Pineapple Induction

My due date, September 7, has come and gone.  We’re still waiting for Baby George’s arrival.  It’s normal for first time mums to be a week late.

I haven’t been going out very much to get lots of rest.  I take a nap everyday to make sure I’m well rested in case I go into labor.

My boobs started getting sore on September 9.  I guess my breasts are getting ready for breastfeeding.  Kat said my milk may be coming in.

I looked up natural ways to induce labor. This website lists 40 different ways.  Walking is one of them, so we always get in our nightly walk.  I do notice tightening when we walk and sometimes it feels like cramps.

Ivan bought a pineapple since eating pineapple is another natural induction method.  Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that is supposed to work like a prostaglandin, ripening and softening the cervix.

In the middle of the night, usually around 3 am, I wake up to go to the bathroom. Some nights I’m so thirsty and I go downstairs.  I get a glass of sparkling water and eat something like an egg or banana bread.  I practice my breathing and then go to the toilet and go back to bed.

I saw my midwife Kat on September 10, 2014 for my prenatal visit.  She said George is starting to engage (drop).  She recommended taking Replenish which contains black and blue cohosh.  She said to take 3 capsules and then rest for 45 minutes to an hour.  Use the breast pump for 45 minutes for nipple stimulation (another natural induction  method).  Then, she suggests trying to take a walk and then have a meal.  She wants me to take the capsules 3 times a day.

If I still hadn’t gone into labor by our next visit which would be 2 days after being 41 weeks pregnant, she would strip my membranes which separates the uterus wall and the amniotic sac.  It’s best to soften the cervix with the Replenish pills before stripping membranes.

Ivan bought the Replenish pills for me at Herbally Grounded.

On September 11, 2014, I saw my doula Shannondoah for my weekly hypnomassage.  She did acupressure focusing on pressure points during the massage.  This is another natural way to induce labor.

We practiced breathing with breathing in for a 5 count and then breathing out like blowing bubbles for a 5 count.  She said this can be used when I go into early labor.  It’s similar to the Lamaze breathing technique I learned.

At the end of the massage, she showed Ivan how to do 3 pressure points on my foot and one on my shoulder.  She showed me how to do two on my wrist.  She said that once the acupressure is done and regularly done a few hours a day, labor usually starts 24-72 hours after if the baby is ready to come out.

I started taking the Replenish pills and they make me so very sleepy.  I started pumping with the breast pump for 45 minutes.  My breast pump is called Purely Yours by Ameda.

Ameda's Purely Yours breast pump

Kat said it’s a good breast pump.  I feel like a cow when I do it.  It’s loud and beeps every few seconds.  I wish there was volume control on it, but there’s not.  Kat said that I might get some colostrum coming out, but no milk has come out when I’ve pumped so far.  My nipples feel sore after pumping for so long.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe when I was pumping.

I have noticed that my stomach gets tighter more often now after two days of eating pineapple.

I’ve been doing exercises and bouncing on the exercise ball.  Bouncing on an exercise ball while spreading your legs is another natural way to induce labor.

I’ve been doing so many natural induction methods, but Baby George still doesn’t want to come out yet!

On Friday the 12th, well actually Saturday morning, I was lying in bed and felt a heaviness on my chest like something really heavy was on me.  Before bed, I felt the heaviness again, but it seemed to travel from one side of my chest to the other.  I think the Replenish pills are effecting me.  I will text my midwife Kat about it when I wake up.

I texted Kat and told her about my trouble breathing and the heaviness in my chest.  I let her know that I had taken two full day of pills.  She thinks that my body is sensitive to the Replenish pills and that I should stop taking them immediately.  She said I should drink plenty of fluids.  We would try another natural induction method.

Jen at 40.6 weeks pregnant

I’m now 40.6 weeks pregnant and I’m feeling great.  Most of my maternity clothes don’t fit.  I haven’t been bothered to buy anymore clothes since I’ll soon give birth.  I still wear the shirts that don’t cover my whole belly, only a little of the belly shows.  Hopefully, nobody notices my stretch marks on my belly.

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Good Releasing

I’ve been getting heartburn after I eat a big meal.  Sometimes it’s painful, but it doesn’t last very long which is good.

I pee so much  more now during the day.  It’s funny how I know where the restrooms are in the usual places we visit like Wal-Mart or Smiths.

I sleep great during the night usually getting 9 or 10 hours of sleep a night.  I always try to get a nap in during the day since Kat said it was important to get plenty of rest.  Plus, we never know when the baby will come – it could be during the day or the night.

We watched The Greater Good documentary which talks about people getting sick or even dying from vaccinations in America.

On September 3, 2014, I saw my midwife Kat and her intern Felicia for my prenatal visit.  She said everything looked great.  I showed them the nursery and they liked it.  She said that Baby George is lower down, but he hasn’t dropped yet.  My uterus is still high up.  The baby likes to stick his butt up.  I told Kat that I feel a sharp pain every now and then when I need to pee.  She said that it’s dilation.  He’s was in the ROA position again.

I’m still waiting and I really wish I knew when he was coming.  It’s wonderful being pregnant and feeling his movements and kicks.  But, I would love for him to come out and meet us.

I feel so excited that he’s coming, but I’m trying to enjoy my sleep and this time of being pregnant because I know soon that my life will dramatically change.

I keep reading up on the signs of upcoming labor since I always seem to forget what I learned in the classes we took.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on September 4, 2014 for my hypnomassage.  She feels my stomach and George before the massage.  Baby George sticks his back up waiting for a massage.  He really likes massages.  She only touches my stomach and George for a few minutes and after he started kicking like saying Where’s my massage? That was just a teaser!

I told her that the top of my legs hurt.  She said that’s my abductors.  It’s from the pressure on the pelvis.  My left top leg hurts more and it usually hurts when I stand only on that leg.

Shannondoah did fear releasing, but in a different way this time.  She had me imagine myself talking to a future me.  I asked myself about my fears about the labor and birth.  I said the unknown and the pain.  I asked myself what I could do about my fears.  The future me said to relax.  Shannondoah said what else I could do for an easy birth.  She said that I should have a calm environment and listen to my body.

She had me repeat things about the pain of labor like the pain would be worth it to hold Baby George in my arms.  Anything is worth it for him.  She also had me imagine George as a kid who was 5 years old.  He was holding newborn George.  He told me that everything would be just fine and to let go of my fears.

We practiced bearing down together.  It’s where take a deep breath in and make a C with my back putting my head towards my breasts.  I would push when I had my head down.

I love hypnomassages since they’re so relaxing and you can do cool things like fear releasing.  I like going to the beach that Shannondoah takes me to during the hypnomassage and seeing the water, the cliff and the house.  I always imagine a beach house in Boracay, Philippines with lots of palm trees around.

I still feel Braxton Hicks contractions especially when I’m walking.  My friend Kori said she had painless contractions during early labor.  She also said her water broke 2 out of 3 of her pregnancies.  Some women go into labor without their water breaking – everybody is different.

Ivan and I have been going out with friends and keeping active.  We usually take a walk around the neighborhood, so I get some exercise.

Jen is now 40 weeks pregnant!

I’m now 40 weeks and I feel great.  I don’t think Baby George will be making an appearance just yet.  I think I’ll give birth sometime this week.  Ivan did ask George when he was coming when I was hypnotized the other night.  He said a week from September 4th.  So,according to George he’ll be coming on September 11.  I started a contest with my family and friends to see when they think Baby George will be born.  The dates are varied from September 5 to September 13.

I still hear the heartbeat in my right ear.  Sometimes, when I sleep on my left side,  my left hand will go numb.  Having a baby really takes a toll on your body.  My esthetician says babies suck the life out of you when you’re pregnant.

