Category Archives: Pregnancy

Coming Clean

Our new house is mostly picked up. The boys are, in a rare moment, tandem napping. The dogs have been walked. I remembered to eat. I have showered, brushed my teeth, and am dressed to leave the house. These are all major accomplishments before 1 PM on a Wednesday. But I am struck with an immobility, a weight that I need to share, and haven’t, because of embarrassment and shame (my phone autocorrected “shame” to “Shane”, and I don’t place any blame on anyone named Shane, so there’s that disclaimer). It’s time for me to come clean.

For a myriad of reasons, I’m going through some postpartum depression that I can’t shake, even seven months after having my little guy. There are plenty of good days but the bad ones peppered in make it hard to pull myself out of bed and into the kitchen. The sweet blue eyes of my boys, their squishy little kissy cheeks, their smiles- they are what get me through the day most days. And when I don’t feel like I can go on, waves of guilt wash over me for failing them. For not being the mom they deserve. I’m run over by a semi truck of inadequacy when I think ” I hate breastfeeding ” or “please watch something on Netflix so I can sit here for ten minutes quietly”. And at night, when sweet mini Gwinn tells me he ” wubs” me and snuggles against me on his floor before bedtime, instead of reveling in the moment, I am reminded that I am so undeserving of his love. When 2.0 lights up when I walk into a room, and then begins crying if I don’t pick him up, I feel horrible for meeting my own needs before his, even if that need is going to the bathroom. This depression is irrational, heart wrenching, and most days, unfightable.

My therapy used to be going to the gym and pushing myself until the sweat poured out and endorphins kicked in. Picking up my body weight and walking around the gym, muscling out 200 Russian basket twists, or running would remind me I have some control over my life, that I was strong and healthy and my family could rely upon me, or that when I had to wear a tank top, my arms looked more like Sarah Connor’s and less like pizza dough. But now? I’m on restricted physical activity.

I’m just sitting here, willing myself to write the next sentences. And they won’t come.

Even though I didn’t have any stitches after delivery, and I felt fine after coming home, my body hasn’t healed the way it should. I sustained a very slight prolapse, mild diastasis recti, and a lot of pelvic pain. Walking through the neighborhood now causes enough discomfort that I can’t pick up my kids without gasping for air. I’ve been going to physical therapy for it, but my doctor has told me that, until I’m done breastfeeding, I won’t return to my previous strength, ability, or endurance. And the pain will continue, although it may improve, until then.

My husband has urged me to see the bright side of things: I’m better than I was, I can walk, and I can do some limited exercises (the elliptical and rowing). I’m four pounds away from where I was when the doctor told me to gain weight to get pregnant (body composition wise, I’m probably eight pounds of fat to lose/ five pounds of muscle to gain away from my goal). And I think I could see the bright side, I really do, if I didn’t have postpartum depression. Someone looking into my life would think this depression is selfish. I agree. We have a gorgeous new house, two precious children, a wonderful marriage, CLP has a great job and I don’t have to work, and I fit into my skinny jeans. My kids are healthy. The rest of the world should be so lucky to have everything we do.

I want to know why these things happened physically. Not “why me” in an existential, “I have cancer” kind of way. I want to know the science behind why some athletes rebound from pregnancy and can run a marathon three months after delivering twins, and why I can’t walk around our neighborhood when I was in such great shape before. I emerged from delivery seemingly unscathed, but now? I can’t even do a pull up without pain.

Why do I have postpartum depression when almost everything in my life is going the “right” way? Why can’t I shake this cloud?


My Uterus is at Capacity

This Saturday marks the 36 point in this pregnancy. But my uterus is at capacity. There is no more room, I tell you. No more. We’re inducing (as far as I know) on the 21st and it cannot get here more quickly. Between the braxton hicks contractions, getting up five to seven times a night to pee (NO joke) with symphysis pubis dysfunction keeping me from taking steps (I do a heel to toe shuffle to get around at night), the acid reflux, high blood pressure and headaches, I’m totes over it.

