Monday, September 24, 2012

39 Weeks

Well, we almost made it to 39 weeks, anyway! Sunday, September 16 would have been 39 weeks.. this photo was taken the day before.

The week leading up to Cash's birth was full of natural induction techniques. I had a total of four acupuncture sessions, drank lots of Nine Month tea, bounced on the birthing ball, took evening primrose oil every night, went for long walks... Friday night, we did the "Stairway to Hell" as it's called, and walked a total of 4.5 km through a hilly neighbourhood (we drove the jeep on our path afterwards to see just how far it was lol). Every evening, between 7:30 and 8:30 pm, very mild contractions would start and continue on into the night, occassionally waking me up. By morning they were gone. Saturday was different though...

Here is the one photo of the three of us from Cash's birthday, taken minutes after he was born. We were way too enthralled in the day's events to take more pictures.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Recent Recipes

As I'm sure lots of you know, I'm super addicted to Pinterest. Like.. when I don't have anything else to do during the day, or Hubs is watching a show I'm not very interested in, "hmm, i'll check out Pinterest!". It never gets boring. Okay.. there's some repeat pins here or there.. but for the most part, there's always something interesting to find!

This has led to many, many new recipes to try out. So here a couple we've made in the last little while:

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes - We actually made these back in the spring. They turned out really good! Except I'm not the biggest fan of Oreos.. but Garrick is, and he absolutely loved them. They're great because they're already in individual portions.. and you can even freeze some so none go to waste!

Easy Thai Coconut Soup - This one was... decent. It was similar to what you'd get in an authentic Thai restaurant, but quite watery. Garrick described it perfectly, saying that "you have to really search for 'that' flavour". I'd give it 3/5 stars.

We also made coconut rice to put in the soup (we made up our own recipe using regular white rice, a can of coconut milk, a little bit of water, and a touch of salt). It turned out pretty good, but was waaaay better the next day. We decided next time we attempt the soup/rice combo, we'll make the rice the day before so the flavours have time to infuse.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - These were REALLY good. We were looking for something to do with quinoa, since it's soo packed with protein and all around goodness, but sucks to eat just plain (like how you would eat rice). The quinoa filling reminded me of chili.. except without the meat! I think I'd even prefer it on it's own, not in the pepper. We used red peppers, perhaps I'd enjoy a different kind of pepper more. Also, it makes A LOT of the quinoa filling. we have a decent sized tub in the freezer. I'd give it.... 4/5 stars.

Cucumber Salad - Mediocre. Except a major contributor to my failure with this may have been that I accidentally bought vanilla greek yogurt instead of plain. woops. I wasn't inspired enough to ever make it again though.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken - WOW. this was absolutely. delicious. We've actually made it twice in the last month or so. You MUST try this!!!!! And you could also use the jalapeno/cheese stuffing for practically anything else.. dip for crackers, etc. It's sooooooo good. definitely 5/5 stars

Egg in a Ham Cup - We made this one on the weekend! It was another reaaaallly good meal. A bonus that it's low carb! And apparently only 100 calories. We made it with regular marble cheese.. and we only made 6 instead of 12. The recipe says to bake for 12 minutes.. we had ours in for 20 cuz they just didn't seem ready! 18 minutes probably would have done the trick, the yolk turned out not quite this runny, but not over-cooked. another 5/5 stars

What's next?

Soon, we'd like to try:

Cauliflower Pizza Crusts for home made pizzas
Zucchini Brownies
Spaghetti Squash Baked "Pasta"
Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken
Homemade Bread in the Crock Pot *gasp*

Monday, September 10, 2012

38 Weeks

and just for fun, below is a picture of what this shirt looks like when there isn't a belly taking up all the space!

February 2011

Sylvia got our ultrasound results by Friday afternoon and gave me a call to discuss them. They measure his head and abdomen circumference and compare proportions. His head growth is fairly normal (slightly smaller, but still good) but his abdomen growth is comparably smaller. This is due to baby not getting proper nourishment (usually caused by the placenta not functioning optimally), so his body re-distributes fat and nutrients to the most important organ; the brain. Now they do estimate him to be 6 lbs, so he's not in terrible condition, but it would be better to get him out as soon as possible so he can begin breastfeeding and not lose any more abdominal fat.

Sylvia wants us to naturally induce labour before 40 weeks. If we haven't by that point, she will send us for another ultrasound, which she suspects will still show a lack of growth. At that point, medical induction would be required. Of course, this is exactly what we all want to avoid. Any sort of medical induction is a lot more invasive and prone to break the natural hormonal chain of events that starts and continues labour. It would also greatly reduce our chances of having a home birth, if not eliminating the option completely.

So. We are on a mission.

The ultrasound showed the his head is very low, which is good. And it showed that my cervix is beginning to thin (I found signs of this over the course of Friday and Saturday), so putting ourselves into labour isn't too far-fetched.

Under Sylvia's suggestion, I have an acupuncture appointment scheduled for this afternoon. It may take more than one session, but acupuncture has an excellent success rate for inducing labour. We may also have Sylvia do a membrane sweep at our Wednesday appointment.. we'll see what's going on at the time.

There's a very good chance that we could meet our son within the next two weeks!!

I think it's starting to really set in for Garrick. He's a little concerned because "he's just going to be so small and so fragile.. and I don't want to break him or something." I think it's super cute that he's thinking about these things. I told him that it's perfectly normal to worry a bit, and re-assured him that he's going to be a great daddy. I wonder if he'll cry the first time he holds the cashew.. hehe....

ultrasound photos; his face takes up the whole screen now

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

quick update

one of my favourite things to do: read a book in the nursery
 Hello! I wanted to give an update after our midwife appointment for this week.

