Tag Archives: first trimester

A Manly Meal = A Night Off For Mom

Friday night was a big night! 

To my surprise, I felt up to eating….chicken. 

That’s right, people! I’m back!

Okay, so maybe not fully back. I definitely am still having food aversions, and if you asked me to eat a grilled chicken breast with a salad, I might turn you down. But smother it in refried beans and cheese, and I’ll say, “Yes, please!”

In honor of this momentous pregnancy occasion I thought I’d share a little secret with you from one mom to another. When you don’t feel up to cooking, grill and if your husband is anything like mine, he’ll take over dinner. 

There’s one meal I can pretty much convince my husband to grill anytime I ask, and that’s Alton Brown’s fajita recipe. It’s delicious, restaurant quality, and slightly manly. Of course, Alton Brown is as manly as it comes when it comes to cooking. If you’re not familiar with Alton, take an hour and watch his show on the Food Network. He makes cooking a science; literally, and appeals to a male audience when he talks about the “hardware” in the kitchen.

So, if you’re looking for a great summer meal to grill this Fourth of July, try this fajita recipe. I promise you won’t regret it! 

Marinade Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 4 scallions, washed and cut in 1/2
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or Mexican brown sugar
  • Original recipe calls for: 2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into 3 equal pieces 
  • We use: 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1) Heat charcoal, preferably natural chunk, until grey ash appears.
(or start your gas grill!) 
2) In a blender, put in oil, soy sauce, scallions, garlic, lime juice, red pepper, cumin, and sugar, and puree in a food processor. 

3) In a large heavy duty Ziplock bag, put pieces of skirt steak (or chicken) and pour in marinade.

4) Seal bag, removing as much air as possible. 

5) Allow steak to marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

6) Remove steak from bag and pat dry with paper towels. 
7) Lay steaks directly onto hot coals for 1 minute per side. If using chicken, allow for 4-5 minutes on each side depending on thickness.

8) When finished cooking, place meat in double thickness of aluminum foil, wrap, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
9) Remove meat from foil, reserving foil and juices. 
10) Slice thinly across the grain of the meat. 
11) Return to foil pouch and toss with juice. 
Serve with grilled peppers and onions, if desired.

Let me know how you like it!

10 Weeks: The Bump

Last Saturday my little kumquat turned 10 weeks and as I mentioned a few days ago, I’m already starting to show. Before I started to really lose my shape we decided to capture a bump shot. 

Currently I’m experiencing:

  • tired and exhausted 24/7
  • never ending hunger, but almost always nauseous
  • trips to the bathroom are getting more and more frequent; including the 5am wake-up calls
  • food aversions to almost everything

My Version of Thank You Notes

With the exception of a slight headache, I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I’ve got 2 1/2 weeks until the end of my first trimester, and I’m hopeful that the worst of the nausea is over! What I’ve come to realize is that it’s all about control. If I can be in control of my eating throughout the day, for the most part, I can keep the nausea at bay. I still have some bad days, but for the most part it’s not where it was 4 weeks ago. 

As I was reflecting on how much better things have been I started to wish I could thank some key players who played a role in helping me overcome the last trimester; which of course made me Google Thank You Notes by Jimmy Fallon just to get a good laugh. . .
Now I’m not a comedian, so my thank you notes aren’t funny, but I do have a few thank you’s I’d write if it were appropriate to write thank you notes to objects.

What were your favorite foods to help you through the nausea?

A Blogger Jinx

A little over a week ago, I updated everyone on how I was feeling with this pregnancy. I was actually a little excited when the “blogger jinx” happened almost immediately. You know…when you blog about something only to be proven wrong, and then you just feel silly for blogging about it. 

Almost as soon as I posted how terrible I was feeling, the next day it was like the clouds opened up and everything became bearable again. I assumed it was one of the number of different strategies I tried; changing when I took my prenatal vitamins, constantly eating crackers to fill my stomach, and resting at every opportunity. But of course, just as quickly as relief came, it went. 

