Wednesday, April 27, 2011

36 week check-up check-in

Yes, friends, this is where it gets really annoying.  I'm going to the doctor every week now.  Luckily there should only be about 2 more of these updates.  Hopefully it will be fun for me to look back at them one day and remember just how I was feeling.  I know shortly after I had Theo, I had all these feelings of was I ever really pregnant? I could barely remember just what the weight of this belly felt and looked like or how the kicks, shoves, and wiggles made me moan and groan.

Since I woke up 3 hours before my alarm went off, I went ahead and picked up Theo before my appointment.  Big mistake.  They had to "work me in" so of course that means we waited.  Got there at 4:40 and didn't see the doctor til 5:10.  Theo was o.v.e.r. it.  Luckily the appointment went quickly and I got lots of good news to share!

Weight gain is back up to 20 pounds (normal fluctuating, if you ask me). 
BP was 110/60.
Heartbeat was in the 140s.
Belly was measuring....I don't remember what she said...
Blood sugars are "perfect."

All systems go for a scheduled induction on May 12!  They scheduled it, or were calling the hospital to set it up when I left so I need to call back and find out exactly what time I have to be there.  And the rest of the report...

1cm dilated
50% effaced
Cervix is "very" soft (due to recently having a baby) and should respond nicely to Pitocin

I'm most excited about the soft cervix because that means I don't have to go in the night before they start my induction for Cervidil.  Why is this a good thing?  For one, it hurts.  But mostly because I can sleep in my own bed rather than a hospital bed the night before the baby is born.  And I won't have to be hooked up to an IV and monitors and all that junk for as long.  It's really inconvenient using the bathroom and just moving around while there are 53 kinds of tubes and wires coming out of your oh-so-flattering minty-green hospital gown.  Not to mention the fact that it's that much less time away from Theo.  Yes, skipping Cervidil is a good, good thing. 

I told the doctor that I am still not sleeping because I couldn't bring myself to pay $108 for 20 Ambien CRs.  She said she'd rx me the regular Ambien, although she didn't think it was as effective.  I don't know how much cheaper it is.  I slept a little better over the weekend.  I mean a little.  But when I went back to work, it was back to 3-4 hours of sleep per day.  Not. Sufficient.  My body just hurts from being so tired.  I keep telling myself, it's just a few more days.  Anyway, I forgot my prescription for the old-fashioned Ambien and haven't decided if I'll try it or not.  I might see about just getting 5 of the Ambien CRs to see if they are worth $5+ apiece.  Fat chance. 

Oh, on the sleeping pill note, I decided to try Unisom OTC when I found out how much the Ambien CR was going to cost me.  I swear, it gave me RLS! I took it three nights in a row and three nights in a row, I had the unstoppable urge to move my legs to relieve uncomfortable feelings of tingling and aching.  I can't even explain how weird it was.  When I saw the commercials on tv for RLS a long time ago, I thought it was made up.  It's not.  It might be one of the most annoying things I've ever experienced while trying to go to sleep.  Needless to say, Unisom did not do the trick!

I only have 8 more days of work before the baby comes.  Then it's 12 weeks of round-the-clock work and not sleeping...but hey, at least I'll be at home and can wear my jammies.  And I'll be able to lie down on my stomach again - score!

I go back to the doctor next Thursday for my 37 week appointment.  I'll have an ultrasound to get a look at the baby's size.  I'm so paranoid that the tech is going to ruin the gender surprise.  We've made it this long, I sure don't want her spoiling it now! 

eeeeeeeeek it's getting close!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear baby (letter to my mystery)

Dear mystery child of mine,
Much discussion has been had over who you are and much anticipation is felt over who you will become. I can't believe you'll be joining our family in just over 2 weeks. We are so excited to meet you and share with the world whether Theo will be a big brother to his baby sister or brother.
Either way, I'm thrilled. I picture having a baby girl and all the fun and challenges that would bring that are different from what a parent experiences with boys. I picture having another baby boy and my heart swells thinking about the lifelong friendship and bond that only brothers share. I wish for that bond between you and Theo regardless of who you are and who you both become.
We have been making lots of preparations for your arrival and now we are just waiting for time to pass so that you can grow and be strong on your birthday.
While pregnancy isn't easy, and I've complained a lot about all the inconveniences of it, I wouldn't trade carrying you to full term for anything. Every poke, nudge, and kick I feel from you reminds me that we are both so lucky to be healthy and I'm thankful that we've made it this far together. I'm not ready to share you with anyone else yet, so stay put for 2 more weeks, please. There will be plenty of hugs and kisses to go around when you get out here with everyone. 
I love you, my little mystery baby, and I can't wait to see what you have in store for your daddy and me.
see you soon,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

35 week check-up check-in

My appointments are starting to get slightly more exciting (to me). 

