30 week bump-date

LK and I had our 30 week check-up today. She is the size of a Cantaloupe or a Zucchini, depending on what app I look at! We passed the glucose test, and she is measuring right on track. Her little heart rate is at 145 and she looks absolutely perfect. My doctor expects that he can remove my stitches in the office rather than requiring surgery to remove. That eases my mind so much! They will hopefully schedule that around 37 weeks, and we can expect her arrival anytime after that. She’s so big now that sometimes her movements wake me up at night and you can see her moving outside of my belly more and more. She prefers to sit on my right side and often my belly is very lopsided. She is still head down and the doc says she has dropped a little bit. That is probably why I’m experiencing so much lower back and pelvic pain. He thinks that she might be putting pressure on a nerve, which is the source of most of my discomfort. I’m hoping she will wiggle around and get into a different position soon. This part is no fun. She’s grown to the size that I am uncomfortable pretty much constantly and can’t be on my feet for long periods of time without my legs and feet swelling. The doc is greatly in favor of me continuing yoga and stretching as it will help my body prepare for labor and there have been studies linking mindfulness practice with a more pleasant and peaceful delivery. I’ve noticed an increase in my appetite lately, but the inability to eat much at one sitting due to the lack of space in my belly right now. Mood swings have gotten a little bit deeper and more often, I’ve struggled with depression the majority of my life, and I didn’t expect pregnancy to be much different. I’m glad I’m able to manage it without medication now, but the last couple weeks have been tough with a lot of ups and downs. My sugar cravings are out of this world. These cravings have literally brought me to tears on more than one occasion this week, knowing that the sugar is not good for me or the baby, but the craving being incredibly strong and feeling almost overpowering. I’m managing them the best I can, but it is incredibly frustrating.

As we get closer to May, our home is starting to reflect the upcoming changes. It is so weird to look into the nursery and see the crib, knowing that soon there will be a perfect baby girl sleeping there. We have most of the essentials, and with my shower this weekend, I know we will be all ready by the time she comes. I had a smallish emotional breakdown trying to find something nice to wear to my shower this weekend. It’s so hard sometimes to accept my changing body without judgement. Nothing fits “right” or looks the way I think it “should”, and this belly is seriously getting out of control as she continues to grow! It took me a few hours to snap out of it and realize that my body is creating a miracle and that might not always look the way I expect it to. I did eventually find a cute and comfy dress that I am excited to wear on Sunday. I also have to remind myself that I will be surrounded by so much love and friendship that I really don’t need to get caught up in how I look.

Another week closer to meeting my sweet and perfect little girl, this is an incredible journey and I feel so blessed to share it with all of you. Thank you for your continued love and prayers.

30 weeks 3

 

 

Meal Prep Monday 13March17

This has always been true for me, but even more so now that I’m pregnant. If I fail to plan, I plan to fail! I have to make sure that I have healthy and nutritious food on hand, otherwise when I get hungry I will reach for whatever is fast and easy — which is rarely ever healthy. I also have found that I need to eat something every few hours, otherwise I get a craving for something sweet and will find the most high-calorie sweet thing I can get my hands on to ease the craving…BUT, if I keep a steady meal plan of good and healthy foods, these cravings aren’t nearly as overwhelming! I’ve been able to battle most sugar cravings lately with Greek yogurt and granola, fruit and berries, and cold pressed juices. Much better than grabbing for a donut, cookies, ice cream, or something worse! This baby needs nutrition, not processed sugar! I thought I’d share my weekly meal prep and recipes in case any of you are looking for something new!

13March17 Meal prep monday!

This week looks DELICIOUS! So IN LOVE with my new kitchen that I can’t help but get super excited about cooking in it! This week, I’ve got roasted veggies, Teriyaki Panko Chicken thighs and Buffalo turkey meatball muffins! Yummm!!! Photos and recipes below

Roasted veggies – This week, I made brussel sprouts, peppers, zucchini, and squash! I preheated the oven to 350, and rubbed EVOO on the pans I was using. I cut up the veggies and added plant based butter, ranch seasoning, and white cheddar popcorn spray. I then cooked the zucchini, squash, and peppers for 25 minutes and the sprouts for about 35 minutes.

