Monday, September 24, 2012

Yay to the end of bed rest!

Happy Monday! We had our 34 week appointment this morning. I was so nervous! Last time I went in at 34 weeks I ended up in L&D for 30 hours. This time was much more pleasant. The medicine seems to be working really well for me. I had the doc check me out to relieve my fears mainly. I am 1/2 a centimeter dilated (That's less than before) and 50% effaced which is about the same as 2 weeks ago and the baby is still really high. That means my occasional contractions right now aren't really doing anything except keeping me in bed. That's GREAT news. I'm not ready for labor yet. I'm showing no other issues. It also means they are going to be releasing me from bed rest! They want me to keep resting for just a few more days and they are going to keep me on the procardia for the next 2 weeks but other than that I am good to go. The doctor even went so far as to predict I will go full term. I don't know about that but I'll take it.

I would like to try to go back to work in the mean time. I somehow did not make it into the sick bank so I am not getting paid to be laid up. I also miss teaching. It keeps my mind off of worrying about the rest of this.

We had a great weekend. I cheated on the bed rest anyway. I felt being so close to 34 weeks that it was safe. My friends in town gave me a wonderful baby shower for the little girl. I think we are all set on clothes through 6 months now. We also had soccer again on Sunday which was so nice.

I love the weather lately. It's very crisp outside! I've been sleeping with the windows open and it got down to 45 last night. I slept like a rock. (Well, a very pregnant rock that needs to wake up to roll over a couple of times in the middle of the night.) I love that both my babies will be born in transition seasons.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pre-labor Anxiety

I have been having anxiety nightmares off and on for the last two years and they have intensified in the last month. I am terrified of delivery. I know a lot of women are scared of labor and delivery. It's a painful process and there is so much unknown. I tried looking things up online and I am just not finding anything helpful.

First of all, I had a horrific experience last time. I went into labor early and no one encouraged me to stop labor. After 12 hours my water broke but I wouldn't dilate. Then the pitocin which no one told me would make things more painful. Then they broke my water again and all hell broke loose. It was so much pain I would have rather someone cut me open and tear the baby out. Then they took my son away and we weren't allowed to hold him. And then I didn't bond or produce much milk. My current doctor reviewed my history and shows much more competince on dealing with complications and believes things were done badly with my last delivery. In the mean time though, I have all this trauma from the first delivery. No, I have not forgotten one second of that horrible experience.

Next, I don't trust my body at all. A lot of what I read is this nonsense about "your body knows what it is doing, trust it and let it do what it knows how to do." Baloney. If I know anything from this pregnancy and the last is that my body doesn't know how to deal with pregnancy at all. After bedrest and the last delivery, I also know my body has no idea what it is doing when it comes to labor either. So, that makes two of us; my physical and mental selves. This leaves me very little confidence in labor and delivery. I do trust my doctors but I can't count on them being the ones to actually deliver me and you can't plan on what nurses you get and my poor husband remembers the same trauma from last time too so he is also none-to-confident.

I have also been told to ignore most of my contractions, so what if they finally do really kick in but by then it's too late and I deliver on my kitchen floor, or the car, or the parking lot? I am definitely getting an epidural this time but what if it doesn't take? I already know I react in funny ways to medication. What if I am too late? What if I do get an epidural but then panic when it comes to push and I can't do it? Trust me when I say I thought about all of this before getting pregnant but pushed it all aside so that we can have this second child but everything seems so eminent!

My final anxiety of the moment is "what if I go into labor before my dad comes to town?" We have an idea but it will just depend on who picks up their phone! They won't let our son into the delivery room and I can't do this without my husband. So, lets all hope my body holds off until Wednesday! That's 5 more days...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ham and Mushroom Risotto

I love making risotto. It is one of my go to staples in the house because as long as you have stock, wine, and arborio rice you can make any type of risotto with whatever leftover veggies or frozen veggies you happen to have on hand. My husband is also a huge fan of my risottos. Tonight he has announced he will be making a risotto and I am to give him the ingredients for it. Now risotto is not hard but you do have to babysit it a bit. My husband is the ultimate perfectionist though so I am sure it will be fantastic! (He made us Paula Dean fried chicken last night with home made mashed potatoes that were all To-Die-For!)

We decided on a mushroom risotto so I browsed online for a recipe that had something a little more fun than just mushrooms and I found an awesome looking bacon, mushroom, spinach risotto. I'm going to modify the recipe a bit below.

