Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby II Week 9: Time Traveling, Proven, Belly Bean

I was hoping I'd get to do this today, and I did! I went in for my first official appointment and second ultrasound and I got to time travel 5 days forward in my pregnancy! One minute I'm 8 weeks, 2 days and then suddenly I'm 9 weeks! So my new due date is March 31st, let the count down begin! No weight gained so far, though I have lost 2 pounds. I haven't been sick so this is probably from my workouts and eating as healthy as possible. My doctor said that it's ok to lose a little weight early in the pregnancy, so I'm not concerned. I'm still above my ideal weight so the less I gain the better!

My workouts are going great! I feel really good and am being very careful with my diet. I feel better on my runs than I did before I was pregnant, so I must be getting stronger. Still having a really hard time with meat, so getting in 80g of protein a day is a challenge. I've been eating chili (500 cal, 26g of protein) for lunch almost everyday. I've been making taco salads with ground turkey (200-250 cal, 22g protein), trying to pick healthy, low sodium soups (most around 200 cal, 15g protein), and some days I'll cheat and have a protein bar to boost my protein numbers for the day (320 cal, 32g protein, only 2 sugars). My doctor says that if I keep my sugar and carb low that I have a very good chance of avoiding gestational diabetes this time around, very encouraging news.

My OB and I discussed GD for quite sometime, but then I was quick to talk to him about our hopes for a natural birth this time around. Mainly, our goal is to avoid the GD which will take me out of the high risk pregnancy zone and allow us to worry less about going over our due date and needing an induction. I feel if we can just avoid an induction we will be fine. My doctor wants us to consider inducing before our EDD in case this is another big baby, but I let him know that is not what we want. I took this opportunity to ask him if the fact that I successfully birthed a 10 pound, 3 ounce baby vaginally means my chances that the OB I end up with (if it's not him) would be more comfortable letting me deliver another big baby were good. I know some OBs in my practice would not have allowed me to deliver Milo vaginally, so I am concerned that if I get one of those doctors this time, they will stay within their comfort zone and order a c/s. Well apparently I am what OBs refer to as "proven to 10 pounds." We know I can successfully birth a 3 month old, so I'm good. Huge weight lifted.

So here are some new pictures! The baby has a very strong heart beat. It's amazing how thrilled you can be with something that just looks like a lumpy bean, but we are. I took a belly picture so you can all see how big I am already. Let me remind you, I've lost weight! I haven't been sneaking burgers and shakes when you are all not looking (even if I would looooooove to!). My uterus is about the size of a small butternut squash, and my little belly bean is about the size of a grape. I can't believe how quickly I am approaching my 2nd trimester and the "safe zone." We have another ultrasound at 12 weeks to test for any problems the fetus may have, though it's very unlikely.






Saturday, August 21, 2010

Baby II Week 8: Ice Ice Baby

You know, I was really sure that my body had done every gross, unpleasant, or bizarre thing a body can do during pregnancy. I had just about every sucky side effect in the book (except varicose veins and hemorrhoids, sneaked out without them!). Not true my friends!

While preggo with Milo I was hot all the time. My feet felt like they were on fire like every night. It's amazing how something like blazing feet can really mess with your sanity. Want to reminisce? Fire feet blog can be found here.

Not this time though, I must be growing a little Eskimo because he or she prefers living in an igloo to a furnace. I'm crazy cold all the time. The girl who would have been quite satisfied spending all 9 months of her last pregnancy naked, is now bundled in hoodies (hood up in the house), socks, sweats, uggs AND a down comforter. With the heat on. In August! Pretty sure this baby is going to slide out on a sled.


However, I prefer being cold to burning up so as far as I'm concerned this is a welcome change from pregnancy one!

Not much else. Eating is still a struggle but I'm doing great at keeping my sugar and bad carbs low! This time last pregnancy I was getting smoothies almost daily and downing popsicles. Lots of sugar. Hopefully this low sugar thing helps sway my body away from gestational diabetes and towards a healthier pregnancy and the natural birth we hope for!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Something I Have to Do

Something I've been doing for a while is reading the blogs of mothers who have lost a child, usually a baby. I also read the stories and look at the pictures of people who have used NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep), a community of volunteer photographers who will photograph babies who are expected to not live long after birth or are stillborn. Eric doesn't know why I do it, and sometimes I don't either. I cry, sometimes really ugly crying, and it tears me apart but for some reason I keep doing it. Tonight as I sniffed through a blog I think I was able to finally explain it to Eric.

