Saturday, March 31, 2012

6am

It's quiet at 6am. There usually isn't much activity going on at this time; at least not before. The days of being fast asleep at 6am are long gone for me, for awhile anyways.

Now I can look forward to feeding Mason at that time. Or whatever other pre-sunrise time he would like. Maybe multiple feedings from midnight to morning. Who knows what having him as our baby will bring ... It's only day 3.



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Thursday, March 29, 2012

First hospital night

So I was admitted into the hospital last night around 7:30. The plan was to begin inducing me with the pitocin IV. After a bunch of wires and monitors were attached to me, I was finally ready. Staying in hospitals are never fun. The accommodations are not very comfortable for the patient or for any guest. The nurse gave me some sleeping pills to help ease me to sleep. Unfortunately they did not succeed and I tossed and turned for hours. So did Ryan on his terrible looking cot.

At this point it's 6:30 in the morning and I'm ready to start my day. I'm starving and can only have clear liquids so I'm pretty much an angry bear. I just sent Ryan out to eat something on his own. There is obviously no reason for both of us to starve. I'm pretty sure clear broth and jello will not subdue me.

The contractions have been going all night ... Fortnuately not unbearably strong (yet).

My doctor just walked in and I swear I thought he was Santa Claus. After seeing him for so many visits at the doctors office I knew him being here would help ease my nerves. He just broke my water and said I was 3-4 centimeters dilated. A little disappointing since I was hoping I had progressed a lot more throughout the night, but what can I do?

The talk around here is that things should hopefully start moving along ... Which will mean stronger contractions. To epidural or to not? We shall see.

Monday, March 26, 2012

40 weeks

Baby C's due date came and went yesterday.  I am now technically overdue and am feeling even more anxious and impatient than I thought possible.

Today's doctor's appointment at least brought the same results as the ones in the past ... good blood pressure, good urine sample, good Baby C heartbeat, and 0 weight gain from the previous week.  The doctor then brought me from being about 1 centimeter dilated to 2-3 centimeters by "stripping my membranes."  Trust me it feels as unpleasant as it sounds.

From WebMD:

Before the doctor will induce labor, she will check your cervix and the baby's position to find out whether you are far enough along for induction will work.
Doctors use medications and other methods to efface and dilate the cervix artificially so that the baby can be born. Labor induction techniques include: 
  • Stripping the membranes. The doctor will insert a gloved finger into your vagina and move it back and forth to separate the membrane that connects the amniotic sac to the wall of the uterus. This is called "stripping the membranes," and it causes the body to release hormones called prostaglandins, which ripen the cervix and may lead to contractions. You may feel some cramping and have some spotting after this procedure. Usually this method of inducing labor is done in your doctor's office, and you'll be sent home to wait until contractions begin.
The next plan is to check into the hospital on Wednesday night for some Pitocin to help move along labor with hopes of having the baby on Thursday.  Also from WebMD:

Triggering contractions. The drug Pitocin can bring on contractions to induce or move your labor along. Pitocin is an artificial form of the hormone oxytocin, which triggers and strengthens contractions. It's delivered through an intravenous (IV) tube in your arm. Your doctor will start with a small dose and will gradually increase it until your contractions are strong and frequent enough for the baby to be born.






So here I am ... on my first day off from work ... sitting on the couch catching up on all of my favorite CW television showsWishing, hoping, praying that Baby C will come soon.  I've already taken my long walk today and will now drink a cup of that wonderful raspberry leaf "labor inducing" tea.  Hopefully both will help Baby C along.

 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Alexander Michael's Burger Review

When Ryan and I lived in uptown Charlotte we would walk over to Alexander Michael's all of the time.  It was THE neighborhood pub/restaurant and was only a few short blocks from our apartment.  All of the times that I had been there I never ordered their burger.  Correction, I ordered their veggie burger once and was very disappointed but have since noticed they have updated their veggie burger and now make it in house instead of from a frozen patty.  

From their website:

Welcome!

Since 1983 your neighborhood tavern . . . . . No matter where you live!

