Nov 24, 2017

Keto Committed · Part One

So much has changed since becoming a mom. Acacia is almost six months old and I've been meaning to blog for...well, six months now. I'm so glad I was able to get her birth story written and posted before I forgot any of the major details but any other blog posts I've wanted to write have just gone to the wayside. I have so much to write about but today I wanted to focus on my health and weight loss, which is originally why I started this blog. 

Since having Acacia, I have lost weight and then gained a little back. And then I lost weight again only to gain a little back again. I haven't quite gotten to my pre-pregnancy weight and I'm nowhere near my wedding weight, which has become my ultimate goal. I'm breastfeeding and right after delivery that helped me drop weight rather quickly. In a matter of days, twenty pounds were gone. But since then I have found that breastfeeding is slowing my weight loss. I'm not trying to make excuses but it really does make me extremely hungry and it leaves me exhausted most days. I wanted to discuss breastfeeding in a post of its own so I won't go in too deep. I will say I am extremely grateful that I have been able to breastfeed because of all the benefits it has for Acacia. 

I had tried doing the ketogenic diet a few weeks back but then Acacia ended up having blood in her stool and her pediatrician had me eliminate dairy right away in case it was an allergy. It ended up being something completely different so I have since gone back to eating keto. If you aren't aware of what keto is it is basically eating high fat, adequate protein and extremely low carbohydrates. You're forcing your body to burn fat instead of carbs. I chose this instead of any other "diet" because I barely have time to eat most days, let alone track every calorie or macro. I know tracking your food is encouraged on keto and I may end up doing that once my weight loss slows down or stalls but for right now, I am just being mindful of what I eat. 

I started on November 14th and on November 21st I was down four pounds. I was pretty happy with that and I will definitely remain committed to keto. I plan to post weekly updates mostly to hold me accountable. 

This is me now. Thanksgiving Day 2017. 

My body did an incredible thing in creating my beautiful daughter but now it's time to get back to feeling like myself again.

Eggs, beef kielbasa and cheese.

Ground beef with cheese and a couple cheese "chips".

Fried eggs in better. There aren't many things better in this world. I like my eggs super crispy when I don't eat them with toast.

Chicken, broccoli and Alfredo sauce.

Lasagna without the pasta before I threw it in the toaster oven. {As you can see, I always wear my slippers while at home. Ha!}

And after. This is one of my favorite things to make.

Beef kielbasa, cheese and bacon bits with bulletproof coffee. I was out of eggs on this morning.

This was similar to the lasagna without pasta but I added pepperoni.

And I was only able to eat half. That's the thing with keto, the longer you're on it, the less you eat.

These are at Aldi and they are perfect to have on hand to curb any sweet cravings.

Nachos with carnitas. I didn't finish this meal either. It was way too much and next time I can go without the pork rinds.

The next day I had leftover carnitas and cheese for lunch.

Steak, eggs and cheesy broccoli.

When my husband and I had an impromptu date night, I ordered an antipasto salad.

Breakfast on Black Friday was eggs made at home, a side of sausage and cheese and a huge iced coffee from McDonald's.

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Aug 16, 2017

Acacia Rhae's Birth Story

Acacia is nearly twelve weeks old but I finally got around to typing out her birth story. 

I was scheduled to be induced on Friday, May 26th at 8:30 am. I was eight days late at this point and I didn't want to go any longer than that. Because I was two weeks late when I was born and nearly twelve pounds at birth, I was afraid I'd have a big baby too if I went that long. My midwife was working a twenty-four hour shift starting on Friday, May 26th at 8:30 am and I was hoping she would deliver my baby. 

My mom and I stopped at Starbucks on the way and we checked into the hospital right before 8:30. We were escorted to my room, I was told to get undressed and put on a gown and my nurse got right to work on me after that. My midwife came in to see me around 9:30. First thing she did was check to see if I was dilated at all. My cervix had been completely closed at my last few appointments with her. Unfortunately, I was still closed that morning. I was given my first dose of Cytotec at 10am that morning. My midwife would be back to check my progress at 4pm. Stephen had gone to work that morning but he texted me to tell me that everyone at work was telling him to go to the hospital so he was going to pick up his mom and head over. My mom and I went walking around at this point. My nurse said this would speed things along. Around lunch time, my dad came by and brought me and my mom lunch. He grabbed us Costco Caesar salads and for some reason, it was one of the best things I had ever eaten. By the way, I checked with my midwife before I ate my salad and she approved. I didn't need to be on a liquid diet yet. Stephen and his mom also showed up with food. We all ate in my room together. My dad went back to work. I was only allowed three additional people in my room, which none of us were happy about. I had four very important people that I wanted with me but they all had to take turns being in the room when they were all there.