The way I see it is that if these women LIVED through the greatest tragedy that any woman will ever face, the LEAST I can do is to momentarily share in her pain. I know what I am feeling is nowhere near what she is, but I feel like I have to know about her story and her struggle. I feel that it's somehow wrong to just ignore them just because it's hard to hear. If they have the strength to live through and then even share their story, then I should have the strength to hear it. These are things that most people never want to think or worry about, but these stories are apart of life and I feel like the deserve to be heard.

So, I guess it can seem morbid or like it's unnecessary torture, but I feel like I have to know, not only so I can honor them and their story, but because I could just as easily be standing in their shoes, and I know I wouldn't want my difficult story swept under a rug.

Lactivist

I consider myself to be a laid back person, though I realize not many people would agree with me. I'm often aware of the irony that I strive to be relaxed, or to seem relaxed to others. Honestly even if I am in a heated discussion, chances are that inside I'm pretty peaceful no matter what. There's not much I care about enough to get really upset over. What you believe probably doesn't bother me as much as you think it does, because at the end of the day it doesn't affect me.

However, no matter how much I bite my tongue (I swear I do sometimes!) or look the other way or smile and nod or try to sound understanding... I'm still a hardcore lactivist. I have an extremely hard time with women who choose to not breastfeed. I am just as upset by that than mothers who smoke in front of their children or do drugs. I'm not comparing, I'm just sharing my feelings (and if you are pissed off by now, just save yourself the anger and stop reading). I will look at a woman telling me about her choice to not breastfeed (it hurt too much, it felt weird to me, I didn't like it, it was inconvenient) and I will tell myself I'm not going to judge, but the verdict is already in. To me not breastfeeding screams selfishness and nothing anyone has ever said has convinced me otherwise.

I want to know what these mothers are telling themselves to get passed the many facts we know about the benefits of breastfeeding. Are they not researching? Are they flat out ignoring the studies and statistics? Telling themselves the information is false or blown out of proportion? (And if you don't know the facts, PLEASE, ask me) And the so incredibly ironic thing is that I meet mothers who are actually worried about things like plastic bottles or tap water but they didn't think twice about not breastfeeding. I need Seth and Amy here because REALLY!?!? You are stressed out about white bread but you deprived your child of the most perfect source or nutrients on Earth and of the amazing bonding experience you two could have shared???

I try to be sensitive. I do. And trust me, my frustrations have NEVER extended to those women who desperately try to breastfeed their child and after trying everything, seeing lactation consultants, and after keeping at it for weeks and weeks on end eventually have to give up, or because of medical reasons never even have a choice in the matter. Honestly, hearing from the women who struggle, and sharing in their heartache makes me that much more frustrated with the women who don't try, or give it a few days, maybe a week or two.

I don't understand it. I almost don't want to, because every explanation I hear is worse than the next. I don't understanding having a child, and then flat out refusing to do what it best for him or her. I'm less surprised by the teen moms (watch 16 & Pregnant, I haven't seen any one of them become breastfeeders) but for the rest, there's just no excuse.

I always hope that women who choose to not breastfeed their first will reconsider for their next child. And even if anyone finds my attitude towards non-breastfeeders insensitive or judgmental, that's is really just me caring SO much that I turn into a bitch. That's what happens when Italians care, they get angry.

Though every moment of success was pure joy, I still struggled through breastfeeding my son. I'm sure there are many boob nazi's out there that would frown on me for "giving up" when Milo was 8 months old... and that's still a decision that saddens me. But I gave it everything I had, every day... and for a mother to choose to give any less just boggles my mind.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Crackhead of my Dreams


Today I woke up absolutely livid at Eric. Like I'm packing we're threw I hate you you've ruined my life forever!!!! kind of mad. Why? Because I dreamed he was addicted to cocaine and I have an extremely difficult time transitioning from dream life to real life.

This is not a terribly uncommon occurrence with me. I sometimes can't remember if I dreamed something happened, or if it actually did happen. Fortunately for my husband and our marriage, I realized quite quickly that this had just been another one of my really messed up dreams.

