5 Postpartum Nuggets

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even though this was my 3rd time giving birth, i left the hospital with a few share-worthy gems from the amazing, seasoned L & D nurses who assisted us during our stay.  WHAT a job.  i am impressed and inspired by the L & D nurses every single time i see them in action!  i can imagine that there is no typical day in their world; every shift brings a new adventure. 

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as i sat up in bed to prepare to receive my epidural, i felt another contraction coming on.  i distinctly remember my nurse instructing me to just hold her hands and breathe until it passed.  well i squeezed the crap out of her hands!!!  it was the last contraction i remember enduring before the meds kicked in and i appreciated her so much for sacrificingherbody helping me through it.  whether you are a 1st time mom or pro, i hope these nuggets of info help you out too:

the more the..not so merrier :(

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the more kids you have, the more intense your uterine contractions will be while nursing. HELLO!  oh my word.  i knew to expect them as i nursed Kosi in our postpartum hospital room but whoa.  hearing one of my nurses say this confirmed that i was notcrazy.  after about a week or so, thankfully the contractions went away completely though. 

but first,

we know that as baby sucks away (especially in the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth), it aids your uterus in returning back to its normal size and position. however, if you have a full bladder before baby starts going to town, it could cause your uterus to shift and unnaturally settle to the right or left of its original position as it contracts (because your bladder is obstructing its path).  this could potentially be a problem if you plan to have more children (e.g. tilted uterus).

fiber up

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most likely you are given stool softeners during your stay at the hospital post-birth. it is extremely important to keep that going once you get home. extremely.  chug plenty of water as hydration helps to keep things moving along too. upping the fiber in your diet while in the hospital (have/add in some dark, leafy greens with every meal) and once home is crucial to keeping your digestive system running as smooth as possible as your body heals. the less processed your diet, the better.  prunes are one of my go-to natural laxatives (thx, Dad!) and a handful of them per day is golden.  although i did not tear 'down there' this round, i did have some pretty disrespectful hemorrhoids.  #whatisTMI

ouch! #thatstings

when you get back home and take that first amazing, uplifting, incredible shower (they really do make you feel THAT good), don't forget to use scent-free, alcohol-free body wash.  keep that going until you heal completely.  i cracked open one of the Johnson & Johnson baby shower gel's Kosi received for a shower gift; it was perfect and didn't irritate my lady parts.  very important! if you did tear or received stitches, a soothing sitz bath helps you heal and keeps things from getting stiff down there.

one less thing to worry about

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HAIR.  so as most of you know my hair is 100% natural now and i'm loving the versatility that comes with it!  this is the healthiest my hair has ever been and i have not one regret about my decision to finally let go of the creamy crack.  micro braids are normally my protective style of choice, but i'm loving faux locs and i'm rocking them for a second time thanks to my girl, Ogechi!  i cannot stress enough the convenience a cute, protective style is for the 3rd tri and postpartum stages.  focus on everything else; surviving those last uncomfy weeks or months of pregnancy, your new babe once he/she arrives, and should you have a visitor or three at the hospital or home, you'll be (somewhat lol) picture ready already! now all i need to do is just get some microblading done and i'll really be set, haha

if you found this helpful, let me know below and please share!

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

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Turkey Day Baby... GIRL!

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yep, we're the Egwuatus, the crazy family who revealed the gender of our 3rd baby via Facebook live.  this was originally Sonny's idea and even though i initially agreed when he presented it to me, i took it back a couple of days later!  there are so many "what ifs" surrounding labor and delivery and live video made me a bit anxious... but i eventually agreed though and we want to thank everyone who was able to tune in and share these special moments with us!!  in case you didn't catch the vids from FB (from Sonny's account), here are a billion pics and the actual gender reveal video which made for a very, very special Thanksgiving 2016.

 you know what they say... if you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans. my due date was 11/27, but i literally had stuff on my calendar up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and beyond.  i was determined to get it all done.

