Monthly Archives: September 2008

Pumpkin Soup

I am all about the soups when the fall weather hits. Chicken, split pea, chili, hearty vegetable and pumpkin, just to name a few. Sometime around the first day of Autumn (weather permitting or not) I just start craving big bowls of steaming soup.

This is my recipe for pumpkin soup from scratch. It really isn’t very hard to make this way, but you could probably also substitute a couple cans of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) if you don’t want to bake your own fresh pumpkin.

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup milk (you can also use half & half or cream if you want something richer)
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1/2 cup apple cider
• 1 sugar baby or pie pumpkin
• ground cinnamon
• ground cloves
• 1 tbsp butter
• salt and pepper to taste
• water

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Cut apart pumpkin and remove pulp. Make sure you use a sharp knife for this step and that you are very careful. Pumpkin rinds are very tough and it is easy to slip.

3. Place pieces, flesh side up, on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cloves and cinnamon.

4. Baste pieces with a little bit of water and place in oven for 45min to an hour or until flesh is tender. Test with a fork. You’ll want to baste the pieces again about halfway through.

5. Use a spoon to separate the flesh from the rind and place in a saucepan.

6. Add chicken broth, cider, salt, pepper, and butter to saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.

7. Add milk and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.

8. Remove from heat. Blend until smooth. Serve.

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I could think of about a million titles for this post…

Like…

“She’s here!!”

“I did it!”

“I stuck it to the man!”

“Welcome to the world Bean”

“I’m finally not pregnant anymore!!”

OK, okay enough goofing around. I know you’ve all been sitting on pins and needles since my last post just waiting for an update.

Here’s her stats and some pictures… I’ll post the birth story below that.

Born: 9/24 at 11:28pm
Weight: 7lbs 4oz
Length: 20in
Head: 13 3/4in
Chest: 13 1/2in
Apgar: 9/9

Oh and you won’t be able to see from the pictures, but she totally has dark hair just like us and we can’t decide what her eye color is because sometimes it looks blue grey and sometimes it looks green.

Alright, so you know from my last post that I started getting some contractions Tuesday night while we were out to dinner. They were really mild and pretty irregular though. The contractions continued into Wednesday. I’d say I was really in labor though between 4 and 4:30pm. That’s when I called Stephen and told him to come home from work because every few contractions I’d have one that was really hard to breathe through and concentrate on anything else.

So Stephen came home. I actually had him install our car seat as soon as he got there. Pretty silly of us not to already have it installed. I wanted it in there though so that if we did have to do an emergency transfer for some reason we’d be able to transport her with no problems. Plus it gave him something to do so that I didn’t feel like I was being hovered over.

Things continued to get intense and Stephen called our midwife at some point. She checked me at 7pm and I was 3cm, but she could stretch me to 4cm. She said that labor could still take awhile. So she told us to go about doing things normally, sleep when it was bedtime, get something to eat, etc. She left to go do a few errands and told us to keep her posted with my progress and to of course call if my water broke.

After she left we decided to try and go get something to eat. At this point it seriously hurt for me to walk during a contraction. I had one just as we were heading out the door and just sort of flopped down on the floor until it was over. I made it to the car and figured I could handle sitting in there till we could get to a drive thru (I know, so very healthy of us…). Well we barely made it down the street when I could no longer tolerate the car ride. It hurt so bad. We just turned around and headed back to the house. I knew we had a frozen pot pie that Stephen could eat and I had leftover fettucini from the night before.

So Stephen heated up our dinner while I sat on an exercise ball in our livingroom. I was able to eat a few bites, but started to feel a little nauseaus and the contractions were just getting much, much more intense.

I went in our room to labor on our bed for a little while and next thing I knew my water had broken. It was about 8pm at this point. I was just laying there breathing through the contraction when I felt some major pressure, then like a bubble, the bubble popped and hot liquid was all over me. It completely shocked me. It was pretty gross feeling too. Stephen was still in the livingroom eating his dinner and I was just like, “uh, my water broke.”

