My Life in Boston

mostly about food, but also about sneakers and make-up too

My Labor & Delivery

My doctor scheduled me for an induction at 39 weeks to be safe because of my advanced maternal age, gestational diabetes, and the fact that my baby had slightly more fluid behind his neck early on in the pregnancy.

by LILLIAN LEE

10AM
On the day of induction, we drove out to Belmont for some donuts at Linda’s. I had a couple sugar raised and a bite of Boston cream. They were SO delicious. On the way back home, we stopped by Chilacates to grab some carnitas burritos for lunch. I probably should’ve continued eating clean or had something a bit lighter, but I just couldn’t hold out any longer.

1PM
As scheduled, I called Labor & Delivery to see what time we should head in. The morning has been super busy, but they let me know that anytime around 2PM would be perfect.

2:45PM
My husband and I got to the hospital and carried our backpacks with our essentials: phone chargers, portable speaker, change of clothes, and toiletries. We checked in and were brought to the room where I would be delivering. I was so anxious and nervous.

Fortunately, during my last doctor’s visit, I was already dilated at 3cm, which was great for the induction. At least I wasn’t starting out from zero.

But, the IV insertion was killer. It took four attempts and three nurses before they were able to find a viable vein. By the fourth attempt, the last nurse asked if I wanted any numbing. It was kinda too late for that. I just told them to just stick it in right already. Luckily, my tattoos hurt more so it wasn’t too awful – even when the inserted the needle and moved it all around.

3PM
They started the protocin, which helps to jump start contractions for induction. For me, it was a series of four drips in an hour. I felt some aches here and there but nothing to cry home about…yet.

12AM
We fired up some Netflix and watched Harold and Kumar Go to Guantanmo Bay. FYI Stormi Daniels makes an appearance.

After the movie, the contractions really came. It was a pain that was so severe that I couldn’t even talk.The husband tried to make some jokes t get my mind off of it, but I completely blocked him out. I thought I could breathe through the pain, but I had to call uncle.

The nurse came in an offered some pain relief called Nobaine through my IV drip. As soon as she administered it, I felt a rush of joy and relief. I was literally crying to my husband about how happy I was because I wasn’t in pain anymore.

At that point, I was able to get some sleep. I woke up a few times because I thought I’d stopped breathing. The pain relief was supposed to last for two hours, but at the 1.5 hour mark, it wore off. And, when it did, I felt as though I’d got hit by a big mack truck.

I called for the nurse again and asked if I could have more. She denied me and it was probably for the best considering how I wanted it so badly. I later learned that Nobaine is an opioid so she probably didn’t want to see me get hooked on that shit. The only other option she gave me was to get started with the epidural.

“Is it too early for that?” I asked. I was still dilated at 3cm at that point. I hadn’t progressed all that far. She told me that I could start whenever I wanted to, but that once I did, I wouldn’t be able to walk and go to the bathroom – they’d have to insert a catheter.

She gave me a minute to think it over. Another wave of contractions came and I said yes, please for the love of gawd give me that epidural. Unfortunately, it would be 30 minutes before I could receive it because they were working on someone else. Those 30 minutes were excruciating. And to think that at one point I considered going the natural, drug-free route. Hell, no.

When I was ready for my epidural, they had my husband leave while they stuck the needle in my back. It didn’t hurt. They were actually amazed at how still I was able to stay, with made it easier for them. And once the epidural hit, it was a sweet sweet wave of relief – not as happy-tears inducing as the Nobaine, but it was still good.

Again, I was able to get some more rest in.

4:30AM
I felt fluid leak out of me. “Ummm, babe, I think my water just broke.” I called the nurse and indeed it did. I thought it would be a big deal, but it really wasn’t.

5AM
Not soon after, I felt my baby drop down. I literally felt a crunch. I called for the nurse again, and they weren’t really giving it much importance so I just thought it wasn’t a big deal either.

5:15AM
One of the monitors started beeping. I let it go for a few minutes because I didn’t want to keep bugging the nurses. Monitors kept going off for some weird reason – always false alarms. So, I thought this latest beep was a false alarm as well. Finally, I called the nurse and when she came in to check she called all hands on deck.

The baby was on its way.

Wait. What?! Now?!

The nurse took one leg, my husband grabbed onto the other, and I held on to both behind my knees. My playlist started going filled with Cardi B, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Nicki Minaj tracks.

“Pretend like you’re taking a big poo,” the doctor said.
“Ok. I can do that,” I replied.

I started pushing.

So for the next three hours I was pushing away – 3 pushes during each contraction. Afterward, we’d wait for the next one to come. During that time, we were just chilling and listening to the music.

I was making the big mistake of drinking water. A friend of mine told me that I should stay hydrated so I kept downing water. Well, it’s not a great thing to do when you’ve got to bear down and push. The water kept wanting to come back up. Finally, I just had to puke. Out came the bags and I vomited like out of a scene from Poltergeist. I’m pretty sure I vomited on my husband…and some got into my hair. It was pretty gross but I felt so much better afterward. No more water.