For Risotto you have 3 phases: Sautte, boil, cheese etc. (DH requested the 3 phase explanation)

4 cups or 1 box stock (chicken or veggie)
desired quantity of ham or bacon (about 8 slices bacon)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme
4 minced garlic cloves (we used 6)
8 ounces baby bella mushroom, 4 ounces other wild mushroom ( quantity is not important to be exact)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (we ended up putting almost a cup! I like to just cover the contents.)
4 cups chopped baby spinach (or however much you happen to have. If you hate spinach you can use 1 cup peas or 1 cup chopped asparagus. You would just need to through it in a little earlier to cook, maybe when you are half way through your stock)
1/2 cup parmasian or asiago cheese or a blend of both
1/4 tsp pepper

1. In a deep frying pan begin cooking ham (or bacon) until crispy. You can chop it first or wait until later to chop it up.
2. Put veggie or chicken stock on to simmer while ham is cooking.
3. Chop onion and mushrooms while ham is cooking.
4. Remove cooked ham with slotted spoon and add onions and thyme (you may need to add a little EVOO to help if your ham wasn't greasy enough.) Cook on medium about 6 minutes
5. Add mushrooms to the onions, cook about 8 more minutes stirring occasionally
6. Add Garlic (DH loves his garlic so we add it so almost everything) then add rice and stir cooking about 1 minute
7. Add dry white wine. We had a Riesling on hand. Stir until almost all is absorbed into the rice.
8. "Stir in 1 cup hot stock (I use a ladle and eyeball it); cook 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total)." What does constant mean? You don't have to continuously stir. You can stir, walk away, couple minutes later stir some more while you do other things like wash dishes or give the toddler a snack.
 Cheese etc.
9. Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and pepper and ham.

The reason you stir risotto a lot and use a special rice is to really bring the starches out of the rice into whatever you are cooking. You will notice at the end that the final product will really stiffen up.

Update: It turned out very, very good! I recommend 1 slice of think cut ham as the quantity, and no salt. There is a lot of salt in several of the other ingredients. I think DH put in 6 cloves of garlic (I told you he liked the garlic) The thyme was a really nice touch. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crafting in bed

One of the sad things about bedrest is that I am not suppose to leave the bed for very much and that includes sitting at the sewing machine. I've been struggling to find any way to be productive or at least keep my mind occupied with something other than trash tv which are currently over run with political ads these days. Today I actually found some crafts I can do in bed.

Today I started with blankets. I know, you can't put a sewing machine on your lap in bed, but I can iron and pin everything I already had cut out and make it ready to sew! I used every pin I own to pin down the 3 swaddle blankets I had made for myself and 2 burp clothes bedecked with girly fru-fruness. I only own one of those small ironing boards so that fit on my lap nicely.

Next, I've been wanting some MSU hair bows but I thought how hard could it be just to make them? I looked up those bottle cap logos and only found printable ones which led me to thinking well maybe I could make my own bottle cap decorations for the garnish to my bows. I did some online learning via youtube and went to amazon looking for the supplies and came across a review of bad epoxy which led me to some good stuff. This is the site I found. I decided to buy some resin and molds to make my own jeweled ribbon garnishes. I figured this might come in handy as most all my friends have little girls and my own seems to have hair already. If it works out you can send me your requests or come over and play with my materials.

That accomplished I was still left without a craft. I started looking at bow tutorials on youtube. I tried some different techniques with ribbon I've had sitting around forever. Some turned out better than others but I am pretty pleased. The orange one is my current favorite and this is the site I found the tutorial on.
I bought some alligator clips at amazon to back the ribbons with, but for these little ones I just used some ribbon of the same color and hot glued velcro to it. Next time I am in Joannes I think I will also pick up some cute buttons to put in the middle of some of the ribbons. I want a little football or block S for the middle of the brown one and maybe a butterfly for the middle of the purple one. I have had a hard time finding ribbon online! I'll need to pick more of that up too next time I am allowed to go out.

This was the mess of my bedside workstation!

Monday, September 10, 2012

My baby girl has hair!

At least, that's my take away from today's appointment. I'm sure it's the least important message I got today but it's the one that keeps running through my head. You can see it as bumpiness in the photo. I also think she looks a bit like Logan. Same nose for sure and crazy kissy lips. She kept puckering them out in the ultrasound.

Now to more important matters. I met a new doctor today and I liked her too. The first thing she asks me is "tell me more about your last delivery". She said with everything she read and what I was confirming she was convinced my last delivery was handled poorly and I should not have delivered when I did. She's the 3rd doctor to hint at this but the first to put it so bluntly. She thinks I just have an irritable uterus and should be able to go at least another few weeks on bed rest. Now, I am glad I had the US lady check on my cervix too because otherwise I don't think I would have had the complete picture. It's much shorter today than it had been last time. So, I am glad I have been on bedrest because changes are occuring. Even still the doctor was pretty optomistic about going 2 more weeks at least.

Today I have had only 2-3 contractions. I am 32 weeks and I feel pretty good. Baby girl was measuring 4 lbs 2 oz and right on track. She is still head down and looking great. I also got my flu shot. Oh, and did I mention the weather was perfect today? I need to get a lounge chair I think!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bedrest Update

Is it Bed rest or bedrest? I keep getting auto-corrected for the compound word but I seem to see it that way on reputable sites, so I'm not really sure. I guess it doesn't really matter. I'm just making a quick update to the tragedy that is bedrest. Here are some of my  current thoughts.

1. Bedrest is not a luxery vacation. Trust me. Maybe if I had been running around crazy all summer I would appreciate some time in bed, but I have spent all summer on the couch taking it easy so this was not at all welcome.

