Wednesday, September 19, 2012

pregnancy reflections (trimester by trimester)

First Trimester:

Overall thoughts: Finding out we were having a baby was one of the most surreal moments of my and hubby's lives.  Seriously, there was a solid week where hubby and I couldn't look at each other without giving each other that look.  The look of "We're having a baby.  We're going to be parents.  US!  We're having a baby!"  I didn't really want to tell anyone at first, because obviously you never know what can happen.  We ended up telling our immediate family and a couple really close friends.  Other than that, we kept our mouths shut and went about our days as normal.  Well, as normal as possible while feeling sick non-stop.  Thankfully I never got terrible morning sickness.  Unpleasant for certain, but tolerable at least.  

Food aversions:  Umm, food in general?  Seriously though, I  didn't have any particular foods that I couldn't eat, but eating in general was just a little difficult.  It was hard to ever find anything that actually sounded good.  

Food cravings:  Clementines!  I went through SOOO many clementines.  Thank goodness for Costco.  And my less healthy craving?  McDonald's.  Not sure if the appeal was the nuggets and fries or just the fact that I didn't have to cook and have my house smell like food.  Either way, I'm glad this particular craving only lasted for a couple weeks.  

Worst symptoms:  
Nausea--Thankfully I never actually threw up, but the feeling that I could at any moment was definitely not fun.

Exhaustion--I have honestly never felt as exhausted as I did in those first weeks of pregnancy.  I usually don't fall asleep very fast, but boy could I sleep during the first trimester!  I was out just like that every night.  And if I hadn't been busy with school and work (it was my last semester before graduation), I would have been napping non stop too I think.  

Constant need to pee--TMI?  Eh, everything in pregnancy is pretty tmi actually.  But yeah, I seriously had to pee every half hour to an hour for like 12 weeks straight.  Pretty inconvenient when working and going to school.  Actually, I imagine peeing that much is inconvenient regardless of your lifestyle.  Seriously, who has that much time to spend in the bathroom?  

Big events: We found out hubby got accepted to the top grad school in his program only three days after finding out we were expecting a baby.  Let me tell you, that was the craziest week ever.

Best part:  I really didn't have to change much about my day-to-day life.  I could workout the same.  I fit in all my regular clothes.  

Second Trimester:

Overall thoughts:  I hit the cliche and got a lot of my energy back during this trimester.  It was also nice being able to freely talk about being pregnant.  We made our "official announcement" at 12 weeks. I didn't start to show for quite some time (I started getting a distinct "bump"  at around 24 weeks).  It was nice being able to still feel "normal" for most of this trimester as well.  

Food aversions:  I actually don't think I had any aversions.  Food was pretty good during this time.   

Food cravings:  Mostly just food in general.  I remember being hungry all the time during this trimester.  I never left the house without water and several snacks in my bag.  There was one 2-week period where I was craving meat, particularly red meat.  Which is super weird for me, since I don't really eat anything but chicken and seafood.  Ever.  Well, during those 2 weeks I ate a hamburger, beef kabobs, and asian-style pork ribs.  Oh how hubby was in heaven.  He keeps hoping that particular craving will resurface.  

Worst symptoms:  
Headaches--I started getting headaches around 15 weeks and up until just about week 35, I was getting them pretty regularly.  They were definitely at their worst during the heart of the 2nd trimester though. Terrible terrible terrible.  

Big events:  We found out baby's gender (boy). Felt baby kick for the first time. I graduated from BYU-Hawaii. We moved away from our lovely Hawaiian island.

Best part:  I felt great during this time.  I got that "surge of energy" that women sometimes associate with the 2nd trimester.  I was able to workout much better during this trimester, simply because I had more energy.  Loved it!

Third Trimester:

Overall thoughts: This trimester was LONG.  Maybe it's just the fact that it's the "homestretch," but this trimester felt especially long towards the end.  Even now that I'm at 40 weeks, part of me still feels like I may be pregnant forever.  I'm not quite sure what "normal" is supposed to feel like anymore.  It's been fun feeling all of baby's movements this trimester though.  They've become a lot more powerful and distinct.  Hubby loves "playing" with baby's little feet in the evenings when he's at his most active.  

Food aversions:  Tomatoes.  Not that I didn't want to eat them, but they were about the only thing that gave me heartburn.  Fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato name it and I was taking stupid Tums because of it.  There weren't any foods that were repulsive though.    

