Interesting Information on Inductions

Last night I was searching online for a “cervix dilation visualization” meditation and came across some interesting information on inductions. First, I should explain my original search… I’ve been thinking that maybe if I could find a guided meditation to help relax exactly the right muscles to promote dilation and effacement, it could help in my labor.

While I did NOT find anything of the sort, here’s an interesting article/chart I found regarding your inductability (probably not a word??)… aka: how induceable (I think I made up this word, too) you are. Why is this important? One of the risks with induction is that you’re forcing your body to labor before it’s naturally ready. But, I guess there is some score that you can be rated that takes into consideration a heap of factors and estimates how conducive your current conditions are for an induction. Your score should be 7 or above… here’s the score chart:

The chart and some background info...

The chart and some background info…

More information on calculating your score.

More information on calculating your score.

I thought this was interesting. Obviously, I do not want to be induced, but for some reason, this felt very useful so I thought I’d share.

 

Symptoms

Last night, Mark and his dad loaded up his dad’s car and went off to return the chair/ottoman. We were all VERY relieved to find out it was actually quite easy! SO, now we officially only have one chair again… well, we will have one chair… when it arrives in a bazillion weeks. Maybe I should start calling them every day to see if it’s ready yet? 🙂 Okay, maybe not.

In other news, I went through all of our 3-6 month hand-me-down clothes last night and decided what I want to keep. It’s CRAZY how many clothes this miniature child has. These piles are literally 3-6 month only…

Lost in a sea of tiny clothes.

Lost in a sea of tiny clothes.

And in case it wasn’t clear, I’m obsessed with my puppy. He’s just so cute…

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Delicious Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

I like to make a hot breakfast as often as possible, which usually just amounts to eggs on the weekend (and MAYBE once during the week). Anyway, after having delicious egg sandwiches (whole wheat toast, cottage cheese, avocado, spinach, tomato, and egg… mmmmm) on Saturday morning, I was left with only one egg for Sunday’s breakfast. SO, I decided to make some pancakes. I love trying new, healthy recipes and was super excited when I came across this recipe for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes.

Tasty & Healthy!!

Tasty & Healthy!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (123g) whole wheat flour (or white whole-wheat)
  • 1/2 cup (40g) quick oats (I didn’t have quick oats, so I threw 1/2 cup – or maybe a smidge over – in the food processor to grind it up smaller… cooks more similarly to the quick oats this way)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (or light brown)
  • 1/4 cup (63g) Greek yogurt (I used half greek, half plain organic)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup add-ins like chocolate chips or fruit, optional (we put fruit on top)

Directions:

Toss the flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Whisk in the brown sugar and yogurt until no lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla until combined.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix the batter or your pancakes will be tough and very dense. Add any mix-ins you prefer, but again – do not overmix the batter.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with cooking spray, oil, or butter.  Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the center or sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet again with nonstick spray for each pancake or batch of pancakes.

Keep pancakes warm in a preheated 200F degree oven until all pancakes are cooked. Serve immediately. Pancakes taste best right after they are made. Pancakes freeze well, up to 2 months.

We served our delicious pancakes with plain yogurt, fruit and syrup. DELISH! They’re denser than your average pancake, but honestly, so tasty.

 

Symptoms

I’m feeling a lot better today. Headache is gone, as is the stomach ache… my back is a bit achy today, but nothing unmanageable. My darling momma sent me home early from work yesterday, which was great. I was able to relax on the couch – while folding laundry and of course, keeping the machine running – and just take it easy. I actually went through my linen closet last night, and purged a bunch of old sheets/curtains/quilts/etc and reorganized the cabinet to make room for baby. It was pretty simple and TOTALLY rewarding. Plus, now we have even more crap to sell at our garage sale this summer.

In other news, my amazing friend Jenna has agreed to lend us her glider chair until our new one arrives. She was planning to sell hers, so she is VERY graciously going to put off selling it for a few months and maybe we’ll even try to sell it for her at our garage sale.