Tuesday 11/22

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tuesday night, my boys teamed up and gave me a muuuuch needed foot massage. i had been cramping here and there that day while training my prenatal fitness girls and running errands.  they continued throughout the early morning on Wednesday and weren't painful at all, just noticeable and random with no particular pattern.  every time i got up to tinkle throughout the night, i felt them.  i went ahead and got up around 7ish because i couldn't go back to sleep.  my 39th week (and hopefully final) checkup appointment was happening later that afternoon, and i needed to get my Thanksgiving cooking done. #priorities LOL

Wednesday 11/23

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two dump cakes and a gigantic pan of cornbread dressing!  this dressing recipe comes from my mom; it's not officially Thanksgiving until i smell it.Cheezer was out for Thanksgiving break so he excitedly came along with Dego and i to my appointment.  

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#CaptainObvious TIP: always bring snacks. always. i don't know what the heck i was thinking because i didn't bring nearly enough :-| ! they swallowed those graham crackers before my doc even came in and everything in that room became apart of their playground!!my OB checked me again for dilation and stated "1.5 cms!" as she snapped off her latex gloves.  i was thinking, "dang, that's it? ah well, anything can happen." she said i might see some blood using the restroom later, and she was spot on.  as i expected, my discomfort level increased post-appointment and those light cramps returned immediately.  i went ahead and canceled my trainings for the day because i wanted to be close to home should my contractions rev up. took my last preggo selfie when we got back home!  39 weeks and 3 days.  my mucus plug had been disintegrating for several days and this time the gloopy, clear discharge on the toilet paper was light pink instead. this was all too familiar!  i told Sonny that things were getting weird and that we should seriously finish packing and actually load up the truck.  he said alright, so we cleaned up the house a little in the process so it wouldn't be a complete wreck once we returned, lol.  

Thursday 11/24 

around 10:30 pm, the contractions became slightly painful yet manageable, and the wave would hit every 10 minutes or so. wherever i was in the house,  i would yell, "Contraction!" out to Sonny and he would hit the lap button on his phone's running timer.  from then until about 2:15am, i labored at home until we hit the 'every 5 minutes' mark.  through every painful contraction i did either one of the following: pace around the house while inhaling & exhaling deeply until the wave passed, circle/roll my hips on my yoga ball,  and i even drew and sat in a warm bath for a good while which helped big time.  i have been taking warm baths the entire pregnancy, so it was a familiar, soothing, relaxing place for me. heck, that experience even made me strongly consider a water birth next time! (wait, next time!?) i made sure to use the restroom constantly to keep my bladder empty.  just like menstrual cramps, having anything in my bladder magnifies the pain. 

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while in the bathtub, i had one of the strongest contractions yet.  i told myself that immediately after the wave finished we were heading to the hospital.  this is it. it's go time.  Sonny put our sleeping boys in the truck one by one and waited for me to come get in.  another contraction hit as i was about to get in the passenger seat, so i got back out and walked down to the end of the drive way breathing deeply as the contraction peaked and finally passed. i had about 3-4 contractions on the way to the hospital; Sonny drove to the L&D entrance and i hopped out and went right up to the 3rd floor solo.  after checking into triage around 2:40am, i changed into a hospital gown and laid down on the triage bed.  the triage nurse checked my progress and said, "you're at a 5." what? whoa!  i was excited to be halfway there in my mind but definitely couldn't show it on my face.  she then called the front desk to confirm i was indeed staying and prepared a wheelchair for me. i hopped in and had another contraction as she wheeled me right past Sonny and the boys sitting in the waiting room! Chiso had fallen back to sleep, but Dego was wide awake and the sight of me passing and not stopping upset him to tears. we arrived to the room, i quickly climbed into bed, and my nurse hooked me up to machines to the left and right of me.  the boys snacked on the graham crackers i packed while i contracted like crazy and waited for my epidural.  by this time i was 7 cms dilated.epi is IN. ice chips and smiles. i don't know how much time passed before my epi came...of course it felt like an eternity!  i'd estimate 30-45 minutes or so, though.  everyone had to leave the room except my nurse and the doc administering the epi once he arrived.  in less than 5 minutes or so, the pain disappeared completely.

