Saturday, June 29, 2013

5 years!!!!

Yesterday was our 5 year anniversary! 
It's so fun to think back to that day and remember the joy, nerves and love that surrounded it. I was so excited to marry him and I am so filled with JOY that I did.

I think sometimes when you marry so young it's almost like you finish growing up together, like our lives have literally fused together as one. Seeing him as a dad now makes my heart seriously swell when I watch him kiss her or overhear him telling her how much he loves her! sigh!
We decided that since we are about to have baby #2 (eee!) we needed at least a little getaway! So our plan was to escape to Tahoe and leave Jules with my parents (overnight for the first time too!)
But once we started looking at places we realized that we just can't bring ourselves to pay $110 for the MOTEL 6 simply because it's June and peak season. So this may sound completely lame! But here's what we did and had so much fun haha!
 We dropped Jules off with my family and went out to a nice dinner -- Fats -- my absolute favorite. Jeremy had a list of all these really nice places but the 8 months pregnant person won that one and we ate our hearts out haha. 
Then we decided we could hurry and make it to World War Z.................ok............not my exact idea of an anniversary movie, but it was actually really good. And really really intense lol. 

We then walked around town and I was pretty devastated when we got to the cupcake place and they were closed :( But a girl was putting the trash out so Jeremy asked her if there were any cupcakes she could sell us  LOL (obviously I must have wanted them badly!) She ran inside and came out with a box of 2 amazing cupcakes and just gave them to us!!!!! 

We enjoyed coffee, cupcakes and live music. It is crazy how different you look at things once you are parents. We had so much fun not having to rush back for anything and staying out "late" haha.
The lame part of the story is then we went home ! But ya know what, we saved hundreds on that lol! And it was about the best thing ever to SLEEP ALL NIGHT and especially to sleep in as LONNNNNG as we wanted oh my gosh! Again, nothing like having a toddler or children to make you appreciate these small things! 

We took this picture on our way to breakfast so we would always remember what our "yard" progress looked like on our 5 year anniversary and me being almost due!

We had a huge amazing breakfast and then went to yard sales hehe, another thing we love to do but never can with Jules cause she hates getting in and out of the car a million times just for 2 seconds somewhere. 
Anyways, that was our fun "getaway" and we had so much fun!!! We both feel so refreshed and ready for baby boy, in a few weeks! 
I love this man! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Stuffed Bell Peppers -- Easy meal!

Strangely I have never made stuffed bell peppers before but they were super easy and really good!! Of course if you are actually making these for company or planning ahead (what?) you could buy specific ingredients to make them even better. But for us they were the perfect side for a weeknight dinner full of stuff we had in our fridge :) 

I started by cutting them in half length wise.......while the other way (where you cut just the top off) is really cute and acts as a "cup" it was just too much for one person. I also like this direction because it's more pepper to filling ratio. 
Clean the insides out and put aside. I decided to try one red pepper and one green, I think orange or yellow would be great but they are always more expensive (someone explain this to me sometime mmmkay?) I liked the red because it became sweeter and the green was a little too bitter but it is up to your preferences! 

This picture is so "un-bloggy" and messy but ya know what, this is life haha! chopping up things as fast as you can before you toddler empties her milk on your foot or you burn something (because of course you're multi-tasking!) So for these I chopped up 
--1 white onion
--Grape Tomatoes
--Left over grilled corn on the cob
--Tofu (for mine only of course :) 
-- Left over cooked wild rice [TIP if you cook your wild rice in chicken stock it will always taste 1000x better!]

I sauteed the onions until softened and slightly caramelized along with chopped garlic, salt, pepper and the tofu. 
I then mixed the ingredients all together along with some shredded jack/cheddar cheese and filled each pepper.

Line your pan with foil and arrange the peppers, then cover with foil and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes

After 25 or so minutes sprinkle more cheese on top and place back in the oven till it's slightly browned. Yes I had to take the foil out from underneath because I ran out and needed it to cover them :) :) 

MMmmmmm We had it with steak and a great salad with dill dressing! Love! 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What to CONSIDER when Giving Birth -- Your Options

I don't love writing on issues where people have such strong feelings that it turns into one side being WRONG and the other RIGHT. I feel like issues around birth and how women give birth tends to spur something like that on. And once I started thinking about this I realized there is so much and too much to write about so today all I am gonna do is present you with options when you go to deliver your baby! I am going to write several follow up posts about how to prepare for natural delivery, pregnancy nutrition, choosing care, etc.