I went to the doctor yesterday for my 35 week appointment, thinking she would do a cervical exam to see if I had dilated any.  She said we'll start those next week.  Fine by me, they're not much fun.

She measured my belly, it was right on schedule at 35 weeks.  She pushed and poked around on my stomach and said it feels like the baby is head down.  That's good news - she'll be able to tell better next week.  The heartbeat was the highest it's ever been for this baby, in the 150s.  My blood pressure was 100/60.  My weight was down two pounds from two weeks ago so my total weight gain right now is 18 pounds.  Blood sugars are still good and there's no need for insulin.  I have noticed a trend of them increasing somewhat but 90% of them (or more, probably) are within normal, nondiabetic range. 

I talked to my doctor about the fact that I am only getting 3-4 hours of sleep per day/night and I'm barely functioning.  I almost had a nervous breakdown right there in her office.  She prescribed Ambien CR.  Dilemma...she said to take it only when you have 8-10 hours to devote to sleep and not driving.  That's fine on the weekend, but I only have 7 hours to devote to sleep each day through the week.  Maybe I can take 3/4 of a pill? 

We talked about my options and as long as my blood sugars and weight gain remain well-controlled she said I have three:
   1.) Have an amnio at 37 weeks and get induced then if the lungs are mature.
   2.) Get induced at 38 weeks without an amnio.
   3.) Schedule a c-section at 39 weeks. 

I don't think I would ever voluntarily sign up for an amnio.  They are kind of scary, and from what I hear, painful too.  Plus 37 weeks just seems too soon.  I also am not in the business of signing up for major surgery that will require me to not pick up my almost 14 month old son for weeks.  Um, that's not really going to work for me.  So I'm opting for number 2 and hoping that it doesn't end up in a c-section.  Even with the mild shoulder dystocia we had with Theo, if everything goes as smoothly as it did with my last induction, I'll be pleased as punch.

She'll do an ultrasound at 37 weeks to try an get some measurements on the baby to make sure it isn't too big for a vaginal delivery.  This makes me nervous - I know that the measurements and weight can be off by a pretty large margin of error. 

I asked if I would have to go in the night before for Cervidil again and she said it will depend on whether or not I am dilated any.  Last time I was only dilated 1cm at 39 wks so I went to the hospital at 630pm the night before my Pictocin induction.  I'd rather just go in the morning of the induction, but that will be a game time decision (unless I'm already dilated to 2 or more by 37 weeks or so). 

I also asked if my doctor is going to be on call on May 12 or 13 because she had mentioned it would be one or the other.  I was secretly (or not so secretly) hoping for a Friday the 13th baby, because that sounds kind of fun, but she's on call on the 12th and I really hope I'm not still in labor by the time the 13th rolls around.  So, May 12th it is.  Exactly two weeks before my due date. 

I'm starting to think about all the things that could go wrong, but trying not to focus on them.  Just trying to keep my mind open, knowing that a birth plan is only a plan and anything can happen when it comes to babies.  Labor and delivery is so unpredictable. 

I can't believe this is happening so soon - only three weeks to go. 

Sidenote - I dreamt the other day (during one of my "naps") that I had four babies back to back (to back to back) and their order was Boy - Girl - Boy - Boy.  Interesting, yes?  I still have no clue what this baby is.  I'm leaning towards girl today, but my hunch changes just like the weather (which here in the Midwest means A LOT and rapidly). 

I'll be packing my hospital bag and our new diaper bag on Monday!  It's getting SO close. Packing the bag makes it so real, so scary, so soon.

that is all,

Monday, April 18, 2011

thoughts about baby

Last week was a slow bloggity blog week, I know.  I am not making grand promises about my blog this week.  I'm whiny and tired and I feel like no one wants to hear/see/read that.