When 4pm rolled around my midwife let me know they were just going to give me another dose of Cytotec. She wasn't even going to check me. At this point I was seeing contractions on the machine but I wasn't feeling any pain whatsoever. Stephen and his mom ran out and grabbed us dinner from a Mediterranean restaurant. Again, I checked with my midwife. He grabbed me a chicken and veggie pita with hummus on the side. It was so good! I still crave that meal. This would also be the last time I ate solid foods before my baby was delivered. When the nurses switched shifts, my new nurse told me that I probably wouldn't be ready to deliver until she began her shift the following evening. I told her to not think like that. I couldn't imagine being in labor for another twenty-four hours! 

I had some visitors at this point. My mom's good friend and her son stopped by to see me. My mom's friend could not believe that I wasn't in any pain. Stephen and I walked the halls some more. My midwife came in to check me around 11. At this point, she said I was at a 1. I was so heart broken. She gave me another dose of Cytotec and said she'd check me in the morning. I told everyone to leave at this point. My dad had run home and grabbed me some movies and I knew nothing was going to happen so there was no point in everyone hanging around the hospital. My husband and my mother-in-law went to stay at a nearby hotel just in case I needed them and my mom and dad drove the forty-five minutes home. 

My nurse came to check in on me occasionally. I turned on When a Man Loves a Woman and I remember going in and out of sleep but I didn't sleep much at all. Maybe three hours max. Early morning on Saturday, May 27th, my nurse came in and helped me shower. She wrapped up my hand because of my flexible catheter, which I hated! I dry shampoo'd my hair and put on new gowns. I felt so much better. I remember telling my nurse, "I hope this is my last shower." She said, "You sound like you're not coming back from this. Don't talk like that." I was already so tired of being there. 

My midwife came in to check me and I wasn't much farther along. She was still saying my cervix was at a 1. She decided to go ahead and insert a foley balloon catheter in my uterus in hopes of it opening me up more. Remember, I was alone at this point. My family hadn't come back to the hospital yet. I love my midwife so much but she tried three times to get that foley balloon in me and she couldn't get it to stay. She had to grab the OB on staff. He was able to insert it the first time. I cried and cried. It hurt like a hell. My midwife gave me a huge hug. I was just so emotionally drained already at this point. During this time, I heard a woman nearby screaming so loud. She sounded like she was in excruciating pain. The nurse told me that was what happened when you don't get an epidural. Later I found out that woman went from a 1 to a 9 in a matter of minutes and there wasn't time for an epidural. So here I was at a 1 after nearly 24 hours and I couldn't help but think which was worse. 

Shifts were turning over at this point. I was getting a new nurse and a new midwife. I actually had a backstory with the new midwife but that's for another post. My family was heading back. I think I had texted Stephen that I needed him because I was crying so much. I was told I could no longer eat solid foods. They wanted me to walk around but I had this thing hanging from me and it was extremely uncomfortable. I slowly walked around my room. It was a long day. I was starting to feel contractions but they weren't too bad. I would just have to stop walking and kind of bend over for a moment. Stephen rubbed my back for a little bit. Everyone was eating good food around me but for some reason, it didn't even bother me. I wasn't hungry at all. I just remember someone had a carne asada quesadilla and since then I want them all the time. Still to this day. 

I was starting to get irritated by everyone. I just wanted to be alone with my husband. I kept saying the next time I have a baby I'm not going to tell anyone when I deliver. It will just be my husband and I {not sure if I still feel that way now that it's all over and done with}. I was emotionally drained at 6 am that morning, imagine how I felt at 3 pm that afternoon. 

The nurses continued to tell me to walk and I really wanted to tell them to go screw themselves, if we're being honest. And I never talk like that! Or even think like that. When it was time for the foley bag to come out (after twelve LONG hours), I was checked by the midwife and I had only progressed to a 2/3. Again, I was heart broken. The mifwife told me I was a very rare case. She said now it was time to start me on Pitocin and get me an epidural. Now I was excited because both my mom and mother-in-law were given Pitocin when they were in labor and delivered shortly after. 

My nurse brought me chicken broth and jello and it was delicious! I hadn't eaten anything all day. Then she gave me my first dose of Pitocin and said my epidural would be coming shortly. I was starting to feel stronger contractions and everyone told me once I got the epidural it would be smooth sailing so I was so excited. This was around the time everything got a little blurry. I was in a lot of pain already and the epidural shot itself only made things worse. That is one crazy feeling when that needle goes in your spine. I was told I'd feel warm and I'd feel numb soon after. I didn't really feel any of that. A little bit on one side. 

