4D ULTRA SOUND!

 

OMG! My reaction to the 4D ultra-sound can only be explained as OMG! It was so amazing šŸ™‚

We went to a baby visit in Riverside, CA. We entered this cute lil’ lobby with photos of newborns and 3D ultra sounds. We were then told to go into the room where the ultra sound would be preformed. According to Hippa regulations we couldn’t film inside the room but let me just explain. IT WAS AMAZING. It was set up like a theatreĀ with huge couches and a movie size screen and they project our babies image onto the movie screen. There was a bed in the room with the ultra sound equipment for me to lay on. The ultrasound tech was so nice she had warmed the gel for me and and was ready when we arrived. The baby was JUST waking up when we arrived. We read online that the BEST thing to do was to drink juice 15-30minutes before the appointment and have some cold water when you get into the appointment. That really did help because our lil’ angel was waking up and ready for baby Villegas’sĀ big debut when we there.

The ultrasound tech. did a 30minute session and we were able to see our baby in so many different poses and get the weight and #BrenchelBabyĀ even yawned for us! We got the whole 30minutes on video DVD to take home. We did a heart beat stuffed animal(that I played the entire night for Brendon and the next day). We got 2 keychains, 2 color printed photo albums(150 photos), 12 black & white ultra sound pictures and a 30minute video. It was so special I can’t explain how amazing it was.

I was giddy for the entire time and all night long. The smile on my face from ear to ear wouldn’t stop. It was as if we were on a different planet and in our own worlds. It’s so crazy how you can focus so deeply on an exciting moment in time and be so present in the now that everyone else in the world disappearsĀ and fades into the background. It makes you feel like your in your own place and everything else is just background. Brendon said he hasn’t seen me that giddy since he proposed or since our wedding. Its the special moments in life like this that REALLY make it all amazing. Seeing our baby for the first time is such an amazing experience and such a once in a life time occurrence, our first baby, something that Brendon and I created out of pure love. Our lil’ baby is a mix of my husband, my best friend and myself. To see a little bit of personality in the womb, the baby had a little attitude, the baby had sas and spunk. The baby posed for pictures and even held up its hand when it was over it. You could see in the face when the baby was upset and when the baby was happy. It seems like the baby truly has emotion.

We CANT WAIT TO MEET OUR PRECIOUS GIFT FROM GOD! Babies are a gift from God and after seeing that much detail and personality even while growing in the womb, I know that there is a little person inside of me. The baby cant talk to me yet, but they communicate in other ways. When baby Villegas was annoyed with us moving, baby Villegas kicked my belly or put up a hand! Baby V stretched moved and even had hicups! I thank God for our gift and truly cant wait to meet our angel and new member of our family!

XO Rachel

Gestational Diabetes week 1

Well the first week was a doosey! I cried and was tired and sick for 3 days straight. HOWEVER, my blood sugar went down to the 70s in the mornings and then the 80s after meals! YAY! I just couldn’t do anything except sleep and cry and had headaches and it was just awful šŸ˜¦

After about 3days I felt so much better! I was confused that my blood sugar went up maybe because my body equalized out? I’m not really sure since I don’t really understand blood sugar and diabetes. I stuck to a really strict diet since I got my test strips on Thursday.

Day 1 MEALS: 2 egg whites w/avocado mashed up like egg salad Ā w/malt o meal: Brown Rice Ramen noodles w/salad greens : Pho Brown rice noodle soup with veggies SNACKS: cheese sticks, salad, oatmeal bars

Day 2 MEALS: oatmeal, powdered peanut butter(less sugar & fat), chocolateĀ nibs : edamameĀ noodles Ā with parmesan cheese and greens : Brown rice salmon salad SNAKCS: cheese sticks, banana, greens, oatmeal bars

Day 3 MEALS: eggs avocado : Chicken w/Cheese : Greens, sausage, tomatoes, eggs SNACKS: cheese, greens, banana, oatmeal bars, grapefruit