Food cravings:  Hmm, let's see.  Smoothies, LOTS of smoothies!  Peaches (fresh, frozen, and any other way I could eat them).  Chocolate milk.  I think those are the main ones I've been enjoying.  Mmmm mmm mm.

Worst symptoms:  
Sciatic Pain--This has seriously been terrible!  I didn't know nerve pain could be so...well, painful!  Ugh, I just tried to do yoga and pilates to relieve the pain, but to be honest, I just suffered through it most of the time when it hit.  

Big events: We moved to Nashville.  Hubby started grad school.  We attended a 5-week series birthing class.  

Best part:  Feeling baby's movements all the time.  For all the pains, aches, and down-right awkwardness that comes with pregnancy, I absolutely love feeling baby's kicks and squirms and knowing that he's safe inside me. 

Soo, there you have it.  My pregnancy summed up in a blog post.  Now I'm just looking forward to the adventure of labor and the excitement of having a newborn soon. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

40 weeks!!!

Pregnancy/Baby Stats:

How far along: 40 weeks at last!

How big is baby:  Almost ready to come out!  The midwives have guessed anywhere between 6.5-7.5 pounds.  Though there's obviously no way to really tell how big he'll be until he actually arrives.  

Total weight gain: 30 lbs. I know this is dead average for the recommended weight gain, but it doesn't make it any easier to see on the scale still.  On days when I'm feeling self-conscious I remind myself how glad I am that I lost 10 lbs right before getting pregnant.  So though I've actually gained 30 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, I've only gained 20 lbs from my "normal" weight.  Though I fully intend on losing all 30 lbs as quickly as possible (while still being healthy of course).  

Stretch marks:  Nada.

Best moment of the week:  Officially hitting full-term at 40 weeks! And watching hubby chase around baby's feet across my stomach.  It's really cute to watch.  I can't wait to see him as a daddy to his little son.  

Gender:  Boyyyyyyy

Movement: Movement has started getting funky this week.  He's been bopping all over the place.  I was worried that he had flipped back breech again, but I'm starting to realize he's literally just all over the place these days.  You know how people say it's normal to feel decreased movement in the last couple weeks (because baby is running out of room)?  Yeah...he may be running out of room, but that's definitely not stopping him from partying it up inside me still.  He's a little party monkey for sure.  

Have you started to show yet:  Clearly. But luckily I think I've hit my max in terms of "showing-capacity."  

Belly button:  Outie.  

Mood:  Happy knowing that baby is coming so soon.  Getting kinda tired of the constant "any baby yet?" texts and calls.  Seriously people, I love you all, but please don't make me more anxious than I already am.  As much as I want baby here (I mean I know you're all anxious too, but imagine how it feels carrying him for 10 months), I would much rather he stay in as long as he needs to.  He WILL come.  Patience, patience.   

What I miss: Feeling like I'm not pregnant.  I love baby, but I can't wait to feel somewhat normal again.  

Achy-I don't feel achy every day, but still have some days/moments where my body just wants to sleep.  But then of course lying down doesn't feel so great either.  Hubby is great at giving back massages though.  :)

Nesting-Still happening on and off.  Some days I'm amazed at how productive I can be.  And other days I'm amazed at how lazy I can be.  

Super-human nail growth-Alright alright, so I realize this isn't a real symptom, but for the last month or so, my finger nails have been growing like crazy.  I seriously have to cut them so often to keep them short.  My mother is impressed I'm still able to cut my toenails.  So far this hasn't been a problem for me luckily.  

Shooting pains-I've been waking up with these weird shooting pains periodically.  The midwife says it's totally normal.  Just my body continuing to do prep work for labor.  

Signs of labor:  Have definitely noticed a difference in some of the small things that my body is doing. It feels like things are being prepped, but who knows what that really means.  I could go into labor today or I could go into labor in 2 weeks.  So as for the question, "do you feel like labor is coming soon?"  Soon is relative.  It'll happen at some point, I just have no idea when.  

