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Homesteading While Pregnant

Homesteading while pregnant isn’t always easy. Though I’ve had several children, this latest pregnancy has been the hardest by far, and I’ve had to learn some new ways of coping with the day-to-day while also looking after my own health.

A family planting lettuce in the garden.

I’ve talked a lot about household management and how to keep a household running smoothly in my Household Management series. I even have an entire Household Management Course available for purchase if you’d like to know more about our household systems, schedules and routines.

I’m excited to have Lacie, from Mike the Fit Farmer (on YouTube) on the Pantry Chat today. She and I are both just over halfway through our pregnancies, and we’re chatting about how we manage a homestead, children, and all the other things while pregnant.

Lacie and her husband Mike live in North Carolina in a yurt. They have three children: a 12-year-old daughter and two sons, ages 10 and 6. This new baby boy will be their fourth child, due in early February 2023.

Josh and I have ten children, one of whom is adopted, ranging in age from 17 down to 5 years old. This new baby will be another boy, bringing their total to six girls and five boys. Come join us while we talk about all of it!

Two kids standing by a tree flexing their arms.

In This Episode:

  • Finding the balance of having older kids to help with the homestead chores while still allowing them to be kids.
  • How morning sickness affects moms who still have daily responsibilities.
  • How much pregnancy changes day-to-day activities.
  • Ways to stay cool and keep from overheating during pregnancy.
  • How Redmond’s Relight has helped during pregnancy.
  • Tips for giving yourself grace when we “can’t do it all.”
A husband and wife giving thumbs up to the camera.

Where to Find Lacie

Carolyn: Hey you guys and welcome to this week's edition of the Pantry Chat Food for Thought. This week we are tackling kind of a fun subject that I don't see a lot of people talk about. It's near and dear to my heart right now as it is to Lacie's. Here we go. We'll go that way. Lacie's heart and that is pregnancy on the homestead, trying to homestead while pregnant. It brings about all sorts of its own unique challenges and blessings and opportunities. But today we're going to be talking about this and this is going to be a fun chat. But first of all, I want to introduce Lacie. A lot of you guys are probably saying, "Wow, she looks really familiar." And you probably know her from... She and her husband have a YouTube channel, Mike the Fit Farmer. And if you have not been watching the channel, you need to jump over and check it out because they share a lot of fun things as they are homesteading and taking you through their homestead journey with their family.

One of the things you can see right off, I'm just going to call it out Lacie, and that is that if you're watching on YouTube or on a video platform, you can see that Lacie's in a yurt. She's not in a regular house. So while now I asked you the other day, I've got to give you guys the background here. I'm in North Idaho and I promise I'm going to give Lacie a moment to talk in a second here. I'm in North Idaho and we're having our first major snowstorm of the year and we've got storms just rolling in one after the other. And so Lacie and I tried to film this about two days ago and my internet just kept getting lost. It kept just dying. Yeah, all the snow coming down. So here we're trying it again and we have a fresh snowstorm just hitting us right now. So hopefully we make it through it. But Lacey, where are you? Because you are not getting snowed on.

Lacie: No, I'm in North Carolina just out of Charlotte and it's almost 80 degrees here today in November.

Carolyn: Okay. That is a big difference from where I'm at. We're looking at zero degrees next week.

Lacie: Wow.

Carolyn: That's cool.

Lacie: I'm excited that it's supposed to be only 63 for a high next week.

Carolyn: That sounds good. And I know, let's see... I asked you the other day, but nobody got to hear it. Are you guys off grid? People ask us all the time because we're not totally off grid, but are you?

Lacie: We are not off grid. We are plugged in and right now... I mean it would be great to be able to go off grid. That's just not at the place where we are right now.

Carolyn: But you are living in a yurt and a lot of people kind of group the two things together that if you're living in a yurt, you've got to be off grid and that's just not the case. You can be fully on grid and in a yurt.

Lacie: And plumbing and everything just like a regular house too. We've lived here for eight years now, almost eight and a half years. And I mean it's built out inside. Just like any other house we have electricity and plumbing and so yeah, you can do it.

