Getting the most out of prenatal appointments

Do you ever feel like you wait in the waiting room for longer than your actual appointment? It is probably because you do… My appointments sometimes tend to feel like Wham.. BAM thank you Ma’am. Usually you check in at the front desk and wait for at least 15-20 minutes. Then you finally get called back and they ask you to pee in a cup the size of a shot glass. Really? I don’t know about ya’ll but I have a hard time aiming my pee these days. Plus, I can barely see where I am holding the cup! I usually get a splash in the cup and the rest on my hands and all over the cup. I always wipe it up because I feel bad for the nurse that has to dip the test strips in all the splattered urine cups of the pregos. Then comes the dreaded scale. I don’t know why I hate it so much because I weigh myself at home so I know how much I weigh, but I just hate it because it is always going up! Then you go to the room, they probably will do your blood pressure and then you wait again for your dr. or midwife. Sometimes this is quick and other times you are sitting there playing games on your phone for 20 minutes. Then they come in.. Ask if you are ok? Do you have any questions? Ok.. Let’s listen to the baby’s heartbeat, measure your belly.. Alright. See you in 4 weeks or 2 weeks (depending on how far along you are). You might think that coming this often is pointless, but believe it or not. A lot has just happened.

Urine TestingThey are looking for 2 things here. Sugar & Protein. The presence of protein in the urine can indicate preeclampsia (pregnancy induced high blood pressure) or a Urinary Tract Infection. The presence of sugar in the urine can be a sign of gestational diabetes or the start of gestational diabetes. Sometimes the presence of sugar can happen in pregnant women, but if it shows up twice they will likely send you for gestational diabetes testing earlier. This is the glucose screening test. This is when you have to fast for 12 hours, then drink the most disgustingly sugary drink you can imagine and have your blood drawn an hour later. This will monitor how your body processes sugar. Testing for gestational diabetes is important because it can cause a large baby that is at risk for birth injuries or a C-section. The baby is also at risk for health problems down the road.

Weight MonitoringWhy are they weighing you? This can also be an indicator of a serious problem. Sudden severe weight loss or gain can be a sign of a serious health condition in you or the baby. It can also be an indicator once again for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Low weight gain can indicate issues as well.

Belly MeasuringThis is called your fundal height. It should be (in cm) the same as how many weeks pregnant you are or + or – 2cm depending on the baby’s position. It can indicate whether the baby is growing enough or too much and if there is enough amniotic fluid. If they are concerned about your fundal height measurement they might send you for an ultrasound.

Fetal Heartbeat MonitoringThis is pretty self-explanatory. Clearly if the heartbeat is not within a normal range then there may be a problem.

Another way to get the most out of your appointments is to bring a list of questions or concerns. If you are having an issue or think something might be off now is the time to bring it up. You don’t want to get all the way to the parking lot and not bring up something that could be a serious issue. Most of the times my questions are nothing to be concerned about, but they usually can provide me with some advice. Now do you feel better about these appointments that seem like a waste of time? I hope it helped!

Pregnancy Week 20-23

22Ahh.. I’m hungry. Anyone else? I feel like no matter how much I eat at this point I am always hungry. I just cannot feel satisfied lately. This is probably because this little boy is growing so quickly at this point. He is really moving around like a wild man lately. It feels like I have a full-grown newborn in there moving around. However, he is probably only about 1 pound and 11-12 inches long. I have suddenly also come down with the urge to pee every 3 hours at night.. I just love waking up at 12am, 3am and 6am. Booo.. I can’t seem to get comfortable. I was lucky enough to have a coworker say “Wow.. look at your little bump. If I didn’t know you were pregnant, I would just think you were getting a gut.” Thanks.. I really love hearing these tidbits. Word of advice. If you think you want to make a comment to pregnant woman about her changing body.. Don’t. We hear comments 24/7 and sometimes we just want to talk about something else besides the fact that we are inevitably going to get VERY big. I’m also growing out of more and more of my regular clothes. I remember when I delivered my daughter I was so excited to be able to just wear all my clothes again and feel comfortable.

