26 March 2010

Hurray for Different Food!

spinach lentil soup and veggie brown rice sushi

Eggs and Toast, Eggs and Toast

Pretty much my diet at the moment.

I put two saltines by the bed last night, and I ate them this morning before getting up. I think it helped. I feel pretty crappy first thing, but exercising actually helps and I was able to get a nice workout in this morning. Breakfast: more egg whites with a Kodiak pancake.

25 March 2010

Breakfast and Lunch- Thurs, March 25th

I've wanted to snap more pictures of what I'm eating these days. It's not working out so well.

Part of the problem is that I'm definitely experiencing nausea the past two days. I get relief while I'm eating, hence the excitement to chow down right away. Lots of things that I would normally eat are not appealing, especially OATMEAL which is one of my favorite things. It was not interesting to me this morning. Other things I usually have and now don't want: Coffeemate (usually can't drink coffee without it), Splenda (as I said before, it's my sweetener of choice but not anymore), salad (what am I going to eat for lunch?!), canned fish (there goes one protein option).

This morning I was nauseous when I woke up but was able to do my morning exercise through it. It actually went away while I was 'working out.' 40 minutes trying to keep my heart rate below 140 hardly feels like a workout. Feels more like pathetic. After the workout I made the following:
  • 1/4 cup 100% egg whites + 1/4 cup southwestern egg beaters, scrambled
  • 1/3 cup portion of Kodiak Cakes pancake, with sliced apple and sprinkle of cinnamon added
  • strawberry freezer jam and a bit of sugar free Aunt Jemima's on the side
  • coffee with fat free half & half

There are 18 grams of protein in this breakfast (7g Kodiak Cake, 5g egg beaters, 6g egg whites).

:~:

Lunch was tricky in the planning; my regular salad fixings were gag worthy. The concept of anything raw seems to bother me. At 10:30am I decided some fresh bread would be nice, but that would mean delaying lunch to eat it 3 hours later. I knew that wasn't going to feel very good, so I decided to space lunch out. It ended up working very well.

Unpictured:
1. At noon I ate the last of the asparagus I roasted last night. I reheated it so it wouldn't bother me. **Asparagus is full of folate and vitamins K and A. Folate helps development of the alien's cardiovascular system so I feel great eating it.
2. While making my sandwich I ate the end piece of the delicious bread I decided to make, with some butter.
3. More fizzy juice (sparkling water + pineapple orange juice)
4. some decaf french press coffee with ff half & half

The bread has a bit of barley flour mixed with bread and whole wheat flours, and a hit of cinnamon. (I was out of bread flour so subbed some oat flour, which is the reason (I think) that my bread didn't rise very much.) Despite its density it was delicious when I put into it. I put a bit of butter on the end piece and sliced a nice thick one for an open-faced sandwich. I tore up some spinach for a bit of green (I couldn't handle much) and topped it with some freshly roasted tomatoes. I fried some more egg whites into a pancake and topped it with some shredded white cheddar.

The result was absolutely scrumptious (smaller than it looks- that's a salad plate, compared to the dinner plate holding those giant pancakes).


About 7 grams of protein in lunch (6g egg whites, I'll estimate about 1g from cheese).

~

24 March 2010

Yesterday's Meals

Breakfast:
  • rolled oats with dried fruit (raisins, apricots, apples) at Los Gatos Roasting Company, with small spoon of dark chocolate peanut butter and a sprinkle of raw sugar
  • coffee (75% decaf, 25% regular) with half & half and sprinkle of cinnamon and cocoa

Lunch:

  • Turkey Stack sandwich from Los Gatos Gourmet- roasted turkey, tomato, greens, housemade aoili on ciabatta bread
  • steamed green cabbage with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt (didn't finish)

Afternoon snack:

  • 6 cubes of cantaloupe with 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese and tsp TJ's pumpkin butter

Dinner:

  • 1 giant Kodiak Cakes pancake, spread with strawberry freezer jam
  • 2 egg whites scrambled with white cheddar
  • 2 oranges

Liquids:

  • first cup coffee with caffeine (negative)
  • half sized refill of decaf only
  • fizzy juice #1 with lunch
  • extra large fizzy juice #2 in the afternoon
  • last fizzy juice with dinner

Return of the Queasy

Today has been six weeks since the beginning of my last period. If you count that way I'm six weeks today. Still so early, but gosh darnnit I'm just as pregnant now as I will be at 10 or 12 weeks. Cause nothing is going to happen, I will have this baby in November!!!


