This Preggo Girl’s WIAW

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve done one of these. But I have been telling Jason for a good long time that I want to start up again. Once a week of photographing my meals or super awesome eats isn’t too hard at all.

I’ve been eating pretty well these last few days, especially since my dad arrived last Thursday evening. He had a lot of food restrictions such as: no beef, no pork, no spice. As well as some strict food preferences: milk, eggs (not fried), canned fish (not fresh). So our plans for steak and carne adovada were squelched. And, because my dad wanted to get out and see stuff, I was able to get out of the house and move a lot more than I was prior to this past weekend.

The weekend was packed with a half-day trip up to the peak, my cousin’s bat mitzvah and subsequent reception, looking at 50+ years worth of family photos from my dad’s side and which I’d never seen before, and a jaunt in the petroglyphs. With all the being away from home time, I was forced to carry healthy snacks like almonds, carrots, and string cheese. And LOTS of water. I was able to better space out my meals and snacks in such a way that ever since, I’ve been keeping my energy up and staying well hydrated. I’m actually quite happy with myself.

Up to this point, I was eating pretty haphazardly. And not eating stuff that was the best nutritionally. I’m feeling good. I guess we’ll see how my OB appointment goes tomorrow.

Without further ado:

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast of instant (sorry all you die-hard real oatmeal fans, I needed an alternative today) oatmeal and fresh pineapple.

Lunch of left-over chicken and pasta bake and matzoh spread with Laughing Cow Light Swiss infused with garlic powder from our CSA crop share this week. The pasta dish was one of the things I made while my dad was here. He pretty much just ate the chicken. The pasta is spinach and tomato rotini with a nice marinara sauce thickened with low-fat cream cheese. The chicken was pan seared before I put it all together and baked.

Dinner of carne adovada. Since we weren’t able to cook this for my dad, we made it today! (Sorry for the recycled pic, today’s batch is still a’ cookin’)

**Question: What did you eat today?**

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Baby Book Wish List

So, I’ve not truly invested in many baby books. We have the obligatory “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and a follow-up that Jason bought me on Mother’s Day called: Eating Well When You’re Expecting. I haven’t really read too much of the latter, because while I’m sure it’s chock-full of useful dietary insight, it’s not exactly geared toward me. By this I mean me, a prior-to-pregnancy plus-sized mother-to-be.

I find most resources for plus-sized pregnant ladies to be severely lacking. Most sources say to lose weight before conceiving. That’s nice. I wasn’t able to do that. Here I am, pregnant anyway, and the sources give me nothing. No words of advice other than “you’re high risk,” “beware of gestational diabetes,” and “you should absolutely only gain no more than 20 pounds…or else.” Not exactly supportive.

When Borders went out of business, Jason and I cleaned up on pregnancy lit… but we didn’t want to go too overboard. We picked up a ton of children’s books we’d never heard of, this WTE Pregnancy Journal (I use it to hold our sonogram pictures) and a book for Jason so he can read up on how to be more supportive and understanding of my newly acquired pregnancy brain. Jason also bought me (for Mother’s Day) this book by Jenny McCarthy. It’s pretty blunt, and very funny.

And of course, what pregnant lady would be complete without at least a dozen pregnancy magazines? Our OB sent us home after our first visit with a nice stack. I got more for Mother’s Day, and I even bought a subscription to one that boasts pregnancy and parenting (I’ve not actually received this mag in the mail yet, but they cashed my check, so any day now…).

But, the real purpose of this post is to generally talk about the lack of literature out there for plus-sized mommies-to-be. I found one book at amazon that speaks specifically to that end… ONE. The book does contain some additional websites, such as this one, that I had already checked out. Very helpful!

And it’s number one on my baby book wish list.

Number two is one that I heard about in our childbirth class and had been talked about by this blogger.

And, while I already found a lot of information (discussed here) about pets and new baby, I do want to find more information on that as well. Needless to say, I have things to read, and very little time to do it.

22 Weeks: Five Months Down

I was strolling through the pregnancy blogs and found a fun-fact pregnancy survey I thought I would like to do and share with you all here. I’ve just got 18 weeks left in this pregnancy thing and wanted to answer some questions you may or may not by interested in.

BASICS

Name: Tamara

Age: 31

Birth Date: December 18

Birth Place: Reno, Nevada

Height: 5’4″

How did you find out you were pregnant?: I took a home pregnancy test.

