Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 50: Baked French Toast

 For dinner tonight, I made baked french toast. Click here to see the recipe. I used my leftover home made regular bread and cinnamon raisin bread. I thought the youth group peeps would be over today, but it didn't work out for anyone to come. Actually, Belle came for dinner, so she got to try some. This is what the finished product looked like:

I'm not sure that picture looks appetizing. It sure smelled good! Here's my plate with syrup and eggs:

I ended up sneaking in some more after eating this, and my blood sugar was just under 120 a couple hours later, so yay! Not something I should make a habit of-it does have a lot of sugar-but it's nice to enjoy on occasion.

Happy last day of September! It seems like this month went by so much faster than August! Look for a belly photo tomorrow!

ps. Thanks to my wonderful husband Alex for helping me figure out how to get these pictures. Usually I can upload directly from my phone, but it wasn't cooperating tonight. He found them and made this blog possible :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 51: Snacking away

Today is for relaxing at the house and not doing much of anything. Since we slept in, I'm skipping my morning snack, but still having breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. I made chicken salad to eat on a whole wheat tortilla for lunches throughout the week, and it's SO YUMMY! When I baked a chicken, a took what was left on the bird (a lot left) and tore it into little pieces. I then added Greek yogurt (plain and made with whole milk), two chopped up celery sticks, and a few handfuls of chopped walnuts. Add some carrot sticks to the side, and I had a delicious lunch that didn't make me feel sick. Then I also had an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. No picture of my food, since I gobbled it up before thinking to take a picture.

For my snack today, I'm going to have a few leftover potato fries and my one piece of a Chic-fil-a chicken strip I have leftover from last night. I had an emergency protein need, so we went and got the 4 count chicken strips (not the meal, since I didn't need fries or a sugary drink). I still have one left!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 52: Celebrating Fall with Sweet CeCe's

Last time I went to Sweet CeCe's I got a card and registered it. This time I was able to get my yummy, soft-serve frozen yogurt for about 60 cents, since I got it free up to $5. I went a little overboard with the amount. I got Pumpkin Pie and Cake Batter swirled, and then topped it with cookies dough, and three types of nuts.

Pumpkin flavor in there!

Super excited to be celebrating fall with pumpkin! Rachel came with me (she had a free one too), and took this picture for me.

Technically I only have to check my blood sugar after every meal, and I'd already check my "after lunch" sugar level and it was 76 two hours after I ate. Just out of curiosity, I decided to see what my blood sugar level was 2 hours after eating the fro-yo and toppings, and it was 167! time I do this, I'm eating half as much..and probably shouldn't make a habit out of it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 53: Upping the food budget

Today I went grocery shopping and spend $40 more than our weekly amount budgeted. Recently, I'd been going over little by little, and had become frustrated that I couldn't stay under budget, no matter how I changed up our plan. I even stopped going to the farmer's market, since I tend to overspend there.

Since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I've needed to eat more food overall, and food that is more protein to help with blood sugar levels. More food+more protein=more expensive. I used to be able to get away with a banana and peanut butter for lunch, and maybe another snack sometime throughout the day. Now I'm eating breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner, and then another snack. All have some form of protein included. Granted, my  meals are usually a bit smaller, but I'm still trying to reach a healthy 1800 calories a day, which is costing more in groceries.

Alex and I had talked about increasing our food budget once kids come, but I was hoping that meant once the kid was eating real food. Not so. This mama's gotta eat to regulate blood sugar (and feed the baby of course), so we went ahead and increased our weekly budget by another $25. In case anyone wanted to know, we budgeted $100/week, so now we're going to budget $125 per week. That seems like a lot to me, but any diet consisting of mostly non-processed food with plenty of meat, eggs, nuts, and yogurt, just costs that much.

I've included my mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks in my meal plan, which can be seen by clicking here. In the top right hand corner, you can change to view the plan by weeks instead of the whole month. If any of y'all have some suggestions for me, feel free to comment!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 54: 2 more appointments

Today I interviewed  a family doctor from Family Health Group, the Dr. Saritha Voncha. I actually thought her last name was something else, but maybe she got married or changed her name since I looked her up, because that's what it is on the website. Here's my experience.

Apparently people don't call to ask about meeting the doctor before choosing her, because everyone I talked to on the phone seemed super confused about setting up an appointment for me to come meet her. They said that I would have to pay for the appointment. I was kind of bummed, since I didn't have to pay to meet the other doctor, but I wanted to give this doctor a chance.