A locally owned and operated American Tavern in Charlotte's Historic 4th Ward serving fresh unpretentious food that is prepared well with fresh, quality ingredients. We offer a wide selection of craft, imported, and domestic beers as well as a full bar and a modest wine selection.
Please come when you can.


Anyways last night Ryan and I met some friends over at Al Mike's (what the locals call it) and I decided to finally order the burger.  For $8 you get a half pound burger with 2 toppings ... I chose American cheese and bacon, and a side ... I picked a salad with cucumber dill dressing.

The burger was good.  I would've preferred the meat to be more seasoned but if you're looking for a meaty tasting meal this is it.  The bun was a little bigger and heartier than I would've liked ... I ended up eating the 2nd half of my burger without the bread.  It's definitely a good value in a world of burger boutiques that charge up to $10 or more for what should be a simple meal.

Everyone should visit Al Mike's if they are ever in the Charlotte area.  It's such a laid back neighborhood restaurant where if you go enough times, they really do know your name!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

5 day late birthday recap

Since I love extending my birthday so much I figured my birthday recap could come many days after my actual birthday.

Not true ... I've been meaning to write this post for a few days now and just haven't had the time to sit and do it.  I've been so busy at work (and counting down until the last day of work) that I haven't had the chance to pull up my site and blog during office hours.  The nerve of this place!

Anyways ... my 30th birthday couldn't have been better.  It was filled with lots of well wishes from my wonderful friends and family.  Saturday was a packed day of brunch, outside patio sitting, and even a fancy dinner.

cards and flowers from friends and family

Virgin Bloody Mary

Zada Janer 28205 basic breakfast
Suzy, me, Lori

Ryan and me

my bestie Alex and me

me in all of my pregnant polka dot glory
A group of us went to one of my favorite spots to eat, Zada Jane's, for brunch on Saturday morning.  It's conveniently located a few blocks from our house.   I ordered my usual, the Zada Janer 28205 basic breakfast:
The Zada Janer 28205 Basic Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . 
two Free Range happy eggs any style with choice of one protein,and one carb, plus toast or TLC biscuit


Afterwards we went to Philosopher's Stone to sit out on their patio and enjoy the sunshine.  Of course Alex, Lori, and Ryan enjoyed some beers as well.  I sipped on an iced tea and was pretty happy myself.
Honey was all ready to celebrate St. Patrick's day.  She hated wearing her bandanna but wore it in honor of my birthday.  Thanks Honey!

For dinner Ryan took me to the Fig Tree, a pretty fancy restaurant located a couple of miles from our home.  From the website:
Welcome to The Fig Tree Restaurant at the Lucas House…
where you can experience Seasonal  Cuisine with French and Italian influences in one of Charlotte’s Registered Historic Landmark homes in the charming Elizabeth neighborhood

I didn't take any photos of my food since they said no cell phones allowed but I did enjoy a delicious meal.  I snuck my phone out during dessert to at least have one photo of the experience.
Dessert was an amazing cinnamon/apple bread pudding with a bourbon caramel sauce.

It was truly a wonderful birthday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Osso - birthday dinner number 1

This year I was very fortunate to celebrate my birthday on 2 days.  On Friday night a group of my girl friends and I headed to Osso for some dinner.  The restaurant was chosen due to the fact that we had heard the Bachelorette (Emily Maynard) would be filming an episode there.  I'm sure you all know how little (actually zippo) reality television I watch.  

For my starter I selected 2 types of cheese (tallegio and Gorgonzola) for a cheese plate.  I had to request additional toasted bread since I was only served 2 pieces and there was quite a bit of cheese.
For my meal I had the ricotta gnocchi (small portion).  The gnocchi was delicious and the sauce wasn't bad either.
Nichole, Danielle, me
After dinner we waited outside for the Bachelorette's arrival. 
Katie, Nicole, Danielle, Patty, me, Liz, and Shannon
After waiting outside the restaurant for almost an hour the Bachelorette and her date showed up.  We all tried to take pictures of her walking down the red carpet but failed miserably.  I guess iPhone's aren't that fast with the clicking and picture taking.