If you don't know my husband, he is the purest human on Earth. Like the kind your parents prayed you'd turn out to be, but you probably aren't. Never challenge him to a round of "I've Never," unless you are a nun, you will lose. Never smoked, never did drugs, never drank til his mid 20's, never had premarital sex, never stole anything (except once when he was really little, I think it was an eraser), is honest to a fault, and would definitely save you from a burning building (I, however, will not. Sorry). So him becoming an addicted to anything other than McDonald's is pretty low on my list of worries. Perhaps I've been naive.

I dreamed that we were in a lock-in (if you are not familiar with these, it's a church youth group event where everyone gets "locked-in" and there are games and a speaker and such) and we were on these huge stacks of workout mats, and Eric decides to do a couple lines, like it's no biggy. I flip out and call his parents (we are adults, I have Milo and am pregnant, so I don't get my logic) and tell them to come get him. They do and take him to some kind of rehab center. I visit him and ask if he's stopped and he answers by snorting another line and says he loves how much energy he has now and I should appreciate it. I'm livid, I'm packing... then I wake up. I basically woke at my most angry point so I joined the real world ready to fight. Thank God Eric was at work when I woke up otherwise I may have really confused both of us.

I'm very grateful that my husband does not do drugs, because I found out via dream today that I would not take it well. Phew.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sweet Potatoes Shouldn't Have This Much Control of My Evening

This is a whole blog about sweet potatoes. If you think that's stupid, don't read.

I'm a huge sweet potato fan. I like them just microwaved, cut up and roasted with olive oil, smashed, french fried, baked... I really don't think there is any wrong way to eat a sweet potato, though I'm not a big fan of the buttery mess people make of them with marshmallows, I'll still eat them like that too.

So the other day I decided to pick some up on my produce run. Now, to me it seems that sweet potatoes look different a lot of the time. They can be totally huge, small, skinny, super dark or a little lighter. So I didn't think anything of the fact that these ones were a bit lighter than what I was used to. No biggie. I got them home and began peeling them and was shocked to find that they were white inside! WTF are these? I start searching my memory making SURE the sign said sweet potato and not rutabaga or something. I jumped online and searched "white sweet potatoes."

So in case you haven't picked up on this yet, the yams vs sweet potatoes situation has always confused me. Sometimes the sign or packaging says yams, sometimes sweet potatoes, and it looks like the same thing to me. Sometimes on Thanksgiving someone asks for the yams to be passed, sometimes they say sweet potatoes. I don't get it, but I think there are bigger issues to ponder in my spare time so I've never thought much of it. Turns out there is a difference, kinda.

I know some of you may find this shocking, but the way this goes is that apparently while all yams are a type of sweet potato, not all sweet potatoes are these delicious orangy delight we've come to love. And yes now that I see them next to each other, I see how ridiculously different they are. I was a little shocked by all this new information but everything I read said they could be cooking in about the same manner so I moved forward with my chopping and seasoning.

Lies. They do not taste the same. They taste disgusting, not sweet, and are kinda dry and almost waxy. I horrible excuse for a potato. Fortunately, Eric is sick and can't taste anything so he made no objections, and Milo doesn't know any better do he ate them as well. I was very unhappy about it though, I think yams should separate themselves fully from sweet potatoes and only go by yams, or sweetER potatoes. I'd be all over that.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baby II Week 7: Eat Your Dinner, There's Starving Embryos in Africa!

During my 9 months off from baby growing, I convinced myself that with my next pregnancy I would be better disciplined when it came to nutrition. When I was pregnant with Milo it was hard to get enough protein because I was so picky about what I'd eat. I also never felt like cooking, so we ate out a lot. I tried to eat healthy, but with a diet very high in fruit, peanut butter, and bread (whole grain, but still) I know that I consumed more sugar than I should have. It's not like I was eating cake and soda, but my diet was not balanced and part of me feels like that had a hand in the gestational diabetes I developed at 31 weeks. So this time I told myself that I would get plenty of veggies and protein, and try to limit my fruit and bread intake. I'm strong. I'm in control! It's not like the embryo is an evil little being controlling my body as if I'm a robot!

So turns out... there is an evil little being controlling my body as if I'm a robot. Sigh. Within 9 days of discovering we were pregnant I went off milk, eggs, chicken, yogurt, my frozen weight watchers meals that I looove, most of the soups that I enjoy, and string cheese. The smell/texture of all these now disgust me... it's so frustrating! I basically want to eat plums and bread. I don't even like plums!

