Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet Penelope Ann!

 What a week it has been having Penny home!! As most of you know, Penny didn't come before June 12th on her own as we had hoped!! So we went to the hospital the morning of June 12th to be induced.  Surprisingly I got a good night's rest, woke at 4:30 am and had a light breakfast. We dropped of Elijah with his Aunt Ashley, and made our way to the hospital. It was hard to think that in a matter of hours I would begin a new experience, and be on a new adventure with my husband! We enjoyed our drive over to Evanston, the sun was shining, we jammed to our favorite tunes, and talked about how excited we were to meet Penelope. :O)
I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 7:30am. Once everything was all set in place and ready, Jamie gave me a blessing, and we settled  in to be induced. They started my pitocin at 9:30am, shortly after that, my doctor came in and broke my water. Man was that a relief of some pressure! I still was in awe that this was all really happening. I kept looking over at Jamie, and we just kept smiling at one another. After my water was broken, it was just a waiting game for the contractions to kick in. I had an EFM( External Fetal Monitor) internally. They wanted to do the in womb heart monitoring for Penny since I was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). That way they would know right away if anything wasn't going like it should with her.

 It took a couple of hours before I finally started to feel some strong ones.Ive heard from just about everyone that they feel like menstural cramps. Too me it feels more like gas cramps! Pretty much identical really! As they started to come stronger and more often, I decided I was done laying in bed. So I got up and was able to walk around a bit, rock in a rocking chair, rock on a birthing ball, or just stand, and bend over the bed. It felt good to have choices, and be able to move freely from one thing to another as my contractions begun to get stronger. Jamie and I were still talking up a storm about this and that. Don't really remember now. We ended up playing a game, "guess the pressure of that contraction" since I was being monitored internally, the pressure reading of my contractions were right on. Jamie would watch the monitor, and then ask me what the pressure of that contraction was. I was usually close to dead on. It wasn't long though (when the pressure reading was around 86) that, that game began to SUCK, and I didn't even want him talking to me through a contraction haha.

I labored naturally for 12 hours. Until my cervix got to 7cm. Then the doctor came in, and decided he would try to help things along, and he tried to stretch my cervix. Which was quite painful!!! After he stretched my cervix, things started to go down hill a bit. Penny and I were in distress. Her heart rate dropped, and my contractions started to really take the life out of me. I was then confined to the bed, laying my left side. They told me I could no longer walk, rock, bounce or stand. Laying there made my contractions feel even worse, and made me more tired. I decided to get the demerol to take the edge off, and it worked like a charm! Then I really began to just put things in perspective, and I decided to just have the epidural. Even though I couldn't feel my contractions as intense. I was just really ready to relax. I knew I was almost there, but at this point I was so exhausted! The epidural worked great, I had a walking epidural. Even though they kept me confined to the bed. If Penny's heart rate got stable, they would then allow me to walk with support, and use my birthing ball and other tools to labor.

Penny's heartrate still wouldn't level out, without me staying in one position. So they stopped by pitocin. Which really sucked, because once she was finally level, and they started again, it took my contractions forever it seemed to kick in. I was at an 8 for about 2 hours. Once I was at a 9, the doctor came in to check again, and he helped my cervix stretch to a 10. This time I felt nothing, ha, it was quite nice! He then told us that we were ready to push. I couldn't believe it. It was a weird feeling, it was all just so sudden! Penny was now 1 week and 1 day over due. I had tried everything in the book to kick start a natural labor, and here I was laboring for 13 and a half hours. It felt like I would never meet my little Penelope. Now all of a sudden it was time? Could it be!? The doctor then told the nurse to grab my left leg, he turned over to Jamie, and told him to grab my right. I had some brief instructions on how to push.

