Thursday, July 25, 2013

Have Some Kale With That....

Disclaimer: Back when I was agonizing about whether to switch from OB care to the midwife model I explained how there are two sides to me. There is the hippie, granola girl who was raised by my liberal parents. And then there is the side of me who seeks rationality, research and, as B puts it, "proceduralism." Those two sides have clashed when it comes to my prenatal care. But, when I realized the OB care model encompassed 6-7 minutes of clinical care and the midwife model focuses on holistic, supportive care, the scales tipped. In this post, however, I am afraid to say that the skeptic in me wins out.

We had our most recent midwife appointment yesterday. We arrived a bit early, I peed on the stick to test my protein (at this clinic, you test your own protein...feels like a bit too much responsibility to me), and then we sat down to wait. A few minutes later, a Mommy and Me class finished up and a horde of women flooded into the clinic. B dubbed them the "backwards-backpack-baby-wearing-mafia." I tried to explain to him that they are called "baby carriers," but he was stuck on the "backwards-backpack-baby-wearing-mafia." To his credit, when a woman walked in wearing a Maya Wrap, he said "Oooh, those are cool, let's get one of those."

I instantly stereotyped the women and fit them into cliche categories in my mind. I think it was in reaction to the fact that I instantly felt so "out of the club." Not only did I not have a backwards-baby-backpack (or the baby to go in it), but I felt too uptight, not cool enough, and too out of touch with my "mommyhood."

Overheard conversations from the Mommy Mafia:

Mom 1: "What have you been up to lately?"
Mom 2: "Oh you know, just Being A Mom. I've had such good energy lately..."

Mom 3: How have you been feeling?
Mom 4 (pregnant and holding a two-year-old): Oh, so much better since I hit the 2nd trimester!
Mom 3: It's too bad, I was wanting to start your pilates class again...
Mom 4: Oh no, I'm totally still teaching the class. With my last baby, I taught right up until delivery!!"

Receptionist to Mom who was buying Acai-berry-granola clusters: "Oh my god aren't these SOOO addicting??"

Then the midwife wandered out of the mafia crowd. She is a midwife we haven't met before, newly licensed, and I tried not to extend my judgement to her based on her newness. From the start, I didn't click with her as well as the last midwife. She was just a bit more stilted. But still very calm and steady and nice. We discussed braxton hicks contractions (yes, I'm having those), signs of pre-term labor (nope, not having those), and maternity leave (ugh, that is an entirely different post). Oh, we also discussed movement. Is this stressful to anyone else? I sometimes don't feel him as much and then I get a bit nervous. I asked if this could be due to my anterior placenta. I feel like some days he hangs out back behind it and then I don't notice him as much and then other days he lays crosswise and he is unavoidable (for example, he loves to kick my right elbow when it rests on my stomach during therapy sessions. it's a fun little secret conversation that my clients don't know is happening). But this is where I felt like her "newly licensed status" maybe didn't serve me as well. Instead of saying "oh it's fine! that's totally normal!", I feel like I got a more textbook response about drinking sugary juice to get him moving, calling if concerned, etc, etc. Oh well.

THEN we covered my favorite topic - diet. If you remember from my last midwife appointment, the midwife got on my case a bit for how much pasta I've been eating. And I.....well, I got a bit defensive. Ha. Everytime you go in they ask you what you had to eat that day. Unfortunately, yesterday I failed miserably in eating healthy. I had a breve hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant for breakfast, canned Progresso soup for lunch, and snacked on grapes, tomatoes, popcorn and a peach. Not terrible, but not great. The midwife practically cringed in horror. So I immediately started trying to explain what I eat on a normal basis and even B jumped in to say, "Yes really, she normally eats much healthier..." But she just "Hmmmed" a lot at us and looked concerned. Then she came out with her profound recommendation to change my life - "You should start having a smoothie for breakfast every morning. When I was pregnant, I would combine some yogurt, fruit, protein powder, and almond or coconut milk to make a great smoothie. Oh, and you should definitely throw some Kale in. Kale is wonderful. It will really help you so much. "

Ok, guys, let me tell you how I feel about Kale. It's fine. It's a leafy green vegetable, halfway between spinach and broccoli that I am totally fine with eating. But, unlike most LA residents, I don't think Kale will cure all health problems and bring me inner peace. I swallowed my annoyance about the Kale and suggested that I'm not really a "breakfast person." (Funnily enough, Amanda at Poppies and Ice Cream asked me to write a post about breakfast. You can read more about how my relationship with breakfast is tentative at best.) She frowned at me and rambled on a bit more about how easy it is to make a smoothie and how Kale will rearrange my inner chakras or something and then I just couldn't help myself and so I asked, "But my typical breakfast is greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola mixed in. Is that really so different than a smoothie?" Apparently, it is.