Carolyn: You can do it. All right. I love it. We actually have somebody down the road from us living in a yurt also and year round. I mean you think of Mongolia and yurts there and they're definitely living there year round in some pretty extreme weather. But up here a lot of people are like, "Oh, you can't do that." And they said, "Watch us." And they did. They've lived there for years and they've had a successful time there. But that's really fun to get to see a different type of housing that you're living in.

Lacie: It's actually easier to keep them warm in the winter time. People think that it's not, people think it's the opposite, but our problem is actually keeping it cool in the summertime. So we have many split systems to help us do that because for years we didn't. And in the summertime it would be a hundred degrees inside your house and that's just a little unbearable during the day. But then as long as you have a wood stove, you're good to go in the winter. Yeah.

Carolyn: There you go. I like that. That's good information. Okay, so today we're talking about pregnancy on the homestead. You are pregnant. I'm pregnant. We're actually not very far apart in our pregnancies. So tell us just a little bit about your family, your dynamics, who do you already have? Because this is not your first pregnancy and how far along are you?

Lacie: So I have a daughter that's 12, a son that's 10, another son that's six. And this new baby will be here in the beginning of February and I am 26 plus four, something like that pregnant. So.

Carolyn: Okay. All right. That's good. And for me, for those of you guys who are following, we have 10 children, one of them adopted here in the house and so this is not the first pregnancy for me definitely. And I'm at about 23 weeks pregnant now. And so we're due pretty close. I think you're in February and I'm in early March.

Lacie: I'm early February. Real close.

Carolyn: Good, good. We found out we're having a boy, but I think I hear you're doing the same thing?

Lacie: And we're having another boy too.

Carolyn: Okay. It is boy season around the homestead. Oh, it'll be fun. But talk to me about your early pregnancy. Do you have a tendency to have problems in morning sickness? How do you do with that?

Lacie: Typically I do. For my other pregnancies I was way sick and just to the point where you can't drink water and you just want to drink water but you feel sick all the time. And it wasn't morning sickness, it was from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep kind of thing. And normally it would last until about 16 weeks. But this past year I did the carnivore diet for a while and I eat a lot more meat than I used to. And actually I think that has helped with this pregnancy not be as sick because I could get up and I could get my chores done, but as soon as I ate something I started feeling kind of sick, which is a little strange, but I feel like I was able to do a lot more this time around than I was with previous pregnancies.

Carolyn: So that's nice because that kind of keeps you moving. I know for me that all hit right in the middle of the summer, which is kind of right high activity season around the homestead. And I had a debilitating first trimester. I have never had one where I'm so sick, which is interesting because I've had ones where I'm kind of skate through it pretty happily and I don't feel great at moments, but for the most part it's not a big deal and I've had them yuckier than that, but I've never had them to the level that I had them this round and I was pretty much bedridden. In fact, the midwives, pretty much everybody all around me said, "Oh, you're having twins, you've got to be having twins." And we have now had our ultrasounds, multiple ultrasounds and there are no twins in there. So I don't really know what happened.

I don't really have any good reasoning for all of it, but it was definitely a new season for me. I've never in my life been bedridden for six to eight weeks. And that was right about where I was right in the height of the homestead summer. And so for me, those big kids, having those older kids who know how to do everything, they know how to take care of everything. That was amazing, I mean that's new on a homestead for me. It's been about five years since my last pregnancy, the last baby was born and I had capable children but they weren't nearly this old now they just ran the homestead without me and they took care of me on top of it. Josh had a lot of traveling he was doing so he wasn't even home a lot during the summer during that time. And boy those big kids just stepped up. So for you, how is it different this round with the older kids? You said you have a 12 year old daughter, which that's like-

Lacie: She has been super helpful. So it's funny, so whenever we told the kids that we were going to have another baby, we told her and she immediately started crying and I was like... I didn't expect anybody to cry, but she said, "I've been praying about this."

