Saturday, February 27, 2010

GD: A better day

Thank you so much for holding my hand during my mini-meltdown yesterday. I guess yesterday there was just one too many straws on this camel's back but I'm better now. I had my 30 week check up (Wow! 30 weeks!) and met with the final OB in the practice. He was super nice. I wish it was a given that doctors had good bedside manner and I didn't have to be this thrilled to get what should be the care I'm entitled to but it is what it is. He told me my one-hour was too high to warrant a re-test and he was worried I could pass the three-hour and be a false-negative. Because of my insulin-resistance issues I'm already at high risk and the one hour confirmed something is wonky. He said if my numbers continue to be this low then they'll reduce the times I prick myself and relax some of my eating restrictions.

Today was a much better day GD-wise. I reduced my portions considerably. I had a veggie sandwich for lunch but I ate half of it for lunch with vitamin water and then had the other half as my snack two hours later with a grapefruit. This made it much more manageable and I've made a promise to myself to trust my instincts. If I am too full I'm not going to push it. I've been trying to do research on the eating sugar issue but am turning up nothing, maybe somebody reading has an answer? The dietitian said I could absolutely not have sugar ever and to take Splenda instead. But- the GD booklet I have just lists one tablespoon of sugar as 1 carb and doesn't say don't touch sugar. I had 1/4 teaspoon of sugar in my tea with breakfast and my reading was 83. The vitamin water I drank had 2 servings of carbs which was sugar but my reading after lunch was 80. Sugar is not skyrocketing my numbers so why can't I just have it and incorporate it in my carb counting? Is there something I missed? I called the dietitian to ask but she never returned my calls.

Thank you for advice on pricking myself too. Today was much better. I made sure to wash my hands in warm water, I then massaged around the area I would prick to get blood circulating and after pricking I squeezed a little. This helped get enough blood out and I didn't have to spend twenty minutes stabbing all my fingers.

Jack and I were eating dinner and I told him- I can't believe it: We have nine more weekends without him at most! Then he will change our lives forever! But Jack pointed out, our lives have already changed. Our conversations revolve around him. Anytime he squirms or moves my hands move over my belly. I have the equivalent of a medical clinic's worth of medicine supplies for him. I have altered what I eat for him. I altered how I sleep for him. In some ways, in a real way, he's already here and my life has already changed because of him. Remembering who this is for helps make it all worthwhile. (Though- I still reserve the right for an occasional mini-meltdown!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

30 Weeks

Thirty weeks pregnant! Single digits a'comin. So thankful. So grateful. I simply cannot wait. And yet I'm sitting here trying not to bawl my eyes out. This is a frustrated woe is me post so please feel free to skip if you're not in the mood.

My doctor called and refused to give me a three-hour saying I definitely have GD. This frustrated me but I took a deep breath and told myself its okay. Ten more weeks. It's okay.

Then I sat down to dinner. Already full. There is too much damn food in this diet. Trust me, I love food but. . . this is ridiculous. I have to eat almost every two hours and not just a small bit. Here's what I ate today:

Breakfast: whole wheat toast, egg, tea, apple (2 carbs 1 protein)
Snack: one whole grapefruit plus nuts (2 carbs 1 protein)
Lunch: Tilapia Salad plus grapefruit (2 carbs 1 protein- I was supposed to eat three carbs but I was too damn full)
Snack: I was supposed to eat 2 carbs 1 protein but I was TOO FULL so I had some tea with a teaspoon of sugar (1 carb)
Dinner: Chicken salad plus random potatoes I included for carbs sake (3 carbs 1 protein)

I still have my night snack left and despite walking around I am so full I feel sick yet I've been told I must eat 2 carbs plus 1 protein before bed because I risk spiking my insulin overnight. This means an apple, milk, nuts. I'm FULL.

This just doesn't feel right. But still. I told myself to be grateful I'm not starving. It's okay. Sunflower is okay.

Then- it was time to check my after dinner levels- Twenty minutes go by. I pricked every single damn finger, I bled on every single damn finger- but not enough blood. Error says the meter each time. I'm down to two test strips now. Each finger is throbbing and the damn machine still tells me error.

Jack- trying to lighten the moment smiles and says aw honey its okay you'll get it, its no big deal, you can't let this upset you. Yeah that didn't work. I felt like John Locke on LOST who screams out all the time don't tell me what I can't do!! I just started crying my eyes out seriously contemplating a sewing needle or something to get me to f-ing bleed enough! I finally had to sit down and try composing myself- the dietician told me stress will spike my numbers but I was still shaky as I tried it on the highest needle setting and started bleeding profusely, finally it read my number: 80- well below danger zone- again.

I'm frustrated. I feel I'm being punished for wondering why people complain about this diet. Its not the deprivation of sweets, its eating like I'm on a Road Rules challenge on MTV. It's pricking myself until I gush to get a damn reading on that meter.

