Some Bread You Gotta Try…as long as you have four hours

Cinnamon bread

I made this cinnamon swirl bread last Sunday when I had a few hours at home with “nothing” to do.

(You know, other than laundry and dishes and cleaning up after three crazy children and feeding them every 2.2 seconds, and growing a baby and all that normal “nothing” jazz.)

😉

I love making yeast breads, but you gotta give yourself {and them} time.

And this particular recipe? Totally worth it (though I would probably double the cinnamon-sugar mixture just ’cause can you really have too much cinnamon-sugar in your life? I think not).

Cinnamon bread

A couple of notes:

  • You can definitely make these into smaller loaves. Note that it will continue to rise after you cook it (some yeast breads really don’t, but these do) and that it will spill out over the top of your pans. Trust me on this one.
  • These are the bread pans I use, the cinnamon I use, the parchment paper I use, and the silicone mats I use (I definitely recommend putting your bread pans on a silicone mat-lined baking sheet in case they spill over).

Happy baking!

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Second Trimester Purchases

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For Me:

  • I bought a belly support band for exercising (the Maternity FitSplint) which is 100% amazing at stabilizing your belly during those bouncy exercises. I can’t recommend it enough!

For Baby Bee:

  • I bought the baby its first outfit/ensemble–a hat and matching blanket. Well, actually my friend Emily did (she monograms stuff for me so she knows what we’re having–see this post for the explanation on how she knows). I gave her the Etsy listing and the money and she ordered the correct set for me. How sweet is she?! In just a couple of months or so we’ll all get to see Baby B either in pink or blue in this set, eek!

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  • A couple of unisex bee outfits (one from Burts Bees (front) and one from Kissy Kissy, similar here).
  • A box of newborn diapers and size one diapers.
  • A Rock ‘n Play that was one of my necessities for Moseby and Lawson, but that I gave away last year. Oops!

For the Nursery:

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  • “God Knew Our Hearts Needed You” sign was a custom order I placed through Pickles Painting Company. I gave her the quote and she did the rest (we’ve said over and over that God just knew we needed this baby even though we thought we were finished growing our family). I think it turned out perfect.
  • Framed song lyrics was an order I placed through Finch & Cotter. I told them one of my favorite songs and which lines I wanted in bold and they did the rest. (“May we all grow up in red, white, and blue little towns; May we all know that nothing ain’t cool ’til you wear the new off”)
  • The hexagon shelf came from Reclaimed Waco.
  • The bee pillow is 20+ years old and was in my bedroom in high school.

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  • This is part of the mobile. It came all the way from England!

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  • I’m still trying to decide on wall paint colors–I’m leaning towards a greige (and would LOVE your suggestions on a specific paint color). I can’t decide if I like this painting (from Hobby Lobby) for above the crib or not. I love the size…the rest? Not sure.

And somehow I didn’t get a picture of the bedding. Grr! I’ve got the dust ruffle and bumper, but haven’t received the sheets yet–I’ll just show you everything at once, okay?

So that’s what I’ve bought second trimester for the baby and I. This last trimester will be spent doing the nursery (and getting the boys transitioned to their new room, including putting Lawson in a big boy bed, ack!) and getting last minute things together–I gave away (or loaned) out so much baby stuff I don’t know what I have or not. I also need to get a few baby girl outfits just in case (I’ve got some newborn clothes of Moseby and Lawson’s left over, but none of Mary Margaret’s, eek!). And I’m waiting on the quilter to finish Baby Bee’s quilt so I can sew the binding on.

Monday marked 29 weeks for me so I have right at 8-9 weeks to go. Which seems like a really long time when you’re living it day to day, but not very long at all in reality! Lots to do around here!

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Junk-Themed Birthday Party

I posted a couple of weeks ago that my darling, but slightly strange, youngest (for 8 more weeks or so, ha!) kiddo turned two.

Whenever I plan a birthday party for a child that’s too young to tell me their opinion I try to do a theme with their favorite thing.

MM’s first birthday party was all about pink, parfaits, and pinwheels (her three favorite things). Her second birthday party was a cookies and milk party because girlfriend loved her some Oreos.