Praying for a baby. Actually the day before she had said something about a baby and I was like, "Well, if I have another baby I'm going to need a lot of help from you." And she's like, "That's fine." I said, "Okay, I'm going to remember this. I'm remember you doing this." And then we told her the next day and she was all excited. So she has really stepped up, she has her own chores to do and everything, but if she sees that I'm not feeling well, she'll come and I'll sit down while I'm cooking and she'll kind of help cook and set the table and then do all those things too. So she has really... I'm super proud of her because she's helping out a lot and she seems eager to change diapers and all that so that's good.

Carolyn: That's good. We'll take that one as long as we can get it right. Any help on that front. I guess this is kind of a rabbit trail, but I think this is really important to talk about as a mom, you're probably like me, you want to find that balance of I want the kids to help, I want them to step up and I want them to be responsible, but I don't ever want them to feel like they're just doing all the work all by themselves. And we know that can create in any of us, even in adults, we can start feeling a little bitter about that. And so I know for me, I'm always trying to find this balance of yes I need you to step up and do the next level because you're growing up and you need to take on more responsibility.

But also balancing that with the freedom and the gratefulness towards them. I really ran into this season because I was literally in bed, I couldn't balance it. I couldn't be like, "Hey, I'm just going to take over, you take a day off." It was all up to them. But what I did try to do is make sure that they had a lot of fun and away from the farm times too, where they were able to get out and go hang out with friends or go to the... We have a thing that our family does an ultimate Frisbee game that's a big social game that happens once a week in our homeschool community. And so make sure that they're getting to that and getting to all the fun things. Did you feel that same pressure of I need some more help but I don't-

Lacie: I still feel that. Well, so in the beginning of my pregnancy, I don't know, it was probably around eight to 12 weeks, somewhere in there, Mike and my two oldest ones went away for two weeks to a church camp. So I was left with my six year old or five year old then to do all the chores. And so I kind of play that card of, "Well, you know you got to go do something really fun and I had to stay here and take care of everything." And I don't think they really mind stepping up.

On one level I want them to be independent and do these things and then on another level I'm like, "But I still want them to have a good childhood." And I think that's where Mike comes and steps in and he's like, "They can do it. If they can do it, you shouldn't be doing it for them." And part of me feels like, well as the mom I feel like I should be doing some things for them. And then a part of me is like, well yeah, they kind of do need to step up a little bit and learn how to do these things because we're raising adults, we're not raising you to be children. So I guess I still get torn back and forth in between that, but I just want to make sure that they have a good childhood. So I don't have a good answer for that.

Carolyn: No, and I think if you did, we would all know you were a fraud, right? Because I think that's part of parenthood is you're just always trying to negotiate the new moments that you're in because you're with living people who you need to be responsive to them. And I think that's the beauty of a husband and wife. Can I say this super traditionally, a husband and wife raising a family is you get that male personality, you get that female personality and the two of them together just make this complete story that we just don't have if it's only one perspective. So it's so good when parents can work together and find that balance together. We need it.

Lacie: And we fail and we can always ask for forgiveness from our kids and kids are super willing to forgive. So that makes it so much better too.

Carolyn: It really is. And I know I have to pull that all the time just like, "You guys, I messed up, I'm sorry." And they're always so gracious, so I appreciate that. Okay, so moving into the actual pregnancy side, how much for you do you feel has changed because of your pregnancy in your day to day activity? Are you seeing a big change yet?

Lacie: I have. I really don't do the chores anymore. I mean I guess I could, but since... And we've slaughtered some animals too, so that helps too. You're taking the numbers down and everything. But in the beginning I could do more, lift feed bags and things like that, even though people are like, "Don't do it." But as long as you're used to doing it's fine. But now it's harder to bend over and pick things up. And I had to, even when I was doing the chores, if we had waterers that I had to tote around, I went and got the hand trucks and I'd put them on there and lean them over. And so you just find different ways to haul stuff. We have gorilla carts that I could put stuff in and just pull it and I wasn't having to carry so much all the time. And I do a lot of our video editing too, so that's a big part of what I do. But I'm not so much hands on with the chores right now. I still help butcher animals. I think we still have another run to do, which I get a little iffy around that being pregnant. But yeah, I guess that's the biggest thing is I'm not picking up as much as heavy stuff as I normally would.