Hopefully in the next post I’ll put up pictures of the nursery and all the awesome stuff mini Gwinn has been doing (like singing, which is ear chocolate: sweetest thing ever, or peeing on the potty on his own volition, and saying the cutest crap ever).

For now, though, I’m complaining. It’s cool that I get a nonstress test and ultrasound every week, and it’s cool that in 14 days we’ll have a new little dude, but for real, can I be done?

Update on the Big Boy Room, 33 Weeks

Bed rest shmed shmrest?

In lieu of actual bed rest, I’ve been trying to “take it easy”, and in my opinion, re-doing a big boy room and a nursery count as “taking it easy”. Over the past week I’ve updated mini Gwinn’s bedroom with some new decor, including new curtains, sheets, pictures, and a big boy bed (so proud of him for transitioning so easily!). The paint and the twin bunk beds (obviously we’re separating the bunk beds for two different rooms) were the most expensive aspects of the update, but the nursery has the same accent wall design and the bunk bed cost was split in half, so really, new pictures and all, mini Gwinn’s total cost of room update equaled $165 (furniture included). I’ll put up nursery pictures for 2.0’s room when that’s finished, but for now, here’s mini Gwinn’s room:

In other news, I’m 33 weeks and Captain Laser Pants has told me I’ve officially crossed into “torpedo belly” territory. This week at the high risk doc, the measured the (not so) little guy and checked his lung development to make sure he’s ready to make his debut FOUR WEEKS from today. A few days ago he was 4 lbs, 9 oz, and I think they said 15 in. long? So, even though he seems big to me, the doctor told me not to expect him to be bigger than 7 lbs. total. His lungs look awesome and there is virtually no hint at needing an amniocentesis to test lung development before the induction. I’m so relieved for that!

But I’m not so relieved that acid reflux is back in a BAD way. Or that the symphsis pubis dysfunction is HEINOUSLY painful these days, and practically constant, when before it was just at night. I have a near constant headache as well, most likely related to the high blood pressure, but long story slightly shorter: I’m so over this pregnancy. I’m done. April 18th can not get here soon enough.

Any way. Mini Gwinn has started counting, talking constantly, and generally is just the most adorable he’s ever been in his entire life. I’ve got some mom guilt action happening right now because I hate that his world is about to be turned upside down with the addition of a little brother, but I hope he loves having a life long best friend, even if he doesn’t grasp that right now. He may harbor some toddler resentment for us in the upcoming months, but maybe one day he’ll be thankful for the existence of 2.0.

My hot husband and sweet boy at our fave Mexican restaurant

My hot husband and sweet boy at our fave Mexican restaurant

I’ve been reading a lot that somehow my heart will swell even more when I see my husband with our second child. And despite my pregnancy- induced angry outbursts (only on occasion) at little things CLP does, I have a hard time believing I’m going to love him more in four weeks than I already do. The way he’s stepped up in caring for our son and our home, and still being so loving toward me… he just amazes me. His patience and strength through such a trying time in our lives are inspiring. And I love him so much. Even if he does leave tuna on the counter by the sink and I run into it with my belly. Knowing we’re about to change our lives for the third time since we’ve been together, I’m trying to sit back and enjoy these little delicious moments of joy, just the three of us. We’re going to be even more exhausted and our patience will be worn, but I wouldn’t crawl through the trenches of hell (or child rearing) with anyone else at my side.

Ok, thanks, pregnancy hormones. You can shut up now.

What are you up to, interwebs?

Bed Rest is a Dish Best Served, Well, Laying Down

So, I’ve been on bed rest since last Monday. Bed rest as in: no cooking, no cleaning, no lifting, no laundry, no shopping, no walking (except for bathroom/ kitchen needs), no prolonged standing, no doing anything. The only reason it’s not labeled “strict bed rest” is because, as you all well know, I have a two year old and three idiotic dogs.