At the midwife appointment we went to this week, we were told that we'd just have to wait and see what happens.  Since I'm full term I was checked for dilation for the first time (so not an enjoyable experience by the way---people willingly ask for dilation checks??).  She wasn't able to tell if I was dilated or not though.  Turns out I have a "very posterior cervix" and she wasn't able to reach around baby's head to get to it.  On the plus side, baby is very very low.  If baby doesn't arrive this week, I'm pretty sure I'll be getting an NST next week just to check in on him.  They say they usually don't induce until 42 weeks, but I can be induced at 41 weeks (next week) if I want.  I'm not the biggest fan of induction though, so we'll just pray baby decides to make his arrival voluntarily.  

Looking forward to:  My 41 week appointment next Monday.  Unless baby decides to arrive before then of course.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

39 weeks

Pregnancy/Baby Stats:

How far along: 39 weeks

How big is baby:  Feeling quite big these days! 

Total weight gain: 30 lbs

Stretch marks:  Nope. Thank you lotion and apparently good genetics.  

Best moment of the week:  Celebrating hubby's birthday!  Of course his birthday happened to be on his 13-hr day, so I barely got to see him, but I got to make him a nice dinner and chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake dessert that he tells me was wonderful.  :)

Gender:  Little man.

Movement: Well, it's official. My little man's a break dancer.  I can't believe I have no stretch marks.  Seriously, he's been shoving his foot and booty out FAR lately.  And he's recently discovered my rib cage.  Ouch ouch ouch. 

Have you started to show yet:  Much more than I'd like in fact.  But apparently still measuring pretty small according to the doctor.  

Belly button:  Awkward outie. 

Mood:  Happy and excited for baby's arrival.  Tired and achey from all things pregnancy.

What I miss: Feeling like a human and not a ticking time bomb.  Seriously people, baby will come when he comes.  I promise I won't keep it a secret.  *sigh*  Perhaps pregnancy has made me more moody than I thought.  Just a reminder for everyone though:  my due date is just an ESTIMATE.  Nothing concrete.  I promise he's coming people.  :)

Achy-My body has been hurting a lot more lately.  Not terribly bad, but my whole pelvis and stomach are done with this pregnancy business.  It seriously feels like I'm carrying around a bowling ball on my front.  The whole area is just sore.  Hubby tells me it's gotta weigh more than a bowling ball.  Thanks for that hun.   

Nesting-Is this a real symptom?  I've been doing laundry and cleaning like crazy.  Not to mention there was a day this week that I baked cookies...and muffins...AND whole wheat biscuits.  All in one day.  Just so I could freeze some stuff.  And another day I organized, did laundry, dusted the whole apartment, vacuumed, made freezer pizza crust, and multiple snacks. Ay yi yi I'm running out of things to do in my small apartment.  Honestly, I can only rearrange baby's dresser clothes so many times.  Any experienced mamas have suggestions to keep me busy while I anxiously wait for baby??  

Tired-I'm SOOO restless at nights now.  I get my best sleep from 5am-8:30am. Anything before 5am is mostly just tossing and turning these days.  Oh, and I've upgraded from sleeping with 3 pillows to 4 or 5.  Yep, our queen bed now accommodates hubby, me, and my 4 or 5 pillows. Two pillows behind my head, one between my legs, one behind my back, and one tucked under my belly/between my arms.  It's a miracle we all fit in one bed.        

Sciatic Pain-Still happening.  I've come to terms with the fact that there's not much I can do to avoid it.  I've just been stretching a lot to help relieve it and I change positions as needed.  Can't wait til this symptom in particular goes away.  

Signs of labor:  Had some major cramping/contractions the other day, but nothing really tell-tale since then.  At the doctor yesterday, the midwife said everything is looking good with baby and me.  They'll let me go to 41 weeks before they begin doing NSTs and monitoring me more closely.  And they'll let me go to 42 weeks before inducing me (which I'm praying doesn't happen).  

Looking forward to:  Baby's arrival! And my 40 week appointment next Monday. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

spinach power muffins

I have had a slight obsession with spinach lately.  I've been eating it nonstop.  Seriously, it's SO healthy for you and SO easy to incorporate into almost anything.  In our house, I put it in our pasta, on our pizza, in our quesadillas, and anywhere else I can sneak it in.  

My current favorite things to put spinach in are muffins and smoothies.  I made these muffins yesterday for the first time and have a feeling I'll be making them again...soon.  Very soon. 
They were so simple to make, and they are absolutely delicious.  
You'd never even know there was spinach in them....wellll, except for the fact that they're green.  But taste wise?  Mmmm mmm delicious!