Carolyn: Yeah, I think I'm kind of the same on my day to day. I'm laughing at you kind of backing out of the butchering because I'm doing the exact same thing. I don't end up with any more. I guess maybe during the first trimester I might end up with a little more [inaudible] about that. Just the smells and the sites all involved. But by the time I'm over morning sickness, that doesn't bother me. But it's that all day on my feet that I just can't quite do once I get this pregnant, I need to take a lot more breaks. So thankfully at this time in life have all the backup help and the kids and Josh can just kind of come in and take care of it. They don't really need me out there anyways at this point. Makes it go faster to have another set of hands, but it doesn't hurt anything if I'm not there.

So I kind of take up the house crew and make sure everybody's well fed, make sure they come in for breaks, hot meals and all of those things. But yeah, it's just that standing all day and often times, I don't know about you, but I find that when we have big butchering days that the tables are not always the right height for what you need and you end up, especially with a big stomach in front of you, you're kind of like out and you're having to lean over and it creates this weird back pressure that's just not comfortable by the end of the day.

Lacie: And thankfully we have a taller stainless steel table and that's what I do. I take feet off, heads off all that stuff and then I slide it on down to evisceration to somebody else. So that does help a lot is being higher up. And I've just started using, I think it's a belly wrap just to give more support. So that has helped a lot too. So later in the day I'll just wrap up and it just holds you up a little bit better.

Carolyn: I actually just ordered one of those for the first time, so I'm glad to hear you say that that's helping for you because I've never used... I've used them after pregnancy to help in the postpartum period, but I've never used them when I'm pregnant, so I thought it might be time. I'm a little older than my last pregnancies. I think I can use some of these helps along the way and still feel good about it, so that's good. Are there any other ways that you find that you change what you're doing daily and even if it's inside, your inside work in order to accommodate for being pregnant?

Lacie: Been getting up a little later than what I was before and taking naps. I'll just get to the point where people are talking to me and I'm like, "I've got to lay down. I can't process what you're even saying to me because I'm so tired." So that's a big thing. And then trying to just do all the things for pregnancy and staying healthy, going on walks. And I feel like it's kind of made my day a little different than what it normally is because I'm trying to go walk in the mornings and sometimes I get to do it and sometimes I don't and making sure I eat because before I got pregnant I was doing a lot of intermittent fasting and stuff. So now I have to make sure I eat more times a day and then it's more work to eat. I don't know if that makes sense. Maybe it makes sense to other people too, but I think those are the biggest things is just taking naps and waking up a little later maybe.

Carolyn: I'm doing the same thing. I'm getting up a little later. Josh was like, "You sleep in a little bit, we're fine without you in the morning." So he keeps making sure the house is running just fine in the morning. I feel a little guilty because I hear everybody downstairs working without me and I'm just kind of snuggled into bed. But that extra hour of sleep makes all the difference in the world. I'm not a nap person. The world has to be falling apart. I have to be about falling asleep on my feet before I'm going to go lay down and nap. I've never liked it. I don't know why. I think it's a holdover from being two and somebody made me take a nap and I was like, "I don't want to." I still feel that way. I throw a little adult temper tantrum.

But the other thing that I know that I found is... I don't even know what they're called, the pressure mats that you can stand on. We got those in the kitchen and oh that helps a lot. Taking the strain off of the body if you have to stand for a longer period of time. And especially this fall as we still had processing lots of harvest coming in, lots of processing to be done. I had a lot of help this fall. So that was really wonderful also. But having those pressure mats to stand on has been a really big deal for me.

Lacie: I'll have to remember that.

Carolyn: Yeah, they, they're really good gushy.

Lacie: I know exactly what you're talking about because when you walk across them you're like, "Oh, this is different."