6AM
The crew that was working on me was hoping I’d deliver within the hour which was when their shift would be ending. They wanted to see the baby after everything and with that goal in mind, I started pushing harder. I’m competitive and now with a goal in mind, I wanted this baby out.

They were amazed with my pushing which I’d like to dedicate to all the workouts I did during my pregnancy. Thank you coach and gym mates.

The doctor asked if  I wanted to see the baby come out.

“Uhhh…no,” I said.
“Really?” she asked.
“No. Really,” I replied.

Either she didn’t hear me or she didn’t give two F*s because she brought the mirror out so I could see the baby crowning.

7AM
They lowered the bed so that gravity could help with the last few pushes. I could feel the baby hanging and with a couple more pushes, he was out. My OBGYN doctor was actually able to come right at that time.

It was a whirlwind of activity and I was so out of it. I didn’t even know when my placenta was delivered. But, I just saw four people down one end stitching me up. I ended up with two tears down there.

They placed my baby onto me for some skin-to-skin contact and the tears of joy were unleashed.


So, we ended up staying at the hospital for longer than anticipated especially when we found out that the baby had jaundice.

Eggroll Lady & Fish Shack in Worcester, MA

There are the seafood shacks up north and those down south, but my favorite spot for fried whole belly clams and fried scallops? In the western part of the state. Who knew?

by LILLIAN LEE

We’ve been going to Eggroll Lady & Fish Shack for a few years now ever since we discovered them at a local fair. What got us hooked at first were the Vietnamese egg rolls. It’s still what gets us, but in addition, the fried seafood is off the charts.

by LILLIAN LEE

a bowl of clam chowder jam packed with clams and potatoes

by LILLIAN LEE

we got 5 egg rolls for $5.99 AND they threw in a crab rangoon – yum! FYI everything is made to order so these egg rolls were crazy hot and steaming.

by LILLIAN LEE

we love that they give us the option of eating the egg rolls with lettuce, cilantro and the Vietnamese fish dipping sauce (Nước Mắm Chấm)

by LILLIAN LEE

a pint of fried whole belly clams. there was SO much!

Note that they are only open a few days a week and tend to get super packed and busy. But, this place is well-worth the trek and wait.


Eggroll Lady & Fish Shack
609 W Bolyston St
Worcester, MA 01605
Thu: 11am – 8pm
Fri: 11am – 10pm
Sat: 4pm – 8pm

Tastiest Shawarma at Falafel King in Quincy

Falafel King is our favorite spot for falafels, chicken shawarma and kafta shish kabobs. We’ve tried other falafel shops around Boston and beyond, but they just can’t compare – either the flavors are off or the meats are dry and sad. This is not the case with Falafel King, which is why we have been coming here for years.

Also, while most other places do not include falafel with your plate, Falafel King throws in two giant falafels with each plate and salad order.

Typically, my go-to plate is the kafta shish kabob salad. It’s just so delicious. You can get it with rice, but the salad helps balance the richness of the kafta.

by LILLIAN LEE

kafta shish kabob salad: ground beef & lamb mixed with chopped parsley and special spices grilled on a charcoal broiler

Just the other evening, we stopped by to place a kafta shish kabob salad to go and, to our shock, they were all sold out. What?!

And so, I ended up getting a chicken shawarma salad instead and the Mister got the lamb shawarma salad. Both are just as amazing. Props go to places that can serve up tender, juicy pieces of chicken on a consistent basis because that’s not easy.

by LILLIAN LEE

chicken shawarma salad: grilled chicken marinated in lemon, olive oil, and spices

by LILLIAN LEE

lamb shawarma salad: grilled lamb marinated in lemon, olive oil, and spices

Also, super glad to find out that they are indeed open again on Saturdays from 11am-5pm because a few weeks ago when we stopped by, we were met with a closed sign. It was sad, but now we are happy again!


Falafel King
690 Hancock St.
Quincy, MA 02170
(617) 773-0100

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: Lettuce Wraps

As the pregnancy has progressed, I’ve also noticed that the gestational diabetes has as well. When I was once able to have a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter, I wasn’t able to anymore at 32 weeks. It shot my glucose levels so high that I might as well have eaten some french fries. That was super frustrating.

So, what to do in this new situation?

Lettuce wrap it!

Whether making something from home or when out and about, it can be done. Most burger spots I’ve visited have been very accommodating. So, make the request.

by LILLIAN LEE

Hidden inside this homemade lettuce wrap is some turkey and cheese with a bit of mustard.

by LILLIAN LEE

Five Guys burger with sautéed mushrooms, pickles, and mayo in a lettuce wrap. It did the job even though there wasn’t enough lettuce.

by LILLIAN LEE

Shake Shack‘s griddled chicken BLT in a lettuce wrap. I like how there was so much lettuce that it was actually wrapped around the innards like a package.

by LILLIAN LEE

Mooyah burger with cheese, pickles and sautéed mushrooms in an iceberg “bun.” This was by far the best lettuce wrap I’ve had because there was a substantial amount of lettuce.

