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Salt and Pregnancy

I’ve been straight-up perplexed about my lack of energy as of late.  I tend to feel worse the “better” I eat.  By “better,” I mean the fewer processed foods I eat.

I’ll admit it, I have been eating a McDonald’s #10 (Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel meal with Hash Brown) almost every morning since I’ve been preggo.  I know it’s not the best…  But I feel good on that until lunchtime.  It’s got 33g of protein, btw.  I also add 3 mustard packets, thank you very much.  🙂  Also, I’m addicted to Monopoly.

Anyway…  I recently put on a zillion pounds, so I figured a diet change might be in order since I’m in my second trimester now.  (By a zillion, I mean 5 pounds in 1 week.)  Did I mention I’m super paranoid about gaining too much weight?  I was already “obese” when I got pregnant, so I don’t technically need to gain a dang pound.  Well, I changed my diet to something like this: Granola + Kefir for breakfast, Greek Yogurt for snack 1, meat and mayo sandwich and veggies or fruit for lunch, cheese and pb crackers for snack 2, whatever Hubs wants for dinner, and then a snack of fruit after dinner.  Good diet, right?  Well, I did this for, like, 3 days before dying.  I felt horrible!

My symptoms were basically just extreme fatigue (think being so tired (not winded, but weak) after an hour trip to the grocery store that I feel like I need to rest 30-45 minutes before even putting away groceries) and I would get muscle cramps in my arms and legs.  Like, it just felt like someone punched me really hard.

Coping with my fatigue, I took a sick day yesterday.  I had to take my car to get a tune up, too.  I was planning on having my McD’s breakfast after I dropped off my car, so I didn’t eat right away.  Well, by 11 I finally got something to eat.  Fueling my Monopoly fetish, I got a Big Mac, large fries, and a Coke.  I ate, and felt like death afterwards…

I had to run by Kohl’s quickly before I headed home, so I did.  I got home around noon, and was so tired I had to take a nap.  I slept from noon to about 3!  When I got up, I still didn’t feel well…  So, I had a snack.

My snack was about 20 blue corn chips with Tostito’s Cheese salsa.  Fifteen minutes later, I felt great!  Like, REALLY great!  This is the same thing that happened to me in Taiwan (see earlier post), but I forgot about how awesome salty snacks are because I’m a pregnant woman who can’t remember squat.

Anyway, love salty snacks.

However, I feel like this is counter-intuitive.  Isn’t salt supposed to be bad for you and make you retain water?

I found this article: http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/salt.shtml.  It’s called “Salt, energy, metabolic rate, and longevity.”  And, though I’m not sure of how credible a source it is, it does have many interesting points.  

1. Salt actually helps reduce fluid retention in pregnant women (with increased blood volume):

“Tom Brewer, an obstetrician […] explained that sodium, in association with serum albumin, is essential for maintaining blood volume. Without adequate sodium, the serum albumin is unable to keep water from leaving the blood and entering the tissues. The tissues swell as the volume of blood is reduced.”

2. Sodium stimulates energy metabolism (you’ve seen the squid/soy sauce videos, right?  That’s an ATP / Sodium response.):

“One way of looking at those facts is to see that a lack of sodium slows metabolism, lowers carbon dioxide production, and creates inflammation, stress and degeneration. Rephrasing it, sodium stimulates energy metabolism, increases carbon dioxide production, and protects against inflammation and other maladaptive stress reactions.”

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Well, this article, as well as my own experience tells me that maybe eating salty chips every day is going to be something I need to do whilst pregnant.

P.S.  I just ate a bag of Fritos and I feel awesome!  🙂

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Union Hospital Terre Haute Labor and Delivery Unit and Recovery Rooms!

Sooo…  husband-doo and I went to check out Union Hospital last night after having a lovely din din at Ruby Tuesday.  

I had called on Saturday and asked about tours, and was informed that we could go in “any time” and they would be more than happy to show us around.  The only thing is, the nurse on duty might not have all the answers to our questions.  So, we went at 8:30pm last night!  

I took more pictures this time, too, since we had our own private tour.  

We parked by and went in through the main hospital entrance (the West building), and walked to the East building (not super far – but far).  