Even when I got to the office, the nurse was about to weigh me, and I explained to her that the appointment wasn't for me, it was an interview to try to find a doctor for my daughter. I said that they put the appointment under my name since my daughter hasn't been born yet. The nurse got a confused look on her face and asked me to wait while she found out what to do. She came back and brought me to a room to wait.

The doctor came in and was very nice. However, she was interrupted by a nurse and left the room to talk to another doctor over the phone. She apologized when she got back, and was only gone for a few minutes, but I was still a little annoyed. We discussed some of my family health history, and gestational diabetes briefly. I asked if she does OB/GYN care, and she does not. I asked just in case I decided to switch after this birth to another doctor, and then Adara and I could go to the same one. She also does outpatient work only, and works with the hospitalists-they are part of the same group, and have access to my medical records as needed. I do like that she is already familiar with the hospital and the process there.

Access during and outside office hours: They have 24/7 on-call. They are a part of 6 family medical physicians, and there is always someone on call after hours. During hours they answer by priority, and call back non-urgent calls during the afternoon/evening hours.

I asked her perspective on vaccines. I need to work on not being defensive with this issue, especially when I'm the one bringing it up. She highly recommends them, says she knows there are some concerns with autism, but emphasized that there are no conclusive studies. I fudged and said that we wanted to wait until our girl was at least two years old before considering shots, which is only sort of true. As of right now, we're not planning to give her any  at any time, but I do know that the risks decrease with some vaccines as the child gets older. Plus, if she goes out of the country (like for a missions trip), she will likely get some vaccines. The doctor said that some vaccines need to be started early, and I said it's fine if she doesn't end up getting them. The doctor was okay with this, but emphasized limited exposure when the baby is first born, and the fact that she may be exposed to all kinds of worldwide dangers since we live in a global society.

The appointments would be one week, one month if there are concerns, and then 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, etc. She said at two months is normally when they start vaccines, but the appointments for us would be a physical and checking for growth, since our girl won't be getting vaccines. The doctor said that the appointments follow the vaccine schedule, but she recommends following the schedule even if our daughter isn't getting shots, to document growth and other progress.

She did say that breastfeeding is important, especially since our daughter won't be getting vaccines. She said to keep trying even if it is tough, because it is very helpful. She said she did with her three kids, even working full time, and she can count on her hand the number of times her kids have had to have antibiotics. This impressed me, because some doctors don't seem to have a problem with antibiotics, and this doctor seemed so proud that her kids hadn't needed them.

The doctor said that she didn't know how to chart/document the appointment, and the people she needed to ask weren't in the building. I left not having to pay anything at the time.

I'm not sold yet on either place. This office was so close, and the doctor was friendly and easy to talk to. She introduced me to her nurse practitioner, who has a one year old daughter with the middle name Grace. I like that this doctor has kids. The office building is undergoing some kind of renovation so it's messy, but that isn't the doctor's fault.

--------change to next appointment---------

I also went to another OB appointment today. Baby's heart beat 143, and I'm measuring 32 and 1/2 weeks. Blood sugar is good as long as I eat right, so that's the plan for now. I saw the doctor for maybe two minutes today. She came in, said everything looks good, explained that they will continue to regulate only with diet for now, but will also monitor my pregnancy a little more closely. She said that since my fasting levels were good, that indicates that the gestational diabetes is diet-related, so it can be diet regulated. She mentioned another ultrasound, which would be no disappointment to me. She also said that after week 36 they'll start checking something twice a week, but I don't remember what she said. I'm to continue checking my blood sugar levels and bring them in again in two weeks to my next appointment. She was in and out super fast. Good thing I didn't have any questions this time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 55: Visiting

Today I visited Angie and Jenna. Jenna's getting bigger, and Angie looks so great! It was encouraging to see that after pregnancy, I really will have a beautiful baby girl. Right now I feel like that's still forever away, but it isn't! I'm also planning to be like Angie and lose all the pregnancy weight within a couple weeks of giving birth. Sounds good to me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 56: 32 weeks and 2 appointments

32 week photo update

This morning I went to visit the practicing pediatrician at Cool Springs Family Medicine. If this place was closer to Columbia, hands-down this would be where we bring Adara. The receptionist out front was a little stressed out, but the doctor was great. She was not in a hurry, and explained all my questions thoroughly.

Vaccines-parents choice,  but promote informed decisions. They work with a lot of autistic patients, and so they have a background and a lot of knowledge of the pros and cons of vaccines.

She explained when the baby would be seen routinely. The first week appointment usually lasts about 40 minutes and the ones after that are around 20 minutes. They may be shorter or longer depending on my concerns.