I’ve started rubbing BioOil all over myself again. I swear by this stuff. I did not have a single stretch mark when I was pregnant with my daughter and I do not plan on getting any this time. I also try to drink as much water as possible since it is so great for your skin as well. The only downside is that it is greasy feeling until it dries completely, but it is well worth it. On the topic of skin.. My hands are SOOO dry. I always have dry skin in the winter, but it seems like when I am pregnant it is worse. I know my body is probably extracting all of the necessary water for the baby, but damn… I look like I have old lady hands even though I lotion them up several times a day.

You know what else no one tells you? You get hairier. Not just the hair on your head either. I have to wax my upper lip twice as much. And my leg hair? Forget it. It is almost a lost cause to try to keep up with that. I feel like I am turning into a hairy beast. My razors are so dull after one shower. lol. TMI? Oh well. That is what this blog is about!

So to sum it up.. At this point.. I am hairy, greasy and look like I have a gut.. I am one sexy girl.

Healthy- Pregnancy Friendly Recipe

20131205-180321.jpg

I just thought I would share a FAST recipe for all you busy moms/pregos out there. It doesn’t take long to eat healthy. This took me less than 5 minutes before leaving for work.

Crockpot Chicken Chili

  • 1-1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 1 can of beans (kidney, black, pinto, navy, white) rinsed & drained
  • 2 cans Rotel Tomatoes w/ chilis or just diced tomatoes
  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4-1/2 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Salsa Verde
  • 1 jalapeno diced small with seeds and ribs removed (optional)

-Turn Crockpot on Medium or 6-8 hours. Add all 8 ingredients and stir. Yes, it is that easy. After this cooks for hours the chicken will be moist and will fall apart. You may need to use 2 forks to shred it up a bit more. When you serve this dish, top with a skim cheddar cheese, low-fat sour cream, hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. This dish is packed with healthy, lean protein, fiber, iron and more. This is great for pregnancy and it is healthy! Sometimes I serve with a couple whole grain, baked tortilla chips or use a whole wheat tortilla to dip. I usually don’t eat many foods out of a can or frozen, but when you have a busy day ahead of you and still want to eat healthy, this recipe is perfect!

Avoiding excessive weight gain-bouncing back quickly

postbabyOne of my biggest fears while pregnant with my daughter was gaining too much weight! I had so many friends who gained 50 or 60lbs and they were tiny to begin with. They had a terrible time getting the weight off and some of them couldn’t get it off at all. I wanted to be healthy, have a healthy baby and feel good about myself after having my daughter. I’m not going to lie… I am thin to begin with, but I don’t think genetics/build are the only factor here. The picture to the right is me taken a few days after having my daughter. Don’t get my wrong I still had a little swelling around my belly from my uterus still being enlarged, but I was wearing my pre-prego clothes. Here are some tips that I used. Also.. breastfeeding does help! **Please check with your OB/Midwife to make sure these tips are safe for you. I am not a doctor. These tips were safe for me and cleared with my OB. Every woman is different and every woman is given a specific amount of weight to gain.***

Keeping weight gain to the required 25-35lbs: (yours may be less or may check with your doctor!)

  • Keep a weight gain journal- I weighed myself daily and wrote it down in my pregnancy calendar/journal. This just gave me an idea of how much weight I was averaging per week. I didn’t start this until I was 3 months pregnant since I didn’t gain much in the first trimester from morning sickness.
  • Eat similar foods each day. I pretty much eat the same breakfast & lunch everyday. Dinner is always different, but I cook very healthy. When you eat similar foods you know what you are getting.
  • Don’t drink your calories. Avoid pop, juice & sugary coffee drinks. Stick to water and skim milk. I also drink coffee with cream. You need to stay hydrated and water is the best thing for you. Pop & juice are really just empty calories.
  • Salads are amazing, especially salad bars. They are a great way to load up on veggies which will fill you up without adding tons of calories.
  • I figure that I can eat as many fruits and veggies as I want. If I’m hungry I always make sure I have tons of apples, oranges, pears, baby carrots, etc to munch on.
  • All your carbs should be whole grain AKA not white carbs. Stick to wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes.
  • Switch all dairy to fat free dairy. Skim cheese, low or non-fat yogurt, skim milk, frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
  • Snack on veggies or go for chips that are baked or popped. I also love the 100-calorie pack kettle popcorn bags.
  • Add eggs or peanut butter to a meal or snack. Additional protein will help fill you up.
  • Avoid fatty foods. They aren’t good for you or your growing baby. Don’t eat fast food or eat out a lot. You would be surprised how much fat and calories are in restaurant foods. Avoid fatty sauces like gravy & ranch. Opt for a light dressing for salads, hummus for veggie dip.
  • Get moving! Try to be active everyday or at least 3-4x a week. Take a brisk walk, take a class for pregnant women.