Something that has made me want to write this isn't to push my opinion regarding birth or to make women get defensive about the options they've taken, but rather about encouraging urging women to look into all their options before they go into delivery. Don't assume everything will just work out or go to plan and be prepared and educated on what steps you may need to take. You still have the option to make your own choices but I really want to urge you to make yourself at lest knowledgeable about common drugs used, inductions, c-sections, tub deliveries, midwives and doulas, birthing centers, and much more before you give birth. I feel like in any other areas of life when it comes to our health we get second opinions, we research, we prepare. But somehow when it comes to the birth of our child we decide we'll just deal with it when the time comes and do whatever feels right -- which can make for a stressful and scary delivery.

Of course you need to adapt to whatever happens during your delivery. But being prepared can make all the difference for you and your baby when and if the time comes.

If you notice, people often don't describe their birth experience in a pleasant tone. I think what saddens me most is women in the US are buying into this lie that we "can't" do this -- we have somehow come to believe that birth is actually not possible without medical help. Birth for many people is seen as a scary, if not downright traumatizing experience for which they want to forget. Every birth is different, and many don't go as expected and I am SO thankful for medical intervention---BUT most birth's of healthy women with healthy pregnancies are going to go well when not intervened with.

And if prepared for can seriously be the one of the most empowering experience of your life.

Your birth experience will effect your life in some way, so the question is how!? Remember always that the goal and objective is a healthy child and mom, but I also believe that the journey in how you get there is very important.

Ok so this is a helicopter view, very generic "HERE are you options" when delivering your baby!!

Hospital Birth

I am big believer in the making women feel that they are in control of their births and what is happening to them in terms of decisions being made, environment, etc. So it needs to be where they feel most comfortable. For many women, a hospital is that place! And that's great!

Things I like about hospitals for delivery --
1. You are very close to lots of medical intervention if needed/wanted (i.e. high risk pregnancies, premature, baby, complicated pregnancies, etc)
2. You stay several days after delivery for monitoring and...well....clean up! I think this is really nice and I appreciate all the monitoring of my baby where I know some people find it invasive.
3. You have a supportive staff of well trained individuals around you. Please remember doctors and nurses are very well trained and not the enemy, work with them.

Things that I have an issue with in a hospital setting.
1. You are much more likely to have some kind intervention. Whether this is pushed by the Dr. or asked for by you (more on this later :)
2. Many hospitals have policies they must stick by that may or may not work for you. This is simply the way it is due to law suits, safety and so many other issues. One of these would be the 24 hr rule after your water breaks (they need to induce you, admit you, etc) since they can't risk any kind of infection for you they'd rather induce you then have an issue later on. Most hospitals also tend to whisk the baby away right when they come out (because they need to be wiped down and weighed minutes after birth why?!?! LOL) as well as preforming routine tests.
3. Unfortunately most hospitals don't offer midwives or doulas or tubs. I cannot stress how important these things were for me and many others I know. Dr's are wonderful especially if you really like your Dr. But I cannot explain the amazing importance of having that presence of women around you who are walking you through every contraction and step of the way. I was shocked at my need for them and now can't imagine it without that support.
We have to understand that from the Dr's perspective c-sections are full proof. They can have that baby out  and healthy in a matter of minutes whereas "who knows" if they continue to wait on the body's natural course. Again, again, again...I know this is necessary at so many times but I also don't think it's by chance that c-section rates go up near the end of the day and before weekends. And part of me can't blame them -- they are surgeons and can guarantee a healthy baby very quickly. But the full impact of what is being robbed from the mom in that moment is not being understood yet in my opinion. If this is a course your Dr. is wanting to take ask the necessary questions and make sure to look at all other options before consenting.
{So} Things to consider if you are planning to deliver in a hospital by choice or necessity.
Make your birth plan. 
Think about the birth you want IN DETAIL and even if you are high risk you can STILL make a birth plan and be strict about keeping them to it. Make it your space. If you want the lights dimmed or you want to refuse an IV talk with your Dr. about it. Make sure they know you want that baby on your chest immediately and you want to be notified of everything they are doing. You and your spouse need to be the ones constantly reminding them of your wants and wishes because they will most likely revert back to their policy. While they may get frustrated that you are doing your "own thing" and sometimes make you feel like you don't "know" all the important things they do just remember it's your baby and your birth and you can question and ask everything. Refuse to be bullied! This also goes for drugs during delivery....if you are going into a hospital wanting to do a natural birth with no drugs I highly recommend putting that in your birth plan and specifying for them to not offer them to you. Be that annoying person and print out copies of your birth plan for everyone in the room so that you feel comfortable and ready to go :)