My nurse needed to insert my catheter at this time. She said she was using something cold but I shouldn't feel the cold. I told her I felt the cold. She didn't believe me. She inserted my catheter and I screamed. It burned so badly. She said I shouldn't have felt any of that. I told her I did. She had them give me more pain medicine through my epidural drip. The contractions were coming on stronger and stronger. If I remember correctly, I was only allowed to have a dose of sixteen for Pitocin and my nurse had me at a fourteen. Because of the fact that I continued to feel my contractions, they decided to give me a second epidural. A different woman came in to administer the second one. She didn't warn me and she just tore all the tape off my back at once. I screamed and I lost it. I was leaning on Stephen and I was bawling like a baby. My nurse was hugging me too. 

I hadn't slept in I don't know how long and after everything I had been through, I just couldn't control my emotions any longer. Even with the second epidural, I was still feeling contractions and they were getting more and more painful. I was screaming every time one would come on. Again, a lot of this time was a blur. I do remember telling Stephen I was only going to give him one baby because I couldn't go through this again. Everyone had agreed that my epidurals were only working on one side. If I remember correctly, it was my right side that was numb. I felt everything on the left. My midwife kept ordering more and more pain medicine through my IV. She told me she was giving me an entire pitcher of margaritas. Well, I felt nothing different. For some reason, no other pain medicine helped. They couldn't believe it. 

The charge nurse came in and wanted me to try all these poses and she really wanted me to get through this naturally. The poses only made me more upset. She kept telling me she didn't want me to have a c-section and that she wanted me to try a third epidural. Well, at that point we hadn't discussed a c-section and there was no way I was going to get a third epidural. The second one traumatized me enough. I hated that nurse then. She was in my face repeatedly saying, "Listen to me. I don't want you to have a c-section." I ignored her and focused on Stephen, who was holding my hand. My midwife came in at some point to break my water. She said there was very little fluid and she said I was only at a 4. This was so discouraging. 

It was very early in the morning of the 28th at this time. Before I knew it, there was my nurse, my midwife and the on staff OB in front of me explaining that they can either give me a third epidural, which would be extremely dangerous, or they would need to proceed with a c-section. I was bawling and I asked if I could speak to my family in private. I was never opposed to a c-section. I just wanted a healthy baby. I didn't care how she was delivered. In that moment, I was relieved but also scared. My family said they just wanted what was best for me and it seemed like a c-section would be best. But the only thing was, because my body had rejected the first two epidurals, they were going to need to put me under and no one could be in the room. They assured me that Stephen would be able to go to the nursery with the baby while I was in recovery. I agreed and told the staff to proceed with the c-section. 

They made everyone leave the room and they prepped me. After that they wheeled me down the hall and Stephen walked with me. I said bye to them and right before I went into the operating room, I kissed Stephen good-bye. I could tell he was choked up. My mom later told me that when he turned around towards them, he lost it and started crying. My mom and dad embraced him and my dad started praying. That all means so much to me. 

When I got into the operating room they told me they were going to try the spinal tap before putting me under. So here I was again, getting a third needle in my back. This one I went through without Stephen there to lean on. BUT I felt that one kick in right away. Everyone was so excited. That meant I didn't need to be put under. The nurse ran out to grab Stephen and get him ready because now he was able to be in the room. There were so many people in and out of that operating room, it was a bit overwhelming. I remember being cold and exhausted and excited to meet my little girl. The nurse came in and told me Stephen wasn't going to be there because he felt like he was going to pass out. They got him a snack but he would be waiting right outside the door. They showed me that he was sitting right outside the door. I was so sad but I knew there was nothing I could do. 

Right before they began surgery, he came in. He was feeling much better. I was so happy, I didn't want him to miss the birth of his daughter. They made the incision and let me know I'd feel tugging and pulling, which I did. But that was all I felt. A few moments later the doctor pulled her out and I heard her say, "That's a big baby," which is exactly what the doctor said when I was born so I thought she was close to my weight at birth. Then she said, "Aw! She looks just like you!" 

Acacia Rhae was born at 7:08 am on Sunday, May 28th, after forty-five hours of labor. She will now share her birthday with her Uncle Tyler, my brother. She was 8 pounds, 8 ounces. It was all worth it. We heard her crying and Stephen and I looked at each other and smiled. The nurse next to Stephen grabbed his phone and took pictures of her when they were cleaning her up. They brought her over to us. Stephen held her and I kissed her. I couldn't believe she was all ours. It's just so crazy how one minute she was inside me and the next she was in Stephen's arms. 