Since Saturday evening, I’ve been feeling awful. Zofran is no longer working. I’m now down to eating a combination of PB & J’s, soup, toast, and (oddly) plain hamburgers. I’ve found I can also tolerate chocolate Frosty’s, so there is a little joy in my life. 

I’m hoping this nausea might be an “ebb and flow”; one week on, one week off. I think I can handle knowing there’s relief in sight. It’s the fear that the nausea will continue throughout the next 7 weeks that scares me. With my first pregnancy, my nausea really didn’t go away until week 16. I’m not sure I can handle that with a 15 month old running around. 

Week 8: Moments of Weakness

It’s Sunday night, and I feel raw and vulnerable after a long, exhausting weekend. I can promise I won’t always use my blog as a forum to whine and complain, but right now that’s just where I am. 

Over the last few weeks, my nausea has been getting progressively worse and it all seemed to have come to a climax this weekend. . .and it broke me. I’m literally running on empty as all I’ve been able to consume is PB&J’s, Lipton soup, crackers, Vitamin Water, Popsicles, and toast. I’m constantly hungry and nauseous at the same time. The only time I seem to get a moment of stomach relief is when I’m sleeping. 

After an emotional breakdown on Saturday afternoon, my sweet husband took the Little Man to my parents for a few hours to go swimming while I slept. And slept I did! Unfortunately, unlike normal colds I didn’t feel better when I woke up. I had about 10 minutes of feeling normal before the nausea hit again and I wanted to go back to sleep. 

In a desperate attempt to change my situation, I ran to Whole Foods and purchased some Ginger Chews. I’m not sure what happened, but while I was chewing I noticed my mouth was starting to burn. After about a minute, my gag reflexes kicked in and I was forced to spit it out. When I got home, I examined the bag and discovered cinnamon oil was the second ingredient.  Since then my throat feels like it’s been scrapped with sand paper and it’s been almost impossible to swallow. 

I also did something else that my OB/GYN suggested was important to do, but in an attempt to salvage any dignity I have, I’ll spare you the details. But let me just say, it only added to the discomfort. 

And this is how my day continued today. The viscous cycle never ends. 

I’m beyond afraid of what my week will look like. My poor husband will be working on finishing up a huge project in Irving and will have his annual review/promotion boards on Friday. Of all the weeks that I wish I could beg him to call in sick, it’s impossible. So, I’ll be spending 12 hours a day with a 15 month old. I have zero energy and no motivation or appetite. My poor son will probably be neglected for the second week in a row, and for that I feel nothing but guilt. When my husband and son need me the most, I’m stuck on the couch serving nachos or sandwiches for dinner. 

I’ve never realized how much I’d appreciate the openness of my blog until recently. As I’ve been struggling with questions and doubts about how I felt during my first pregnancy, it’s been interesting to go back and read through my experiences the first time around. This week I’m trying to read between the lines from Week 8. Clearly I wasn’t feeling good then, but was it as bad as I feel now? It seems like it’s MUCH worse. At the same time, having the blog can also be slightly depressing, as I know exactly when the nausea began to subside the first time. . . and I have a long, long way to go. 

The Word Is Out

That’s right! 

We’re expecting our second Little Man sometime around January 19, 2013!
(Well, I assume it’s going to be another Little Man.)

We’re basically 8 weeks along, and were able to make a visit to the doctor yesterday to see the little one in person. 

The heart beat is strong at 144 bpm. The length is 12.0mm. That clear section is the brain developing and the buds of the arms are already forming. Everything’s as good as can be expected!

We’ve been really debating back and forth on when we wanted to let this news go public, and we decided after hearing this good news, we were okay to share. I know a lot of people choose to wait well into their 2nd trimester, but I’m just not that strong of a person. I pour my heart and soul out into my blog and it’s been so difficult not to talk about. (You may have noticed I’ve been abnormally weak on posting lately.) 

