Friday, August 10, 2012

Pretty Successful Week

I'd say this week was pretty far as food goes.  I've pretty much accepted that I will never straighten my hair before I go to work and that I should probably invest in a flat iron to keep at my desk...  I had my first official morning of going to work with spittle and spilled coffee on my clothes.  I can't complain, she's beautiful and I love her.

I definitely meant to take photos of my wonderful creations but I bad.

Monday:  Sweet Italian turkey sausage with penne and home made sauce and a side of asparagus.
     This was modeled after my favorite frozen go-to:  Bertolli's Italian Sausage and Rigatoni frozen meal.

Tuesday:  Tomato chicken breasts with mixed vegetables
Wednesday:  Cheesy lemon chicken with a side of asparagus
Thursday:  Garlic ranch turkey burgers with green beans

Tuesday-Thursday I got these meals from an iPhone app called Meal Planning by Food on the Table.  It's pretty awesome and it's free.  You can select which grocery store you frequent and it will look up the items on sale that week.  You can also choose what types of things you eat:  chicken, fish, pork, low calorie, etc.  It sorts it's recipes by the foods you like to eat, by what kind of dish it is, ie breakfast, sides whatever and will add the necessary items to a grocery list.  You can also select how many servings you want to prepare and it will adjust the recipe for that particular number of servings.

Another app I'm currently enjoying is Healthy Grocery by ShopWell.  This app will take into consideration your age, sex, and current weight management goal.  You can then scan bar codes and it will tell you whether that food is something you should be buying.  You can also create a list in this app.

It was a pretty good week over all.  There are still some things that I need to change.  I took frozen Michaelina's Lean Gourmet meals for lunch and still drank my coffee with cream and sugar.  Oh well.  It's the little things.  I think that if I tried to change everything all at once and couldn't give myself any wiggle room that I would definitely be setting myself up for failure.  BUT, if I make little changes then I can still feel like the kid at the top of the page when the week is over.

Monday, August 6, 2012

little changes

So I've decided to get back on track.  Whilst discussing losing weight and getting healthy, my husband had me put a number on what would make me happy.  Traditionally, I go with a goal of:  whenever I feel good.  However, he had me put a number on it and that number would be 145.  That's still outside of the ideal range for someone who is 5'3'' with a small frame but it's a place that I haven't seen for a long time.  In fact, I couldn't imagine weighing 145 pounds again.  Aaron's biggest vices are not eating breakfast, fast food for lunch, and beer.  So I'm strong arming him into this as well...I'm tired of hearing about how he should lose weight when really I don't think he does.  He's a strapping young lad and I love him the way he is.  I'm hoping to fade things out and make small changes so I'm not so shocked.  Fast food needs to go and i need start phasing in healthier options for some of the not so good stuff.

SO, it starts.  Saturday we went to the grocery and picked up things to make healthy meals and walked out without his beloved beverage.  I'm definitely looking forward to home cooked meals, fresh asparagus, and green beans.  Sunday, hubby took care of Jess for the most part outside of her feedings which freed up a lot of my time.

1.)  I made his beloved breakfast burritos.  I make a bunch and freeze them so he can take one to work and get some food on his stomach.  These are too heavy for me so I stick to my Special K and fresh fruit.

2.)  I cut up a ton of berries and bell peppers.  We both love some fresh fruit and he loves eating raw peppers with ranch dressing...a bit weird in my opinion.

3.)  I made 4 16 oz jars of home made pasta sauce full of peppers, and minimal salt.  It's delicious.

4.)  For dinner, I made a pizza.  I used a pre-made crust.  There are healthier options out there but I'm still settling into being a mom and trying to cope with the amount of time that I no longer have, plus it was the only type they had at the store on Saturday.  I used 1/4 cup of pizza sauce, fresh spinach, fresh tomato slices, sauteed red onions, and 1/2 cup of reduced fat feta cheese.  It was actually quite delicious and made 8 slices.  As far as Weight Watchers points go, it's about 4 points a slice.  Could I cut it down a bit?  Sure.  Was I happy with the result though?  Definitely.

