Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All My Children

We went in for our 37 week appointment today, and everything was great! My blood pressure is still low, no weight gain, and size is still good.

Important updates: I am about 2cm dilated (!!!) and I am GBS negative. Both of these things made us very excited. Obviously 2cm is good progress, but some women are 2-3cm for weeks before they actually go into labor, so it doesn't really mean too much. Still exciting. Being GBS negative means that I will not have to be given antibiotics through IV during labor, which means I do not have to go to the hospital early once I go into labor.

Unfortunately, he thinks that she may still breech. He felt around on my stomach and said she may be head down, but he could not say for sure. He scheduled us for another ultrasound Thursday (tomorrow!) night!!!

We also had our first non-stress test today (NST). A NST is where we get hooked up to the fetal heart rate monitor and the uterine activity monitor, and I am given a clicker to record her movements. She was being extremely stubborn at first, but eventually started to cooperate. I think she knew she was making daddy late for work and she didn't want him to go :). After about 35 minutes, they said that she was doing great - we had lots of movement, and her heart rate held steady around 156 bpm.

Our next NST and appointment are scheduled for next Wednesday! And while he will not give anything specific, he says he guessed I had about one to two more weeks... which would put us right around our due date if she cooperates and things keep progressing like they are. :)

On an unrelated note, our furbabies have decided that they love mommy's new rocking chair.

For those of you who are new to the blog, these are our furbabies.

Leela is on the left. We just adopted her from the local animal shelter in September. She is one and a half years old. She came in as a stray in April, and we brought her home with us after seeing her and playing with her at the shelter for several weeks.

Kenji is on the right. We adopted him from the shelter in May 2009. He is two and a half years old. He also came in to the shelter as a stray, and was there for about seven months before I finally convinced Brent that we really needed to bring him home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Full Term

October 27... Brent's 25th birthday and my pregnancy will officially be considered "full term." :)

We will go in for our 37 week appointment.
Our doctor is scheduling our final ultrasound.

The end is so close!!! I can't believe that in 21 days (or less) I will be holding my little girl.

Brent is also very excited. He already loves her so much, it makes my heart smile. This past weekend we went to one of my good friend's wedding. When she walked in with her dad and they passed by our pew going toward the front of the sanctuary he grabbed my hand. I noticed that he was starting to tear up... after we sat back down he looked at me and said the tears were because he was already thinking that one day that would be him walking Elly down the aisle. This obviously made me tear up as well. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Almost There

I am now over 36 weeks, and into the final month of my first pregnancy! It has been a crazy roller coaster with lots of ups and downs, but it will all be worth it in a few weeks when we are holding our little girl!

Yesterday was our appointment, and it went really well! Everything looked great - my weight gain was good, my blood pressure is still low, and my size looked good. We heard Elly's heartbeat and it was strong, it makes me tear up every time. Then I look over at Brent and he had a smile on his face that's just as big. We love her so much already!

Our doctor decided that since I was still measuring fine and her heartbeat was so strong that we really didn't need to be hooked up to the monitors yesterday, but said that he would definitely schedule an ultrasound at next weeks appointment. I was also tested for GBS, so hopefully the results for that come back today.

Today is going to be filled with my mile-long to-do list. I have a bunch of still I want to get done, but have had no motivation the past couple of days... however today I woke up feeling ready to go :)

When Brent gets home from work I will have him take an updated belly pic, I'm getting BIG.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Big Day!

I am happy to announce that Brent and I are officially married!

The day was absolutely perfect, the weather was gorgeous, our amazing friends were there to celebrate with us, and we could not be happier.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Birth Plan

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who commented, called, or texted me about my last entry. Everyone's love and support means so much to me and I really appreciate it.

Now, to answer a few questions that were asked... mostly about my birth plan and how I feel about it being changed.

Even before I found out I was pregnant I had a pretty good idea of how I would want my birth plan to be, after I got pregnant and I started reading information and attended a childbirth class it did not change my mind... but as most of you know I am pretty stubborn (I do have to take the blame for Elly already developing that trait) and I am not afraid of a little pain.