We talked about availability during and outside office hours. She said that during office hours, questions are sent back to the doctor who is most available that day, and that they are prioritized by need. Dr. Mulder also explained the patient portal online, which is like emailing the doctor with any questions. She said I would also be provided with a cell phone for the doctor on-call for questions outside office hours. She said they also provide lactation support, as she and the other female doctor have both personal and professional experience. She concluded by saying that they focus on keeping the baby well, and not just treating sickness.

Overall I was very impressed. It was so nice to not feel rushed out. Dr. Mulder asked me if there were any other questions, and even answered some questions I had about the midwife side of their services.

The biggest bummer was the drive. It's been so nice to be able to just drive a few minutes to my OB, and I think the convenience of having a closer doctor may outweigh the comfort and ideals of this practice. I meet with a family doctor less than 5 minutes from our apartment on Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see how they compare.

Next, I met with a nutritionist at Maury Regional Hospital. I brought my blood sugar levels, a printed page from my sparkepeople account, and my meal plan. She said she was impressed with what I had already. We reviewed serving sizes, and how many carb servings to have at meals and snacks. She emphasized that I should eat a minimum of 1800 calories a day, and that I should minimize my carbs in the morning. Here's what my plan looks like:

The nutritionist told me to eat three meals and three snacks! Now, the meals aren't huge, but they are not tiny either. I'm actually going to be eating more food than I thought I would! I just need to make sure that I don't overload on carbs on any one meal. Even when I go out to eat, I can still have a burger, I just can't have a large fries or drink a coke/sweet tea. I was kind of worried that I would have to try doing low-carb again. I know how to do it, but I'd rather not if I don't have to. And I don't! I should be fine only making minor changes. I'm a little bummed that we had to pay to find that out, but it's nice to have someone help me make a plan and for me to be able to ask questions. She also encouraged me to exercise as my doctor recommends, since that helps with blood sugar levels. The nutritionist gave me her card, and said I can call her if I have any questions.

A lot happened today! It's exciting to go places and find out more information to help both now and in the future.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 57: I can have my cake and eat it too

Today we celebrated my sis-in-law Belle's birthday with chocolate cake, white icing, and chocolate chips. And I enjoyed a large slice. My blood sugar was right at 120 when I check a couple hours later, so I'd say that's a pretty good deal for me.

Tomorrow I'm meeting with a pediatrician in the morning, and with a dietitian in the afternoon. Looking forward to some good information all around!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 58: Day of Weddings

Unfortunately, no pictures from today. Alex and I attended two weddings today: one at church and one at camp. Both were wonderfully God-honoring, and I was so happy that we attended them.

Blood sugar update: Alex and I slept in super late so I didn't eat breakfast until 11am. Blood sugar was below levels so far today (3 measurements so far, one left)! Yesterday my second two were super high-both around 150 (supposed to be below 120)! Today I was much more careful, and you know what? I feel better. Tonight for dinner I made breakfast food: bacon, eggs, and chocolate chip pancakes. In an effort to cancel out the sugar from dinner, I had a small pancake with some syrup, and then had two pieces of bacon and three scrambled eggs. I'll find out in an hour and a half if it actually worked.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 59: Maybe it isn't so bad...

Proverbs 29:25 "The fear of man is a snare,
but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected."

Good verse for me to remember. 

I started testing my blood today. I will be testing it four times a day: when I get up in the morning, two hours after breakfast, two hours after lunch, and two hours after dinner. I'm to bring the records to my doctor's appointment next Wednesday and discuss everything with her. If my blood sugar levels are consistently too high, then they will consider medication.

My fasting level should be below 95, and this morning it was 75. The after-breakfast level should be below 120, and it was 74. I'm beginning to feel less worried.

I'm going to track what I eat on, and bring it with me when I go to see the dietitian on Monday. Then she can see what I've been eating (and my blood sugar levels over the weekend) and tell me if/what I need to change.

Thanks so much for all of the encouragement. Y'all are amazing. I was all stressed out yesterday, and it helps so much to read that you're keeping me, Alex, and Adara in your prayers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 60: I failed the test

Check out the goodies I came home with. 

Today I got a phone call from my doctor's nurse practitioner. She said that I failed my  glucose test yesterday-that my levels were too high. On hour one, the limit was 180, and mine was 187. The next two hours were supposed to be something like 150 and 140, and mine were both still in the 180-somethings. She said I would need to test my blood, and arranged for me to come in later today so she could show me how. She also said I would need to meet with a dietitian on Monday.

