Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
I think it’s fitting that I’m sharing my last pregnancy update on my expected due date. Though, in all honestly, I’m writing this one a few days out just in case our little babe plans on being on time. (If he’s anything like his parents though, he’ll probably make his appearance sometime next week.)
Ironically, this last stage has been the best yet, which I think is a combination of excitement and nerves as the big day draws near.
When I would complain about how awful I felt during the first trimester, everyone assured me that I would feel amazing in the second and probably lousy again in the third. While I tried to have an upbeat attitude about what these last 12-14 weeks would feel like, I also prepared myself for an uphill battle.
Well, I feel great. Sure, I’ve got the traditional third trimester complaints; I’m so large that sitting and sleeping are pretty uncomfortable, I go to the bathroom every 30 minutes and I’m living in BL’s oversized t-shirts since few of my cute maternity clothes fit anymore. But besides those minor issues, I feel really, really good.
We’re almost there. With every changing symptom, I know that my body is preparing me for the ultimate journey ahead and that feels really empowering. As much as possible, I’ve tried to shift the focus that these aches and pains are necessary, that my body knows exactly how to change as we get ready to meet our baby boy. And, on mornings when I’m so tired from barely sleeping the night before, this gets me through.
We started taking birthing classes in the middle of July and while I know we weren’t ready for them any earlier, I wish we would have started them sooner. Getting to meet other soon-to-be-mommas every week and go over the process for a natural birth has been oddly soothing. While I’m definitely anxious about what’s about to happen, I feel strangely prepared, excited and ready.
Once we knew that this pregnancy was really happening, I knew I wanted to deliver at the birthing center here in St. Louis. I had done some research last year and after talking with friends about their experiences and meeting with the midwives, it felt like the perfect decision for our family.
Honestly, I can’t imagine another way. Between the birth-prep classes to the supportive community that we’ve found ourselves in, I know we’ve made the right choice. While I’m trying to keep an open mind that natural labor might not progress how I’ve envisioned it and that medical intervention may be necessary, I’m holding out confidence that this is the way we’ll go. I keep reminding myself that my body is literally made for this, and that baby and I will both go through this miraculous dance together. I’ll be working on birthing him and he’ll simultaneously be working on coming out.
One thing I’ve found helpful is letting go of the idea of a due-date. Now, when anyone asks me when I’m due, I respond with ‘soon’ instead of a specific date. Considering that the gestational window for normal can span 5 weeks, calling for a month instead of a date on the calendar seems more efficient. Plus, it frees me up from any countdown clocks. I also know that most first time mama’s go late, usually well into 41 weeks, and I’m mentally preparing myself that that’s likely my path.
I keep waiting for traditional nesting to kick in, and so far, at 40 weeks,- it hasn’t. Such a bummer. The closest I’ve gotten to nesting is stock-piling soups, energy balls and frozen meals for maternity leave. I’m not sure what I actually expected, as I’m not a highly organized person naturally anyways. My desk constantly has stacks of papers and books on top, which seems at home with my overflowing filing cabinet and photography station. Let’s just hope this little man takes after his dad’s obsessive cleaning skills and not mine.
My family came out in the beginning of July to help put the nursery together, which I’ll share in more detail below. Dear family, if you read this, know that you are a god-send. My mom and sister carry all of the organizational genes and they got to work washing his clothes, separating into storage bins by size and generally helping me feel less overwhelmed about putting his home together.
I’m not a decorator and I feel a little cheesy even showing you his room. I almost decided against putting these pictures in, but since I’ve loved looking at other nurseries for ideas when it came to planning ours, I figured I’d return the favor.
We got these light balls on our trip to Ghent this summer and honestly, they’ve been an exercise in patience. We bought them on a waffle and chocolate induced sugar-high and after spending too much money on them, BL and I both felt compelled to make them work. After hanging and rehanging them a dozen times plus taking the whole thing apart so we didn’t have to use a european plug converter, I’m finally at peace with how they turned out. I plugged them in for this photo, but they are various shades of blue, grey and white.
Since I can barely keep my succulents alive, I asked Laura of Lokey Designs to create two faux plants for this shelf. Aren’t they awesome? You can’t even tell that they are faux, she is so incredibly talented. I love the pop of green and nature that they pull in.
I searched for hours for the perfect recliner as I felt like this was one of the most important parts of the room. I wanted a place where we could snuggle, fall asleep together and read stories. We eventually found this one from Buy Buy Baby, a discontinued model that we got at a major discount. I ended up picking up this glider in a darker grey to have something to rest my feet on and make rocking easier.
I already spend so much time in this chair; I’ll come in here in the evenings to read or bring coffee and my computer in for some email catch-up. On the wall behind we attached a storage system from IKEA to store toys.
This mini-gallery wall is a collection of items that we’ve picked up along the way. I bought the ‘you are my greatest adventure’ this winter in Nashville and the three little birds comes from an artist, Meg, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
We had this ‘wake up, be kind, kick ass, repeat’ photo in our hallway (a souvenir from our New Zealand trip), but I decided to move it to the babies room for a little reminder of how we’d like him to be. Be kind little man, while still pursuing your dreams.
I wanted to invoke a mountain behind his crib and feel like this abstract triangle gets the point across. I saw a similar photo on Instagram ages ago and thankfully, BL is a more talented artist that I am. He put this together with some paint that we had from other projects and the mobile is Petunia Pickle Bottom.
We ended up putting a crib in the room even though he’ll be sleeping in our room for the near future. I went back and forth so much with different co-sleeping options, from having him in our bed to a bassinet near the bed and finally ended up with the Arm’s Reach that attaches to the side of the bed. I’ve heard great things from other mom’s who went this route and hoping that it’s just as beneficial for us.
Lastly, thanks a million for supporting us on this journey. I had no idea how I wanted to weave-in our lives on this blog. In some ways, it seems only natural to share our story, especially when it relates to food and nutrition. In other ways, I feel like I’ve spent too much time sharing our life when I should be more focused on said food. It’s a balancing act and I don’t quite have the handle on what that all means.
It’s been awesome getting to connect with so many other mama’s and soon-to-be mama’s and I’ve loved hearing your stories, advice and insight. I think I’ll continue to share random life updates as needed, with more of an emphasis on baby nutrition. I know that’s an area I’ve done a ton of research in as of late and even though I’m a dietitian, feels awfully confusing sometimes. So, I want to figure it out together. I’ll be sharing how we are raising our predominantly plant-based, intuitive-eating babe and many other thoughts along the way. Thanks for being so awesome. xo.