I'm getting excited.  I'm getting scared.  I've been having weird pains.  I'm feeling bittersweet about this whole pregnancy thing.  I know it's going to be ending very soon, which will open up my world in a whole new way.  A raw, sleep-deprived (more than now? really?) way.  I remember right after I had Theo thinking that it wasn't so bad (at times) because I was SO exhausted that I could fall asleep instantly.  And I slept like a rock until he woke me up to eat again.  Granted, that might have only been for 90 minutes at a time, but there were some perks.  For example, I could sleep on my stomach again.  Heartburn didn't keep me awake. 

I will go from one baby to two.  The beauty of one baby is that when he sleeps, the mama can sleep (in theory).  Since Theo gets up around 7, I'm not sure how that's going to work out.  I originally intended to keep him home with me every day while I was on maternity leave.  I remember being really sad going back to work after he was born because I realized that I would never get the chance to spend that much time with him again, barring a horrible illness or some other reason I would have 12 weeks off work while he was a child.  Obviously I realized that any subsequent maternity leave would be a chance to spend 12 more weeks with him...but then there's that pesky sleep thing.  So I have agreed, at my husband's constant and persistent urging, to allow him to continue going to the babysitter 3 days a week.  To maintain his allow me to bond with the allow me to sleep when the baby sleeps...etc, etc, etc. 

I have mixed feelings about it.  He says I'm just trying to be supermom.  I'm not.  If I was a stay-at-home mom, I wouldn't have a choice.  I wouldn't be sending one baby away so I only had to deal with one at a time.  I feel guilty.  I feel like if I am home, my kids should be at home with me.  All of them.  Not at a paid babysitter.  Then my hubs reminds me that Theo LOVES his babysitter.  And he loves his baby BFF at the babysitter, G, who is 3 weeks younger than him.  He reminds me that the babysitter does activities and takes them outside and gets a good night's rest and has lots of energy every day.  Oh.  Yeah.  That is true. 

But for whatever reason, I still feel like it's a copout and I should be able to manage my two babies.  The babysitter is going to be managing 2 toddlers and 2 infants all by herself this fall.  That's kinda insane!  Again, she gets a good night's sleep, but still...I wouldn't be able to/couldn't do that. 

I am in a constant cycle of justifying keeping Theo home versus sending him to the babysitter.  I think the solution is that we will continue to pay the babysitter the same amount and if I want to send him, I'll send him.  If I want him home, I'll keep him home.  If I want to go pick him up early, I can do that too.  She's super flexible, thank goodness, so hopefully we'll just be able to play it by ear. 

Another thing about feeling torn over the whole pregnancy-ending-soon thing is that it's kind of sad, having my babies so close together.  I don't feel like I got to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I might have if they had been spaced out a little more.  What if we don't have another baby and this is the last time I'm pregnant?  I'll never feel those baby kicks and see my big baby belly again.  That's kind of sad, once it's over.  With that being said, I can totally understand why they (doctors?) don't want you making any final decisions about tubal ligation while you're in the middle of a pregnancy.  Right now, my answer would be "no way in hell." 

I remember when Theo was about 2 months old thinking I could do it all over again.

be careful what you wish for,

Monday, April 11, 2011

20 things about us

I snagged the idea for this blog post from Babbling Abby

20 Things About Us

1.  We are hopelessly sentimental about Disney World.  Can you blame us?  Don't you know how we met?  We fantasize about going back and are completely engulfed in the "magic" and nostalgia while we're there. 

2.  The more time we spend together, the better we are.  The more in love we are.  Time apart is the enemy in our relationship. 

3.  Case in point:  We fought 10x more in the 4 years we were in a long distance relationship than we have in the nearly 8 years we've been married.  (Did you know we were long distance for almost four years?  Or that we've already been married for almost EIGHT!?  how did that happen...)

4.  We both have the same vision of what we want for ourselves, our kids, our future.  Does that happen very often?  Because I feel pretty lucky.

5.  He always thanks me for making dinner.  I try to always thank him for cutting the grass or taking out the trash - he's better at it than I am.  It's so nice to feel appreciated.

