5 on Friday

one.

My ball shaping was hurried as I was trying to get these into my belly ASAP

Monster Energy Bites – I’ve been making these often since my friend passed me the recipe. They’re SOO good, definitely the best energy balls I’ve made. I think the dates make all of the difference, giving them a great consistency and sweetness without any honey or added sugar. The original recipe calls for dark chocolate but I was really craving Monster Cookie Dough so I swapped out mini M&M’s and I highly recommend it. I’ve also added flax & hemp seed, and it mixes in great. Find the base recipe here! Continue reading

One Mom’s Miscarriage & The Medical Diagnosis You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The advice “just relax—that’s when it’ll happen!” tended to have the opposite effect on me. I would feel my blood pressure rise as I tried to spit out anything to change the subject. Is being relaxed a good thing when you’re trying to get pregnant (or just in general)? Of course. But it turns out that wasn’t actually why I wasn’t getting pregnant. It was fleeting before many other feelings came crashing down, but my first thought when, half-drugged, I heard the diagnosis of Asherman’s Syndrome was  “I was right! They were wrong!”

I had gotten pregnant quickly with my daughter in 2013. When my husband and I learned on the very dramatic medical Match Day in 2015 that we’d be moving across the country a little over a year later, we agreed it was time to try  to get pregnant again to be closer to family for this baby’s birth. Continue reading

Xavier’s Birth Story – Pennsylvania Hospital

VBAC Birth Story, baby feet

  • November 2016
  • First baby
  • Mom’s Age: 29
  • Born at 38 weeks, 3 days
  • Unmedicated/Natural Birth
  • 16 hour labor
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • LifeCycle Woman Care, Bryn Mawr, PA – Prenatal care, planned Delivery
  • Pennsylvania Hospital – Delivery
  • Amanda Jacobs – Prenatal and Postpartum Doula

My pregnancy was not exactly enjoyable (fatigue, nausea, vomiting well into the 2nd trimester), but baby and I were healthy. After some research and one traditional OB visit, I decided that a free-standing birth center would be the environment most compatible with my goals for childbirth. I hoped for very little intervention during my pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Apart from the fascinating and exciting anatomy scan at 21 weeks, my prenatal care and visits were uneventful – blood pressure and baby heartbeat checks, weigh-ins, and the standard tests.

I managed pregnancy thanks to prenatal yoga 2-3 times week and weekly chiropractor visits (Webster technique) – plus prenatal massages when I could swing it! With these practitioners, sessions with my wonderful doula, and the childbirth and breastfeeding education classes at the birth center, I felt mentally and physically prepared for labor and childbirth. There was no shortage of traumatic stories and worried words from friends who insisted an epidural was a necessity. Seeing as there was no way to control what would happen, I found it much more pleasant to focus on the path of manageable labor and an unmedicated, natural childbirth. I spent a lot of time visualizing what my body was going to be doing. I half-listened to hypnobirthing guides and fell asleep reading euphoric and pain-free birth stories. I crafted and protected my bubble of optimism. Continue reading

5 On Friday

One.

Family Pictures – For the first time since our wedding day we took professional family pictures last night! It’s always something I think “hey we should do that!” and never something that makes my short list of things to do. But Mike’s new practice in Chicago asked that he get professional family pictures taken before we move and before baby comes, for their website. So we finally did it! I spent Wednesday going through the clothes that remained unpacked for the three of us and realizing some shopping would be required. So off to the mall on a rainy day I went – 2.5 year old in tow.

I wandered aimlessly through Motherhood Maternity, Younkers and Banana Republic before finding a cute non-maternity dress in Francesca’s Closet that fit over the belly. Then I actually found Leah’s cute dress on clearance at Target and Mike was able to wear pink shorts and a white button down that he had. I was so proud of myself as this is generally not my forte! Last night we had a great time taking pictures outside on a beautiful night and I’m excited to see if we got any good ones in a couple weeks!

Two.

Birth Stories – It was so fun receiving the birth stories that I posted over the past two weeks. It’s been a while since I’ve had any to post and reading those just made me remember by I love hearing about each baby’s entry into the world – they’re all so unique! So if you have wondered if I’m still looking for stories to share I am! And if you’ve had a baby and would be willing to share your story I’d be thrilled to learn about that amazing (or terrifying) moment in your life that left you forever changed, so send it my way!

Three.

Packing in the calories everywhere

Continue reading

Greek Salad

Yes, we ate this in front of the TV 🙂


Print Recipe
Greek Salad
Servings
big salads
Ingredients
  • 2 heads romain lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 2 romain tomatoes, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup Feta cheese
Salad Dressing
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
Servings
big salads
Ingredients
  • 2 heads romain lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 2 romain tomatoes, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup Feta cheese
Salad Dressing
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Grill the chicken and let it rest while chopping up the rest of the ingredients. Chop up the chicken into bite sized pieces. Whisk together the salad dressing, adding salt and pepper to taste. Toss together the salad and serve, I like to put the dressing on at the last minute.
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Amelia Mae’s Birth Story – Banner University Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ

Amelia was born en cual. This means she was born still encased in the birth sack. The doctors and trainees expressed awe for the rarity of the moment and then delicately cut into it and ripped it away from her face. She was placed on my chest and crawled her way to my nipple. My breasts had been preparing for this moment for months and she instinctively suckled the colostrum from them without hesitation. I was staring straight ahead stunned by the speed of what had just happened, at a loss for understanding of how I now held my perfect little girl. I was floating above the room looking down. But only for a second because my placenta was coming and reality shot back with the contraction. It had been 16 minutes since I had arrived in the labor and delivery room.