I don’t think any living being in this house grasps the concept of “bed rest”. Including myself. I understand it in theory, yes, but the practice of it is nigh impossible. Mini Gwinn doesn’t stay in one room for more than ninety seconds at a time. The dogs demand to go outside and come back inside every seven minutes. I’m 31 weeks today and every inclination to pee is an emergency (until I get there and it’s like, three drips, and done.) thanks to all that baby sitting on top of my bladder. And I don’t think the husband can maintain a consistent idea of bed rest because sometimes he’s horridly concerned with me turning on the dryer, and other times, it’s perfectly ok for me to go to Costco.

My doctor told me a couple weeks ago that I need to take this seriously, and warned that if I didn’t, I would end up on bed rest in the hospital until our little guy is born. My blood pressure has been high for weeks now, I’ve had elevated levels of protein in my pee pee, regular headaches, etc. All in all, not in great shape. So I did some research on why gestational hypertension is so bad, and then my attitude on it changed. If my blood pressure is too high, the proper amount of blood doesn’t go to the uterus, which causes our little guy to be really small at birth, or worse, his lungs won’t be totally developed. There are other scary outcomes to this medical condition, but I’m not going to type them out for now. I have to accept this bed rest business for what it is to protect our little Graham cracker.

Pretty early on, my one outlet for “me”, working out, was taken because of symphysis pubis dysfunction pain. I tried to stay positive, telling myself, “Well, at least I still have Target.” And now I can’t do that, either. I’m not really supposed to leave the house unless it’s for a doctor’s appointment. And it’s disheartening. My big event for the day is changing into fresh pajamas after a shower (this is in part because I don’t  have much that fits now aside from pajamas, and, really, why would I get fully dressed to compete in the lounge olympics?). I miss taking mini Gwinn to the indoor playground and bounce houses, or the park,  I miss seeing my girlfriends on play dates, and I miss perusing the aisles of the beloved red and white. We took a family trip to Target this week and I experienced my first ride on a rascal (the motorized ride-on carts with exceptionally wide seats), much to CLP and mini Gwinn’s amusement. I was pretty embarrassed, but hey, we needed groceries, and I’m not supposed to walk waddle anywhere.

The good news is that this week has had a lot of distractions for me. For instance, my lovely friends have agreed to have play dates at our house to keep MG entertained (even though they all have way better set ups and play spaces) and to give me company. The stress of a messy house (I don’t sit well with mess around me) is alleviated because we now have a fantastic house keeper. Mini Gwinn started sleeping in his new big boy bed, aka a twin bed, and transitioned seamlessly. He didn’t care at all that we took down his crib, and he hasn’t figured out that he can climb out of this bed yet, so he’s still stationary (for now). He’s also started counting to ten… well, counting to nine. He will say one through nine with us, but today, when we got to ten, he decided to say “that one” instead. But he was really proud of himself, so there was no point in correcting him. It was hilarious.

Our littlest guy will be here in six weeks, give or take a couple days. And even though his nursery is totally not decorated and is still currently acting as a storage room, I’m so ready for him to be here. The first time around seemed so daunting- what will labor be like, will I recover, how am I going to keep a tiny infant alive once I come home from the hospital, will I ever lose the weight, etc. This time around is totally different. It ain’t my first rodeo, as they say. I have no fear of delivery (bring it!), the plan is to take the old PS3, Star Wars and a video game to the hospital, and managing a newborn (minus the sleep deprivation) seems WAY easier than a toddler. I won’t lie, I’m pretty concerned about losing the 50+ lbs. I’ve gained this pregnancy, but I gained more than that with MG and it was off within 5 months, so I know it can happen, it’s more a matter of when.

Any way. Come on, April.


30 Weeks and Coach


Mini Gwinn’s Valentine’s Day

Hey interwebs, how was your Valentine’s Day/ Presidents Day? We were finally able to get out of the house by the day before VDay, so I was able to add the finishing touch to mini Gwinn’s Valentine’s present- balloons. He had a little dinosaur decorated box of chocolates, a new book (this kid will sit still for over 10 books a day), a fun robot bag, but he loves balloons, so we of course needed them to complete his present.


