22-Week Ultrasound & Lunch at Otto Pizza

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Hey, hey! How are things?

Yesterday morning started with a delicious breakfast of toasted waffles with almond butter, marmalade, and banana slices on top. I am really digging this combo lately.

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I knew I wouldn’t be eating lunch for awhile, so I made a blueberry-basil smoothie to hold me over. I took it with me on the car ride into Boston for my 22-week ultrasound.

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Traffic, as always, was an absolute nightmare (one of the reasons why we rarely leave the South Shore), but Mal and I eventually made into the city.

Everything went well during my ultrasound, and Baby Haupert looks healthy. The technician even said he looked “perfect,” which, of course, made me well up with tears. Every time we go for an ultrasound, I get so nervous and worried that something is going to go wrong, so it’s always such a relief when things look good.

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(I made sure the hospital fixed my name in their records. It’s so weird that it suddenly changed?)

My doctor’s appointment (right after the ultrasound) was short and sweet. We talked about me getting the Tdap vaccine and a glucose test in the coming weeks. My doctor gave me all of the paperwork (info, instructions, etc.) and we talked about each one. There’s sure a lot of testing that goes into having a baby!

I also asked my doctor a few questions””most of which had to do with labor and birth since I’m starting to get a tad nervous about it all. I know I have a high pain tolerance, but, from what I’ve heard, labor is not a fun experience. I’d love to have an all-natural birth, but there’s no need to be a hero either, ya know? (My doctor told me 90% of women get epidurals during labor. I had no idea the number was so high!) I know I have awhile to decide what I ultimately want to do, but I think a “pain management” approach, as my doctor described it, is probably my best option. Basically, see where the labor progresses and do what I need to do to get through it, whether it be an epidural or another option. Honestly, I’m trying not to think about it too much. Maybe I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens?

After my appointments, Mal and I headed to Otto for lunch. We were both starving and pizza sounded so good.

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We ordered the Apple, Bacon, and Red Onion pizza with red sauce, which was incredible. Seriously, incredible.

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I was so happy when the pizza arrived at our table, Mal snapped a photo to capture my excitement. Haha! Hungry pregnant lady + huge pizza = pure joy. (Please excuse my hair; I’m rocking some serious hat head.)

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Question of the Day

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being really high), how high is your pain tolerance?

I don’t think mine is a 10, but it’s probably an 8. I hear labor is like an 11. Yikes.



  1. Natural labor is no joke, but it’s definitely doable if you have a normal pregnancy & labor that progresses. Since it’s painful, it requires preparation so you can develop non-drug techniques to cope with the pain. If you decide to wait & see how you feel in the moment, you’ll definitely opt for the epidural 😉 So, decide ahead of time and go with whatever feels most comfortable for you. I highly recommend Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth or The Bradley Method book if you want some natural childbirth inspiration/education.

  2. I have a pretty high pain tolerance after years of injuries, surgeries, daily headaches/migraines, and a lot of “lady” trouble but since I’ve worked through a lot of those issues and the pain is less frequent, I’ve found my tolerance lately to be a lot less, or at least that’s how it feels. haha

  3. I always thought I had a high tolerance to pain, but then I experienced labor! I either don’t have that high of tolerance or it really is just too painful. I ended up getting an epidural and I don’t regret it. I told myself I had nothing to prove by having a completely natural birth. Giving birth (no matter how you do it) is an incredible, empowering experience.

  4. That pizza looks amazing! So glad to hear that everything is going so well! In regards to the epidural you will make the right choice when the time comes 🙂 when the time comes I am pretty sure I will needs me pain management!

  5. I have been following your journey T–just failing to comment! So pumped for you and Mal. I was all about the epidural but that is each mama’s choice! However labor goes, as long as the result is healthy baby boy and healthy mama, you’re good!

  6. Hey Tina,
    My advice would be to listen to what your body needs…as you’re in labor…plan in general outlines and see how it goes! Nobody else is having your baby – do what you need to do, everyone’s different. My mom had a 7 hour labor, no epidural, I had a 28 hour labor and had an epidural after being in labor for 24 hours. I think that your husband can also help you to make any decisions in the moment because he knows you so well. Best wishes to you on your journey!!