Carolyn: Exactly. And it makes a big difference. And in fact, I've noticed my teenage daughter has started taking the mat and moving it around the kitchen when I'm not in there so she can stand on it in different locations because it does actually really take the pressure off if you have to stand in one spot, which that standing in one spot in a lot of ways is way more tiring than walking around and getting to move a lot. And so that helps when you get stuck in a spot like that. So yeah, those are the big ones that I can think of. Are you still sleeping well? Do you tend to sleep well through your whole pregnancy?

Lacie: It comes and goes. A couple weeks ago we were out of town for a long time and changing beds and everything that made it hard and time zones so that we were actually out on mountain time in South Dakota. And so I would wake up in the middle of the night and I'd be like, "Oh great, I can't go back to sleep." But that's kind of typical for me being pregnant. I'll just randomly wake up in the middle of the night and then it's like, "Oh, I'm awake." And by the time it's time to wake up I'm ready to go back to sleep. But here with the past, I don't know, a week and a half or so since we've been back I've actually been sleeping better. So that's nice.

Carolyn: I don't want to say anything so strong is I crack the code on my sleeping issues because I'm only at 23 weeks. I've got a lot of time for insomnia left in this pregnancy. So I don't want to jinx myself there. But in the last few years I have actually really moved past... I was having a hard time sleeping quite often and I always associated it to the fact that I'd been pregnant so often and then nursing babies so often where I just wasn't getting full nights of sleep and I figured my body just kind of got in this habit of not sleeping, but I started paying really close attention to my blood sugar and same thing, I started doing some intermittent fasting and really balancing out my blood sugar and when I did all those sleep issues disappeared. So I haven't had any yet this pregnancy except for the really random ones you're talking about, something wakes me up and then I just can't go back to sleep. But aside from that, I've been sleeping pretty well too, which is a real blessing because I always say if you can sleep you can do just about anything.

Lacie: That's exactly right.

Carolyn: So this is not your first pregnancy on the homestead, I think you were saying you have with your current youngest, you were also out on the homestead at that point.

Lacie: Yeah, with Micah. He's six. So yeah, we were here and we were doing all the things. We weren't butchering chickens then, but at that time we were starting a market garden. So it was lots of planting, lots of harvesting and it was rough. He was born in August so I'm super happy that this is going to be a February baby because the last month of his pregnancy I really couldn't do anything. And that's when we didn't have air conditioning either. So we had just set up our walk-in cooler for our market garden and for the last month I drug a chaise lounge in there and set up a TV for myself and played Candy Crush on a tablet for four weeks because it was so hot, it'd be a hundred degrees and I just couldn't hang it. I had to do that. But I think I did pretty good up until probably, I don't know, 30 weeks or so in that pregnancy, being able to move and plant and help harvest and get things together like that.

Carolyn: I had one, my last one was a late September baby and we had an extremely unseasonably hot summer and end of the summer there and we were right about a hundred degrees now, a hundred degrees in north Idaho and a hundred degrees down south are two totally different things. So I got to say that I have the better end of the deal right there because it's a dry 100 degrees, so we got to just put that on the table. That's a for real thing. But because it's not really that hot up here, nobody has air conditioning, it's not a thing. And so there was no out for me on this 100 degree weather and I was so pregnant. But what I did find is that if I could put my feet in cold water, I was okay. So I just would get bags and bags of ice and I had these big tubs and I would just put ice water in the tubs and just put my feet in there and it would cool my whole body down. And that was a major key for me making it through that one. I don't even know what to call these things, but have you ever seen them? They're the little neck ties but they're filled with the water soaking beads?

Lacie: Yes.

Carolyn: They probably have some really great fancy name, but you can make them at home. And those were magic for me also because you just put this cold band of wet around your neck.

Lacie: I think so.

Carolyn: Yeah. I think it's because in your feet, in your neck and some of these places you've got all that blood flow is just going. And so if you can cool that blood, it kind of cools your whole body down. And those were big keys for me for surviving without air conditioning. So hopefully that's a tip that can help somebody else who gets in that position because that pregnant that time of year is a hard thing to swallow.