I haven't felt queasy for about a week. Queasy is a step down from nauseous, which I haven't really felt yet. I'm really hoping I stay in the realm of queasy because it's totally manageable. Right now I can keep to my usual routine of waiting a few hours to eat in the morning, but that might change. Yesterday I had to eat some egg whites when I woke up before my workout, I don't think I would have made it through. After the workout, I made this delicious breakfast: pancakes with yogurt, more egg whites, and strawberry freezer jam made by Mom


There's nothing too strange about this meal, but I normally crave oats every single morning. Not only could I pass on them, but dare I say they weren't as appealing? Certainly the peanut butter I've been adding didn't sound that great. And my coffee! I usually add a packet of Splenda to it and it tasted nasty! I didn't finish it, and I haven't had any more Splenda since then. The idea of its strong sweetness is just GROSS to me.

I've been hungry before bed every night so I justified I trip to the yogurt place for some dessert; I grabbed it before making dinner and pulled it out around 7:15. I still had an orange afterwards, but I didn't need to get up for something to nibble.

This morning I was pretty queasy; I woke up at 7:00am and didn't eat breakfast until 8:45, so I'm not sure if the waiting wasn't helpful. I didn't feel like eating yet. I had oatmeal with a tiny bit of peanut butter added at the coffee shop (the pb didn't bother me, but it wasn't as delicious as I usually find it), and some coffee, 75% decaf, 25% caf, with half and half and no Splenda. Still doesn't sound appealing. I even added a bit of real sugar to my oats instead of Splenda.

And, I'm craving meat! I don't eat meat, haven't for a while except teeny bits here and there, and I really want a roast beef sandwich or some lamb for lunch. I must need iron??!!

21 March 2010

Tired & Exercise

Fatigue continues to be my main symptom. I haven't had any new ones yet, and I'm really hoping that I can avoid any vomiting or bad nausea during our trip to Paris and London in a week and a half.

I slept well last night, in my own bed after two nights at Mom and Dad's. Ray slept on the couch which he likes to do on weekends, and he told me that I was dead to the world at 6:30am when he came to get his book.
~~

I ordered a heart rate monitor from Amazon this week. I can still exercise as long as I feel good, but I need to keep my heart rate below 140; if my heart is pounding, so is the little alien's and its forming over the past two weeks. I also need to keep length to 40-50 minutes at a time. I did a good 40 minutes this morning and the monitor was very helpful. My average heart rate was 128, and the max was 145. I have it set to beep when it goes above 140, but I don't believe the few moments it goes above have a negative effect. It happens so quickly that its hard to prevent.

Telling Parents

We told my parents and brothers yesterday. I never considered just how much joy that would bring, to me and to them.

We were going to wait a while to tell anyone, but honestly it was more Ray's idea than mine. I am so excited, and not very good at keeping secrets. And this is the biggest one I've ever had. I saw no reason not to tell our immediate family (if anything were to happen they'd know about that too. It would be impossible to hide. Besides NOTHING is going to happen). I was staying with the family for two days during March Madness, and I couldn't hold it in. I told Mom, and asked her to keep it a secret. She was thrilled and promised not to say anything, but I knew that in unburdening myself I had selfishly burdened her. That evening Ray and I decided that he would come down the next day and we would tell them.

Just after the Saint Mary's-Villanova game (SMC won!!! We are two very excited alums), everyone but Chris my oldest brother was in the living room. I handed Dad a gift bag and said Ray and I had something for him. He removed the tissue paper and the wrapped frame I had put in there, with a baby picture of me that I found that morning. I said "that's a temporary picture. The frame is for a picture of your first grandchild. I'm pregnant."

I will never forget Dad's face; it changed from confusion over the gift to processing what I had said. Tears were in his eyes, and I don't think I've ever seen that before. Hugs all around ensued, and congratulations from John and Matthew too. Mom was relieved to be able to talk about it and not keep the secret. Ray was happy that we shared the news too. Chris arrived a little while later and we were able to tell him in person too, which I was grateful for.

I am SO happy that they know. We've asked that they not spread the news until after we return from Europe, on April 9th. Then we'll give the green light to tell grandparents, aunts and uncles, and anyone else.