Ivan thinks I shouldn’t be going out anymore.  I should be taking it easy at home and getting lots of rest.

Water Class

 

On August 23, 2014, Ivan drove us out to Chiropractor for Life for our last HypnoBirthing class.  People from the class and Mandie brought food for the pot luck.  Ivan and I grabbed some fruit and banana bread.

We watched part of a documentary called “What Babies Want” with Noah Wyle.

She talked about breastfeeding and getting a good latch.  Mandie was still breastfeeding and she breastfeeds for over 2 years with each of her kids.  That’s just too long.  I’m planning on breastfeeding from 6 months to a year.

She recommended that breastfeeding mums drink 1 gallon of water still and get 2500 calories a day.

She also talked about umbilical cord care.  She suggested a warm washcloth to keep it clean.  Keep it dry and keep things away from it.  Don’t pull it.  If you see dry blood, wipe it away.  If you continue to see blood, go see your pediatrician.  There’s Cord Care cream in my Birth Kit, so I will use it for the cord.

The class seemed to fly by for some reason, maybe because we watched part of the documentary.  I’m not sure I would recommend the class.  If you really want to try HypnoBirthing and want to learn breathing and relaxation techniques, you should take it.  But, I think that if your doula knows HypnoBirthing she may be able to teach you some of what you learned in this class.  I think I will use the J Breathing during birth, but the other breathing techniques I wasn’t a big fan of.  I do find the book HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing was very positive.  I love the Birthing Affirmations which I do believe have helped me think positive about the upcoming labor and birth.  I have learned exercise techniques that I probably will use during labor.  I’m lucky that my doula and my husband know hypnosis and will be able to properly put me into hypnosis.  I know that the women who are giving birth with the HypnoBirthing techniques aren’t really hypnotized, but really deeply relaxed.  I liked the Lamaze class and will be using the breathing techniques and comfort measures I learned in class.

That night, we went to Noelle and Chris’ dinner party where she had a crazy scarf contest.  People were putting the scarves on different spots on their body like their legs.  I decided to put mine over my belly.

Jen and Ivan wearing scarves

Ivan and I recently finished the first disc of Laugh and Learn About Childbirth which is taught by Lamaze instructor Sheri Bayles, RN which we got through Netflix DVD.  Sheri is funny and very knowledgeable.  It’s great hearing her talk about childbirth and Lamaze.  I could listen to her talk about anything for hours.

We’ve been trying to finish up the nursery.  The crib is put together with the mattress and fitted sheet.  Ivan put up the wallpaper and jungle decals.

Monkey decals in the nursery

We’re still going to put up things on the wall for decoration and put in curtains.

I saw my  midwife Kat on August 27, 2014.  She said everything was good and I looked healthy.   She thought it was good that I’ve been staying active.  The baby was in the ROA position.

I told her that I get headaches sometimes when I get out of bed quickly.  She said it was fine and it was just circulation.

Some food smells have been bugging me, usually with microwaved food.  I’m not sure but I don’t like the smell and it seems really pungent.

Ivan and I went to a family BBQ at my parent’s house.  Everybody was excited for Baby George’s arrival.  My sister-in-law thinks he will be coming next week.

After, we went to Wal-Mart.  I went to the loo (bathroom) since I always have to go.  I put on the toilet seat cover and was getting ready to sit down when water came out of me onto the floor.  I texted Ivan that either I peed myself or my water broke.  I sent a text to Kat saying Water broke and she called me a few minutes later.

I told Kat what happened.  The fluid was clear and didn’t smell like anything.  She thought that if it was my water, I would feel contractions.  It might just be the forebag (never heard of this) and sometimes that heals itself up.  She told me that once I got home I should take a shower.  I was to get the iodine from the Birth Kit and put 1 oz of iodine into the peri bottle and then fill the rest up with warm water.  I would put this iodine mixture down there to wash myself.  She said nothing internal like sex or a bath.  She said I should wear a light pad.  She asked if I would tell her if I had any contractions or not.  She was so excited saying the baby might be coming soon.  I was a bit freaked out since I didn’t know what was going on.  She thought that I should rest.

Ivan drove us home and I took a shower and washed myself with the iodine mixture and put on a light pad.

I Googled forebag and found out there are actually two bags of water.  A lot of woman haven’t heard of the forebag or that there are two bags. I don’t know why we didn’t learn this in our childbirth classes.  Women on forums said that their forebag broke and some closed itself up.  Some women went to the hospital and they did a test to test if it was the amniotic fluid.  Most were sent home because it was the forebag breaking, while some stayed and the doctor broke their water.

We took a walk a few hours later.  I felt mild pain with tightening which I thought was Braxton Hicks.  I texted Kat and told her about it.  I didn’t think it was actual contractions since they were mild and didn’t keep coming.  She said it was important that I get some rest.  She said to do the iodine mixture and shower in the morning.  If I leaked more, it would mean my water did break.  I didn’t think it was actually my water breaking since I hadn’t leaked again.  She said it was real contractions, it will be coming closer together and be more painful.

I placed a towel under me when I went to bed, just in case I leaked during the night.

Ivan hypnotizes me every night before bed.  He asked me to talk to George in my mind when I was hypnotized.  He asked what kind of food George likes and he said chicken.  He said that he will be born on September 5th.  He said he would be 7.1 pounds.  He thought that the Enya music we were playing was weird.

On August 28, 2014, I woke up to a dream where I was eating chicken fingers and was being accused of not paying for it when somebody paid for it and had already left the restaurant.  I think I was in a restaurant in Texas.

I didn’t leak at all overnight.  Kat says I might have just peed myself or it was the forebag tearing and it’s healed itself up.  She said I will probably have more discharge soon.

Ivan and I ran errands early and we picked up the breast pump at THC of Nevada.  I showed my ID and insurance card and a few minutes later I received my breast pump.  Easy enough!

My doula Shannondoah came over for my hypnomassage that afternoon.  The massage was very relaxing and I drifted off to sleep again.  I really needed that massage since my back hurts so much.

Shannondoah wanted to see the Birth Kit, so we went upstairs.  She said we would need a table for the Birth Kit and we already had one upstairs.  I just needed to clear it for the labor.  I showed her the refrigerator, the pots and the washer and dryer.

She showed me things Ivan can do to help with back pain during labor.  She also showed me how to bear down.  She said I should practice my Kegels.

I sometimes have a sharp pain when I need to pee now.  George hangs out lower and my pelvis hurts sometimes.  I think he’s right on my bladder which makes me pee even more than usual.

Sometimes, I want the baby to come out as soon as possible – but that’s usually on days when I’m not feeling so well.  Most days I feel great and enjoy being pregnant.  It’s an amazing feeling to be so big and know that there’s a precious baby growing inside me.  It still cool to feel his kicks and hits.

I haven’t gained any more weight.  Currently, I have gained 31 pounds during my pregnancy.  I might gain a little more.  I read that I don’t gain any more weight, but the baby is still putting on weight.

I received my first Bluum box today.  It came with blue leg warmers with white stars for George, a book called Things to Do Now that You’re….a Mom, make-up remover wipes and a big bottle of bathroom cleaner.  Ivan didn’t know that the box also contains things for the Mum.  He thought it was just for the baby.  It’s $20 per month which seems pricey, but you do get full sized products unlike some of the box subscriptions where you only get samples or small sized products.  I’m looking forward to next month’s box which will probably have more things for George.

I got a humidifier which is also an infuser and Kat recommended peppermint, Digestzen, Lavender and Clove for me and the baby.  Clove is good for teething and she said teething can start as soon as 2-3 months.

