35.5 Week OB Check

This weekend, we met with our Doula to talk about where we are at, what our goals are for labor, and activities/exercises that will help me to physically (and mentally) feel a little better.

One thing that I decided was that I have to let go of my labor with Charlotte. What I mean by that is that I need to stop comparing and (over)analyzing everything. My pregnancy and labor with C were completely independent of my pregnancy and upcoming labor with this babe.

In starting this process, it was time to write up a big long list of questions for my doc to make sure we were on the same page. Which also meant I needed to bake. I can’t grill her without simultaneously bribing, right?

In case you were wondering what I baked, only the BEST brownies ever. They were so tasty. I found this recipe on Epicurious. It was a little weird, but really easy and simple clean up. Not to mention, the best damn brownies ever.

Now, back to my appointment. My stats were all good…

Weight Gain: 1.2 lbs over the past 2 weeks, although it feels like more… for a total weight gain of 29 lbs. Considering by the end of my last pregnancy, I had gained something like 55lbs, I’m feeling pretty damn good. About my weight gain that is… physically, I’m feeling quite clunky.

Heart Rate: 99 bpm (I swear, my heart rate increases when I’m there. I can feel it. I don’t know if I get nervous or what, but the nurse said not to worry!)

BP: 98/70

Baby’s Heart Rate: 135 bpm

Belly: Measuring a perfect 35 cm

Now, my questions:

  1. What happens at 40 weeks? A: It’s really no different than first pregnancy at 40 weeks.

  2. I would like to push back cervical checks and start at earliest at 38 weeks, but ideally at 40. A: I don’t see a reason why we couldn’t wait until 39 weeks if that’s what you want. At that point, we can strip your membranes if you’d like. **NOTE: my intention here is to avoid the negativity, stress and anxiety that my weekly cervical checks brought in my first pregnancy. Ultimately, they’re completely unnecessary (it’s true, there’s NO medical purpose for them at this point) and don’t actually indicate labor.
  3. What types of things would prevent me from having a VBAC? A: The same things that would prevent you from having one the first time… if the baby is breech, etc. Also, I might call it sooner if we get into a situation similar to your first.
  4. Was Charlotte facing the correct way (posterior or face down)? A: I’ll have to check your file. I’ll let you know at your next appointment.
  5. Will monitoring be different this time? A: Yes. We will have to do continuous monitoring due to the increased risk. Sometimes we need an internal monitor if the outside monitor is not working; however, you don’t have the typical body type for this.
  6. Are there any minimum amount of cervical checks that need to take place during labor? We’d like as few as possible. (Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I HATED these during labor.) A: We will check only as-needed.
  7. Our doula recommended that we call the hospital on our way in and ask for a nurse who is interested in or enjoys working with unmedicated VBAC’s. Do you think that’s a good idea? A: Yes! That’s a great idea.

So, there you have it! Our 35.5 week appointment! Next appointment is in two weeks, at which point I will get my Group B Strep test. Joy.

 

The Toddler Food Battle

   

  

 While Charlotte was sick over the past two plus weeks, we became VERY lenient at mealtimes. And by that, I mean that Charlotte pretty much survived on Cherrios, oranges and cheese sticks.

One thing we’ve said from the beginning was that we were going to be strict when it came to food. No making seperate meals, no giving unhealthy options because it’s easier, etc. Well, let’s just say, that’s not the standard we were operating under these past couple of weeks.

SO, since Sunday, we’ve really been trying to get back to a good place with Charlotte. We started making her veggie shakes again, we started trying to feed her more than just her favorites, etc.

Well, last night we had turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash for dinner. First of all, it was delicious. Here’s the recipe if you’re interested. Second, INSTANTLY C was not having it. She just kept saying (and crying) no and signing that she wanted to eat.

Despite the difficulty that is watching your child cry and say she’s hungry, we stayed strong. We told her that if she wants to eat, this is what’s for dinner. This game literally went on for nearly 30-45 minutes (or so it felt) until finally Mark said, “Ok, I’m going to count to three and if you don’t want it, that’s fine. But I’m going to take you out of your chair.”

1… 2… 3…

Of course, she didn’t budge.

Mark grabbed her out of her chair and once in his arms, she pointed to the bowl of spaghetti squash and meatballs. Mark looked at me like, “should I let her have this??” I nodded.

And just like that, Charlotte ate the ENTIRE bowl and asked for more.