  7. Go for the epidural. Doesn’t take too long relatively painless with good local and can help you relax during labor. The 80 to 90 % figure is prob accurate in most places. Good luck

  8. I love the mashed potatoe pizza at Otto! My pain threshold is probably a 6 or 7. I used to think I was so tough but now realizing I’m kind of a wimp. I’m still a few years off from labor so I can’t even think about that yet.

  9. I clearly remember that nervous feeling – you know it’s going to be hard but have absolutely no idea what to expect! Your plan sounds very similar to mine – try for a natural, pain-relief free birth but go with the flow on the day and don’t cut your options off. I highly recommend an Australian book called ‘birth skills’ by juju sundin. I used it to prepare for my labour – it goes through all the processes your body goes through in labour which makes it less scary and it has lots of techniques for coping with labour pains. Good luck!

  10. I don’t think I have a very high level of pain and I have never had a baby, BUT, I can guarantee you will forget all about the pain you went through once your precious son arrives!

  11. Hi Tina
    Love your blog – but I think this might be my first time writing a comment 😉

    I have a really low pain tolerance, and giving birth hurts like s***, and it’s scary, messy and just not very nice. However somehow your body takes over, because we as women are build for this, and we can handle it.

    I have two children. My oldest was born with an epidural and the youngest without. With the epidural the proces slowed down – but it was soooo nice to catch a break! With the second one the birth progressed naturally and ‘easy’ – and after I felt like myself much quicker. I live in Denmark and here they’re much more conservative about the epidurals. At best I would think the number is 50%, so natural child birth is always recommended, but I know quite a few women who ended up having a epidural – but it wasn’t planned.

    You never know what’s gonna happen, so my advice would be to prepare yourself and then listen to the professionels. And remember giving birth is seriously the easy part.

    Best of luck with your Baby Haupert

  12. I remember that nervous feeling…I had my baby 7 months ago. I learned so much. I can a birth plan completely drawn out and got as “ready” as I could. Just as in training for a race, you can be well prepared but come race day, God has other plans for you! Same occurred with my labor and delivery. Ironically, the more I felt prepared and less anxious as we were following my birthing plan, God changed it all up when the time came. My best word of advice? Have faith and be flexible. Trust your doctor : )
    BTW…the pizza looks awesome!

  13. Tina, I have two children, 9 and 6. Let me just say…..do NOT let anyone make you feel guilty if you choose to have an epidural!! There is no prize or award for having a natural birth. (Or not having one, for that matter.) The ONLY thing that matters is getting your baby here safely and in good health. Getting an epidural, or having a c-section doesn’t make one less of a mother.

    I had every intention to “go natural” with my first. It didn’t turn out that way. I did get an epidural, which was amazing, totally honestly. 🙂 With my second, my epidural didn’t “take” on one side of my body (which can happen!), so I suppose I had a half natural birth. Haha!

    Seriously though, there will be sooooooo many “you should”s for pregnancy, birth, and parenting. You gotta do what is right for YOU and YOUR baby!

  14. Hi Tina, you look so great and healthy! It also seems like your UC isn’t affecting your diet as much now due to the baby. Have most of your symptoms disappeared? If so, do they come back after child birth! Crossing my fingers they don’t!

    As far as the child birth plan, I just like that you are going with the flow…sometimes I think people can prep TOO much and obsess about it. But everyone copes with life events in different ways I suppose!

  15. I’m always amazed at how many people stress over the delivery method. Maybe this is just me, but I was all about the end result. Healthy baby, period. I had 2 c-sections and definitely faced some people that felt like I didn’t go through childbirth. The pain management thing is so controversial and I think if you’re up for natural, go for it. However, I don’t agree with people saying “you’re an athlete- you can do it.” Maybe you can, but don’t feel pressured. There is absolutely nothing “un-heroic” about having pain medication or god forbid a c-section! My doctor told me a c-section would be the safest route, so that was a no-brainer to me. The baby is the best part, right, not telling the story of how strong/powerful you were? Just my two cents.

  16. Congratulations! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years and was so happy to learn that you are expecting a BOY! I just had a baby in August (a boy too). Labor is on a whole different level than say working out pain or broke my ankle pain…haha. I too wanted to go the “all-natural” route, but unfortunately it didn’t work out for me. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is snuggling your little bundle 🙂 It’s amazing, enjoy the journey!