Day 4 MEALS: Brown Rice Raman, Salmon, Mushrooms : Banana, cottage cheese, oatmeal bar : Chicken & Steak fajitas with 1 corn tortilla SNACKS: none

Day 5 Breakfast: Oatmeal, chocolate nibs, powder peanut butter

Now day I have ALOT OF ENERGY! I even feel good and happy and not tired. HOWEVER, my fasting blood sugar is going back up and now my hour after meal blood sugar is going up šŸ˜¦ I’m not sure if my body is stabilizing out with what I’m eating and just going back up, I just don’t understand. BUT IM STICKING TO IT! Maybe I am just more sensitive in the morning … and if I’m being being honest with myself I had a few sips of Brendons coffee with half & half so maybe it just has to much sugar? I also had a low caffeine tea my self but without anything in it.

So I’m back to having to really watch and pay attention to my levels. It’s not fun but baby is worth it and so is my health. I think if I can start to really focus on my intake then I can control this. So wish me luck, and if you’ve dealt with GD let me know in the comments below especially if you have any suggestions for me on how to stay low.

Oh I found this amazing article about vinegar lowering blood sugar so I’m going to try that too, 1/2 tablespoons before my meals and at bedtime. apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar are all included as good choices.

Talk soon šŸ™‚ XO Rachel

DAY 1 living with Gestational Diabetes

After a stressful day yesterday, and enjoying a 3.5mile walk with my hubby, and an amazing dinner of quinoa with kale, mixed greens, broccoliĀ Ā and tomato pesto sauce (no sugar) I was ready for a nice rest and a new day.

Waking up I was hungrier then usual I think because I knew I couldn’t eat what I wanted to for breakfast. Yogurt with granola or a fruit and protein smoothie or anything that I can’t eat now! For my protein and fat I made hard boiled eggs and mixed them with avocado and pico de gallo seasoning. For my complex carb I had malt o meal, lots of iron and no sugar. I even enjoyed a tea on the side. That wasn’t so bad after all. I dropped Brendon off at school and went to shop for groceriesĀ for my new diet.

Shopping for groceries when you have to read ingredients isn’t fun and it can be down right sad. I knew I had to skip the bakery, I knew I had to ignore the smell of what I’m pretty sure was fresh cinnamon rolls made just to taunt me. UGH WHYĀ SPROUTS WHY hehe! I walked to the nuts, healthy fats. Then went to buy some fish, chicken more meat etc.. Whats funny is before I was pregnant I only ate fish for my meat, no mammals, but I honestly don’t think I could survive on a vegetarianĀ or vegan diet right now. Do you have any idea how much sugar & starches are in your vegan food vegans? I then got a bunch of complex carbs and veggies. I love sprouts because they have all these pastas that are brown rice, and bean, and edamame. YUMM! I googled a few recipes:

GRILLED GREEN BEANS WITH CUMIN AND SMOKED PAPRIKA

Summer Vegetable LinguineĀ 

Vietnamese Rice Paper RollsĀ 

Apparently theres a WHOLE FACEBOOK PAGE:

Gestational Diabetes RecipesĀ 

This shouldn’t be as bad as I thought and the more research I do the more I find out that I don’t have to deprive myself just to maintain my blood sugar levels. OK so I’m going to have my lunch of organic chili with no sugar and mineral water. I don’t feel hungry yet, I had a handful of nuts for a snack. I think I will be ok! I just wish I didn’t have to go on an amazing trip to Australia and watch what I eat and what am I going to eat on the airplane? I have my appointment Thursday so I’ll keep you posted, I’ll also keep you posted on ideas for packing snacks when traveling since this may be tricky. I am already thinking about packing a few meals for the plane. This shouldn’t be that tricky if I just plan ahead, and after all I did want to get more organized this year!