Then, we got to my favorite part of the appointment. Where we play with my belly and listen to the heartbeat. But, even that was a bit disappointing. First of all, she didn't feel around as much and didn't tell me how he was laying in my uterus (pout). Then, she thought it would be cool to listen to the heartbeat with the fetal stethoscope instead of the doppler. Which means only one person can listen at a time. She listened, checked the heart rate, then B listened, then I listened. But I couldn't hear a thing! By the time it had gotten to me, it must not have been in the right spot, so I heard nothing. I said, "I hear nothing." She smiled patiently and did nothing. The stethoscope was really hurting my ears, so I just said, "Oh ok....there it is." Blatant lie. HA. Anyhow, the best part of the exam was that as she was measuring my uterus, he kicked her really hard in the hand. Cute baby :)

The take home story is the appointment was fine. I am healthy (except apparently low blood pressure?), baby is healthy, my uterus was measuring exactly 26 inches at 26 weeks (nature is crazy!), and all is good in pregnancy-land. I think that I just realized that the skeptic in me doesn't let me blindly gulp down the koolaid as some of the better kale-eating, baby-wearing converts out there. Sometimes I just have to call bullshit.

31 comments:

  1. I'm annoyed with the whole kale thing too... especially kale chips! like please... if I am going to eat chips, they are definitely going to be potato or tortilla!

    So cute that he kicked her hand!

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    1. I know...it's just...the wrong consistency!

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  2. Ha, it sounds like you've got a smile-and-nod situation on your hands! I'm glad my midwives are part of a hospital and aren't quite as hippy-dippy as they could be.

    I'm a little sad about kale right now, because I usually love it and have a garden FULL of it, but I just can't stomach much of it right now. I tried it in a smoothie the other day (since I'm a fan of spinach in smoothies), and that was a disappointment. It's pretty good for you, but that midwife would have lost me at chakras. (Possibly before.)

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    2. Oh sorry...hard to communicate sarcasm in blogs. She didn't actually say anything about chakras, that's just me making fun! But everything else actually happened...

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  3. Ugh...kale. What is the obsession!?! I tried kale chips once. So gross. I don't mind it mixed in a salad but definitely not the kind if chips I want!

    And didn't you know that when you put the yogurt as berries in a blender it quadruples their nutritional value??

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    1. I also don't mind it in salads, or sauteed, on pizza...I just don't think it's the only-best thing to ever happen to the world.

      And I'm glad I found out about the added nutritional value of blended dairy and fruit!!

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  4. I nominated you for a Liebster blog award! I love your blog!!

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  5. Oh wow you hate baby carriers? I dream of one of those kangaroo thingies, they seem comfy and fun (and I had a cabbage patck kid that came with one so it probably also reminds me of childhood).

    About the smoothies and the kale, I am also skeptic. I think it's all trends, I remember a few years ago you were not supposed to ever juice anything, because you would get rid of the fiber, absorb the nutrients extra fast, not be satiated and alter your gut flora (which I kind of believe because it is succinctly sort of how it works in animals like cows, and fiber is important, so, for me... say, munching on an apple with skin and all is better than juicing it)
    Nowadays it turns out you have to juice everything to make the vitamins available (by destroying the cells). Which makes sense but not to the extreme. Or maybe not for all vegetables / fruits, and just for some with strong stems full of lignin that we are not able to digest.

    And now I am curious, how exactly do they measure your uterus? And how can they compare with anything if all women are different and come in so many different body shapes? (I guess they compare with yourself?)

    (I love that the baby punched her in the end). (And the midwife would also have lost me at the shalalaness of her speech). (Yoghurt with berries and granola sounds fine to me).

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    1. Oh no, I don't hate baby carriers. Not at all. You should see my registry. I have three different types! Slings, wraps, carriers... No, no, it was just one of those phenomenons where you instantly feel not in the "in crowd." So I was tongue-in-cheek making fun ;)

      I really don't understand how the uterus measuring works because you would think it would totally be influenced by a woman's shape and size. But no, they measure your fundal height (from pubic bone to top of uterus) and it should equal the # of weeks you are at in inches. How crazy is that? I guess uterus size has nothing to do with your own body shape.

