My Life in Boston

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

Category: Life & Parenthood (Page 1 of 2)

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.

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.

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: The Diet (Part 2)

Although I’ve been able to keep my blood glucose numbers well below the 140 mg/dL range, I just couldn’t seem to do it for my morning fast testing. I tried eating different variations of food and quantity (i.e., raw almonds, apple with peanut butter, a slice of whole wheat bread with hummus, and etc.) the night before but nothing worked to keep it below 90 mg/dL.

by LILLIAN LEE

My doctor saw the struggle and started me on glyburide. Actually, she gave me the option of pill or insulin shot. Since there was no way in hell I was going to be injecting myself, I chose the pill option.

So now, I take one pill a day, right before I go to bed. So far, it has been working. The rest of the time I’m able to control my blood sugar levels through diet although…I’m not gonna lie, it gets tough at times. I have had a Shake Shack for dinner one night and some Burger King here and there which have blown my numbers way up for a meal. I beat myself over it when I see the numbers, but I am only human.

Gestational diabetes sucks, but it could be a lot worse.

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: The Diet (Part 1)

Up until I failed my blood glucose tests, I thought I had free reign to indulge in carbs. So, I started eating more bread, baked goods, chocolate – a lot of hot chocolate with marshmallows – and even started baking bread.

I cut all that out as soon as I found out I’d failed. It wasn’t too hard for me since I’d limited my carb intake prior to pregnancy. And, it worked. My blood glucose levels came out well below the recommended max number of 140 mg/dL – except for my fasting blood sugar level before breakfast. For some reason, I kept testing in the high 90s when it should be no more than 90 mg/dL.

Enter my date with the nutritionist.

I just wasn’t eating enough and/or the right combination of foods for my bedtime snack, which I needed to eat whether I was hungry or not. She also instructed me that I needed some carbs for each meal and showed me the best choices and, most importantly, the appropriate serving size and amount.

For example, I can still eat that banana, but I can only eat half at one time. And, if I do eat that banana then I need to pair it with some protein to slow down the impact of the sugar being released.

Since then, I’ve figured out my ideal bedtime snack – absolutely no carbs, but a mixture of raw nuts and protein. By keeping a log of my numbers and what foods I was eating at specific meals, it was easy to figure out what was working and what wasn’t.

Feel free to download my Gestational Diabetes Log Google Sheet I created to keep track of everything including carb counts to hit (although, yours may be different from mine so definitely check with your nutritionist).

How I Manage Gestational Diabetes: Testing

When I first found out that I’d failed my 3-hour blood glucose test, I was crushed. I was further crushed when the nurse told me that I’d have to test my blood sugar on the daily – four times a day to be exact.

But, after the nurse showed me how easy it would be, it wasn’t so bad anymore. Don’t get me wrong. It still takes me a second or two to prepare myself mentally to press the button to prick my finger, but I get it done.  Really, it doesn’t hurt…much.

After having done this for the past few weeks, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

by LILLIAN LEE

What you’ll need to carry:

  1. The OneTouch carrying case. It holds the device, test strips, lancers and has a pocket to store either alcohol wipes or cotton balls.
  2. Testing strips. Make sure you have plenty available. I’ve mis-tested a few times and have had to use new ones. What you want to do is insert a strip with the 3 bars at the end facing up into the device to properly test.
  3. An empty case. Any case will do – a plastic container, Altoid tin or, in my case, a Nudestix cosmetic tin to store all the used lancers and test strips. You do not want to store them in the carrying case. I did that in the beginning and accidentally stuck my finger with an exposed lancer. That was not pleasant.
  4. Lancers. These are the needles. You’ll insert one into the testing device and then twist the top off to reveal the needle – keep the top because you’ll be “capping” the used needle with it.
  5. Alcohol wipes or cotton balls with a separate squeeze/travel-size bottle filled with alcohol. You just want to make sure the area you’re going to poke is clean.
  6. Tester + lancer (inserted). My tester is set to 3 but it goes all the way up to 7. This indicates how deep the prick will be. Anything less than 3 probably won’t puncture enough to draw blood. You want to make sure that after you’ve inserted a lancer that you pull back on the switch until you hear a click so that it’s ready.
  7. OneTouch device. My nurse set the device up for me, but all you really have to do is insert a test strip in and wait until it tells you that it’s ready. Once ready, you can test your blood.

How to do it:

I was told by my OB/GYN to take the test an hour after my last bite. However, the nutritionist was of the belief that it should be one hour after my first bite of food. Given that it may take up to an hour for me to eat sometimes, I’m continuing with the one hour after my last bite.

  1. Wipe area with alcohol. You want to aim for the side of your finger and not directly on your finger tip so that it’s less painful – there are more nerve endings on your finger tip vs the side.
  2. Massage from the bottom of your finger up to get the blood going.
  3. Insert lancer into testing device. Place cap back on, pull switch back until you hear a click, and press the button to prick your chosen finger.
  4. Squeeze enough blood out.
  5. Place testing strip with the 3 bars at the end face up into the OneTouch device. Wait for the device to be ready and then dip your blood onto the strip.
  6. To remove the lancer from the tester, pull both switches down and then push up. Record your number and you’re done until the next time

Where to do it:

The first time I had to test myself out and about, I wasn’t sure where was an appropriate place. The bathroom? But that’s kind of gross. In the end, I did a poll and people said my work desk was fine as long as I disposed of everything responsibly. Hence, carrying a tin case to store all the used needles and testing strips.