And then there's the other issue. I found out Jack has a required ten day trip to San Diego less than two weeks after the due date. I don't want to be home alone. My mom has to go back to work by then, my dad used up all his vacation for the year tending to his mother overseas, and he suggested I could ask my mom to come stay with you while I'm gone, once sunflower is here you guys might bond and it would be nice. What the fuck? I'm sorry- she stresses me out sans bebe and now you want me to be ALONE with her and my crazy FIL for ten days with a baby and my pregnancy hormones? Let me assure you that is not happening. I'd rather be alone or I can ask a cousin or my brother to sacrifice a week and spend it with me. Jack is not a jerk. He's really not. He's an awesome husband and has been great through all this- but I don't get it. He thinks that this me being a mother thing is going to automatically create a bond between MIL and me and that is just as unrealistic as puppies driving cars. Not. Going. To. Happen. AND even if it were to happen- I'm not going to test his hypothesis two weeks after giving birth living alone with them for ten days. Jack is going to try his best to get out of this trip but he's getting heavily pressured, hopefully this will be a moot point and his boss will understand- but right now its sitting like a boulder on my head.

So there you have it. I'm an emotional mess today. I want to be super-happy at reaching this wonderful milestone. And I am happy. I really am. I feel bad at this much frustration. Maybe its hormones. I'm not usually this easily unsettled to the point of tears. I guess I just feel frustrated.

In an attempt to be positive I'll end with three things good things at 30 weeks:

1. Parking in the expectant mama parking at stores gives me an inordinate sense of joy. For so long it hurt and now when I pull in and park my car there I feel like I have truly arrived.
2. Lately when Sunflower kicks he uses all his body parts. I love talking to him while he kicks. I like to imagine we're having a conversation and his little pokes are feedback on my thoughts.
3. The staff at my OB office are so happy for me and counting down with me. I love feeling like a person at my doctor's office, not just a billing code.

Phew. That made me feel better. So grateful to be here. Being in my 30's never felt so good. Here's to week 32, may it come sooner than I can ever imagine and may the thing that frustrate me now seem very silly then.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gestational Diabetes- I'm getting doubtful

It might be too early for me to be this suspicious but I'm getting a weird feeling I might not have GD. I only got the one-hour test but failed it so bad (211, normal is below 130) that my OB told me I didn't need the three-hour to diagnose me. Many of you expressed doubt at this and urged me to ask for the three hour, but the insurance issues kept me from pushing the issue. I figured I likely had it given my PCOS history and the strong diabetes history in my extended family.

But since yesterday I've been checking my numbers- and they're not close to out of range. Yesterday before the class I had an egg, toast, half a glass of low-cal OJ, and a cup of tea with half a teaspoon of sugar. When they tested my levels I was at 69. The dietician gave me a cracker worried I was going close to getting low blood sugar.

I've been told not to even have a teaspoon of sugar in my tea or a splash of OJ in my water. This struck me as strange since 1 tsp of sugar exchanges to 1 serving of carb so what's the difference? Anyways- this morning I tested while fasting and my reading was 70 (should be below 95). My after breakfast reading (in which I ate toast, egg, water and tea with a teaspoon of sugar) resulted in a reading of 65 (should be below 120). 65 is borderline low sugar for which I'm supposed to drink a glass of OJ to treat myself.

Huh? I know its only three readings but I'm getting suspicious that I have GD at all. Sure I should probably not be eating a bucket of icecream anyways but I don't want to treat myself for something I don't have. I have a checkup tomorrow at the OB anyways so I called and asked if they could do the 3-hour test. It will be just in the nick of time for my old insurance to cover it. I don't know if this is wise but I'm just feeling weird that my levels are so low- so not even borderline despite even the no-no sugar in my tea?

Miscarriage: It *is* your fault. Says Utah.

My friend e-mailed me this article about Utah trying to pass a law that could charge women with homicide if they miscarry. The law allows up to life in prison for "intentional, knowing, or reckless act" that leads to a miscarriage or abortion without a doctor's supervision. Apparently, the bill is in response to to a case where a woman paid a man $150 to beat her causing a miscarriage. Um, how about better funding for mental health issues or better funding to reach out to women about their options if they don't want a pregnancy? That is a saner response to this supposed situation? Instead we get trigger-happy legislation. The kind where policy is driven not by trends but by fear mongering. It's like the calls to create laws forcing doctors to transfer only one embryo because of Octo-mom, ignoring the fact that IVF happens every day without incidents like this.

This is bizarre on so many obvious levels. I am most disturbed by the language punishing women for reckless acts that lead to miscarriage. Reckless is a very subjective standard. What does it mean? Does skipping a dose of Progesterone or Metformin in the first trimester count as reckless? Does getting in a car accident that leads to miscarriage count as reckless if the accident is deemed your fault? And more close to home for me, if I lived in Utah, would I be sitting behind bars for writing this post?

And- I can't miscarry without a doctor's supervision? What does that mean? What if you miscarry while on vacation, unexpectedly, or without even knowing you're having a miscarriage?

I no longer blame myself for my miscarriages but for a long time I did. The first instinct when you miscarry is to beat yourself up since you were in charge of doing the carrying. It took months of therapy for me to believe that I couldn't have prevented my first loss even if I hadn't eaten the raw cookie dough, or lifted the suitcase, or drank a cup of tea. Now there's a law that could put a woman in jail, or at the least make her afraid she could go to jail, as she wades through her grief.