Teriyaki Panko Chicken Thighs- Preheat oven to 400 and rub down pans with EVOO. I got organic chicken thighs, and put them in a gallon ziplock bag with a full container of Teriyaki marinade. (I added 15 thighs) Massage sauce into the thighs and make sure they are all opened up to get the sauce on the whole thigh. Then I took each one out individually and rolled in the Panko crumbs. I just used the regular unseasoned Panko. Put in pan and cook for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Buffalo Turkey meatball muffins – I used 2-1 pound packages of extra lean ground turkey, 2 eggs, mild wing sauce,  and a handful of panko (enough to get a thick consistency with eggs and wing sauce added. I oiled the muffin tin and filled each spot with the mixture. I cooked at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes – until they start to brown on top. I eat mine with the avacodo ranch Hidden Valley dressing, but Joe eats his plain.

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Finished Product!!

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I’m looking forward to a YUMMY week ahead and hope that you guys enjoy these recipes!

29 week bump-date

29 weeks! Crazy to think that in a little over 2 months, we get to meet Miss Lilly Kate! It seems like such a long wait and like tomorrow all at the same time! So many emotions at once, from joy and anticipation to fear and worry. I run the gambit of emotions on a daily if not hourly basis! But, I can’t wait to hold this sweet angel in my arms and kiss all over her! 29 weeks

Depending on which app I look at, she is roughly the size of a pineapple, a radio control car, or an acorn squash. No matter which it really is, she is definitely getting bigger and FAST! I can see her little body rolling around in my belly, elbow or knees, not sure which. At our last ultrasound, she was almost 3lb, and she will TRIPLE her body weight before she is born (according to the app, but I really hope she isn’t born at 9lb!)

Week 29 from the Ovia app

“Lilly Kate’s movements are getting less violent and more regular as she grows to the bounds of your womb…Your growing womb and the pressure it can put on your abdomen, means you might experience acid indigestion, and as always your increased levels of estrogen and progesterone aren’t helping…Lilly Kate is about 16 inches tall, and pretty close to birth height, she is still wighing in at almost three pounds, so she still has a lot of fat to pack on in the next eleven weeks. Lilly Kate’s muscles and lungs continue to mature…Finally, be prepared – Lilly Kate is going to be packing on some serious pounds in the coming weeks, and so will you; you are getting into the homestretch!”

Week 29 from “The Bump” app

“You are probably getting a little preview of baby’s personality, the more you feel her move. You might bet some playful kicks and jobs, and start to feel little hiccups, too! At 29 weeks, baby’s not just moving a lot, but also plumping up! Headaches and/or lightheadedness…Itchy belly. Your skin is stretching thinner, making it more sensitive. Back, leg , or pelvic pain, constipation, trouble sleeping, and as your uterus expands, the more you will have to hit the restroom with frequent urination”.

So, she is almost as tall as she will be at birth, which I can believe since I can feel her moving on complete opposite sides of my belly at the same time! She will stretch out and I’ll feel her pushing on the bounds of her tiny space. The heartburn is near unbearable sometimes, between Tums and Apple Cider vinegar, we are managing the best we can. It seems to be at it’s worst at night when I am laying down. So, there is always water and tums next to the bed.