Mouth full of chocolate, reading his new book “I Stink”

I gave Captain Laser Pants a Nintendo NES (the original Nintendo) retro- game system with Super Mario Brothers, Duckhunt, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (everyone knows the first one was crap), complete with a duck hunt gun and candy.


I asked for tulips for my Valentine’s Day, CLP delivered.

CLP brought home tulips, dairy free brownies, and my favorite Chinese food takeout. The real surprise, though, arrived this Tuesday night.


Gambit looks amused wearing a scarf.

It was not this dog. Or his scarf.


Cool kid is cool


They’re Captain Laser Pants’ sunglasses, but MG wears them better.


30 weeks pregnant, none of this outfit is maternity. Please note that glorious bag…

See that glorious bag I’m sporting? I’ve been in lust/ love with it for months. You see, interwebs, I’ve been carrying a $6 backpack from Target to use as my diaper bag/ personal bag. It’s not a big deal because 90% of the time I’m with mini Gwinn, and a backpack holds everything he needs, as well as my wallet, phone and keys. But on those occasions when I’m alone, my options were to carry the ridiculous backpack or to juggle my wallet, phone and keys (in addition to whatever else I was out to get).

Enter my request for a purse.

Pre-baby, my purse was the size of my current wallet. Tiny. But since the necessity of a diaper bag has entered my life, something like a purse is just extra weight (plus, my current wallet is huge, and my olden days bag would never hold it). But as MG gets older and the next little guy’s appearance is just around the corner, a backpack is just as impractical as carrying two or three bags. I wanted something that I wouldn’t have to replace every few months (like a cheap purse or even cheaper backpack), so it needed to be well made. I wanted something that would be appropriate in practically every situation, with or without kids, so it needed to be versatile (and in my language that means “classic”). “Well made” and “classic” equals, of course. Coach.

Btdubs. The dress, chambray shirt, leggings combo I’m wearing in that picture cost a grand total of $18.37. I’m pretty thrifty when it comes to this sort of thing. So when I asked for a Coach bag for Christmas, Captain Laser Pants and I talked at length about the need for something that could hold the insane amount of stuff I lug around every day. It was an investment, I told him, but a worthy one. Coach bags are made so, so beautifully and they are made from incredibly durable glove leather. The bag, after a lot of research, would have to be a 1973 Coach duffle re-issue. Nothing else came close to it in terms of quality, craftsmanship, and beauty.

I had asked for it again for my birthday. And Valentine’s Day. And my husband sweetly told me that no store carried this re-issue anymore. I sighed, resigned myself to buying it after the baby was born, and pushed it to the back of my mind. Mini Gwinn needs a big boy bed, we’ve got to stock up on diapers, and our life isn’t really the kind of life that has designer handbags in it.

So when CLP took out the trash Tuesday night and reemerged from the garage with a huge, carefully wrapped package, I was confused. But then I saw the embossed “Coach” sticker sealing the tissue paper and my jaw hit the floor. The protective bag it came in was nicer than any purse I’d ever owned, and the real deal, the piece de resistance, was inside. I swooned. Caressed it. Wanted to sleep with it between us. I’m no label lover (really), but there really is a difference.

Ok, lovegush over this bag is done for now.

I’m 30 weeks pregnant (and 48 lbs.heavier and counting) and my OB confirmed we’re inducing between 37-39 weeks because of all my health problems. The hematologist will see me again a week before to check my platelet count, and if it’s still sketchy, I get to take prednisone to bump up the numbers before 2.0 makes his debut. Yuck. But I’m relieved to know for sure he’ll be here in April. Well, relieved and a little overwhelmed. His nursery is empty, mostly. There are some dog food cans and a carpet cleaner in it…

I need to get on this nesting business, eh?

My Pregnancy is the Billy Mays of Bad News

“But wait, there’s more!”