With Moseby his first birthday party was a fox party (we called him our little fox). His second birthday party was a peppermint party because he looooooooved old-fashioned peppermint sticks.

With Lawson his theme was a no-brainer. He LOVES junk with all his little heart. He has an innate sixth sense of knowing exactly where anyone’s junk drawer is in their home. And if he is awake there is a 100% chance he’s carrying around some random object in his little hand. His favorites? Flashlights, tape measures, phone chargers, and any sort of spray bottle.

lawson birthday invitation

His invitations came from here.

We chose to do rainbow colors with the decorations and we chose to do brunch because Lala LOVES him some breakfast food (Momo had a breakfast-themed third birthday party himself because he was such a breakfast fan too, by the way).

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Table cloth found here.

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Bacon quiche recipe found here. Ham & broccoli quiche recipe found here.

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His cake matched the invitation and was made by a local bakery that has done our cakes for years.

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We asked for no store-bought gifts because other than some loveys, Lala doesn’t play with toys. And y’all, he was so cute opening all his little junk “gifts”. He ooh’d and aah’d and held on tight to each napkin ring, set of tongs, feather duster, or paint brush.

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I didn’t get any great pictures of his shirt but it says, “I’m the Garbage-Collecting, Junk-Loving Birthday Boy!” I found it here.

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(This is him walking around mid-party snacking on a handful of quiche…and when it’s your birthday party you can do whatever you want, HA!)

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Second Trimester Fitness

Since I’m now in my thirdd trimester (DO WHAT?!) I thought I would talk about how my fitness routines have changed in the second trimester.

What you should know: prior to pregnancy I did four types of workouts. Those were cardio machines (elliptical, stationary bike) five days a week, Zumba three days a week, yoga once a week, and sometimes spin. Yes, I was a gym rat. 😉

Now let’s talk about how that routine changed from weeks 14-27.

Yoga started changing for me around 14 weeks. Everything got a little harder and my balance got worse. Now that I’m in my third trimester I laugh when I look back at my notes that say it got harder (oh girrrrrrl, it’s hard now!). At 18 weeks I added a weekly prenatal yoga class to my routine to learn which poses were safe and how to modify certain ones. I LOVE my prenatal yoga classes. So I increased my yoga from once a week to twice a week. I did get a thicker yoga mat to go underneath my standard one to add more cushion (it’s glorious! It also comes with its own carrying strap) and some blocks since my belly is getting in the way more now and I can’t reach the ground in some poses (of course Lala gnawed on one of them (?!) and now every time I use them in class I see his little teeth prints).

RPM (spin) started getting difficult for me around 16 weeks. I couldn’t lean forward and “race” because it felt like I couldn’t breathe. The instructor helped me find a six pound ball in the weight room to put on top of the handle bars so even when I lean forward to race I’m not really leaning forward. Finally I could breathe again! …but it was short-lived. By 24 weeks I couldn’t catch my breath. I don’t think it’s the baby though; if I had to guess I would say it’s the whole muscle repair acting like a corset that pushes the baby up in my lungs. I haven’t been to spin since 24 weeks. And I’m okay with that.

Zumba hasn’t changed for me…yet. I’m sure it will. I do sometimes cough a bit during it–I think my body is just trying to suck in more air and that is its response. I purchased a Maternity FitSplint band to wear that I read a lot of good reviews about for my third trimester–it seems like it’s a must for runners or those that bounce a lot when they exercise. You can wear it three ways including one band above and one below your bump to really keep it stationary. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will allow me to do Zumba until I deliver. I still go to Zumba three times a week.

I’m still doing five days of cardio machines, but I have bumped down the levels. Pre-pregnancy I was a level 12 on the machines I use, but have now dropped down to a 7 or 8 because the first blood pressure medicine I was put on at 20 weeks (Aldomet) made my leg muscles so sore. And now I’ve gotten used to those levels so I’m being kind of lazy even though I changed BP meds, haha. #justkeepingitreal I do the machines for 45-50 minutes on my “lunch break” during the week.

At 19 weeks I did start doing Body Jam a couple of times a week to replace boring old cardio machines. It’s a Les Miles program and very dance-minded. ..and for someone who has ZERO background (and zero coordination and is tone deaf) it’s been really interesting, haha. I stopped at 25 weeks when I went back to work (they only offer it in the mornings at my gym), but I’m thinking I’ll try it again on maternity leave (after the 6 week healing phase is over of course).