The plan is to tell Ray's parents next week, on Tuesday night after my doctor's appointment. Ray wants to give them a similar frame, with an ultrasound picture that we'll hopefully get that day. I hope there is actually something to see. We have brunch scheduled with them this weekend, so Ray is going to do some fast talking to delay the meeting.

17 March 2010

Foods That are Off-Limits

I love these things, but I can't have them anymore:
  • Sushi and sashimi (vegetable sushi might be ok, but I heard from one source that nori (seaweed) is off-limits; will check with doc on that one)
  • Lox/smoked salmon
  • Brie and other soft cheeses
  • Wine!
  • Diet Coke (limits on caffeine, and I'd rather have my coffee in the morning. caffeine-free diet Coke in moderation is ok)
  • Items containing artificial sweeteners besides sucralose (there isn't a huge amount of research on this but sucralose appears to be a fine sugar substitute for pregnant women. Aspartame and others should be avoided if possible. There is a bit in diet Coke, so this should be rationed)
  • Caesar salad dressing- as I learned this past weekend, as it can contain raw egg. It is so rare that I would have it so it won't be missed.
  • Raw or underdone meats- all meats must be cooked to well-done

This is what I've compiled so far; I'll update it when I discover new items. From the list I think the only thing I'll really start to miss is sushi, and I'm hoping I can satisfy the craving with vegetable or cooked sushi when that time comes. I love wine, but at least so far I feel no desire to have any. Hurray for that!

16 March 2010

To Travel or Not to Travel?

We have a trip to Paris and London planned from April 1st-9th, and I've been reading up on traveling when pregnant. Most importantly, I've been trying to determine any risks that would make it a bad idea.

Much of the information I have found is about travel during the second and third trimesters, and the info on the first trimester is brief. One thing I've learned is to steer clear of any discussion forums where regular people post advice. This stuff isn't reliable and only confuses and worries. I read on one of these and radiation at high altitudes can cause harm during the first trimester when lots of development is taking place. I didn't see this anywhere else, but it scared me a little. I will be 7 weeks when we travel, a time when the nervous system and brain are forming.

I called my doctor and spoke to the nurse, who assured me that it should be fine for me to travel. Unless I have bleeding between now and then, they would have no problem with me going to Europe. She stressed the need to stay hydrated and to move around every 60-90 minutes, to use the bathroom often and to rest during the trip as much as I need. Now is not the time to be a marathon traveler and to force as many activities in as possible.

I feel much better about taking the trip now.

14 March 2010

Hidden Illegal Foods

Last night we had dinner out with friends and I ordered a vegan asparagus soup, and a Caesar salad with a fillet of steelhead. Now, I never order Caesar salad. I had several bites of the salad before remembering that traditional Caesar dressing has raw eggs in it. As in, not something I should be eating at all. I stopped eating it immediately and promptly started to freak out inside.

!!!!!!!!

I got up to use the restroom and on the way back accosted one of the chefs standing in the open kitchen. I asked him if there were raw eggs in the dressing and he said "yes, pasteurized egg whites." At least it was confirmed, I wasn't left wondering. I'm guessing the pasteurized part is good but I still shouldn't be eating raw eggs no matter what.

I ate my soup and the steelhead fillet (both delicious); Ray noticed I wasn't eating the salad and put his sauteed spinach on my plate to eat and he took most of the salad. When we left the restaurant I whipped out the iPhone to Google pasteurized raw eggs, and told Ray what happened and how scared I was. He was really soothing and said not to worry, that I had such a small amount and it's probably fine. Many women don't know they are pregnant until much later, and eat and do things during that time that are off-limits.

He's right and I won't worry too much, but I do need to do more in-depth research on hidden foods I can't have, ones that I don't normally think about. I will mention it to the doctor at my appointment on March 30th, and hope that everything is ok.

13 March 2010

3

We hosted dinner with friends last night, and it was fun. I chose some great dishes- broiled goat cheese marinara, praline bacon, roasted pear salad, and dark chocolate meringue drops. I baked some french bread that day and it was amazing! Again I enjoyed my meal very much and didn't worry about how much I was eating. I ate until I was satisfied. I love this! I hope this translates to life without pregnancy. . . in nine months please, not until then.