Join the Boob-olution!

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.  Yay!

Breastfeeding is probably the best decision I made when it came to taking care of my daughter.  I am extremely proud of the fact that I made this choice and am even more proud that I am sticking to it, even after going back to work.  It makes me feel empowered as a woman and as a mother knowing that I am giving my baby girl the best possible advantage and head start in life.  Everything she needs, I can provide and that is a great feeling.  So that's why, even with everyone out there looking down on breast feeding because it's 'gross', I proudly stick to it.  I also look at my boobs differently.  Society and people in general only look at them as having one purpose and that's NOT feeding your child.  However, I KNOW that's what they'r here for so I no longer detest the fact that I have small boobs because they serve a bigger purpose now.  I'm PROUD of them.

Benefits for Baby:
-Breast milk is packed full of all the vitamins, minerals, fat, sugar, and protein a baby needs so breastfed babies tend to get sick less often.
-Breast milk is easier for babies to digest and their bowel movements don't stink as much.
-Your breast milk will change as your baby grows so there's no need to do anything different like using different formulas, etc.

Benefits for Mommy:
-Breast feeding burns calories!  It helps you lose that baby weight you put on during pregnancy.  I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight around three weeks postpartum!
-It gives you an excuse to continue taking pre-natals and getting all the awesome benefits.  My hair grew 7 inches in 9 months.  I couldn't get my hair to grow 5 inches in a year before I was pregnant.
-Breast feeding is way cheaper than buying formula and bottles.  I didn't use a bottle once before I went back to work so if you're a stay at home mom that's a big bonus for you!
-You won't need to sterilize, measure, and mix formula.  There's fewer bottles to wash, no need for bottle warming in the middle of the night, and when you travel, all you need is attached!

Breast feeding also fights disease in both mom and baby.  Plus, it provides a bonding time between the two of you.  I thoroughly enjoy the time during each day when I get to feed my daughter.  It's a peaceful time when I can just relax and look at her and take in everything she is to me.

Yes, it can be hard at times, especially at first.  Babies will want to eat every hour and a half to two hours at first so it seems like you're constantly feeding but that changes.  Jess will go every three to four hours between feedings now.  And yes, you can still get time to yourself.  Pumping allows you to get out of the house for a few hours and spend time with your significant other.  Yes, your nipples will hurt at first but that goes away too!  Mine only hurt when she first latched on and that only lasted for the first two weeks.  The best thing you can do is RELAX.  Mentally freaking out because you know it's going to hurt at first will only make things harder.  Your child can sense how you're feeling and tensing up can make the pain worse which can also cause slow flow.

If you ever feel like you can't do it anymore or wonder whether or not you should do it, I encourage you to.  I promise you won't regret it.  Even if you only breastfeed while you're on leave, or even for a day, it's better than never having done it.  Every drop of milk is like liquid gold!

Some sites to check out:
Women's Health Organization
La Leche League Breastfeeding Message board...a good place for support!  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jess's Birth Story

My labor was induced on June 6th at 8:30 PM because my body just wasn't progressing as it should have in order to go into labor naturally. A natural labor, preferably med free, was an ultimate goal of mine but my body just wasn't having it. All of the sonograms projected Jess's weight to be 8 lbs 2 oz. She was supposed to be a big baby but I didn't have any worries as I am a rather hippy lady as it is. My doctor's office told me to have a large breakfast, light lunch, and no dinner which was a big mistake as I come to find out later. I did eat a giant breakfast at Bob Evan's and it was wonderful.