so... my doctor would not be on-call until 7am that morning to deliver baby Kosi *insert sad face*.  Sonny and i were both OK with that though and figured we'd just hang out and wait.  no big deal.  the epi was kicking so it was all good on my end!

at about 4:45am, my nurse checked me again, pulled back hastily and said, "wow, you're at 10, hun, we gotta go."  they immediately contacted the on-call Dr. and he was on his way.

i motioned for Sonny to come to my bedside.  we quickly chatted and agreed that it didn't matter who delivered Kosi, but that he/we would make sure i had ample time to push while avoiding an episiotomy if at all possible.  we knew God was with us and we kept moving forward.

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alright, time to puuuuuuuuush!1.5 pushes later at 5:10am, Kosi made her presence well known! she was yelling at the top of her lungs; my dad said he heard her clearly from the waiting area. "oh wow, Sonny, it's a girl!! mom! it's a girl!!" i remember crying and saying that over and over again in disbelief.  this was after i lifted her leg for confirmation though, LOL!  Chiso & Dego were quiet when they entered the world, but not this lil' lady.  check out the FB live vid here:

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she's finally here, Chiso!  he wanted and prayed for a little sis so bad. my team. thank God for my team. Sonny has held one leg and my mom has held the other for all three pregnancies.mimicking her face :D 

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yeah, i didn't move for a good while!  she was all cleaned up and ready to eat.Kosi's very first nursing session... i can't even begin to explain how special and intimate skin to skin contact is for mama & baby.

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uncle Thew arrived shortly after his very first niece did.my immediate family took the early morning shift, haha.Grannie got her girl :) even though i convinced myself early on that i was having a 3rd boy, my mom never stopped referring to Kosi as 'she' and 'her'. since walking the 5k Turkey Trot was now out of the question for me, Sonny headed over to the Galleria with Chiso so that he could run the kid's 1k!  his uncle made sure he was straight for the ladies first ;)after only 3 hours of sleep, he was ready to ROCK it!!!about to have pancakes with Papa at the VIP pre-race breakfast sponsored by IHOP. maaaaan i was looking forward to those pancakes. on the starting line...wide awake now! way to GO, Chiso!! a shiny, finisher medal and a new little sister in the same day. so much to be thankful for.gobble, gobble, you turkeys!

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Sonny took Chiso to be with Dego and my parents, then headed back to the hospital. my ashiness was clearly the last thing on my mind! food was definitely at the top of my priority list though; i ordered breakfast as soon as they moved us over to the postpartum wing.taking it all in and thanking God for answered prayers.  i definitely prayed for a quick delivery and everything really did happen crazy fast.  i was prepared to rest a little since we had been up all night, but that's not how things work, haha!  someone came in every 3 minutes to either check on me, check on Kosi, run a test, deliver food, or give us some info or an update.  not complaining one bit; i appreciate the entire experience and protocols, the heaven-sent nurses and hospital staff, and expected / welcomed the knocks.  i knew the drill. 

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1st usie! i wouldn't be me if i didn't desire and attempt to reply to every single Instagram comment we received under this picture...man.  we are so appreciative of your LOVE.  thank you to each and every person who took the time to send us a social media message, comment, and DM.this was a great sign.  my appetite had been flaky since the 2nd trimester (as far as how much i could eat).  after just a few bites of something i was basically done.  if i went any further, i'd often feel physically sick.  haaaaated that feeling!  healthy smoothies were a big part of my 3rd trimester because of it.no crumb left behind!  i ate every single thing they brought me on those trays! food finally tasted like food again, just that quick.

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 i needed every last one of those calories to prepare my body for nursing and get my milk going.more family came to visit that evening and brought us Thanksgiving food!!! are they related or what? love this brother & sister pic of Sonny & Michelle and her daughter Camille.Kosi is Nwachi's (my sweet Mother-In-Love) 4th grand girl! Papa got his girl!  i pray these two form a loving bond that lasts all the days of their lives. 