6.  We rarely fight.  But when we fight, we fight (yelling, people...just verbal stuff, mmkay?).  It's usually my fault because I'm overreacting about something or because I'm hormonal (that's happened a lot more over the last couple of years.  I look forward to returning to normal, if she's still in here somewhere).  Sometimes it's his fault because he's stressed and stress makes him grumpy and jumpy.

7.  I'm not afraid to put him in his place and he's not afraid to put me in mine.  I really think that we share the "pants" in the family and I like it that way.

8.  It's way too easy for one of us to talk the other one into going out to eat.

9.  He pretty much gave up beef several years ago when I did and never complained.  He gets it from time to time at restaurants but we never have it at home.  Seems like that would be a bigger deal to most dudes.

10.  I still look forward to seeing him at the end of the day as much as I ever did.

11.  I think he's the only person I would never get tired of being around.

12.  He gives the best hugs.  He always, always, always hugs me before I leave for work.  And tells me to be careful.  I think that's sweet.

13.  We do not have the same taste in music.  Not. At. All.

14.  He likes my movies but I don't like his.  Hardly ever.

15.  He thinks I'm a good singer and a wonderful cook.  I think he's the smartest computer guy and an all-around genius.

16.  I wish he was more patient and he wishes I was less anxious.

17.  We want to go to Hawaii for our 10th anniversary but we need to start saving, like tuh-day, and that's probably not going to happen.  Maybe for our 20th.  Or 50th.

18.  He is 1 year, 9 months, and 17 days older than me.  When we met, I was 19 and he was 21.  Mere babies.

19.  We share a love of amusement parks and roller coasters and vacations and lazy days and new experiences.  And Theo.  We collectively could not love that little boy any more.

20.  My favorite thing is how we're always a team.  Good or parents, as individuals, and as a couple - we are a team.  We do things together and for each other.  On the average day, there aren't a lot of grand romantic gestures, but there are always little moments that make life more special.

What's are the things you like best about you and your love??

Friday, April 8, 2011

33 week check-up check-in (aka most boring update ever)

I was supposed to go to the doctor Wednesday but as I was pulling out of the driveway, I got a call saying there was an emergency and they needed to reschedule me. I could see my doctor on Friday or the NP on Thursday. Since I wouldn't have a babysitter Friday and da da wouldn't be able to go either way, I opted for the Thursday appointment.
I told the nurse that I've had a cold for 4 weeks. The NP came in, looked at my sugars (they're still good), measured my abdomen (she said I was measuring around 32 wks), and listened to the heartbeat (133).  My weight gain remained the same (20 lbs so far) and my blood pressure was good (100/72). Then she bolted. No "do you have any questions?" No "how 'bout that month old cold?" Nothin.
Whatever, I'm glad it was uneventful...that's how most pregnancy check-ups should be. What really irritated me happened when I went to schedule my 35 wk appointment.
She said "you can come Monday at 210 or Wednesday at 245." 
Me:  "that's it?  Those are my only two options for the entire week?"
Her: "Yep."
Me: "well that doesn't really work for me. I work third shift and I need early or late appointments."
Her: "that's what's available. Which one would you prefer?"
Me: "neither, they're both horrible, so I guess it doesn't matter."
Her: "great, I'll put you down for Monday the 18th at 210."
Me: "no.  I'll take the 245." (I know, smarmy, but it's 30 more minutes of precious sleep).
Her: "okaaaay."
So I'm annoyed. And I plan on calling that week and saying I can't make it to see when they'll offer to reschedule me.  It's just irritating to me that I pay them bazillions of dollars for service and they never try to accommodate me, yet I always have to bend over backwards for them.  Don't get me wrong, I love my OB but I think customer service in the health field, generally speaking, SUCKS.
Just sayin,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

all about gestational diabetes

I had gestational diabetes with Theo, diagnosed at 30 weeks.  This time, I was tested earlier and diagnosed at 28 weeks.  Last time, I had a total freakout meltdown.  I didn't want any pregnancy complications, especially one that I knew was going to require a lot of work and uncertainty on my end.  I learned that gestational diabetes, for me, is very manageable and far from the end of the world.  In the end, I was thankful to be put on a diet that would curb my weight gain.

By 28 weeks with Theo, I  had gained 27 lbs.  I ended up losing a few then gaining some back and my total weight gain with him was 29 lbs.  I know I would have been at 40 or more lbs had I not gone on the diabetic diet.  I was lucky enough to manage my diabetes with diet alone and didn't have to go on Insulin shots like a lot of people do.