Then we started. I pushed for and hour and a half. It was the most exhausting part of my entire labor. I had an oxygen mask on for Penny, and it made me closterphobic, so between pushes, I had to pull off the mask and breathe deep for myself a couple breathes, then put it back on and steady my breathing for Penny. It was incredible having my husband right there encouraging me, I knew he would be amazing at this part. He truly was. I could tell he was a little nervous now and again. It was because between pushes I would lay back, eyes closed, and didn't say a word. To me everthing was really calm and peaceful. Jamie didn't know what to think, until he asked me. I reassured him I was doing great, just tired, and needed to revamp for the next push. My epi wore off at about the time I started to push. Which was awesome, because I still couldn't feel anything but after an hour of pushing, I was finally able to feel my contractions, and was able to work with them. They didn't hurt, I could just feel the sensation. That is when things really progressed. I perked up, and had more energy. I could tell she was getting close, Jamie kept telling me how much hair she had. Finally after a few big successful pushes her head was out. The doctor then said he just needed to get her shoulder out, right after he said that, it was meerly seconds, and she was in my arms, on my chest. Her little eyes were open and she was looking right at me. It was the most incredible and beautiful moment ever. I was overwhelemed with emotion. I had actually done it. She was finally here..all 6lbs 6 oz, and 19 inches of her!! Welcome to the world Penelope Ann!!! Mommy and daddy love you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 41 THE END!

41 weeks!!
Tomorrow marks my milestone for week 41 of pregnancy!! That is 10 months and 1 week. WOWZA! Today is my last day of pregnancy!! Looking forward to meeting Penelope Ann tomorrow. We will be inducing labor at 7:30 am. The past couple of days I have been having some crampy contractions, but still nothing intense. I am eager to find out if they have been doing anything! My mother always never knew when she was in labor until she was dilated to about 7 cm!! With me she was literally sitting on my head in the car on the way to the hospital, my younger sister Katie Mae she was overdue with. Went in at 42 weeks to be induced. When we got there she was in transition!! She had Katie within the hour!

It's crazy how each and every woman is different with pregnancy, and labor. I just love hearing every ones experiences!

I have been feeling rather great still. Just tired here and there towards the evenings. I have been taking it pretty easy the past few days. I was admitted into the hospital the other night with high blood pressure. I had an extremely bad headache for most of the day, and nothing would make it subside. So I then decided I had better call my doctor before he closed for the evening. I called at about 4:30, Jamie had left for work and took Elijah up to gma and gpa's house, so I could get some rest. The doctor told me to take my bp, and call them back with the results.

So I called my friend Stephanie, and she took me over to the grocery store so I could get my bp taken at the pharmacy. I took it 4 times. It was surely high! 150/94 was my average. I have never in my life been over 120/80. I called my doctor back, and they told me to come in immediately. I had to call Jamie who was almost at work, and have him turn around, then I had to get ah old of my sister in law, and get our game plans rolling to take Elijah for the night.

It was nerve wracking. I didn't know what to expect at this moment. Were we gonna have a baby? Were they going to induce me tonight? Were they going to do a cesarean? Jamie gave me a blessing, and I felt at ease right away. They hooked me up to all the standard machines, took my blood, and started me an IV in case we had to have the baby that night. I still had high blood pressure and Penelope's heart rate was high. Around 180 Jamie and I sat and talked and laughed, while watching a couple episodes of "Friends" . Jamie kept saying they were going to send us home.

I was popping out contractions like it was cool. About every 3 minutes,but they weren't painful. They just really made me have to urinate like NO OTHER! They just weren't long or strong enough to be doing much. I dilated about 1/2 a cm while we were there. If I had made significant progress we would have stayed overnight. We were admitted about 7:30pm, and had our results around 10:30. Everything came back normal. My bp had lowered to normal, and Penny's heartrate had gone back down to normal as well.
Love these peachy orange flowers!

We were released with a clean bill of health that evening! We celebrated with some ice cream, and headed home. I have felt back to normal since then. However it has been super hard to sit still. The doctors and nurses told me to take it easy, and watch my bp. It seems that being on my feet easily gets my contractions going, and they tend to get stronger quite easily. So I sat still pretty well for 2 days. Kind of?? I'm not very good at the whole sitting thing. Today I worked in my yard a while. Had to plant some more flowers ;O) I just love this time of year.