Birth Center

It's important to make the distinction between a free-standing birth center and a birth center inside a hospital. So first, a birth center inside a hospital might be a great route for you to go if you find yourself in the middle of these two worlds.
Things to keep in mind with this option:
1. They are a great option for still being "within" a hospital yet having that feel of a birth center. They usually have tubs, midwives, doulas and strongly encourage natural delivery.
2. Because they are still part of a hospital they traditionally need to still remain within their policies. Although at the birth center I delivered in they were slightly altered (i.e. they don't use IV's, they have a 48 hr rule when your water breaks, they let you go FAR longer past your due date, you can leave as soon as 12 hrs postpartum if wanted and cleared, etc). So if you're delivering in one check out their policies and again ASK LOTS OF questions.
For a free-standing birth center they are under no such restrictions. They often use the term "you're having a home birth just at my house." It's a great option if you are considering a home birth but would like to do the actual delivery in a more professional setting with they equipment, tubs, etc.
Things to keep in mind:
1. Remember that midwives are medically trained individuals and are more than capable of giving you the same if not better prenatal and delivery care than traditional OB's.
2. You will be delivering at "their house" but you will often be heading home 3-5 hours postpartum. So make sure to be ready to do your own postpartum care and have supplies for that ready at home. They often come the next day to check on you and baby.
3. Most free-standing birth centers have a relationship with the local hospital in case of a transfer being needed. My only recommendation would be to talk with your midwives and ask about their policies surrounding transfers, when they see a transfer needed, their rate of transfers, etc.

Birth center midwives offer so many things that you are unable to get in a hospital such as more detailed pre-natal care, LOTS of options during delivery to help minimize tearing such as oils, hot clothes, stretching, etc which they simply don't do in hospitals and you are commonly the only patient there delivering so you have their full attention :)
Things to consider is that many (not all!) midwives are very much "their way or the highway". They take great pride in their work as they should but if you find that you have issues with some of their views you need to talk with them. They are confident in their practice and sometimes I believe this can inhibit the need for you to be transferred or have a rare necessary intervention. So make sure you are comfortable with how and what they do.

Home Birth 

Exactly what it sounds like people! You are having your baby IN YOUR HOME! I have always loved the idea of this option but in the end have opted out of it although I have lots of friends who have had wonderful successful home births. In a home birth setting you will commonly go to your midwife for all your prenatal care and then once it's go time she comes to your house with all her equipment and sets up the tub and delivery area. Again what is so wonderful about midwives is they are constantly there with you. They aren't running in and out of the room or making you feel like "It's been too long with no progression". They realize labor takes time and they are with you the whole time but can also tell when intervention may be necessary.
Things to consider when having a home birth:
1. The same as a free-standing birth center -- drugs are NOT an option. They don't even carry them :) This means preparation on your end for pain management that are not drugs....such as water, massage, counter pressure, and other methods.
2. You may or may not be further from a hospital and it could increase your risk if you needed to be transferred.
3. In the rare circumstance where something goes very wrong very fast you are not usually within the time frame or distance of being able to get the medical intervention necessary. Although most midwives are VERY well trained and can sight a problem long before it becomes a medical emergency, it still happens.
Even the most home-birth advocate midwives don't recommend having a vbac at home -- just something to keep in mind :)

Closing thoughts that go in no category :)

I am becoming increasingly passionate about women taking responsibility for their birth experience. You might think that means I'm some natural no drugs nut who thinks nothing can ever go wrong! But seriously, I completely understand that every single birth is different and as a friend recently reminded me of -- women in our country are having babies later, in worse health (overweight being a huge one) and with a wide range of ethnicity and health issues births ARE seeing more interventions because they are necessary. However, I am also seeing a trend and shift towards even the healthiest of pregnant women becoming more distant from any part they should play in preparing for their birth. It is no one's job but yours to learn about birth! While you should and do trust your Dr. when they begin to tell you an intervention is needed if you have no knowledge of when and why it's actually needed you'll have to simply trust them. I can't tell you how many people I know who regret being induced simply because they were a week late and their Dr. said it was time. While in certain circumstances induction is very necessary, a baby being a week late is not uncommon! Remember that dates are all recorded on the traditional 28 day cycle and if you vary from that you really need to hold to that "due date" with a loose grip. When the body is ready and the baby is ready labor happens so well -- rather than things trying to be forced and the baby being essentially taken out before it's ready.

