Thursday, June 26, 2014

Friends Pregnant

I've been meaning to touch on this subject since that wonderful day way back in October.  We had just found out that we were pregnant, and it was bittersweet telling some of our best friends, since we knew they wanted more kids, too.

Well wouldn't you know it, God had a beautiful plan for this story, too.  Three days later, Betsy got a positive pregnancy test, too.  We were both overflowing with joy, in case you can't tell.

It's been such a crazy, fun, blessed experience being pregnant together.  Encouraging each other through the morning sickness, praying for each other in moments of uncertainty, celebrating clothes that no longer fit, sharing pregnancy cravings, knitting and crocheting baby blankets together, guessing which one of us will get to hold our babies first, and rejoicing together in every good appointment and ultrasound. 

A few months ago, I texted Betsy and mentioned that I was craving the Lettuce Wraps from one of our favorite restaurants in Pullman.  Just the mention triggered the same craving for her, and she ending up driving the half hour round trip to get a double order, and brought it to my house where we indulged our cravings together.  True friendship right there.  We shared a lot of similar cravings, as well as lack of desire to be in our kitchens at times. 

This last Saturday, our husbands spent the day with the kids, and Betsy and I took ourselves out for a day of pampering. We got coffee at Bucer's, and then got pedicures, which was actually a first for me.  Then we went out to lunch at Bloom, and hit the mall to get smoothies and shop for post-partum clothes.

Later, after a picnic dinner from the Co-op, I realized we needed a few pictures together.  I drug Betsy over to a brick wall, and handed Bryan my iPhone.  I was pleased with the results from our impromptu 60 second photo shoot.

I'm really excited about today.  Because Betsy is in labor.  I guess she beat me to it.  But that's okay, because I'm so excited that I get to hold her baby in a little while.  God has been so kind to us, and today is a day of great rejoicing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

39 Weeks

Now that this pregnancy is almost over, let me fill you in on how things have been going for the last four months.  What a roller coaster pregnancy can be.  The morning sickness was rough at first; I lost weight, and looked old and tired.  I was surprised how much the malnutrition and dehydration showed up on my face.  Then weeks 15 through 32 were pretty good, considering.  I actually had an appetite, gained weight, slept decently, and kept up with life. 

14 1/2 Weeks
19 Weeks

With each of my pregnancies, my babies have seemed more active.  Maybe because things are more elastic, and baby has more room to squirm around.  And with this pregnancy, my placenta is posterior, which means there isn't that extra cushioning against my belly that I had with the other girls.  Whatever the reasons, I've never seen this much movement so early in pregnancy.  This was a day before 22 weeks, and she weighed about a pound.

I've been fighting the migraines, despite my best efforts to follow my own advice. When I was safely into the third trimester, I agreed to try codeine. The first time I took it was good. It made me feel a little groggy, but drastically decreased the pain in my head. Then the second time I took it, my body decided it didn't like it. I started throwing up. I had started the day with coffee and cereal (and just happened to weigh myself, since I try to do that occasionally when I'm pregnant), and then promptly kept nothing down for the entire day. By 9 pm, I realized my body must be severely dehydrated, and told Bryan that we needed to do something. So for the first time in my life, I had IV fluids. As the beautiful saline dripped into my veins, I became less thirsty. It was glorious. I threw up a few more times, but was able to get some sleep that night. The next day around noon, it occurred to me to see what my weight was. I was seven pounds lighter than I'd been about 30 hours prior. And I'd been keeping things down for a while. That was a rough run.  I haven't touched codeine since, and even told my doctor to list it as an "allergy."  So I have good ol' hydrocodone that I've taken a couple of times now for migraines.  What a blessing to experience some relief after months of toughing out the pain.
Me: 19 weeks, 5 days.  Jessie: 39 weeks, 6 days.
27 Weeks
My other girls never really hurt me like this girl has in utero.  I have been surprised that her kicks and jabs have actually caused me to double over in pain.  She did something at about 32 weeks that made me gasp for breath and stop in my tracks and lean on whatever was available.  And then I was actually sore in that spot for a couple of days.  Crazy kiddo.  More recently, she just tries to stretch out, and actually makes my ribs sore!  I'd heard of such things happening, and now I can empathize.  

This was at 30 weeks.  It seems like a long video, but she did this for about an hour that night. 

