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Entries in pamhuber (14)


{Pam's Back} Welcome to the World, Lil' E!

So here's the thing.

When you're expecting a baby, everyone keeps giving you the same threats talking points ad nauseum. You can't prepare for this. It's the hardest thing you'll ever do. Your life will change.

Let me tell you one thing: They're all under-exaggerating. You really can't prepare for life with a baby, because until you bring that baby home, you have no *$#^ing idea what it means to have every moment of your day completely and utterly consumed by something completely and utterly uncontrollable.

I'm a big fan of control—I like order, I like rules, I even like laws. I may not choose to follow them, but I appreciate having them so I know when I'm (or more often someone else is) out of line. So I spent nearly 10 months reading about babies, learning about babies, and watching other parents do things I would or would never do with their babies, all in the name of preparing for how we would behave, react and interact with our own baby.

And then on February 19, it all started disintegrating. Because on that day, my due date, there was supposed to be a baby. I'm prompt. Hubby is prompt. So this baby was going to be on time. But on February 19, there was no baby. Or the day after, or the day after that.

I woke up 5 days past our due date with contractions every 15 minutes or so. In total denial, I sent the hubs off to work. By 10am, I was about 7 minutes apart and freaking the f%$& out—I absolutely was sure I no longer wanted to have a baby. It was fine just where it was. Quiet, cheap, and obviously comfortable. There was no reason to inconvenience either of us by changing the present situation any.

By noon, however, contractions were less than 5 minutes apart and hubby had come home to help convince me to get my ass in the car and to the hospital. (At this point, dear inquiring minds, contractions felt like that massively bad stomach ache you get when you desperately need to poop-that awful crampy feeling? It would wrap around from my back to my front, and then back.)

By about 3:30, the nurse began throwing around the dreaded "E" word. And because I am a stubborn, stubborn girl, I refused the epidural. I could DO this. Temporary pain meds? Sure, hit me up. Problem was, they were great for the contractions, but did nothing for the excruciating back pain I was having. And so I cried. I tearfully asked the hubby if he would judge me. If he thought my friends would judge me. And I cried some more because I was so disappointed in myself. And he's no idiot, so I'm thinking you can guess his answer here.

And so I caved. And after a surprisingly short and pleasant session with the anesthesiologist—we chatted about celebrity chefs—the pain was gone. Gone. I could finally focus on the situation. I could process what was happening, and I could do something other than focus on the Food Network logo on the TV every time the pain hit.

By 8:15pm, the doctor decided to break my water to move things along, especially since the baby's heart rate was consistently dropping with each contraction. By 9pm, I'd progressed to 6.5cm, and by around 10pm I was at 8. After that it was a bit of a blur—I was at 10cm within minutes, and the nurse was telling me to practice pushing. The doctor was paged, a team was assembled, and suddenly I was holding one leg while the husband held the other and I was being directed to push. And so I pushed. And five minutes later (seriously), my husband was grinning at me, tears streaming as he announced—quite triumphantly, and quite to both of our surprise—that it was a boy.

I later found out the cord was so tightly around E's neck they'd had to cut it in two places as soon as the head was out (so much for hubby getting to do it!), but we ended up with  a 7 lb, 5 oz, 20 inch, perfect, ridiculously good looking little man. 

I've learned a lot in the past 11 weeks (including how hard it is to find time to write), which I'm hoping will be easier to get into words now that he's a bit older and less demandin—I'm sorry, I can't even type that without completely losing it. He's no less demanding today than he was at 11 days old. He can't control his needs any more than I can....I'm just getting (a little) better at dealing with it. So I'll be around to share my thoughts, gripes, and lessons-learned...when I'm allowed, that is. Mister Man's the boss now. There's no controlling that.

~ Pam Huber of Seriously Yum


Musings of the Fat and Sober: Vol. 4

Well, I am officially in the home stretch. Thirty-five weeks down, which means this kid can safely arrive in as few as 2 weeks (and in less than 6, if it knows what's good for it.) It also means that this is my last Fat & Sober post, so I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

Here are some things I will not miss:

1. Needing two hands and the support of a wall to put on my underwear, pants, or anything else going on the lower half of my body.

2. The double bathroom trips. I'm already one with a small bladder, so I'm used to frequent potty breaks. But what is with the mandatory second trip 5 minutes later? Every. Freaking. Time.