So, here is how I wanted it to happen: I wanted to do go through most of early labor at home - it's more comfortable and I can eat food other than ice chips and popsicles. However, since this is my first and I don't know what to expect I figured I would probably end up having Brent take me to the hospital when I was only around 3-4 cm dilated, which is good but still makes for a long labor in the hospital. I wanted a completely natural vaginal delivery. I do not want to be induced, unless medically necessary. I did not want any pain medications and I most definitely did not want an epidural - I am not afraid of needles, but I would love to be able to get up and have a shower after I give birth. I also did not want an episiotomy (where the doctor cuts instead of letting you tear naturally). That was the plan...

After we went through our birthing class we learned a few things about our hospital, the main one being that almost everyone gets induced for convenience. Either so your doctor can deliver your baby (we go to a woman's clinic that employs four OB's) or so it is convenient for you. Okay, so I am not going to be induced just to have my doctor deliver my baby. That would be nice since we have really gotten to know him, but we have spoke with all four doctors in the practice and they all seem very nice and I'm sure any of them would do a great job. So, problem one solved.

As far as the rest of it, it depends on her position. Our hospital will not vaginally deliver a baby who is breech so that option is out. They will try the inversion procedure once, which I have opted for if necessary, but if that fails the only option is a c-section.

I obviously do not want a c-section. The healing process is longer and I will have to wait a few hours after delivery to even hold Elly (sad face!) BUT if it comes down to it, I am okay with this option. I want her to be healthy and happy and if that requires a c-section then that's what it's going to be. I will probably be upset, but not everything always goes as we plan it. Plus, I have had time to mentally prepare myself for it so that helps.

The doctor and the nurse who instructed the birthing class both gave me ways to try and get her to flip naturally. I have tried a few, and will continue to try them for the next couple of weeks until our ultrasound. These included exercises, flash lights, and music... most seemed funny to Brent and I, but whatever works, works and I am willing to try anything.

In other news, we finally got Brent's car up and running and have the car seat installed (!!!) so everything is almost ready for her arrival! I have all of her clothes washed and put away. Our hospital bags are packed and sitting there waiting. and we are so excited to finally meet her! I'm sure I will continue to go crazy cleaning every inch of the apartment from now until delivery, but the hard work will pay off once she is here and I do not feel like doing anything. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


On Monday we went in for our ultrasound to re-evaluate Elly's size. I couldn't really see much of the screen, but Brent said she was moving around like she always is.

Unfortunately, she is still breech and she still has her feet up in her face - neither of which are good for being almost 35 weeks.

Yesterday we got a call from the doctor's office. She is measuring smaller than the dates and the doctor wants to see us this week instead of waiting until our appointment next week. The nurse reassured us that the baby was fine, she was just measuring small and the doctor wanted to re-evaluate things with me. As innocent as the phone conversation seemed, it sent me right into a fit of hysterics. I spent the next hour or so crying into my pillow with Brent trying to cuddle me and calm me down. His efforts did not work, but they were appreciated. The crying also completely exhausted me because I took a four hour nap after he left for work. Being emotional and pregnant is a hard job too, you know.

Well, we woke up this morning and went in to see Dr. Elliot. He reassured us, again, that our little girl was fine and the only problem was that she was now measuring two weeks smaller than our date. He said he was not concerned, and he was not even going to change the due date... he just wants to keep her monitored. We will go in every week from now until she is delivered. He asked about family history, and said that maybe my family is just good at making small babies since Whitney and I were both small at birth (Me = 5 lb. 3 oz., Whitney = 5 lb.).

We still have our appointment next week, he is going to hook us (me and Elly) up to the monitors and check everything again. The week after that he is ordering another ultrasound. He said he would take things from there depending on what she looked like and how things progressed.

As far as her being breech... he said they usually give babies up to 36-37 weeks to flip on their own. Elly has been extremely stubborn since the beginning so I doubt that she will flip on her own, though it would be nice because right now she has her head lodged in my rib cage and it really hurts. If she does not flip on her own, I have opted to try an inversion rather than go straight for a c-section. An inversion is where the doctor will manipulate my uterus from the outside and try to manually turn the baby... a procedure that is extremely painful in and of itself, and one that also will put me into labor from the stimulation to my uterus. He said that when we come in at 37 weeks, we will get an ultrasound and if she is still breech he will schedule an appointment to do the inversion at the beginning of November (3 weeks away!!!) If the inversion fails, or she flips back around after the procedure a c-section will have to be scheduled. This apparently happens around 38-39 weeks, to try and avoid going into natural labor with the baby still out of position.