I will say that the hardest part is when I’m at the gym, a restaurant or bar. I’ve gotten the hang of my diet more or less so I make sure I’m not loading up on carb heavy food when I’m eating out. This way I can get away without having to find a place/remember to hit the timer to test.

Uhhhh…We’re Gonna Have a Baby

After experiencing what I thought was the stomach bug for a few weeks, sore boobs during workouts, and an insatiable 24/7 appetite for plain fast food hamburgers/cheeseburgers, the Mister and I found out that we are indeed expecting.

I seriously thought I just had food poisoning just because I’ve had bouts of nausea before that lasted a few days. But, the Mister thought something was up when I told him I’d eaten 4 Wendy’s hamburgers in a day and also when I said “yes” to him when he asked if I wanted anything from the McDonald’s drive-thru because I never indulge.

So, here we go. Onwards to our next adventure together.

 

We Got Married. Here’s How We Did It.

When we decided to get married, we did it two months later.

Neither one of us wanted a big, traditional wedding – neither Chinese nor western. We just wanted to hang out with our family & friends and eat good food. Other than adhering to a good date according to THE Chinese almanac called the Tung Shing (which both of our mothers were hell bent on following to the point where tears almost erupted when we suggested otherwise) everything else was easy peasy.

Engagement Photos

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

The Mister took our engagement photos in the park nearby. Armed with his camera and tripod, we went to town jumping, holding hands and leaning against each other for oh-so-romantic shots. We had a lot of fun although it did involve a lot of running around on his part.

Wedding Attire

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

The Mister wore a navy suit paired with a purple tie & purple handkerchief with a bumblebee pattern and a pair of brown shoes.

I found a cute, white dress called the Gemma Sequin Lace & Tulle Dress for $60 on Delia’s. No, it’s not a wedding dress. But, who says that it can’t be? In my book, if it’s white, it can be a wedding dress.

Shoes

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee
All along, I had planned on wearing these Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoreline sneakers in white, but no one knew. I made the excuse that I’d be changing into strappy heels once we got to city hall. I lied. I never changed out of my shoes and I was comfortable AF the entire day.

No Chapel. City Hall, Please!

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

I thought it was fun going through the metal detectors at Boston City Hall in our wedding outfits. Our families were able to squeeze into the little office where we spoke our vows. There were lots of happy tears and laughter. Afterward, we played corn hole and hula hooped on the turf right outside; hopped on the carousel at the Rose Kennedy Greenway; and made our way to Hei La Moon in Chinatown for dinner. There was a lot of walking but we got to make memories in the city we love.

Flowers

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

My best gal pal got me the most beautiful bouquet from the street vendor at the subway station. They were perfect!

Photography

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

All of our family & friends participated. We got a lot of great & fun photos. My best gal pal even put them together into a photo book for us as a present.

Party Invitations

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

We used Paperless Post evites and used one of the shots from our engagement shoot. You’d think that because I’m a designer that I would’ve wanted to design our wedding invitations, but no. Honestly, I didn’t care; he didn’t care; and I don’t think our guests were going to care either. Also, Paperless Post offer really beautiful, minimalist and classic designs.

The Party

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

The Bostonia Public House is one of our favorite bars in town. They have an amazing menu – ummm, tater tot poutine, HELLO! We skipped introductions, speeches, and first dance – we just wanted to get to the part that mattered and hang out with all our friends and family together for drinks and food.

Cake

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

After some thought, we did want something wedding-ish. Enter the wedding cake. We went thru the vendor that partners with Bostonia Public House called Confectionately Yours since it was less expensive than bringing in our own cake. We had no idea how the cake would taste but we figured Bostonia Public House wouldn’t partner with just anyone. Also, we checked out the bakery’s Yelp reviews and there was nothing but good things.

Our cake was beautiful –  classic and elegant. More importantly, it was delicious! We were super sad that none of the extra cake slices made it back our way.

Thank You Gifts

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

We wanted to give out useful gifts for our family & friends, but with a twist. We gave out his favorite tea (green tea) and mine (earl grey) with our faces on the tea labels. We absolutely loved it when people sent us photos of their tea cups with us staring right at them afterward.

Final Thoughts

We Got Married | by Lillian Lee

I never leafed through any wedding magazines or forced myself to consider the traditional wedding route. Luckily, the Mister was on the same page.  It’s just one day. It keeps things into perspective when you think of it that way. It did for us.

Happy memories with many more to come 💕

Vermont 2016 | by Lillian Lee

New Year’s Eve in Vermont

Vermont 2016 | by Lillian Lee

My amigos and I gathered in Vermont for a classic New England winter and to ring in 2016. It was a nice break away from the city.

Vermont 2016 | by Lillian Lee

As soon as we all arrived, we got in a hike with the animals.

Vermont 2016 | by Lillian Lee

There are some chickens and ducks on the property and I was amazed by the yellow ducks with the orange feet. They’re straight out of a children’s book story. I only ever see the ugly mallards.

Vermont 2016 | by Lillian Lee

For dinner, we had hot pot. There’s nothing like it on a cold day. The tongue numbing spicy soup base made for fun times.

Vermont 2016 | by Lillian Lee

As the clock ticked down, we had a little bonfire.

But, we ended up welcoming the new year inside with some new year’s special on tv and champagne. Great times, great times.

Happy 2016!

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