Picture was from the US Weekly article:

PIC: See Bachelorette Emily Maynard On Her First One-On-One Date!

Emily looked beautiful and her date wasn't bad looking either.  We're going to try to stalk some more of her dates around Charlotte :)  I may even watch this episode when it airs. 

39 weeks

5 days ... there are 5 days left until Baby C's due date.  Yesterday's weekly doctor's appointment wasn't very encouraging.  The usual checks were fine (weight, urine, blood pressure, baby's heartbeat).  I was really hoping that the doctor would check me and see that I had starting dilating.  Sadly I was wrong and had no progress.  The doctor did say that the baby was at least headed in the right direction and was very low.  I wasn't thrilled when I had to make the next weekly appointment for Monday 3/26 ... 1 day after my due date.  
I wish I could be more patient, I really do.  Let's focus on the positives ... Baby C and I are healthy.
Celebrating my birthday this past weekend definitely had an impact on my weight ... and the whole not working out anymore (other than some walking) because I gained 2.4 pounds since last week's visit.
I'm not sleeping well, my feet are swelling up like balloons, and I'm just uncomfortable all the time. 
It is now very warm in Charlotte and I don't really have anything to wear.  I'm huge; every time I don't think I can get bigger I definitely surprise myself and grow. 

I started drinking red raspberry leaf tea in hopes of inducing labor.  It's caffeine free and all natural and so far has had little effect on me.  Shocker.  But maybe it's all in my head ... maybe drinking the tea will let me relax and think that I'm actually contributing to having this baby sooner rather than later.

Fingers crossed that Baby C decides to come soon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

outdoor lunch

Today I took full advantage of the fact that it is GORGEOUS in Charlotte to have lunch outside.  It is currently sunny and 73 degrees and everyone was enjoying their lunch outdoors in Uptown.  

I went by Dean & Deluca and grabbed a Cobb salad to go.  Their small salad is a bit costly at $8.50 but after seeing the size of it (and not being able to finish the whole thing) I think I understand their cost point.  Plus they use higher quality products than most salad places.  Or so I'd like to think.  
I sat outside at a table and enjoyed my meal while taking in the sun.  I think I got a little too much sun ... only on my left side of course, where I now have a lovely sunburn.  Other than catching up on some blog reading I also enjoyed all of the lovely spring time flowers blooming in our city.  This is probably my favorite time of the year, especially since moving to Charlotte from Orlando.

Mr. K's burger review and Beer Mile

Yesterday was a fun filled evening for the Chalmers.  I tagged along with Ryan while he participated in the 5th annual Charlotte Runners Irish Beer Mile.  Each runner was responsible for drinking 4 "12 ounce" cans of beer and running 1 full mile.  
There were about 60-70 participants, mostly males, who were ready to chug beers and race.
Participants had to chug 1 beer at the start of the race, then run 1/4 mile to the next station where they would chug the next beer, run the next 1/4 mile, drink another beer, run another 1/4 mile, chug the last beer, then sprint 1/4 mile back to the finish area.
Most of my pictures were blurry of Ryan ... he was just too fast :)  The winner of the beer mile completed the race in 6:41 minutes.  Not only is that a really fast mile time but an impressive time for chugging 4 beers.  Ryan's time was around 10 minutes.  

Once the racers were done we walked back over to Philsopher's Stone (where we had parked).  It had started raining at this time so Ryan and I jogged back for part of the 1 mile walk.  I have no idea how long we kept it up but that might have been my last jog before Baby C's arrival.  

Our next stop after the run was to get dinner.  I had wanted to try a burger from Mr. K's Soft Ice Cream Shop for awhile and figured last night was the perfect opportunity. 

"During an age of turbulence and activism called both “The Summer of Love” and “The Long, Hot Summer”, Mr. K’s Soft Ice Cream opened it’s doors for the first time in Charlotte, NC on August 13, 1967. The San Francisco based hippie counterculture was converging globally for peace, thousands of American solders were halfway around the world fighting for democracy, and Mr. K was serving up the finest Burgers, Hot Dogs, and Milkshakes in the south." (from their history tab)

I ordered the 1/3 pound burger with cheese and added pickles, onions, ketchup, and mustard.  On the side I had the onion rings.  Ryan ordered their special, the Tex Mex burger with a side of french fries.  There were only 2 people ahead of us in line when we got there at 8pm.  The service was slooooooow, but very friendly.  Once the food came out I practically ate it in 3 bites and asked Ryan why I didn't order the 1/2 pound sized burger.  