Stephen called our midwife again and helped me make my way to the bathroom where I had a few more contractions on the toilet (classy I know). Our midwife asked him some questions about the fluid and warned that my contractions would get even more intense now that I’d lost my cushion. Since the water breakage happened on fabric it was kind of hard to tell, but from what we could see it was clear with a couple small chunks of vernix in it.

I switched between laboring in the tub, on the toilet, our bed and on the exercise ball until our midwife got there. I knew I was in transition at some point because I started shaking like crazy and I puked up the few bites of dinner I’d managed to consume earlier.

The most comfortable place at that point was actually the toilet and that was where I was still when our midwife arrived. I had to lean back so she could listen for the heartbeat with the doppler which was really uncomfortable. After that I tried laboring in the tub again, but I just couldn’t get comfortable in there and the water wasn’t really helping much with the contractions. I got out and sat on the birth ball a few minutes where she checked my vitals and listened to the heartbeat again with the doppler. And then I felt like I was going to puke again. There wasn’t much in my stomach so it was mostly just a lot of dry heaving. It totally didn’t phase my midwife though, which was nice.

Oh and so much for my worrying about birth fashion. I couldn’t stand the feeling of anything on me so I wore nothing. I thought it would bother me more because I tend to be pretty modest, but labor was so consuming that I didn’t really even notice.

Anyway, back to the story. I made my way back to the bed because that seemed like the most comfortable place. I’d also started feeling a lot of pressure at that point and like I kind of wanted to push. My midwife checked me at 9:50 and I was already 8cm. So I went from 3cm to 8 in under 3 hours. Technically active labor doesn’t begin until you hit 4cm, so we just went from the time my water broke on that one.

The contractions were so unbelievably painful at this point. I must have screamed “I can’t! I can’t! I can’t!” about a zillion times. Several times it was really hard to remember to breath and I remember one time where I almost felt like there was no way I could take a breath because the contraction was so intense. There really was no turning back at this point though. Even if I had been at the hospital my labor was progressing so fast there’s no way I would have gotten an epidural.

I was still feeling the need to push and sometimes I did a little during some of the contractions. It was like I really couldn’t control my body. My midwife checked me again at 10:40 and I was 9.5cm. She had me switch sides so it would put pressure elsewhere and get that last lip of cervix to go. At 11pm I was fully dilated and really feeling the need to push. I got into a more upright position because laying on my side to push didn’t really seem comfortable. Stephen and our midwife got a bunch of pillows to help with this and Stephen helped prop me up too. I did push a few times once I was fully dilated, but my midwife said my active pushing phase was only about 18 minutes.

The pushing phase was really uncomfortable. It really hurt when she’d slide back after the contraction was over. I wanted to just keep on pushing the whole time so she wouldn’t slide back. I would actually stop though even if I didn’t want to. In between these contractions my legs were shaking and quivering like crazy. I remember kind of yelling, “I just want to stop shaking!” When she really started to crown it burned and burned and burned. They really weren’t kidding about that whole “ring of fire” thing. At one point Stephen got to see her head crowning and a little later my midwife let me touch the top of her head as she was coming out. It was kind of weird. I think it was only a couple pushes after that and she pretty much shot out of me. Almost immediately my midwife handed her off to me and we were covered in towels.

The other midwife arrived about 2 minutes later to help with all the after stuff.

I delivered the placenta a few minutes later and then Stephen cut the cord. Our midwife was really great about getting Stephen involved with stuff.

The other midwife was really great too because she really helped with the nursing part which I really didn’t even know what to do about. I’d spent so much time researching birth and pregnancy that by the time it came to read about breastfeeding I was pretty much over the idea of doing any more research and wanting to just read a novel already (which I did, quite a few actually). She helped coach me to get my latch going. Apparently, I have short nipples so it’s really hard to get Bean to latch on, but we did it and it’s been going pretty good ever since. She also spoon fed me a bowl of Cheerios while I was breastfeeding which was pretty awesome. 🙂

Bean got a good nurse in and then I passed her off to Stephen so the midwives could take a look at the damage. I was still feeling the burning so I figured there was some. I had one first degree tear that it was debatable whether or not I could get stitches. After they gave me all the pros and cons I decided against the stitches and opted for 7 days bedrest instead. There was also another place that the midwives said was more like a gash and really no way to sew up. That part really, really burned. The second midwife took off some time after that.