I clarified once I got there that the high levels mean that I have gestational diabetes. The nurse practitioner said that the levels indicate so. She gave me a paper with my appointment time on Monday, and told me where to go to meet with the dietitian. She gave me some gestational diabetes information, and said that I'd get some of the same information on Monday. She then showed me how to use the meter, and gave me a sheet of paper to record my levels four times a day until my appointment next Wednesday. She checked the baby's heartbeat and said the baby is doing fine. Finally, she wrote me a prescription for some stuff I would need, and told me to go to the pharmacy. She was very cheerful and supportive, and I'm very thankful for her attitude.

I got to the car and burst into tears. Even though the nurse practitioner told me it isn't something I did-that my pancreas just wasn't work right-I couldn't help but feel guilty. It didn't seem fair-I know people that exercise less and eat more junk food than I do, and they didn't have any issues with the test.

When I told Alex that later, he joked that I should have eaten more donuts. He's so good at calming me down and telling me that everything is going to be okay. He's going to follow the new eating plan with me, so that I don't have to do it by myself. I'm so thankful for him.

I went to the hospital pharmacy and gave the pharmacist my prescription. She said it would be ready in about half an hour, so I decided to wait at the hospital. 

By the way, there's an outside area with parks and benches to sit, and at least three large signs that say "No Smoking" on them. I counted probably four people in that area who were smoking, and each of the concrete picnic tables had cigarette butts smashed into the middle of them. I was thoroughly annoyed and sat as far away from the smokers as I could.

Alex called to check on me, and then came to see me, since he was close to where I was waiting. We talked about making some changes. After looking at the information, the main thing that will need to change is eating less sugar, and probably become more aware of portion sizes. Again, my wonderful husband told me not to worry.

I start tracking first thing tomorrow morning. Sometime in between now and then I'm going to review our meal plans for the week and see if we need to make any changes. I'm actually kind of looking forward to meeting with a dietitian-I've wondered what that would be like.

So my relatively uneventful pregnancy has taken a turn. Guess this is just part of the journey where I'm continuing to rely on God's grace in every circumstance!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 61: 3 hour blood glucose test :(

For anyone wondering, this is what happens during the second blood glucose test. This test is given if the initial gestational diabetes test comes back abnormal. This was my experience:

1. They told me not to eat or drink anything for 8 hours before I came. Not even water. I ate a snack and drank water around 8pm, and went to sleep around 10pm.

2. I got to the office early and waited a few minutes. 8:15am. Then the lab lady drew my blood. 

3. While in the lab, the lady then gave me a sugar (glucose) drink that tasted like berry Kool-Aid. It tasted wonderful to me, as I felt very hungry and thirsty.

4. I was then sent out to the waiting room and told to come back in an hour.

5. I sat in the waiting room for an hour-I had my phone (Netflix, music, Kindle), magazines on the table, and a TV in the waiting room. 

6. I went back to the lab after an hour and the lab lady drew my blood from the other arm. 9:15am. She said I could drink a little water, so I did after I went back to the waiting room.

7. I waited in the waiting room for another hour chillin' with the TV and my smart phone. I watched some Rachel Ray and  I started a Netflix show called "The Best Food Ever." Then I stopped it after a few minutes because it made me hungry. I started the first Lord of the Rings book, but didn't enjoy reading on my phone as much as on Alex's Kindle.

8. I went back after the hour was up and the lab lady drew my blood from the first arm. 10:15am This time hurt more than the first.

9. I waited in the waiting room for an hour. I watched some of "The Price is Right" and started a Netflix show "How Stuff Works." This episode was about corn.

10. I went back after an hour and the lab lady drew my blood on the other arm. 11:15am. Done! The lab lady was super nice the entire time, and I'm very thankful for her.

I went home and immediately put some leftovers in the microwave to eat. I drank some water, and then poured myself a large glass of sweet tea. No coffee this morning, so no caffeine worries. The tea also doesn't taste as sweet as I'd like, so that's probably a good thing.

So glad this morning is over!! Hopefully I won't need blood drawn again for a really long time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 62: Labor dream

Last night I dreamed that I went into labor...

I was at the hospital, and I'd waited a while before showing up. Although not in pain, I'd obviously had a rough time by the way I looked when I walked by a mirror. The nurse who checked me said I was progressing well, and was already pretty far along-exactly as I had planned. However, she didn't tell me how far along I was; I wanted to know, but didn't ask.

 (In real life, I told my doctor that I don't want to know if I am dilated during my weekly appointments, but I do want to know when I am actually in labor!)

There were some strange things about the hospital- multiple beds per room, and at first there wasn't even an open bed for me, so when I had a contraction I just knelt on the floor and waited for it to pass. There were so many people there, and it was noisy.  Nobody thought it was unusual to make me wait in some random hallway. A nurse finally checked up on me, and told me that there was an open bed.

