick a date to induce labor just in case. So we picked a date 6 days after the due date.

But our baby decided to come 5 days early. And this is how it went…..

It was a sunny and cold sunday. And like every sunday my husband and I went to church. After service our pastor asked us when our due date was and we said,”This coming friday.” After church we went home to clean the house and to set up the baby’s crib. We were sure that the baby was going to be late like the doctor told us but we decided to put the crib together and clean the house before my mother flew in, to help when the baby was born. During the afternoon I felt like I was constipated so I went to the bathroom and nothing. A few hours later I felt like I needed to go again but nothing. And a few more hours later same thing yet nothing. Jokingly, I said to my husband, ” Wouldn’t it be funny if these were contractions?” My husband’s reply was, “That’s a scary thought. Don’t say things like that. I’m not mentally ready yet for that to happen”.

That night I couldn’t go to sleep. I kept having these slight pains in my stomach. As the night progressed I started to think maybe I was having false contractions.So I just stayed in bed and tried to get some sleep. But the pains kept coming and they were getting more painful. By the time it was 4 in the morning I figured I would take a shower just in case I was really in labor and had to go to the hospital. It’s now 7AM and I haven’t slept a wink. And it is time for my husband to get up and go to work. When he wakes up I tell him that I’m not sure if I am in labor or not. But I really didn’t want to go to the hospital because I was certain that they would just send me home. But we decided that to be safe we would go in and get checked.

We got to the hospital at 8:30AM. Even while we were going to the hospital I was certain I was having false contractions because I wasn’t feeling much pain at all now, and the contractions were still irregular. When the nurse checked me she said “You are 5 centimeters dilated, you are definitely having this baby today.” One needs to be 10 centimeters dilated to give birth. And I was already half way there. Being dilated means that your vagina has opened up so that the baby can pass through. I could not believe what I was hearing. I was 5 days early and my doctor was worried that I would be late. The next thing the nurse asked me was, ” Do you want the epidural now or later?” I thought about it for a minute and then I got this huge wave of pain. So I said, “I’ll get it now.”

Around 3:00PM I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. The nurse was trying to get my husband involved and asked him if he could help but he was too nervous that he couldn’t even respond to her questions. He just stood by the window on the other side of the room, almost having a panic attack. The nurse asked him, “Are you ok? Have a seat. Do you need a drink? I don’t need another patient here.”  So it was just me and the nurse. The nurse would tell me when I was having my contractions so that I could push. I couldn’t feel when the contractions were coming because I was numb hip down from the epidural. One thing I did not expect was to throw up while giving birth. I know that sounds gross but at least it was just water cause I had nothing to throw up. I think it was the epidural that was making me feel nauseous. Strong stuff. I had a similar experience with percoset which is a strong pain reliever. When the nurse could see the baby’s head that’s when they called for the doctor to receive the baby. The doctor came and our daughter Mirinae was born at 5 pounds 13 ounces and 19 inches. The doctor looked over to my husband to ask if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord but the nurse said, “Don’t ask him.” I’m sure just by looking at the state my husband was in the doctor could see why the nurse would say that. It was exciting and surreal what I had just gone through. Even so cause it ended so fast. I only had to push 9 times or so before our daughter was born. She was born at 3:45 PM. I didn’t have any overwhelming feelings as I thought I would have. It might have been because I was drugged up with stuff but as you can imagine my husband was crying and thanking me.

When I finally held our daughter for the first time it was again, surreal and amazing. She was so tiny and so wrinkle free. Hahaha.. probably because she was born so small. That was 2 years ago.

I am pregnant again with our second child now and he is due February 12, 2013. I wonder how this time around will go. My husband thinks that our second baby will be born before his due date too. When I asked him if  he’s going to be more supportive this time he said that he thinks he’ll freak out again. 4 weeks left! We’ll see.