XO Rachel

Gestational Diabetes Results

So week 29 I’m at home like any other normal week, the holidays just ended and I’m feeling pretty good about 2016! This is going to be an awesome year, I’m having a little baby, my career is really taking off and I love what I’m doing. I can’t wait! Oh and even better the hubby and I are going on our Australia vacation we won on The Amazing Race next week, WOOOOHOOO!

Brendon and I are going back and forth about where to stay for our day in Sydney and what to do; we wanted to take a few extra days since were traveling across the world to go to Haymen Island and the Great Barrier Reef. I made a few suggestions and he was looking into them. Then he calls me and tells me my OB has been trying to reach me and to give them a call. Immediately my heart dropped and started to race, why the heck would the OB call me in the middle of my monthly visits. I already had my low PAPP A test results what the heck? Of course my mind went straight to my diabetes test results and this was the first Monday after the holidays, maybe they wanted to tell me everything looks good? So I OF COURSE called right away. I got the scariest news so far, I tested positive for gestational diabetes! – I don’t want to offend anyone, but I am not over weight, I work out at least 4/5 times a week if not every day, I sweat alot when I work out. I lift weights, 5pounds/10pounds. I do the elliptical, I swim, I walk, I do yoga, I do the firm, I do the stair mill, I walk at inclines on the treadmill, I hike… I mean I am super active. I haven’t even gained that much weight being pregnant and my belly just now started to pop! I eat mostly healthy, I did over indulge over the holidays eating cookies and sweets and chocolate alot but I never would have thought that this could happen to me. I actually thought I was the “fit mom” and had the “fit Pregnancy” I literally tweet that out weekly & hashtag that on insta. So what the heck how did this happen to me?

I cried when the doctor told me. I couldn’t stop crying when she told me I had to meet with a nutritionist and I had take my blood sugar levels and they need to monitor me more. I felt faint and my heart felt tight and I felt like everything I thought about myself was a lie. I had to go walk around the block with my dog and talk to Brendon just to calm down to breathe. Thank goodness Brendon knows how to take care of me! Its super scary to think you have ANOTHER problem during your pregnancy. I just kept thinking I did something wrong. Brendon came right home and cheered me up and helped me to read everything on the internet, I’ve been down that rabbit hole one to many times so I couldn’t read about it by myself. We called the doctor back and spoke with my nurses who told me it was going to be oK! UCLA OBGYN is amazing they are so sweet they told me I just had to monitor my blood sugar and control my diet. They told me not to stress, it actually can make blood sugar rise. They let me know the nutritionist is just going to give me basic diet rules to follow and that there is alot of things I can still enjoy. They told me to try to eat veggies with every meal and proteins. NO SUGAR, NO DESERTS, NO ICE CREAM but also NO SIMPLE CARBS šŸ˜¦ NO FRUIT šŸ˜¦ NO JUICES šŸ˜¦ NO DAIRY BEFORE 12 šŸ˜¦ drink lots of water and just try to stick to veggies proteins and complex carbs. This news was devastating but Brendon told me I could do it and think of it as a challenge on the Amazing Race or like being on a slop diet on Big Brother, after all it’s only a few more months! I’m really good at challenges and I push and challenge myself all the time- yay will power- but this feels different!

After calling back numerous times and asking for the results from my test and asking a million more questions I felt better. I literally grabbed the chocolate off my table and threw it away, I tossed my secret stash of Christmas candy Ā and cried again when I had to toss all my dark chocolate bars. I then went through all my trader joes frozen food meals I had in bought to make cooking simpler;Ā chicken fried rice … SUGAR is one of the main ingredients, root vegetables… brown sugar and syrups are all over these bad boys, asian style stir fry veggies with sauce … again ton of sugar hiding in the pack, cheese rolls ok well thats obvious… but alot of things I was shocked to find had sugar in the ingredients. Scallops with mushrooms in a creamy sauce… you guessed it sugar! Spicy Seafood Stew sugar in the base. EVEN MY SOUPS HAVE SUGAR! I started to look at the ingredients of things I was eating daily and was mad at myself literally the ONLY thing I was eating with out sugar was raw lettuce. I really thought I ate healthy, I always opt for dressing on the side of my salads. I pick fruits and juices over ice cream and pastries. I buy greek yogurt with the lowest sugar per serving. I eat brown rice and brown rice pasta and use tomato paste and sauce with olive oil. OK I do have a slight cheese problem, but I buy low fat cheese and stick to the cheeses that are “healthier” .