Gaining too much weight is not just bad for you and weight loss after baby. It can cause serious health problems for the baby, gestational diabetes, hypertension and more.

Here is what I typically eat..

Breakfast: Whole grain English muffin with a cooked through egg & skim cheese. Sometimes I spread on a little jam too

Morning Snack: Apple or pear- Sometimes with peanut butter

Lunch: Large salad loaded with toppings. Mixed greens, carrots, chickpeas, peas, skim cheese, chopped hard-boiled egg, dried cranberries, broccoli, mushrooms, shredded chicken or broken up turkey bacon. (dressing on side)
Side of fat free cottage cheese
Whole grain roll

PM Snack: Handful of pretzels

Dinner: Load half my plate with veggies, 1/4 with lean meat like chicken, 1/4 whole grain carb like brown rice

Night Snack: Bowl of cereal! my favorite snack

Registering for your baby shower- Part Two

Ok… Here goes the rest…

Bathing/Health/Medical:

  • Baby shampoo/wash
  • Baby washcloths and hooded towels- check to make sure they are thick towels. They make these thin cheap ones that are a huge waste of money and fall apart in the wash.
  • Baby bathtub- I recommend a bathtub that works for infants and toddlers. Many of the tubs are designed for one or the other. This one made by Summer will grow with your child and BONUS it folds away. These tubs take up a lot of room.
  • Baby Health/Grooming Kit- These usually contain a thermometer, brush, comb, toothbrush, medicine syringe, nail clippers, nasal aspirator, etc. These are great to have because they include everything you need. The thermometer will only be used as a backup since I recommend a different one below.
  • Thermometer – Definitely register for an ear or forehead one. It is a lot easier than trying to use a rectal thermometer and a lot safer. I always keep my rectal one for a backup though.
  • Humidifier- Register for a GOOD cool mist humidifier. This will be a lifesaver when your house is dry in the winter or when your little one has a cough.

Feeding:

  • Breast Pump (If you choose to breastfeed)- Check with your insurance company. You may be eligible for a free breast pump if your doctor or midwife writes you a prescription for one.
  • Nursing Cover– This was literally my favorite thing ever. Some people just use a receiving blanket, but I am not that talented and it was a lot easier for me to have it hooked around my neck and not worry about exposing my boobs.
  • Nursing Pillow – I registered for the Boppy, but a few of my friends liked different brands. My Boppy was great for nursing, propping baby up during tummy time, and helped support her while she was learning to sit.
  • Nipple Cream & breast pads (if you think you have enough nursing pads buy 2 more boxes)
  • Milk Storage bags
  • Burp Cloths & bibs
  • Bottles- I recommend Dr. Brown’s. They have an entire kit with 4oz and 8oz bottles right in there. Just register for this kit. These bottles are very highly rated and I loved them.
  • Bottle brush & drying rack
  • Bottle Warmer – Some people think these are a waste, but when you have a screaming, hungry baby and you want to heat a bottle quickly you will wish you had one!
  • Pacifiers & Pacifier Clips
  • Highchair – I recommend one that has a newborn insert and also turns into a booster seat.
  • Bowls, Cups, Utensils & Sippy Cups- Trust me this will come up fast! You will be surprised how quickly you will need these items

Toys:

  • Rattles, Soft books – you probably won’t need to register for this. People ALWAYS get these items for you.
  • Activity Gym- This is a must have. These are great to lie baby under for stimulation.
  • Teether.. The only teething toy you need is Sophie. Trust me on this.
  • Books- I had a friend that asked everyone to bring a book in lieu of a card for the shower. And asked everyone to write a message in the book. Great IDEA!
  • Jumpers, Exersaucer- They love these!