Friday 11/25

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day 2 view!waiting on my breakfast and watching Food Network.  the boys get dibs on the TV at home all the time so i took advantage and watched something i enjoy for a change!  i could watch Pioneer Woman aaaaall day. #SorryNotSorry, Sonny.  she's Chiso's twin, who is also my twin, which means Kosi looks just like me!  maybe next round, fam.later that afternoon we ventured out and walked a few laps around our hospital floor.   meanwhile, Dego and Chiso were having THE time of their lives playing with rocks and eating pancakes at Grannie & Grampa's house!we missed them SO much and could not wait to meet them at home with Kosi the next day.

Saturday 11/26

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having my usual breakfast and preparing for home.free!    homeward bound by the grace of God.we're hooooome! Chiso picked this wild flower for me while outside at my parents house and could not wait to hand deliver it.  it's the little things that get you, right?my brother and sis-n-love spent Thanksgiving in Arkansas but came over to see their new niece as soon as they got back into town.  give Kosi some time, Natalie, she'll be keeping up with you before we know it.

life as a family of five awaits. here we go!

thank you sincerely for reading!!

K E E P   U P   W I T H   U S !

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wienervention - the cleanest hot dog i've ever eaten

another early gym date accomplished this morning and officially 1 month postpartum! i expect to get a lot done today. CYMERA_20140717_115153

i had my usual preworkout snack, some hot, magical coffee, and headed out for an hour of treadmill intervals. i alternated btw:

5 incline @ 4 mph - 5 minutes

15 incline @ 3 mph - 5 minutes 

walking IS boring but there are ways you can rev it up.  i always swing my arms vigorously, walk heel-to-toe with a wide stride, and i never hold the side rails either. that's cheatiiiiing ;)

can i do a blog #throwbackthursday? i'm doin' it anyway!

**********

while we were headed home from the hospital last month with our brand new baby boy, something beat us there- my Wienervention Kit from Applegate!!!

that nostalgic red and white pattern always reminds you of what? a summer picnic, yep.

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however, the Houston heat was too much and i just wanted to lay down somewhere and stuff my face in the AC.  i'd like to give a gigantic high-five and thank you to one of my favorite natural and organic brands, Applegate, for the goods. i knew the kit was on the way, but it slipped my mind after giving birth and all.  my mom and aunt were at our house tidying up and waiting to help out with our new family member, so unbeknownst to Sonny & i, they went ahead and cracked the kit open and prepared a welcome home lunch for us! perfect timing, right?

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i actually used to avoid hot dog wieners for this very reason...  i've always thought of them as the wack parts of meat that didn't make the cut all blended up together with fat and other UFOs.  i would only have them every blue moon, like july 4th or memorial day at somebody's BBQ. at home? not so much.  also, reading 'mechanically separated turkey, chicken, or beef' in the ingredients list is not very appetizing. thank God we have many healthier options to choose from these days; these Applegate wieners are in a league of their own! a wienerventioW was overdue.

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rest assured these top-notch dogs are:

  • all natural
  • contain no antibiotics
  • humanely raised beef fed vegetarian/grain diet
  • gluten-free
  • casein-free
  • contain no fillers
  • contain recognizable ingredients! every single one.
  • really, really tasty.

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nailed that presentation.

they also sent along condiments, cause you can't build a stellar dog without them.

20140619_185515_1 for the buns, we had a choice of Rudi's Organic Bakery Multigrain or White hot dog buns!  i loved them both and you can snag a coupon for a bag of your choice right on their website. 20140620_144055_1from the bun, to the condiments, to the wiener, this is THE cleanest hot dog i've ever eaten.

time to change the meat you eat and give Applegate a try.

in newborn news, CYMERA_20140717_114845

i think he'll be tall.

more tummy time, aka, push up practice!