It takes me a little time to realize that I've gone off something. I don't have to try it, I just begin to avoid it. It's like... ideas are being put in my head: "no, not the cheese, cheese bad, peaches good" and like a zombie I bypass the cheese and eat a 4th peach, leaving the cheese lonely and moldy. Sadly, for 2 dozen eggs and a half gallon of milk, by the time I realized I was avoiding them, it was too late.


Oh the guilt! I haaate wasting food! Throwing away all those eggs and all that milk that had gone bad really upset me, and them! Just look at their sad faces! I'm adjusting what I purchase to avoid causing this much waste again, but I am still forcing myself to eat. Tonight I choked down 1/2 a chicken breast, a very serious accomplishment. I'm sure the little being inside me was screaming in horror. Better learn now baby, mommy always wins!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Persistence Pays



The Gentry family has had a very on again, off again love affair with cloth. It's been rough, going from pockets to prefolds to wool to fitteds. Milo is a pee machine, the likes of which the cloth world has never seen before and may never see again. Many times he would pee through his diaper before I was done snapping it, we started with the absolute cutest newborn pockets ever... it was hard to give them up!

My heart was broken, I loved my ultra adorable newborn stash, but we reluctantly turned to disposables.

I couldn't give up forever though. My cloth diapering friends would talk about how much they were saving and I would be jealous and try again. After researching and asking other mothers of super soakers, we went with wool. I bought one of each style: a wrap, shorties, longies, and a soaker. I used both prefolds (those diapers you have to fold and pin) and fitteds (diapers that look like disposables and snap closed) under the wool and they worked great. Not a single leak! But after having to wash and lanolize them once, I gave up on them. I couldn't lanolize right so they kept leaking. Back to sposies.

Then Amy posted a cloth blog and shared how much she had saved and I again became motivated to make cloth work. I had already bought an impressive lot of fitteds and decided to begin using covers instead of wool. So much better! We use prefolds too, but mostly fitteds. My stash isn't nearly as cute as the newborn stash we started out with, but it works. And when we begin using them with our next little one, which should be right away since these fitteds fit babies 8 pounds to 36 pounds, it'll all be money in the bank, not in the trash.


So in all I have logged a total of 6 months as a cloth diaperer. That's $270 that has not gone into our Diaper Genie, and I'd say I've saved at least $30 by using cloth wipes so let's make that an even $300. My current stash cost me around $200 (my wipes and prefolds were all free), so that is $100 that I've made! That extra load of laundry every week doesn't seem like such an inconvenience anymore!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Didn't We JUST Do This?

Yes!



And it was SO fun...



And you all found it SO fascinating...



That we are going to do it again!



Do what?





HAVE ANOTHER BABY!!!

And more importantly, blog about every amazing, disgusting, shocking and miraculous detail of it!

Yes it's true. On Wednesday, June 28th (Milo's 9 month birthday) I decided to take a pregnancy test just because I knew I'd be having a drink or two with three of the sisters previously known as Cheatham (Amy, Kylie, & Stacy) that night. It had only been a month since I had stopped breastfeeding, I hadn't had a period since January 09, and I had fertility issues in the past so I thought the chances I'd conceive on my first postpartum ovulation was unlikely.

But not impossible! I got one big fat positive, ran out of the bathroom and told Eric who asked if I took two (just like last time), my brother was over so he heard, I texted Amy a picture of my test, called my mom (she asked how it happened, why do people always ask that) and then my dad asked if it was going to be black (just like last time). I took another test for Eric.



So... we are thrilled (in case you couldn't tell). I had to endure five agonizing days of having no idea how far along I was. Fortunately I was able to go in on Monday and the ultrasound tech said I look like (based on the size of the yolk sac) I am 5 weeks. I've circled the yolk sac for you guys so you can all see how cute it is.



Awwww... ok it's not that exciting. It's not even an embryo yet, but we are still super stoked about it!

I was ALL excited to take a picture after I had lost all the weight I wanted to lose after having Milo, but I guess I'll be posting growing belly pics instead! At least the new baby will smooth out all the loose skin Milo left, no bikini's for me until I'm 6 months at least. Here is a picture of me 9 months postpartum, total of 52 pounds lost. The belly is just left over from Milo, I'm only 5 weeks along, I wish I could say it was baby!