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Here’s another view of the hospital layout.

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It would have been shorter if we had parked near the 8th Ave Entrance and walked in through the “Circle Drive” area (see picture below).  Admitting for Maternity is right at the 8th Ave entrance, as you can see in the picture above, and that’s where you’re supposed to go if you’re having a scheduled C-section or induction. 

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Okay, enough of logistics!  Let’s talk about the Labor and Delivery room.

These rooms are HUGE.  I don’t think all rooms are as large as the one we saw, but I’m sure they are a nice size.  The whole L & D unit was very warm and inviting.  The floors are vinyl or linoleum with padding underneath, so very comfy to walk/labor on.  There are also black and white pictures of babies on the walls.  

I didn’t notice a waiting area near Labor and Delivery, but there is one in Recovery, which I’ll talk about shortly.  The triage area was very quiet, and there were two recovery beds for C-section mamas there, as well.  There wasn’t anyone occupying them, so no curtains were drawn around the beds.  I’m pretty sure they have curtains, but I don’t remember seeing any.  Those two recovery beds are not too private.  Any other mom in triage could see what’s going on with you, probably.  

There are 3 wings: A, B, and C.  Each has its own nurses station, though the “main” station is in the A wing (where you enter the unit).  

Labor and Delivery isn’t a locked unit, so visitors can come and go as they please.  

They limit visitors in the room to 3 at time.  I’m not sure what the policy is on children.  I’ll have to call and ask!

Okay, below is a picture of Room 7.  As you can see, it’s huge, and awesome!  You can see the infant warmer, and monitoring equipment in this photo.  The bed seemed really comfy, as well. 

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I’m not sure how many moms at Union go the “natural” route.  As I asked my questions, it seemed that there was very rarely a tub used during labor.  They do have birthing balls, and a birthing bar.  I will have to double check on the bar, though.  They don’t have birthing stools, so if you want to sit, you might just want to use the edge of the bed along with the bar.

The bathroom has a shower with detachable shower head and padded shower seat that folds up into the wall (should you not want it).  The toilet has a bidet attachment, though I’m not sure if that water is warm or cool, or how it even works.  I’ll have to get more info on that, too!  The bathroom is huge, too!

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I took a picture of the sink faucet, to know what kind of attachment we’d need for the tub.  I also tried to unscrew it, and it didn’t unscrew…  It just twirled.  So, I’m thinking I’ll need a special attachment for that.  It looks, too, like we would really drain the water anywhere!  There’s a drain in the bathroom floor, shower, and in the sink.  

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There is a vinyl rocking chair and vinyl recliner for Dad, should he need to recline during the labor/delivery process.  🙂

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I love that the lighting was low, and everything seemed very calm.  We were warned to get there early if we wanted to use the tub to labor in, because one mom who’d tried before only got her tub about 3 inches full before she had to deliver!  Sad.  😦   

So, I’ll have to talk to my new doc and see if she’s okay with me laboring more at the hospital in the tub than at home.  The nurses said that Dr. Isaacs and Dr. Coutinho were pretty pro-natural births.  

They also suggested that we do a dry-run a few weeks ahead of time to make sure we know all the ins and outs of the room, and setup and teardown of the tub.  I’m not sure we’ll be able to swing a few weeks early, but maybe a few days, since you rent the tubs for 3-4 weeks at a time.  

After touring this room, we went to the 3rd floor to check out the Recovery rooms.  The nurses said you generally stay in Labor and Delivery 1 hour for a C-section and 2 hours for vaginal delivery after you deliver before being moved upstairs.  

The Recovery unit is locked down.  You need to be buzzed in.  There is a waiting room that seats about 8-10 people right outside the doors.  It has coffee and a soda vending station.  It’s … okay.  Not great.  But, okay.  

Here’s a picture of a room.  You can see it’s smaller, but still a good size.  And there is a full couch that pulls out into a bed for Dad.  There’s also a rocker for Mom.  

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The bathrooms in these rooms are smaller, but come equipped with a shower and bidet equipped toilet.  

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So…. that’s that.  