After that I got into an herby bath to help soothe things. Bean joined me a few minutes later after being weighed by Stephen. She had made a major poopy mess in her receiving blankets so she really needed some cleaning up. We stayed in the bath until the water got pretty tepid. Then Stephen took Bean and my midwife helped get me all cleaned up, dried off and ready for bed.

My midwife did a newborn exam on Bean and she got 9/9 on her Apgar scores. Then Stephen put on her first diaper which she promptly soiled. Then a second diaper and dressed her for bed. Our midwife showed him how to swaddle her and then they handed her to me. We curled up together ready for a good sleep.

My midwife kissed me on my head and said she wished all first time moms could be like me, that I should be very proud and that I was labor pro before she headed off. I think it was about 4am at this point. Finally, we went to bed. Well except that I really couldn’t sleep. I’ve been wired ever since the baby got here. I’ve stayed in bed and tried to rest all day, but I haven’t been able to sleep. So hopefully all this adrenaline wears off soon and I’ll be able to fall asleep. Until then, I’m very happy enjoying my little girl.

I noticed my throat is very sore after all the yelling I did last night. Oh and update about the hives… they went away when labor got intense, but they came back this morning. This time they’re only on my arms though and really responsive to the cream so that’s good.

One more thing… this morning when I was on the phone with my friend telling her the great news, my sneeky OB’s office calls to set up a time for me to come in for my induction today even though we had made it clear that I didn’t want to be induced until Friday. Ugh! I’m so cancelling my 6 week post partum visit with him. That was the last straw!

Thanks everyone for following along on my journey.

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This just might be it (or the labor post)

This is for all you antsy pants out there. 🙂

I started having some very mild contractions last night at dinner. We were out to eat and our plan had been to go to the park and do some walking out there. Except that it hurt to walk to the bathroom and the car before we left the restaurant so we decided against it.

These contractions were totally different than anything I’d thought was labor before. I’d feel a lot of pelvic pressure/crampiness and with my hands on my belly I could feel it tighten and lift up. Sometimes the pressure/crampiness still wasn’t going away in between so the only way I could tell if the contraction was over was to keep prodding at my belly until I was sure that it was soft again.

When we got home I started trying to time them, but they didn’t really have any kind of pattern.

Since it was taking a lot of concentration to even know when I was having a contraction I just decided to ignore it as best I could. I was also still dealing with the hives so I just took some Benadryl and fell asleep.

I woke back up a little after midnight kind of feeling like I was on fire because the Benadryl had worn off and the hives were massive.

I was still having contractions, but the hives made it pretty easy to ignore them. I apologized to Stephen who was sleeping and started drawing up an oatmeal bath which I soaked in for an hour. Those oatmeal baths are great when I’m actually in the water, but the effects don’t last long afterwards and it doesn’t really help with the hives on my face. By the time the bath was over though it was safe for another dose of Benadryl which I took.

I woke up several times throughout the night to put on skin creams take more Benadryl and use ice packs to soothe the hives. I was still having contractions whenever I’d wake.

This morning I noticed that the contractions were getting more intense, but I was still so ichy that I really couldn’t focus on them. I could definitely tell though when one began and end easily.

I headed to the grocery store to get some more oatmeal and some breakfast goods. I felt several contractions in the store. I noticed the hives were subsiding a bit except on my face. My face is just all red and swollen like I have a sunburn. It pretty much sucks.

I got home and ground up some of the oatmeal in my food processor to make a find powder which I then mixed into a paste and did kind of a spa type body mask with. I was still having contractions, but not really paying attention to them. I took a shower to wash off all the oatmeal paste and in the shower I really started to notice my contractions more because I wasn’t feeling all itchy for once.

When I got out I decided to lay down for awhile and start timing them. They started out about 5-8 minutes apart and 1 minute long. I took a break from timing them for awhile and then resumed. This time they were 1-3 minutes apart and about 40 seconds long.

I called my midwife to give her a heads up and Stephen came home at lunch so I told him that I was still having contractions since last night. I sent him back to work though because they still are not so intense that I can’t think about anything else when they happen.