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty proud of myself for keeping up my pretty intense fitness routine while pregnant–especially when I started the Aldomet/methyldopa which left me feeling like I had mono 24/7. In fact, this entire pregnancy I’ve only missed one session because of “laziness”/fatigue/whatever and I felt so guilty afterwards I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again.

Unfortunately, I can’t say my activity level has made my pregnancy easier. Nope, still have pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes like always, BUT I’m hoping that my recovery will be easier–that my body will bounce back to pre-pregnancy fitness level quicker because, y’all, I canNOT wait to get my body back. Not the size (though that will be nice) per se, but the actual “ownership” of my body. Pregnancy (and to some effect, breastfeeding) makes me feel like someone else is in control of my body. I can’t control my blood pressure, or my pancreas, or the amount of air I can breathe in, or sleeping on my stomach, or my bladder, etc. Everything is being controlled by something else and it’s just so uncomfortable (but I do love the kicks and I realize how amazing it is to carry a baby so please don’t think I’m being ungrateful when I complain).

So, that’s my second trimester fitness routine. Hopefully when I check in for my last update in nine or ten weeks I can say the same things! Fingers crossed.

 

 

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Second Trimester Recap

It’s that time! Today marks the beginning of the third trimester which means I’m now in the single digits (weeks-wise) until we meet him/her. And I’m about to start freaking out now that I typed that.

My lord, I am growing! Eek. What’s even crazier is that I only have ONE MORE of these pictures (I’m taking them every nine weeks) before the baby is here!

How I’m Feeling: I can’t really breathe. It’s the dadgum muscle repair acting like a corset making the baby go all up in my lungs. Ever since about 16 weeks I’ve felt like I’m 34-ish weeks pregnant–you know that point in pregnancy where you get majorly winded just from walking up the stairs? Yep, been that way for three months now and that’s real fun.

Also, because of my blood pressure I’m on BP meds and they have me feeling all sorts of out of it. I’ll talk about that more below.

20 weeks pregnancy comparison

20 week comparison with my three bio babies. 

What I’m Craving: Right around 16 weeks all my weird pregnancy cravings went POOF! thankfully. I don’t have any cravings anymore, but I do get ravenous sometimes. Before this pregnancy I would do intermittent fasting and would go 16-20 hours at a time not eating. Now I want something to eat as soon as I wake up–my stomach is literally growling the moment I open my eyes.

22 weeks

22 weeks and waving at the camera.

Any Movement: YES!! I finally felt it at 22 weeks–I was starting to think it would never ever happen. My muscle repair + scar tissue + anterior placenta meant it was really hard to feel the baby. But right about the time we went to the beach I started feeling it (never any “flutters” but more kicks) and now I feel it all the time (the most between 9-11am and 9-11pm)–and I gotta say, this baby is an acrobat. It can go from head down to transverse to breach within a couple of minutes. C. has felt it flip several times now (if I sleep on my left side, but flip on my back in the mornings it’ll spend five minutes or so flipping around and getting comfortable). It’s crazy.

22.5 weeks along.

Weight Gain: I haven’t looked, but I know since my gestational diabetes diagnosis (see below for more info on that) a little less than three weeks ago I’ve lost weight in my arms and thighs thanks to a low carb lifestyle. I’m STILL buttoning my pre-pregnancy pants, some easily…and some not so easily, haha. Not sure how long I’ll continue to be able to do that, but it’s nice while I can, not going to lie!

24 weeks comparison

24 week comparison carrying my bio babies.