The only downside is that you don’t have any buns to soak up all the condiments and/or drippings. They just end up down your hands so be sure to have a pile of napkins at the ready.

$1 Pizza at Marliave’s in Boston

What? Marliave‘s serves breakfast sandwiches, pastries and pizza? Not just really good drinks and $1 oysters & clams every day from 4pm-6pm and 9pm-10pm?

by LILLIAN LEE

So, separate from the restaurant is the expresso bar that dishes out breakfast sandwiches, beignets, housemade paninis and…$1 pizza! It was our first time exploring this part of Marliave’s.

We tried the pizza and it was really, really good – just one kind, mozzarella & marinara. Note that there is a limit of 3 slices per customer and is served only from 12pm-3pm.

by LILLIAN LEE

Don’t be fooled by the girthiness of the cheese because underneath that is a mountain of flavor.

by LILLIAN LEE

Luckily, it was nice weather outside so we were able to get a spot on the bunch and chow down.

I definitely want to try the rest of the morning/afternoon menu offerings when I can get back 100% on the carb train.


Marliave
10 Bosworth Street
Boston, MA 02108

So Gong Dong Tofu & BBQ in Quincy, MA

This new spot is a great addition to the Kam Man plaza. The Mister and I were originally going to Falafel King but then we found out that they’re closed on the weekends now! What? When did this happen?

So, while I’m on my low carb diet, we were trying to figure out what would work and So Gong Dong Tofu & BBQ popped up on a quick Yelp search. So, Korean soup it is!

by LILLIAN LEE

unlimited yummy tea

There’s no one to take your name when you first enter so be sure to write your name down on the clipboard.

by LILLIAN LEE

the tasty side dishes. I wish there had been more.

The Mister and I ordered a kimchi jigae paired with rice in a stone pot. Other pairing options include ramen or a Korean noodle, but I didn’t want to have any carbs in the soup. This way, I knew it’d be on the side. There are also other jigae/soup choices (seafood, pork, vegetable and more) with your spiciness level preference – I wish I’d chosen very spicy instead of just spicy.

by LILLIAN LEE

the bubbling cauldron of kimchi jigae.

The Mister ordered kalbi and they were pretty generous with the amount of meat piled on the plate. It was pretty dang delicious.

by LILLIAN LEE

a beautiful trough of kalbi.

We’ll definitely be returning because for one it’s pretty good and for another it beats going out to Allston for Korean soup and trying to find parking there.


SGD DUBU
225 Quincy Ave
Quincy, MA 02169

Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant in Chinatown

My mom and her friend get together for dim sum at Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant in Boston Chinatown. Up until the other day I’d only ever gone there to order baked curry beef buns, baked bbq pork buns, a bag of cake ends, and egg tarts.

On weekends, the restaurant is so jam packed so I don’t even bother waiting. Luckily, I was in town early enough the other day to finally try out the dim sum.

by LILLIAN LEE

shrimp dumplings, “har gow”

by LILLIAN LEE

shrimp & pork dumplings, “siu mai”

by LILLIAN LEE

beef balls, “ngao yuk yurn”

by LILLIAN LEE

bbq pork steamed rice noodle, “chau siu cheurng”

by LILLIAN LEE

a steamed plate of Chinese broccoli

This place is really good compared to the big ones in the area. Space is super tight but if you can get there before 9:45AM, you will be in luck. Or, if you don’t mind waiting.


Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant
61-63 Beach Street
Boston, MA 02111

2018 Dorchester Chili Cook-Off

We always try to keep an eye out for the next Dorchester Chili Cook-Off. It’s one of our favorite chili fests. Last year was great and this year did not disappoint.

Held again at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 103 in Dorchester, there were so many tasty hits. I just wish we’d had a better plan of attack, i.e. share the chili first instead of getting our own. Our guts were bursting by the end.

by LILLIAN LEE

Pork and venison chili with pork rinds, mango salsa, cheese, and cornbread. It was different, but delicious still because most recipes that veer away from the original end up being too far off. This one was really good.

by LILLIAN LEE

This was a bright tasting chili by Lower Mills Tavern / Chef Colton. It reminded me of a carnitas with salsa verde. It was topped with cheese, sour cream and…fried grasshoppers.

by LILLIAN LEE

Some good, solid chili topped with guacamole, cheese and sour cream. The guac really made a difference. I’m gonna start doing this myself.

by LILLIAN LEE

Macarons! They were so pretty and so delicious! We actually made a beeline to this first because they go fast. Strawberry, pistachio, vanilla, and lemon flavors by Sweet Life & Bakery.

We can’t wait for next year when we’ll have the baby strapped onto us while we make the rounds.

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