My pumpkins, watermelon and Strawberries!
Working in the yard is by far one of my favorite things to do! I certainly get it from my mother! I do intend to take the rest of the day easy, I'm not even going to COOK! Can't believe the day is almost to a close..Ill be seeing you SOON PENNY!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Today is my DUE DATE!!! 40 Weeks Pregnant!

40 weeks!
 Well here we are at week number 40!!!! Today is my due date.... and Penelope Ann has not arrived! We went in bags packed to my Dr. this morning to have a checkup, and do a non stress stress test. Penelope passed with flying colors. Heart beat was outstanding. We then checked my fluid, and she has PLENTY of fluid in her lil home as well! She is certainly not ready to come out. I am okay with that. I am anxious to see the little tyke, but she just isn't ready!
39 weeks!
Other than that my appointment showed that I had lost 2 lbs, this past week, and I haven't progressed with my cervix. It's opening, but not enough to even scrape my membranes!! Not that effacement and dilation even mean anything. People can walk around at a 5 for weeks, and NOTHING. People can have NOTHING for WEEKS, and BOOM..dilate like it's cool and have a baby in a matter of hours.

Since there was no need for induction today, we will wait ONE more week. If labor doesn't jump start on it's own, then we will induce next Tuesday morning June 12th @ 7:30am!
I have had so many people tell me how sorry they are that I am going over my due date. I find it silly. I'm in no pain or discomfort. Still running, lifting weights, boxing, pilates, yoga, etc etc.. You name it I am doing it. I feel pretty darn fabulous. I just have the occasional tiredness!

This past week has been a little hectic. Elijah broke his leg. He was dinking around on the couch with dad, and twisted his foot, and fell off the couch. The fall isn't what broke him, it was the twisting action on the couch we presume. He has been a trooper, and has been walking on it for a couple of days now.

It is so hard and sad to see your baby hurt like this! My baby boy!! It was just in time too, dad had to go on graves, and so I was left tending to Elijah all day and night, with a little break from dad once he woke up in the afternoon to get ready to go to work. The first 3 days were kinda tough. I tried to keep us busy. The tough part was Elijah whining, and needing to be carried EVERYWHERE. I mean I work out daily, and do all sorts of vigorous exercises, but having to carry around almost and extra 50lbs between Penny in my belly, and Elijah on my was exhausting!!
His awesome camo cast!
So thankful his cast is waterproof, it has been SO NICE to not have to worry about keeping my Critter clean!!

I have honestly been trying every trick in the book to induce this labor..And zilch!!! My neighbor came over the other day flabbergasted that I was mowing the lawn. She said I was crazy. LOL mowing the lawn is a piece of cake compared to most of my workouts I have been doing throughout my whole pregnancy!! It's just walking back and forth really haha. I don't even recall breaking much of a sweat. Maybe because of the heat..but that is about it!

 I am extremely thankful and feel truly blessed to have had such another amazing pregnancy. I feel very ready, and confident to have Penelope! So excited to see what labor is like, and to potentially experience a natural birth. She is currently weighing in at around 6.5 lbs. A whole pound more than Elijah was when he was born ( he was a Cesarean due to being breech, and not being able to turn during the ECV. and taken at 37 weeks.) So I very well could be having around a 7lb baby give or take!! That is odd for me to think about LOL.

Hope to see you soon Penny!! Mommy, daddy, and big brother Elijah are so eager to meet you sweet girl!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week 38 and Counting!

37 weeks 1 day!
Still pregnant! All 38 weeks of me, but not for long I presume! Saturday was a pretty awesome day. Can't remember the last day that really wasn't actually! I feel very blessed to have felt so amazing through this pregnancy. I did get hit with some fatigue the past few weeks. I had plenty of down days, just spent relaxing, reading a book, playing with Elijah outdoors and lounging around.

It has been nice for a change. I am quite a busy girl. I like it that way too. I really enjoy always having a task, chore, errand, craft, or home improvement project to do! At first when the fatigue hit I was a bit miserable. I missed going to the gym, and my at home workouts just don't do me justice I feel. I at least had jogging outdoors with Summit! The only downside was after my morning workout I was beat! And it literally zapped my energy for the rest of the day. So I cut back on cardio, and upped my pilates, and yoga. It helped a lot, but I missed my daily running routine!