And speaking of the chair, send us positive vibes… tonight is “D Day” with the chair. If all goes as planned, Mark’s dad will be helping us to bring back the original chair tonight and beg them to accept our return for money (versus store credit). Keep you posted!

A Weekend of Progress, Backtracking & Love

My agenda for the weekend was as follows:

  • Do laundry (baby stuff – pretty much anything fabric, towels & linens, and our clothing)
  • Watch pediatrician bio videos online with hubs, either make a decision or decide who we want to meet with
  • Go through Mark’s boxes of crap (ie: every assignment he ever turned in while in college, Navy stuff, and other random stuff)
  • Clean out a cabinet in the kitchen for baby stuff
  • Get rid of some old stuff in basement storage
  • Decide what we want to sell in our garage sale this summer
  • Hang up picture frames (that came crashing down) and dream catcher in the nursery
  • Figure out and mount baby monitors
  • Go to BuyBuy Baby to return items and pick up items
  • Baby shower Thank You cards
  • Pack hospital bags (or at least start)
  • Review baby names

I think that might have been all. I know, that’s all, right?

Well, we actually made REALLY great progress on the list. We crossed off everything from the list except: laundry (while I probably did 10 loads, there is still more… the baby stuff is ENDLESS), hang up picture frames and dream catcher, baby shower thank you cards (hope to finish this week), and pack hospital bags. Not too shabby if you ask me!

In addition to our progress, we also took a mini step backwards. During our shopping trip to BuyBuy Baby, the hubs suggested we test out their gliders to see if any of them were more comfortable than ours. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but my husband is not a fan of the glider I selected. His complaints are valid, as the chair is definitely more suited for a petite person. It’s short and narrow… oh, and the engineer in him does not like the gliding mechanism… it does not meet his standards.

Anyway, of course, we sat down on a chair and totally fell in love with it. It was more spacious and SO plush and just lovely. So, as I fell more and more in love with the chair, Marky was on the phone with Babies R’ Us, trying to figure out if they would accept a furniture return… without the box.

Turns out, we are about 75% sure they will accept the chair back, SO, we decided to put our order in for the new chair (if they don’t accept our return, we can still cancel our order for the new chair… no harm done). The unfortunate part? It takes 12 weeks for the chair to come in… yes, the math is obvious… I’m due in 9 weeks, the chair won’t be ready for 12… hmmm. That’s 3 weeks sans glider. Not ideal, but ultimately, it was a sacrifice we decided to make. AND, with the 20% off BuyBuy Baby Coupon and our store credit from returns, the chair only cost us $479! Not too shabby.

Hopefully they’ll accept our return this week. Bye, bye chair…

The original chair all wrapped up, compliments of my OCD husband :)

The original chair all wrapped up, compliments of my OCD husband 🙂

I can’t find the exact chair we bought online, but here’s a very similar one…

Our Chair: Little Castle Serenity Glider & Ottoman in Crushed Silver (the photo above looks pretty dang similar... minus the color... ours is a light grey).

Our Chair: Little Castle Serenity Glider & Ottoman in Crushed Silver (the photo above looks pretty dang similar… minus the color… ours is a light grey).

As for the love portion of the weekend… despite all the productivity, I had a really good weekend with my hubs. And definitely a much-needed one. With all the craziness at his work lately, I had been feeling a little lonely and was definitely missing him, so it was really nice to spend two solid days just the two of us. And despite the fact that we weren’t doing anything more than baby-prep chores, we had a lot of fun. I’m a lucky girl to be so in love with such a great guy.

Symptoms

I feel like absolute crap today. I don’t know if it’s something I ate or just some weird bug, but my stomach has been totally off all day and I have a splitting headache. I am counting down the seconds until I can put on my sweats and curl up at home. Today is just not a good health day for me. Hopefully with ample sleep and relaxation tonight, I will be back in action tomorrow.

I’m thinking a bath is mandatory tonight. I was having such bad back pain this weekend, so after rubbing my back a bit, my hubs drew me a bath, lit a candle for me and put on a nice meditation CD. It was heavenly to say the least and I can’t wait to repeat it.