Unfortunately, we had already eaten the rest of it… so we started giving her other stuff. In total, Charlotte ate:

  • One turkey meatball and 1/3 cup of spaghetti squash with sauce
  • One piece of toast with cinnamon
  • 1 large bowl of cottage cheese (apx 3/4 cup)
  • Apx 1/2 cup of yogurt
  • 5-10 strawberries
  • 1-2 apple slices
  • 1.75 cheese sticks
  • Veggie shake (beets, etc)

Despite the fact that during the whole (VERY LONG) experience, one jar of salsa was spilled on the ground, my favorite little dip bowl was broken (and more red sauce was flung around the kitchen), and Charlotte technically only started eating after we said dinner was done, I’m going to call that one a win for the parents!

Charlotte’s Lunch was Bigger Than Mine

She ate ALL of this plus a meatball, a zucchini spear and a potato!

I swear, I’m not exaggerating. The tiny one ate 2 chicken Apple meatballs, 5.5 Rosemary fingerling potatoes, and 5 giant spears of steamed zucchini (aka over half a large zucchini)… I had a salad.

Clearly she gets her love of food from Mark and I, because this girl can literally take down a meal.

As for the recipes…

 

Chicken meatballs

I cheated with the meatballs. I bought 1 lb of ground Apple chicken sausage from the outpost (made with all whole food ingredients) and added…

1 shredded zucchini (gotta make sure this chickidee gets her veggies)

1/2 – 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

I mixed it all up and rolled into 1″ balls

Cook on a lined baking sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees

 

Steamed Zucchini

I just cut however zucchinis I’m cooking in half and then into quarters lengthwise

Boil about an inch of water, plop zucchini in your steamer basket over the boiling pot of water, cover and let steam for about 8-10 minutes.

DONE! And she LOVES them…

 

Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes

Again, talk about simple…

1 bag of fingerling potatoes washed

Toss with:

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Pinches of Rosemary

Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes

Beet Red Lips

Charlotte has clearly been taking style tips from Taylor Swift with that red pout…

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Baby’s first lipstick in a perfect shade of beet red… Which also coincides with Charlotte’s first taste of beets & potatoes.

Beet & Potato Mash Recipe
1 lb red beets (this amounted to one decent sized beet for me)
1 russet potato

1) preheat oven to 375 deg F
2) wash beet then put beet in a baking dish (I used a glass dish) and add water so it comes up about a half inch
3) cover baking dish with tin foil
4) use a fork to pierce potato
5) put potato on baking sheet (I lined mine with tin foil because I’m lazy and it reduces clean up)
6) stick the baking sheet (potato) and the baking dish (beet) in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes (I set my timer for 50 minutes, but was putting C down for a nap when the timer went off. I probably had it in there for 60 minutes. Potato was a bit dry, but it wasn’t a big deal.)
7) remove from oven once nice and tender. Let cool a bit.
8) peel the skin off of both the potato and beet
9) chop the potato and put it in the blender with enough liquid to get to desired consistency (I used coconut milk and water, but you can use breastmilk, too)
10) chop the beet and put it in the blender with enough liquid to get to desired consistency (I used reserved liquid from baking, but you can use water or breastmilk)
11) If you’re into “plating” your baby’s food all fancy-like, you can swirl the beet and potato. It looks awesome (according to the photo in my recipe book)… But who has time or energy for that? I just mixed the two together and voila!
12) freeze leftovers in cubes for up to 3 months

Ps: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the coconut milk in the potatoes. They got sticky. But, all in all, it was delicious. Remember, beets stain!

Baby Snacks

Our streak of good eating has continued. Charlotte is doing SO well! This past weekend, I made her red lentils and brown rice “soup” (it’s pretty thick) and I made lamb.

Before I share the recipes, I’ll preface by saying that I’ve been looking for food-based sources of iron for C to ensure she’s getting enough, as she has not been eating any sort of iron-enriched cereal.

I did a lot of research and decided I didn’t want to give her the iron drops and instead would make sure to incorporate a good amount of iron into her diet. With all of her crazy food/poop drama, she was tested at 6 months for anemia… The results came back totally normal, which leaves me with little concern.

Anyway, I haven’t been ready to introduce beef because of her many other allergies, so after the chicken success, I decided to give lamb a try. It’s another great iron source.

I’ve literally never cooked lamb in my life, but was ready for the challenge. Thankfully, hubs suggested cooking it in the slow cooker so it’d be nice and soft, which worked perfectly.