Lacie: It is. And when you have 50% more blood than you normally do, your body's working harder to get everything moved around. Well, even last week I thought my prenatal appointment was for 12:30, but then I looked at my planner and it was at 12:00 and I still need to take a shower. And I was like, "Oh no." And I hopped in the shower and then got out, then I got out of the shower and I was like, "Oh." I had to slow down because I have actually passed out on the shower before pregnant because if I get too hot... But I know the signs now. But I encourage any other pregnant ladies, just make sure you don't get overheated. Yeah, that's no good.

Carolyn: No, it's no good. And not only can you pass out, but even if you don't, I've started to overheat myself multiple times. It exhausts you for the rest of the day as your body's trying to deal with the repercussions of that. And so it's not worth it. Slow down.

Lacie: Calm down.

Carolyn: Exactly. Stick your feet in some ice water.

Lacie: That's right. Ice water. I love it.

Carolyn: Stick that shower cold. One time I was big and pregnant and we were actually down in Mexico and I just thought, oh I could not cool down for anything. We were not on a fancy vacation where we had nice amenities or anything like that. But I found a shower and I took a cold, cold shower and that was night and day different. So the whole rest of that trip, two or three times a day I was in a really cold shower just to keep myself nice and cool and cool back down from that weather.

Lacie: Well, even the other night I wanted to take a bath, so I took a bath and it was hot, but I stay hot when I sleep so I just turned the cold water on before I got out and then sat in a cool tub for 20 minutes or so before I went to bed. And actually I slept really well that night. So I think being cool, being pregnant is a big deal.

Carolyn: Yeah, I think so. At what point you're talking about starting the market garden, being really pregnant and at some point we get to where we just have to say no and we're just like, "I just can't." And that I know for you is for me, that's really hard to get to a place of just saying I can't because the family's dependent on your labor in that place. You're kind of part of an integral team and if you disappear it puts a lot of hardship on a lot of other people. But there comes a level where you just can't, you can't without health repercussions that cause a whole different set of problems that you know don't want to do. How do you manage that? How do you manage making that decision and knowing... Do you deal with a little bit of guilt in the back? Everybody else is working and I'm not.

Lacie: I do. You work together as a team all the time and whenever you can't or you feel like you can't contribute... So Mike had me out there the other day helping him move electric fencing and so electrified netting and he's like, "Here, just pick this up." And I'm just like, "Okay. But it's a little awkward and I mean I'll help as much, okay, I can do this." But I didn't feel like I was helping at all really. And you do feel bad because it puts another layer of responsibility on someone else and I don't know, I guess I just kind of do what I can for as long as I can and then I think everybody else understands. So you hope your family understands that, right? I'm not just being lazy, I really do need to sit down.

Carolyn: I know over here everybody understands and a lot of times they're pushing me to, "You need to go sit down, you need to rest." And I feel like kind of that classic mom, "No, I don't leave me alone. I'm fine, let me work, let me do things." But there does come that point and I know for me it is challenging. Sometimes it's even challenging to be honest with myself that no, this really isn't a good idea. I really shouldn't do this and I need to stop and go rest. And over the different pregnancies, Josh has gotten stronger with his suggestions of, "No, you need to stop right now and go sit down." He's kind of learned the warning signs maybe better than even I have. And it's become important to me to learn to listen to those and sit down and let other people do it. But you feel bad like, "Em, could you get me a glass of water while you're walking by and oh yeah, I'd love a book." But you really do need to go take a break and you really need to-

Lacie: You don't want to be a bother to anybody. That's what I fall into was I don't want anybody to bother with me. But I mean reality, it's your family and they love you and they want to take care of you. But I think I have learned from other pregnancies when I need to go, just go take a nap because I get to the point where I start getting really just short with people and I don't want to be mean to people, but I'm just going to, because Mike, he's very much, "Let's get stuff done, get stuff done, get stuff done." And he pushes me, which is good because I'm kind of a little more laid back than him. And he knows too when I say, "Look, I've got to lay down." I'm like, "I'm no good this just give me 30 minutes and then I will be better." He picked up on that more too. And like you said, he notices a lot of stuff. "I think you need to eat right now." Or things like that. I mean he'll make good suggestions and I'm like, "Well, yeah. You're probably right." Or "Have you drank enough water today?" Or something like that.