And as much as I'm tempted to write on why I believe a no drug delivery to be best, I will save that along with tips to and methods on natural delivery for a later post :)

So here are lots of options and things to consider as your prepare for a BIG day -- the day you meet your child. You want a healthy delivery and a healthy baby no matter what -- but I hope you'll be a prepared and knowledgeable mommy who is able to have a good birth experience and feel that feeling when you grab your baby onto your chest! The best ever! And no matter what---after all that, YOU DID IT!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fresh n' Healthy Quinoa Salad

I love making quinoa salads especially in summer because they are a great side dish that isn't heavy and so starchy. I love quinoa --  Me and everyone else right now right? :) It's the new "healthy grain". we are all becoming obsessed with.

For this salad (which is my most common go to one) I make sure to make the quinoa at least a few hours before otherwise it's too hot to work with.
You can basically throw anything in there and it'll work but I love
-- Black Beans (just rinse from a can)
--Cilantro (chopped)
--Corn (fresh is always best but frozen or canned would do)
--Red Onion (chopped)
--Cherry Tomatoes 

You can seriously add anything to this salad like bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, anything!
Then I mix a little "sauce" of sorts to blend it all together consisting of
Lime juice, cumin powder, salt, pepper, olive oil........and more lime juice! LOL

Mix it all together, throw on a paper plate and head to the pool! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tips for Dealing with a Complicated Pregnancy/Delivery

Hello lovely readers!
 Today you have the privilege of hearing from my friend Landon over at Living the Dream. I am excited about her guest post and feel that there are lots of helpful tips for those of you struggling through your pregnancy. Enjoy! 

Hi all - I'm Landon and I blog over at Living the Dream.  
I'm so excited to be guest blogging over here at All In A Day's Work!  
My sweet son Jackson just turned one in May.  He is my miracle baby!  

You see, I had an incredibly complicated pregnancy.  Shortly after I found I out I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  My HG was so severe, that I was taken out of work and put on bed rest when I was 2 months pregnant.  I was given one hour a day that I was allowed to be on my feet.  In addition to HG, I also had Gestational Diabetes, blood clots, restless leg syndrome, blood poisoning, heart problems, insanely bad heart burn, migraines and chronic dehydration.  I had a PICC (permanent IV) line placed in my arm at 6 months and then I was in the hospital twice a week for IV hydration.  I swear, I was in the hospital more than I was home!

My delivery wasn't any less complicated (oh how I wish it was!).  At 36 weeks, my placenta abrupted and I started hemorrhaging.  My husband and I went straight to L&D and immediately everyone went to work.  I was started on pitocin, had an epidural line placed in case they needed an extra line for an emergency C-section (I ended up using the epidural line for an epidural), and had amniotic fluid pumped in (because I had none at this point).  Every time I contracted, my son's heart rate fell.  While I was able to deliver vaginally, it was only because my son's head was vacuumed out.  He entire little body was wrapped in the umbilical cord, and he was grey, not breathing, and not moving when he was born.  After a 4 day stay in the NICU, he was able to come home.  (If you want to read my full birth story, it's posted on my blog here.)