Final ultra sound 35 weeks

Yesterday I had my appointment for my final ultra sound. I must say it wasn’t as exciting as my last ultra sound. During my last ultra sound we found out the gender of our child and we could see more of what our baby was doing. In yesterday’s ultra sound we were only able to see parts of our baby at a time and he must have been sleeping because he wasn’t moving much. And like last time he was turned around so we couldn’t see his face. T_T But we got confirmation that our baby is definitely a boy. We could see his scrotum and penis on the ultra sound. For this ultra sound the nurse practitioner took measurements of our son’s body parts again to see his growth progress and she was able to give us an estimate on how many pounds he is so far. We were told he weighs about 6.5 pounds. That’s more than what our daughter Mirinae weighed when she was born. She only weighed 5 pounds 13 ounces. Our nurse practitioner guesses that our son will weigh around 8.5 pounds when he’s born. But who knows, only God.

During the ultra sound our nurse practitioner said that our baby has long legs and that his body was a week bigger than his due date and that his legs are 2 weeks bigger than his due date. So I’m thinking is that good is that bad? He could be just a big baby, but because they found sugar in my urine they took some of my blood to test for blood sugar levels. This is to make sure I don’t have pregnancy onset diabetes. If I have diabetes our son could be born with it too and that could be why he’s bigger than expected. If I have diabetes and he’s not born with it that doesn’t mean he won’t get it later on in his life. The pediatricians will have to periodically check him to see if he get’s diabetes or not. So it’s very important to eat well, exercise and take vitamin supplements to fill the holes of nutrients that your body does not get from the food you eat.  And this is true for everyone even if they are not pregnant. Getting the proper nutrients you need daily will reduce your risk for chronic diseases. Most likely I don’t have diabetes but a nurse is supposed to call me with the results.

Every doctor’s visit I had for this pregnancy my husband and our daughter Mirinae has come along. And it’s great that all three of us can share in this experience. Yesterday Mirinae was pointing at the screen and saying “little brother, little brother”. But I’m sure she has no idea what she’s looking at. Goodness I don’t know what I’m looking at until the nurse practitioner tells me. But it’s very cute that she pretends to know what’s going on.

In my last blog I mentioned that I was not having any aches and pains like my last pregnancy. I spoke too soon!!!!! After I wrote that blog I started getting vaginal muscle pain. It’s sore as if I had done some strenuous exercise. It has been getting worse and worse. It hurts to sit down and it hurts to stand up. And when it’s severe it hurts to walk. This is all part of the joy of pregnancy. Hahahaha….. Apparently my body is getting ready for delivery and so is the baby. My muscles are trying to soften so that the baby can come out and the baby is already facing down, so he’s putting a lot of pressure down there. I’m already feeling some tension in my stomach area due to practice contractions m body is doing. But no severe legs cramps. Woo hoo~! Knock on wood.

My husband Drake believes that our son will be born earlier than his due date which is February 12, 2013. And with the nurse practitioner telling us that the baby is big, makes him believe it even more. Our daughter, Mirinae was born 5 days early even though our doctor told us she would most likely be born after her due date. Therefore my husband believes our son will be born early too. I on the other hand have no idea. I mean every pregnancy is different. My only concern is that the baby will be born full term and healthy.

34 Weeks Pregnant

Time just flew by. I’m already 34 weeks pregnant and I haven’t done a thing to prep for our son to come home in 6 weeks. Even though this is our second pregnancy it is still surreal to us that we are having another baby. We wonder how different will this baby be from our first? What will the baby’s name be? Yes, yes, yes, we still haven’t picked out a name! It’s sOoOoo hard. It’s not easy cause we need to pick an American name and a Korean name. We have an American name but we are totally stuck on a Korean name.

I must say this pregnancy hasn’t been so bad as far as having aches and pains and feeling sick. With my first pregnancy I had morning sickness until month five. So horrible. For this current pregnancy I feel bigger and heavier in the stomach area though. Which is ironic because I have gained less weight than my first pregnancy. For my first pregnancy I gained about 50 pounds in total. But I didn’t feel that big and my daughter, Mirinae was born a little under 6 pounds. So far I have gained less than 20 pounds for this pregnancy. But I feel huge and it is more uncomfortable for me to walk around than my first pregnancy. I can literally tell that I  waddle when I walk now. I wonder how big or small our son will come out.