29 weeks 2

Our baby shower is next weekend, and I’m getting more excited every day! I can’t wait to celebrate this baby girl with the people that I love most! My mom and aunt are helping with my baby shower and I think that is the best part of this process. This little baby has brought my family back together after years of distance and tension. There is definitely a lot of fear with re-connecting with my mom after the distance that has been between us over the past decade. BUT, I want Lilly Kate to have a fabulous relationship with her Grandmother, I want her to know where she comes from. My mom has made her fair share of mistakes, but I know she is ready and so anxious to be a grandma to this sweet girl. I don’t want to stand in the way of that. I want to give Lilly every opportunity to be loved by her family. So, prayers for acceptance, forgiveness, and willingness to trust are greatly appreciated as we go through this next phase of our relationship.

ED Recovery and the mom-bod

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I went to my very first yoga class yesterday. I can’t say that I was ready for the emotional experience that happened on that mat. In one class, one practice, one hour….so much happened that I’m still struggling to understand and explain. We were guided by the instructor to quiet our minds, to shut out the sounds and noise, to breathe deeply and look inward. Concentrate on our breathing and notice any thoughts that keep coming to our minds, dismiss them and concentrate on our breathing. I never thought I was a bully until that moment, realizing how much I was judging my new growing body. It’s the first time in months that I’ve worn “active wear” in public… and of course nothing feels or fits right at 7 months pregnant. But it’s also the first time in months that I have quieted my mind long enough to see that I was really hardcore hating on my body. I found myself judging my body in comparison to the other ladies in the room, I was flooded with fear that they were judging me too (talk about selfish and self-centered). I was judging my body based on what I “thought” it should look, feel, and act like, the things I thought it should be able to do…I was judging my body because the smallest movements and actions make me feel out of breath and winded. Hell, getting up and down off the mat was a challenge! Almost 5 years into recovery, I realize that my eating disorder is still alive and well inside of me whether I am acting on it or not.

(sidenote: Pre-pregnancy I was training for a marathon, working out daily if not several times a day, and working on developing a killer bod (and ego to go with it)….This pregnancy has brought with it several periods of modified bed-rest, activity restrictions, and I’m not allowed to work out at all, or do any strenuous lifting.)

Now imagine all of that running through my mind in the span of a couple minutes. Talk about exhausting!

Now don’t get me wrong….I believe that the miracle of growing a baby inside of my body is just that….a miracle. I am incredibly grateful that after decades of abusing my body, I have been blessed with the opportunity to carry a child of my own. I do not for a second take for granted the beautiful process that is happening within me everyday. So, don’t get it twisted.

As a woman living in long-term recovery, I feel obligated to keep it real. It is hard. It is harder than I ever imagined it would be. Eating disorders are all about control, and pregnancy is complete absence of that control.  My body seems to change everyday, sometimes I feel like if I sit still enough, I can actually see it changing. Of course there is the belly bump, but there is so many other changes that I wasn’t prepared for. My boobs, the expansion of my hips, my butt has lost the cute little perk it had in my running days, my knees and legs swelling, swollen hands and feet, puffy face and breakouts!  For years, my security, my worth, my entire world centered around my body and how it looked (or how I thought it looked). My self-worth was completely performance based and had nothing to do with who I was as a person.

 

So, I decided it was time to acknowledge this new mom-bod. To honor it and to be reminded of the growing miracle inside of me. I decided it was time to really dig into the fear and find out what I was really afraid of. I spent some time in silent meditation today, and really have no more answers than I did yesterday…but I’m digging. I’d love to say I figured it all out, but I don’t think it works that way. Just like any addict, I believe that I don’t just choose recovery and become cured one time….I have to continue to choose recovery every day. So, I’ve started by telling on myself…by becoming vulnerable and honest, secondly I’m seeking…seeking the truth underneath all the bullshit that I cover it up with.