What kind of pregnancy test did you take?: Clear Blue Easy

How many?: Just one
What were your first symptoms?: I had minor cramps with no period.
Who did you tell first?: By brother (I think it was the next day or later the same day).
Who was with you when you found out?: Jason. I got up SUPER early, took the test and didn’t even have to wait the 3 minutes is says to give the stick to process (I was THAT pregnant!). He was sleeping and I took the positive test to him, woke him up, and gleefully told him we were expecting. He smiled, puckered, got kissed, and went back to sleep for another hour or so.
Was baby planned?: Yes, very planned.
When was baby conceived?: Sometime between the 16th and 18th of January. 
How far were you when you found out?: About 4 weeks

MY BABY
Due date: Around about October 12
Do you know the sex?:  We do
If so, boy or girl?:  Boy!
Any names?: We have selected a name, but aren’t sharing it with too many people. 
Any ultrasounds?: So far, I’ve had two. 
Have you heard the heartbeat?: Many times, or rather each time we see the OB or sonographer since about week 10.
Baby ethnicity?: Lil’ white boy 
Who do you think baby will look like?: Based on the 3d ultrasound we had in week 20, a little of both of us. 
Will baby have any siblings?: He’s going to be a very spoiled only-child.
Have you and dad felt baby move?: I just started feeling him a few days ago. It’s AMAZING. Jason hasn’t felt him yet. 

MISCELLANEOUS 
Did you have morning sickness?: I had a queezy stomach with no nausea during the first trimester and sporadic nausea right at the beginning of the second.
Did you have any cravings?: Not really; I was doing Weight Watchers before I got pregnant, so I was maintaining a fairly well-balanced diet. I did/do have one craving: grape–grape gum, grape chewy candy, things that smell grape. I’ve had this for several months, and only last week did we FINALLY find a pack of grape bubble yum. That was some good stuff.
Did you have any mood swings?: Only in the last week or so, I’ve been a little emotional about certain things that people in my life do or don’t do.
Are you a high risk pregnancy?:  I am; significantly overweight. But my OB isn’t nearly as concerned providing I stay in the weight-gain range he’s set for me. My blood work and vitals have all been normal thus far.
Any complications?: I passed out a few days before my second OB appointment. Due to dehydration and not eating enough. Hard to do when you don’t feel good in the first place.
Formula or breastfeeding?: Breastfeeding 
Have you bought anything for baby yet?: About a dozen onsies, 5-6 outfits, some booties, and some little hats. We’ve also picked up a few things for bath time and a giant (54 inches tall) teddy bear. We’re going to be painting the baby room in a few weeks.
When did you start to show?: I feel like I’ve been showing since week 10.  
How long could you wear your regular clothes?: I actually only JUST bought a few pairs of maternity pants two weekends ago. 
Are you excited?: Well, yeah!
Who will help with baby after he is born?: Jason.
What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?: Being so much more aware of my body, internally. I had never given that much thought to it before. Now that there is a little person in there, it’s kind of hard to ignore now.
What is the worst thing about being pregnant?: I would say the wait.  
What one thing do you miss eating / doing since being pregnant?:  I really miss runny eggs and blue cheese. I can’t really train for that half marathon I wanted to do this fall (it’s about a week and half after my due date).   
Any days you wish you weren’t pregnant?: Not really, no.
Are you ready for baby?: As I can be right now; I still have a few months to prepare.
How many kids do you want?: Just the one I think.
Do you talk to your baby?: think to him. Jason talks to him every so often to say that he loves him.
Do you like kids?: I enjoy kids, I’m just not around them as much as I used to be when I was teaching.
How far along are you now?: 22 weeks, straight up

Introducing Baby to the Lumpkins

Both Jason and I are animal lovers. He had cats, and I had cats and dogs. When we were dating in college, he had three cats and I had my two. It’s probably a good thing that we didn’t live together back then, because all three of his kittehs were outdoor cats. I was a staunch supporter of keeping mine inside.

When I left for Korea, I left my two cats (Millie and Lillith) with my family. It was hard for me to leave them since I’d had them both (they are 4 years apart) since they were each kittens. When I came back after my initial trip to Korea in the summer of 2009, I was distraught: they essentially forgot who I was. This made it hard to leave again when I actually moved to Korea a few weeks later.