Next week we go in for our last ultra sound. The doctor will be checking the growth development of our son and probably give us an estimate of how many pounds the baby is. But from our last experience it’s not that accurate. Last time the doctor told us that she believed our baby would be born at about 7 pounds. Our daughter ended up less than 6 pounds. But it’s always fun to hear stuff about your baby before he or she is born. So I can’t wait to see our son on the ultra sound again.

These days I can still feel our son moving around in my stomach but it is not as frequent or as strong as before. It is probably because he now has less space to move around in as he gets bigger. But when I lay on my side to go to sleep he never fails to scratch my side from the inside and push me with his feet. When he does this I feel like he is telling me “Hey mom you’re squashing me! Turn over a bit!” And when I do he stops poking me of course. It’s amazing. Every movement I feel him make he reminds me I have a baby inside me. And my husband and I just can’t wait till he’s born.

I pray that labor goes smoothly like last time. It was actually very fast with no complications. But that story I will leave for next time.

Healthy Digestive System So Money Doesn’t Go Down the Toilet.

Having a healthy digestive system will help your body absorb all the nutrients from the food you eat, so that your body can get the energy it needs to be healthy and work properly. If you don’t have a healthy digestive tract than it does not matter what kind of healthy food you eat because your digestive system will not be able to absorb the nutrients.

5 signs to check for (in poop) for a healthy digestive system:

1. One should be pooping at least 3 times a week.

2. Poop should not have a bad stinky smell. (If it does smell this means that one has a lot of bad bacteria in their intestines)

3. It should not take a long time to go to the bathroom(a long time is over 5 mins) and it shouldn’t be difficult to poop. If one has diarrhea often, this is also a problem.

4. The size and thickness of each poop should be like a banana. There should be 2-4 banana like poops. One shouldn’t be pooping rabbits poop where you are popping out balls of poop or really thin mushy poop.

5. The color should be brown, not yellow or black. If one has black poop I suggest seeing a doctor. Black poop usually is blood coming out of your system. Which could mean you are bleeding internally somewhere.

If you have many of these issues and have them often than one may have an unhealthy digestive system. (This does not apply to infants or toddlers. Infant and toddler poops are another story)

HOW DIGESTIVE SYSTEM WORKS:
Digestion is a process of breaking down food so that one’s body can take the nutrients to use for proper body functions. In the digestive process one first chews their food (chewing a lot helps the digestive process), the food goes to the stomach where it is further broken down by acid and enzymes, the food then passes through to the small intestine where the nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream. The food is then passed onto the the large intestine (also known as the colon) where waste is formed to be expelled out the anus. The small intestine and the large intestine have many different kinds of “good bacteria”(probiotics) that help the digestive system. Some bacterias ensure the proper absorption of nutrients while others fight off “bad bacterias”. But there are many more different kinds of probiotics in our system that have other important jobs as well.

CAUSES FOR AN UNHEALTHY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM:
In this day and age most everything around us is polluted. From the air we breath to the food we eat. Their are many different factors that can contribute to an unhealthy digestive system. Here I will mention a few major ones.

1. Not eating a healthy diet. One needs to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables for fiber so that ones digestive system can properly clear out ones tract of unwanted waste.

2. A lot the food that we eat today contains a lot of chemicals that our body does not recognize, such as; preservatives, hormones injected to our meat and poultry products, unnatural food colorings in our foods, artificial flavorings, and pesticides.

3. Eating a lot of processed foods. Processed food is basically food that is not in their natural state. Food that has been altered for longer shelf life, better taste, and appealing coloring to entice the appetite are processed foods.

4. Not drinking enough water. Drinking enough water is important for many functions of the body. In the digestive system water helps to clear out toxins within the body and helps the body  clear out solid waste. If one does not drink enough water one can get constipated from the imbalance of fiber water intake.