I didn’t have a recipe, but here’s what I did…

1 big container of low sodium organic vegetable broth
.5 sweet potato chopped
1 onion slices
1 stalk celery sliced
.5-.7 lbs free range lamb shoulder (bone-in)

I literally just tossed everything in the crock pot and cooked it on low for 5 hours. It was perfect.

I pulled out the meat, got rid of the bones, shredded the meat into small pieces and saved the meat and sweet potatoes in some gravy for C and used the broth and other veggies for soup For Mark and I.

The meat is great on its own – Charlie loves it – but it’s also been mixing perfectly with the red lentil and brown rice soup I made. I just mix the two together and she goes wild.

The soup recipe is from my baby and toddler cook book.

Here is the recipe… FYI, I added about 1/2 cup of water once done cooking and the froze it in tiny portions. As I’ve been reheating, I add a little more water or broth from the lamb. It’s tasty!

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C has also been loving millet cinnamon raisin toast, apples (of course), sweet potato puffs, and just about anything and everything.

Guess who else has been living Charlotte’s new diet??

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Solid Food Success

We have had our first streak of positive solid food experiences since we initially started. The streak has only been a couple of days, but Charlotte is doing so well.

Yesterday I let her try my wheat- and dairy-free, rice and millet cinnamon raisin toast. She LOVED it and ate almost an entire slice.

She’s also continued loving apples. Her favorite seems to be when we give her the core to chew on. And before you go crazy about the seeds, we leave about a half inch of Apple meat on all sides and watch her the entire time.

She also enjoys the cooked apples I made for her. All I did was cut the meat off of the apple core and steam it for a good 10 or 20 minutes until it was nice and tender. Then, I scooped the apple meat out of the skin. I saved some apple wedges and made applesauce with the rest.

For the applesauce, I just blended apples with some of the water I used to steam the apples. I’ve been putting the applesauce in a Squooshi (a refillable pouch). It’s working pretty well, although she usually will only eat about a tbsp to two from this.

This morning, Charlotte ate one steamed mini carrot, a quarter of an apple slice and half a piece of toast! Yay!

Not to mention the fact that she had a GREAT poop today! Yeah, I said it. I’m excited about her pastey textured poo that looked a normal color with no mucous or blood!

My mom brought us chicken from her homemade chicken soup today. Maybe we’ll give it a whirl!

Food is fun today.

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Making Valentines with Homemade Baby Paint

After a week away, we had an awesome Valentine’s Day at home… in our PJ’s. We really wanted to do something fun with Charlie… but didn’t want to leave the house (WI winter in a nutshell). SO, we decided to make Valentines with Charlie. This is our first attempt at art with our tiny lady, and I have to say, it was pretty successful. She had a blast.

Recognizing that Charlotte sticks just about EVERYTHING in her mouth, I decided that making a food-based paint would be best. I didn’t want anything with sugar or chemicals, so here’s what I did…

HOMEMADE BABY PAINT

1 cup corn starch
1/2 cup cold water
1-2 cups hot water
1-3 TBSP red beet

I’m sure there is some sort of science to this, but my first attempt failed miserably. My suggestion is to just go slow adding the water. Just put your cornstarch into a bowl. Add the 1/2 cup of cold water and stir. Then slowly add the hot water until it’s just thicker than you’d like it. Then, put the corn starch mixture in a blender with the beet. I used our Ninja Kitchen System. The beet will add liquid to your mixture, so you might need to add more corn starch. I just played around with it until I got the right texture.

This recipe will give you pink paint. I”m sure you coulkd use spinach for green, carrot for orange, blueberries for purple or blue… Just play around with different foods.

Here are the pics…

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DISCLAIMER: This stuff is messy.

 

It’s Been One Week Since I’ve Had Sweet Potato or Zucchini

After a solid month of eating NOTHING but turkey, sweet potato, zucchini, squash, pear, avocado (added in after 2 weeks), olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary (added in after 2 weeks), I am FINALLY eating real food again. I’m still unable to eat wheat, eggs, dairy (ugh… it’s been over 2 months since I’ve sunk my teeth into a delicious piece of cheese), nuts, or soy. BUT, let me tell you, I really don’t even mind those exclusions at this point.

I’ll get back to the whole food thing in a minute, but the REAL news here is that we went to the pediatric GI doctor and while he believes Charlotte has a protein allergy, he is not too concerned with it (despite her green poops and the random blood streaks we’ve seen). In fact, he said that green poops are a total non-issue. He said that the benefit of me eating a more well-rounded diet far outweighs the benefits of the total elimination diet. So, that’s good news!