3. Non-underwire bras. The baby hates underwire (as in, jab, jab, jab, jab all the live long day), so for the sake of my rib cage, I switched to the less supportive non-underwire route. I have a feeling this will not be the last concession I make for this child.

I felt this was an opportune time to point out that for the first time in my life, I now look down and see something other than my boobs. It's kind of exciting. And I obviously mean my belly. Ramona is always there.

4. Fetus-safe eating. I would like my first meal post birth to be spicy tuna rolls, a turkey sandwich, and a dirty gin martini. I will have a bottle of Shiraz for dessert. Whoever brings me this meal wins.

5. Posterior Pelvic Pain. It would be swell if my left ass cheek didn't hurt every time I do anything other than sit still or lie flat on my back. Speaking of…

6. Sleeping on my sides. See also: numb shoulders, ankle cramps, and sore hips.

7. The taste of Tums.

8. Flossing my teeth and spitting out enough blood to make it look like I just lost a fight to a hockey player.

9. The gas. Seriously. Like we need another excuse to be compared to blimps.

10. The (unsolicited) opinions; even the genuinely helpful ones. They just get old.

Oh, you have a name suggestion? I'll bet it's what we'll pick, then. I should have an epidural? I already decided I don't want one...Yes, I'm totally serious. I need a bassinet? But we have a crib, like, 10 feet from our bedroom. No, we're definitely not co-sleeping. We already co-sleep with the cats, and that's precisely why we know we don't want to.

Wait, seriously, mom? I shouldn't listen to rap because babies in utero don't like it? I just...I just don't have words sometimes. I know you all love us and are very well-intentioned here, but Hubby and I are in agreement on our decisions, and he's the only other one who legitimately gets a say here. Even about Jay-Z (who, obviously, will also not be consulted for baby name opinions.)

And the things I will:

1. Feeling it move inside me. Even the karate kicks when I'm trying to fall asleep. Seriously. It's amazing.

2. Not having to suck in my stomach for photos.

3. Ummm.

Let's circle back to this whole naming issue. I've decided this is definitely one part of having a baby that would be easier if I were single. (It would also be helpful if all of my favorite girl names weren't currently in the top 10 baby names this year. I refuse to have my child known as Olivia H. or Ava#4 her whole life.) After many lists, much discussion, a lot of "ew, realllly's?" and about 3 mind-changes, we've come to an agreement on a girl's name. It's a good adult name, easily shortened to make an adorable kid-friendly name, and the middle name is in honor of Hubby's maternal grandmother. Done and done.

But as we were stupidly gung-ho on not finding out the sex, we've also got to decide on a boy's name. And this is proving to be impossible. We had decided on one, much to my mother's chagrin...

Mama: Any decisions on names?

Me: I think we're going with Ezra Jack.

Mama: (Loooong, painful pause.) Can I call him Jack?

Me: Noo, but you can call him Ezra.

Mama: But...what will you call him when he's little?

Me: We were thinking...Ezra? And then my FIL convinced the hubby that we needed David as a middle name (blah, blah, family tradition). Ezra, which Hubby loves, is one thing. Ezra David, however, is another...we are not bible people. Like, at all. And now we're back at square one. At least we have a middle name?

I'm not that old, right? I mean, 19 year old moms get joint pain, too, right? Right??

As I was bitching to the hubby about how annoying it is to have to slow down and do everything old lady style, he gave me a shrug and, without even looking up from his Words with Friends game, said, "It's ok. You're not in a hurry."

...Oh. I guess...I'm not...am I? Huh. I mean, why should I be in a hurry to get out of bed at 2am? Why do I need to literally hop out of my car when I'm just going to the grocery store? Does taking the stairs two at a time really make a difference when I'm heading into work? There's one flight. And this is why this man balances me. He can state the obvious and completely floor me with his brilliance. (Plus, I'm biased and a little bit stupid right now.)

That said, my chiropractor rules. I spent almost three weeks in agony, hardly able to walk, with a shooting pain in my butt every time I took a step, twisted, sat down, or generally used my pelvic/hip joint for anything. In other words, it was constant. And the only thing nearly as annoying as the pain was the involuntary grunting. Sitting down—ooof. Turning over in bed—hrrrrughhh. Every step—mmph. Seriously, it was annoying even me.

My doctor basically told me to get over it-it was common, and while, yes, it sucks, it will go away and nothing will help it. So I tried my chiropractor, and boom. I'm walking again, which I pointed out gleefully to the hubby last night. His response? "You're a lot quieter, too!"