Although it is impossible to avoid all processed foods and chemicals in our foods there are other options out there where we can try to eat healthier. There are liquid washers for fruit and vegetable to help clean off pesticides. Try not to eat foods one can microwave. Make food at home. Lower ones intake in junk food and soda. Read the label in what you buy. If there are a lot of ingredients that sound scientific and you don’t know what it is it is most likely bad for you.

Eating all these unnatural foods that our body does not recognize will kill the probiotics in our digestive tract. Not to mention not give one the nutrients that one needs. These probiotics have many different roles and once they are killed they are gone. They don’t just magically appear again in your body. Some of the probiotics play an important role in helping one maintain a healthy immune system. But if these probiotics are killed off, ones immune system will be weakened. And as time goes by the bad bacteria will start to spread through out ones body causing disorder and diseases to form. Just taking vitamin C does not ensure a healthy immune system. As I have mentioned before some of the probiotics are in our digestive tract to ensure that we absorb the nutrients that we need. But if these probiotics are killed off by the overwhelming bad bacteria, taking tons of Vitamin C is useless because our body won’t adsorb it. And this is true for other vitamins. So before you spend money on taking vitamin supplements make sure you have a healthy digestive system first. Because if you don’t have a healthy digestive system that money you spend on vitamin supplements will literally go down the toilet.

There are certain foods one can eat that contain these good probiotics such as yogurts and fermented soy beans. But these usually have one or 2 kinds of probiotics in them. There are also probiotic supplements one can buy. My husband and I take Intestiflora made by Nutrilite. This supplement has 7 different probiotics in it. This is the only brand in the world that has the technology to put 7 probiotics in one supplement.

Hopefully after reading this you will understand the importance of having a healthy digestive system. Taking small steps and trying to be healthy is a sure way to prevent chronic disease. May we all strive to be healthier!

For Nutrilite products or products good for your health visit www.amway.com/eleanorkong (IBO # 6079710)

Boy or Girl Part 2

Yesterday we finally found out if we are having a boy or girl. Ultra sounds are always exciting. We got to see our baby’s toes, fingers, heart, spine… but unfortunately because our baby was facing my back we could not see the baby’s face. T_T bummer. But as the lady was taking pictures of all the baby’s body parts all I could think was “boy or girl?” As soon as we got to the buttocks I could see! We have a boy! So all the dreams were right! (details about the dreams in “Ultra sound and boy or girl”) And the Chinese predictor chart was wrong. Since I already have a daughter when I heard we were having a son  I felt an excitement. I’m sure it will be totally different raising a son compared to a daughter. And of course each child is different so I am curious to find out what kind of person will come out of me next. I still can’t believe I have a little person calling me umma (mom in korean) all the time. It will be even a greater blessing to have two little people calling me umma.

Feeling Our Baby Move Inside

Right now I am 20 weeks pregnant. Yeah! I am half way there. I must say having a toddler to look after makes this second pregnancy go by faster. With my first child the time would just not pass. This was in part because I had severe morning sickness symptoms up until my 5 months mark. Fortunately this time around my morning sickness  lasted 1-2 months and it wasn’t too bad.

I was scheduled for my 3rd ultra sound yesterday to see if our baby is growing properly and to find out the sex. But because my husband got busy at work we had to change our appointment to next friday. I love going for ultra sounds because every time I go it makes me realize even more that I have a baby growing inside of me. Otherwise most of the time I just feel big and uncomfortable. But these days I have been feeling our baby move. At first when I started to feel the movements I wasn’t sure if it was our baby or gas. But now I know I am feeling movement.