  17. Check out the book “Birthing from Within”…

    Don’t let your doctor tell you that about epidurals. Maybe at THEIR hospital, the rates are 90%. Consider hiring a doula. You’ll be fine. I had my daughter naturally – no interventions. I even was strep B positive, but I decided against the antibiotics. YOU get to make the decisions about your pregnancy and birth. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Feel free to email me. I’m hip to the know about natural birthing, cloth diapers, and everything babies. It was an empowering, beautiful experience. My sister ended up with an epidural and her labor/birth was a nightmare.

    Just remember, this is the only time in your life that pain is a GOOD thing. 🙂 Really do hire a doula. You won’t regret it. Best wishes!

  18. Hi Tina…I think you have a great attitude towards pregnancy and labor. I can relate to your feelings towards labor. Around the 26-week mark, I started to get a little nervous about the labor and delivery. Actually, it was more like a lot nervous. My mom was so awesome during this time and offered me some great advice. Breathe, focus and remember your body is made to do this. It is a natural process. Keeping in mind that the ultimate goal is to have a healthy baby also helped to keep my worries in perspective. I also had a ”˜wait and see how it’s going’ attitude about pain management. I didn’t make any rules for myself and just went with it. With my oldest daughter, we got to the hospital and I was 7 cm. It wasn’t until 9 cm that I asked for the epidural. With my second daughter I had to be induced and asked for the epidural a little sooner, however, much like another commenter, the epidural only took on my right side and I felt everything on my left side.

    Each woman has their own story, and I am excited to hear how yours plays out! I think your positive attitude and your healthy lifestyle will both be very helpful!

  19. Glad to hear everything is going well with your little one! I can imagine ultrasounds being very scary because of the possibility of getting iffy news but you’re a very healthy person so I’m sure it’ll keep going well. I would be excited about that pizza too, holy eff, it looks amazing.

  20. I think not having any preconceived ideas will yield you a happier result. I have a very high pain tolerance and do not like taking pain medications or antibiotics or anything. I had back labor (where the baby is face up instead of face down) with my first baby and it was 22 hours + of labor and then I had to have a c-section. I had an epidural about halfway into it all which was a relief. She is now 18 and beautiful!!!

    I cannot emphasize the importance of accepting the pain and breathing through it. Find a focal point and concentrate on it while you breathe. You can do it!!!!!!

  21. My pain tolerance is super low, a lot of the time I feel like such a wimp! Even so, I still had an unmedicated birth! 🙂 The thing that helped me the most was reading positive birth stories, and taking a class at the hospital where I was planning to deliver (Mt. Auburn, in Cambridge). We learned about counter-pressure pain management techniques in that class, which was ultimately worked the best! My daughter was “sunny-side up”, so I had wicked bad back labor, but still managed to get through it!

    I hope you have a positive birth experience, and ultimately, what we all want, a healthy baby. 🙂 Congrats!

  22. That’s odd to ask about pain tolerance… I mean, especially since every babies delivery is differents. I think that every woman should wait and see. That’s what I will do! I’m due in July.

  23. i’m a total wuss. i’m a 6 on a good day. If i ever give birth, i’ll probalby definitely have to have an epidural even though my mom gave birth to all (5) of us naturally and said…”it sucks…but nothing compares to the feeling of when you do finally push the baby out”

  24. The best pain relief I had while in labor was a back massage from one of the nurses. I had an epidural because I wasn’t allowed to move due to monitoring needs and the back rub interfered with monitoring. I highly recommend trying many different things. I have a pretty high pain tolerance. Having a gallstone attack at 31 weeks pregnant with twins was far worse than labor. That was a 10! Labor was mostly a 6 with some bursts of 8 or 9.

  25. Every birth is so different. I had two natural births by choice and while both of them were incredible they were opposites. My first was long and less intense and my second started crazy from the get go but was half the length. While pain management is popular I think a lot of women don’t realize how empowering it is to do it without meds. I felt like I had conquered the world. I know I’ll never know that rush again because it’s so unique. The other benefit of natural birthing is you’re ready to go home like two hours post partum…so nice. No waiting for meds to wear off or dealing with side effects.