Brendon told me he would stick with me on this new diet and that we will get through this together. So I’m thankful and blessed I have such a strong partner and man who really does love me and baby!

For more updates keep following my blog!

XO Rachel

Gestational Diabetes TEST!!!!

JUST THE WORD DIABETES IS SCARY! Having to take a test is not fun. At UCLA they preform theĀ 2hour test as their standard. You have to fast at least 8 hours before your test, no food, no drinks. They take your fasting blood level in about 4 tubes of blood. Then they have you chug an orange fizzyĀ drink, its not that bad it literally tastes like orange crush. Then you wait, they take your blood again and again for 2 hours and give you a measurement for each hour to see how your body responds to the sugar.

The American Diabetes Association has set the following ā€œabove-normalā€ levels:

  • Fasting:Ā  At or above 92 mg/dL
  • 1 Hour:Ā  At or above 180 mg/dL
  • 2 Hour:Ā  At or above 153 mg/dL

You can read more about Gestational Diabetes here: –>Ā American Diabetes Association Gestational Diabetes.

This article is about my experience.

I took the test and felt fine! After the drink I started to get an immediate feeling of energy, sugar after fasting, and then about an hour later I began to crash. After my second blood drawl I started to feel really tired and anxious and my arm was tingly. I’m pretty sure this was due to my blood sugar dropping and just having blood drawn 2times within an hour and the tight wrap they put around your vein site. So I started to walk around the UCLA medical plaza a bit to breathe and get my blood flowing. This helped a lot, I didn’t walk fast but I did shake out my arms a bit. I didn’t go up stairs or walk to far away from people just in case. Since you can’t have water or food while your taking the 2hour test you just have to kind of wait it out. I felt so much better after walking around so I did this again after my next blood drawl and tried to remain up and alert. At the two hour mark I felt totally normal and fine; probably because I knew I was about to eat peanut butter and jelly crackers have some water and go to lunch with Brendon. I enjoyed a normal lunch and felt fine the rest of the day. I thought for sure I was out of the water and had passed the test…little did I know what was next…

Check out my next blog on my follow up from my test results.

Babys Frist Kicks

I wish I could say a date, I forgot to record one, but it was MAGICAL! I remember feeling a little flutter back in the 3month and thinking WOW thats the baby moving, but of course you can’t really be sure at that point.Ā babykicks

They say you can really start to feel baby at month 5 maybe 4.5Ā for first time mommies. Don’t freat if your waiting because once they come baby oh baby do they come! They feel like they never stop and baby doesn’t care if your sleeping…baby doesn’t care if your in the middle of giving a talk or a meeting…baby just wants to kick away for fun I think, so you know they are there. They call everything a kick from a turn to a hand punch to a stretch to an actual kick. I think I can spot the differences now at 7months. I can feel a soft wave when the baby seems to move and a jab when a kick or stretch is happening, I also swear I felt a hand move the other day. Even if its in my head all these movements do feel differently and are all exciting, and to be honest sometimes I do like to feel the baby move just because I want to feel baby is in there and healthy.