With my first child, Mirinae I did not feel movement for the longest time. And throughout my whole pregnancy I rarely felt her move. And so my husband never had the privilege to feel Mirinae when she was inside of me. I was so worried that I told my doctor. So the doctor had me hooked up to a machine and told me to press a button every time I felt movement. Oddly enough Mirinae had the hiccups while I was hooked up to the machine. I was feeling these weird rhythmic jolts and I didn’t know what it was. I told the nurse when she came in and she said that our baby was having the hiccups. This happened about a month before I was due. And almost every night at the same time and sometimes during the day, I would feel Mirinae having the hiccups inside of me. I never knew that babies could have the hiccups inside your stomach. Mirinae would have hiccups that lasted 10 minutes or so. It was an odd and uncomfortable feeling. This was the most movement Mirinae had inside my stomach. Although there was this one time when I felt the biggest kick from Mirinae. And that was the day after my sister’s wedding. I was the matron of honor. I must say I’m glad I was able to be part of my sister’s wedding but it was very taxing on my pregnant body. I think Mirinae was mad at me because the next day she gave the biggest kick I ever felt that I had to brace myself.

Our second baby is a lot different from Mirinae. Even though I am only 20 weeks along I feel the baby moving all the time. Most of the movement happens in the evening before I go to sleep but the baby is moving around a lot during the day as well. These days I can feel the baby moving around every day. It’s very exciting and I can’t wait until the movements get stronger so that my husband and Mirinae can feel it too.

One more week!!!! And then we know if we are having a boy or a girl. Although ultra sounds are only about 80% correct. They might say I’m having a boy and opps out comes a girl. That would be a total surprise. But if we find out next week what we are having then that’s when we will start thinking of Korean names and American names for our baby. And I don’t think we will share what names we pick. What we pick is what we want and we don’t want too many opinions flying our way. We didn’t share the info last time so we will do the same this time. I just pray that the baby is growing healthy inside.

The Problem with Tap Water

Most of us know that tap water is not the best drinking water. That is why a lot of people buy bottled water or water filtration systems. But I don’t think people realize how contaminated our water system is. I found that some articles talk about how tap water has essential minerals that we need. Which is true. But they forgot to mention how tap water is also contaminated with a lot of pollutants. It does not matter is you live in the city or in the country side. The only difference is your tap water might be less or more contaminated than other areas.

What contaminates are found in tap water?
-organic contaminants from water including more than 135 contaminants such as “Volatile organic compounds”(VOC), pesticides and trihalomethanes.

-more than 13 disinfection by-products

-more than 30 pesticides and pesticide by-products

-protozoan parasites that can cause disease

– vinyl chloride, Chloramine, and asbestos

-microcystin LR, the most common algae toxin

-lead, mercury, radon and radon decay products

-waterbourne parasites larger than 1 to 3 microns

– MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) This is a chemical compound used as a fuel additive in motor gasoline. Why is this in our water system? The link below will explain.                                                                                                                                                    http://www.epa.gov/mtbe/gas.htm (This is a link to info on what MTBE is)                                                                                                  http://www.epa.gov/oust/mtbe/ (This is a link to info on MTBE and underground storage tanks)                                                             FYI: EPA is the United States Environmental Protection Agency

I’m sure you get the point. Our water is contaminated. There are over hundreds of chemicals in our drinking water and the EPA has cited 129 of them as a serious health risk. But!!!! EPA only requires that the water be tested for  15 of these chemicals. Here is a link to EPA chart of health risk contaminants and what chemicals they require to be tested for.                                  http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#List

The EPA does have a maximum contamination level (MCL) set for our water system. But that doesn’t mean the water will not effect our health in the long run. Basically I see it as setting a bar for how slowly our bodies will be contaminated with the contaminates. Because these chemicals will build up in your system and eventually bring about illnesses. And the MCL is not set for children. Children’s immune systems and detoxification systems (basically liver) are still developing. Studies show that chemicals such as chlorine, toxic chemicals like lead effect behavior, deficits in attention span and learning disabilities. If you have children you may know that one of the blood tests that they do is to check for children’s lead level in their blood systems. And they don’t check this just in case your child is chewing on a toy painted with lead, made in china. They check it to see if what your child is consuming on a daily basis(water) is contaminating  your child with this hazardous chemical. Unfortunately the blood test they do does not check for the other hazardous chemicals in the water.

HOW MUCH TAP WATER DO WE DRINK?