At this point, we have a less than 5% chance of miscarriage, but are fully aware that anything can happen; whether it’s 8 weeks, 15 weeks, or 30 weeks. IF something does happen though, we couldn’t bare to go through it without the support of our friends and families. So, we’re choosing to share! 

And I’m about to really share! 

As this blog is a journal for my future kiddos, I’ve been blogging away about my experiences during the last 4 weeks but just haven’t made them public. So, if you see several back-dated posts go up, you’ll know why! 

Stay with me! 
It’s going to be an interesting ride! 

Let the Aversions Begin

As the days have gone on, the food aversions and nausea have begun. It’s odd how one day you can be eating a chicken soft taco or a fresh mixed green salad with no problems, then the next day those same foods repulse you. 

Zofran helps with the nausea, but it doesn’t help with the aversions. I hate feeling like everything around me is disgusting. My poor husband has been working until 6:30 or 7:00 lately while he finishes a project, and when he gets home I want him to be able to enjoy a home cooked meal. How do I prepare a meal when every idea I have makes me want to. . . blah. 

This evening I was looking for ideas when I came across this blog article from LiveStrong.com. The author has several tips for how to prepare food when you’re in the middle of morning sickness woes. 

Step 1
Take a nap before cooking. Feeling tired and fatigued while pregnant worsens your nausea symptoms, so a 30-minute nap can give you some much needed energy before preparing a meal.

Step 2
Snack on crackers throughout the day and while you’re preparing food. Crackers can help settle an upset stomach, and they keep you from feeling hungry while you’re cooking. Hunger often makes nausea more noticeable during pregnancy.

Step 3
Avoid foods that trigger your nausea. Your heightened sense of smell during pregnancy makes some of your favorite pre-pregnancy foods seem repulsive. The cause of your super smell is unknown, but it’s possible that increased estrogen production is to blame. Fish, fried foods, smoke from cooking, spices and raw meats are only a few possible triggers. 

Step 4
Suck on lemons or lemon-drop candies while cooking to reduce morning sickness. Sniffing a lemon may also reduce nausea while cooking, so keep a lemon cut up in a small dish near your cooking space. Cooking with ginger and drinking ginger ale while preparing meals also has an anti-nausea effect.

Step 5
Prepare bland foods, such as mashed potatoes, bagels, yogurt, chicken soup, plain baked potato, rice, pasta, oatmeal and toast. If you can only tolerate breakfast foods, eat those foods for all your meals in combination with your prenatal vitamins. You can eat a whole-grain bagel with peanut butter, a banana and a cup of yogurt for every meal for the next 15 weeks if that’s what you’re comfortable eating.

Step 6
Control your environment. Open windows and turn on fans to reduce smoke in the room and make the air less stuffy. Avoid using the oven during the summer if you don’t have air conditioning since a warm room increases your nausea.

Step 7
Take vitamin B-6 supplements. Always get your doctor’s approval before taking any supplements while pregnant. Vitamin B-6 is known to ease nausea for some women and is taken in doses of 10 to 25 milligrams, three times per day. Your prenatal vitamin counts as one dose.

I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I’m definitely going to start! I’m really hoping they’ll help!

How did you manage to cook in the midst of your morning sickness? 

Giving Mother’s Day a New Meaning

If you’re wondering why you’re just now seeing this post, it’s because I’ve kept my secret! If you’ll remember, the reason I started this blog was to journal my story to my future children. I have one of the biggest stories to tell, and I didn’t want to leave it out simply because we weren’t ready. 

So, until now this post has been saved in my archives and we’re obviously ready to share 
because you’re reading it. 

May 15, 2012

Tim and I are expecting Little Man #2! 
(Okay, so I’m only 4 weeks, but I already know it’s a boy. That’s just the way the Hurst family works!)