I thought of this yesterday and decided to repeat it eighteen times. Cause it was clever.

Last Saturday Team Gwinn went to the gym. I tried all the modified lower body workouts the chiropractors suggested, and by the end of it all I was sore, but walked out. We grabbed lunch, drove home. By the time we pulled into the garage, I couldn’t walk (I sat in the car for five minutes? Maybe three miles?). Like, for real, couldn’t walk. I dragged myself up the stairs, let Captain Laser Pants manage mini Gwinn, and crawled (yes, crawled) into the shower. For the next four hours, if I needed to pee or eat something, I rolled off our bed and crawled to it. That following Tuesday, after over two hours of massage and adjustments, the chiropractor told me to expect to be in a much more constrictive support brace very soon, that I may need to be induced early to alleviate the pain, and, before the end of my third trimester, to be on bed rest.

I laughed. How would anyone expect a mom of a toddler to lay in bed? We don’t have help, we don’t have family in the area. Bed rest is absurd. You may as well tell me that some barn animals are going to come over twice a week just to mill around in my living room and poop on stuff.

I had my glucose test that Wednesday. Mini Gwinn charmed the nurses and staff, my OB cooed at his every uttering. On Thursday the nurse called to tell me my platelet count was 80,000. The low normal is 150,000. Below 100,000 at delivery and you can’t have an epidural. 50,000 scores you a blood transfusion. To amp your count up before delivery, they do transfusions and steroids. Inducing after 37 weeks isn’t unheard of. The nurse told me I’d need to come in for additional blood work.

I drove in to the hospital on Friday because I started spotting. My OB wanted me to get an ultrasound to check on our little guy and go ahead and have my blood taken for further testing. While I was waiting for the ultrasound, I started having debilitating kidney pain. The baby hadn’t moved much that morning, and with all the stress, I started to cry. The ultrasound office staff was SO kind, but the pain took a very long time to subside. The technician let me hear our little guy’s heartbeat and took some pictures to calm my nerves- he was ok, even if I wasn’t. Then she checked my kidneys. Both were abnormally enlarged, even for pregnancy. She urged my doctor to suggest a visit to the urologist, but there’s nothing they can do for kidney stones while pregnant, including confirming the existence of kidney stones.

So the lab took several vials of blood, leaving both my arms blue and bruised. The lab technician told me they were sending my blood to a hematologist, not to lift anything heavy (does a 35 lb. toddler count?), and to take it easy. They’d call on Monday with results.

Yesterday the nurse called to tell me that my blood was put into vials with coagulate in them, thus hindering the testing (whatever that means), and that I would need to make the 25 mile drive back to the hospital to give more blood.

The good news is that our little guy (whom we affectionately call “Graham cracker”) is big and STRONG. We have full on viewings of his acrobatics now and can watch him move my entire abdomen. He moves for HOURS at a time. I’m glad that he’s growing healthily, even if I’m internally shutting down.

Also, Atlanta is getting snow for the first time in three years. Traffic is gridlocked and the city is closing up shop.

If zombie Billy Mays pops up and tells me there’s more, I’m going to go Daryl Dixon (that’s zombie for “postal”).

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, Or Why I Hate Everything

So, remember me talking about a pinched nerve in my pubic bone?

I’m tough. I complain about minor aches and pains, but the real stuff- I’ll muscle through it with a tylenol or nothing at all. Grunt. Keep going. So when I say that rolling over from one side to the other at night is excruciating, I’m for real. Getting up to pee in the  middle of the night may as well be a part of boot camp torture for me. Going up stairs, or getting out of the car, sometimes walking- any time my legs separate too widely, I immediately hate everything and want to turn green and rip off my clothes and Hulk out.