Although many of us might not drink tap water as a beverage I’m sure a majority of people cook with tap water. When we make soups or stews there are still going to be contaminates that will remain even after boiling. Even when we cook our dried foods like pasta in the water the pasta will absorb everything in the water. For those who eat rice every day like I do, the rice will also absorb everything in the water as soon as it hits the water. By cooking our food with tap water we consume a lot of tap water than we think.

LET’S LOOK AT HOW MUCH HARM ONE CONTAMINANT CAN DO.

One of the contaminants I mentioned is trihalomethanes (THMs). THM is a group of organic chemicals that form when chlorine (which is used for disinfecting purposes) reacts with naturally occurring organic material found in water. Chloroform is one of the THMs that is found in drinking water. Research shows that continuous high doses of chloroform has hazardous health effects. Chloroform can be absorbed through ingestion, breathing and through our skin. But we get the highest exposure of chloroform through our chlorinated drinking water. High exposure to chloroform will have negative effects on one’s liver, kidneys, central nervous system and heart. Chloroform is also said to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing). It may cause rectal, colon, or bladder cancer. Also through research on animals scientists have found that chloroform has the potential to cause birth defects, miscarriages, and delays in fetal development. Here is a pdf link to a detailed information on THMs  Trihalomethane_Health_Summary.

If you are interested in purchasing a high quality water filtration system that will kill 99.9% of the contaminants but not kill the minerals please check out my website below for “E Spring” water filtration systems. Any questions on any products please don’t hesitate to e-mail me from my website.

For a high quality water filter or products good for your health visit www.amway.com/eleanorkong (IBO # 6079710)

Hair care tip

As a child my mother used to tie my hair so tight that my asian eyes looked even more asian. I believe that a lot of asian mother’s tied their daughter’s hair this way. This was so that our hair would look perfect and to give less of a chance of our hair falling out of the hair tier. But mother’s should know that if tie your childs hairs too tight  you are going to weaken your child’s scalp.

Every time I went to a salon the hair stylist would always tell me that I have a lot of hair. (I salon hop a lot) So I always thought that I had a lot of hair. But one day I went to another salon for the first time. As I laid down to get my hair washed the first thing the hair stylist said to me was what shampoo do you use? At that point I was using D*ve. She said ” You don’t have a lot of hair in the front and on the sides.” I was like “Really?!” And then she said “Yes, I could smell the oils in your hair as soon as you laid down.” I had just washed my hair that day and it was embarrassing to hear that my hair smelled. This stylist knew what she was talking about and told me why my hair was the way it was. She even told me that the pimples on my forehead weren’t an acne problem. They were formed by the extra oils from my hair.

WHY DO I HAVE LESS HAIR IN THE FRONT AND ON THE SIDES?
Reason #1: Tieing my hair tight for many years weakened my scalp where my hair was being pulled the most. (The front and the sides)
Reason #2: The main stream brands I had been using had a lot of oils and chemicals that were making my already weakened scalp even weaker. Although my hair seemed to be moisturized it was just getting greased on the outside to look nice. The brands that I was using were just a quick fix for my hair. They did nothing to treat my hair or my scalp. Here is basically what happens with most mainstream hair care brands. Bacteria lives on your scalp. And with the chemicals the mainstream brands uses goes into the hole of the hair follicle. The bacteria that lives on your scalp will eat the residue around your hair follicle making the hole where your hair is bigger therefore making your hair fall out. With a high quality shampoo this will not happen.

As you may or may not know when women are pregnant their hair has a nicer shine because of the hormones that are active in a pregnant woman’s body. And when a woman is pregnant they shed less hair than they would normally shed if they weren’t pregnant. This is because the hair follicles get thicker when a woman is pregnant, so less hair falls out than normal. But after a woman has her baby she will notice in a few months that more of her hair is falling out than usual. This is because at this point her hormone levels will return and her hair will return to their regular thickness. Don’t worry!!!! That hair will grow back.