Although I've put on the recommended 25 lbs for pregnancy so far, Cashew and I still haven't done a ton of growing. Sylvia is sending us for another ultrasound this friday.

Last time (28 weeks) we were sent for an extra ultrasound due to growth concerns, I was quite distraught about the whole situation. I felt like I was doing something wrong and was of course very worried about the well-being of our son. I cried about it before the ultrasound had even been scheduled. When the results came back, they reported that "growth was as expected".

Shortly after, I discussed this second ultrasound with Emma, a holistic-based doula. She asked me what my intuition was telling me, prior to requiring the ultrasound. Did I feel like something was wrong or off? The answer was no. Deep down, I felt like everything was normal and he was always moving around a lot. Of course Sylvia is only looking out for everyone's best interest and it's her job to ensure that if there is a problem, we find out about it as soon as possible.

This time around, I am still trusting my instinct. We are going for the ultrasound just in case, but in my heart, I still feel that there is nothing to be alarmed about. I trust that our bodies know what they are doing and that everything will be fine. She doesn't expect them to find a huge baby inside of me and says that the results will show one of two things: 1) He's small in size, but still within an acceptable range, or 2) He's not within the acceptable size range and is much smaller than what is considered healthy and normal. If he shows to be the latter, induction will be discussed. And depending on the extent of induction needed, this could prevent our chances of having a home birth.

(this is becoming a much longer post than intended!)

Prior to us even measuring our growth at today's appointment, we discussed natural methods of induction (i wouldn't even necessarily categorize them as "induction" - they're things that, if my body is not yet ready for labour, nothing will happen) and when it was suggested to start such things. I'm still comfortable with the idea that I could be pregnant for another 3-4 weeks, but knowing that natural approaches generally take longer to see results, I wasn't sure when exactly some techniques could/should be used.

At last Friday's appointment, Sylvia gave me some "9-month tea" (contains different herbs such as black cohosh and raspberry leave, which are known to prime the uterus and cervix for labour) and instructions that I could drink 5 cups a day of it if I wanted. At this appointment, we discussed visualization, acupuncture, walking/doing stairs, evening primrose oil, etc. She recommended to of course continue the daily exercise, and that I could start taking 1000 mg of evening primrose oil per day, and could make an appointment for acupuncture for after 39 but before 40 weeks, if I wanted.

Since labour could be in our very near future (depending on the ultrasound results), we all decided it was certainly a good idea to do what we can naturally to encourage progression. I've already been drinking the tea, and will begin taking the evening primrose oil today.

We have our next appointment on Wednesday, and she should have our ultrasound results by then, so we'll have to wait and see what they show! Until then, Garrick and I are keeping a positive attitude and sticking with our gut feelings that everything is just fine. There is no point in stressing ourselves out when we don't know anything yet. And besides, during this entire pregnancy, there haven't been any other signs that something could be wrong or that we are high-risk.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

37 Weeks

so i've switched our weekly counting to sundays. the ultrasound we had at 20 weeks re-dated the pregnancy back by four days, moving our due date from sept. 19 to sept. 23. at the time, i didn't feel like changing when i posted the pictures and whatnot, and didn't see it as a big deal, since they can't predict the exact day cashew will decide to show up anyway. a couple weeks ago, i had to switch my counting to sundays, since being full term was such an important thing and in that case, four days would make a difference between having a hospital or home birth. now that we're getting so close, i'm changing the pictures to be posted on sundays!

also, normally i wouldn't post such a BLAH photo of myself. but i've been feeling pretty sad about the style of my hair for the last little while, and for the sake of documenting, i needed SOME photo. besides, my hair isn't the important part.. the belly is.

having such a limited wardrobe makes it difficult to come up with a new photo outfit these days! hmm... what haven't i worn yet...

as for pregnancy and labour.. last week i noticed more intense braxton hicks contractions. they like to really kick into gear around 7 pm. as mentioned, i need to pee probably 3 times more than the rest of the pregnancy. and i'm super paranoid about my water breaking! i feel like i should always be sitting or laying on a towel haha. soo silly. also, i'm about 1 lb shy of gaining a total of 25 lbs. go me!

this sunday, 38 weeks, we will pick up our birth pool. we have it reserved for the two weeks before and two weeks after the due date. we've got all the supplies we need for the birth, other than a heating pad and tylenol. i was feeling super stressed last week about not being prepared, but now i feel better. i find it kind of humorous to stress more about having THINGS prepared, but not stressed about going through the actual process of labour. maybe that's my blissful lack of awareness of what's to come.

at our midwife appointment on friday (we see her once a week now, until cashew's born), she gave me some "9-month tea". i get to drink like 5 cups a day, if i'd like! it's to aid my body in preparing for labour.. and is slightly more intense than just the regular old raspberry leave tea. we'll be hopefully going for a walk every day, and other than that, we won't be trying to force my body into labour until 40 weeks. at that point, we'll start trying some natural methods of induction (spicy food, pineapples, more walking, climbing stairs, etc.) and at 41 weeks, we will get "drastic".. as in acupuncture lol. of course i'm doing everything i can to avoid any sort of medical induction (which would take place at 42 weeks), and any of the natural methods won't work unless baby is truly ready. my goal right now is to stay patient and trust that cashew and my body know what they're doing and will work harmoniously to safely deliver our baby into our arms.