This time, I was hoping and wishing that I wouldn't get diagnosed with gestational diabetes because at 28 weeks my weight gain was only 20 lbs.  No luck.  But this time I wasn't depressed, just disappointed and determined to go Insulin-free again.  So I started off on the diet a few weeks ago and so far it hasn't been too bad.  My sugars have been relatively normal, like that of a person without diabetes.

I have to check my blood sugar with this four times a day.  Once when I get up (before I eat anything) and two hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Fasting sugars should be below 96 and post-meal sugars should be below 121.  Out of 120+ glucose checks so far, only 3 have been high.  They have been post-meal sugars (133, 141, and 121).  The 133 and 141 were on the same day so that seemed like a bit of a fluke.  I remember last time that the further along I got, the higher the readings were.  The more out of whack the body is, the harder it is for the pancreas to regulate the Insulin.  As long as fewer than 25% of my sugars exceed the cutoffs, they'll allow me to stay diet-controlled. 

The diet...

I have to eat 6 times a day.  It's a lot of planning, it's a lot of grocery shopping, it's a lot of list-making, and it's a lot of eating.  A lot of time spent eating.  It can be really exhausting and annoying at times.  Because of the way my work schedule is, sometimes I end up having to eat 4 times while I'm at work.  I'm sure my co-workers think I'm just some crazy, pregnant fatty, but the truth is that I loathe having to eat so often.  I doesn't make does eating ALL the time curb weight loss and keep sugars under control?

Well, the idea behind the gestational diabetes diet is not to eliminate carbs or sugars from the diet.  It's to maintain a healthy level of carbs/sugar in the body.  I am supposed to eat a certain number of carbohydrates for each meal and snack, which should be balanced by protein.  I do notice a difference in the way I feel physically if I don't have a balance of carbs/protein throughout the day.

This book is so helpful in planning meals both at home and out to eat.  Once I've become aware of how much sugar is in certain foods, they become less desirable.  When I follow this diet while dining out, I never leave a restaurant feeling like a fat cow.  That's a nice change.  Counting carbs just becomes part of the conscience.  And once I've taken note of the carbs, I compare the calories and fat.  You'd be amazed how many calories and fat are packed into those delicious oversized restaurant entrees. 

Here's a typical menu for a day.

Breakfast:  45g Carbohydrates
I might eat one of these frozen breakfast sandwiches (30g) and 8 oz of 1% milk (12g). 

Snack: 30g Carbohydrates
1 cup of grapes (29g)
1 slice of cheese (0-1g)

Lunch:  60g Carbohydrates
Turkey, cheese, and mayo on diet wheat bread (~20g)
Sugar-free chocolate pudding cup (13g)
Handful of raw baby carrots (10g)
12 oz 1% milk (18g)

Snack:  30g Carbohydrates
1/4 cup raw peanuts (5g)
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese (6g)
Pre-packaged applesauce or fruit in it's own juice (~18g)

Dinner:  60g Carbohydrates
Salad greens with light dressing (5g)
2 slices of thin crust pizza with meat and cheese topping (55g)

Snack: 30g Carbohydrates
Oscar Mayer Deli Creations Cracker Combinations (30g)

Like I said, it's a lot of eating.  But managing the carbs somehow simultaneously manages the calories and I stay around 2000 per day.  One thing that really helps is Splenda.  I am a sweet tea addict and I can make it sugar free and caffeine free at home and drink it throughout the day and at work at night.  Also, diet root beer and Diet Sierra Mist add taste as good as their sugar-filled counterparts and some flavor to my meals and snacks. 

Having gestational diabetes doesn't allow much room for cheating because of having to constantly check your sugar and keep record of all the results.  Truth be told, sometimes I forget to check it until 30 minutes or an hour after I was supposed to.  When that happens, I just add 10 or 15 points to my result and hope that I'm close. 

The biggest problem with gestational diabetes is called macrosomia, or super fat baby.  The problem with super fat baby, duh, is that it won't fit through the birth canal.  My doctor told me that even when diabetes is controlled, babies tend to develop broader shoulders and have more fat deposited on their shoulders than babies to non-diabetic moms.  The problem with broader shoulders is shoulder dystocia, which happened with Theo's birth, and according to the doctor that delivered him, is one of the scariest things that an OB can face during a vaginal delivery.  Basically, the head is delivered and the shoulders get stuck.