However, by the time I followed the nurse to the bed, she told me that I was no longer in labor, that all the progress I had made was reversed and that I would be going home soon. I was allowed to stay the night, but I would be going home the next day still pregnant.

I was so frustrated! I had just done all that work, and now the baby wasn't coming for who knows how long! The dream pretty much ended with me feeling exhausted and getting ready to climb into a very comfy looking hospital bed.

What a relief it was to hear my wonderful husband laugh and remind me of the impossibility of this happening.

Maybe it's the feeling that I've been pregnant for what seems like forever, and sometimes it seems like she'll never get here. Thankfully she will get here! Even if my labor is long, it won't be forever, and it will be totally worth it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 63: Week 31 photo update!

Woohoo! Week 31! And for those of you who have encouraged me along my weight journey: I weighed myself this morning (no food or drink) and am 142 lbs-compare that to the 139 that I was just last Tuesday when I went to the doctor. I haven't even been eating very differently, and the differences and healthy ones. Still exercising and cutting out processed food slowly but surely. Belly is definitely bigger!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 64: helping with Sunday School

I've started being the second adult (two are required for every kid class) in the middle school class. I like helping out, but without the responsibility of teaching. With a baby on the way, I can miss a Sunday if I need to, and the kids will still have a teacher.
Today is also Homecoming at church. I always enjoy church potlucks :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 65: Muffins and Bread Bowls

So last night Alex and I had to make an emergency run to Dollar General to get Tums. I was all proud that I hadn't had to use antacids, but last night I finally caved.

This morning I woke up and decided to make the healthy muffins. I wanted to use up the leftover carrot pulp from juicing, and so I used them in this recipe. I substituted coconut milk for the regular milk, Greek yogurt for the oil, and flax seed meal + water for the egg. When they were done, I cut one in half and smothered it in peanut butter:

I actually had two of them, but I ate one before I remembered to take a picture. Super yummy and healthy! I had been feeling kinda bad after having hash browns and a chicken biscuit for breakfasts, but felt fine after eating these this morning.

Alex and I are having some good friends over for dinner. As the plans were sort of last minute, I pulled some chili out of the freezer for us to eat and dumped it in the crock put to cook all day. I also decided to dress it up by making bread bowls. I used this recipe, and followed it exactly:

It was kinda scary leaving the dough in the oven for 40 minutes, since I usually don't bake bread for that long! It makes sense, since the bowl would need to have a tough crust to keep the soup in! I'm very pleased with my first attempt, and can't wait to try it with chili in it. The bowls don't hold much at one time, so I put out real bowls in case people want more. I'm not sure how refills in a bread bowl would work. Guess we'll find out tonight!

Anyone made bread bowls before? I'm interested to see how these compare to the sourdough ones from Panera.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 66: Diapers and Wipes

Today I joined sis-in-law Lacey, her husband Justin, and sis-in-law Belle at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate Belle's birthday. I ordered my food without dairy, and feel much better because of it. Cheese is no longer worth feeling sick. Sugar is getting close to being not worth it.

We also went to the Walmart and Aldi, since Lacey needed to get some groceries. It's actually fun to go when I don't have to get anything. We joked around about how I can't really bend over, and how I usually squat to pick something up.

Since someone had given us some money for Adara, I decided to buy some diapers:
I've decided that we will use regular diapers if we have them, but I want to buy the ones for sensitive skin in case Adara has an allergic reaction to the regular ones. I have fairly sensitive skin, and am allergic to latex, so there's a chance she will have a problem with the normal diapers. 

Yesterday I also got some wipes:


I've read and heard that the best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to use cloth diapers and home made wipes. However, I'm taking one adjustment at a time-fist getting used to having a baby, and then maybe getting used to washing diapers. Maybe. We'll see how we do with the disposable ones first.

So, if you would like to donate to the cause of this blog and our growing family, feel free to donate diapers ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 67: How to grocery shop without having a meltdown

Yes, it happens to me. As much as I like planning, and go in to the stores with a list, grocery shopping has caused me to have a few emotional moments...sniffing back tears while filling up my water jugs...feeling the stress rise as I compete with the other shoppers for the line that's 3 buggies back instead of 7 buggies back....stuff like that.

Today, however, was a different story. I finished feeling great, and was without stress and tears. So here are my tips for making it through the stores and checkout without falling apart in the process:

1. Start the day out in prayer and thanksgiving. Seriously. This makes THE BIGGEST difference in my shopping day. Asking God for help and thanking Him for His abundant blessings changes my attitude and makes everyone else seem nicer.