This morning I felt nauseous right when I woke up but it went away quickly. I was able to work out as normal; I'm doing the same routines but not pushing myself as hard as I thought I would and not doing extra as I like to do. I was up early and might have liked to wait a while to have breakfast but when I got really hungry I gave in and made my usual pumpkin oatmeal. The past two days I have increased the amount of peanut butter I put in it for some extra protein.

The past twenty minutes I have been nauseous again so I boiled some water to make chamomile tea a little bit ago. I haven't poured it yet, so I need to go do that now. And go to the bathroom, I suddenly have to go really badly!!

12 March 2010

Second Day of Knowing

Ray's response yesterday was wonderful: incredulous disbelief, excitement, thankfulness, affection for me, concern for what I'm eating. . . :-)

We hosted another couple for dinner last night and it was almost fun hiding the fact that I wasn't drinking wine. A brilliant fib occured to me that I've given up wine for Lent; no one bats an eye at that. Please God forgive the little lie. We just don't want to spill the beans too early. They might suspect but not enough to say anything.

Nauseous again this morning at the same time, and I had my first food aversion. I microwaved some sweet potato to add to a salad this morning- nuked sweet potato is usually a nice treat in salads, with a little cinnamon sprinkled. I nibbled one piece before adding it to the salad and it tasted off. Like really not good. I didn't add it to the salad.

I also just had an excellent afternoon snack. I'm trying to consume more calories in my afternoon snack than usual, with more diverse nutrients. I mixed some pumpkin butter into lowfat cottage cheese, and added a pinch of plain oats and a pinch of the oat-coconut part of my homemade granola. Is that weird? It tasted good to me!

We are hosting another couple for dinner tonight. Another round of "I've given up wine for Lent." One guest doesn't drink at all so that will make it slightly easier. He and I can sip Pellegrino while Ray and my girlfriend get sloshed.

On that note, I have to say I can't wait to attend all the summer wine festivals this year, even though I won't be able to imbibe. I'll be able to watch all the happily drunk antics with clear eyes for once. :-P

11 March 2010

First Day Knowing- Eating

Today I immediately began thinking differently about my eating and rest habits. I had one coffee while working before switching to herbal tea. I had some nausea between 10-11 and was real hungry for lunch at 11:30 which is early for me. I picked a delicious egg-spinach-tomato-cheese sandwich on whole wheat which was deeply satisfying and nutritious, with pellegrino water and more tea after. I normally avoid carbs like bread and pasta at lunchtime and on weekdays at dinner, but I have to stop that now. Healthy whole grain carbs are important for the baby's growth especially early on. Protein too, I need to make sure I get good protein at each meal.

That night the neighbors came over for dinner and I served my peanut noodles and some roasted green beans. Everyone drank wine but me, I sipped bubble water from a wine glass, claiming that I gave up wine for Lent. A fib, but an easily accepted one that wasn't questioned. I didn't worry about how much I was eating, I ate until I was full and enjoyed my meal. I had some raspberries and dark chocolate edamame for dessert like everyone else.

A little while ago I was in bed and felt hungry again. This is weird. I would usually ignore this and wait for it to go away, but I told myself it would be better to eat a little something than ignore it. Better to gain a few extra pounds early than hurt the baby's development (I know it's not technically a baby yet, but saying embryo is too weird).

So I got up and made a small cup of lowfat cottage cheese with pumpkin butter mixed in. This was yummy!

Joy

Let it be written: today I found out that I'm pregnant. Thursday, March 11, 2010.
I took a pregnancy test this morning at 6:10 AM and it was positive.

That is a positive result my friends. I can't explain how I felt in that moment. I had set my iPhone stop watch for 3 minutes, but my eyes had glanced over near the beginning and I saw the control line by itself in the window. I was prepared for it to be negative so when the 3 minutes were up and I looked again I was almost surprised.

Called the doctor this morning, very happy of course, and I do not need to go in as I thought I might. I have an ultrasound scheduled for 5 weeks after conception, on March 30th, to listen for a heart beat and set a due date. For now I just get lots of sleep, eat right, and continue with life.

As I type this I'm feeling nauseous, which I did yesterday at about this time. It's not too bad, certainly manageable for the moment. I'm sipping mint tea in an effort to combat it, but I think an earliesh lunch is in order. I'm out with a friend right now so I gotta keep this a secret. No getting sick in public! Although I don't think I'd care if I did. The reason why is too good.