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happy birthday, Odego

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WELL!  a lot has happened since Fathers' Day.

*****

i know a good handful of current mommies-to-be and the real life story you're about to read is just one of bajillions. moms, i just want to encourage you to learn from my journey, but don't let it make you even the slightest bit apprehensive about your own.  your L & D story will have its own twists and turns too...or not!  even with the longest, most detailed birth plan ever, we just never know how these things will play out...

*****

at 2 cms dilated, we finally got our hospital tour done on thursday, June 12th, my expected due date.

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we asked questions, made jokes, reminisced about Chiso's birth, talked and walked around, met a few L & D nurses (who are all awesome and heaven-sent), and made a family date out of it with big brother Chiso.

i was convinced Odego would make his way into this world on Fathers' Day (wishful thinking on Sonny's behalf ), so i finished packing our bags (for the last time) that night and started prepping to celebrate the weekend in the hospital.

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happy Fathers' Day, Papa!!! sunday morning came and there were still no surefire signs of labor to be found whatsoever though. before we headed to church, Chiso, Dego, and i presented Sonny with a few gifts at home, unlike i planned.  then, we dined at Fish City Grill, per Sonny's request, and met up with my parents before heading home to finally relax.

9pm sunday night, i began spotting.

i won't say the spotting and excess fluid was surprising at all as we had been trying a few natural remedies to get this thing going, but the unexpected sight of blood always makes me do a double-take.

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could this be it? would Sonny really get the best Fathers' Day gift ever? we still had 3 hours left according to him. i was having super light contractions and some spotting, but i was still smiling.  and taking pics. lol. the on-call Dr. told us not to play with amniotic fluid, so we were told to head to the hospital to be checked. i know the front desk nurses had to be like 'ummm, clearly she is not in labor.' LOL.

soooo we did the walk of shame right on home 3 hours later.

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definitely not in labor yet.

papsmears are nightmares for me, so just being checked for dilation was enough to rev up my light contractions to the next level  from that point forward. monday morning, Dr. A told me to come straight to her office after the previous night's fiasco, so we did. i finally began to keep record and contracted 3 random times during the 15 minute drive to her office.  i was still at 2 cms according to her, and she wrapped up my appointment by presenting us with an option to mull over for the next couple of hours.  i could come in to be induced at 530am the following day, tuesday the 17th, or, we could just keep waiting...  she then explained that she would be out of the office on thursday and friday. THAT little nugget of info helped me make my decision right then and there. Dr. A. was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born and i was not missing her  again this round, nope. Sonny was ready to meet Odego on Fathers' Day so he was all for option 1. we prayed about it and agreed to go for it.  that same night, the contractions were even stronger, but bearable enough for me to take a walk to the park with Chiso. during 1 hour, i counted about 6 or 7 contractions.

once home, i loaded up most of our things in the car and because i was required to fast from food and liquid after midnight, i cooked and ate my last meal around 10pm. i also baked every fillet of tilapia in the freezer per Sonny's request as he is prepping for a Musclemiania competition at the end of this month.  couldn't leave him out in the cold!  afterwards, i did my best to lay down and get some rest with Chiso, but that didn't really happen. i got in the bed around 1, but each contraction woke me up. Sonny started his timer and laid his phone down right next to me. every time a contraction hit, i'd press the 'lap' button to record the time between each of them.  by 4am, i was up pacing and breathing through each contraction.  of course to me they FELT like they were coming 2-3 minutes apart, but it was more like every 5-10.  this boy was definitely on his way.

  so we headed out to the hospital,

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(now that looks more like a labor-face)

valated the car, signed in, and waited a few moments for our room.

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Sonny knew i would want these pics later... so he snapped away while i contracted away and did his best to keep Chiso busy.

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  however, Chiso was generally concerned for his mama and every time i got up, he got up and paced with me. it wasn't funny at the time but he kept asking, 'mama happy? mama happy now?'