Carolyn: But we have this kind of ongoing joke in our house because in our early years of marriage it was me learning that most of the times things were getting a little tense. Josh needed to eat or drink water or go take a rest. So it was like this learning curve that I needed to say, "Here eat this." And then it was magically everything was better. But the funny thing is in the later years, this is kind of flip flopped and I don't know what happened but he's started recognizing now when I need to eat, which is good because that the joke has been, he gets hangry, I fall apart. I'm fine, I'm happy, I'm happy, I'm happy. And then it's like I step off a cliff and the world is ending and everybody around me is going to know it and not be happy to, it's like this dramatic moment.

And it doesn't happen often once every five years, something like that. But it's dramatic and memorable for the whole family. So he's learned the warning signs of that and he's learned to help me. "When was the last time you ate something?" "Oh, I don't remember." "Yeah, that's not a good answer. We need to feed you, let's get you something to eat. Let's get you something to eat." That's a good answer. So anyways, that's good. When we can all help each other and depend on each other and I know learning from my mom, whenever I or anybody else who is pregnant would sit down, she would just hand us a glass of water. And I have thought that is so wise and that's another thing that I know that I have had to learn is just stay hydrated. And I often tell women, I hear from a lot of women at about 32 weeks they start saying, "Oh, I'm having all these contractions, I'm so uncomfortable, I can't sleep. I'm just having contractions all the time." That is in my experience, 95% a lack of water. And all of a sudden your water consumption needs go up and you've got to jump in your water consumption. You already feel like you're going to the bathroom all the time so you don't want to drink anymore. But yet you just got to do it otherwise you get miserable right then too.

Lacie: And electrolytes, making sure you get electrolytes in your water too has been a really big thing for me. So I'm drinking all the time. I'm like, "I promise I'm drinking." Yesterday I didn't drink enough and my legs were a little swollen this morning and I know that's why is because I didn't drink enough yesterday. So today I've been chugging.

Carolyn: Chugging along. That's a good thing to do. Yeah, I start getting almost a little bit of a restless leg feeling when I'm not drinking enough water and yeah, the electrolytes really helped. Now you guys, Lacie and I had the fun opportunity to tour the men real salt mines together this last... Was that March? It was something like that.

Lacie: Yeah, it was.

Carolyn: Spring and so we got to go all the way down to, I don't know, was that 800 feet?

Lacie: It was 800 feet. That's so cool.

Carolyn: In a salt mine. It was really fun. But ever since that moment I took home some of their electrolytes and I'll tell you what, I survived on those for my first trimester. I couldn't even drink plain water but I could drink it if it had a little bit of that electrolyte in it. So I'm still trying to drink a little bit of that every day and it seems to be helping a lot.

Lacie: I do their relight pretty much once a day and because I found out before that for years I would stand up really fast and I would think I had low iron because I'd get a little dizzy and everything. And then when I really started focusing on electrolytes and all, and I realized it actually over the years has probably been because I haven't had enough salt in my system and that'll help keep the swelling and all down too because I'm prone even not being pregnant, having swelling. So I've found that it's super important when pregnant to make sure you're having the electrolytes because we are peeing so much and drinking so much, you want to make sure all of that's going good.

Carolyn: Well, and I think the difference between healthy salt and a good quality salt versus a table salt. You hear all the advice, stay away from the salt because you're swelling. And we actually got to sit through a super interesting presentation that the reason that people swell... And I probably am not going to do this justice at all and I can't remember any of the scientific terms, but the reason that people start swelling up when they're over consuming a table salt actually has to do with the additives that are put in the salt and not the salt itself. And so you go to something like a Redmond real salt or any other pure salt that's mineralized and it's an entirely different experience. It actually helps you balance those levels of the water in your cell and all of those different things and helps you to have a proper hydration balance instead of holding onto the liquid so much.