So, potentially, depending on how much Elly cooperates and what happens in the next two weeks we could be planning on having her here in about 3-4 weeks. Yikes! I can't believe how close it is. At the same time, we are both really excited to finally meet her! :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Man v. Food

Brent and I are both big fans of Adam Richman, and his show Man v. Food. In fact, we get a lot of ideas of places we want to travel and recipes we want to adapt based on the show.

Lunch today came from the Niagara Falls episode: steak sandwich.

I do not remember the name of the restaurant, because we saw it a few months ago. In fact, we have made this sandwich three times since then, but today was the first time I did not inhale the sandwich before taking a picture. Yeah, it's that good.

It is a spin on a traditional philly cheesesteak sandwich, but just as delicious!

We buy a small beef tip cut steak (or top sirloin steak) and cut it into bite size pieces. We then fry these in butter. I leave mine plain, but Brent spices his up with black pepper, sea salt, and paprika.

While the beef is cooking, we fry up some hash browns. Plain and simple - buy some frozen hash browns, heat oil, add the tators... cook until brown.

We dress up the bun with a slice of provolone cheese (we have also added lettuce, but we did not have any today) and wait.

Once the meat is cooked we set another piece of provolone on top of it and let it sit in the hot skillet until it is melted, then we transfer the meat to the bun. After the hash browns are golden, we transfer then to a paper towel-covered plate so the excess grease can be soaked up. Top the sandwich with the hash browns and some mustard, and serve!

Nom nom nom!

Note: you can also add onions and/or green peppers, but onions are never found in our house and we didn't have a pepper.


Yesterday I decided to bust out another can of pumpkin and try some new recipes!

After making my pumpkin bread, a few people asked if I had ever made a pumpkin loaf [or pumpkin roll]... and since I had no idea what they were talking about I started investigating. Soon after Caitlin posted about making one on her blog. She said she followed a recipe online, so I clicked the link and made the same one.

The recipe is HERE.

It is delicious! Extremely moist, perfect sweetness, and perfect pumpkin-y taste! :)

Next up was pumpkin pancakes!!

1 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C milk
1/2 C pumpkin [not pumpkin pie mix]
1 egg
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS vinegar

1. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a separate bowl mix: milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, and vinegar. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.
2. Heat a lightly oiled skillet [you can use a griddle, I just don't have one] over medium heat.
3. Use approximately 1/4 cup batter per pancake.

The recipe made about 9 pancakes about the size of the one in the picture, which was plenty for Brent and me! :) Brent commented that they were better than any box mix recipe I had ever used. He may be biased, but the recipe is still definitely worth trying!

I love the fall <3

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's in a name?

We had our baby shower on Sunday and it was fabulous!!! Thank you SO much Mom and Whitney! :)

At the baby shower, we decided to announce the name.

Emmeline Cambria Johnson...
Elly, for short.

Unique and beautiful.
Emmeline is old English for Emily, but we actually discovered this name in a Harry Potter book. She is only mentioned a few times and she is not a very memorable character, but since we are both huge fans of the series we both noticed it. Brent took the name further and used it as one of his D&D character names a few years ago. When we first started thinking of names, I fell in love with Elly but knew that I didn't want that to be her full name and when Brent suggested Emmeline, it was perfect.

Cambria was also suggested by Brent. We both love the band Coheed & Cambria. He is a long time fan and I even have their lyrics tattooed on my back. We went through a lot of options before finally deciding on this, but it flows perfect with Emmeline and sounds gorgeous.

We decided to share the name because one of my good friends was generous enough to hand make me letters for her nursery and I just could not wait another six weeks to share the pictures.

[If you like these and would be interested in some she has an Artfire Shop and an Etsy Shop!]
Back to the baby shower... it was on Sunday, and I could not have asked for a better one. There were a few family and friends there, and everyone is so excited for Elly to be here and I had a great time celebrating with everyone. Brent even decided he wanted to be a part of it and came with me.

We got almost everything we really needed to give us a good start, and I feel much much more prepared now! My family and our friends have been wonderful and we really appreciate all of their support and help with our little girl! :)

We had our 34 week appointment yesterday, everything was great. My blood pressure is still low, my weight gain is normal, my size is still measuring with dates, and her heartbeat was loud and strong! He scheduled another ultrasound for next week, and then we have our 36 week appointment the week after. THEN it's weekly visits until she decides to come into the world!! I can't believe how close it is. :)

LOVE these shoes!! Thanks Brooke! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heated Debate.