Turns out, it’s not a nerve (although that’s a good way to describe the pain). It’s symphysis pubis dysfunction. If you don’t want to check out the Wikipedia link I’ve included, it’s basically when the symphysis pubis (your pubic bone is not one whole bone, it’s two that come together with ligaments between the bones) separates unevenly during pregnancy and HURTS LIKE —-. I was tired of my OB group not having anything to say other than “it’s normal” to be in this much pain. For some reason, OB-GYNs seem horrendously uneducated on something that can affect up to 20% of pregnancies. So I went to a chiropractor that specializes in treating pregnancy pain. My general opinion on chiropractors before I met my new one was that about half of them are snake oil salesmen and the other half have gotten a bad name because of the bad ones. I was pretty stoked to meet this one- not only is he a long time chiropractor, but he also has a focus in physical therapy AND specializes in pregnancy pain. Score for me.

So, I went in, not knowing at all what to expect, but knowing I was officially over being in close to constant pain and not taken seriously by doctors. After meeting the staff, the senior chiro of the office went to work just massaging my lower back. For over 30 minutes. He told me that my sacrum was severely turned and causing major swelling in my lower back, to the point where the skin was actually pale and pulled taut. Then the female chiro (I think she’s a resident?) explained that because the sacrum was so turned and swollen, it was pulling the muscles over my sciatic nerve taut and putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. Dur. No wonder my legs, in addition to my butt, back, and lady parts, hurt so dang badly. After reducing the swelling, doc told me to ice the area every day. Then the female chiro came in with an activator to adjust my pubic bone (I was clothed the whole time, btdubs). Apparently my left side had gone wayward- drifting out and down substantially while my right side was in place and trying to hold it all together. I was fitted with a support belt, given a list of modified exercises I can do for lower body at the gym, and sent on my way.

During the massage the doctor commented on the fact that I don’t have a single stretch mark. I told him I was cursed with acne scars but genetically blessed with no stretch marks. He told me that this meant my body heals quickly, I would probably have little to no scar tissue in the instance of an internal trauma, and that it’s healthily elastic, except for the case of the drifting symphysis pubis, of course. Human bodies are so cool, guys. Who knew that something as seemingly cosmetic as stretch marks would tell a doctor so much more?  I’d like to think my ancestors were BAs on the battlefield or in hunting parties, surviving animal attacks and going on like it was no big deal, or giving birth in the rice field (I know, I’m not Chinese. They don’t have cheese fields in Switzerland or pretzel fields in Germany) and continuing about their work immediately after an easy delivery. Any way. Genetics are fascinating.

The doc started running through the workout modifications I could do, and then told me to really advocate to my doctors that I shouldn’t deliver on my back. My best friend and I talked about this while I was pregnant with mini Gwinn- it’s not natural at all for a woman to labor and deliver on her back. It goes against every instinct to do so. The chiropractor was telling me that it could do long term damage to the symphysis pubis to deliver while laying down, and I told her that I wasn’t able to really run for several months after my first delivery. She nodded and told me that only about 7% of women who have SPD experience the long term pain like I had. Great. Captain Laser Pants said that it would be a hard sell to convince a delivery doctor otherwise.

Next week I’m taking in lots of information on symphysis pubis dysfunction to my OB. She’s a great doctor, but COME ON- how did this go ignored in my first pregnancy and dismissed this one by so many doctors? If you go through this in a pregnancy and a doctor tells you “it’s normal”, IT ISN’T NORMAL. Advocate for yourself.

In other news, my birthday was this past Sunday, and I want to thank the lovely ladies that made my day so special!! Love you all so much.

Big plans this weekend, interwebs?


Dairy Free for the Baby

I have “Midwestern”in my bones. Casseroles = hot dishes. Snowy nights. “You betcha”. And drinking cow’s milk like it’s my job.

Throughout my first pregnancy, I drank several whey protein shakes a day. Whey protein comes from cow’s milk, specifically, fyi. It’s one of the proteins found in cow’s milk, along with casein. While nursing my newborn, I continued the protein drink regimen because it was filling, healthy, and gave me plenty of protein to keep up my supply. He was a miserable newborn, and the culprit: whey protein.