Also, to soothe that back pain, I had my first prenatal massage on Saturday… and wow. I need to go back for more ASAP. It was SO nice and really helped me to survive. My back was hurting quite a bit leading up to the appointment. The massage lady suggested bi-weekly massages to aide in delivery and help ease pain / promote relaxation. Good idea, huh? She wasn’t willing to pay for it… oh well!

Did I Mention that I Peed on Myself?

Yes… I peed on myself. In my recap of yesterday’s doctor’s visit, I was so distracted by my weight gain, I forgot to mention that my belly has officially gotten so large that I can no longer find my lady parts… SO, when I went to pee in the cup – as I do at each appointment – I missed. I tried very hard to move my belly with one hand in order to get a view of where exactly to hold the cup, but ended up having to “go with my gut” a bit and give it a guess! Well, turns out my guess was wrong, because I literally peed all over my hand.

Oy.

In other news, today is officially my Work Wife, Katie’s, last day. To say the least, I am not pleased with her departure. Not because of the added work, but because she forced me to allow work friends into my world and now I rely on her for daily entertainment. I swear I used to be able to go to work, get my stuff done and leave without too much interaction… now I expect a full chat session daily and a fun pal to bitch about… well, just about anything to. Thank goodness for email. Less chatting, more emailing.

Symptoms

Last night I went to dinner with a girlfriend I met at Ideal Image. It’s a weird story, but she was actually the nurse removing my hair. Not a traditional way to meet a new friend, but I don’t really consider myself too traditional, so whatever. Anyway, we became friends because I swear she is my 4-day-younger – and much taller – doppelganger. We don’t look a thing alike, but our lives are SO parallel it’s scary. Here are some similarities… she is exactly 4 days younger, our husbands are both a year younger than us, they were both in the military, we got engaged at pretty much the exact same time… and personalities… we are very similar.

Anyway, somehow in the midst of both of us planning our weddings, we totally lost touch. Then, randomly, I saw a pin she had posted on Pinterest a couple weeks ago that was baby related… so I sent her a text and asked if she was pregnant. Now mind you, we had not spoken for probably just under two years… turns out, she is pregnant… with a girl… due 4 days after me! HOW RANDOM IS THAT?

So, last night, we had a hilarious dinner sharing in all the silly pregnancy woes. It was really a great time.

Being that we are both pregs, I was on my way home from dinner by 7:30 🙂 Yes, we met for dinner at 5:30. It was pretty awesome. When I got home, I was somehow super productive. I did two loads of baby laundry, put things away, purged some items, set up the baby monitors with my hubs, and so on. The negative? I didn’t get in bed until after 11 pm. SO, yet again, I’m totally drained. I definitely need to sleep more.

On an even more random note, I’ve been pretty emotional these past few days/weeks. Mark has been so busy with work, so even when he’s home, he’s sitting at the table doing work. Or going through the motions of helping me with something, but his head is totally in his work. While I feel really bad that he’s so stressed, the selfish part of me is also feeling pretty neglected/lonely/etc. I miss my husband. He said he’s going to completely let go of work this weekend, so hopefully we can enjoy each other a bit.

I’ve Gained 26 Pounds… And Counting

I just had my regular doctor’s visit and holy smokes… I was shocked when I stepped on that scale. While I only gained 1.5-2 pounds last month, I gained 5 lbs in the past 2 two weeks, pushing my grand total to 26 pounds gained. Ugh…

Despite the fact that my doctor is not concerned even a little, I can’t help but feel a little bad about how high that number is getting. I will admit that with all the family in town, we did a lot of eating out, which translates into not-so-healthy eating. BUT, for the most part, we eat really well and I’ve still been working out. I think I really just need to buckle down. Even when I go out to eat, I need to be sure to pick healthy options. Oy.

Why couldn’t I be one of those people who gain like 16 lbs? I would have really appreciated that. Oh well I guess.