But pain, annoyances, sacrifices and grossness aside, I know I've had it pretty darn easy. Pregnancy is not fun, and so many of my friends and family members have had it a whole lot worse. And all of them would do it again (or already did it again.) It's 40 weeks of our lives. It's an experience I'm glad I've had. I'm sure in 4 weeks I'll be to the JUSTGETOUTGETOUTGETOUTTTTTT stage, but for now, I'm ready for this baby to come when it's ready. Even if I'm still not sure I'll ever be.

So wish me luck! The Sarahs have asked me to share my sleep-deprived, clueless good, bad, and ugly experiences as a first time mom, so you'll be hearing from me soon. Until then, thanks for all the support, comments, and for listening to me bitch the last nine months.

XOXO, Pammy


Easy to Make Food Resolutions That You Won't Break

To be perfectly honest, I don't make resolutions. I'm a stubborn Taurus and don't like being told what to do (or when to do it). But whether or not you agree, I know how many people struggle with changing their eating habits this time of year. I'm not a dietician, and I'm definitely not a fitness guru. But I have learned some things over the years about making meals easier, healthier, and more interesting, and the Sarahs asked if I'd share some pointers.

Honestly, the easiest and most effective way to eat more healthful food is to cook it yourself. That way, you control everything from the ingredients to the portion size. So go buy yourself a cute apron, wash your hands, and let's do this.

For all of you "I hate cooking"/"I'm a bad cook"/"I have no idea where to start" non-cooks: First of all, stop being afraid of the kitchen. For a lot of people, cooking is really intimidating—but it doesn't have to be, I promise. It also doesn't have to be time-consuming. I know a lot of people see cooking as a chore, but I really enjoy it. I see it as a way to get to eat exactly what I want while feeding the people I love. And take it from me—you don't have to be a world class chef to put something awesome on the table.

I think the best way to start is with a great cookbook. When I was in college, my mom bought me a chicken cookbook with 200+ recipes from different cooking styles and regions. I swear it changed my life. Go to a bookstore and browse the cooking section-flip through any that look interesting and see what you think. If you like soup, get a soup book. If you're into Italian, pick up a basic Italian one. Celebrity chef books can be great for beginners, too. Just be sure you see some recipes that sound fantastic but look doable.

Oh, and get your hands on a copy of The Joy of Cooking. It's got everything you will ever need to know in the kitchen, from what temperature you bake a potato at to the best way to cook an omelet. (Or you can always consult Google. Don't underestimate the power of the internet when it comes to cooking.)

Basically, just dive in. Start with the easy stuff, and always read the directions before you start. And remember: cooking is not an exact science. If you take a bite (always taste while you cook!!!) and you think it would be better with some pepper, add some pepper! If it's a stir fry that looks great except for those carrots you just can't stand, don't use them! Once you get more comfortable in the kitchen, you'll start realizing what flavors go well together, and which you prefer, and you can start experimenting more and following recipes less exactly.

Feeling pretty confident in the kitchen, but tend to get bored with your standard repertoire? Make an effort to try new ingredients. Take a walk through the produce department and make a list of items you've never used. Never tried sweet potatoes? Break out a cookbook or fire up Google/online cooking sites and search "sweet potato recipes." Pick a couple recipes that look good (and are very different—you may end up not liking sweet potatoes as a sweet mash, but may love them with some salt and cumin as fries) and/or have good reviews and give it a shot.

Sit down and plan some meals-variety is key. On most Mondays, I sit down during my lunch break and decide what I'm going to make for dinner that week. If I get stuck coming up with ideas, I start surfing cooking sites to see if anything strikes my fancy. Once I've got a meal or two down, I switch it up for the other nights. If it's red meat for Monday night, I search for a vegetarian recipe to try on Tuesday. Maybe something with pork on Wednesday, chicken something on Thursday, and some sort of pasta on Friday...I find when I keep it interesting, cooking stays more fun. It also keeps your family on their toes. No one likes eating spaghetti every single Tuesday night.

Keep in mind that reusing ingredients can be really helpful when meal planning. Basil, for example, is often used in Italian dishes and in Thai dishes, so you won't waste the extra if you use it on two different nights. I also really like to use one or two main ingredients within a full meal to tie it all together. If you stuff a chicken breast with herbed goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes, serve it with a salad of mixed greens, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes and balsamic. It's easy and you'll save money.