Two hours earlier Michael and I were browsing the racks of Burlington Coat Factory while the register worked on a return we had brought in, no tags. Continue reading

Almost. The. Weekend….

Feeling pretty blah this morning. I thought to myself hey after that great birth story I should write some kind of interesting blog post today. And since then I’ve been sitting here, juuust sitting here, thinking if only I had ANY ideas. LOL I mean maybe it’s because Leah woke up extra early this morning, maybe because I’ve just been extra tired the last couple of days, and maybe because I may have been a TEENSY bit moody last night and set a less than pleasant tone for the family evening. Whatever the reason I’m just not feelin it today, and instead of pretending that I am I just want to shout out to anyone else out there having one of those days. I feel you! And I think we all have them. So hey, let’s just do the bare minimum today and power through.

Image result for get through today funny

Simon’s Birth Story – St. Joseph’s Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

The first trimester of pregnancy I was nauseous, almost constantly.  I lost over 15 lbs in those first few months because of a complete aversion to food. The best remedy I found was the sick bands you wear on your wrists before a boating adventure. The day my second trimester began, like a light switch, the nausea went away. Next came PUPPS, a skin rash I would not wish on anyone. The rash took over my legs and itched constantly. By this point it was the beginning of summer in Phoenix. Relief from PUPPS and the triple digit temperature only came at night when I could jump in the pool. My OB had little to recommend for the rash except topical ointments. It was my chiropractor/doula who recommended black tar soap and liver cleansing supplements and teas.  I would try and shower two to three times a day using the back tar soap and take 2-3 herbal pills in the mornings, within two weeks the rash also went the way of nausea. When I became pregnant I was concerned about back pain and began to see a chiropractor/doula for the duration of my pregnancy. She alleviated many aches and concerns, mentally and physically. My baby boy had his head down almost the entire time and kicked constantly. Rib jabs, laying on the bladder, sitting snuggly on my pelvic bone, sending sharp pains through my vagina. These are all said to be normal but without an explanation seemed alarming. My chiropractor helped keep my hips loose allowing for better, more free movement for the little guy. 

Continue reading

Motherhood Closet Trial

A while ago I posted about the top sites to rent maternity clothes from. The one I was most excited about finding (and using) was Motherhood Closet. I liked the fact that you rent 15 items of your selection from their collection of gently-used, name-brand maternity clothing, and that you can swap the clothing as many times as you want (just pay shipping), throughout your rental period of 3, 6 or 9 months.

Sounds great in theory, right? Well I wanted to see if it’s really was great as I was hoping, so I contacted Motherhood Closet to see if I could try their Clothesline Club Membership with the intention of reporting back! I got my shipment of clothes earlier this week and so far here are my thoughts! Continue reading

Guest Post: National Infertility Awareness Week

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples suffers from infertility? And many more struggle to add to their family without the official diagnosis. While infertility will always be unfair and frustrating it absolutely should not be isolating. The more it is discussed and stories are shared the better we can all come together to support those battling infertility – whether it be you, your best friend, sister, a coworker or daughter.

An Inside Look: Facing Infertility with IVF

Courtney Ruge @andthencomesbaby

Our story starts out like so many others—just a young couple with a simple dream to one day be parents. We were married a year before we began the (unknowingly long) journey to starting our family. We tried on our own for months to no avail and finally decided to take the next step with a fertility specialist. “There are few options,” he said. So, we started with the easiest one—intrauterine insemination (IUI). “You get three chances,” he said. We used them all, plus one. Four attempts later, our hopes and dreams of being parents dangled by a thread. “Would this ever actually work?” I thought to myself. “What if I never become a mom?” A few weeks after our last attempt of IUI, we met with our doctor. And that’s when he said it. Those three little letters. IVF. Chills ran through my body as tears filled my eyes. How could I ever do this?

Preparing for our Cycle

It took awhile for reality to sink in—for me to accept that our path to parenthood would be filled with strict injection schedules, multiple doctor visits and very, very little sex. But once I became acclimated with our new “normal”, it wasn’t so bad. The cycle started with 27 days on birth control—to calm and reset my reproductive system—and two rounds of antibiotics to prevent infection prior to retrieval and embryo transfer. And, I hate to admit it, but this was the worst part for me. The antibiotics were awful and so hard on my body. And I just mentally couldn’t get over the fact that I was taking birth control to prevent pregnancy—wasn’t that the idea here?!

Stimulation Phase

@andthencomesbaby: happy monday to me 🤣💉 #ivf #ivfjourney #fertility #ivfsupport

I survived the dreaded BCP and antibiotic prep and made it to stimulation phase. In short, my body pretty much became an egg factory. My husband would inject me with hormones every 12 hours for 10 days in an effort to produce numerous follicles in my ovaries. The more follicles, the more eggs…the more eggs, the greater chance you have at success. (Some women experience severe cramping and bloating, but I never did. Sure, I didn’t always feel like myself but the hormones weren’t nearly as hard on my body as I was expecting. Oh and the needles, THEY ARE SO TINY IT IS RIDICULOUS. You can barely feel them, I promise.) On the last day of stimulation, my nurse counted about 10-12 follicles and said we were measuring just perfectly. That night I was to take the trigger shot and two days later I would come in for the egg retrieval procedure. Continue reading