38.6wks

I’m now 38.6 weeks.  I’ve been feeling great.  If I eat a big meal, sometimes I do get heartburn.  I do get Braxton Hicks pains every now and then, but nothing too painful.  The top of my legs hurt when I walk.  Ivan and I are anxiously awaiting George’s arrival.  I think it will be soon like a week or two, but you never know.

Minty Shower

On July 26, 2014, Ivan and I went to our second Hypnobirthing class.  Again, it was really cold in the room.  Good thing I wore pants this time.  Mandie said she forgot to remind people to bring a blanket.  Ivan doesn’t know why she just doesn’t turn off the two fans in the room.

Every couple was given a big binder filled with information about Hypnobirthing, birth and labor.

We watched two Hypnobirthing Birth Videos.  The women in the video seemed so relaxed and calm.  No matter how many times you see women delivering… It still makes me think, Oh that’s a bit much to see in the morning!

We learned two new breathing techniques: Surge Breathing and Birth Breathing which is more known as J Breathing.  Relaxation Breathing we learned last week is used in between surges (contractions).  Surge Breathing is used when 0-9 cm dilated and J Breathing is when you’re 10 cm dilated.

Surge Breathing is where you take a long, slow breath in to the rapid count of 20 while you focus on the abdomen rising and lifting.  You fill the belly with air and visualize seeing your baby’s name or face on a balloon.  The balloon is being filled with your breath.  Breathe out slowing to the count of 20, visualizing the breath going down and out of the vagina and the balloon drifting off into space.

J Breathing is taking a deep breath in through the nose and work with the out breath to the count of 20.  You breath down, imagining that your breath is going down your body through the birth plan.  Visualize a J down and up.  Your teeth should be touching, but not clenched.  I’ve heard of this breathing technique since my doula Shannondoah told me to start practicing on my exercise ball recently.  Mandie recommended that we practice this on the toilet.  I guess it would help if you have constipation.

Mandie said we should place a picture of a baby (which is included in the binder) in the right birthing position so that we can envision it for our upcoming birth.  She said it would be a good idea to place it somewhere that you’d see it a lot throughout the day.

Baby about to come out!

I placed one on the fridge since I work on my computer a lot in the kitchen and also right by my sink upstairs.

For next week, we are to fill out a fear releasing worksheet since we’ll be doing a guided relaxation for fear releasing.  We state our fears and emotions about the birth and becoming a new parent.

I saw my midwife Kat for my prenatal visit on July 29, 2014.  Her intern Felicia and her assistant midwife Margo were also there.  Everything is going well for me.  The baby was in the ROA position which has the baby’s head slightly off center in the pelvis with his back of the head toward my right thigh.  Margo brought the thing that measures my hemoglobin.  My iron is still low at 11 gm/dL.  It was 12 gm/dL last time.  Kat said 12 is doable for a home birth, but she would prefer if it was higher.  Kat recommended that I take 3 tablespoons of chlorophyll twice a day (in the morning and night) to help raise my iron.

My friend Carrie recommended Dr. Christopher’s Birth Plan pills which are supposed to be taken the last 6 weeks of your pregnancy.  I asked Kat if she thought if was alright to take.  She thought I shouldn’t be taking Black Cohosh Root which is one of the ingredients in the pills before the birth.  She said that if they had to induce me, they would use Black Cohosh Root and it might not be effective if I took the pills.  I decided against taking it.  Kat did recommend eating dates – 6 to 8 dates a day until the birth.  It’s recommended to eat 6-8 dates a day 4 weeks prior to your due date.  The dates are supposed to help your first stage of labor to be shorter and with a reduced need for induction and augmen-tation of labor.

Kat said that I didn’t have to do the monitoring that Dr. Wilkes recommended unless I wanted to.  She said it’s the standard thing doctors say since I’m high risk.  She said why expose the baby to even more radiation from the ultrasounds.  We decided to go to one appointment and then not bother with every week after.  I think everything is fine with the baby.

My weight has remained the same since July 15th. I was worried about it, but my friend Carrie said she gained a lot at the beginning and then nothing towards the end in her last pregnancy,  so I must be the same.  So far, I’ve gained 29 pounds.  My belly still feels so heavy sometimes, especially after I’ve eaten a meal.

I started taking the chlorophyll.  It taste so much better in water than spirulina.  It tastes minty!  I add some ice to make it cold since I don’t like warm water.

I had my last chiropractor visit on July 16.  The lady Lauren who works the front of the office told me a few weeks prior to my last visit that I only had 3 more visits that were covered by my insurance.  They only approved 20 visits.  I wish I had known this sooner! I would have spaced them out for every two weeks toward the end of my pregnancy.  Each visit without insurance is $54 which is too expensive.  I told Kat about this and she said I could call the insurance and then get a letter of recommendation from Dr. Wilkes.  Kat recommended Dr. Lampe who’s $25 per adjustment.  I called and he’s actually $45 for the first visit and $35 for each visit after.

The next prenatal visit which I’ll be at 36 weeks is an important one.  I need to have all my needs list stuff and my birth kit ready.  Anybody who is going to be at the birth must attend this visit.  I also need to have my birth plan and our birth stories ready.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on July 30, 2014 for my hypno massage.  She really worked out my back since it was so sore.  The chiropractor adjustments do really help.  I’ve just been too lazy to go get them lately.  Shannondoah did the fear releasing again since I didn’t think it was as effective since I think I was too relaxed towards the end of my massage when she did it last time.

It’s really weird, but I sometimes hear my heartbeat in my right ear.  I don’t know why.  I find it very odd.

We had our third Hypnobirthing class on August 2, 2014.  This time we learned Light Touch Massage.  Ivan and I each practiced the massage on each other.  We also learned about positions during birthing.  She took an hour going through Birth Preferences (Birth Plan).  I think she could have gone through it in a lot shorter time than that.

Mandie did a Fear Releasing guided relaxation.  Again, Ivan said she was reading from a script.  I think that it would be more effective to actually teach the Hypnobirthing instructors proper hypnosis.  I’m so glad that Ivan and my doula know hypnosis.  We’re just learning  relaxation in this class.  The fear releasing wasn’t really good.  I prefer Shannondoah’s fear releasing.

We’ve been planning our joint baby shower pool party with our friend and neighbor Carrie for awhile.  The day of the baby shower finally arrived on August 3, 2014.  The party was to be hosted at our friend Michael’s house which is 4 floors with a pool and a basement.  The day started out rainy and we were so worried since it was a pool party.  But, we got lucky and the weather was good for a few hours for the party.

Welcome the WOMB of the house to enter

It was a crazy party where you had to walk through the womb of the house to enter.  We got the Balloon Master Rob to do crazy balloon creations like babies hanging from their umbilical cords.

Carrie & Jen's Baby Shower

We had a snow cone truck, naughty games for the adults, a kids area in the basement with a babysitter doing games and a bouncy castle, a graffiti t-shirt guy, a candy bar, a chef making burgers, a valet, a bartender and even a lifeguard.  My mum made Filipino food which was a big hit.  We had signature drinks called The Edward and The George.  The George was a Blueberry Mojito.  I’m so glad we had a Blueberry Mojito Mocktail, so it felt like I was drinking a real cocktail.

Crazy George Baby Shower Cake

Even the cakes were crazy and so funny.

It was fun taking pictures at the photo booth.  Here’s me and Carrie.

Pregnant Mums Carrie & Jen at the baby shower

It was so fun with the Balloon Master MC’ing the party and Ivan controlling the music to keep the party going.  He and Rob had a microphone to control the games and tell people about different things to do at the party.

One game had girls putting a balloon vagina over their bodies.  Each round was a smaller balloon vagina.

Noelle going through a balloon vagina

Only one of the four ladies popped a part of the balloon vagina.  I think Rob the Balloon Master was surprised that the ladies were so limber.