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last #usies as a family of 3.

the staff directed us to our room and i immediately changed into my gown, used the restroom, stood up to my feet, look down, and 'watched' my water break!  no induction needed. and it wasn't a ginormous tidal wave like the movies either :D

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i waddled out of the restroom and immediately called out to alert Sonny when i should have been telling my nurse, nurse Judy. i mean we were in the hospital and all.  force of habit!  thank God for L& D nurses. He provided us with a fabulous one. she encouraged me, told me i was strong, kept me informed, and did her job like she was born to do it.  i laid down on the bed to be checked: 4-5 cms! i was ELATED to be halfway there and also to know i'd be kissing Odego's sweet face sooner than later.

so about those contractions!  well, they got stronger as expected after my water broke and i labored to about 6-7 cms or so before calling for an epidural around 9am.  in less than 15 minutes the anesthesiologist was literally behind me and ready to go.

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finally... peace, ice chips,

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and electronics for the boys as we waited.

around 12:15pm, i randomly started to feel moderate cramping again.  i was told if i needed more meds to push a Jeopardy like button connected to my IV and placed on the bed right next to me.  i was reeeeally hoping i wouldn't have to even use that thing, but because the pain kept getting stronger, everybody in the room could tell when each contraction hit cause the button made an electronic dinging noise when pressed. unfortunately, no matter how many times i hit that button the pain didn't let up and only increased. a 2nd anesthesiologist came in and 'added' more meds... but i felt no difference.  eventually, the nurse checked me again- 9cms! it was music to my ears but the thought of laboring through those contractions until i hit the big 10 discouraged me.  how much longer?!?! my dad held my hand and prayed over me through each painful wave.. something i will never, ever forget.  watching your child suffer is no easy task. i understand now.

alright, 10cms, FINALLY!  Dr. A appears out of nowhere again, instantly calms the room, puts on her cape & gloves, and nurse Judy prepares me for delivery. my dad takes Chiso and heads to the waiting area, and my mom and Sonny take their places on either side of me.  let's GO. with each contraction came a strong urge to push... and i must admit that since my lower body was no longer numb from the epidural, i had total control of my pelvic muscles, floor, and core.  because the epi was in full swing during my 1st delivery, i pushed with everything i had and it felt like absolutely nothing was happening. less than 8 minutes and 5 or 6 pushes later, my mom was crying and overjoyed with emotion, Sonny was cutting the umbilical cord, and Dego's warm body was laying on my chest.

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in an instant...all the pain was gone and completely forgotten.  by me anyway. my dad? not so much!  Odego was worth it all. i couldn't help but think of the women who birthed babies with no medication whatsoever. past, present, whether it was their choice, and those who had no choice at all. amazing.

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Chiso could barely contain his excitement!  it was finally time to meet his little brother after all this waiting!  heck, he talked to Dego more than i did while he was in my tummy.  i can't wait to show both boys this picture when they are older.

 i'd also like to note that Odego weighed in at 7 lbs & 9 oz, but i carried smaller vs my first pregnancy (Chiso was 6 lbs 11 oz).  i was also in better shape and made way better food choices this round. take note, moms! that's just another reason comparing bumps is really silly and never a fair baby weight predictor.

20140617_171609 FOOD. after fasting since midnight, nurse Judy read my mind and put the menu and the room phone right next to me. i LOVE her.  that was my post-delivery lunch: grilled chicken burger with sweet potato fries, a side salad, and vegetable soup. yall know when i get hungry i get scatterbrained and just want everything. i read the 3 page menu 50 bajillion times before Sonny was like, 'Leah we will be here til thursday, PICK SOMETHING.'

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i don't go there often, but i hear hospital food has changed!  i ordered eggs, oatmeal, and fruit for every breakfast, and either grilled chicken or tilapia for lunch and/or dinner.  i made sure to have veggies and a salad with every meal, but i wanted fries so i ordered those sometimes too.

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Dr. A approved me to get up and move around, so i threw on my Nikes and did just that wednesday morning after breakfast. just a few slow laps around the postpartum wing, that's it.  later that night, Sonny pushed Odego in his nursey cart and walked with me.