34 Weeks.  Enjoying a "hot" day in May.

As the baby (and my belly) got bigger, I started developing some pretty decent pelvic and hip pain. Bones shifting and muscles pinching nerves and all that good stuff. I found myself mostly confined to bed or the couch, and increasingly frustrated with my limitations. I even swallowed my pride and rode one of those little electric carts around Walmart. One particularly rough day at about 33 weeks, I decided to see what insurance would cover for a chiropractor. I saw Dr. McKenzie, and was so impressed with his holistic approach and the moderate pain relief I experienced. I always feel selfish spending money just to relieve pain, but ohmygoodness, three chiropractor appointments and a deep tissue massage made me feel like a new woman. I went from basically being crippled to being able to complete basic household chores with no pain! This last week has been so wonderful compared to the previous month. I've actually been able to do normal "nesting" things, like painting a dresser for the baby, organizing my pantry, and doing some deep cleaning.

34 1/2 Weeks
37 1/2 Weeks

I posted the most recent photos a few days ago.

Besides the pain, occasional headache, not-so-great sleep, occasional nausea and random throwing up, and heartburn, this pregnancy is really going pretty well.  (I'm currently using nine pillows at night to create the perfect little nest of pseudo-comfort.)  Baby has been head down for weeks, and usually anterior (with her back against my belly), which is where we want her to be. My weight, fundal height, blood pressure, lab results, and baby's heart rate have all been great.  I think it's funny that my weight has been exactly the same at the beginning and end of all three pregnancies, despite all of the variations in detail.  Last week Dr. Minudri said he would be happy to deliver, even if he's not on call. The other doctors in his practice are great, but I've been particularly impressed with everything I've seen and heard about him specifically, and am really relieved to know he's willing to be there.  Even though I've done with whole labor and delivery thing twice already, mentally preparing to go to a hospital feels like totally new territory.

The cute little newborn clothes are washed and waiting. I've been having some nice little Braxton-Hicks contractions, and my body is showing little hints of preparing to have this baby.  So now we wait.  We're all ready.  Any day, Baby Girl.  We can't wait to meet you.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I can't wait to wrap her up in this, Chapter 3

I finished crocheting Baby's blanket yesterday.  Now we really are ready for her arrival.

And now I've made each of my daughters a baby blanket.  It's not fancy yarn, but I'm glad to have a little tradition that I can keep up with as I have less free time with each child.
Chloë's, Elaina's, and Baby Sister's.  I ran out of the lavender yarn about 15 stiches short of finishing the last row, so I just pulled it out.  So it's not perfectly symmetrical, which of course bugs those pesky OCD tendencies.  Oh well.  I don't think Baby Sister is going to care. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

38 Weeks

Mama, age 30, and 38 1/2 weeks pregnant.  Chloë, age 4, and Elaina, age 2.  Bryan took a few quick pictures yesterday, so now the full term baby bump has been documented.
It's fun looking at similar photos from almost 2 1/2 years ago.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fish Tacos

For Chelsea.  Because no one better understands a pregnancy craving than a pregnant lady.

I love fish tacos.  Easy, healthy, inexpensive, and delicious, these are a huge hit in my kitchen.  This seems to feed 4 adults, so adjust as necessary.

You'll need:
1 lb fish.  I use thawed formerly frozen tilapia, but any fish will work.
2-3 cups of finely shredded cabbage
Diced tomatoes
Corn tortillas

For the sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup mayo
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp minced capers

Lay fish fillets on a cookie sheet, sprinkle both sides with a few drop of lime juice, and a little cumin, chili powder, and salt.  Bake at 375 until done.  Tilapia only takes 12-15 minutes.  You can find recipes to batter and fry your fish, but I'm just as happy with the easy baked version, so that's what I do.  While the fish is baking, mix up the sauce and make the slaw.

To make the sauce, mix together sauce ingredients.  You can use more or less yogurt or mayo, and can always substitute sour cream if needed.  The capers aren't essential, but add a nice little undertone.  You can also add garlic, cayenne, or salt, depending on your preferences.

To make the slaw, mix about a third of the sauce with the shredded cabbage.  Add a few extra drops of lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt.

After the fish is done baking, use the warm oven to liven up the corn tortillas.  Grab as many as you think will be consumed (10 or so, maybe), and get them thoroughly wet.  Shake off excess water, and pop them in the oven (straight on the rack) for about 60 seconds.

Serve immediately.  I break up chunks of fish onto my tortillas, and then top with a hefty dollop of sauce, then the slaw, tomatoes, salsa and cilantro.  Pairs well with a Corona or margarita.  Enjoy!