Between that and getting in a fight with my parents this morning – always so fun – I was just about in tears at the doctor’s office. I think the moral of the story is that I need to avoid mean people and scales. That will likely help.

 

Symptoms

Besides the shocking weight gain, things are looking good. My big ole’ Buddah belly is measuring at about 31 cm, which is perfect. You’re supposed to measure in centimeters the number of weeks you are… ie: I am 31 weeks and my belly is 31 cm.

In more fun news, we’ve officially received most of our packages in the mail from our big Kohl’s purchase (and maybe a couple others). This is what we came home to last night:

Just a few packages!

Just a few packages!

Take that, Christmas!

Take that, Christmas!

The packages contained TONS of 65% off goodies (I love having friends that work at cool places), but the best were obviously the baby monitor and stroller! The baby monitor is currently being charged, so we weren’t able to play too much, but the stroller is put together and even got a little usage!

Baby Toby testing out the new ride.

Baby Toby testing out the new ride.

Oy. I can't handle it... he's just SO cute.

Oy. I can’t handle it… he’s just SO cute.

 

Baby Photos

I am a total photo person, and as such, have been thinking a lot about newborn photos and the very cute and fun “month by month” photos once our baby arrives. In terms of professional photos, I did a LOT of researching and contacting and ended up finding a company called, Pics by Nic, thanks to my friend, Katie, and another friend from college. Her photos are adorable and she is SO inexpensive, it’s amazing.

Most of the quotes I had been getting were about $350-450 JUST for a newborn photo shoot. That was absolutely not an option for me. Nicole, the owner/photographer with Pics by Nic, has a “first year of life” package that includes a newborn, 3-month, 6-month, 9-month, 12-month and fall pumpkin photo shoot all for… wait for it… $375! That’s about $60/photo session! Pretty awesome, huh?

Here are some of her photos…

Tiny baby boop. Pics by Nic.

Tiny baby boop. Pics by Nic.

How cute is that little face?? Pics by Nic.

How cute is that little face?? Pics by Nic.

Sleeping monkey. Pics by Nic.

Sleeping monkey. Pics by Nic.

Wrinkly baby boo. Pics by Nic.

Wrinkly baby boo. Pics by Nic.

Chubby cheeks. Pics by Nic.

Chubby cheeks. Pics by Nic.

Oy. I love her pics. So cute, huh?

Anyway, the other thing I’ve been thinking about regarding photos is the “month by month” photos that I’ll take at home. I’ve found a bunch of cute options and really think I want to somehow incorporate Toby the Wonder Pup. Any opinions on which style you think is best (ie: using the little blocks – see below, or the onesies with the month sticker)??? Help me decide!

Month blocks from Etsy...

Month blocks from Etsy…

More month blocks.

More month blocks.

I was thinking I could do something like this, but instead of a stuffed animal, I could have Toby next to her.

I was thinking I could do something like this, but instead of a stuffed animal, I could have Toby next to her.

Some other stuffed animal examples.

Some other stuffed animal examples.

Here is one with a chalkboard that's kind of cute.

Here is one with a chalkboard that’s kind of cute.

Baby on a chair... I think he or she has the month stickers.

Baby on a chair… I think he or she has the month stickers.

This is super cute with a chalkboard wall... but who has a chalkboard wall? (We used to, but not in our current house.)

This is super cute with a chalkboard wall… but who has a chalkboard wall? (We used to, but not in our current house.)

This one is super cute... uses balloons to mark the number of months the baby is. Cute, huh?

This one is super cute… uses balloons to mark the number of months the baby is. Cute, huh?

Chair and a chalkboard... another cute one.

Chair and a chalkboard… another cute one.

This feels like it takes too many props... but it's cute!

This feels like it takes too many props… but it’s cute!

So, thoughts??