Now, something else I feel I should mention….I am surrounded by amazing people, including my husband and family who remind me on a daily basis that I’m beautiful, that I’m “glowing”, that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I do not lack for affirmations, for support, or for love. Just needed to add that

I think my biggest fear is the expectation of “bouncing back” after this pregnancy. I have so many expectations of myself and how that process “should” go. I set really high standards, and I’m terrified that it just won’t happen the way I want it to, or will take longer than I think it should. I actually calculate in my mind how much weight I’ve gained and approximate how long it will take me to lose it. I get lost in the thought that all this bed-rest has stripped me of all the gains, stamina, and work that I did pre-pregnancy….talk about control issues!  My mind has focused so much on how my body will respond after childbirth, that sometimes I forget that I will have a beautiful baby girl and that I will be her mom!!!….I forget that that’s what this is all about! It’s not all about me!

I think that the reality of raising a daughter has brought it to the forefront of my mind that I want to find a level of peace and serenity with my body. I know that she will learn how to judge and treat her body by the example that I set for her. She will watch the way that I judge myself and copy that behavior. She will follow my footsteps in exercise and nutrition by what I teach her. I want her to be confident, I want her to be healthy and strong, I never want her to feel what I felt when I was trapped inside an eating disorder. I want to teach her confidence and strength by example. I want to teach her how to be healthy by being healthy. I’m grateful that I have to opportunity to teach her that her worth is on the inside and that her character will define her. I’m grateful that I’m learning more about balance every day so that I can teach her that balance. I’m also terrified that I might mess up….but I know I will do the very best to teach her self-love and self-respect.

I will continue to trudge, to seek and to be honest. I’m actually really excited as much as I am terrified about this journey and what I will learn along the way.  I can’t wait to meet this little miracle and be her mom. I know it won’t be easy, it isn’t supposed to be…but I know it will all be worth it.

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“God has no grandchildren”

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Having so many complications early in pregnancy, and the uncertainty of if/how long my cerclage would hold….I’ve struggled not to get too excited about this tiny miracle inside of me. This week, when we finally hit 28 weeks and our third trimester, I started to allow myself to feel a little more joy, a little more anticipation, and a little bit more ease. It’s been a tough couple months, and there is so much relief in knowing that she is growing and progressing just as she was designed to. She has had near perfect ultrasounds and checkups, and her growth is right on track. I’ve struggled a bit with my blood pressure and some cervical swelling around my stitch…but overall, the last few months have been very calm in comparison to the fear and anxiety that we experienced in the beginning. It is crazy to me how attached and how in love I am with a person that I have never met. Her needs already come before my own and my life revolves around being the best vessel for her growth that I can be. For me….a selfish and self-centered recovering alcoholic….these feelings are so incredibly foreign. Yet, they came and continue to come as naturally as breathing. Every sacrifice is worth it, a million times over, if I know it’s what is best for her.

I am surrounded by such strong, courageous and beautiful moms on a regular basis, and from them I have gotten such amazing nuggets of truth and hope. One of those that keeps me from sinking into fear and worry came from my sweet friend Heather. Before I knew I was going into pre-term labor or knew what was happening with my body… I was having a lot of bleeding. I just knew that I was going to lose the baby….Fear swallowed me, and I couldn’t think outside of that fear. Having had a miscarriage a year ago, I was paralyzed with anxiety. Heather told me while I was sitting on my back porch crying, “God does not have any Grandchildren”….This one simple phrase has sustained me and given me incredible inspiration and hope for my child. It tells me that although she is growing inside of me, she is FIRST a child of God. He will protect her and sustain her, He will knit her together in my womb as he has designed. I am not in control, I am powerless, and I have faith that His love is sufficient. Now, don’t get me wrong….I still worry, I still trip out about the future, and I still want to be in control of EVERYTHING….But, when I get tired of feeling scared and overwhelmed I remember this simple thought and for a few moments, I find peace.

I’m learning the meaning of the phrase “It takes a village”. I need my village, I need my “Heathers”, I need the experience strength and hope of my girl tribe. I’m so blessed that I never have to go through anything alone….I’m surrounded by moms, and aunts, and grandmothers who love me through the hard times and celebrate with me through the good times. Fear steals so much joy….I’m grateful to be reminded to enjoy and live in that JOY, one day at a time.

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