We gave out cool favors: poop brownies, whipped cream vodka, chocolates with a sticker saying George and Edwards names and saying Thank you for coming and Childbirth Simulator hot sauce.

I do believe we achieved our slogan: Not Your Grannie’s Baby Shower.  So many people told us it was the best baby shower they’ve ever been to.  We’re so glad since we put a lot of work into it.  I’m so glad everybody a fun time at our crazy, unique shower.  It was lots of fun.  My feet were so tired from walking around the house all day.

I’ve been feeling good at  35 weeks and 5 days.

Jen at 35 weeks and 5 days

The carpal tunnel is still annoying especially when it hurts to pick things up which happens rarely.  I’ve been a lot more tired lately.  We’ve been taking it easy and eating in more.

I do miss things since I am pregnant.  Here’s my top 3 things that I miss: 1) Dancing, 2) Alcohol and 3) Sushi.

Fetal Classes

I finally called Ann Pomeroy about taking Lamaze classes.  The current 4 week session had already started.  I set up a make-up class and moved the Hypnobirthing classes to a later date since they’re both on Mondays.

Ivan and I went to the Lamaze class at Ann’s house on June 7, 2014.  We learned Relaxation Technique, Paced Breathing, symptoms preceding labor, what happens 2 weeks before and what happens 24-48 hours before.  Also, we got a sheet with light exercises to do which has stick figure illustrations of how to perform them.

Light exercises

The relaxation technique is where you isolate certain body parts and make them relax.  I’m not sure why I was having problems with it.  I think because I’m used to hypnosis and getting an induction and gradually relaxing my body.  I’m sure with practice I will get this technique down.

We went to our second Lamaze class on June 9, 2014.  There were two other couples and one of the couple’s doula.  In class, we learned Modified Paced Breathing and things to help with back pain during labor.

Modified Paced Breathing is where you smile and make a short He sound while nothing from the breast up moves.

One of the back pain relievers is Slow Dancing with Paced Breathing.  Ivan found it silly that Ann played music while the couples slow danced.

On June 10, 2014, Ivan and I went to Dr. Wilkes’ office for my fetal echocardiogram.

Erica was our sonographer again.  It’s always great to see the baby on the ultrasound.  He was moving around a lot since he’s stubborn.  She took some pictures of things.

Baby at 27 weeks

A few minutes later, the Italian pediatric cardiologist came in.  Erica moved the probe to get a good view of the heart for the fetal echo.  Dr. Acherman kept saying Good, good.  Ivan thought he was evaluating a pizza, not our baby.  The doctor said everything looked good.

We saw Dr. Wilkes a few minutes later.  He said that the baby was a week behind in size.  He said it wasn’t anything to worry about though.  He told us that the baby’s heart looked good.  He asked if the baby kicked a lot and I said yes.  He said it’s good that if he kicks a lot since it means he’s happy, if his movements decrease it could mean that something is wrong.  He said we would do another ultrasound in 6 weeks.

That night, Ivan and I went to our first BabyCare class.  Our teacher was a lady named Jane.  Half of the 2 hour class was filling out paperwork which wasn’t very exciting.  The class is free as part of the Parenting Project run by the Clark County Department of Family Services .

The last part of the class was getting handouts and Jane talking about the subject.  We received handouts on Jaundice, Colic and Shaken Baby Syndrome.  The class is pretty boring, but has lots of good information.  We will be going to next week’s class since Swaddling and Diapering will be covered.  But, I’m not sure we will continue going since it’s pretty painful sitting in the class the whole time.

I’ve been getting headaches at the top of my head and the back of my head.  I’m not sure if it’s related to my eyes since I have dry eye and eye allergy.  It could be the pregnancy or both.

I saw my midwife Kat on June 17, 2014.  I told her about the leg cramps I had before.  She checked out my Calcium Magnesium pill and thought I wasn’t getting enough of the magnesium from the pill.  She recommended a more natural pill to take.

We went through the list of things I need for the birth and the birth kit I need to buy.

Kat pricked my finger to get drops of my blood.  She tested my iron.  My iron is low, so she recommended taking spirulina powder everyday.

My fingers have been getting more numb and sometimes it hurts.  I’ve been wearing the wrist brace for the carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’ve been massaging doTERRA’s Deep Blue Rub on my fingers since Shannondoah gave me some.  It smells similar to Vicks and makes my fingers tingly.

I put the spirulina powder in a cup of water and it’s green and made me think of the swamp monster from Scooby Doo.  Ivan tasted it and said it just tastes like green vegetables.  I thought it had a gross aftertaste.  I tried to drink it while plugging my nose, but I still got the nasty aftertaste.  Ivan put it in a smoothie and at the end the smoothie was slimy.  It’s best to use cocoa powder or anything with a strong flavor to cover the strong taste of the spirulina.

I haven’t been feeling as good since more things have been bugging me.  It can be hard to stay positive especially when you’re hormonal and you cry so easily.  I am getting scared again about giving birth and from hearing about people’s experiences.

Ivan and I attended our last Lamaze class.  We learned a lot of breathing exercises.  We will have to practice and hope that we can remember it when I’m in labor.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on June 25, 2014 for my hypnomassage.  I told her about my fears and during my hypnomassage, she had me light a fire and put my fears into the fire.

The baby kicks and hits a lot more now.  His kicks are getting harder.  He seems to hit or kick when he’s hungry and right before I’m about to go to bed.

Today, I saw Kat for my prenatal visit.  Everything is good.  She recommended other iron rich things like yellow dock and blackstrap molasses.

Jen at 30 weeks and 2 days

I’m now 30 weeks and 2 days.  I’m getting really big and it feels like I’m smuggling a bowling ball under my shirt.

Vivid Numbness

Every now and then I feel bloated and I get gassy more often now.

Being pregnant, brings vivid dreams.  I usually don’t remember them a few minutes after waking up though.

On May 20, 2014, I saw my midwife Kathya for my prenatal visit.  Everything was good.  I told her about my middle back pain.  She thought that I needed a better bra for support.  I also told her about the numbness in my hands which has been numb during the day sometimes.  She recommended going swimming.

Chef Ivan listening to the heartbeat of our baby

Ivan took a break from cooking to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

I started getting pelvis pain a few days later.  I started doing squats again which helps ease the pain.

On May 24, 2014, the numbness, tingling and sometimes aching in my hands has been happening all day.  I was looking in my pregnancy book for numbness and found carpal tunnel syndrome which is quite common in pregnancy.  I did research on the internet and it described the first three fingers being numb and half numbness in the fourth finger.  That’s how my fingers felt.

I saw my doula Shannondoah for my hypnomassage on May 27, 2014.  I told her that I had carpal tunnel syndrome.  She thought I had a pinched nerve which may have contributed to it.  She really worked out my shoulders and neck which were really knotted up.  She suggested a warm rag on my shoulders 15 minutes a day and sticking my hands in ice cold water.

I put my hands in the ice cold water a couple times later that day which was really cold and somewhat painful.  It seemed to make my pain even more intense.  I may try this one again.

In the middle of the night, I woke up since my hands hurt and I was crying since I wanted it to go away and I wanted to sleep which woke Ivan up.

My fingers feel really swollen (even though they’re not) and big.  Sometimes, I feel pins and needles like when a body part is falling asleep.  It’s harder to do simple tasks like hooking my bra or cutting food.  It can be painful pressing on things like a soap dispenser or a garlic press.  I hope my fingers don’t swell up so big that I look like I have sausages for fingers.

I went online and found hand exercises that might help with the carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’ve been doing these exercises.  This video claims to work, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I found an article on natural remedies.  If the pain gets worse, I may try wearing a wrist brace.