Symptoms

Again, I’m feeling pretty damn tired. I’m starting to think that it has very little to do with how much sleep I get and more to do with the fact that I’m pregnant. Imagine that! Regardless, I keep on keepin’ on 🙂

Last night I went to the baseball game with a few friends. We technically got the tickets through my work, but it wasn’t too much of a work event. As we were walking out of the game, a random stranger said to me, “You need to get to the hospital immediately!” Well, screw you, dude! I do not think I look THAT big. Anyway, here are a few pictures from the game…

The gang in a giant glove... an obvious must-have photo!

The gang in a giant glove… an obvious must-have photo!

Me & the hubs! He's so cute.

Me & the hubs! He’s so cute.

Ashley & I posing with Bernie Brewer! Check out that big, round belly!

Ashley & I posing with Bernie Brewer! Check out that big, round belly!

Also, check out Toby’s new haircut… such a stud muffin.

My sweet pumpkin!

My sweet pumpkin!

That Whole Birthing Thing Looks Hard…

Last night we had our first birthing class. As I mentioned yesterday, the class was part one of a two-part class with our hospital, and we also have a two-part, 8-hour class with our Doula.

So, what did we learn? Oy. Well, the gist is that it’s potentially a VERY long process that is going to be a TOTAL mind/body challenge. I’m trying to stay very positive about the whole experience. From what I’ve read, going in with a positive outlook can really change your experience.  But, I’m not going to lie… I teared up three times during the 18-minute video of one couple’s natural birth / labor story. It’s just so intense. I feel like I just need to keep reminding myself of these key points…

  1. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world powering through the same experience at any given time.
  2. It will end and it will end with the birth of our sweet girl. It’s not a pain or ailment that will last forever. Hopefully I’ll be able to hold onto this perspective.
  3. Throughout the entire labor, I will be working WITH my baby and with my body to deliver our girl.
  4. I can do this. Women’s bodies are made for this. It’s the most natural thing in the world. So much so that once your baby is born and placed on you skin-to-skin, a mother’s body will change temperature to help regulate the baby’s temp. For example, if the baby’s temperature is too cold, the momma’s will warm up to warm the baby. That’s how natural the process is.
  5. Like all the other women who have powered through this same experience, I am a superhero.

Symptoms

I’m feeling a touch sleep-deprived and my back is quite achy. Other than those two things, I’m feeling pretty good! I have it in my mind that we’re so close to the finish line, and am hoping that this mindset doesn’t turn the final 9.5 weeks into what feels like 20. As of right now, I’m thankful for the time we have to finish all the little things that still need to get done… BUT, if she were to come early, I’m also quite confident that we’d be okay!

Have I mentioned that I’m SO excited to meet our girl?

 

 

Holy Packed Weekend

Ya know those weekends where you need a weekend from the weekend? Yup! That’s where I’m at. Although, I can’t complain too much because it’s in the 70’s and sunny today. Too bad i’m back at work.

Anyway, the crazily busy weekend…

Friday night we went to Mark’s dad and step mom’s house for a nice dinner and to hang out with Mark’s sister and her girlies. They played with Toby the Wonderpup and we all brainstormed baby names. No conclusion was made except for the fact that I have a lot of name rules and names I just don’t like. The struggle continues.

On Saturday morning, I went with my mom and sis for manis. I chose a nice, easter-egg-inspired look.

On Saturday morning, I went with my mom and sis for manis. I chose a nice, easter-egg-inspired look.

Post-mani, it was time to head to my brother-in-law's work to go through THREE PALLETS worth of baby gear...

Post-mani, it was time to head to my brother-in-law’s work to go through THREE PALLETS worth of baby gear…

First pallet coming off the shelf...

First pallet coming off the shelf…

HOLY BABY GEAR!

HOLY BABY GEAR!

The guards.

The guards.

More gear coming down...

More gear coming down…

Mini bassinet!

Mini bassinet!

Our official tester...

Our official tester…

Gabby approved!

Gabby approved!

Once we packed up about a pallet and half's worth of gear into the conversion van, it was time to bring it to the house and unload...

Once we packed up about a pallet and half’s worth of gear into the conversion van, it was time to bring it to the house and unload…

Baby gear takes over.

Baby gear takes over.

That's a lot of stuff...