I just decided to go on a walk to see if I can’t help things along. It was really weird. When I go walking I always get BHs until my belly just gets really hard and stays that way for the rest of the walk. Well that happened, but I could tell I was still having real contractions on top of that. I could still feel the pelvic pressure coming and going even though my belly kind of stayed tight and hard the whole walk.

I haven’t timed things since I’ve been back, but they definitely haven’t gone away. Every other time I’ve had “false labor” it’s been under two hours. So this seems way more promising.

Not sure if I’ll be posting more after this, but I think this just might be it.

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Baby will be here by the end of the week…

My appointment today was about 2 and a half hours long. I thought it would never end!

My OB didn’t even bring up the fact that I didn’t show up to the last appointment. So I didn’t get a lecture or anything. Yay!

At first he wanted to start an induction this afternoon or tomorrow morning with Cervadil. I got a big long speech about meconium, aspiration and pneumonia.

Luckily, he forgot his doppler so he decided to step out for a couple minutes which gave Stephen and I an opportunity to talk. I made it clear that there is no way I wanted to be induced today or tomorrow. So when the doctor came back in Stephen brought up the fact that there are other OBs that let patients go to 42 weeks. Our doctor said that wasn’t really the trend anymore and most now recommend 41.5 “because in 1 out of 10 cases it is absolutely necessary and even if it is overkill for those other 9 we don’t know when that 1 is going to be.”

We told him about how I’ve been having a lot of false labor, that I’d lost some of my mucus plug and that I’d been feeling really crampy which told us that my body was getting ready and doing what it is supposed to do. We told him we wanted to go as long as possible letting things progress naturally. So Stephen asked him if he’d be open to letting me go until Friday before beginning an induction. Our doctor said that depending on the results from a cervical check, an NST and an ultrasound he might be open to that.

So first he listens to the heartbeat with the doppler. Luckily Bean was in quite the fiesty mood so she was moving around. He said the fact that she was moving around a lot meant there was plenty of amniotic fluid.

Then he did a cervical check. I noticed that this time it was a lot rougher and more painful and that it went a lot deeper. He said he was just checking out my pelvis. All he told me was that I was still 2cm and “soft”.

He told me that I’d have my NST and then the ultrasound and that I needed to drink 32 ounces of water before the ultrasound. I wasn’t sure when that was supposed to happen because both things were back to back and I didn’t have that much water with me.

So we went to a different area of the practice for our NST. They got a good reading with plenty of information. So we passed that test. The NST monitoring lady told me that I didn’t need to drink that much water, that there was no way I’d be able to hold in that much water and not to worry about it, she’d speak to my doctor. Thank goodness. 🙂

Next up was the ultrasound. They actually got me in there pretty quick which was surprising to me. One time when I’d actually had a scheduled ultrasound appointment I think I was waiting there for at least an hour, if not more. This time they were squeezing us in. The ultrasound tech said she got good marks on the biophysical. She said I had good amniotic fluid, but it was a little low. So next up was back to my OB’s office.

As we walked back to my OB’s office I told Stephen that there was a lot of debate surrounding the whole low amniotic fluid thing and that I really hadn’t had a huge amount to drink that day so that could be a contributing factor.

So we got back to my OB’s office knowing that basically everything was healthy and OK. He told us that he was going out of town on Friday and a different doctor which we have seen before would be the on call doctor this weekend. I said that was fine with us. Well then he started trying to convince us to have the Cervadil placed Thursday afternoon so that he could catch the baby on Friday before he left for the trip. I said no and that I wanted to wait until Friday.

On Friday morning, if I’m not already in labor or haven’t had the baby yet, the nurses from the birthing center will call me to come in when a bed is available and the Cervadil will be placed by my OB. By Saturday I should have my baby.

Then after we discussed this he decided to do another ultrasound with the ultrasound machine in the room because he wanted to know how big she is. According to that ultrasound he says she’s 7.5 lbs. We’ll see when she gets here.

My OB wasn’t concerned about my hives and just told me to take Benadryl. I brought up the fact that it causes the milk to dry up and he said as long as I was staying plenty hydrated that I would be fine.