Ivan makes sure I still eat healthy.  Here’s one of our lunches of a tasty Garlic Shrimp.

Garlic Shrimp

I’m so lucky that Ivan cooks and he makes me stay healthy.  Every now and then I will treat myself to a burger or a sandwich with bacon.

I saw Dr. Simoncelli for my chiropractic adjustment on May 30, 2014.  I told him I had carpal tunnel syndrome which he said was common during pregnancy.  He adjusted my shoulders, neck and back, but nothing for the carpal tunnel.

On the morning of May 31st, I woke up with a very sharp pain in my right calf.  I was moaning in pain which woke Ivan up.  I was massaging it, but it was tightening up and hurting me so it was hard to properly massage it.  I had Ivan massage it.  Calf pain and Leg cramps are also common during pregnancy.  I massaged it with oil a few times that day.  I was limping.

It’s become harder to get comfortable while sleeping.  I tried the body pillow again, but I’m not sure where to put my hands and it seems too big.  So, I’ve just been using the pillow between my legs and my legs bent.  If I lay on my right side, sometimes I get a pain in my ear.  I switch to the left side, but my shoulder feels uncomfortable.

My legs felt numb during the night and when I woke up on June 3, 2014, I got calf pain on the left side.  I had Ivan massage it since it kept tightening up.  It was painful, but not as intense as the other morning.

I still feel the baby hitting or kicking me which always makes me smile, but sometimes it surprises me.  I think he hits me more when he’s hungry.  LIke he’s checking his watch and says Come on, it’s time to eat!

On June 4, 2014, I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli.  I told him about my leg cramps.  He said the baby takes away minerals from me.  He recommended drinking Himalayan salt with water.  Take 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and put it in a 1/2 cup of water and stir.  Drink the salt water and then follow with a cup of water.  I’m definitely going to do this every day and hope the leg cramps don’t come back.

I’m going to revert back to my original due date.  So, I am now 26 weeks and 4 days.

Jen at 26 weeks and 4 days

As you can tell, I’m getting really big.  It seems what annoys me about pregnancy now are carpal tunnel syndrome and calf pain.

Moving Anatomy

In the morning of April 29, 2014, we went to Desert Perinatal Associates to see Dr. Wilkes which is the doctor who works with my midwife Kathya

We were called in to see the genetic counselor Tracy first.  She talked about the amniocentesis.  I asked if there was a blood test instead since my friend Carrie told me about it.  She told us about two tests.  One is called the Panorama test which is a blood test that I take.  The other test (which I can’t remember the name) takes both parent’s blood.  Ivan doesn’t like getting his blood drawn, so he thought I should do the Panorama test.  I don’t mind getting my blood drawn at all.

Ivan and I went back to the waiting room.  I used the toilet while waiting to be called.

My name was called and we went to a room.  The lady asked if I needed to use the restroom.  I said I already went.  Conveniently, there was a restroom that connected to the room we were in. 

The lady was getting everything ready for the ultrasound.  I asked if there were going to do a transvaginal ultrasound.  She said the regular and a transvaginal one were being done today.  I asked Is the transvaginal necessary? and she said it was to measure my cervix.  She gave me a sheet and said to undress from the waist down.  She said the doctor would be along in a few minutes.

Jen waiting to do her anatomy ultrasound

Dr. Wilkes’ nurse came in.  She is a tall, pretty blonde.  She was young probably in her mid 20’s.  She did the ultrasound to check the baby’s anatomy.  She said the baby was stubborn because he kept moving around.  My family is quite stubborn, so that makes sense.

Baby's Nose and Lips

We saw his spine and his nose and mouth.  She kept pointing out things and we just had to nod since we weren’t really sure what we were looking at, while she was a trained professional.  She asked if we knew if it was a boy or girl.  Ivan said Yes, it’s a boy and she confirmed that she did indeed see a third leg.

Ultrasound for a baby boy

She asked about the due date.  I told her that I got another ultrasound and they said I was 9 days earlier.  They were still basing my original due date of Sept. 7th.  She said that the baby was 13 oz which was right on track.  His heartbeat was 161 bpm. 

She printed a picture of the baby with it’s arms up and put pictures of the ultrasound onto a CD for us to take home.

Next, she did the transvaginal ultrasound.  I read an article that a lady sued the doctor because she felt like was being raped when she got the transvaginal ultrasound.  It’s not anything to be scared about.  A probe which is covered in a condom and with gel on top is placed inside the vagina.  She checked my cervix.  The ultrasound only lasted a few minutes and it doesn’t hurt at all.  She told me that Dr. Wilkes would be in to talk to us soon.

Dr. Wilkes came in and sat down.  He had the brightest sneakers on that you could probably see from 2 miles away.  He was the happiest doctor I’ve ever met.  He was excited that we were having a baby.  Ivan thought the doctor was so happy that it was actually him having the baby. 

He told me that my cervix was long, so I didn’t have to do another transvaginal ultrasound.  He said everything looked fine.  He said I should come back in 6 weeks to do a interval growth ultrasound and a fetal echocardiogram.

Next, I went to have my blood drawn for the Panorama test.  It was three vials of blood.  It hurts a little when the needle goes in, but after that it’s fine.  It doesn’t make me feel faint.  The test results will come back in 7-10 days.

Ivan has been on a salad kick lately.  My favorite salad is definitely the watermelon feta salad that he made on May 1, 2014.

Watermelon Feta salad

It’s so refreshing and tasty.  It’s a great summer salad.  He got the idea to make it since the restaurant Forte has a Watermelon Feta salad on special.

Later that afternoon, I went to get a facial.  I was lying down with my eyes closed.  I felt bubbles, but harder than usual.  I put my hand on my stomach and felt the baby kick or hit my stomach.  I think he was saying Is anybody out there? like in the Pink Floyd song.  It was really cool to feel the baby moving. 

I felt even more movement later on.  It’s such a great feeling to know he’s moving and kicking inside.  We were going to see a comedy show.  The baby kicked me hard which made me jump a little.

The doctor’s office called on May 2, 2014 and said that the results of the alpha-fetoprotein test came back negative.  The test checks for spina bifida and anencephaly.  The baby has a 1 in 4,300 chance of getting spina bifida.  It was good news and the results came back really fast.

I took the quiz Are You Having a Boy or a Girl? that I saw online to see if it would accurately guess I’m having a boy.  It did guess that I was having a boy. 

I still wake up once or twice a night to go to the toilet.  It’s annoying, but even more so if I wake up Ivan which has happened once.  I do try to be as quiet as possible when I head to the bathroom and get back into bed.  I usually go right back to sleep.

I’ve been getting tired during the day and I usually take a nap.  I took a nap once for 2 hours and it didn’t effect me that night.

I went to see my chiropractor Dr. Simoncelli on May 5, 2014.  He said I was crooked, so he adjusted me and hopefully I’m back to normal.

Ivan and I have been wondering what the baby is up to.  We imagine he’s taking a bath with his rubber ducky when I’m showering.  He could be reading a book or just taking a nap.  I talk to the baby even more now since he’s been moving.  The baby books say that after 20 weeks the baby can hear you.  I’m sure he’s been listening our voices, to the music we play, Ivan’s piano playing and my singing. 

My fingers have been really numb when I wake up and sometimes it hurts slightly.  I told my doula Shannondoah this when I saw her for my hypnomassage on May 7, 2014.  She thinks that I have a pinched nerve caused by the way I sleep.  She showed me how to lie differently on the pillow.  I did switch to my old pillow since a few weeks ago we bought pillows that claim to “never go flat”.  I have noticed recently that my right ear lobe is tender to the touch.