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY HAIR AFTER MY FIRST CHILD:
My hair also fell out. Guess where? Yes, yes the weakest area of my scalp. The front and sides!!!! Oh my goodness, so much of it fell out that my forehead looked big. And when my hair started to grow back, it was even worse!!!!  I had a band of hair sticking up in the front. The hairs were so short in the beginning that they just stood up. I looked ridiculous. When my sister saw a picture of me (she lives out-of-state from me) she thought I was wearing some kind of a head band. Let me tell you, it took forever to grow out that hair.

Here I am with my husband 7 months after I had my first child. See the short hair in the front sticking up?

HOW TO MAINTAIN A STRONG AND HEALTHY SCALP:
1. Don’t use any hair care product that has harsh chemicals that will do no good to your scalp or your hair. Some shampoos can also strip your hair of nutrients that it needs with its harsh ingredients that are supposed to clean your hair. Unfortunately most mainstream products are that way. One good reason for this is because main stream brands are made cheaper than salon brands. Because main stream brands sell for cheaper they use cheaper chemicals that are more hazardous to our health. But that does not mean all salon brands are better either just because they are more expensive. So read the labels carefully and see what the product actually does for your hair. I use a brand named Satinique. It is an environmentally safe product and it uses high quality ingredients to help your hair be healthy. And because this product does not use harsh chemicals you don’t lose as much hair as with other products. This brand also has a serum to strengthen ones’ scalp. Satinique may sound like an expensive brand but it’s not that expensive because they don’t use main stream advertising. They market through word of mouth advertising. If you would like to check out this brand visit the website below.

2. Cut your hair. It’s good to trim your hair every 2-3 months. And if you have a weak scalp like I do it’s also good to cut your hair short once a year and maybe cut some bangs once in a while. Because I have a weak scalp in the front I have a lot of small hairs in the front that never seem to grow out. This was because I liked growing my hair out and the longer your hair the more nutrients your hair takes away from your body. Therefore my small hairs were having a hard time keeping up with my long hair because all the nutrients were trying to reach all the way down to my long hairs. I am pregnant right now with my second child and this time I am going to keep my hair short for my whole pregnancy (unlike last time where I just grew out my hair) and before I give birth I am going to cut some bangs so that there will be less strain in the front of my scalp for when I start to lose lots of hair. I don’t want to lose my hair in the front like last time.

3. A healthy diet will also contribute to a not only a healthy you but healthy hair. As I mentioned above your hair takes nutrients from your body to maintain its health. Healthy body = healthy hair

4. Don’t force comb hair when went and don’t tie hair when wet. One’s hair becomes very elastic when wet, therefore if you force comb tangled hair when it is wet it will stretch and become weak, and perhaps break. If you tie our hair when wet the area of your hair where the tier is will dry less quickly and start to “rot” per say and it will weaken your hair.

5. Use heat protectant every time you blow dry your hair or put any kind of heat on it like with a curling iron.

These are some basic tips and information on hair.

For safe hair products, visit www.amway.com/eleanorkong (IBO # 6079710) For any questions on any products please leave a comment.

Ultra sounds and girl or boy?

About when I was 8 weeks pregnant I had my first ultra sound. Because this is my second pregnancy I knew what to expect, a little tiny unformed baby. It was still very exciting. Being able to see what was growing inside of me made the fact that I was having another baby more of a reality.  Just four weeks later at my 12 week appointment we had another ultra sound done. It’s amazing how much a fetus can grow in just four weeks. Our baby actually looked like a baby! We saw the head, arms, legs, fingers and toes……

Ultra sounds are amazing. They let you see your baby and they help you see if you are having a boy or a girl if you want to know. Our next ultra sound will be in the beginning of October. That’s when we find out if we have a girl or a boy. My husband and I just pray for a healthy baby more than anything. But we are very curious to find out what we have. So we are definitely going to find out if we have a girl or a boy. My husband has confessed to me that it would nice to have a boy. This is because he is thinking of having 4 children. So he would like to have girl, boy, girl, boy in that order. I love children so it would be wonderful if we could afford to have so many.