Complications: At 21 weeks, 3 days blood pressure was 130/100 at my OB appointment. I had been expecting it (with MM it suddenly spiked at 20.5 weeks and with Lawson it spiked at 19.6 weeks), but it was still disheartening to see it happen yet again. I have a new OB this pregnancy and he put me on Aldomet (Methyldopa) 500mg (twice/day) and I started getting horrible side effects after a week or so. Basically I felt like I had full-blown mono 24/7. I was exhausted like I had ran a marathon, sore like I’d been lifting weights, and just kinda depressed all the time. But it kept my blood pressure controlled so under the persistence of my OB I stayed on it for 7 weeks. Last week I got my high risk OB to prescribe Labetalol (200mg twice/day) which is what I’ve been on the last two pregnancies. The problem with it is it leaves me feeling a tad “out of it” or “fuzzy” and my heart rate is low (it’s a beta blocker so it’s to be expected). For instance, during a normal Zumba workout my heart rate will be in the upper 140s – 160s, but on Labetalol it never gets out of the 130s. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it makes me feel very strange and I sweat very easily. I have to make sure my heart rate stays in the 50s at least while resting (I have a low heart rate normally because I’m so active) so I now have to take my blood pressure multiple times a day to make sure my BP and heart rate stay in a safe range.

And so far (knock on wood!) I’m not spilling any protein so I’ve held off a PreE diagnosis! SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!

At 15 (16?) weeks I took my first gestational diabetes test and my blood glucose level was 85 at the one-hour mark. My OB remarked that it was as perfect as it could get. I just smiled because I knew what was coming (he also said that about my blood pressure at all my appointments the first 20 weeks–I swear he thought I was making up these complications, ha!). At 24 weeks we repeated the test and my blood glucose level was 174 at the one-hour mark. Yep, it doubled. I declined the three-hour and began tracking my blood sugar. And because I’m a crazy lady I created a spreadsheet (I’ll share it with y’all soon) that not only records my blood sugar, but also every bite I eat, every glass of water I drink, all my activity, and the grams of protein/carbs/dietary fiber/fat I eat in a day. So far I’m not on insulin, but my fasting is too high for my liking and if I had to bet I would say I’ll be on insulin within the week. Not a biggie–this ain’t my first rodeo. 😉

27 weeks, 4 days

27.5 weeks along.

About the Baby: Basically, he/she is big. Since 11 weeks it’s been measuring 95th percentile length-wise. Last Monday it weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces and was 15″ long. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s big like MM (21″, 8.0lbs) or small/medium like Lala (19″, 6lbs7ozs) when it’s born. It will also be interesting to see if they deliver it at the same time–both my other babies came at 37 weeks, 5 days.

27 weeks pregnant

27 weeks and already has cheeks for days!

So that’s what’s going on with me! Wednesday I’ll talk about my second trimester fitness and Friday I’ll talk about my (way too many) second trimester purchases (there’s been nursery shopping, eek!).

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This + That: Friday Phone Pics

Woah, this week has been a doozie! From gets trying to get into a school routine (yes, you DO have to get up every day and go to school whether you want to or not, Moseby!), to two curriculum nights on two different days, to OB appointments and toddler checkups and two sick appointments (go away, school germs!), and MM starting tap again.

Man, I’m tired just thinking about our week.

Excuse me while I go take a nap.

Here’s a few pictures from this crazy week, no rhyme or reason really.

First up: I don’t think I have shown y’all my new-ish custom painting from Mary Pratt, have I? Back in the spring I saw some nest paintings she was working on and fell in love (I also have a large bird painting by her from a few years ago in our foyer) so I asked her about making it a specific size to go over our living room mantle. She worked on it this summer and we hung it a few weeks ago. And I’m in L-O-V-E.  Happy Mother’s Day/anniversary/birthday/Christmas to me! (You can see her work that’s currently available here, by the way!)

Next up, I’ve been in a creating mood myself–I always do this when I’m pregnant. It’s like my version of nesting (’cause I don’t have the cleaning gene). This week I’ve been working on this little 4″ by 4″ cross stitch piece for the wall above the dresser. I purchased the pattern because it didn’t look difficult, but there’s like 20 shades of yellow alone and I’m going a bit cross-eyed with it. Pattern can be found here.  Hopefully I’ll be able to show it to you finished and framed in the next couple of weeks because we plan on moving the boys in their new room together in early September and getting the nursery ready at the end of September/early October.

Speaking of the baby (and another thing I’m working on/creating, HA!), guess who is about to be in their THIRD TRIMESTER in three days?! Uhmmmmm, it’s getting real, folks. Baby is measuring big like it has from the beginning and on Monday it weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces and was 15″ long. I still can’t believe there’s an actual baby in there!