The social media is in a firestorm right now because of an article written about food and healthy living bloggers in Marie Claire magazine. Here is the article so you can read it, or at least have reference.

After reading this article I was outraged. Over the past several months I have been following three of the six bloggers viciously attacked in the article. Meghann, Caitlin, and Kath. I do not know any of these women in real life, but I feel like I have really gotten to know them through following their lives in their blogs. They have never met me, and I have only left a couple of comments on their blogs however I know that if I were planning a trip to Charlotte and I e-mailed Caitlin, she would love to meet up for dinner. Or, if I am ever in Orlando I am sure Meghann would love to chat over some fro-yo. And Kath publicly invited everyone to come celebrate her birthday with her later this month. That is because these are REAL women. They have real lives, they are not just internet robots trying to control their readers or tell society how to live. Unfortunately, the article makes them look much worse.

The first issue that really got to me was the fact that HEALTHY LIVING is being considered an eating disorder. I have a degree in Health Fitness with a minor in Nutrition, so I am well aware of the difference between healthy living and an eating disorder and the women who write these blogs most definitely do not have an eating disorder. And I refuse to believe that the way I live my life could be construed as an eating disorder. Just because we eat whole grains, REAL fruit and vegetables, and don't always indulge in "more than one beer the night before a race" does not mean we are disordered. Just because we like to run and exercise EVERYDAY does not make us disordered. That is called living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is good. REAL FOOD is good. Our bodies need it, exercise increases energy and stimulates hormones that make you feel GOOD. Endurance athletes, like Meghann and Caitlin, LOVE what they do, so YES they will probably gush about their races on their blogs because it is who they are and it is what makes them happy. They will also probably post about the long, grueling training plan they have to follow... it is all part of being an athlete. They choose to put it out on the internet for the public to PROVE that you can eat healthy and be an athlete. Not once in the months that I have been reading their blogs have any of the girls mentioned trying to lose weight. In fact, none of them have ever even posted their weight. THE ONLY mention I have seen of anyone's weight is Meghann commenting on how she has gained weight over the summer. She CLEARLY has an eating disorder. (yeah, right).

So, this is coming off as a giant rant on my part, but I am not sorry. When I stared this blog I intended it to be a healthy living blog, but it was too hard to maintain especially since I am pregnant and my aversions were running the show. Still, it chronicles my baking adventures and my life, not to a large extent but I hope to one day change that. I may not have many followers right now, but I don't care. I want to blog for me. I want to share my recipes and pictures of the things I make. One day, the followers will come. One day my name will be known in the blogging community. And until then, I will just blog for the few who do read and continue to chronicle my adventures.

Before I got pregnant I was living a very healthy lifestyle. I ate fruits and vegetables all the time, I exercised every day.. I was even training for my first sprint triathlon! Yes, I indulged in cookies (probably more than necessary), but that is part of being balanced. Unfortunately, when I got pregnant I lost all taste for any vegetables and cannot even stomach the smell of most of them. This has made "healthy" eating difficult, but I still manage lots of fruit and a few veggies when I can. After I have my baby I plan to start cooking all of our meals again, using only fresh ingredients and I plan to start running again as soon as I can. It's not because I have to lose the baby weight, it is because I love doing it. I love how I feel after a good run. I love how I have more energy for the rest of the day after a good work out in the morning.

The healthy living blog community has helped me so much. It is so comforting to know that there are other people out there who view health and fitness through the same eyes that I do. People who understand that "health" foods are more delicious than processed foods. Girls who understand that an intense run is more than just a way to burn calories. I love these girls and their blogs. The pictures of their meals make me drool and they have inspired me to one day do a marathon myself. No, it is not because I need to compare myself to them or try to do what they do... it is because I now have faith in myself as an athlete. I have faith in myself as a person. I know that I don't have to be fast and that walk breaks are okay.

I see their blogs as a POSITIVE influence on my life. I cannot speak for their thousands of other readers (although comments and tweets have shown that I am not the only one who feels this way), but I would be devastated if any of them decided to quit blogging. I would honestly feel like I was losing a friend.