While in Korea, Jason and I decided to get ourselves a kitten. We figured that it would be fine getting the new cat back to the States when we moved home and my cats would adjust eventually. Well, we didn’t get a kitten; we got two. Two little boy Siamese cats (Abner and Ebeneezer). And we did get them home fairly easily–they actually seemed to have had better in-flight accommodations than we did. They’ve even been to more countries than I have! And the girls did eventually adjust to them. Although Millie (she’s 11) would pick on Ebeneezer (the smaller Siamese) mercilessly up until we moved into our new house last November. Now, everyone gets along and plays cat-tag and cat-chase and cat mock-fight. It’s been great. A real catopia.

When we first started trying to get pregnant, I was sort of hoping it would happen ASAP so I wouldn’t have to clean the kitty-litter (that’s not the ONLY reason I wanted it to happen ASAP, but one of a list of things). I was more concerned with the fumes of ammonia than the threat of toxoplasmosis. And I really never bought into that whole “cats steal baby’s breath” myth. If you have / have had cats, you know what I mean when I say I really hate the litter box. And lo, a month and a half after first ‘trying,’ I’m pregnant and Jason is the official and for-now cleaner of the cat box.

Since moving into the house, we’ve tried to keep the cats out of the intended baby room. My girl, Millie, sheds a lot. The boys do too. And Lillith, being a Maine Coon, gets hairballs you don’t even want to know about. So, we try to keep them out of the room. We don’t want baby to be having tummy time, grab a bunch of cat hair, and get it in his mouth. That would suck. I think we’ll have to get a roll out rug or something for him, but we will figure that out when he’s at that stage.

I have been trying to find source literature, you know–RELIABLE INFORMATION–about how my cats are going to interact with the new baby. But a lot of what I find are more for dogs. A lot.

Here I am, 5 months pregnant, and I’m STILL wondering why my cats don’t seem to get the fact that I’m pregnant. And why they insist on not only laying on my belly, but climbing on it, jumping off it, jumping on it (that one hurt, but the cat was pretty high on my chest really…freaked me out though), and don’t seem to get that I DON’T WANT YOU THERE. All of my cats are mamma’s cats and very clingy. At any given moment, I have 2-3 of them within arms reach. I enjoy their affection, I really do. I think it’s adorable and somehow a metaphor for world peace when I have all four of them stretched out in some precarious fashion on my person.

So Millie, Lillith, Abner, and Ebeneezer aren’t so quick about my being pregnant. What about with having a new baby in the house? Lillith was sitting on the top of my wing-back chair I use in the office, gently swishing her tail into my face when I decided to do more research. Google is my friend, and it lead me almost immediately to this gem of information courtesy of the ASPCA.

Now, I’ve done research on the taxoplasmosis before, and by all account we’re pretty safe. All our cats are indoor cats. We don’t feed them raw meat, and they don’t hunt and catch rodents. Growing up, I had a cat from the age of eleven to fifteen. When my family moved to Albuquerque and I eventually got a job in a veterinarian’s clinic while in college (a short-lived job as the doctor’s lovely rottweiler tried to bite my face when I was putting down food for it), I got Millie. And the rest is history. . . meaning that my exposure to any toxoplasmosis has been such that even if my cats did have it, I’ve had THEM for so long that I’m immune. It also means that the baby is immune.

The ASPCA recommends allowing the cats to get used to the idea of the impending new person by introducing baby furniture and letting the cats investigate. By allowing the cats to get used to their new surroundings BEFORE the baby is here, the cats will be less likely to be terrified of those things after the baby arrives. They offer a way to dissuade the cats from getting too comfortable by placing cardboard, covered with double-sided tape on top of the crib mattress and changing pad. Apparently cats HATE sticky.

They also suggest playing baby noises prior to bringing the new baby home. Let me set up this situation for you. Upon reading the article, I searched “baby noises” and found this page. At the same time, Millie is on the floor beside my chair, Lillith is on the back of it, Ebeneezer is on the floor somewhere in the vicinity of my desk, and Abner is at my feet. I find a WAV and press play. New born. Holy Kitteh Crap! Lillith is standing up, her eyes wide and looking super freaked out. Ebeneezer has bolted down the hall. Millie is scooching further under the desk. Abner is chill–for the time being.

Jason comes bounding into the office, super excited to listen. And see the cats’ reactions. As I play a few more variations of baby noises, Abner is done being chill and has gone to find his brother (both cower in the doorway of our bedroom just outside the office). Millie and Lillith are looking for the source–Millie HATES loud noises, when I talk on speaker phone, she attacks the phone. . . has for as long as I can remember. But, after a while, the girls perch themselves on my desk and go with it. The boys are still unsure. This whole thing was probably the funniest thing I’ve seen in a LONG time.