The burger itself tasted good ... reminded me of grilling out on a summer's day OR a burger from Burger King (flame broiled goodness).  The sides were slightly disappointing; they weren't terrible but I wouldn't rave about how delicious the onion rings or fries were.

All in all I would probably go back for another burger someday, but wasn't super impressed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

38 weeks

I'm still pregnant!  With less than 2 weeks to go until my due date (March 25) I don't think I could be anymore anxious for the big delivery.

Yesterday's doctor's appointment did not offer many answers in the form of "when will the baby come." They did the usual checks of my weight, urine, and blood pressure, and of course my favorite part, listening to Baby C's heart beat.

Since last week I've gained 1.2 pounds, bringing my total weight gain to approximately 31 pounds.  My blood pressure and urine were both normal and Baby C's heart beat was nice and strong.  The nurse also said that the doctor would check me out next Monday to see if I had dilated at all.  

Baby C is getting close to 7 pounds right now, with a length of 20 inches.  I'm honestly not sure how much bigger I can handle getting.  Right now I feel HUGE!
As you can see I have taken an even more relaxed look for the office.  Leggings, long t-shirt, and now that it's hotter in Charlotte, a pair of flip flops for my ever swollen feet.  Oh and the classic no make up and messy hair look.  I am so lovely these days :)
Countdown to the big 30th birthday is 4 days.  I have birthday dinner plans on Friday night with some friends and the usual St. Patrick Day festivities on Saturday ... and by usual I don't mean drinking Irish car bombs or green beer; just some brunch with the crew and fancy dinner with Ryan.  It's hard to make any more plans in general for the next 2 weeks since there is no way of knowing when Baby C will decide to come out.
I've had a few minor breakdowns in the past week ... nothing too crazy and definitely not anything serious enough that a talk from Ryan and/or some Oreo's couldn't fix.  I'm such a planner and control freak and it's killing me that I have zero control over Baby C's arrival.  

I should probably relax and concentrate on the fact that it's been a healthy pregnancy so far for me and Baby C.  No reason to get all stressed out :)

Oh and the jogging is now over.  I don't think I'll get another mile in before Baby C is born.  I'll try to stick to walking every day and hopefully some weights at the gym.  Other than that I'm pretty content with sitting on the couch when I have free time (which isn't much aside from the weekends).

Monday, March 12, 2012

the Wine Shop at Foxcroft - Burger Review

On Friday I twisted Ryan's arm into letting us have cheeseburgers for dinner.  He puts up quite the fight, really (not at all).  I was a little disappointed that I did not run any miles prior to this meal, but Ryan ran 3.5 miles so at least someone ran for a cheeseburger.

I had read about an amazing burger at the Wine Shop at Foxcroft that I really wanted to try.  We set off for the intimate wine bar and were slightly surprised to see how crowded it was around 6:30pm.  We found 2 seats at the bar which instantly made me feel bad for the bartender since I was taking up prime real estate and not even ordering a drink.  Luckily Ryan pulled through and ordered a couple of beers throughout our stay.

I did however make it a point to order as much food as possible ... you know to help out our bartender.  We started off our meal with an appetizer of shrimp beignets (unpictured).  They were deep fried and delicious ... reminded us of hush puppies.

We both ordered the only burger on the menu and a side of french fries:
Steak Burger
Pea Shoots, Roma Tomato, Red Onion, Aioli.  $10

I added cheddar cheese to the burger and took the slice of tomato off prior to eating.  Other than that I kept it just as it was listed on the menu.  The bun is a house made onion roll that was quite good.  Unfortunately the steak burger lacked the flavor I was hoping for.  It was actually pretty bland and left Ryan and I wondering how someone could've raved so highly about this burger.  It was good, definitely tasty, but not the best burger I've ever had.  

