During the first 12 weeks, I continued the whole-food, plant-based diet (WFPBD) and was very strict about following it. I am happy and blessed to say we had no other scares throughout our pregnancy after that first ultrasound. At 18 weeks, we found out we were having a baby girl. I will never forget the moment the tech told us about our little girl. My husband squeezed my hand so hard and smiled SO big.
After 12 weeks, I continued to follow the diet, with a few exceptions. I didn’t have many cravings, and Patrick joked that he was disappointed in my lack of desire for ice cream and other stereotypical pregnancy foods. But one day, I had a sudden and intense craving for fried cheese curds. I told Patrick what I wanted. He replied, “Really? Fried cheese curds? Okay, then.” He was surprised, and we decided to walk to get them. By the time we got to the restaurant, I informed Patrick I no longer wanted the cheese curds. Pregnancy cravings at their finest.
For the rest of the pregnancy, I strived to eat a healthy diet, but didn’t stress or feel guilty if I chose something that didn’t quite fit the WFPBD. I continued to work out with a trainer 2–3 times per week, just as I did prior to pregnancy, along with walking 10,000 steps every day. The step incentive came from a family step challenge to see who could walk the most consecutive days of 10,000 steps or more. I lost that challenge the night I went into labor. (And my mom won and has continued to walk 10,000 steps every day since Memorial Day 2015. Go, Mom!)
I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl on October 19, 2016. Eleni Virginia was born at 11:17 a.m., weighing 7 pounds and 9 ounces and measuring in at 20.5 inches long.
Eleni immediately became the light of our life the moment she was born. Every day, my husband and I look at each other, smile big, and cannot believe God made us her parents.
Now, some people don't believe my diet change was what contributed to finally conceiving our baby girl. And to be completely transparent, I really don’t care what other people think. I strongly believe in God and His timing. I often wonder why God led me down this path and why certain people experience the diseases they do. Perhaps the sickness in my family was meant to help guide me to my path of discovering nutrition, to help not only my family but also others who struggle with chronic diseases such as cancer. Which, in turn, was also supposed to lead to my own health, my own struggle, and now to share my story to inspire and help others overcome infertility.
Since the birth of our daughter I completely ditched the rare dairy and have continued to follow the WFPBD. I continue to see amazing results in my health, second to becoming an infertility warrior. My acne is almost nonexistent, and my GI troubles have drastically improved. I have increased energy (even as the mother of a toddler), and I achieved my pre-pregnancy weight again without counting calories and watching portion sizes. Although the WFPBD is not always easy to follow within our unfortunate Western diet, I continue to love to try new things while truly enjoying the foods I eat without ever feeling deprived. Even more so, I am extremely passionate about teaching others how to live a plant-based lifestyle, whether it is to beat infertility or chronic disease.
If you are struggling with infertility or chronic illness, I hope that my story inspires you to make a lifestyle change, one that will not only positively impact you, but will also show those around you, your friends and loved ones, how a WFPBD can improve well-being while eating delicious, healthful foods.
I thank God for carrying me through these challenges and allowing me to serve those around me to live more Wholesome lives. My hope is to help others learn from my challenges so they too can hold that baby in their arms and spend precious moments with those they love. Because that is what’s most important, and what life is truly about.
Although this is the last chapter in my written infertility story, our story is not finished. Stay tuned and follow me for more on how the whole-food, plant-based diet can make a difference in your own (in)fertility journey. Look for more tips, tricks, and even an evidence-based step-by-step guide to help you through these challenges. I look forward to sharing more with you in the future as our fertility journey continues.