Strawberry Shortcake with Almond Flour // Welcome Baby Isabelle

Our baby girl is here - say hello to Isabelle!

Since baby girl was measuring so small on ultrasounds, my Ob-gyn strongly recommended an elective induction. I was a bit nervous and had hoped to go into labor naturally but scheduled an induction to do what was best for the baby.

Also, I was ready to be done with pregnancy, and we figured it was better to go in before the coronavirus peak overwhelmed all the hospitals (I was afraid the hospitals might ban spouses/partners like some hospitals did in NYC).
The day before the induction, I had one last Ob-Gyn appointment. I was measuring 0 cm and she warned me as a first time mother, induction could take 24-72 hours! This was not reassuring to me at all, but I was glad to mentally prep myself (even if I couldn't sleep the night before due to anticipation).

I had always imagined it would be chaos when I went into labor: my water would break, and I would be in terrible pain as we frantically rush to the hospital for labor and delivery. In contrast, with a scheduled induction, we had a nice brunch, dropped Nike off with a friend, and calmly drove to the hospital around noon on "D (delivery) day".
When the induction was started, I was at 1cm, which was a start. I was told I couldn't eat anything except clear liquids during the induction (which potentially meant no food for 72 hours!). I started having contractions; I couldn't tell at first, but a few hours later I definitely felt them. In fact, I was doing so well with contractions, I didn't even need pitocin.

B distracted me with games and video calls with family and friends. I also worked on renewing my ACLS training online - by then my contractions were so painful I was shaking and could barely read the EKGs (everyone thought I was crazy for doing this while in labor, but I knew life would be busier after the baby. And I passed the test on the first try!)

Around 4cm, I wanted an epidural - the anesthesiologist was amazing and did it in 2 minutes. The contractions were much better within 30 min, and I was able to relax a little.
Our brothers, B, and I had a bet on if baby would come before or after midnight. They all thought it would be after midnight, but I was optimistic she would arrive before midnight. We also had bets on if she would weigh above 6 lbs (my and my brother's guess) or below 6 lbs (B and his brother's guess).

After the epidural, the labor progressed really quickly and before we knew it, I was at 9cm. We were shocked. The Obgyn team said the baby would be coming "sometime tonight" which was exciting. On re-check it was 10cm, and baby would be coming "in the next 30 min." Then suddenly it was "Actually baby's crowning and she's coming out right now!"

I was pretty calm throughout this point until I could start seeing decelerations on the fetal heart monitor (the problem of knowing too much when you're in the medical field), and thought "Oh no, no way did I make it this far to wind up with a C section, baby needs to come out now!"
I gave three pushes, and she was out! She gave a wonderfully loud, strong cry, and they placed her on my chest. B cut the umbilical cord as a proud dad and let our families know Isabelle was born at 9:27pm! B and I were just so overwhelmed we didn't even cry, but we did both tear up. The Ob-gyn attending kindly volunteered to take lots of photos.

The nurses and Ob-gyn team said we did amazing - only 7 hours from start of induction to baby in my arms. I don't think delivery could have gone any better.
The best part: I won both bets - she was born before midnight and she weighed 6 lbs 2 oz. B claimed I cheated since I had "insider trading" knowledge, but we're both so happy labor was quick/uncomplicated, and her weight percentile was much better than the last ultrasound.

She may be tiny, but she's our perfect little shortcake. Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction


Strawberry Shortcake with Almond Flour


Ingredients
SHORTCAKE
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cups almond flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
t tablespoon cup unsalted butter, cold and diced
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or buttermilk)
sugar, for sprinkling

TOPPING
Strawberries, sliced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
mint for garnish (optional)

Directions
SHORTCAKE:
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl or in a large food processor. Add the diced butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing in the processor until coarse crumbs form.

If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a bowl. Pour 1/2 cup buttermilk on top. Stir everything together until just about combined (dough will look crumbly) - do not overwork the dough. Roll the dough into balls, slightly flattening them, on a lined baking sheet.

Brush the tops with heavy cream (or buttermilk) and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let cool.

ASSEMBLY:
Using a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Layer the biscuits with strawberries (you can slice the biscuit in half or put two together as a sandwich) and whipped cream. Garnish with mint. Enjoy!

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