2. Have a plan, and stick to it. I make a meal plan on my google calendar (click the words to see it), and then write out my grocery list. I divide my list into four categories: Proteins, Carbs, Fruits/Veggies, and Other. I try to stick to what we've decided are necessities, because when I start adding treats, I go over budget.

3. Shop early, and don't be in a hurry. I used to try to go as fast as I could through the stores, in order to avoid extra food temptation, and so I could get home and put the groceries away. Shopping at the same time as the grandparents and parents with young children means that aisles are clogged and people don't move quickly. The experience is much more enjoyable if I'm not trying to get around the 90-year-old lady trying to decide between Raisin Bran and regular bran cereal.

4. Bring and/or buy a drink and snack. This not only helps avoid other (not on the list) food temptations, but also makes being patient a lot easier. I bought a snack size bag of peanuts at the checkout at Aldi, and then got a giant water at Sonic:

5. Limit shopping to one or two stores. Sometimes I go to the farmer's market when it is open, but I limit my routine stores to Aldi and Walmart.  Aldi is cheap so I go there first, and then I go to Walmart to get whatever we need that I can't get at Aldi.

6. Use cash to buy things. This may not be the case for everyone, but I easily overspend when I use my debit card. I still struggle to stay in budget with cash-last week I used money from the spending envelope to buy the rest of our groceries. However, using cash makes me more conscientious about how I'm spending our money, and helps me to say no more often.

7. Be thankful. Again, reminding myself to be thankful for what God has given us makes a huge difference. Walmart lines are super long, and being thankful that I can afford the groceries I'm buying is a much better solution than losing my cool about being that 7th person in line. Plus, by the time I get to the checkout counter, I'm a much nicer person to the cashier.

So that's how I made it through today! By God's grace, I enjoyed the trip and walked out with a smile.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 68: Food and a why I use chocolate soy milk

I made fried chicken today. I'm always glad when this is done so I can clean everything up. It's messy, but it's nice to have a lot made. We've been eating chicken biscuits in the morning, and having already cooked chicken makes breakfast so much easier each morning.

I had a warm drink of coconut milk, instant decaf coffee, and a little bit of chocolate soy milk last night before going to sleep. It was such a good comfort drink. I also found a recipe for a pumpkin spice mocha that sounds really yummy too. I'm excited about the cooler weather and the warm drinks! I'm also excited about wearing my new maternity jeans, since it isn't super-hot outside. 

Note on soy: I know soy is naturally high in estrogen, and so too much is a bad idea. However, I'm only adding a little to drinks like coffee and smoothies, and it doesn't hurt my stomach like regular milk does. Also, it's one of the cheaper (even the organic kind I got) milk alternatives. And it's chocolate. So unless I read/hear something that says that even a little soy milk is bad, I'm going to use it sparingly.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 69: Doctor's appointment (long update)

Recently my appointments haven't been too exciting. This one wasn't bad, but wasn't all good news:

Blood Pressure good-I think it was like 96/60. Weight exactly the same as the last visit. Baby heartbeat at 130. Urine sample is good-I'm well hydrated and no proteins. No swelling or any other concerns.

Doctor was somewhat concerned that I haven't gained any weight, asked about my appetite, exercise, change in diet, etc, and couldn't come up with a good reason why my weight is the same. She said that increased activity could cancel out the increased appetite, so maybe that's what it is. I don't think I'm exercising a lot, but maybe it's enough to cancel out the extra food. I'm measuring right on track, so baby is fine. Doctor said if I still haven't gained any weight by my next appointment, then they might to an ultrasound just to make sure everything is OK.

I asked her about when and why I'll be check for dilation. She said that it will be around 36-37 weeks, so I still have a while. Around 35-37 weeks is when I'll be tested for the Group B strep. She said that they check dilation to have a baseline for when I go into the hospital with contractions, to have something to compare. I asked if I could not know when they checked-I'm afraid that if I know, I'll become impatient. Doctor says that's fine, but if there is a medical concern one of the nurses might not check my chart and may tell me. I said that's fine-it makes sense to me to be checked if there is a medical concern. The doctor also says that some people feel contractions without being dilated at all, and some people are dilated to a 6 and hardly feel anything. I'm praying for the latter. 

I also mentioned that I've had leg cramps, and have heard that could be from a calcium deficiency. Doctor says it could be calcium, magnesium, or dehydration. She said Tums or a calcium supplement OTC is fine, and also magnesium OTC is fine.