Clothing:umm… Yea.. People LOVE picking out outfits that they think are adorable. No matter what you register for people will still pick out what they like. I recommend not wasting time registering for cloths. You will likely need to buy these yourself when you return their items (haha) or when you buying what is left on your registry. But here is what you need.

  • Sleepers- one or two newborn sizes, 0-3 months & 3 months to start
  • Onesies, pants, socks, booties
  • Gowns- Yes even for boys. They are so much easier to change diapers in.
  • Outerwear – get the right size for the season

Diapers:

  • Don’t register for newborn diapers (someone will always buy these). Register for bigger sizes. You only need newborn diapers for a week or so.
  • Wipes & Wipe Warmer
  • Diaper Rash Cream – have a few different brands on hand. Some work for some kids and not for others.
  • Diaper Pail – There are a ton on the market and some uses their own bags or your own bags. I like my Diaper Genie.
  • Diaper Pail refills

Babyproofing:

  • Cupboard & drawer latches
  • Toilet seat covers
  • Outlet covers
  • Baby gates
  • Coffee table/End Table Corner Covers

Travel/Misc:

  • Car mirror
  • Extra Carseat for hubby’s car or extra carseat base- We only had the one infant car seat that came with the travel system. We put a convertible car seat in my hubby’s car. These go from newborn (5lbs) to toddler.
  • Car window shade
  • Travel Highchair – great for restaurants with no highchairs, grandparents house, etc
  • Baby Monitor – get one with a camera not just the sound.

Registering for your baby shower- Part One

Get comfortable.. This is going to be an important post that will not only save you money, but time and effort. I am going to go through the important tasks of registering for baby gifts. PS- I think registering for baby items was one of the happiest times of my pregnancy! It got me so excited to meet my little girl.

Helpful Hints:

  1.  If you know what you are having, you  may still want to register for gender neutral items (swing, pack n play, high chair). If you have another child you don’t want to have to rebuy these items and they are much easier to sell down the road.
  2. Make a list! You don’t want to forget about something.
  3. Don’t be afraid to register for big ticket items. People LOVE to go in together for large gifts and you will be VERY greatful when you do not have to buy the $200-$300 swing yourself!
  4. Decide what is important to you. Will you have the baby in your room for a few months? Will you use pacifiers? Will you breastfeed? All of these things are important to figure out before registering.

Baby Registry Checklist:

Nursery Items:

  • Bassinet or cradle This item isn’t necessary in my opinion. I chose to have my daughter in our room for a few months, but what I did was buy a pack-n-play with a built in bassinet. (Trust me this will save money and space in your home).
  • Crib & Crib mattress – Don’t skimp on these. Firm mattresses are important for infants and helps to prevent SIDS. Never buy used mattresses or cribs. SO many cribs have been recalled. Do your research.
  • Changing Table See Dresser
  • Dresser- Purchase a dresser that can also be used as a changing table. You will welcome the added space in the nursery. This is an example of what I am referring to here.
  • Changing pad & Cover- You will want to buy 2 changing pad covers. Trust me… You will be surprised how many times your newborn pees or poops on these.
  • Glider or rocking chair- This is truly necessary. Even if you nurse baby in bed for the first few months you will still want a quiet place to rock baby or feed baby. I still use mine every night with my toddler daughter for story time.
  • Hangers/Closet organizers- The more storage you have,  the better. You will need tons of baby hangers. These closet organizers are great for baby shoes, extra packs of wipes, etc.
  • Mobile– This one is iffy. Some kids don’t like them and they can’t use them once they start sitting up because they can pull them down.
  • Hamper
  • Night-light/small table lamp
  • Organizer Baskets
  • Window Treatments- You will want to make baby’s room dark and comfortable.
  • Crib bedding set- This is also iffy. You can’t use blankets on babies, but I used it to drape over my rocking chair to decorate.
  • Fitted crib sheets (3-4)- These also get very soiled. They also shrink so invest in the good ones.
  • Mattress pad covers (2) This will protect the mattress.
  • Mattress Cover
  • Wearable blankets (2)- My favorite are Halo SleepSacks with the swaddle attached. You will want the newborn sized ones to have a swaddle wrap and then register for a few of the next size up without the swaddle. I recommend the Halo brand because they are the easiest to use and some of the cheaper ones have a large neck hole and my daughter tended to move these over her face.. Yikes..
  • Sound Soother- This is helpful if you have a noisy home, but you will want baby to get used to the noises in your home. I would say this isn’t a necessity.