(Oh! And that’s a maternity tank top–my first (and only) piece of maternity clothing–a $6 clearance tank from Target!)

And this really has nothing do with anything so far, I just think he’s cute. 😉

{This is him at his two year well checkup this week. I wear him in the Tula when he gets his shots and he doesn’t cry. Not sure if it’s because he’s tough or the Tula is magical.}

And that’s all I got for you today. Hope you all have a great weekend. We’re going to spend ours nursing these sickies back to health–lots of sleep and some couch cuddles and relaxing. Sounds about perfect to me!

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Getting to Know Your Teacher Questionnaire {*FREE* Printable!}

I know I’ve said it on here before, but I LOVE giving teacher gifts. Teacher gifts are my JAM.

These fantastic people see my children more than I do during the week and pour love {and knowledge} into them. Why wouldn’t I want to show appreciation/admiration/respect/love for that?!

Every year I send a little “get to know you” questionnaire to each of my kiddos’ teachers. I choose to send one to every teacher/educator my kid comes in contact with–so not only specials teachers, but also EIP teachers, speech therapists, administrators, counselors, etc. If you work with my child, I want to know your likes!

Then, periodically (sometimes it’s a total random Tuesday, other times it’s a holiday) I’ll send in little gifts. And it doesn’t have to be big things! One of my favorite things we did last year (which I didn’t blog about, grrr) was on St. Pat’s Day–we sent in dollar store leprechaun socks, a handful of chocolate coins, and a couple of Lucky 7’s scratch off tickets in little bags to each teacher with a sticker on it that said, “I’m LUCKY you’re my teacher!” It was cute, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, here’s the survey I send in to the teachers. After I get them all back I…warning, nerd alert…I make a spreadsheet (I can’t lie: I LOVE a good spreadsheet) and stick it in my wallet. That way if I’m at Walmart real quick I can check a teacher’s favorite candy or double check when their birthday is, etc. 

If you like it all you have to do is click here for the printable questionnaire! Enjoy!

Or if you’re not ready to print it yet, click on the link below to save it to your Pinterest!

 

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And Now He Is Two {Say It Ain’t So!}

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Yesterday my sweet Lala turned two.

And this is what I wrote on Facebook:

Today you are two. Everything about you is such a juxtaposition, sweet boy–it seems like just yesterday you were born, but I’m certain you’ve been with me whole life. You were so unplanned at the “wrong” time in my life, but really it was perfect timing and you made everything right and good again. You are happy go lucky, but opinionated; you are calm, but have a wild streak; a pleaser, but mischievous; a cuddle bear, but “all boy”. Basically, you are perfect and I can’t imagine my life without you for one single second, Lawson Thompson and I can’t wait to see what you will grow up and be (please lay off the junk hoarding tendencies though, ok? Ha!). 

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Two Days Old

The prayer that I pray every time I’ve rocked you since the day you were born is for you to be a good and honorable man one day. I pray you see the good in the world and that every day of your life you speak truth and goodness to others. That you will make the world a better place…and I’m certain you will because my life in infinitely better with you in it, darling boy. 

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One Year Old

I love you to the moon and back and back again, my sweet Lala. Happy birthday.

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Two Years Old

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A Hodge Podge for This Friday

I’m sorry for the radio silence since Monday. Blame it on first week back to school exhaustion PLUS 26.5 weeks pregnant exhaustion PLUS planning a trash/junk birthday party for a certain little almost two year old {not really that big a deal–we’re keeping it small} has left me all sorts of tired by about 8:30 at night.

If it’s okay with you I thought I’d show you some pictures of what we’ve been up to the last week. I promise to get back to the regularly scheduled program soon–I’ve got some great things to show you like MM’s quilt she made (mostly) by herself that’s almost finished, nursery things I’ve started ordering (eek!), the baby’s quilt that is currently at the quilter (double eek!), etc.

Last Saturday our sweet little cousin turned 2 (he’s 9 days older than Lala) and he had a farm party at the farm. The kids had a blast, especially Lala who loves all birds (he calls them “gee” as in short for “geese”).