The body pillow arrived in the mail, but it doesn’t have a pillowcase.  The pillow is almost as tall as me!  I have used it twice at night, but it’s hard keeping the covers on me and the pillow.  It gets cold and the nipple pain will return which wakes me up.  So, I have been thinking of wearing a tank top under my shirt which may help with the cold.

The doctor’s office called again about test results.  I called and the nurse said that everything was low risk.  I said that they already called me with results.  It was the second part of the test that tests for Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Patau syndrome, Turner syndrome, Triploidy, Vanishing twin and sex chromosome abnormalities.  It also confirmed that I was having a boy.  It’s a relief to know that everything is good with my baby. 

Last week, we got the nursery painted Sleepy Blue on two of the walls – the last wall will have wallpaper on it.  The last 3 days, Ivan and I (well, mostly Ivan) have been putting Ikea furniture together.  I hand him the screws and parts while he puts it together.  The nursery now has flooring that was put in today.

Jen at almost 22 weeks

I’m now almost 22 weeks and I’m feeling great.  My mid and lower back have been hurting me.  The chiropractic adjustments and the massages help it out.  I pee a lot more frequently now.  I guess the most annoying thing about pregnancy for me has been getting cold and my nipples getting hard and it’s painful.  Even just drinking a smoothie or cold water can do it.  It’s weird that I wear a jacket sometimes in the house, but it definitely helps when I start getting cold or to help warm me up. 

Gender Announcement

Sorry for the lack of updates.  Ivan and I took a trip to New York City and I kept putting off blogging.

We left on March 29, 2014 and spent 8 days in New York City.  Stayed in an apartment in Astoria, Queens which is filled with Greek seafood restaurants.

Ivan was busy with business, so I got to explore New York City on my own a bit.  I went to the MoMA which had some cool and interesting art.  I also got a chance to walk around the HUGE Central Park.  I made sure to visit the Imagine Circle and the Alice in Wonderland statue.

Alice in Wonderland statue

I wanted to visit the Shakespeare’s Garden, but I didn’t get a chance to.

We had a good time in New York City.  Wish the weather was better since it mostly rainy and was really cold.  My nipples still got hard (and hurt badly) even with a t-shirt and a heavy winter jacket on.. that’s how cold it was!  I make sure to carry a jacket with me if I think a place is going to be cold.

Sometimes, I put off making appointments.  I did this when making my appointment for my ultrasound.  It turned out that my doctor that is connected with my midwife didn’t have an appointment for a few weeks on April 22nd really early in the morning.  I’ve never been a morning person, so I decided to make an appointment with another doctor at the same place a day earlier.  Ivan and I really want to find out the sex of the baby.

I talked to my midwife and she didn’t like any other doctors at Desert Perinatal Associates.  So, I called back the next day to change it and Dr. Wilkes didn’t have an opening until April 29.  He doesn’t work afternoons and he doesn’t work every day.  I was bummed, but I will try to see if any appointments open up sooner.  We will probably do an ultrasound at one of the ultrasound places through one of the deal websites.

I did so much walking at the art museum that my feet hurt and I was actually limping a little on my right leg.  It went away the next day, but it didn’t feel very good.

I’ve still been going to the chiropractor weekly.  Dr. Simoncelli joked that when he presses down on my sinus points it’s my favorite and I said Not really.  It hurts!  He pressed down so hard once it almost made me tear up.

I have been getting sick of drinking water since I have to drink a gallon a day.  I usually don’t drink that water normally.  I have been drinking sparkling water since we have a Sodastream machine.  I’m going to buy Crystal Light soon to add flavor to my water.  I also read that you can flavor water with frozen or fresh fruit.

My hands still go numb and my wedding ring will eventually not fit on my finger.  My feet are expanding, too.  I’m now in search of slip-on shoes since I know I won’t be able to tie my shoes soon.

Ivan found a good deal on Living Social for a gender check ultrasound.  We were happy to find out that they had an opening the next day on April 15.

On April 15, 2014, we went to Baby’s First Image for the ultrasound.  I presented the Living Social voucher.  On the form that Ivan filled out for me, it asks if I’ve had an ultrasound before.  Ivan marked no and the lady at the desk asked us and he said no.  She told us that we had to do a thing to determine the due date and tells us how the baby is lying for $25.  Ivan said then I’ll change it to yes.  The lady was too strict and stuck to the rules.  She said I’ll still tell the doctor that you’ve never had one.  How dumb!  I don’t know if it says it on the website (like the lady said), but it doesn’t say anything like this on their Living Social deal page.  We ended up paying the $25.  Ivan thought it would be handy to know the due date since the doctor we saw at the beginning to confirm the birth just based it on the start date of my last period.

The lady at the desk took us to the room.  There was a high bed with a stepstool on the side.  I laid down and she asked me to raise my shirt and she put a paper towel at the top of my pants.  She said the lady doing the ultrasound would be in the room shortly.

Maria came in and she’s very nice.  We told Maria that we wanted her to write the sex of the baby in an envelope since we were doing a gender reveal cake.  She said that was fine.  She had heard of it before.  Ivan saw a video that showed the gender reveal cake and a little boy being disappointed that he was going to have another sister.

She put the wand (no idea what the proper name is) on my belly which had a cold gel on it.  There was a big projector screen on the wall where we got to see the baby.  It was cool to finally see the baby.

Baby Ultrasound at 18 weeks

Maria measured the baby’s head.  She said that the baby was actually due later than we thought.  It was due on September 16 which is my sister’s birthday.

We got to see the baby in 4D which makes the baby look like an alien.

bby3d

It looks like it has the flat Filipino nose.  I would rather it had Ivan’s nose.  She told us that the baby is really skinny and is mostly skeleton.  We also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  She said the baby’s heartbeat was 160 bpm.  She said the baby looked healthy.  I think she forgot to tell us how the baby was lying.

Maria told us to close our eyes while she took a picture of the baby that revealed the sex.

It was really great seeing the baby for the first time!  It does make you feel even more excited for the little one to come.

We left Baby’s First Image and looked up bakeries.  Ivan found one that was close to our house called Drago Sisters Bakery that makes the gender reveal cake.

At the bakery, Ivan asked if we could get a gender reveal cake.  Unfortunately, it takes awhile to make a cake so we wouldn’t get it today.  The lady asked the baker and she said we could pick it up tomorrow at 5 pm.  The baker looked at the paper inside the envelope.  She then asked us what we wanted.  Ivan said we didn’t want to say since the look on her face might reveal the sex of the baby.  She placed the envelope in another envelope – probably to make sure we don’t peek!  We bought a 16” cake with a vanilla cake with strawberry filling.  The baker said she would put blue and pink on it with baby feet.

I was so tempted to peek at the envelope, but I resisted since I wanted it to be a surprise.  I still thought it was a boy since people have been saying it’s a boy since I’m carrying low and I don’t look worn down (which is the old wive’s tales that you look worn down when you’re having a girl since she’s stealing your beauty).

On April 16, 2014, I went to see the chiropractor.  I had a big knot in the middle of my lower back.

Ivan picked up the cake later on.  We wouldn’t be cutting the cake until later since Ivan wanted to do the gender reveal cake with his parent’s over Facetime.  His parents live in Southend-on-Sea, England.

We posted a picture of me asking our friends a few days ago if they thought it was a girl and a boy.  20 people guessed a girl and 12 people guessed a boy.

At 11:30 pm, which is 7:30 am England time, we called up Ivan’s mum and dad on Facetime.  Ivan placed the cake on the table.  I set up the camera, so I could videotape it.

Ivan handed me the knife and I cut it to make a slice, but the icing was so thick that you couldn’t really see the cake inside.  I said Oh, it’s a boy, but I was actually seeing the baby feet on top of the cake.  We finally got to see the cake and it was blue.  It was a boy!