Baby Gear:

  • Stroller/Travel System- This will take care of your infant stroller and infant car seat. I recommend getting a travel system like this Chicco one.
  • Umbrella Stroller – Yes, you need two strollers. You will want a small stroller especially during the toddler phase.
  • Pack-n-Play- These are amazing, especially for traveling. I also referenced these above when referring to bassinets. I bought a crazy one with tons of bells and whistles, but when it came down to it I just needed a regular one with a bassinet like this. I actually bought 2 so that my parents could have one. I ended out giving them the large one with all the crazy bells and whistles because it was so annoying to put up and have in my room. I kept the simple one for myself. I love it.
  • Pack -n-play sheet or cover (2)- These are great especially if baby spits up. There is no easy way to clean up the pad they come with.
  • Bouncer- I loved my bouncer. My daughter napped in this a lot as an infant. I would bring this into the bathroom when I showered so I could keep an eye on her. She loved ours because it played music and vibrated.
  • Swing- These are nice if your child will go in them. My daughter HATED the swing. I am hoping that Baby #2 will get some use out of it. Helpful tip** Buy one that plugs in! That way you do not need to change the batteries every other week.
  • Diaper Bag- I cannot stress how much these are important. If you think you have a big enough one.. Get the next size up. Buy a bag that you do not mind using as a purse as well. You will not want to lug around a diaper bag and a purse while trying to carry the infant car seat. Make life easier.

I will write Part Two: Travel, Toys, Clothes, Feeding, Bath/Health/Safety & Diapering sometime this week!

Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!

1451582_10153509127340151_2105284573_nAt this point, being around 4.5-5 months pregnant or halfway done is a blessing. Until you realize that it really isn’t halfway! You are 2 weeks pregnant when you get pregnant and you usually don’t find out until you are at least 5-6 weeks which means the first half is way, way shorter.. Boooooo… Oh well… I am happy to be 21 weeks. 19 to go! I suddenly have the urge to pee constantly. It sucks. I wake up usually in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in my bladder then again around 6am with the same feeling. It literally feels like someone is stabbing my bladder and if little man decides to jump or kick me at that moment I would easily pee myself. Yesterday, I blew my nose and peed…lol thankfully I was about to get in the shower. My boobs are ginormous. I don’t remember this last time at all. I maybe grew a cup size my entire pregnancy with my daughter, but this time I am probably at least a cup to a cup and a half bigger at halfway through. I hope this means I won’t have massive explosive boobs when my milk comes in. Maybe that transition will be easier. Also… I am barely showing.. What is with that. All the old ladies who told me I would be huge with my second and show super early can shove it. 🙂 At my ultrasound last week they told me baby is measuring right on target. They also told me that my uterus tilts very far back which helps hide my baby bump. I have gained about 5-6lbs at this point which I consider pretty good since I just stopped puking 2 weeks ago! My midwife said she would like to see 10lbs by now, but considering my morning sickness 5-6 is pretty good. Also, I gained exactly the same by week 21 with my daughter so I guess it is normal for me. I have officially graduated from rubberbanding my pants to using my BellaBand pretty consistently. I have tried a few pairs of maternity pants, but they are still droopy and saggy in the butt. Why do they make maternity pants so big in the butt? Do they think that everyone just explodes during pregnancy? I hate maternity clothes with a passion. They are almost always ugly and unflattering. I think one of the things that I was most excited about after having my daughter was wearing my normal clothes again!

Some of the positives… My hair is soo healthy. It is growing super fast (thank God b/c I want it long again!) and it is thicker than ever. I love this part of pregnancy. I am no longer nauseated and I want to eat all the time! I am definitely taking advantage of the extra 300 calories that I am allotted. Some of my favorites at this point: Cereal, Egg & Cheese on English muffin, bagels, soup, Chinese food & salad bar salads loaded with veggies & bacon crumbles. Notice a theme here? Carbs, carbs and more carbs. I love bread and pasta!