They have a nursery for your use (should you need some sleep), and will time your feedings for you, should you choose to breastfeed.  There are lactation consultants on hand, and an electric pump for you to use while you’re there.  

They provide a price list for the breastfeeding equipment when you get to your room, if you want to buy your stuff there.  They use Medela brand equipment if you want to bring your own.  Here’s a picture of the place where they keep the supplies you can buy.  

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Overall, I liked nurses and the rooms, and think that Union will be a great place to deliver.  Since I’m attempting a drug-free birth, I’ll have to do a little more coordinating with the staff to make sure everything goes smoothly, but I’m happy that the nurses were knowledgeable and kind and very go-with-the-flow in regards to my wants and needs.  

I’m excited!  Only 15 and a half weeks to go!  Yikes!

 

 

 

 

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24 Weeks Update (only 16 more to go!)

Well – you’ve seen my bump, no?  I am getting larger, methinks.  

I’m pretty sure little boy is getting larger, too, because my scale says someone’s gaining weight, and I’m suuuurreee it’s not me.  🙂

Actually, last Monday (7/22) I was up 14 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  This sent me into a spiral of utter despair, remember?  Well, I’m happy to report I’m now only 11 pounds up.  Which, though, is not really where I WANT to be, it’s more acceptable.  Even if I gain a pound a week from here on out, I probably won’t cry.  … much.  

I’m not having a lot of symptoms or cravings, really, just fatigue.  I get tired really easily, and frequently.  I basically can’t even go grocery shopping without feeling wasted afterwards.  I have a feeling this is blood pressure related.  My BP is pretty low, usually around 110/75, but my pulse is always super high, like 80.  I am going to start a walking regimen here pretty soon, and get on my Pilates workout, too.  Maybe that will help my cardio endurance (which has never been good).  I’ll let you know how that goes.  

I have been working on my diet; adding more fruits and veggies and probiotic-rich dairy, and cutting out fast-food.  However, by the end of the day, I’m not hungry.  Is this normal?  I asked the nurse at my new doctor’s whether or not this was normal at my appointment last Monday (remember Monday? Monday was the day I was 14 pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight), and she claimed I needed to eat MORE.  

This comment of hers prompted me to drop-kick that skinny-minny in the face.  

Just kidding.  

I didn’t really drop-kick her in the face.  I wanted to, but I didn’t.    

I really honestly think I’m not hungry at the end of the day because I have a baby blocking the pathway to my colon.  So, it’s like a dang traffic jam up in there.  My GI tract is like, “No more!!!  Red light.  No vacancy.  Please…  for the love of all things holy, no more food!!!  I know you don’t want me to explode, so just cool it, okay?  Okay.  If you sleep on your left side, we might be back in business tomorrow morning, but I’m not guaranteeing miracles here.”  

Anyway, anyway.  That’s all that’s happening on the baby and mommy-body show.  The end.

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IU Health Methodist Labor and Delivery Rooms

Well, last you heard I was wallowing in the seventh circle of depressive-Hell.  I’m happy to report I’m doing a little better.  

I toured IU Health Methodist in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday with 7 other lovely couples, and I have to say, I’m not impressed.  They only have 2 water-birth equipped rooms, which were occupied, so we couldn’t tour them.  They have 20ish (I really can’t remember) “regular” L&D rooms.  And all but 1 were occupied!  We’re having a baby-boom, people.  

The room we saw was not completely rectangular, but more of a house shape (rectangular for the most part, but a little triangle space where the “dad bed” sat).  The area available for birthing was probably 12×18, plus the triangle.  So, not HUGE, but not small.  There was enough room to fit a waterbirth tub, should you bring your own.  But, I think it would be a little cramped.  

The L&D unit is a locked unit, which you need a pin to enter.  Each mom is given a pin upon arrival and processing at the triage station, and then she’s free to give that pin to however many people she wants!  You can have as many visitors as you like, though children under 18 are limited to your own offspring, and in some cases, very young siblings.

Each room has an adjustable thermostat, an infant warming station, and a bed for mama, of course.   They give you about 2-3 hours in the L&D room, depending on whether or not you can feel your legs and whatnot.  