Last Saturday night, after a busy day driving home from my grandmother’s funeral, I realized I was late and didn’t have any symptoms that I’d be starting soon, so I decided to get the anxiety over with and just take a test. Deja Vu. . .and just like with the first time, the little test showed 2 little blue lines! 

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Tim and I had already had conversations about being smarter the next time we found out and not letting the excitement overwhelm us. With our first, we didn’t know the risks of chemical pregnancies and miscarriages, and thought a positive test meant just that. We were going to have a baby! As the weeks went on and I went forward with doctor’s appointments, there were several scary times before we were able to see a heartbeat. All we kept thinking is that we’d revealed to both of our parents they were about to have their first grandchild, only to possibly miscarry.

Obviously, everything turned out fine! We had a healthy pregnancy, and were so thankful everything worked out the way it was supposed to. But, now that we know what we know, we’re going to take it one step at a time with #2. 

That means, I’ve been keeping this secret for 6 days now. . . and my first doctor’s appointment isn’t until Thursday, June 7th. I’m dying…

Since the doctor wasn’t able to see us until almost my 8th week, we’re not sure how long we’re going to hold onto this little secret, but we definitely want to feel more secure in the pregnancy before spilling the beans. We’ve also had some close family members reveal they’re expecting, and we don’t want to take away from their first-time joys. We’ve had our time, and it’s time for them to have theirs. 

I feel like I’m having to avoid people because all I want to do is shout our news to them! In my head, I keep hearing is this little voice saying over and over “I have a secret you’re going to love!” I actually have had to become a little hermit with some of my friends as I’ve been invited to several Happy Hours and Cocktail Parties. For my personality, turning down a glass of wine would be a huge red flag, so I’ve just been avoiding going. 



One Tired (Pregnant) Mama

May 21, 2012:

I hit 5 weeks on Saturday, and I’m exhausted. I feel like a terrible mom because all I want to do is sit on the couch and stare at the TV. With the Little Man being sick today, it’s taking every ounce of my energy to keep him happy. I was a little nervous how I’d feel taking care of a 22 month old being 8-9 months pregnant, but what I didn’t think about is how I’d manage during the first trimester with the nausea, keen sense of smell, and fatigue. 

Fortunately the nausea hasn’t kicked in yet. . .but my sense of smell. . . oh man. I’m smelling everything! Just like my first pregnancy, cinnamon was the first thing that overwhelmed me, and it’s been eliminated from my diet. (It’s odd how something I love can instantly become an aversion.)

Today, I noticed the smell of deli meat reminded me of a dirty diaper. I’m smelling every smell to have ever entered our carpet. Even laying on my couch, I feel like I can smell feet. I don’t remember it being this bad last time! 

Why can’t my super smell work on something I enjoy like flowers or fresh air? 

The Power of Ginger

I’ve been watching a friend go through the joys of the first trimester of pregnancy. All those wonderful experiences like worrying, anxiety, nausea, and sickness. Don’t you miss that? 

Although it seems like yesterday when I discovered I was pregnant, all of the memories that came along with the first trimester have slowly faded. It wasn’t until she’d brought up ginger that I even remembered the herb was supposed to help with nausea. I guess I’m not experienced enough with the whole pregnancy-thing to remember those types of details. After our conversation, I decided to do a little research on Ginger just out of curiosity. I was pretty surprised what I found! 

Most moms are familiar with the different types of Ginger pops (Queasy Pops, Preggie Pops, and Gin Gins.) Yes, those are real products! But I wondered if there wasn’t a better way to get a dose of ginger without sucking on it. So last night, I turned to the internet and found some awesome recipes I’m going to recommend to my pregnant friend.

Now I haven’t tried any of these yet, but with recipes from sites like Better Homes & Gardens and Martha Stewart.com, I’m sure they must be good! 
Ginger-Lime Soda / Ginger Cookies / Ginger Peach Galettes / Carrot Ginger Soup
Do you have any great ginger recipes to share? 
What ways did you battle the nausea