The atmosphere of the wine bar was kind of fancy but still laid back.  Hard to describe but the clientele was definitely upper class.  

The wine shop is a place I would love to revisit for their house made pasta dishes but would probably skip on ordering another burger from there.   

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Morning treat

I was feeling pretty sick this morning (nauseous) and couldn't understand why morning sickness was back after the first trimester.

The one thing that I thought of to satisfy that icky feeling was an iced coffee from Starbucks.



Non fat tall caramel macchiato. Are those considered usual pregnancy cravings? Probably not. But at least I'm feeling a bit better now.


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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Take a seat

After walking to the YMCA during my lunch break my first reaction was to sit down. It's getting harder and more taxing lately to get around. So I headed over to the seated bicycle area and started peddling ... At least this was one way of exercising while sitting down!




After I was done with the bike I jumped on the treadmill for a little jogging and walking.




I jogged a total of 7:30 minutes and walked the other 7:30 minutes.

I finished up my lunch work out with some shoulder exercises. I did 2 sets of 15 reps with a pair of 5 pound weights of the following:
- overhead press
- front raises
- side lateral raises

I'm beat! Not sure how many more work outs I'll complete before Baby C's arrival.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2 pregnancy must haves

Tonight Ryan once again convinced me to "take it easy" and forget about cooking dinner. Instead he suggested taco Tuesday at Loco Lime where tacos are only $1 a piece.

Once we devoured our share of tacos we headed to Target for some necessities.



Oreos and Tums ... Two must haves for pregnant chicks. I've been having some killer heartburn lately and figured (and hoped) Tums will help. The Oreos, well, the Oreos are just cause I currently have a mouth full of sweet teeth.

I still managed to do 25 minutes of cardio today. 10 minutes on the elliptical and 15 on the treadmill. I jogged a total of 1.25 miles in those 15 minutes. I considered doing some weights as well but the run really left me tired and a little sore.



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37 weeks

I am now considered full term!  This baby can technically come out to play at any time and be considered ready to go.  From Baby Center, "If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. He weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard)."

I'm  coming to the realization that just because I'm ready for Baby C's arrival, doesn't necessarily mean that he's ready.  These are the times that I wish I had more (any) patience.  
Another doctor's visit yesterday meant another blood pressure check, listening to baby's heartbeat, and getting weighed.  On a positive note I did not gain any weight this week, but instead lost 0.4 pounds.  Hey every little bit counts!  Doctor said everything looks great and that baby is even dropping a bit which will hopefully mean he'll be ready soon.
I was feeling extra emotional yesterday evening and kept saying how unmotivated I was.  Not sure what I needed motivation for ... probably cause I didn't feel like cooking anything for dinner and skipped working out.  Ryan has been super supportive and keeps reminding me that I'm 37 weeks pregnant and that motivation has been thrown out the window for some time now. 

This past week included 4 days of walking/jogging and even some work with weights.  I'm curious when my last mile will be jogged. 
While catching up with Julie last night I vented how none of my clothes are fitting ... even the few maternity pieces I picked up.  Today I'm rocking one of Ryan's long sleeve shirts.  It's super comfortable and pretty loose fitting.  It's a nice change from all of the super tight clothing I've been trying to squeeze into.  

I think I would adjust better to running out of clothes that fit if it would warm up around here ... this morning Charlotte experienced a nice 25 degree morning.  

Just found out that a friend from my sorority who was due around the same time as Baby Chalmers with a baby girl is now at the hospital getting ready to deliver.  I'm a little jealous that she gets to meet "Maddy" and I'm still waiting on Baby C.

As long as Baby C is healthy and happy then I guess it's worth the wait :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quick saturday jog

After watching a couple of episodes of The Wire, I convinced Ryan to get off the couch and do a slow pregnant jog with me.  We headed outside and ran to the local grocery store and back (closest ATM) and completed a total of 1.31 miles in 13:15 minutes.