That’s a lot of stuff…

And of course, once it was in the house, we had to unload! Thank goodness for my sis, who helped me weed through a bazillion boxes of baby clothes!

And of course, once it was in the house, we had to unload! Thank goodness for my sis, who helped me weed through a bazillion boxes of baby clothes!

Once my sister and her fam left, we had our second set of visitors for the day! Mark's sis and nieces came for a slumber party. NOTE: These faces are a direct result of the captivating movie, The Last Unicorn.

Once my sister and her fam left, we had our second set of visitors for the day! Mark’s sis and nieces came for a slumber party. NOTE: These faces are a direct result of the captivating movie, The Last Unicorn.

Sunday morning snuggles before the kids and Mark headed to the zoo and I went to make returns and purchases at BuyBuy Baby!

Sunday morning snuggles before the kids and Mark headed to the zoo and I went to make returns and purchases at BuyBuy Baby!

That evening, Marky and I went to dinner at my mom and dad’s house and then we all (Mark, his sister, the nieces, and I) met up again at our house for more play time and organization time.

This morning, the girls helped Mark give Toby an impromptu foot cleaning in the sink. It's still a bit muddy outside.

This morning, the girls helped Mark give Toby an impromptu foot cleaning in the sink. It’s still a bit muddy outside.

Marky, Babyboo and I with Emily this morning!

Marky, Babyboo and I with Emily this morning!

Symptoms

I’ve been feeling pretty great. The little babe has been in the head-down position for the past couple weeks; however, yesterday she seemed to have flipped into the breech position. HOWEVER… this morning it really seemed to feel like she was flipping. I’m not 100% sure at this point. I know she still has a couple weeks before it actually matters, but even from a comfort perspective, it’s way more comfortable when she’s head down. I don’t love those tiny feet tapping on my bladder.

Other than that, I’m pretty much all done with all the purchasing. I found some awesome nursing bras from Target that seem to fit really well. They’re supportive without being restrictive and have no wire. Here are the bras. I got the black and white polka dot one… because it’s adorable! I also picked up a couple of these nursing tanks. So, I think I’m pretty much set to pack my hospital bag this week.

Also, I think I mentioned last week that my AMAZING friend works for Kohl’s Corporate and was able to get us a SERIOUS discount on just about EVERYTHING left on our registry. Everything from swaddles and bibs to our stroller, baby monitors, diaper pail and hamper. And here’s the fun part… There happened to be a special going last week, so she got 65% off! Our total spent from $660 and total saved was around $930! Talk about a deal! We ordered 25 items ranging in price from $9.99 to $519.99 (full price). Woo! I love deals.

Needless to say, I will be running home from work daily to check for packages. SUCH excitement.

One more little tidbit… tonight we have our childbirthing class at the hospital. We are taking this class (6 hours total, split between two days) and a private class at our house with our Doula (8 hours total, split between two days). Hopefully we’ll learn a few things 🙂

 

30 Weeks… 3/4 of the Way Through! (April 18, 2014)

30 Weeks (April 18, 2014). I can't believe in 10 short weeks, this little lady nugget will be here! Guess we should probably get going on naming her, huh? As for the belly... it's definitely growing, as is she! She's about 15.7" and 3 lbs! Holy smokes... I remember when I thought an ounce was big. Can't wait to meet our little squirmer.

30 Weeks (April 18, 2014). I can’t believe in 10 short weeks, this little lady nugget will be here! Guess we should probably get going on naming her, huh? As for the belly… it’s definitely growing, as is she! She’s about 15.7″ and 3 lbs! Holy smokes… I remember when I thought an ounce was big. Can’t wait to meet our little squirmer.

Both animals tried to join!

Both animals tried to join!

Cuteness at work yesterday... that's Toby's, "you're eating something I want" face.

Cuteness at work yesterday… that’s Toby’s, “you’re eating something I want” face.

Toby rocking his baby sister's fedora. Looking adorable as ever...

Toby rocking his baby sister’s fedora. Looking adorable as ever…