Gosh, my life is about to change dramatically.

I'm so excited!!!! :-)

10 March 2010

Feeling

I'll finish my story tomorrow- we'll see where I'm at then, my fingers have never been so crossed- but I wanted to mention how I'm feeling.

On Sunday (Day 26, the length of my previous cycle) I was tired and moody, and had some light cramping. No period though, which usually accompanies or follows those cramps in my experience. I read online that some cramps 8-10 days after ovulation is normal, that it could be the egg nestling itself into the uterine lining. I've felt them a little on and off since, but very minor.

Also, I'm hungry. Like all the time. I seem to need more snacks the past couple days.

Last night and the night before I had trouble getting to sleep. I couldn't quiet my mind, and two nights ago had nightmares when I did fall asleep. And my breasts are sore. Not incredibly sore like I imagined that would be, but it hurt to sleep on my stomach and my nipples are seriously sensitive.

Not much, and at this point it could all be in my head.

09 March 2010

The First Six Months

I've had an idea of how to begin this blog for a long time. That beginning may yet appear, but for now we are going to start here. A second beginning is a bit oxymoronic, but there are no rules in your own space.

Today is day 27 of this menstrual cycle. It is also two days after I started expecting my period. I still have some waiting to go, but the more time goes by, the more odds are in my favor. Could I be. . . I can't bring myself to use the word. After so much time waiting, watching others experience it and seeing my body misbehave over and over, it's almost hard to believe it could actually happen. So easily. And so incredibly hard.
~
This journey began about two years ago, when Ray and I started talking about the time to start a family. At that point I was not quite ready, but I was getting there. He wasn't, but the conversation was on the table. Then in late 2008 we both felt ready enough and agreed that I would cease birth control at the end of my cycle in January. I'd been on birth control for, well, years. We won't get specific. I definitely thought it would be great not having to worry about that anymore.

That last cycle ended and we weren't trying, just not not trying. The days when I would have had a period came. . . and went. I was a week late and ecstatic and terrified at the same time. That was quick!

I had just visited a new doctor in our town to replace my old one 30 minutes away; I made an appointment and took a pregnancy test in the office. Negative. Doc said it was too soon to tell, to come back in a week if I still didn't get my period.

Week later. No period. Visit #2. Negative again. Full blood work-up is ordered. Starting to get a little spooked.

Visit #3 holds the results of the blood work, which are, well, off. Very low estrogen levels, so low that my cycle wasn't triggering. My thyroid levels were also outside the normal range. I have a pre-existing thyroid condition, Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I've taken replacement since I was twelve years old but my dosage was no longer correct. Something had changed. Doc orders an MRI to see if there is something wrong with the pituitary gland in the brain. WHA???? I'm thoroughly upset and scared that something huge could be wrong.

MRI was highly uncomfortable but clean of course, I wasn't going to end up a candidate for a House episode. I don't return to that doctor, who ordered the expensive procedure prematurely considering my thyroid could have caused the chain of events that interrupted my cycle. Return to my previous OB who has treated me for several years and prescribes my thryoid meds. She agrees that from my blood work the thyroid could be the cause. The thyroid produces hormones that stimulate the pituitary which sends the signals to your ovaries to make follicles. If the levels of thyroid hormone are too low or too high, it can screw up the whole equation. My levels were really high. She also looked me up and down and said that weight could be an issue. The past two years I had slowly been losing weight with dedication to exercise and restrictive eating habits. Maybe a little too restrictive, but the high thyroid levels also create a speedier metabolism which could be a culprit. I loved how I looked and felt, but per the OB my body was probably not meant to be that thin.
~
This was me at Christmas 2006. Still a tad heavy leftover from some serious binge eating my senior year of college. I was probably around 120 lbs here.




And Christmas 2007, five months after our wedding. I slimmed down the year before the wedding and it continued after. My new drivers license say 108 lbs, so probably around there here.

April 2008- more like 106

To April 2009, probably my thinnest, at 102

In late spring 2009 we started changing my thyroid medication to achieve the proper dose. I had to be on each dose for at least 6 weeks before taking blood work to see if it was right. I changed three levels before arriving at my present dose of 75 mcg. Meanwhile, still no period. No period means no ovulation. I no longer had any clue when to expect it. . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .