Tuesday, November 25, 2014

From miscarraige(s) to baby bump!

Let me start by saying this post is very off topic, but I wanted to share my story with you in hopes of helping anyone out there that is or has been in my shoes.  I hope my story brings you hope if you need it as this story has a very happy outcome!!

                                          (Halloween - 19 weeks prego)

3 years and 4 miscarriages later I had slightly begun to lose hope.  I'm a happy positive person so I think I hid this well but that doesn't mean I didn't spend hours googling 'baby after miscarriage' just to find a story similar to mine that went on to have a healthy pregnancy just to lift my spirits.  I spent nights wondering why this was happening to us as everyone seemed to be getting pregnant around me.  Crossing my mind often was the thought, will I ever have kids of my own?

I have been to my fair share of doctors and fertility specialists, but my last fertility doctor ultimately gave me the best gift anyone could hope for!

Prior to meeting this amazing doctor my journey started out with 2 early miscarriages, one naturally at 6 weeks then another at 9 weeks.  We found out at 9 weeks that our babies heart had stopped beating and a d&e was scheduled.  We opted for the chromosomal testing, however the results came back inconclusive so we were stuck without answers.  Typically during pregnancy you aren't seen until approximately 8 weeks pregnant so I asked my OB if I could be followed with ultrasounds and blood work from the very beginning with my next baby.  I needed to get some answers.

I call my OB immediately after my next positive pregnancy test and was told to come in right away.  I was followed with blood work and ultrasounds and all was looking well until 8 weeks when a small subchorionic hemorrhage was noted.  My doctor said this was not unusual in the first trimester and she hoped and prayed it would go away.  Such a sweet woman my doctor was.  Soon after finding out about my blood clot I started to experience heavy bleeding on and off, which ultimately led to many ER visits for my husband and I.  At 12 weeks I was put on bed rest, but unfortunately this didn't help as I had a placental abruption at 16 weeks.  We loved this baby boy so much and I couldn't understand why this was happening to us.

My doctor recommended I see a fertility specialist and so I did.  Unfortunately this fertility doctor, as some are, was only about pushing fertility drugs and recommended I start with injectable fertility drug therapy.  I told him I didn't understand considering I was having no trouble getting pregnant and that I didn't think that was the right choice for me.  He had nothing productive to say regarding my clot stating it was an isolated event so he did not believe this would be an ongoing problem for me.  Months and months later I hadn't gotten pregnant, probably stress related, so I started the injectable drugs (ouch) and went through with IUI simply because we wanted a baby so badly.  Needless to say the expensive drugs did not work for me.

I became pregnant on my own (with the help of my hubs) ;) shortly thereafter.  I was followed with weekly ultrasounds and blood work, as you are when u are being seen by a fertility doctor.  At around 8 weeks, a clot had already formed and the heavy bleeding had begun.  I was put on bed rest and told there was nothing I could do to reverse this.  I was discharged to my OB at 10 weeks on bed rest with a massive clot... WHAT??  At 11 weeks our babies heart stopped beating.  Another d&e was scheduled and we, of course, got the chromosomal testing done again.  This time the results came back as a perfectly healthy baby girl.  My OB said the clot had pushed the placenta away from the uterine wall ultimately leading to lack of oxygen for our baby.  I knew I had a clotting problem and had to find a new doctor who was willing to help me figure this all out.  Honestly, thinking of that fertility doctor makes me want to scream, write tons of nasty letters and picket outside his office.  Ok, that's not really me but I do want him to know how unbelievably sad and angry I am that he chose to push fertility drugs on me rather than addressing the real problem which ultimately lead us to losing our healthy baby girl.  

Shortly after that we got a recommendation from a friend to try a new fertility doctor.  The first time my husband and I met with this man he gave us instant hope.  Why didn't we go here sooner?!? Before doing massive amounts of blood work and tests he put me on a daily baby aspirin because of my history.  THANK YOU!  Finally a doctor who took a look at my history and was treating me aggressively, which was just the way I wanted to be treated.  My blood work came back normal, however my doctor was not convinced and continued to treat me according to my history.  I got pregnant naturally a few months later and met with our doctor again immediately for a plan. He asked me what I thought about lovenox, an injectable blood thinner. I was a little anxious at first but when my doc told me if I was his daughter he would tell me to use the lovenox I was immediately put back at ease as I trusted him completely.  Weekly ultrasounds went by and there was no clot forming.  Still my nerves were at an all time high, but time continued on and my husband was getting better and better at his nightly injection routine.  More ultrasounds and still no clots. Thank you lovenox and aspirin.  I was discharged at 13 weeks to high risk (simply as a precaution) with high hopes.  My doctor hugged me and told me he looked forward to meeting our baby one day.  I cried the whole drive home.  Never had I been so happy and hopeful!

Well look at me now at 23 weeks!!!!!!!  I have a baby bump and I get constant reminders (kicks) that he's happily swimming away in there!  I chose to share this because there has to be more women out there like me.  Reading this may have helped me while I was going through my baby struggles and I want to help anyone that I possibly can!  Of course, I am not a doctor/expert so do not take any drugs without consulting your doctor.  I honestly didn't know if I was ever going to be able to carry a baby on my own and here I am today!!