I called my midwife after this and told her about everything. She said from what I described that my OB totally stripped my membranes without telling me when he did the cervical check. It makes me a little mad that he did that without telling me. My midwife said that at this point in the game that it was fine and it might send me into labor on my own which would be good anyway. She also said we would talk on Thursday about some things that we could do if I hadn’t gone into labor yet.

Overall I think there were a lot of positives from the appointment. I was basically able to get what I wanted and find out that the baby is still healthy and doing fine.

That’s about it for today. I just took two Benadryl because while I was at the OB’s office I didn’t bring any creams with me and the hives got pretty bad. I’m starting to feel the sleepy side effects so I’m going to take a late nap.

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Hives… again

I honestly believe the first few cases of hives were allergy related because if I took anti-histamines or applied creams to them they went away.

I got a new case of hives though last evening and none of those things worked.

I also know it isn’t PUPPS because it isn’t on my belly and also my midwife looked at one of the cases I got and said mine doesn’t look like that. She also said PUPPS doesn’t respond to anti-histamines, and my hives did initially.

I think the hives I got yesterday and still have this morning are stress hives.

I’m trying really, really hard not to scratch anything right now because that only makes them more huge and hideous looking. But oh my gosh I am crawling out of my skin right now! Well parts of my skin anyway. So far it’s only affected my inner thighs, shoulders, right upper arm, left arm, neck and face. That leaves my back, belly and legs from the knees down as hive-free zones.

I really don’t feel like I’m that stressed though. I know this appointment will go fine and there is nothing to worry about.

Of course though I have to go and get this huge case of unresponsive hives the day of the appointment which will probably only serve to freak him out and say that they need to get this baby out of me right away.

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Monday morning

So this was the “deadline” that I’d made up in my head. The deadline when I’d have to call in the “expert,” the OB. I think once again I was over analysing the situation and building it up to be bigger than it needed to be.

I called the office and made an appointment, the earliest available was for 2pm tomorrow. The receptionist asked me why I missed my last appointment and I lied. I said I was having false labor and thought that I was going to have the baby. Actually, I did have some false labor that night so it wasn’t a complete exaggeration. Who am I kidding here? I lied. Not very Christian of me, but oh well. I told her I’d had on and off false labor all week so I kept thinking I was going to deliver and didn’t reschedule.

She said, “Oh you poor thing. Well hopefully we can just get this done and over with for you already.” I said, “Well, actually I’m not too huge and I feel fine. I’m far from suffering. I feel healthy and great.” That pretty much shut her up.

My OB is going to have to put in an authorization for any procedure he wants done so it’s not like I’ll just be induced tomorrow or whatever. I will be able to buy my time. And I can refuse to be induced before 42 weeks. I have that right as a patient.

In other news… I previously blogged about this being a not OK topic for a random person to bring up with me, but I think I started losing a little bit of my plug this morning. I could be wrong. Probably another one of my many TMI subjects, but is kind of exciting and a sign that things are still progressing.

My body is not a failure, it’s just not average. Averages are averages because there is a whole realm of variations outside the average that come together and make up the average. Thanks for your kind responses to yesterday’s post, I really needed to hear them.

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Honestly…

This is what is going through my mind about 300 times per minute. Probably isn’t the healthiest set of thoughts to be going through my mind, but I just want to get it all out there…

My body is a failure. An absolute failure. I am a woman. My body is supposed to be designed for pregnancy and birth. Well, my body has sucked at it. So why should going into labor or birthing be any different? What did I honestly expect?

I’m never going to go into labor on my own. I will wind up having to be induced and pumped full of drugs and while we’re at it why don’t I just lay down in the OR and let them fillet me like a fish now. Let’s just get it over with.

I shouldn’t be worrying about this.

The birth, no matter how it goes, isn’t the most important part. The healthy baby is.

It’s not fair. I really want my home birth.

I don’t want to call my OB tomorrow. Why didn’t I just go to my last appoinment two weeks ago? NSTs are really not that bad or that big of a deal. I was sitting at home bored anyway. It would have helped pass the time. Then this wouldn’t be all awkward. If he tried to pressure me into an induction I could have just refused. I really don’t want to call my OB tomorrow.

Please let that cramp turn into something.

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