They took her to the nursery for a brief period of time and Stephen went with her while they closed me up. At this point, I had started shaking. I couldn't control it.  The anesthesiologist told me it was completely normal and he gave me something that would help. They wheeled me into recovery and Stephen and Acacia met me there. We had an hour just the three of us. I held her and we did skin to skin and I also got her to latch on while we were there. I was so happy at how quickly she got the hang of breastfeeding. 

After what they refer to as the Golden Hour, we were taken to our room. My parents and my mother-in-law followed and they were able to meet Acacia. The majority of the 28th was a blur to me after she was born. I wasn't able to walk since I was still numb so I laid in bed, doing skin to skin and breastfeeding her as much as possible. I honestly can't even remember if I was able to eat that day or if I slept. I was so exhausted. 

We had visitors that evening but only three people could be in the room at a time so I didn't really get to visit with everyone. After our visitors left I was able to get up and walk around. Very slowly. My nurse and Stephen were with me. That night I made everyone go home. We were all exhausted, especially Stephen. And I needed him well rested to help me so I knew it was best to send him home. Acacia and I spent our first night together alone. She slept skin to skin with me and it was, pardon the cheesiness, magical. It was THE perfect way to end the most important day of my life. I'll definitely go into more detail in further posts but there really is no love like a mother's love for her child. I know that now.  

The morning of May 26th. The day I would be induced.

Heading into the hospital to be induced. Little did I know, I wouldn't leave for five days.

My mommy and I right after my first dose of Cytotec.

I HATED this thing!

Walking the halls, trying to get the baby out. But she was way too comfortable.

Stephen brought me these beautiful tulips in the hospital.

Texting my brother about my labor. We always reference Friends.

   Acacia Rhae Meyer   

Our first family photo. 

I know I'm probably biased, but she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. It was definitely love at first sight. How could it not be? 

She loved skin to skin!

I have a photo of myself as a baby that looks just like this.

I was able to FaceTime my brother, sister-in-law and Nashy the night Acacia was born.

Daddy snuggles the day after she was born.

This Is It was on the day after she was born so her and I watched it together. I had watched it while I was pregnant with her too and when I did, she was kicking like crazy.

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May 24, 2017

Forty Weeks

How far along? Forty weeks and six days. 

Baby's size? Baby is the size of a watermelon. 

Baby's nickname? We call her baby, baby girl and Acacia. 

Maternity clothes? Yes, mostly wearing all maternity clothes. A few pre-pregnancy tops still fit but not many. My belly is starting to hang out of the tshirts I wear around the house. 

Exercise? Same as last week. Walking and I've been doing some exercises on a medicine ball. Hoping it will help induce labor. 

Sleep: Sleep during the night this week wasn't terrible. I ended up taking a few naps because I was just plain exhausted. I've read that someone this far along either has tons of energy or is tired. I'm one of the lucky ones who is always tired. 

Best moment this week: Seeing Chris Stapleton in concert on my due date with my parents. My dad and I had been talking about going to this show for months but we knew it wasn't possible because it was my due date. I saw my midwife that morning. I still wasn't dilated so she gave me the approval to go and have fun! And that we did! My husband and I also had our last date night before baby. We went to dinner at Souplantation and we picked out some books at Barnes & Noble for us to read to Acacia. 

Miss anything? Nothing really this week.

Movement: Lots of movement, especially during the concert. She's going to be a music lover. I caught a little bit of her movement on video this week. 

Food Cravings: Sweets and carbs. That was pretty consistent throughout my entire pregnancy. 

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Only my acid reflux. I always think it's getting better but then I eat something tomato based and it acts up again. 

Gender: GIRL! 

Symptoms: TERRIBLE acne! My face flared up again like crazy! Not sure what that's all about. And it was in spots where I normally wouldn't break out. Must be my hormones. And acid reflux. I'm feeling a lot of pressure still but no pain. I keep hoping for contractions but nothing yet. 

Wedding rings on or off? Off. 

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy! 

Looking forward to: Welcoming our baby girl into the world! Hopefully this is my last weekly pregnancy update. 

Definitely one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

He is a true talent.

Mommy and Daddy's last date night for a while.

Forty weeks and five days pregnant. It's been so hot outside so I've been hibernating inside with the air conditioning on. Comfy clothes and messy hair is what it's all about right now.

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