This is a common problem. There have been several medical studies done to support what I’m about to say: whey protein causes colic in many, MANY newborns. Why? Tiny human digestive systems aren’t meant to break down these kinds of proteins. If you think about it, cows have FOUR stomachs. Their milk is meant for their calves, who have digestive enzymes to break down whey and casein proteins found in cow’s milk. A significant portion of the population, as adults, has digestive issues associated with the consumption of cow’s milk. Humans are the only animals who willingly drink another mammal’s milk (except when necessitated, like when a little kitten is orphaned…). Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying infants are lactose intolerant. Lactose is a kind of sugar found in cow’s milk, not a protein. Furthermore, an inability to digest whey protein isn’t an allergy, it’s an inability to digest whey protein. I’m not talking about a rash, I’m talking about gut wrenching pain from rotten, undigested proteins creating gas in the intestines in a little baby.

Got it? Good.

Both my mother and mother in law have reported that Captain Laser Pants and I were VERY colic-y babies. Upon inspection, I found out that both our mothers consumed dairy while nursing (my dad later told me I was also on a formula supplement, and most infant formulas, especially from 29 years ago, were cow- milk based). Whey protein intolerance is genetic. So, when our pediatrician and pediatric gastrointestinoligist (that’s a mouthful) finally discovered the culprit of my always- in- pain- never stops crying- newborn, I stopped nursing immediately (milk proteins can stay in your system for a long time, and I wasn’t able to cut it out of my diet) and switched to a pretty pricey formula (called Nutramigen). After burning through $2,000 in formula in the first year of our baby boy’s life, CLP and I knew that if we were to have a second child, the second baby would a) have a 95% chance of having the same intolerance to whey and b)I would have to quit dairy entirely before the kiddo was born.

That being said, ya’ll, I love to cook. And bake. And drink milk, and eat cheese, and donuts, and ice cream. And although I know how unhealthy cow’s milk is (cows are getting dosed with growth hormones to produce way more milk these days, and this hormone is linked to early puberty in girls as well as a higher likelihood of contracting prostate cancer in men), it just tastes so creamy and yummy. But I’m combating this deep seeded desire to consume a gallon of milk a day with other options.I’m swapping the dairy habit for things like dairy free creamer in my coffee, almond milk for cereal and baking, and coconut oil or olive oil for cooking. I can make ice cream with frozen bananas and make fudge without a smidgen of dairy (I even made raw vegan chocolate pudding and -gasp- liked it!). Some days are hard, cause I really REALLY want to bite into a Hershey’s Symphony chocolate bar, but mostly, I’m able to curb the cravings. Tonight I made chicken tortilla soup for dinner, with which we usually have sour cream and shredded cheese to accompany the bed of crumbled tortilla chips and delicious soup. I opted for chopped avocado instead, and while it wasn’t the same, it was still pretty dang good. It’s not easy, but with the exception of a candy bar, I’ve pretty much found a solution to each dairy problem. To keep up my protein intake, I’m doing an all natural egg white protein shake to replace my whey protein- great for after workouts or when I need to consume some calories and feel full. Homemade cakes don’t need cow’s milk or butter. There are dairy free creamers out there for coffee.

And, really, knowing that $2,000+ won’t be going toward formula next year, and knowing that this will be something we will avoid with our second little guy, I already feel great about going dairy free.


Pregnancy 2.0- Before to 20 weeks

Hey gang, I hope you kids had an exciting New Year’s. Team Gwinn went to bed before 9 PM. Some of our redneck neighbors shot off fireworks from 10-1, but that didn’t really stop us from getting our beauty rest.

So, in other news, I’m 22 weeks with our second boy! WOOHOO! We’re 66.6% settled on his name (cannot agree on a middle name, despite my many brilliant ideas), and talking to mini Gwinn about his baby brother still brings mostly non-interest at best and “do you want to be a big brother?” questions followed by an adamant “NO” as his response. Well… tough nugget, kiddo. Cause this is happenin’.