2. Bedrest is not easy. It is so hard not to cheat. It's partially hard not to cheat because I don't really know what the rules are. I am on a modified bedrest meaning I have bathroom and kitchen privilages. I'm suppose to stay in bed on my left side most of the day though. I cheated today. I left the house to go for a car ride. But, it was either do that or run from the house screaming so I figured the car ride was better.

3. Bedrest hurts. I am literally sore from laying in bed. I'm going to have DH pick up an egg crate mattress cover. That's what the nurse recommended.

4. People on bedrest don't really want to hear about how much fun other people are having out and about and they don't want to hear people complaining about not being in bed. It's an irrational, ungrateful time. With HG I didn't and don't wish that on ANYONE. (bedrest is better than vomiting) but with bedrest I kind of wish I could wish it on a few people so they could understand what it's like a little better.

5. I'm on bedrest for a reason, obviously. We are trying to prolong this pregnancy as long as possible. That being said, I am terrified of going into labor! I could go tonight or in 2 months. The anxiety is horrible! If we can hold off I know what we will do with our 2.5 year old, but if we go tonight I have to hope someone on our list will pick up our call. I have very lovely, caring friends but I know how huge an imposition it would be to call at 3 am with an urgent request to pick up a toddler. Our neighbors are on standby but they are incapable of watching a toddler.

6. People on bedrest should never google it. Reading things like "bedrest is not proven effective" or"There can be medical risks to bedrest" and the like don't inspire following the rules. This actually led me to calling the doc today to see if bedrest was necessary for me. I completely LOST it last night because I have been feeling good physically. No regular contractions. I have been getting contractions periodically, usually just before my time limit is up on the procardia but that is it. I decided to call the doctor and plead for lifted restrictions. The nurse was so nice on the phone and listened to my predicament and answered all of my off the wall questions with sufficient detail and confidence to appease me. She reassured me that if I was still having ANY contractions than I was still on bedrest especially because I am already on the procardia. This isn't something where you just go on the drug and trust the drug. She also said (and I didn't know this) that now my contractions were under control and only happening periodically they wanted me to call if they increased at all. This is different then what I was told last time. I was told to just ignore them and I told her that but she said it's different now that they are under control.

So, I am still here, still ticking the days away and a little less crazy than I was last night. 31 weeks yesterday!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

BBQ pulled pork - slow cooker style

Well, we have survived a week of bed rest. Not enjoyable. Much harder than it sounds. We went through a few days of angry denial and a few added hours of "why me?" but we did make it through. Bed rest is like house arrest really. I am to be laying down most of the day. I can get up for the restroom, shower, get food and that's about it. I'm not 100% good every day but I'm not less than 90% good every day so I think that's ok. What has helped me mentally is really seeing the cause and effect of bed rest. If I stay horizontal and take my meds every 6 hours, then I don't contract much. If I try to do too much then my body tells me immediately.

Today I wasn't perfect. I was so sick of the house that DH took me for a car ride through the country. I love the country roads around here. So beautiful! I also helped with dinner but the total number of minutes on my feet were less than 30 minutes. This was an easy dish and I'm going to share it because I sort of compiled a couple different recipes to get this product.

I used the directions for pulled pork I found off of pinterest. That recipe did not have a rub to the pork and I wanted a rub so I found one online that had ingredients I liked and adjusted some of the quantities according to my common sense (I didn't want 3 tbs of salt!) I then went looking for a BBQ sauce because we didn't have a bottle of anything I liked. This one has also been altered (It did ask for more vinegar. Again, that seemed too much and I'm glad I reduced the amount of that and the mustard. The end results were good) 

BBQ Pulled Pork - slow cooker style

Ingredients: 3-6 pork chops (bone in or out, you can remove the bone later)


  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard (or I used just some dijon mustard spread onto the chops)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons coarse salt


  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup yellow or brown mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (this was not enough to make it spicy, add more if you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • dash of Worcestershire (not needed but I love it)

1. Dry rub the chops on both sides
2. Put a layer of sliced onion
3. Layer 3 chops
4. Add the rest of the onion
5. Add BBQ sauce
6. Cook on low a couple hours. We had 3 chops and cooked them for 6 hours which I am sure was more than enough time.

7. Put falling off the bone cooked pork into stand mixer with flat attachment and slowly "pull" Works like a charm!

8. Add sauce with onions to the blender to blend up those onions. At this step I realized I could have cooked in carrots and celery as well and just blended that all into the sauce too to give everyone more vitamins. I don't often use a blender and I am not sure what I did but as you can see I made a mess. Oops!

At first I thought the sauce was still a bit vinegary but when combined with the meat and on the bread it was really good. I think I will keep playing with it.
Yum! This was only 3 chops and more than enough for my whole little family although next time I would do 6 so that I can freeze some left overs. Very easy meal! But, I am glad DH is doing the dishes. I made some monster dishes with the slow cooker, blender, AND stand mixer :)