My blood glucose test came back abnormal, so I have to take the three hour test. BUMMER. Doctor says I'm showing no other signs of gestational diabetes, so she isn't worried about me having it. The test was just barely abnormal too! I took the test on a Tuesday, and the weekend before that is when I had my giant waffle and then Dunkin Donuts coffee and donuts all within 24 hours. I'm blaming it on that and never eating those foods again.If it messes with my blood sugar enough that a couple of days later my blood test is slightly abnormal, then I probably shouldn't be eating/drinking those foods.

Thankfully, my glucose test and Alex's wellness screening for work are the same morning, so neither one of us will have breakfast that day. That was definitely a God-thing, because I didn't ask for it to be on the same day.

I'm to call or come to the hospital with any signs of pre-term labor.

After talking with the doctor, I scheduled the glucose test and the rest of the appointments up to my due date. Looking at the calendar is fun, and I only have 6 more appointment-not counting the glucose test!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 70: 10 Weeks left!

Week 30 photo update!! I remember hearing other people talk about being in week 30 of pregnancy and thinking "Wow, that person is getting close!" Now that's me!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 71: Church Baby Shower!

Tonight after the evening service the First Baptist Church Mt. Pleasant threw us a baby shower! Specifically, some of the people on the youth committee planned the party. It was so cute and a lot of fun!

Minnie Mouse cake!

Table decorations/presents

The church has been such a blessing to us! We got a lot of clothes, some diapers, a cute Minnie Mouse umbrella stroller, a Minnie Mouse portable high char seat, and some other adorable baby things. Our girl will definitely be dressed up every Sunday for church!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day 72: Fall is starting!

The weather outside is SO nice right now!

Today we went to the pastor's house. He and his wife live in a log cabin and have some land, and it is beautiful! Alex and the Pastor shot some guns at the pastor's firing range:

I stayed at the house and enjoyed talking with the pastor's wife. We got to sit on a swing on their front porch and enjoy the view. I forgot to take a picture there though! Oh well, it was a very enjoyable day.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 73: making my own Larabars

Since I've been craving sweet and trying to avoid copious amounts of sugar, I decided to make something with dates in it. I think I could just sit and eat a whole bag of dates, but that wouldn't be a great idea. Here's what I started out with:

Works best with a good food processor

The coconut flakes are sweetened with sugar, but I didn't want to go searching fore the healthier, more expensive kind-so I stuck with the cheap ones from Aldi. Actually, all of these ingredients are from Aldi. Not organic or anything like that, but I did make it all myself!

After mixing all the ingredients (I looked online at different versions) the consistency was more like granola-I needed something to help it stick. I'd read on one site to use olive oil, but olive oil in something sweet sounded gross-so I added a tablespoon of butter instead. It did the trick! I spread out my sticky mess in a plastic-lined pan and put it in the fridge:

What I thought about doing was cutting these up and wrapping them individually in plastic wrap once they got cold. However, I think I'm just going to cut out a piece at a time and eat it. less mess and work. Here's my piece:

Now, I'm not usually a fan of coconut, but it tasted really yummy with the dates, raisins, and walnuts! I now have my candy bar alternative :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 74: Welcome baby Jenna! (story included)

Check out that awesome head of hair! This beautiful baby is less than 24 hours old, and I got to see her today! You know Angie? She's been in some of my pictures on this blog, and we have started a crafting blog that we sort of keep up with.

Here's the birth story from my perspective:

On Tuesday Angie came over to my apartment in the afternoon to go swimming. She'd just come form her doctor's appointment, and said that she did let the doctor strip her membranes. She said that the doctor and other office workers assured her that it is something that even midwives do, and that it would not cause her water to break.

(Side note: When Angie was pregnant with Jayden, the doctor stripped her membranes and her water broke the next day.)

We were in the pool maybe an hour, when Angie suddenly got a serious look on her face and said, "We have to get out of the pool RIGHT NOW!" She explained that she thought her water just broke, so we quickly dried off and went back to my apartment. She put on clothes, headed to her mother-in-law's house, and promised to call when she had more news.

I received a call later that evening, and Angie was headed home. She thought maybe the baby had just squished her bladder in a major way, so they were going to wait a while before deciding anything for sure. We chatted a bit on Facebook that night about the uncertainty of her situation, and how nerve-wracking that can be.

The next morning she called and said that her water didn't break-that it must have just been some squished bladder issue. Angie said that she was in the hospital being monitored, but that if nothing else happened she was going to go home within a couple of hours.

I got a phone call a couple of hours later saying that they did an ultrasound, that her amniotic fluid was dangerously low, and that was only possible if her water did break.So baby Jenna was going to be born later that day! Angie said she'd let people know when the baby came, and I promised we'd be praying.