They are a “Baby Friendly” hospital and they practice “Kangaroo Care.”  And, all staff is lactation educated.  🙂  My husband made a comment on how many pictures of nursing women there were around the unit, but I didn’t notice them!  

They don’t have a nursery, and believe that mom and baby should be together as much as possible.  They also don’t give the baby a pacifier at any time other than circumcision.  During a circumcision, they will give the baby a sucrose dipped pacifier to keep him calm.  🙂  How nice.  

Also, the hallways are never ending, so you can walk in a continuous loop around the unit.  The decorations were a little boring, and the lights were low, so not a lot to stimulate (or bother) you.  You can also bring your own Popsicles, which they encourage during labor, if you don’t like the ones they provide (generic cherry, grape, and orange).  They have a little beverage and fridge station for you to store your goodies, as well.  

What else, what else?  They have a waterproof doppler, so you don’t have to get out of your tub to get monitored and though I was pretty sure the website said they had wireless fetal monitoring, the tour guide didn’t say anything about it.  

Overall, I was more impressed with the lobby than the actual L&D unit.  🙂  However, I will say everyone was very kind and knowledgeable, and if it was more convenient for us, we’d probably go there.  

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This is the “Palm Tree Atrium,” where we gathered before the tour. 

However, since the ONLY reason I want to drive an hour + to the hospital to deliver my baby boy is to use a waterbirthing tub, and I wasn’t too impressed, or assured that I’d really be able to use the waterbirth rooms, we’re choosing a different place, closer to home.  

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Post-partum blues, pre-partum?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m bummed.  I would say depressed, but I’m not a fan of that word. 

At the mid-point in my pregnancy, I’m bored with “watching my baby grow.”  They are taking away all my responsibility at work, only to replace it with piddly tasks.  I don’t want to spend any more money on renovating, or doing the nursery right now.  And, to top it all off, my husband’s ex is losing weight, getting fit, and looking great.  Or at least she’s looking better than me!  

(I know, I know, I shouldn’t compare myself, but really, who REALLY doesn’t compare themselves?  Comparison is the thief of joy, yes, but what else can you do?!  Everyone does it naturally, and if you say you don’t you’re either lightyears ahead of all the rest of us emotionally, or you’re a big fat liar.) 

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Also, I’m stressing out about the thought of having to take care of a newborn with my current schedule.  An hour commute each way doesn’t lend itself to very well to being a mom to a newborn, I don’t think.  I’m dreading having to pump in the dang storage room at work (no, we don’t have a nice “nursing mothers room.”).  

And the thought of trying to keep my new baby, stepsons, husband, and myself happy and healthy after the baby is born is, frankly, terrifying.  I have failed at keeping just myself, husband, and stepsons happy and healthy WITHOUT a newborn!  

I feel like I’ve just failed at all this wife-ing and step-mom-ing stuff, and fast-foward 6 months, I’ll be able to add mom-ing to the list, too!  Every time I lower my expectations of myself, or reset my goals to responsibilities I think I can actually handle, I lose a piece of myself.  That’s not who I am.  

My sister and I were talking about this the other day, and she pointed out that part of being a mom is lowering all your expectations to the point where nothing surprises or disappoints you.  Most pregnancy and mom advice includes, “Don’t expect too much of yourself,” “don’t be disappointed when all your hopes and dreams about your family don’t come true,” “don’t be surprised when you lose the ability to control your bodily functions before, during, and after labor,” “it’s all a natural part of life.”  

I used to tell women who are moms from women who aren’t by looking at their eyes.  Women who are moms have a dullness to their eyes that’s discouraging, to say the least.  It’s like there is no more mystery in the world to them, or something.  

Well I say that’s stupid.  And I hate it.  There has got to be a better way.  We are frickin’ princesses, for Pete’s sake.  

 

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This is 40!

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Sooooo…  I watched this movie last night.

It was hilarious and also touching.  It’s not a “family” movie, though.  LOTS of swearing, F-bomb dropping, and inappropriate scenes.

I’m happy to say my hubs and I are NOT at this point yet.  And, it was eye-opening to me what can happen if we become complacent in our marriages.  Marriage is important, people!