Gender Reveal Baby Cake

Ivan’s dad already thought it was a boy since he would always talk about his grandson.  It’s so good to finally know the sex.  We decided to announce it on Facebook the next day.  I started working on a graphic for the baby announcement.

In the morning of April 17, 2014, I finished the baby announcement and posted it on Facebook.  It turned out great!

iJen Baby Announcement

iJen is our nickname that Ivan’s brother Neal came up with. which combines our names Ivan and Jen.

Here’s a picture of our baby boy showing that he’s a boy.

Baby Boy Ultrasound

Now, we can decorate the nursery.  We already have wallpaper with animals on it that we’re doing on one wall.  We’re thinking of a really light blue for the other walls.  I love browsing the different nurseries on Project Nursery.  I’ve collected a few ideas from a couple nurseries that I might use for the nursery.

I saw my doula Shannondoah on April 18, 2014.  She did a hypnomassage on me which I really needed.  She worked out the knot that was bugging me in the middle of my lower back.  I saw my birth again in the sky while I was lying on the water.  I like the beach that I visit during my hypnomassages.  I love beaches and floating in the water.

Jen at 18 weeks and 4 days

I’m now almost 19 weeks and I’m doing good.  The only thing that annoys me is the nipple pain which comes more often now.

Heartbeat Adjustment

Every now and then I’ll get tired during the day.  I don’t nap, but sometimes I do think it would be a good idea.

My lower back has been so sore.

I saw my midwife Kat on February 25, 2014.  Her intern was with her as well.  Ivan and I were excited to see her since we would probably get to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  Kat found out about my diet and how much water I’m drinking.  I told her I wasn’t sure I was eating enough of the foods on the Dr. Brewer’s diet she recommended.  I have been bad and stopped recording what I’ve been eating everyday.  I’m trying to eat more and eat small meals.  It just seems weird to me.  Ivan is good at reminding me to eat eggs or foods with whole grain and eating my protein for the day. Kat recommended that I keep track of what I eat for a week and send it to her.  Then, we’ll go over it together and she’ll tell me what she thinks.

I laid down on the couch and Kat put the cold gel on my belly.  She showed Ivan and I where the baby was – below the belly button.  You could feel it since you felt resistance compared to other parts of my belly.  Kat went searching for the heartbeat.  She found it and it was pretty fast at 170 bpm.  It was really cool to hear the heartbeat.  The baby ran away from the sound of the doppler.  She said that the baby was smart since it ran away from the doppler sound.  I knew the baby was hiding last time!  She said she had no concern about me getting any of the tests (like Down Syndrome or Cystic fibrosis) that are recommended for women over 35.  She said she would be concerned if the baby’s heartbeat was 130 bpm constantly.

Kat asked if I felt the baby.  I said no.  The intern asked if I felt bubbles.  I have no idea what I’m supposed to be feeling.  I think I felt a bubble the other day… not really sure though.

Kat said my belly was 15 inches which is pretty big since the average at this time is 12 inches.

I had to pee on a long strip which is difficult since it’s hard to pee on the whole thing.  I had to try a couple times since I hadn’t been drinking much water.

Kat thought I looked healthy and well hydrated.  She showed me a hip opener that Ivan could do while I was on my back to help with my sore back.  Also, she said taking a bath with Epsom salt could help as well.  She gave me three recommendations for chiropractors.  She thought prenatal adjustments would be great for me.

I asked Kat when we would get an ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby.  She said you could get one at 16 weeks, but it wouldn’t be very accurate.  She said at 18 weeks, it’s more accurate.  We’re both excited to find out if it’s a boy or a girl.  It’s more waiting for us, but it seems like time has been going pretty fast lately.

My parents came over on February 27, 2014 since my mum made me chicken and pork adobo.  She’s still pushing me to eat meat to get my protein.  I told them how we heard the baby’s heartbeat.  My parents still want me to get the amniocentesis.  This is the test I mentioned before for women over 35.  I’ve heard bad things about amniocentesis like injury to the mum or baby or even a miscarriage.  I think my baby will be just fine.  I’m going to love the baby no matter how he or she comes out.

I’m lucky to have such a  husband who loves to cook healthy food.  He made a great healthy pad thai which was very tasty.  He also made a grilled zucchini salad with walnut, pomegranates and mint-tahini dressing with a recipe he found from my Fit Pregnancy magazine.

Grilled zucchini salad with walnut, pomegranates and mint-tahini dressing

Sometimes, I don’t like the dishes he cooks – but I know it’s because some foods don’t taste good to me anymore or some sauce can be too overpowering.  I think my sense of smell is even more magnified now.  I have super smell now.  My husband Ivan was cooking pad thai and as I came down the stairs I was hit with the smell of fish sauce.

I downloaded Plant Nanny for my iPhone which reminds you to drink water and also creates a cute plant.  I’m hoping it will make sure I get enough water for the day.  It reminds me every two hours to drink water.  So far I have been drinking a lot more water.

On March 1, 2014, I met up with former best friend Kori for Prenatal Yoga.  I haven’t seen her since 2008.  Kori is also pregnant but she’s 15 weeks along.  She’s due on August 17.  It was nice to have a friend in class.  I do like Yoga since it’s challenging and it stretches me out.  At the end, the teacher has you relax each body part.  It’s just like hypnosis and it makes me feel really relaxed.

Near the bathroom at Belly Bliss, there’s a bar with a water jug with water and fruit inside.  Also, there’s jars of food filled with Goldfish, little boxes of raisins, pretzels, animal crackers and Dum Dums.

Belly Bliss Chinese takeaway box

I grabbed the cute Chinese takeaway box and filled it with Goldfish, pretzels and animal crackers.  It’s such a great idea since pregnant women are always eating.

I chatted with Kori for a few minutes after class.  She said that her son Kyan would be ending soccer soon, so she’ll be able to go to the Wednesday class more often.  That’s good news!  It was great seeing her again and I know we’ll be going to Prenatal Yoga again soon.

My clothes have been slowly not fitting anymore.  I will have to look for more pregnancy pants soon since I only have two pairs right now.  I’ve been wearing skirts a lot since it has elastic.  I will look for shorts and skirts soon since it’s warming up and it’s comfortable.  I still wear my shirts since I think it’s cute when the shirt is snug and it shows off your pregnancy belly.  Here’s a picture of me after the Miley Cyrus concert on March 1, 2014.

Jen after the Miley Cyrus concert

I’m trying to remain as fashionable as possible even when pregnant.

I was out with my husband Ivan and our friend Michael.  Michael thought the baby was craving bacon.  I was actually craving chicken fingers.  Michael is another person who is pro-meat when women are pregnant.  We went to the Bacon Bar.  Ivan was expecting lots of dishes with bacon in them.  But, there were only a few dishes and a couple drinks that contained bacon.  I was happy that chicken fingers was on the menu.  Michael and I shared the Man Candy which is glazed maple syrup bacon with a hint of cayenne and served with Crown Royal maple infused syrup.  It was really tasty.

Chicken Fingers at Bacon Bar

My chicken fingers were good, but had too much breading on it.  I had one piece left and I asked for a box.  Michael said you don’t have to take that home.  I said I will eat it later.  The waitress said she has plans for it later on.  Don’t try to take a pregnant woman’s food.  That is a bad mistake!

I had my first appointment with the chiropractor on March 3, 2014.  I looked at the reviews of the doctors that took insurance and Dr. Al Simoncelli had great reviews and he looked nice in his picture on his website.

I had lots of paperwork to fill out when I arrived at Mountain West Chiropractic.  I swear it seems like the paperwork never ends.  The receptionist showed me how to check in and change my problem areas on my body.  You can do this on a tv that is placed on the front counter or on an iPad.