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    2. Actually, it's in centimeters :) The uterus is metric! I also found it incredible how the # of weeks and uterus measurement correlate.

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    3. Oops! Yes! Thanks for the correction, that would be a huge uterus.

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  6. I'm actually a pretty big kale fan (and I guess, if I'm honest, a bit hippy-dippy too)...But really, everything in moderation, right? Yogurt with fruit and whole grains sounds great to me too, and your kid is clearly doing a great job of growing away in there - as he so aptly demonstrated to the midwife himself! ;) Very cute!

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    1. I think, for me, it depends on the day you catch me on. Apparently Wednesday just wasn't a hippie-dippy day for me. Ha.

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  7. This made me laugh!! I am hippie-esque, too but the hardcore perfectionist crunchy ladies make me laugh. :-) I respect their enthusiasm though. You seem like a VERY healthy person to me! You should hear what I eat sometimes - omg! They would kick me out of their office. LOL.
    Oh, I definitely have days that I don't feel my baby move as much. Totally normal. My doctors said it's due to my anterior placenta. I've even witnessed him make a big movement via ultrasound and didn't feel it. Then there are days when he's in more of a deep sleep cycle. It can correspond with growth spurts.
    Glad you are doing well momma!!

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    1. So glad to read your comment about the anterior placenta. I feel like she didn't really respond very well to my question about that. I can tell the difference when he's poking out from behind it or not. The past few days have just been these deep, muffled movements that I'm pretty sure are from behind the placenta.

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  8. Kale, Kale, Kale...I can't do it! I've tried, tried and tried again but the taste of kale is just not for me. I tried adding it to a smoothie with wheatgrass (for my old eggs) but just couldn't chug it down. Your breakfast of greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola however...sounds yummy! Happy to hear all is well with baby!

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  9. HA! Sorry that this particular midwife was dippy. Hopefully you won't have to see her again!

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    1. Really, she wasn't that bad. Just...not as great. Luckily, I know she won't yet be doing births when I give birth. So that's good.

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  10. LOL! Okay. I just have to say that I giggled my way through this post. Especially after reading today's post.

    I totally get you. Sometimes you just have to smile and nod. It would be nice if they would ask for a few days (2-3) meals so that they could get a better idea of how you eat if they are concerned.

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    1. Good point. They DID do that the first time. I had to track everything I ate for a full week. That gives them a baseline. The silly thing is, I tried to explain that I had had a "bad day." But she didn't seem to care too much. Oh well.

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  11. Oh! If you do decide to try smoothie making at home, try spinach instead of kale. Much better (IMHO) than kale snd easily hidden with fruit.

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  12. Ugh. People in LA just love their kale and quinoa. I just can't get into it. I ate a bunch of kale before my last IVF to be healthier and now I just can't stomach it. Even looking at it makes me gag. I can get my nutrients plenty of other ways, I'm sure. I think your breakfast sounds delicious and I have the same thing sometimes.

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    1. Oh quinoa! I agree. I generally don't like quinoa. Except, they put it in everything in Peru and I liked it there. Odd. Maybe we just don't do it right...

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  13. Sometimes a girl just needs a chocolate croissant! I mean, c'mon.

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  14. I love...no...LURVE this entry. As an LA resident I could have written those dialogue snippets myself. Sometimes I'm quite the crunchy hippie and sometimes i just feel annoyed by bit. Re: kale. I can't stand it raw, but I actually craved it in juices for a while believe it or not! Tappung into my inner hippie dippie side: whole foods has an amazing smoothie with kale called Green and Glowing. I have been in the mood for straight up juice lately and get The Greens (with ice! )there which also has kale. Its not sweet, but I always feel great after drinking it. I'd ease into that one if you're not too into kale though!

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    1. Ok, I'm going to have to go to Whole Foods and try it. I really don't have anything against Kale. I was more concerned with the extra work involved in making the smoothie myself. Ha. I didn't know you were in LA. We'll have to have a baby play date once we both are settled into "momhood."

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    2. This is awesome! I didn't know you were LA local either! I'm in the sf valley. I would love to have a baby play date when we're ready.

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