My piece of advice to ladies going through a tough time is to find a doctor you feel comfortable with trust whole-heartedly.  Secondly, I knew deep down there was something not right with my body, this was simply not normal.  I knew I wanted to be treated aggressively and I found the doctor to do so.  Follow your intuition and don't ever give up.  And finally get tested for everything!!!!!  A full in depth blood workup, including the MTHFR gene which can affect a multitude of women.  And above all else, don't blame yourselves.  I've spent so many nights wondering if there was anything I could have done differently.  I still to this day wish I had followed my intuition earlier.  I had asked my OB years back about what she thought about a daily aspirin.  But it's not my fault and it's not your fault.  I still think about my 4 baby angels all the time and tear up to this day.

I am here to talk to anyone if you have any questions, so feel free to email me at idontgotothegym@gmail.com.  I know what it's like to wonder if you will ever have children of your own.  Positive thoughts, happy vibes and baby dust to anyone trying to have a little one!

Hope my story lifts you up if you are currently going through the struggle. My husband and I leaned on each other and became stronger and stronger as a couple.  You are my rock Steve and I'm so thankful that we are finally getting our baby.  Mommy and daddy can't wait to meet you Brody!!! ��

Love to all,
Kristen & Steve

Happy thanksgiving all!  Have a safe and wonderful holiday :)

P.S.  Now more than ever it's SO important to be eating healthy.  Recipes to come soon!  We promise XO

Monday, July 14, 2014

Green Machine Meatballs

From our skinny table to yours...

We want to first start out by saying... we missed you guys SO much!!  It's been a long time we know, but we do have an excuse!!  We both just moved into new homes and you know how that can be... moving ugh!!!!  Well, we just wanted to say sorry for the lack there of recipes but, we are SO excited to be BACK!!  Get ready because we have a bunch of yummy summer go-to's that we will be sharing with you soon and to start out here are our Green Machine Meatballs! 

So, as you know we always mix a TON of veggies in everything, but our new thing is to go half and half!  Why not?  Especially if you can't tell a difference in taste ;)  We have a few delish combos of this recipe including half blended spinach, however the recipe we're sharing today involves peas (organic, of course)...

Can we just say these balls were absolutely delicious!!!  Honestly, the hubs didn't have any idea that they were half meat and half veggies.  Not only were these amazing, but involved only 5 ingredients... Perfecto!
We started off by blending up a bag of defrosted frozen peas in the all mighty food processor with a little water to lighten it up.  We then mixed the peas with organic ground turkey, parmesan cheese, red onion, garlic, wheat panko and freshly ground pepper.  PRESTO, that's it!

We baked these to perfection and served them over spaghetti squash topped with a light blend of garlic and olive oil.  These are definitely worth trying and remember you can substitute any veggie of your choice!!  Enjoy our green machine balls all!!
Nutrition facts per serving
Serves: 8
Serving size: 3 balls
Calories: 154
Fat: 6.4 grams
Carbs: 7.7 grams
Dietary fiber: 2.5 grams
Protein: 16.9 grams
1 pound organic lean ground turkey
1 12 oz bag frozen organic peas
3 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1/2 red onion chopped
5 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup whole wheat panko
freshly ground pepper
Let's get cooking!
1.  Defrost bag of frozen peas and add to food processor.  Blend until smooth with 1/4 cup water.
2.  Mix peas with ground turkey, chopped red onion, garlic, panko, cheese and ground pepper.
3.  Form into balls (we were able to make 24)
4.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
5.  ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Apple Manchego Cheese Salad

From our skinny table to yours ...

One of our favorite skinny secrets to eating healthy is to get creative in the kitchen.  Who wants to eat healthy if it means dinner is grilled chicken & steamed veggies EVERY night?  Not us!  That's why, we never diet.  We simply choose to eat a diet full of variety with fresh & healthy ingredients.

We are always on the look out for fresh inspirations to create new recipes.  One of our favorite ways to do so is to recreate meals we order out at local restaurants.  Today's inspiration came from a simple salad we ordered at one of our favorite wine bars (Kybecca) & the best part, it's only 3 ingredients - crisp apple slices, manchego cheese and a drizzle of sweet honey.

This salad is delicious & fancy enough to entertain with but so simple, it has become our new go-to lunch.  Simply slice up fresh apple slices, top with shaved manchego cheese and finish with a touch of honey.  That's it!

Hope you enjoy this one!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 230
Fat 9.4 grams
Carbs 31.3 grams
Protein 4.4 grams
Dietary Fiber 7.1 grams

4 organic apples
4oz manchego cheese
4 tsp. organic honey

Let's Get Cooking!
1. Thinly slice apples & cheese.
2. Add 1/4 of your apples to plate & layer on 1/4 of your cheese.
3. Drizzle each plate with 1 tsp. of honey.

Makes 4 healthy servings :)