Just remember: keep it simple, and don't be afraid to try new things. You'll no doubt have some meals that go straight in the garbage, but you'll more often have some that become automatic favorites—make sure to always, always write those down.

Happy New Year!

~ Pam Huber of Seriously Yum


Guest Post: Can you really "plan" for this sort of pain?

Now that I've got both feet (and a belly) firmly in the 3rd trimester, I'm realizing I have a lot of decisions to make about the big D-day.

I've always assumed that somewhere between 38 and 42 weeks, contractions will start, my water will break, and off to the hospital we'll go. I'll be whisked away to my room, and for the next 12-20 hours, the doctors will deal with my obscenities, my darling husband will deal with a bruised hand, and I'll do my best to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing, cracking some inappropriate jokes about finally finding out who the father is in order to keep myself sane. The doctors will do their thing, I'll hate the world, and then, finally, the little one will finally break into the world and ensure we don't get any sleep for the next 18 years.

If I listen to what seems like the rest of the universe, however, I need a "birth plan." Something that outlines exactly what I want, when I want it, and pinpoints how to control every detail I've always assumed I won't have any control over.

While I see the advantage in specifying what I want for some details (I want the baby cleaned off before it's on my chest. I'm serious. No slime. It was in me. I can wait those extra 30 seconds, I promise.), I'm not completely buying the whole thing. Am I really going to care what music is playing? What happens if there are complications and the 18 page, finely crafted instruction plan I stressed over for a week has to go straight out the window?

The most important benefit to a birth plan that I see deals with pain meds. The problem, however, is that I can't decide on what I want. Natural? Totally medicated? Somewhere in between? I just don't know, and I'm not sure I can be sure without truly knowing what I'm in for.

The curious superwoman in me wants to try the all natural approach. I mean, women have been giving birth without modern pain meds for hundreds of thousands of year. The epidural wasn't even introduced to the U.S. until the 1930s. Our bodies are designed for it, and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I know I will survive pushing out a kid without an epidural, so why not?

Why not? Because it's going to hurt. And as my girlfriend and sister both like to remind me, no one's giving out awards to epidural-free moms. There's no reason to be a hero, and if it's available, I should take it. It'll make an episiotomy and stitches (ack!) easier, and I'll obviously be in less pain over all.

Then again, epidurals can make labor longer, and I'm not really going for marathon status if I can help it. You're also immobile, which makes me nervous—I think I'd like the option of walking around that giant labor and delivery suite if I'm allowed to. They can also cause other complications for both mom and baby, though most of those stem from doctor error. (Just Google it.)

So as of right now, my goal is to try it medication-free for as long as my body and I can take it. I've told my husband (and suppose I should write it down for the doc, I guess the Birth Plan idea wins) that if I want an epidural, I will ask for it. But I can only ask for it while I'm not having a contraction—I feel like that will make my decision a little more reasonable and less spur-of-the-painful-moment. And of course, if the doctor finds it medically necessary, I'm going to listen to them. They've done this a few more times than I have.

I'd love to hear from some of you that have actually been through this. Am I being naive? What were your experiences? Did you go natural and wish you'd been medicated or vice versa? And most importantly, if there is a bad-ass, pain-med-free mom award and I don't know about it, now's the time to let. me. know.

~ Pam Huber of Seriously Yum


Musings of the Fat and Sober: Vol. 3

I would like to open this edition of preggo bitching with an apology. To every pregnant woman to whom I have ever used the phrase, "Honey, you're not fat, you're pregnant!" I offer my sincere apologies. While I completely meant it when it was said, I now see your point. Because while, yes, I am pregnant, I am also fat(ter). Abdomen gain? Mostly baby. Boob gain? Toss up. But thigh gain? Ass? Arms? Fat. Fat. Faaaat.

And please don't start in with me here about how they are all interconnected. Blah, blah, blah. I'm pregnant and I'm fat. Yes, there is no escaping it, but that doesn't make it untrue. I'm still not big enough to be obvious, so I know people often assume I'm just getting pudgy. You're welcome to ignore me when I bitch that I'm fat. And you are even more welcome to tell me I look great. But only if you mean it.

This is my trick. I wear stripes because it actually makes me look pregnant, even though we all know they do nothing flattering for the figure. Hence why it's best to ignore me when I say I look fat. This is preggo logic, people.