Since I’ve welcomed all of the brightly colored, delicious fruits and veggies back into my life (in addition to rice/corn/other non-banned food items), Charlotte’s poo seems to be looking pretty good still. We have had a couple of random poops that look like they could have blood, but other than that, the color seems good and Charlotte seems great.

The doc also gave us the okay to start solids. In fact, he said that she looked more than ready! And right he was.

As for my diet, I’ve been enjoying healthy food like crazy these days. Mark has been on this 21-day detox, so our meals work pretty well together. He can’t have salt or sugar or oil… or a lot of things, but generally speaking, my meals are pretty adjustable to fit his diet.

I’ve been using this cookbook from Real Simple and I absolutely love it (thanks, Kate!). The recipes are simple with clean ingredients, and the food is flavorful and tasty. So far, I’ve cooked Asian Beef & Cabbage Salad (I substituted ground turkey for the beef and used 2 TBPS of olive oil instead of 4 TBSP of canola, I also added a little more rice vinegar) and Salmon Tostadas (I cooked the salmon in 3/4 TBSP of coconut oil, instead of serving the beans/corn/lime separately, I combined all of them and added tomatoes and cayenne pepper to make a salsa… it was awesome). I’m planning to tackle the chicken curry this week, too!

Since the start of my elimination diet, I’ve lost 7 lbs… so, I was able to keep my baby boo safe and drop those pesky last pregnancy pounds! And now, with my current diet, I feel like I’ll easily be able to maintain my weight loss and even better, I feel really great. Energetic, not bogged down by a full and uncomfortable stomach, just good all around.

The Pre-Due Date Weekend

This past weekend was the final pre-due date weekend… A little hard to believe, huh? Okay… A lotta hard to believe. We’ve had quite a few things on the to-do list, so I was anxious to get them done this weekend.

On Friday, we just lazed around the house and did a little laundry.

On Friday, we just lazed around the house and did a little laundry.

Saturday it was time to finally hang up my DIY pics in the nursery.

Saturday it was time to finally hang up my DIY pics in the nursery.

Hubs the handyman.

Hubs the handyman.

And voila! The pics and the AMAZING dream catcher my (very talented) cousin made for the little lady all hung up!

And voila! The pics and the AMAZING dream catcher my (very talented) cousin made for the little lady all hung up!

Admiring his handy work.

Admiring his handy work.

Toby was pumped for movie time and waited patiently for dropped popcorn.

Toby was pumped for movie time and waited patiently for dropped popcorn.

The next morning, I was giving my guy a little love and he grabbed the phone to capture our love. Sweet, beautiful love.

The next morning, I was giving my guy a little love and he grabbed the phone to capture our love. Sweet, beautiful love.

After some errands, it was off to visit Milly and her new pup.

After some errands, it was off to visit Milly and her new pup.

Cute face!

Cute face!

She's so cute.

She’s so cute.

Chin nibbles

Chin nibble

Snuggle puppy

Snuggle puppy

After Milly's, we went downtown to watch the World Cup game with some friends and have dinner. It was a great night out with friends.

After Milly’s, we went downtown to watch the World Cup game with some friends and have dinner. It was a great night out with friends.

Today I decided to whip up some egg mcmuffins to freeze for baby time. I used sandwich thins, baked eggs, turkey bacon, and rainbow chard sautéed with green garlic.

Today I decided to whip up some egg mcmuffins to freeze for baby time. I used sandwich thins, baked eggs, turkey bacon, and rainbow chard sautéed with green garlic.

To bake the eggs, set the oven to 350 degrees, crack eggs in greased muffin tin, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 or so minutes (or until set).

To bake the eggs, set the oven to 350 degrees, crack eggs in greased muffin tin, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 or so minutes (or until set).

Symptoms im actually feeling pretty great lately. Tired for sure, but in good spirits and just happy and excited. I don’t think the little babes has moved a bit,  but that’s okay. She will I’m sure. .. Eventually. And for now, I get to enjoy my sweet husband and animals. Our lovely doula stopped over this weekend to bring us a relaxation cd and the feta scope to help us determine whether the baby is breech or not. Supposedly, if you hear the heartbeat below the belly button, she is head down. If you hear the heartbeat above the belly button, she is head up. Wouldn’t you guess that we could hear her heartbeat RIgHT in line with my belly button. Oh this little girl. She’s toying with us. Regardless, it was fun to hear her…

Listening to my little gal's heart.

Listening to my little gal’s heart.

Dr. Hubs

Dr. Hubs

He's so cute.

He’s so cute.