Monday, September 27, 2010

"Japanese White Sauce"

I made Hibachi style fried rice, veggies and chicken the other night. It was just delightful and I was thoroughly enjoying it UNTIL it occurred to me that the white sauce was missing. Boo!
So it appears that Japanese white sauce is hotly debated internet topic. Its apparently an American invention for Japanese steak houses.  It also goes by the names "shrimp sauce" and "yum yum sauce."

Many of the recipes I was reading called for ketchup or tomato paste along with a sizable dose of paprika. This was definitely not going to recreate the sauce that is served at our two local Japanese steak houses as the sauce is white and not pink at all. After reading lots of recipes, and thinking not any of them were quite it, I just took the plunge and decided to combine the parts of different ones that seemed right.

1 cup REAL* mayonnaise
2 TBS Butter melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp honey
dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice

Many of the recipes that I read were calling for Hellman's Mayo specifically or Japanese Mayo. I wasn't going to run out and buy name brand when IMO real mayo is real mayo...its eggs, oil, vinegar, sugar and salt folks. Heaven help me if I went looking for Japanese mayo at my little local southern grocery store. We're cooking on a budget so store brand mayo was just FINE.

Some recipes called for water AND lemon juice or vinegar. In experimenting I decided it would be best to save the water for last because it was just a thinner.I nixed the vinegar because I think the overly mayo flavor some people were talking about was probably actually the vinegar flavor from the mayo. No reason to add more and make it worse.

I mixed everything together but the lemon juice and it was definitely too mayo-ish still. Adding the lemon kept the tang while getting rid of the overly mayo flavor. The lemon juice also thinned it to the consistency that I was looking for without needing water. You could add water if is still thicker than your liking.

Everyone also was writing about how the sauce just HAD to sit overnight to taste right. Nah! This stuff tasted right to me fresh out of the bowl and just a good the next day too.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Natural Childbirth

My thoughts on my First Natural Childbirth

Oh the pain!
True labor hurt but actually not so much as I expected. Lucky me, I guess. In the midst of it I did tell my sister she sucked for generally not feeling much until her water was broken at 7-8cm with her 2 inductions. I guess she is luckier.

What did it feel like to me? A REALLY bad stomach bug. Like cramps before the cold sweats. I'm probably unique in my crazy thoughts while in labor (or any time for that matter) but I thought back to the 20/20 episode on “orgasmic birth.” I would have laughed had I not been in labor. Why? Because only only if you enjoy stomach bugs would this be a good time. Honestly, even if I could have an “orgasmic birth” I think that would weird me out and I would have to decline. Who am I to judge? If that's your cup of tea then, by all means, go for it.

Now I do suppose everyone's labor experience is different. I then thought about people who love water births. Now, prior to being in labor this sounded like an OK idea. People rave about how great it is. My though was “I most definitely would drown if put in a tub right now.” I did try lots of positions. My IV was put in while I stood and leaned across the raised hospital bed. I bounced on the wasn't so awesome really. I tried all fours. It was OK...briefly. Oh, how about having your back rubbed? Um, I really couldn't stand to be touched, thanks. No, not even hand holding was good. I signed up for this, I wasn't mad. But, please don't touch. Walking wasn't so great either. Other than the every 2 hour potty break I scheduled for myself I was happy to not walk.

What did I prefer? To lay on my side and hold on to the cold bed rail. Occasionally switching sides with someone to move my pillows for me. P.S. Hospital pillows are worthless. Just had to sacrifice a nice one of my own. Its worth it. My upper body felt like it had been through a workout for a couple days after since I pulled with all my strength on the rails during contractions. Oh, cold cloths on the head were nice too.

I know some people are all about free eating and drinking during labor. And more power to you if that is what you want. I think it is unreasonable the way it is restricted. That said, I had no desire to eat either. I did have half a bagel before leaving for the hospital. I was trying to plan ahead in case they decided to starve me and I wasn't 100% sure I was in labor at that point anyway. I think I would have been just as happy without it. I had a few sips of contraband Coke during labor (which is especially refreshing when you've generally denied yourself all pregnancy long).

I'd also like to comment on those who say they feel the baby moving down and coming out. Now maybe, being a 9lb12oz sack of potatoes, she cut off nerve sensation much better than a 6lb lightweight. I did not feel her moving down. I was told it will feel like you need to have a poo. No, never felt like I needed to poo. I felt a reflexive need to push similar to reflexive need to throw up. I never felt the “ring of fire” or burning. It all felt the same as low cramping labor pains (like the worst stomach virus ever) and that was it.

So, who knows? It could all be different next time. But that is how it was for me

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My VBAC Story

The VBAC birth of Bailey Ann

Background: C-section 2 years ago for failure to progress with induction AROM(artificial rupture of membranes) and Pitocin. Isaac was asynclitic never progressed past 4 cm or had a good contacting pattern on the Pit. After nearly 24 hrs with ruptured membranes I ended up in c-section. Isaac was 8lbs11oz.

My doctor doesn't like for patients go past 41weeks due to increased meconium problems and stillbirth. She will do induction with AROM or Pitocin. I was adamant that I didn't want to get into something that I couldn't get out of so I didn't want AROM. I know that research says that pitocin ups rupture risk but I really think with careful monitoring the risk can be mitigated and is reasonable.

Monday morning we arrived for a pitocin induction. I started at 4cm/80%effaced/-2station. After 8hrs of a nice contracting pattern there was no progress. Doctor asked me what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to go back home. So she sent me home to come back on Thursday to try again.