Once I was checked in they got me all hooked up to the monitors and IV. I was having contractions on my own every seven minutes or so. This had been happening for about two weeks but progress was non existent and so was the pain. Then they inserted the balloon to dilate my cervix and the Cervidil to soften it. I don't know what it was about those two things but then I started to feel my contractions. They were manageable and I didn't have any problems. Actually, the balloon hurt the worst. Eff the balloons. This also caused me to start bleeding so every time I got up to go to the bathroom, I left a blood trail, which was quite often because they were pumping me full of fluids. I was starving at this point but couldn't eat anything...yeah right, I was sneaking fun sized Snickers bars left and right. After several hours of not being able to sleep because of the contractions, we all felt it was probably a good idea to go ahead and get a shot of Demerol to ease the pain and let me sleep since I was sure to have a long road ahead of me.

Finally I was dilated to 4 cm and the balloon and Cervidil were removed. The doc came in around 6:00 am to break my waters and start Pitocin. It's kind of the devil. They cranked that shit up high and I was having contractions every minute or so. Alas, I finally broke down an hour or so later and got the juice. The epidural went in with no problems and the nurse and anesthesiologist were amazed at how well I handled it. Little did they know I was a pro. My sophomore year of high school I had to have a lumbar puncture to check for meningitis and then since that didn't heal properly I had to get an epidural blood block so I knew the drill. The epidural did relieve the pain so I could relax but I hate the way it made me feel. I felt like a ton of bricks and my legs felt like they were asleep, all tingly-like whenever I or anyone else touched them.

The next thirteen hours or so are a bit of a haze. I was in and out of sleep. I remember being extremely nauseated from not eating dinner or anything else for that matter which caused my blood sugar to drop. I kept down popsicles when I could. To combat the nausea they gave me alternating dosages of Phenergan and Zofran. The Phenergan made me drowsy so I slept most of the time and couldn't really wake myself up either...a little scary looking back.

 My progress had slowed down dramatically once I reached 6 cm. The last thing I remember, it was around 4:00 PM, maybe 4:30 PM and I was about 9 cm. They said that if I did not progress to 10 in the next hour that I would be getting a caesarean section. So since we had a while my mother in law and aunt in law left to go home and shower...they live like 5 minutes away from the hospital.

Sometime between 5:00 and 5:30 I was checked again and I was 10 cm and she was in position. Aaron called his family and told them to get there ASAP because I was ready to push. So we started pushing. I had my mom, husband, and his cousin's wife, Brittany in the room. Brittany was overwhelmed by everything going on and I think she truly appreciated getting to experience the birth of a child. Once my mother in law got back though, she came in and Brittany left. I only pushed for about 30 minutes and I felt like a champ for it too. I didn't get tired or anything. At one point Aaron went down to check out what was going on and the look on his face was priceless, he looked horrified! Jess's shoulders did get stuck though so in order to get her out, I had two nurses on top of me pushing while I was pushing, and the doc gave me an episiotomy pretty much from font to back. Surprisingly, my mid-section wasn't sore at all and my sutures barely hurt once I got feeling back from the epidural.

 I cried as soon as I heard her for the first time. The moment when they finally put her on my chest was absolute bliss. She was gorgeous and I was in love. Everything I went through was so worth it, all the sickness, feeling like my tail bone was broken, the induction...all of it.

Jess was born at 5:55 PM. She weighed 8 lbs 9 oz and was 20 inches long. She was also born with a heart murmur and was ended up being jaundice. The first 5 days of her life were heart wrenching. Something you never hear much about it actually how common jaundice is in newborns so it's incredibly scary for new parents.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

7 month hiatus - updates

So much has happened since I last posted back in December.  At the beginning of June I gave birth to our gorgeous daughter Jessica.  I have since returned to work and am trying to set a routine and just enjoy being a wife and a mother.

Over all, I gained 33 pounds during my pregnancy.  Not bad even though my 'suggested weight gain' was 20-25 pounds.  Either way, I lost all of the weight and am back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.  So, I have decided to continue on my 'weight-loss journey' (it sounds so much more interesting that way) and try to get healthy.  I also have hopes of getting back in touch with my crafty side but we'll see how that goes since I have a baby, two dogs, a cat, and a husband to take care of now.

I'll have more to post, such as our birth story, baby, health, craft, and family related items!