36 weeks, 6 days
17 weeks

I wore the same green running shirt from my 17 week pictures.  What a difference almost 20 weeks make.  Not sure how many more slow miles I'll be able to jog before Baby C arrives, but I'm going to keep trying.  Crazy to think that tomorrow I'll be considered full term at 37 weeks. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sammy's Restaurant

This morning Ryan and I had our usual Friday date over breakfast.  Instead of the usual Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, we headed to a local joint called Sammy's, located just a few blocks from our house on Pecan Ave.

The rainy start to the day didn't stop us from getting some greasy breakfast food from a dive-type of establishment.

The food is cheap and the clientele always makes me laugh at Sammy's.  Just a crowd of older men enjoying their meals solo while reading the morning paper.  Or a couple of construction workers ready to start their day at the site.  And then there was Ryan and I ... just sitting at a center table scarfing down our food so I could make it to work by 8am.

We both ordered the Breakfast Special (we're clever like that) ... $3.99 for 2 eggs, bacon (or sausage), hash browns (or grits), and a biscuit (or toast).

They serve everything on disposable plates with plastic forks and knives for fast and easy clean up (although the environmentalist in me frowns upon this).  The food was good and the service was super friendly.  This is definitely a place that we'll go back to from time to time when our fridge is empty and we're looking for a fast, inexpensive meal.

Not a bad way to start off the day.  Now if only I didn't have to be at work any longer ... my only salvation would be if my water broke while at my desk.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

15 minute workout

When I got home from work we took Honey on a walk around the block (around 0.35 miles) then I decided to try out one of my work out DVDs from the library.



The work outs are split up into trimesters then each trimester by month. I did the 9 month work out which only last 15 minutes.

From the DVD, "custom designed by Gabrielle Reece and personal trainer Mike Monroe, and approved by a leading OBGyn, the Complete Fit & Healthy Pregnancy Workout effectively and safely conditions your growing body throughout your pregnancy by focusing on strengthening and stretching moves, and helps you regain your form after your baby is born. With 12 15-minute workouts, three for each trimester and three for that critical postnatal slim down period, finding time to workout is easy. Stay fit, healthy and feel great throughout your pregnancy, and lose those unwanted pounds with ease afterwards."

My thoughts ... Not a bad whole body workout for being 36 weeks pregnant. I didn't have an ab ball so I had to adjust some of the moves. I also used a pair of 5 pound weights instead of a stretchy band like she had for a few of the moves. Other than that it was good to work out my shoulders and legs through a combination of squats and shoulder raises. I also liked doing the girl push ups. All moves were done in sets of 8 reps.

Glad I tried something different to exercise with and didn't just opt for sitting on the couch like I am now. Every little bit helps!



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79 degrees

Happy March to the city of Charlotte. Today the high was 79 degrees and it was a perfectly sunny day. There was even a slight breeze to help cool things down.

Unfortunately the only glimpse of this amazing weather was when I took a short 1.25 mile power walk during lunch.

During my brief break I grabbed a vegetarian sandwich from Jimmy John's and dropped off my mom's birthday card at the post office.



Before I knew it my walk was over and I was back at work. Hopefully I can continue my walk after work and add some more mileage. It's definitely become harder to walk at a fast pace which makes me think my jogging days might be over.


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March 1

Every year the month of March is usually a big deal for me.  My birthday is on St. Patrick's day (March 17) and I looooooooove celebrating my birthday.  This year March is a little different.  Not only do I get to celebrate my birthday (the big 30) but I also get to hopefully celebrate the birth of Baby C.  I say hopefully not in a morbid way ... I say it because there is a good chance the little bugger could be late and not come until April :)  Fingers crossed he sticks to his due date on March 25th or any time before that!


I've been thinking a lot about becoming a mother and being responsible for a little person (please don't take offense to this Honey, you're only a dog and quite the handful).  He's going to look up to me to protect and take care of him.  It's actually a lot of pressure to deal with.

Once Baby C is here my whole life will change ... but these are changes that I'm looking forward to and am ready for.  Lately I've noticed how good of a team Ryan and I really are.  We'll definitely need to stick together to make this whole "having a baby" thing work out.  

Happy March everyone.  I hope everyone is as excited about today as I am.