    That being said, having proper support is key because hospitals will push stuff on you. Have a plan, people who support it and you and it can be amazing.

  26. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and was running on adrenaline. I went in to be induced and they said I was already in labor and didn’t know it. I didn’t want an epidural but was willing to if it got really bad. I was in labor 5 hrs and got a half dose of nubane about 2/3 of the way thru. It didn’t really cut the pain but allowed me to actually relax a bit in between contractions. I think your pain management approach is great. You’re staying open to your options.

  27. i have an high pain tolerance and my labour was a 55. My son was 9lbs and he had a big head so it hurt really bad. I got epidural but they disabled it bc i wasnt pushing as good as i could if i could feel my contractions. I had a 26 hour labour from the time i got there and 2.5 hours pushing to avoid a c section. It was so hard i would say go in with an open mind. If ur tolerating it then no epidural, if u need the epidural then get it!!! i wouldnt plan that too much cause you will never know until the day it happens so dont waste time obsessing things you cant predict. I do think tho that if an epidural gives u a more enjoyable memory of the whole thing cause ur not in killer pain then do what makes u feel most comfortable. good luck!

  28. OMG you’re finally pregnant! Haha.. I’ve been following your blog and life with Mal forever (and actually even emailed you way back when you were moving out of a supercute apartment and looking for subletters) and then got sidetracked raising my own two babies. I’m checking in now for the first time in a while and am very excited to see this update. Woohoo! Congrats girl. Giving birth and becoming a mama is the most universe-altering experience. I had an epidural with baby #1 (who is now 3) and au natural the second labor because there wasn’t any time for an epidural with baby #2 (who just turned 1). Honestly… call me weird, but I found labor kind of fun in both situations. Sure, there’s pain. But it’s all temporary and it’s just such a surreal experience that I feel so honored to have gone through. Don’t fear it. Just keep your eye on the prize. You’re going to feel like Super Woman when you’re done. I’m rooting for you!! 🙂

  29. I like to think I have a decent pain tolerance (maybe a 6 on a scale of 10). I had epidurals with my first 3 babies. However, with the 3rd, I had a very bad experience and close call…all of which was a direct result of my epidural. I did some research later and didn’t realize how many risks were associated with them. I just thought that’s what you did. Get an epidural. So for my 4th baby I decided to do Hypnobabies. I learned self hypnosis techniques to deal with the pain. It was very effective for most of my labor. And – WOW – it was such an amazing birthing experience! I SO wish I would have gone without the epidural with the others now! I think if you choose to go the natural route, you need a plan. And a doula! 🙂

  30. Hi Tina,
    I just want to say that I love your realistic perspective on labor. I feel now a days people put WAY to much stock in how they give birth and consequently can make other women feel inferior. I wanted to have my son naturally …my mom gave birth to 4 kids with out drugs and I felt that I had a higher pain tolerance then her, but my son had other ideas. He was breech my whole pregnancy and the day of the scheduled C-sec he flipped. My dr. decided to induce me although I wasnt ready and I labored for more then 14 hours and never dialted pass 2 centimeters. The last part of my labor I was having extremely painful contractions every 30 seconds and was ready for the epi…but then they decided it was safer for the baby to have a C-sec anyway. Needless to say I had the C-sec and I dont regret it. I feel like I recovered pretty fast…my tummy was flat soon afterwards and I had a healthy boy. With my second pregnancy I have two choices…going into labor by myself or C-sec. They wont induce me because of risk…and you know what, what ever happens I will be happy. Remember its all about the baby at the end. Thanks for keeping it real!

  31. I think the best thing you can do is be educated about your options during labor and open to them. I was in labor with my little guy for 25 hours. I did the first 16 natural and used breathing techniques I had learned in prenatal yoga, as well as a birthing ball and was pretty comfortable. After 16 hours and little progress, it was looking like I was going to need a c-section and did want to have to get general anesthesia, so I opted for the epidural and was SUPER comfortable afterwords! There are actually a lot of benefits to having an epidural and being a labor and delivery nurse, I tell patients all the time not to stress over getting an epidural and just to see how the labor progresses. If the pain is tolerable then no need. If you are miserable then get the epidural. You wouldn’t get a root canal without medication would you?