At week 28 Brendon and I decided we wanted to track babies most active times. The internet, doctors, and almost every source I’ve read says that baby kicks the most with changing blood sugar levels. Also that if you go for a walk or a hike its as if your rocking baby to sleep, so remember that if you’ve had a big meal (HELLO THANKSGIVING & CHRISTMAS & NEW YEARS). We wanted to monitor kicks to make sure baby is developing at a normal pace and also because well its pretty adorable to feel and experience, and an added bonus its a great bonding time for you and your partner. So according toĀ Count the Kicks;Ā theĀ American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends noting the time it takes for your baby to make 10 movements. You should feel at least 10 movements within a two-hour period.Ā We noticed that our baby kicks the most around 10:30pm and again in the morning around 6/7am! She also has normal movements an hour after meals or anytime I eat a sugary snack. Ā She moves when I move around in the night so maybe she’s waking me up all night, I can’t tell, I’ve had a rough time sleeping on my sides. ( What I wouldn’t give for some back sleeping about now). Its fun to monitor so ask your OB is you can! šŸ™‚

Xo Rachel

Low PAPP A? First Trimester Screening

lowpappa

Ok SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Should I be worried? Is my baby healthy? Whats the next step? What can I do? Did I do something wrong? Do I need to worry about more serious complications? Will my baby have developmental problems?

These questions and a MILLION others popped up when my OB told me my test results came back with a low Papp-A. I know what your thinking a bit freaked out right… US TOO! But DONT WORRY, well thats what my OB said DONT WORRY she told me “Rachel your NT Nuchal Translucency looked good and so does your other tests. At your last ultra sound your baby was a good size and weight so we just need to monitor growth from now on. Ā Its in your placenta.” We were past the 24 weeks mark so thank goodness we didn’t have to worry about that. Baby is developing at a normal rate and growing so were good there, we just have to monitor me more closely from here on out. WELL THAT WAS SSSSSSCARY! Of course I found a million links on the internet and got lost in eye-guzzling way to many websites, ladies don’t do this, the best thing to do is get information from a doctor and move on. Go to yoga or walk around the park, take a hike if your up for it, but I notice with me that the less stress I have and the more I focus on being healthy baby and I feel great!

So I found this SLIDE SHOW –>Ā Genetic Testing in PregnancyĀ if you really want information its done by a doctor and has good information on all first trimester screening. Obviously it doesn’t have all the answers but you can ask your OB questions, it helped me as a reference tool.

Ill keep everyone posted on birth weight of brenchel baby, but not to worry so far no signs of any thing that would be a problem. I keep taking my tests for protein in urine and high blood pressure and everything looks good every month. The UCLA doctors and OBs are amazing. I see them on a monthly basis.

Ill update y’all when I have more information! šŸ™‚

 

xoxo Rachel

 

#BRENCHELBABY is ON THE WAY

Were having a BABY!

brenchel-baby

For those of you that don’t follow us from CBS reality, were best known for meeting on Big Brother season 12 and competing again on Big Brother 13; which I WON! YAY! We also had the amazing opportunity to compete on two seasons of The Amazing Race 20 & 24, we placed 3rd in both seasons. (ugh so close) We were married in a huge over the top wedding on My Fair Wedding On WeTV it was magical then we promised all our peeps that we would have a baby ASAP! šŸ™‚ … I’ve been wanting one since I met the guy in the red shirt…I mean can you blame me look at that jaw line and arms and well face and everything ok … I LOVE MY HANDSOME HUBBY! He’s smart too! He’s been pursuing a PhD in biomedical Physics since we met on the first Big Brother. (I know what your thinking and don’t know how he balances it all either)

Well that’s a little couple history, if you want more deets check out our other pages. This page is all about baby! šŸ™‚

For those of you that have been following us on social media and youtube you’ve most likely watched a few of my first trimester videos. (Don’t worry I have more.) Which you can watch here — The Reality Channel

This adventure is JUST beginning and I hope to keep blogging for you throughout pregnancy and the first few years! Every ladies pregnancy is different so its fun to read and catch up with all different journeys.

Talk soon! šŸ™‚ xoxox Rachel