I’ll have to do this several more times in the coming months, but I’m doing it out of love for my baby and my Lumpkins. It’s still pretty damn funny.

Protein Power – A Continuation

And I’m back for a second installment of today’s protein log. Now, I read or did read a lot of food blogs (see here, here, and here) over the years, and I have to say; this “multiple blogs for each meal” thing is a TASK. I don’t think I could do it on a regular basis. I’m happy with my Life & Living blog.

But, I assume the reason you came back was for the rest of my day’s protein intake.

Lunch

For lunch, Jason and I went here:

I had a 5 piece chicken strip combo (comes with fries and a drink). I gave up one of my chicken strips for one of Jason’s hot wings.

4 chicken strips 20gm

1 hot wing 5 gm

odd French fries with strange sugar salt sprinkling 5gm

12oz cup of root beer 0gm

~

Snack (because it’s damn hot here!)

banana flavored Popsicle 0gm

~

Dinner

98% fat-free turkey chili 34gm (a biggie)

2oz extra sharp cheddar 14gm

crackers 3gm

~

For the rest of the evening I may eat some frozen peaches blended into a smoothie with a coconut yogurt or some other such frozen amazingness.

My Total (unless I am mistaken): 105 gm protein today. Now go me! Unless eating that much protein is bad, in which case I will get it back down to the range the instructor told us last night (70-80)

Protein for Pregnancy

Last night, Jason and I went to our first “Childbirth Preparedness” class. Oddly, again, we were the “youngest” there. We are still perplexed by the fact that mommies are taking these classes so much later in the game than we are… are we freaks or are they just bad procrastinators? One woman introduced herself saying that she was ALREADY DILATED! Come on people… are you going to make it to the end of the class? I just hope they already took the breastfeeding class.

Anyway…

This first class was a little bit of a let down. The woman conducting the course was sick, and called the class early. We spent most of the time watching a birthing video and listening to the instructor sort of ramble on, disjointedly about what we can expect (not going into to too much detail) and what we probably should be doing as far as nutrition (not too much detail their either). We weren’t the only ones wondering about the content of the class for the $80 fee we paid to take it. HOPEFULLY, it will get better and the instructor will be more organised next week. Fingers crossed.

We did get a packet of literature and a homework assignment.

This week’s assignment is to track my protein intake for one day. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Breakfast

Oatmeal (Instant) 7gm

Toffee dusted almonds (they taste like pralines) 5gm

Low Fat Cottage Cheese 12gm (cha-ching!)

A grand total of 24gm, about one-third of my target of 70gm for the day. I’ll update the list this evening in a separate post.

**Question: How do you keep your protein levels up?**

Another Friday, Another Week Begins

I can OFFICIALLY say that we’re 21 weeks, 1 day into Babytown. This also means that we are a happy 18 weeks, 6 days away from D-day. This is also the final week of my 5th month of pregnancy. We’re in the homestretch of the 2nd trimester. Only 5 more weeks until the 3rd. Crazy, right? October still feels so far away!

In other news, most of the nausea, uncomfortable-ness, and other fun symptoms from the first trimester are actually subsiding. I still get sporadic headaches, which I treat with a single (how amazing) 500mg capsule of Tylenol.

On Tuesday, Jason and I went to a baby care class. This was a three-hour course taught at the hospital in which we learned all about life RIGHT after T.H.E. boy is delivered. We’re excited for most of the things to come. Although the look on Jason’s face while watching the video of the daddy cutting his newborn’s umbilical cord was quite humorous, if nothing else. He wasn’t really sold on the idea of cutting the cord, until he thought more about it being a once in a lifetime event, and would likely kick himself forever for not doing it. Needless to say while drafting our birthing plan, I suggested there be a strong nurse standing behind him in the event of his passing out.

Another interesting item from the class: We were free to sit where we wanted. It just turned out that all the parents who were expecting boys sat together, while all the parents expecting girls sat together. We were oddly separated by the only couple expecting twins–a boy and a girl.

And… we were definitely the ‘youngest’ ones in there. Meaning that all the other babies were due in June, July, or August. All I can say about learning things early is that I’m a planner. I like to know what to expect as early on as possible. We also took a lot of notes, because unlike the other parents, we have four months to forget things.

We start our birthing classes this coming week. We go for two hours every Tuesday for the next four weeks. We get to see the facility, and learn how to give birth… I assume. I guess we’ll see.