I am so over old wives tales and half-facts. Oh, you've heard I shouldn't get massages? Can't have my hair done? Should get rid of my cats? I have one thing to say: I am the research queen, damnit, so if you've heard this "fact," I guarantee I have also heard it. If I'm doing it anyway, it means I have considered it, debunked it (or determined what about it is unsafe/should be avoided), and moved on. Also, it is none of your effing business, especially when we don't know each other. But thanks for looking out. Really. XO.

Oh, and old wives tales go the other way, too, btw. Cocoa butter, shea, etc. etc. don't help stretch marks. You get them or you don't. It's a medical, genetic-based fact. That's not to say I'm not rubbing it on every morning anyway (I'm dry, ok?), but it's still just a story. Just like me having acne doesn't make it a girl. Even though everyone other than my grocery store checker has decided that it does.

Speaking of, no, we are not finding out the sex. No, I don't care what it is. I really, honestly don't. I promise. And I find it a little disturbing that you think I should be hoping for one over the other. Talk about your kid entering the world with a 50% chance of already disappointing you. They have their whole lives to do that.

I am crazy jealous of my cats. Not only do they just get to lounge around all day, they get to be comfortable while doing it. (Especially Ramona. She's got this on lock.)

See, I am a back sleeper. When that fails, I'm a stomach sleeper. Seeing that I can't do either anymore basically means sleeping is no longer fun. Well, I can lay on my stomach, but if you've ever tried to lie on a soccer ball, you know why this isn't happening. Back sleeping is out per doc's orders. Something about the weight of my engorged uterus and cutting off circulation to myself and the baby...I wasn't really listening; I was busy catching up on sleep with my eyes open. I have more and more in common with my Greta everyday.

Seriously, she sat like this without moving for like 5 minutes. She is amazing. And now I am done with my cats for this edition.

So I'm stuck on my sides. Which I hate. My shoulders fall asleep more easily than I do, and pregnancy hip pain has commenced in full effect, so my body pillow and I (see below) spend a lot of time flipping during the night. And when I'm not super gracefully using my entire body weight to attempt to turn over in one swift action, (side note: SO glad we sprung for the King bed last year. And that he can sleep through anything.) I'm getting up to pee. Every. Two. Hours. My under-eye circles have never looked so good, let me tell you.

In awesome news, however, my knees no longer hurt. I can sit on the toilet without whimpering again! (Yay!) I can do lunges again! (Yay? And also, "again?")

What is with the blood coming out of my nose? I'm not 8, and I don't play soccer. That's who gets nosebleeds, right? I feel like every nosebleed depicted on tv is an 8 year old in cleats. And I never played, which I'm certain is why I never have had one. Anyway, blood streaming out of nose at 6:30am is strange enough. Explaining to my husband that it's perfectly normal is even stranger.

And now, a few words of advice:

Rethink the Brazilian wax. The first few preg-waxes (ew, that's a terrible word) weren't bad—no worse than usual, which I normally handle like a champ. I'd been warned that it would be more painful "during this special time," so I'd left the salon all high and mighty. Hurt?? Ha! Not me! Best pregnancy ever! And then 19 weeks hit, and oh. my. god. I was squealing wincing so much my waxer (of two years) actually giggled at me. And then told me I was crazy, confessing that she never had the guts to do it while she was pregnant. NOW she tells me...

You know that show you love that makes you cry? Stop watching it. Mine happens to be Grey's Anatomy-I'm currently trying to catch up on last season, so I've been watching several at a time on Netflix. Hubby doesn't understand why "that stupid show is even still on," which meant he was more than happy to oblige when I told him to put me on Grey's restriction. (Of course, he came home the next night to find me crying into the couch pillow again.) Seriously, though. The baby needs fluids. Sobbing inconsolably about how Mandy Moore diiiiiiiieeed just means you're tempting dehydration.

Buy the body pillow. And get a cute cover for it, while you're at it. It's going to be your best (and most intimate, it works best all tucked in between your legs) friend for months, so you may as well treat it as such. I haven't caved and sprung for an expensive one yet—I'm thinking the Snoogle—but I feel the time is fast approaching. These hips are seriously hurting.

No joke—it's enormous, and a little like having a threesome every night. (I guess?) I feel like I should name it, or at least buy it breakfast in the morning.

What about you all? Any nighttime pregnancy remedies/pillow brands, etc. you want to throw my way? My sanity thanks you in advance.

~ Pam Huber of Seriously Yum