Elijah helping mom and dad prep the vegetable garden
The past week has been good with my energy levels. They have seemed to come back to normal. Most likely because of my hormones I think? Getting ready to have this baby!! Penelope will be here literally any day now. It's very exciting to think about!

I got a lot of work done in the yard yesterday. I decided it was time to get rid of a lilac bush that Jamie and I had always talked about cutting down. We love lilac bushes, however this one was in the way of my up and coming vegetable garden! Good thing we have 2 lilac bushes in the yard. It would have been really sad, I love keeping fresh lilac in the house during the season!

Jamie woke to me taking a the chainsaw to the bush in the early A.M. He came out and asked what I was doing. I told him. "Prepping my vegetable garden!" He said "OK, just don't cut off your leg." Then he went back inside and him and Elijah apparently watched me finish the job. He told me later it was enjoyable watching his wife do something like that. It made him proud. :O) 
Goodbye Lilac Bush!
We spent the day running errands, doing yard work and going to a birthday party for our sweet niece Paige. I was literally on my feet, hands and knees all day. Played basketball with the nephews, ran around in the yard blowing bubbles with all our nieces and nephews. Walking around the mall, and home depot, digging out lilac bush roots, shoveling dirt and weeding in my vegetable garden. There were a couple of times when I was pulling up roots that I literally though Penny was gonna pop RIGHT out of me! She didn't though!

After we called it a day, Jamie wanted to go mountain biking. I was all game to go. But he thought it best for me to stay home and relax. Good thing I did. He came home drenched in sweat, and so sore beyond belief! Guess Ill have to hit that trail after Penny is born! ;O) I don't think I would have survived!

Playing with Earthworms!
I didn't have a problem with the high amount of activity yesterday as most people would have thought. I felt great, slept great, and woke up early feeling great! Ready to do it all over again!

I did have some more sign this morning about Penny's arrival! So I know that those contractions yesterday from all the activity must have been doing something!!? 16 days left until my due date. I wonder when she will make her debut!?!?

On another note! Our family hit a milestone on May 18th!! It was our sweet Summit Boy's birthday!! He turned the big 4!!! What an amazing dog he has been in our lives. Great Danes make GREAT companions! Elijah and him are the best of buds. Our family would not be complete without him!!!

Happy Birthday Sir Admiral Ullr Summit!
Summit's Birthday doggie cake I baked!
Elijah and Summit <3

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pumpkin Quinoa Bars

A friend of mine asked me if I had a recipe for a Quinoa Protein Bar. These are delish! Having trouble finding the original site I adapted this recipe from, and I wanted to pin it! So here it is. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Quinoa Protein Bars

Part one:
(1 cup) uncooked quinoa
2 cups water

Part two:
(1/2 cup) fresh pumpkin meat ( canned will work just fine, however fresh meat is tastier!!)
  1/2 cup water

Part three:
1/3 cup + 1-2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 - 3/4 tsp sea salt
(1/4 cup) flax egg

Part four:
1-2 tbsp pepitas (seeds from squash)

Cook the quinoa (after rinsing it). I used the method in which you boil the quinoa and the water for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover it, and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine half of the quinoa and the pumpkin purée in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse on low and slowly stream in the water, then gradually bring it up to high speed. It will be tough to purée quinoa, because it's very gummy and glutinous, but be patient and keep working it and it'll come out fine!

Dump in a large bowl, and then add all of part three, along with the rest of the quinoa. Mix well, give it a taste and adjust any of the seasonings or sugar to your liking.

Scrape into a well-greased 8x8" baking dish (I baked it in a larger dish and I found it a bit too thin to handle well). Smooth out so it's level, and then sprinkle the pepitas over the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is dry and doesn't give in when you press gently on it, then cool for an hour (you can put it on a plate and then leave it in the fridge uncovered to speed up the process). Then cut into as many bars as you want. I cut them into 16 because they're pretty densely packed with nutrients and fiber and protein, so a little should be enough!