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heading home the next day!  but not before ordering lunch one last time, haha.

i missed that fresh new baby smell, skin, and newborn cry... to finally hold and kiss the face of someone you already love so deeply after months of waiting is... indescribable! a blessing. a miracle.

 but with that comes the smell and sting of Dermoplast spray, recovering down there, sitting down super slowly,  swollen, engorged breasts & nipples so sore the brush of a t-shirt or bra feels like hell's fire, nocturnal newborn schedules and feedings, i.e.,  good ol'  MOTHERHOOD!

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hello, round two!        thank you, Father, for expanding our home by two more feet, and thank you for reading.

le

*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships + we're registered!

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had a bowl of organic rolled oats cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water, cinnamon, and vanilla before heading to my (now weekly) OB appointment this morning.   fresh blueberries, more cinnamon, more almond milk, and pure maple syrup went right on top.  i had egg whites w/ salsa on the side too. fueling up for some kickboxing a little later today.

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was running late and threw on whatever (but i was comfy though!)  and we made it just in time for my group b strep test and routine check up.  if only pap smears were that quick & easy-peasy!  all is well @ 35 weeks and i thank Him for another great progress report. and yes, i smacked Chiso right after he smacked me.

on to our new hospital to registerrrrrr!

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so the hospital where Chiso was born doesn't do L&D anymore. i enjoyed the experience there and was saddened after hearing that!  however, the new hospital is literally 3 minutes away, so no biggie.  AND my favorite OB in the entire universe will be there to deliver Odego this time, Lord willing.  (she was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born :'(  ) .  i went ahead and registered juuuuust in case we have to pop up there sooner than expected, but i am coming back with Sonny to take a tour so we can be cheesy and take pics and stuff.  a date i am so looking forward too, again.  i hardly EVER buy overpriced convenience store food/snacks, but i was unprepared and Chiso got restless while i filled out paper work.  so i got him this Sabra pretzel and hummus dip along with a banana.

enjoy this updated recipe of last night's dinner:

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*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships

the stuff:

  • 4 large, raw zucchini, halved & seeded
  • 2 cups cooked and seasoned extra lean ground turkey
  •  1 cup homemade marinara (add more if you'd like and the recipe is below)
  • 8 turkey pepperoni, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup shredded almond or rice cheese
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced into coins
  • 2 tsp dried italian seasoning or parsley or fresh basil
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. set your oven to 350 degrees and coat a large baking pan with foil and no-stick cooking spray.
  2. after halving the zucchini, scoop some of the insides out using a small spoon.  they should look like empty canoes cruise ships once you're done; arrange them flat and seed-side up on your baking sheet.
  3. mix the cooked ground turkey and the marinara sauce together, then spoon the mixture evenly into/onto the zucchini.
  4. sprinkle the turkey pepperoni, tomato, and italian seasoning on top of the cruise ships, and bake them for about 20 minutes.
  5. remove them from the oven and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. ( i used 2% colby jack cause that's all i had. to keep this recipe dairy free, use almond or rice cheese.)
  6. let them bake once more for 7-10 minutes or just until the cheese melts to your liking.
  7. top with fresh basil or parsley!

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i thought i posted my marinara recipe in the Fit N' Crispy Chicken Parm post but maybe it didn't save like i thought?? can't explain that one.  but here it is:

homemade marinara:

the stuff:

  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 6 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (optional)
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. heat a large sauce pan to medium-low heat; once hot, pour in your olive oil.
  2. add onions & garlic and sauté until translucent...about 2-3 minutes.
  3. add in the rest of the ingredients except sea salt and cracked black pepper, stir, cover, and let simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  4. shut off heat; add mixture to your blender or food processor and blend on high until super smooth.

you can make this ahead of time and store in the fridge to be used for pizza sauce, wing dip, breadstick dip, whatever!

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happy hump day! hollaaaaaaaaa

le