I have also confessed that it would be nice to have another girl, just because I think it would be nice to have a little sister where our daughter could talk about girl stuff with. But some of my relatives have been telling me that they think I am going to have a boy. I don’t know about other cultures but in the korean culture there is a thing called pregnancy dreams. These dreams can tell you if someone you know or if you yourself is pregnant. They also can tell if the person is going to be a boy or a girl. The dreams usually have the person who is pregnant in the dream, and the dreams either have a certain plant or an animal appear as the focus of the dream.

For example for this pregnancy one of my aunt’s told me that she had a dream. An in this dream she was at a river fishing, and she caught a huge fish. I was also in the dream and she gave the fish to me and I took it. If we break down this dream the fact that I received this huge fish means that I am the one that is pregnant and because the fish was very big that means that I am having a son.

For my first pregnancy my father had a dream right about the time I conceived. He told me about his dream after I found out that I was pregnant. In my father’s dream he saw a field of flowers. But in this field there was on big flower that stood out. He said it was a very beautiful flower. And after he had this dream he said he thought to himself could someone be pregnant. And sure enough one month later I call and tell him I am pregnant. My father told me because of the dream he was sure that I was going to have a girl. Oddly enough I had a girl.

Just for fun I also used the “Ancient Chinese Birth Gender Chart” that one of my friend’s gave me. All you need is the month the baby was conceived and the age of the mother at conception and the chart will tell you if the baby is a boy or a girl. You can easily find this chart on the internet if you just do a search. So for my first pregnancy the chart was correct as was my father’s dream. It told me that I was going to have a girl. But for this pregnancy the chart is telling me something different from the dreams that people have been having. The chart is telling me that I am going to have another girl but all the dreams say I am having boy. Hmmmm……. We will see in October at my next ultra sound. ^_^

Whether we have a girl or a boy just being able to have another child is such a blessing. And my husband and I feel this whole heartedly because there are so many people who are very close to us that are having a hard time getting pregnant. Girl or boy we love this baby already so much we can’t wait to meet the little one in february.

Calcium

WHY DOES OUR BODY NEED CALCIUM? I think most of us know that our body needs calcium to form strong teeth and bones. But calcium is used in other parts of our body that many of us do not know about. For example calcium is also used for: muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling, regulation of enzyme activity, and hormonal secretion to name just a few.

About 99% of our body’s calcium is used for our bones and teeth and about 1% of our body’s calcium is used for everything else. It is important to get the right amount of calcium because the older we get the less our body retains our calcium intake.  You might have heard that our bones acts as a calcium bank. Well this bank will only take calcium deposits until the age of 30 to 35. But that does not mean that it is pointless to take calcium after that point. Instead this just means one needs to make sure they get enough calcium every day. Remember that 1% of calcium I mentioned before?? Well if you don’t take enough calcium to satisfy that 1% your body will take calcium from your bones to maintain that 1%.

CALCIUM DEFICIENCY: If we don’t eat the proper amount of calcium that we need than our bones can get brittle, our children may be shorter than other children, we may have unhealthy teeth, we increase the risk of getting osteoporosis. Also if one doesn’t have enough calcium they may feel tired and have a hard time sleeping at night.

WHAT ARE OPTIONS FOR CALCIUM INTAKE?: Diary products are a good source of calcium. But they are not the only option we have. Other good sources of calcium (but not limited to) are  collards, bok choy, spinach, turnip greens, fortified soy milk, and tofu. Taking a calcium supplement is a good idea if you don’t believe you are eating enough calcium. If you are pregnant it is even more important for you to get extra calcium because the baby will need it to grow healthy bones. To check what foods have calcium check out this helpful link. http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

Eating enough calcium can help lower the risk of getting cataracts, colon cancer, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney stones, osteoporosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and premenstrual syndrome.

For our body to absorb calcium, calcium needs to be taken with vitamin D. So when purchasing calcium supplements make sure the supplements also contain vitamin D.

Note: Always consult your doctor if you are on any medications or have any condition before taking any supplements. This is because there maybe certain supplements that you should not take with certain medications.

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