And I have personally found that to be totally true because if I go out and I eat some salty... Let's say we go out and we get fries or something that's really salty in a restaurant, I see myself start to swell up and I can't put my ring on the next day and just basic little things like that. But I can drink those Redmond real salt relight packages, I can drink quite a few of those in a day if I need them. And I've never had that reaction to it. I just feel better. And at some point I don't want them anymore because my body says, "You have enough sodium, don't drink anymore." And it can totally read it when it's that pure real salt

Lacie: And you'll be able to think a little better. Everything will be a little clearer because all your electrical impulses from your brain travel through a salt water environment because it conducts electricity better. So we all need make sure you get plenty of good salt.

Carolyn: Yeah. That's really important. Okay, so before we wrap up, what are the best tips that you could give to other pregnant moms who are kind of like us? We're kind of do it all. Do it ourselves. We can do it. What would be the best tips that you could give them to survive pregnancy on a homestead?

Lacie: Just give yourself grace because I don't think enough of us do that because I'm supposed to be doing X, Y, and Z today and I have this to put up and I have this to do and I just can't do it all. And no, I don't think we can do it all ourselves and I don't think we're supposed to do it all ourselves. And I think that's a big burden that society has placed upon us, that we're supposed to be able to do everything. And even in the homesteading community because well, I'm supposed to make my own butter and I'm supposed to raise my own chickens and I'm supposed to have a garden and it looks fabulous and never have any insect problems or anything. I just think you need to have realistic expectations of what you can do. Because some women can do a lot more pregnant than I can do pregnant. I know somebody, she was out doing all her chores up until 40 weeks and my body is not designed to do that. And I think you need to figure out what works for you and go at your level and your speed and don't feel guilty about it, about not being able to do stuff because it's totally normal, really.

Carolyn: Absolutely. I think that's just great advice and I think we all need to listen to that. It's easy, I know for you to say it's easy for me to say it, but I have to say it to myself all the time because I still have a hard time following that advice, even though that's pretty much what I would say too. One of the tricks that I've found though to helping myself through that journey is when you sit down and write a to-do list, put at the top of it, grow a baby. Seriously, that is a big to-do. And it is taking a lot of your body resources and your mental resources and just having that on the to-do list every day. Okay, look at what I'm doing and write it on there. And at the end of the day you can check it off if you want, but put it into context that you're working hard. Even if you're sitting on the couch with your feet up, your body is working hard.

And the other thing for me is kind of just adding on to what you said, ask for help. And even if it has to be outside of your family or maybe it's outside of your immediate family and you can ask a parent, "Mom, will you come do some laundry for me? I'm just not keeping up." Or whatever it is. Don't be afraid to, if you can hire somebody to come, just help you clean your floors if that's all it is. Or ask somebody if you have good friends or a church community, just ask for a little bit of help. There's no shame in that. It's absolutely okay. And like Lacey said, give yourself a lot of grace in this period.

Lacie: Let your kids step up a little bit too. Let them see what they can do. And if they don't do it exactly like you do it's okay. And I have to remind myself that like, "Okay, it's not how I would do it, but it's done. And it may not be exactly right, but that's okay. It's done."

Carolyn: You can always clean up later. I know sometimes after I've had a season like that, I'm in the kitchen and I look up on the ceiling and I'm like, "How do you think the ceiling got brownie batter all over?" I probably don't even want to know, so I'm just not even going to ask and we'll clean it later. Turn a blind eye a little bit. It's okay. And just, yeah, let yourself get help. So great. Lacie, thank you so much for joining us. It's been a fun conversation, really encouraging for me because I need to hear all these things. And blessings on the rest of your pregnancy. I just pray everything goes well and you have that beautiful baby boy in February to hold and to love on the whole family's going to love that. So that's wonderful.

Lacie: Thank you. And I pray the same for you too because I know pregnancy's rough. West Mamas need to stick together.

Carolyn: Okay, sounds good. Thank you guys. We will see you next week. Goodbye.

A man and wife smiling.

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