And that's why I'm hear today, ladies (and any gents who might be reading).  I'm here to offer my tips on how to deal with a complicated pregnancy and/or delivery.  
So in no particular order, here we go!
  • Here's the down and dirty stuff first: If you have restless leg, do not take benadryl, using heating pads, massage (a spouse can really help with this) and warm baths.  If you have heart burn, do not exceed the recommended dosage of TUMS.  If you have trouble staying hydrated, do not drink 0 calorie beverages.  If you have trouble with nausea/vomiting, you can try: vitamin B12, sour hard candies, soda crackers, ginger, and clear liquids (none of these worked for me, but I'll pass the suggestions along!).  Brush your teeth and floss while you're pregnant.  If the doctor says you need more iron, listen.  If the pre-natal vitamin makes you nauseous, try taking it with milk.  If you have trouble sleeping, you can take Tylenol PM or melatonin.  If you have trouble with adhesives, use paper tape and gauze.  
  • Find a doctor who listens to you.  My doctor really didn't know what to do with me - he had never had a patient with such severe HG.  He didn't always listen to me when I told him what was going on with my body, what I was feeling, experiencing, worried about, etc.  I had to fight pretty hard to get some of the things that I needed - and when you're already exhausted, that's not what you want to spend your energy doing.  Fortunately, my L&D doctors and nurses were awesome and totally listened, so I felt completely taken care of.
  • Find an advocate.  This might be your spouse.  This might be your mom, sister, or best friend.  But find someone who can fight with you and for you.  My husband was my greatest advocate and I don't know what I would've done if he hadn't been by my side.  He was also my son's advocate and would encourage me to make good choices for the benefit of my son. 
  • Use the InternetThis one might sound silly, especially if you're like me and look up every symptom you're experiencing and come to the conclusion that you're basically dying.  But what I recommend is using the internet to connect with other women who have had rough pregnancies.  There were two women in particular who I connected with via Facebook who were literally answers to prayers.  Both of them had had really difficult pregnancies and could empathize with me.  Also, I was on bed rest so I really couldn't do much as far as being social was concerned.  Use the internet to communicate with your friends and family so you don't feel isolated.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions.  While we're told "Because I said so!" from a young age, don't let your doctor say this to you!  If your doctor suggests or recommends something that you don't understand or agree with, ask more questions.
  • Be vocal.  Your doctors and/or nurses don't know how you're feeling or thinking unless you tell them.  They're not mind readers.  You have a say in what is happening during your pregnancy and delivery.  Speak up!  Don't be rude, but open your mouth.  If you don't, you can't be mad if you get steamrolled.  (Sorry, maybe that's a little harsh - but it's true!)
  • That all being said, Doctors and nurses went to school for a long time and aren't stupid.  Don't treat them like the enemy.  They want a positive outcome for you and your baby, just like you do.  Be kind and show trust and faith.
  • Remember there is an end.  Your pregnancy won't last indefinitely.  Neither will your labor.  There will be and ending and it will be awesome!
  • Focus on the positive.  Make a list of all your blessings.  Make a list of the people you love.  Make a list of your successes.  Whatever you can focus on that is positive, do it!
  • Let go and let God.  There are some things you cannot change.  You can't go back and change your C-section to a vaginal.  You can't change your difficult pregnancy to an easy one.  Honestly, while I was pregnant and during my labor, I honestly didn't think I would live to see my son.  Truly.  There were days, hours, minutes even when I would say to God, "I can't do this anymore!  I'm giving this all to you because I simply cannot do this."  And, God was there every time to help carry my burden.  Because He loves you and your baby more than you can comprehend.  He wants the best for both of you.  So let Him lead.  Trust that he sees a greater ending than you can imagine.  Pray alone.  Pray with your spouse.  Pray out loud.  Pray often.  
You will get through this.
You are strong.
You are capable. 
And, if you need a sympathetic ear, email me at landon.wheeler{at}gmail{dot}com.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

32 weeks !!!! yea!

Apparently getting out my chalkboard and camera once a week is too much for me lol. So since I haven't updated in almost 4 weeks and my chalkboard seems to now be Juliana's coloring station I resorted to this....pj picture with my phone and Jules handing me her toy :) :) 

How far along - 32 weeks tomorrow. Aren't I smart to get a morning shot? All us pregos out there know that this belly is double the size by nighttime and usually supported under a pillow on the couch or being used as a prop for my bowl of watermelon :) 

Weight Gain - 19 lbs oh my :( 

Morning sickness/nausea -NONE!

Physical changes - ummmm the front of me sticks out REALLY far. Poor Juliana can't sit in my lap for stories anymore and she gets so upset but it hurts! 

Pain - Varicose veins :( They are seeming to get increasingly worse, so far bulged out on my right leg I am having trouble exercising, walking, etc. LAME! I wish something would help!  ALSO if AnYONE out there has had RLS while pregnant please tell me anything that worked for you. Trust me I have been trying everything. I exercise, I don't sit down basically till bedtime, I put ice and heat on them, and I'm starting to take powdered magnesium and calcium. I feel terrible for all of you that have had this too! It's the worst! 

Sleep - I have been SO tired this week! And unfortunately my 1 yr old is STILL waking up crying for no reason every night :( 

Stretchmarks - The one on my belly from last time is now getting re-stretched haha

Maternity clothes - yep yep yep, although in this ridiculous weather as soon as I'm home it's pj shorts and tank top all the way!

Food cravings/aversions - I want to eat dark chocolate ALL THE TIME. 3 days this week I've eaten so much of it in the afternoon I can't eat dinner I feel so sick......that's when you know you have a problem lol

Eating/drinking - mmmmm cold refreshing smoothies! Just made a spinach and banana one with ice!

Boy or Girl - My sweet boy :) 

Lowlights of the week - I've been frustrated the past few days at the gym because I feel like I get there and just turn around and leave everything is so uncomfortable and difficult for me right now arg! I think I am officially at the point where I will just be lap swimming till the end..........or laying on a tube in the pool lol

Highlights of the week - Going to our first Bradley Class!!!!!!!! I cannot recommend a class like this enough, if you want to know where we are going email me or comment it is so good. Even though I've already had one natural child birth I SO wish I had this info before, and we've only been to one class! 

Anything to add - yes..........would someone please remind the weather that 106 in the beginning of June is not ok ! And remind me not to be due in August ever again :) That's all !