I was called a few minutes later and went inside a room.  One of the friendly receptionists told me to take off my clothes and leave my underwear and bra on and put a blue gown on.  The blue gown had a slit that sort of covered you with velcro to close it up.

Jen at the chiropractor

I felt like I was at the hospital in this gown.  I was also told to watch a video on chiropractic care which wasn’t very exciting.

After I watched the video, I cracked the door like I was told.  Dr. Sabol came in.  He asked health questions.  He told me how he met a woman who was having trouble conceiving.  He said she needs to come in and have a chiropractic adjustment.  She did and soon after she became pregnant.

I was told to reach for my feet which I couldn’t.  I told him it hurt near my ankles which he thought was weird.  He made me stand towards the door while he had me turn my head to the left and then the right.  He figured out what my posture was.  He asked if it hurt when I was on my stomach.  I told him I didn’t know since I don’t ever go on my stomach.  He said I would get my adjustment in the other room.  He said to put my clothes back on and go to the other room when I was done.  It seemed silly to put on a gown just for a couple of minutes.

I went to the other room after I changed and waited on a chair.  Dr. Simoncelli said hello and showed me the chiropractic table I was to lay on.  He talked about how his wife was adjusted everyday and all her births were very short ones.  There were other people in the room, so he spoke directly at me.  I don’t if his voice was soft or what, but it seemed to be hypnotizing and I couldn’t stop looking at him.  I think he was putting me into a trance!

I laid down and he explained that the table moves sometimes when he presses down on a certain area.  It doesn’t hurt or anything, it’s just weird to hear the click of the table.  He doesn’t believe in medicine and said that what he did to my neck would help with my sinuses.  He said that I was really tight in my lower back.  My left side was worse.  He loosened it up on both sides, but one wasn’t as loosened as the other side.  He didn’t do anything with my ankles which I thought was weird since I did put that in my areas that I thought hurt and might need work on.  He asked if I could come back on Wednesday to see how I was feeling.  I said that’s fine.  I set up an appointment for Friday since I had a busy day planned for Wednesday.

So, I haven’t had much lower back pain since visiting the chiropractor.  I still have my allergies.  I put in drops in for my eye allergy everyday which helps a lot.

On March 5, 2014, I had a hypno massage with my doula Shannondoah.  It’s great that I don’t have to leave my house to get a massage.

Before the massage, I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again.  I only heard it for a few seconds before the baby moved away.  It’s great to hear the heartbeat and know the baby is doing good.  The baby’s heartbeat was 165 bpm.

During this massage, I got to see a glimpse of the baby.  I didn’t see the baby last time since I have no clue if the baby is a girl or a boy.  I imagined a baby with dark brown hair that looked Asian and had green eyes.

I also got to go inside the house which looked like our house inside.  I also pictured the birth but in a faster birth video this time.  It was nice seeing me and Ivan in bed and I’m holding the baby after I gave birth.

I love hypno massages from Shannondoah since it’s so relaxing.  I always get a great night’s sleep the night after the massage.  If you’re looking for a masseuse in Las Vegas, you should contact Shannondoah.

Hypno Cheese

I have been more emotional like I mentioned in my last post.  I was watching The Beatles tribute on tv.  I cried a bit while watching Katy Perry’s version of Yesterday.  I think she was thinking about her failed marriage with Russell Brand while she was singing  I also cried when Hey Jude was performed. 

My feet have swollen a bit.  My socks are smaller and my shoes are tighter.  I need to buy some slip on shoes like a pair of Vans.  I figured I would wear sandals since they’re easy to expand and soon it will be a lot warmer.

My belly and boobs do feel much smoother since I’ve been using the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter (Say that 3 times fast!).

I feel bigger, but my weight has remained the same.  I read that I might gain 1 pound a week during the second trimester.  People don’t know I’m pregnant, unless they know since they’re my friend.  So, only a few friends have touched my belly.  I don’t mind if people touch my belly.  It’s cute. 

I still have pregnancy brain.  I seem to forget things.  Not a big deal though. 

I love the pregnancy pants.  They’re really comfortable.  Here’s a picture to show you what it looks like.

Jen showing off her pregnancy pants

I’ve been getting pimples.  My cheeks turns red after I wear make-up and I wash my face.  I don’t know if it’s the make-up, so I don’t wear it as much now.  I have red marks on my chest which I have no idea how they got there.  Your skin acts weird when you’re pregnant.

I feel great.  My back does hurt more now though. 

I saw my doula Shannondoah on February 19, 2014.  I had an hour hypno massage with her.  I’ve had a hypno massage with her before so I knew it would make my aching back feel better. 

The massage had me lying down with my back raised to a 45 degree angle.  I am very easy to hypnotize.  Ivan has hypnotized me a lot and I go very deep. 

Shannondoah took me to a beach.  She had me float in the water with Ivan holding me for support.  I love floating in the water by myself on the ocean or sea since it feels like I’m floating on a cloud. 

She took me to a house which we would return to in future hypno massages.  I pictured a red brick house which was behind the beach.  She said there was a porch that was in the front of the house.  The house has a wood fence in front of it. 

I went to a cliff and there was a table and chair there.  I could pick up a remote control there that controls any aches or pains that I might feel.  I could also go there and hold my baby at any time since the baby had a bassinet there.  I didn’t see the baby though.  Maybe in other sessions I will get to see what he or she looks like.

I returned to the beach and was floating in the water.  It became cloudy and became a big movie screen in the sky.  I was to picture my perfect birth on the screen.  Yes, every contraction and what ever else happens.  The birth movie went on for awhile ending with me and Ivan holding the baby in our bed.

I told Shannondoah that I wanted to work on fear releasing.  I have feared the uncomfortable things that go with labor.  Shannondoah prefers using uncomfortable than using the word pain.  I also have a fear of complications.  I know I would be transported to the nearby hospital which is only a 2 minute drive from our house.

She had me imagine a box and I put all my fears inside the box.  I locked the box and then threw it into the ocean.  I think it has helped since I don’t really fear the labor as much.  I know that I can do this birth naturally without medications.  Of course, I will feel uncomfortable and it may take awhile for the baby to come out.  But, I will do it.  Once I set my mind on something, I will do it. 

I felt a lot better after the massage.  We set up another massage in 2 weeks.

I forgot to mention that Shannondoah suggested that I write a birth plan.  It’s something you fill out that states your preferences for the birth like if you want medication or what music you want.  I’m glad that there are sample birth plans out on the internet.  I have heard of birth plans, but wasn’t sure what I would want at my baby’s birth. I found a home birth plan here.  There’s also a birth plan for a hospital birth that I found on Baby Center.

I feel really excited to hear the baby’s heartbeat – hopefully, next week we’ll get to hear it with my visit with our midwife Kat.  I’m not sure when I will get my ultrasound.  Ivan and I are looking forward to finding out the sex of the baby.

It’s funny how everybody thinks they’re an expert on pregnancy.  I will post something on Facebook and somebody will comment and say Have you asked your doctor about that? or offer their advice.  I just laugh.  Each pregnancy can be different.  I know they’re just worried for my health.

I am now 11 weeks and 5 days.

Jen at 11 weeks and 5 days

I haven’t had any strange cravings yet.  I’ve been craving cheese lately.  Mmm, I love cheese.  I’ve bought string cheese and the tasty, but expensive, Babybel Light.

I got my new Post-it notes that have my blog website.  I’ve been doing the Post-its Project on my new post-its. 

Best day quote for the Post-its Project #BucketandDoit

This one I stuck in a daily planner at Wal-Mart.   I hope they’ve been bringing smiles and happiness to people!