So, Caitlin, Meghann, and Kath (and the other three bloggers)... you have my support and you always will. It was obvious you were misrepresented and I hope that one day an apology comes your way. If not, don't let it get to you. You are such an inspiration and positive motivation for me, and thousands of others.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Her days in the womb are numbered... 46 to be exact, not that I'm counting down or anything. :) However, I do have to admit, by this point I am over the pregnancy excitement and definitely ready to meet our little girl.

I am back to feeling exhausted ALL the time, I take a nap almost everyday. Some days even get two naps. My ankles and hands are swollen. The doctor recommended I wear compression socks, since the leg swelling was causing a lot of pain. I also can no longer wear my engagement ring for fear of losing all circulation in my finger. My back aches all the time, especially if I am up doing things for any amount of time or if I sit in my computer chair for too long (which I am experiencing right now). Sleep is impossible. Between the bathroom trips almost hourly and the fact that it is no longer possible for me to be comfortable, I only get a few hours of sleep at a time... if I'm lucky. That would probably explain the frequent naps. I won't even get started on the nesting. I see that as a positive thing though, I love nesting. Yesterday the house got a complete "deep clean", not that it really needed it, but it happened. Oh, and the hormones and mood swings. Poor Brent, that is really all I have to say.

I just keep telling myself that it will all be worth it in a few weeks. Brent has been extremely supportive through all of it. He hugs me every time I start crying, even if it is because I just dropped my spoon on the floor. He gives me multiple back rubs a day, plus foot massages every night. He also rubs tummy butter on my stretch marks before we go to bed. He would cook and clean, he has a few times, but I usually have those covered. He is wonderful, and I am very lucky to have him. He has made this a much more enjoyable experience all around.

The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy for us, lots of amazing things happening and lots to look forward to. Especially since I have had a feeling since the beginning that she is going to be an October baby. This makes me nervous, excited, and anxious all at the same time. I feel extremely unprepared for her still! I guess that is all part of parenting.

And since this blog documents all my pregnancy milestones, I have to admit that I got a little overly excited (probably way more excited than need be) when I noticed my nipple was leaking last night. YAY COLOSTRUM!

I also may or may not have gotten overly excited in Wal-Mart today when I noticed adorable tiny pink hangers.. I also may or may not have purchased a set of them. :)

Brent is even more excited as the day gets closer. He has made a huge playlist for her to play when I go into labor (to keep me calm, and hopefully coax her out faster) and to play for her once we get her home. Music is one of his biggest passions, and him doing this on his own shows me how much he already loves her. He also spends a few minutes every night talking to her, it is so cute. Sometimes it makes me teary eyed... okay, most of the time.

Big announcement coming in the next few days.. be watching for it! :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ultrasound Crazy!

I was a little disappointed in the beginning of my pregnancy because I wasn't getting a lot of ultrasounds - which is good, because it meant there were no problems, but made us sad because we wanted to see our little girl as much as possible.

To make up for it, things got better in the second half... we had our 20 week anatomy ultrasound, where we found out [officially] she is in fact a GIRL! The we had to get an emergency ultrasound at 29 weeks to re-evaluate her size. Turns out she is measuring about 5 days smaller than the anticipated due date, which in reality doesn't actually matter because 5 days is not a huge difference once she is ready to come out.

Then we scheduled our 3D/4D ultrasound. Since these are not for diagnostic purposes, we had to set it up ourselves and we had to pay for it. The good news is, we get two appointments just in case she doesn't cooperate. Well we went in for our first one at 31 weeks. She proved she was our little monkey by showing us lots of her feet - which she had right in front of her face. Silly girl. The pictures were not horrible and we spent a glorious 30 minutes watching her move around and be crazy.

Then we set up our second one, because it was free and I'm not going to pass up an opportunity to see her again! We set it for 32 weeks. Same thing all over again, she had her feet right in her face. She is so adorable. Unfortunately this time the machine broke about 20 minutes into our appointment... :( BUT the tech let us schedule another appointment (free of charge) to make up for it! WIN! :)

We set it for two days later, and it turns out this was the best session BY FAR. She still had her feet right in her face, but she showed us her face and how beautiful she already is. We are so excited for her to be here!!!

And, just for good measure our doctor is scheduling us for another ultrasound at 35 weeks just to check on her one more time! :D