I didn't hear anything before going to sleep last night. I checked my phone first thing this morning, and I had a text message with a picture and an announcement that Jenna was in the world! She was born around 10pm last night, and looks like Angie!

I got to go see this perfect little girl today a little before noon.Alex walked over to the room with me. Jenna is so cute, and Angie looks so great too! This was very encouraging to me, as I'm also planning to birth a child in the same hospital.

Congrats to Adam and Angie on the birth of Jenna! So excited for them, and so happy that I got to see her today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 75: Getting Calcium

Today I thought I'd head over to Kroger to see if they had anything that might help with the whole leg-cramping Calcium deficiency thing. I know sometimes they have some forms of alternative health products, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to check. Plus, it is right across the street from where I live.

They had a ton of Calcium supplement type things, all of which said to check with the doctor if pregnant. When I called the office, the recording said the office was closed. I called during office hours, so maybe it was their lunch break or something....

I went from the Pharmacy area to the natural food area. I've seen on the carton of coconut milk that it has 50% more calcium than milk, so I check to see how much it actually has. The nutritional information says that coconut milk has 45% of the daily recommended value. I already drink coconut milk in my coffee in the morning, so I went ahead and bought another carton (on sale!) and decided I'll just drink more instead of trying a supplement. This is the kind I got-I actually have the original in my fridge right now, but I've also had the vanilla and it is good.


I actually went to the Silk website and was going to get a coupon, but it's that coupon printer that I can never get to work on my computer and always end uninstalling it. Bummer. 

I'm drinking a glass right now, and it is better in coffee than it is plain. It isn't bad, I've just enjoyed the coffee-coconut milk combination, so the milk by itself is going to take some getting used to.

A praise-we prayed that my legs wouldn't cramp up last night, and they didn't! They still felt/feel a little stiff, but I slept WAY better last night. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 76: learning more about healthy pregnancy cooking

Today I did some house and church stuff, and spent some time watching some DVDs about healthy cooking and herbal-ing. Thanks to my friend Amy (who has two kids of her own and is a midwife) for them! She and her husband are also starting up a nursery (read: plants) business, and you can see their facebook page here.

The DVDs are all about healthy pregnancy-and although I'm sure I won't use all the herbs listed, it is fun to watch and I'm learning a lot. It's helpful with some ideas for food, and I like watching the girl cook-she's very charismatic and seems to enjoy what she is doing. She says things in a way that are easy to understand-and I think I could easily cook the meals that she talks about. It's called "Making Babies" which I think it a funny title-although it does cover fertility as well as pregnancy health, so it makes sense.

Thought about swimming for exercise, but just waded around with Angie. Now looking forward to Alex being home! That's all for today!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 78 and 77: Church fun and week 29 photo

Yesterday was super busy and really good! Church in the morning-I taught Sunday School this week, and my lesson was too short! Live and learn :P

Then people came over for the afternoon and we played "Just Dance" until we were all tired. It was fun. If you are friends with me on facebook, you can see a video of me dancing....preggo belly and all, haha. Then we all headed to church for the youth service. My wonderful husband led worship (with youth in the choir and helping with sound and PowerPoint) and then preached the sermon. It's really neat to see God working through Alex and the lives of all of us.

Today marks week 29! only 11 weeks left! That really doesn't seem too far away!

I woke up with leg cramps again really early this morning. I can't complain too much-they hurt, but don't last very long once I get up and walk around. I've started eating bananas over the past couple of days (thanks for the suggestion from someone reading my earlier post), but I think part of it is a hydration issue. Gotta keep up with drinking water! And exercising-the nights when my legs are exhausted they don't seem to cramp at all. I have started feeling more tired recently...but gotta keep up some exercise to help me sleep so that I'm not so tired! What a cycle. I'll tell myself what I told my friend earlier: some of these symptoms just mean you're that much closer to having the baby! That is definitely something exciting to think about!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 79: Great start to September

Great way to begin the month of September!

My mom and I attended Freya's baby shower. She looks so great! It was also fun to see baby Connor getting so big! We didn't get to stay very long, because we picked up Chick-fil-a for Donny's birthday!

We ate yummy food and played Monopoly:

It was the updated National Parks version, and it was so much fun! Check out all the awesome stuff I had by the end of the game: 

I'm not sure I ever ended a game with this much stuff-which is why I wanted to take a picture! On my very last turn I ended up owing Donny somewhere around $1000 in rent. Since we had to leave, I told him that he could just have all my stuff instead. He still said it was a draw at the end of the game. I thanked him for having a birthday, and he said he would try to have one every year.