Theo's shoulder dystocia was mild (lasting only about 10 seconds) but some cases are severe.  Once the head is delivered, it's nearly impossible to push the baby back in to do an emergency c-section.  A possible complication for the baby is broken collarbones.  If the baby stays in the birth canal with the head out and the lungs compressed, oxygen to the brain is lost and the result can be brain damage or death.  Thankfully, Theo suffered no immediate or long-term damage.  His was so mild and he was a below-average sized baby, so gestational diabetes cannot necessarily be blamed for the situation.

I've asked a bazillion questions and researched it....there's just no way to know in my situation if I was borderline too small to deliver vaginally or if the shoulder dystocia occurred due to some other factor like his position coming out, my position, etc.  In other words, it's super duper important that I manage my diabetes well this time to ensure that it does not play a factor in delivering vaginally.  I have toyed with the idea of not having an epidural because IF shoulder dystocia were to happen again, there are different positions the mother can get into to try to loosen the shoulder/shift the baby's weight/position.  Obviously when you are numb from the waist down, there is no getting up and hopping around.  (Not that hopping would be involved, regardless). 

I don't think I'm quite ready to make that commitment.  That's scary.

After my appointment Wednesday, I'll be scheduled for my 35 wk check up two weeks later and that will start the weekly visits.  Eeek! 


Monday, April 4, 2011

lazy bliss

This weekend was the first weekend in I-dont-know-how-long (long time) that we had no plans and made no plans and saw no one but each other.  Me, my baby, and my boo.  Just the three of us.  Well, I guess I should start counting this itty bitty belly-boo, too.  So it was the four of us.  Okay, if you want to get technical, we spent a lot of time with the cats.  So 6 of us. 

When I say I-don't-know-how-long, I mean months.  I know it was before holidays, and if it was before the holidays, it was WAY before the holidays because November and December are always jam-packed.  I think we need to make plans to make no plans more often.  It was really refreshing to surround myself with my little family.  (I love how that sounds).  I love our extended families and our friends and cherish the time that we get to spend with them but the time alone (together) was immeasurably valuable. 

We did a whole lot of nothing...we ran errands, bought groceries, went clothes shopping, and exchanged Theo's convertible car seat.  We cooked dinners and went for walks.  We enjoyed the amazing 78 degree temps.  After the babe went to bed we played Donkey Kong Country on the Wii and watched DVR.  It was bliss.  Lazy, unproductive, happy bliss. 

This weekend I thought about the fact that this (32+ wks) was about how far along I was with Theo when I started thinking (er, stressing) about what to pack in my hospital bag.  That makes it seem so much more real and so much more...soon.  So much more...ohmygodisthisreallyhappening!?  Sometimes, when I'm unbelievably tired, I wonder if this was a huge mistake, having another baby so soon.  But then I think about how much I love being a mom and having a son and seeing my husband as a dad.  I think about how lucky we were to get pregnant so easily this time.  I think about how I wish the people we're close to had the same good fortune.  It's a lot harder to complain about it when I think about how badly I wanted it with Theo and how a couple friends of mine now have been trying for three times as long as it took us to get there with him.

Only 5 weeks and a few days to go, supposing I still get induced at 38 weeks.  I've been managing my diabetes well, so hopefully that will continue as I progress.  I feel like my stomach just got huge in the last week or two.  It must have because I've started getting the stranger comments and stranger stares.  (And because now the baby is allegedly packing on about a half pound per week!)

*wince* "Oh honey, how much longer?"

"Oh my old is your little boy?  And when are you due!?"

"Well you look great to be so far along!"  (WTH is this?!  Some sort of backhanded compliment, I do believe).

*grimace* "How far along are you?"

I'm taking it all in stride.  I know this phase of my life is quickly flying past me.  And I know that all of the discomforts of pregnancy will soon be a memory.  I'll be trying to remember exactly what those taps, kicks, and pushes felt like and just what this big belly looked like. 

Thank goodness it's getting warm enough to wear flip-flops now because I think my shoestring-tying days are over.