I modified a recipe I found on pinterest.
So here it is:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 c. white sugar
2 tbsp. oil (I used vegetable oil)
1/8 c. milk (I used 1%)
a splash of lemon juice
a splash of vanilla extract
1 medium banana
1-2 c. of baby spinach leaves (I used about 2 cups)
1/4 c. chopped almonds


-Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin with muffin liners.  
-Mash banana in a medium-sized bowl.  
-In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
-In the same bowl as the banana, add the sugar and egg and combine thoroughly.  Once combined, add oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. 
-Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine thoroughly.  
-In a food processor (or blender), blend the spinach leaves until they are very fine.  Add to the batter and stir to combine.  
-In a food processor, blender, or just by hand, grind/chop the almonds to a texture/consistency that you like.  Add half the ground almonds to the batter and stir to combine.  
-Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and garnish the tops with the remaining chopped almond pieces.  
-Bake 20-25 mins at 350F. 
-Enjoy!  I found them equally delicious warm and fresh from the oven and at room temperature the next day.  I actually made some of these to freeze so I can have a healthy treat later.  

Are there any ways you secretly add a kick of health to your recipes?  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

38 weeks

Pregnancy/Baby Stats:

How far along: 38 weeks

How big is baby:  BIG BIG BIG! Ready to come OUT!

Total weight gain: 27 lbs

Stretch marks:  So far I've still avoided any stretch marks.  Yahooooo!

Best moment of the week:  I've just loved having this last bit of time to spend with just hubby.  Of course he's much busier with school now, but we still find time to relax with each other and enjoy our last bit of time as just the two of us. 

Gender:  Boy oh boy, oh boy.

Movement: Lots of squirms, wiggles, kicks, and jabs.  Most days I love it.  Other poor ribs could use a bit of a break.  Can't wait to hold my squirming baby though.  

Have you started to show yet:  Definitely so.  

Belly button:  Outie.  Dumb...

Mood:  Very happy!  But also getting a little stir crazy.  Maybe just because I've been extra tired lately.

What I miss: My body being my own.  

Heartburn-Nothing terribly series, but still not very fun.  I mostly only get it from tomatoes and tomato-based things (sauce, etc).  So while I've been avoiding tomatoes like no other, I occasionally still get it from other acidic foods as well.

Tired-Still sleeping 8-10 hours a night, but it's gotten a lot more restless.  Between getting up to pee every two hours or so, I've just been tossing and turning a lot more recently.   

Sciatic Pain-Getting much worse!  I talked to my midwife about it and she said a lot of it is because of my pelvis shifting.  She suggested doing some cat and cow stretches when it happens to see if I can take some pressure off of the nerve.  It's helping a little, but I still get hit with the pain out of nowhere sometimes.  

Signs of labor:  At my last appointment my midwife told me that baby is head down and VERY low!  Both hubby and I have definitely been able to tell that our little guy has dropped down.  His movements are a lot lower than usual.  We're hoping this means he's getting ready to make his debut into the world.  I've had some contractions and other pains, but nothing too crazy.  My midwife tells me my body is doing everything it should be to prep itself for labor though.  

Looking forward to:  Our 39 week midwife appointment next Monday and baby's arrival!  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

bakin' up a storm

Lately I've been spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen. 
One, because I love baking and cooking.
And two, because I've had a lot of extra time on my hands lately.
With hubby back in school and working, I'm just hanging out until baby makes his arrival.

I've enjoyed doing weekly meal planning and making the occasional treat every week.  
This past week, I made mochi (a Japanese dessert) for the first time.
We took it to an international potluck that we went to at hubby's professor's house last weekend.
The recipe was SO easy to make and made about 75 pieces.  
I will definitely be adding it to my potluck recipe collection.  
I'll post the recipe soon if anyone wants to try and make their own mochi at home.

I've also been trying out different homemade bread recipes.
Yes, store bread is convenient, but there is just something so wonderful about biting into a piece of warm, homemade goodness.
So far I've tried out two different recipes, both using loaf pans.
I just want a really good homemade wheat bread recipe that I can make in my pans.
Don't get me wrong, both the recipes I've tried so far have been delicious, but I've had some trouble getting them to rise properly.  
I want a really lofty bread that will be good for sandwiches.  
Feel free to send recipe suggestions my way.

And in the mean time, I'll enjoy a nice warm slice of bread topped with wonderful honey butter.