Monday night I was up to the bathroom several times in addition to the regular pee trips for upset bowels which I attributed to unusual eating on Monday--fast food eggs for breakfast, etc. It wasn't diarrhea but loose and I felt like I was going to have it later. I was sleeping 1-2hrs between(quite normal for my pregnant bladder).

Isaac woke up at 6am Tues morning so I got up with him and Chris was getting ready for work. I wasn't feeling great but said I thought he should go to work but give me time to get a shower first. In the shower I was feeling worse & worse--crampy more so than well defined contractions. I got out of the shower and decided I definitely didn't feel up to watching Isaac by myself.

I called mom about 730 and she came over and timed my cramps--when you feel yucky timing it is difficult. So I was cramping every 2-4 min. So she insisted that we go to the hospital. We called my mother-in-law to come get Isaac and got our stuff together for the hospital. The ride was rough because of being strapped in and not able to reposition plus every bump makes things worse.

We arrived to the hospital around 9am. I was 5cm/100%. I kept having contractions double up on each other which made them harder to cope with and slowed my progress some, I think. So I was at 6cm from about 10-1130 or 12. I was at 8/9 by around 1pm and about 15 min later I was feeling like I wanted to push a little but hadn't been checked and I preferred the doctor to be there before I started. I've heard enough about lacerated cervix to not want that.

My water broke which was actually a relief and took the pushing pressure off for a minute before the next contraction. There was light meconium staining but not bad. After a few more contractions I had to push, ready or not, and the doctor was there. It took about 15-20 minutes to push her out.

I've always heard about the "ring of fire" when a baby crowns but in all honesty I was totally unaware of what progress I was making at all. It was a huge surprise when they said one more push and we'll see her ears--I had no idea she was that far out already.

According to the doctor she did a full 360 on her way out and the cord was really twisted. She also had a hand up by her face. They put her on my belly to cut the cord and nurse her. Everyone commented what a big girl she was but having a >95 percentile 2 year old any newborn looks small. I figured they'd say 8.5llbs maybe. I was very shocked when they said 9lbs12oz.

I ended up with a few small tears that got stitched and a small hematoma. My biggest pain is symphysis pubis pain which I think I would have to some extent regardless of delivery mode (squatting to pick the garden 2 days prior may have been a poor choice) since I've had SPD (symphysis pubic dysfunction) symptoms since about 28 weeks. The chiropractor majorly helped this during pregnancy and so I think a few follow up visits were helpful while things tightened back up.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Starting Cloth Diapers

We took the plunge this week and started cloth diapering. I really bought this stash of diapers for my bun-in-the-oven due June but thought this would be a good time to figure things out with Isaac as my guinea pig. Being a sizable kid, he will out grow them before he's gotten much use out of them. According to the manufacturer these diapers will fit 8lbs up to 36lbs. Isaac is already over 30lbs and while not a fat kid by any means has a little junk in his trunk. Wonder where he gets that from? Not.

I have a few requirements for this endeavor. 1. I cannot be having any rooms in my house smell like dirty diaper. 2. I have no interest in “grubbing” in dirty diapers (a quick swish through some water is OK but that is it). 3. It needs to be relatively economical (If I can use Pampers for less it is somewhat defeating the point) 4. They must be as easy to put on as a disposable.
Anyway, I bought my diapers from and for ~$6 each including shipping it seemed like a good deal. I chose a gender neutral pastel yellow. I wish they had plain white. Basically, they go on like a typical disposable diaper. There is no wrestling 12 layers of diapers and apparatuses together onto your kicking screaming child. There are insert pads that slide in so you can adjust absorbency. The system is entirely intuitive: Pull apart, wash dry, stuff back together and it sits waiting on you just like a regular disposable.
Day one of Isaac and the cloth diapers: He of course would decide to challenge the system by pooing no less than 5 times. 1-2 is normal. 3 is a busy day. Amazingly his hiney has held up to the challenge as have the diapers. Poo has stayed where it belongs. I did have the foresight to make my own liners using polar fleece. Supposedly the fabric that the diapers are made out of rinses clean quite easily but not wanting to test that just yet I picked up a yard of fleece from Hobby Lobby. So for about $0.17 each and a few minutes of cutting time, I have washable liners that I won't cry if it gets ruined. Plus they rinse easier than having to rinse the whole diaper. I have not bought a diaper sprayer yet but the fleece rinsed back to white with just a quick swish.

Day two: Isaac seems to actually like the softness diapers. He has been throwing the clean stack across the room like little yellow bombs. After 2 more AM poos I was starting to wonder if we would have a repeat of yesterday. Thankfully, that was it. Alyssa, Isaac's potty-training-cousin-in-progress was over tonight. After she went to the potty, Isaac insisted that he needed to pee pee in the potty as well. So, to humor him we tried. Low and behold he went. Who said peer pressure is bad? It may never happen again (and I doubt it will for a while) but it is always comforting to know what your kid CAN do if they WANT to.
By the end of day two I was actually surprised that the diaper pail does not stink. I did sprinkle some baking soda in here and there just in case. Tomorrow he will spend half the day at Grandma's in disposables so I'm going to go ahead and wash what is dirty. Otherwise I would wait another day but I don't want to run the risk of mold growing on our pretty new diapers. So far I must say that I am entirely satisfied with my purchase.