  32. That pizza looks AMAZING and I imagine that everything tastes 10 times better when your pregnant :0)

    It’s kinda weird, but I think my pain tolerance depends on the kind of pain I’m in, unless I get a paper cut and then my tolerance is at a big fat 0..LOL…You look great, by the way.

  33. I think the best way to prepare is education and support. Are you planning to hire a doula? I think they are a must, especially for hospital births. I labored for 47 hours, with back labor, and had a successful home birth. Medicated or unmedicated, birth is intense and in my opinion, requires lots of support. So excited for you!

  34. Labor is terrible, but yet, it goes by sooooo fast that now I look back on it & think it wasn’t too bad (and mine lasted 40 hours!). Between contractions, you don’t have time to think about what’s going on….you’re just busy trying to get through it. I don’t have a super high pain tolerance, but I would have another kid….so, there’s that! You look so cute by the way….love the belly!

  35. I’m late reading this 🙂 Birth is such a personal experience that it’s hard to really give advice, but I’d definitely urge you to go with as little intervention as possible. Once it’s started, it can sometimes snowball and end up with a c-section which is no fun! I’d say read up on natural birth and what you can do to prepare yourself. But honestly, I didn’t do anything at all besides read and I only ended up with a bit of a stadol type drug because I was going into the 30 hour range and very tired. But really, honestly, it’s painful of course but very doable. And experiencing the whole birth was a good thing for me. Also getting up right afterward and showering was a plus!

    Finally, I would reallllly suggest getting a doula! (if you want to try and go natural). I wouldn’t have succeeded without her. She was invaluable and she won’t interfere with you and your husband and will only be there when she is needed.

    But yeah, of course if you need a epidural at some point, then don’t feel bad. I would avoid pitocin though, unless absolutely necessary! I makes everything much worse. (from what I hear) Make a birth instruction sheet for everyone.


  36. It looks like I’m a little late to this party, too. Congratulations on your baby boy! Whether you have some kind of pain medication during birth or not, I think it is very empowering to understand what is happening to your body during labor. I have given birth twice without epidurals and found knowing what was happening allowing me to be more relaxed and less fearful. If you think you might be interested in going without pain medication, I strongly recommend spending some time preparing. Many preparation techniques are based on relaxation and who couldn’t use a little more of that? I used hypnobirthing and I came to really enjoy my practice sessions. You will know at the time what the best decision for you is. My best wishes for a safe, quick delivery and, of course!, a healthy baby 🙂

  37. I realize you are not looking for the info I’m going to share, but I just felt like sharing anyways 🙂
    I can honestly say that I did not have pain during birth/delivery – some discomfort, and awkwardness (you are contracting but involuntarily – so weird! a bit like when your eye twitches, but much bigger).
    I had a few things that helped: I labored in water, my midwife knew an awesome pressure point that she pushed on my foot which relieved some discomfort during contractions (I wish I asked her about it so I’d have more info!) and I kept a couple things in mind – I was told that if I relaxed and didn’t cramp up with fear that I would not have as much pain (worked for me!) also I was told that when the baby comes out there is a lot of pressure and that it acts as a way to numb your lower parts – a bit like if you sit on your hand for a long time and you can’t feel it anymore, for a few minutes… That image stayed with me and really helped me relax!
    Recovering is another story though – but at least you know at that point that the ‘complicated part’ is done, and you have something amazing to distract you – a new person that you and your husband made 🙂

  38. Wow! I didn’t realize the epidural number is so high. I had an all natural birth but feel like everyone needs to figure it out for themselves. The part I liked the most about not having the epidural was being flexible and moving around during labor. I could try different birthing/pushing positions to see what minimized the pain and what didn’t. I was also free to move around my room which was awesome. Cons to a natural labor (at least in my experience), I had some complications and ended up needing a vacuum assisted delivery as well as an episiotomy which is beyond painful without pain meds. I was also exhausted after it was all over and looked like a semi had ran me over. However, after going through all that, I wouldn’t change a thing and will probably go sans epidural for my next kid. Additionally, I don’t judge other women who decided to get one. Like most of the other ladies on this post – do what works well for you, be informed on both sides and be flexible in your birth plan.

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