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  • Lindsey, EDRD

I had a baby!

I haven't shared much about my pregnancy here, but to recap, last summer I agreed to be a gestational carrier for a local couple. A gestational carrier is different than a surrogate in that the baby I carried is not genetically my own- a surrogate would've used her own egg. Anyway in August I had an embryo transferred and it implanted itself and I became pregnant. Because I'm considered "advanced maternal age" (wrinkles don't lie) I got to be induced at 39 weeks, which was last Thursday.

Being pregnant in the midst of a global pandemic and taking care of four kids 5 and under wasn't really my jam, so I was happy to have baby be born and have his true parents take over! The labor and delivery itself was uneventful, but for having to wear a mask.

After 10 hours of Pitocin, please break my water already!

After the doctor manually broke my water, it only took about two hours before I was ready to push. My husband FaceTimed the delivery with the parents, and a few minutes after he was born he was brought over to their room. Like all my own babies, he weighed 7 lbs (plus 2 ounces), but very unlike my own babies, he had a full head of dark hair. I was able to visit with him a few hours afterwards, and then again the next day before I went home. He's pretty stinkin' cute, and his parents are doing awesome.

Let's just say I made the most of my hospital stay.

I tell you, it is a surreal experience to push out a baby one night, and then less than 24 hours later be at home vacuuming up cracker crumbs from the couch! My husband was incredibly helpful though and let me rest plenty in the few days after baby was born.

Now he is back to work and I'm feeling plenty well enough to be on my own. Getting to sleep on my back again plus having a nice big glass of iced coffee in the morning has everything to do with my improved mood!

I'm back at it in the kitchen too, and I tried something new last night- sheet pan fajita salad! We are no strangers to fajitas here, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. Salads, it is.

Sheet pan fajita salads

-2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks

-3 bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips

-1 medium yellow onion, cut into strips

-1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

-1.5 cups frozen or fresh corn

-2 tbsp olive oil

-1 teaspoon cumin

-1 teaspoon garlic powder

-2 teaspoons chili powder

-1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

-1 medium bag mixed green salad of your choice

Optional: tortilla chips for garnish

Cilantro Lime Dressing

-1/4 cup olive oil

-1/4 cup lime juice

-1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

-Pinch of salt and pepper each

-Tiny squirt agave nectar or honey

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together the peppers, onion, tomatoes, and corn with the olive oil and seasonings. We're going to let those cook first, then add the chicken. Bake veggies for 15 minutes, then crank up the oven to a low broil. Add the raw chicken and stir it all around to evenly coat with the oil and spices. Return pan to the oven.

Now it not the time to go swap out laundry or multi-task- keep an eye on the oven! My oven took about 15 minutes for the veggies to get a nice slight char and for the chicken to be fully cooked. Once the chicken has an internal temp of at least 165 degrees, you can pull the pan from the oven and let cool slightly.

While the veggies and chicken are cooking, you will have time to whip up the dressing. Just combine all the ingredients in a glass jar, screw the lid on, and shake it up. Can be made a day in advance, but it's something that takes less than 5 minutes as is.

I didn't have any tortilla chips on hand so I made my own chips using store bought whole wheat tortilla (I used 3). Cut tortillas into wedges, then Just spray both sides with nonstick cooking spray, sprinkle lightly with salt, and bake for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned and crisp.

Before baking

To serve: heap the lettuce in a bowl, then top with fajita mixture. Add a tablespoon or two of dressing, and chips for garnish!

Makes four heaping salads. Per salad: 400 calories, 30 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams fat (primarily heart-healthy unsaturated), 22 grams protein, 616 mg sodium

All things considered I have zero regrets about being a gestational carrier. I was fortunate in that I was able to build a relationship with the couple all during the pregnancy. I was also fortunate to have had an "easy" pregnancy and delivery, without any complications. That being said, this mama is done carrying babies. Being a full time mom and part time dietitian is enough for me!

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