Anyway. Here’s some big ol’ belly progress from pre-pregnancy to 20 weeks. I’ve already gained so much weight, but have to keep reminding myself that I can lose it (and bonus, I don’t get stretch marks, so I’ve got that going for me…).

Spring 2013- about 10% body fat

Spring 2013- about 10% body fat

Side view of pre-pregnancy 2013. Spring. Ribs, people. They're in there somewhere...
Side view of pre-pregnancy 2013. Spring. Ribs, people. They’re in there somewhere…


Side view around 10 weeks. Don't I look stoked to be showing so early?

Side view around 10 weeks. Don’t I look stoked to be showing so early?

Front view around 10 weeks. Arms still rockin' some cut, but holy smokes. Gelatinous belly abounds.

Front view around 10 weeks. Arms still rockin’ some cut, but holy smokes. Gelatinous belly abounds.

14 weeks

14 weeks

18 weeks- Thanksgivin' ya'll.

18 weeks- Thanksgivin’ ya’ll.

19 weeks- gym clothes, despite their desperate attempts to stretch, no longer fit.

19 weeks- gym clothes, despite their desperate attempts to stretch, no longer fit.

20 weeks- that was the last day I wore my size 3 jeans. -sniff-

20 weeks- that was the last day I wore my size 3 jeans. -sniff-

It’s not the weight gain that blows my mind so much as the CRAZY curve of my spine. Human bodies do cray things, ya’ll.


I’m battling a cold, mini Gwinn is fighting something similar, but he’s in a way better mood than me. Nothing phases this kid! I sure hope his little bro is as easy going as he is.

Time to get some tom kha and see if red rooster sauce will clear my sinuses.

Dairy free is difficult. I’ll have to write a whole post on the subject. I can’t think of anything more difficult to cut out than sugar.




Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Pregnancy

I’m the first to admit that I’m a Sally Sad Pants for the majority of my pregnancies. It’s not just the physical aspect of major discomfort, but the mental damage a seemingly exponentially growing body can have on my psyche.

The pinched pubic bone nerve is legit now. With mini Gwinn, I used ice packs, support girdles, yoga- anything I could do to alleviate the pain, I tried. My doctor didn’t have much advice to give on the issue, and it’s not exactly like you can get a massage to help this. It’s back full swing, and taking a toll on my day to day. When I roll over in my sleep, or get out of bed, or out of a car, go up and down stairs- pretty much any movement where your legs move at all- I feel shooting pain. Good times, right? Really, if it was just the physical stuff that I was combating (you know, the growing belly, the bizarrely curving spine to accommodate the baby ‘bump’, swollen feet, etc), I could probably manage this second go around the block.

But, like I’ve written about long ago on this blog, I also have body dysmorphic disorder. It’s not a commonly known mental disorder because it’s one enveloped in shame. Those of us that have been diagnosed with it (and those that haven’t) don’t want to talk about it. It’s an obsessive mental disorder that focuses on a few flaws, perceived or real, in one’s appearance. For me, those flaws that I’m neurotic about are my face and my weight. Since I’m prone to acne, particularly while pregnant and postpartum, my skin looks like a topographical map. And my weight? Well, I’m not one of those fortunate goddesses who only gains 13 pounds while pregnant. I think my boobs weigh that much now.

Is it sacrilegious to buy a burka and niqab?

Any way. I try to keep my mouth shut about it. When polite inquirers ask how I’m feeling, I refrain from saying, “Fat.” But this little corner of the interwebs is my sound board, so I’m telling you. When someone tells me to cheer up or shut up or “just think about your baby!”, it’s like telling someone with depression to “just feel better”. Do you tell someone with a broken leg to just feel better? No? That’s because it’s a “real”, physical issue. Mental disorders aren’t perceived as “real” to many. But the fact is that BDD has been crippling in many instances in my life. I’m embarrassed to be seen in public, dreading to even go to my doctor’s office tomorrow. And the last thing I need is to be shamed for feeling ashamed. Except for maybe another pinched nerve. That’s probably the actual last thing I need.