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And then here’s the same sweet little boy when I asked him if he had pooped {TMI, sorry}. He scrunched his nose and said shook his head no.    …he had.

Moseby went on his first trip to Durhamtown with his daddy and godfather. They rode their four wheelers all day and he only fell off once. Man, he’s growing up!

See this gorgeous salad? Less than 6 grams of net carbs and less than 300 calories (not watching calories are anything while pregnant, but this would be a great meal for those that are–remind me to tell you about the guacamole, best I’ve found!). Take that, gestational diabetes!

I can still button my pants so some days I don’t think I look pregnant. And then I lift my shirt up at the gym to change clothes. Yep, there’s a 14″, 2 pound baby in there all right!

Moseby is rocking kindergarten and so far has gotten up every morning with a smile (this is HUGE!).

The oldest two took a kids’ yoga class yesterday for the first time. I joked on Instagram that Moseby was so relaxed from yoga he couldn’t hold his head up afterwards. Actually he’s probably so relaxed because MM told me he pooted every time he bent down. Y’alllllll, between Lala’s secret pooping and Momo’s public tooting, I’ve got my hands full! Boys are so stinky!

Hope you all have a good weekend–I can’t get over my little fella is going to be 2 on Sunday. Absolutely blows my mind that two years have gone by since this because I swear it was just yesterday…and a lifetime ago at the same time.

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Pregnant Woman Stuff: Real Talk About Preeclampsia & Gestational Diabetes

I was going to save all this for my second trimester recap post sometime next week (I’m 26 weeks today, eek!), but since my latest complications have consumed my life I thought I would share them with you.

{For a short recap: with MM I was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension at 20.4 weeks, preeclampsia at 26.6 weeks, and gestational diabetes at 28 weeks. I couldn’t control my gestational diabetes (I’ll refer to it as GD–bad acronym, I know) even though I never cheated on the diet (seriously never) given to me by the diabetic nutritionist at the hospital and ended up on four insulin shots a day. My blood pressure (BP) wasn’t well-controlled either and by the time I delivered at 37.5 weeks I had been in the hospital five times, had been on bedrest for three months, and my BP during delivery got up to 240/170.  With Lawson I was diagnosed with GD at 18 weeks (it was controlled by diet (yay for Keto!) and exercise except for my fasting number and I was on one insulin shot/day), pregnancy-induced hypertension at 19.6 weeks, and preeclampsia at 28 weeks. I was never on bedrest (my BP was well controlled with medicine), but delivered again at 37.5 weeks when my placenta started detaching (common PreE thing). Wait, sorry, this was supposed to be a short recap.}

24 weeks comparison

24 week comparison with my bio babies.

Fast forward to this pregnancy. I’m 95 pounds lighter (than with MM and 55 pounds lighter than with Lawson) and started this pregnancy at an “average” weight/healthy BMI and a VERY active lifestyle (working out six days/week hardcore). Every person that I mentioned my concerns over my old complications flippantly said something along the lines of, ‘Well, you’re so much healthier now so I’m SURE you’ll have a normal pregnancy this time!’

And while part of me hoped they were right, part of me always got my feelings hurt–because those people were implying that my weight gave me the complications of my last two pregnancies. That I caused and deserved them.

And I, too, bought into it. I fat shamed me. I always felt guilty for what my body did (or didn’t) do, all because of my weight.

But here’s the kicker: I STILL have pregnancy-induced hypertension (21.3 weeks when I was diagnosed this round) and I still have gestational diabetes (25.1 weeks when I was diagnosed this round; at 15.3 weeks my blood sugar was perfect (85) on the one hour test–2.5 months later my blood sugar more than doubled on the same test). Now it’s just a waiting game to see when I start spilling more protein in my urine so I can get my PreE diagnosis (I’m guessing in the next three weeks). I’ve only missed one workout my entire pregnancy so far (the BP meds make me feel like I have mono 24/7 (totally not kidding) and I skipped one of my yoga classes because of it and then felt crazy guilty afterwards), I eat low carb, and I’m crazy active and I STILL got the same complications.

While I feel vindicated (yay! my weight didn’t cause the problems!) the complications still suck big time (wait, my body stinks at pregnancy!).

So that’s where I am now. Smug and depressed, ha!

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