If you live in Utah or know someone who does, please encourage them to contact their representative in Congress and let them know what you think.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yes, GD not my fault!

I just got back from the nutrition class and you were right! GD isn't my fault! While I can eat well to manage it, when I took that sugary drink regardless of how well I was managing GD my numbers would've spiked. I also found out I was eating way less than I needed to and honestly, when I saw how much I can eat, its not much different from what I was eating before the diagnosis. The only difference between how I ate and how I will eat is making sure to have a protein with my carb snack and trying to eat at the same times each day.

The dietician asked me about my miscarriages wondering if they'd been found to be linked to PCOS and she told me she had one miscarriage. It was such a bad miscarriage it scarred her uterus permanently and she was never able to have children. We talked about infertility for a little bit and I felt amazed she chooses to work in this field. We got to the section of coping with giving up foods, and she looked at me and said I'm sure you're okay with that? I quickly nodded but I wondered how does she feel when women come in crying that they can't eat cake anymore and how horrible pregnancy is? Judging from my birthclub on people take the not eating sweet things quite hard. Almost ludicrously so. Don't get me wrong- I stopped and stared at the icecream sandwiches at Krogers yesterday like a child staring longingly at the puppy he always wanted, but I'm not really feeling sad about it. I know I can have it in May. I guess its all perspective and how you feel about something is relative to what you've gone through. Still, kudos to her to surround herself with pregnant women crying about cookies.

Off topic for wordpress powered bloggers: Wordpress bloggers and wordpress-powered bloggers I am still reading your blogs and I'm still trying to leave comments but it seems that my comments are going straight to your spam box? I'm not sure why and not sure if its limited to only me. If you don't regularly check your spam comment box please check it regularly since it seems genuine comments can fall to the wayside in there. Very strange!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anemia, Gestational Diabetes, and the blame game

I went to refill my prenatal prescription and found out my doctor called in an order of iron supplements for me. Huh? After a phone call to the OB I learned I'm also anemic. I guess with all the hooplah about having GD they forgot to tell me that minor detail. I've been told anemia makes you feel really tired and that makes me feel better because lately I feel like a three toed sloth forced to live like the humans. Still- I wish they had mentioned it. I just happened to have been a few days late filling my prenatal and the prescription was called in today. Had I not gone in, I'd not have known until perhaps much later.

Thank you SO much for your advice about GD and calling my doctor's office. Some people mentioned pushing for the three-hour. I would do that except that my insurance ends Friday and I'm afraid of going in for the test and getting positive results during my insurance lapse when I can't do anything about it. I'm signed up for a half day nutrition session tomorrow and hopefully the nurse can order my testing strips before the end of the week so insurance will pay for that too.

One positive of having been married almost 8 years before having a child is you have worked through a lot of your ish before the baby arrives. We used to argue and get dramatic quite frequently in the first few years of marriage but in the past two years I can count on one hand the number of serious arguments we've had. For this reason I was a bit dumbfounded by the argument we almost had last night. I was sitting in bed when I realized I had not eaten something before bedtime. I usually have a glass of milk with nuts per the GD diet. As I got up he said you're just so chill about this whole diagnosis. I looked at him confused. You knew you were going to have GD based on your history and you chose to eat pizza and other bad things for you. If you had been healthier you could have prevented this.

In the first year of marriage I would have started yelling at him but instead, I just took a deep breath and went downstairs to get my snack and cool down. I understand he's frustrated. He gets to be on the outside while I bake the baby and he's very health conscious and its true- I did eat more unhealthy than I ever had while pregnant. This isn't to say I was sitting there eating pints of ice cream but I was eating what I wanted when I wanted. I ate things that have been on my no-no list for years like Pizza Hut. Considering I have a history of diabetes and GD in my family and I had PCOS I should have been more vigilant. But at the same time I don't know if all the vigilance in the world would have prevented this. He was apologetic when I came back upstairs, but his apology feels hollow to me because I know he meant what he said.

Since getting pregnant I've been able to push aside all the emotions that come with having PCOS but now with the GD diagnosis its all coming back to me. My doctor told me I could cure PCOS by losing weight. I was ten pounds over my ideal BMI. Jack was at that appointment and he's reminded me ever since that I have PCOS because of my weight though research also shows you can have weight issues because of PCOS. I tried for years to lose those ten pounds, and let me tell you staying ten pounds overweight (and not more) was a struggle. Metformin helped a lot. I suddenly could see the results of my hard work and through diet and exercise my weight did start going down like normal people's do when they eat right and work out- ofcourse I got pregnant and lost pregnancies for the duration of that year so I never fully lost those ten pounds but with Metformin I saw it was possible to finally lose the weight.

This whole GD thing is taking me back there. To the place of guilt. To the place of: its my fault and I may have caused this to happen. I'm fighting the guilt because guilt does me no good but I'm tired of my family, my doctor, my husband pointing fingers at me. And- I'm also tired of me sometimes also, pointing fingers at me. I can only do what I can now that I know- blaming helps no one.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gestational Diabetes- waiting waiting waiting

I'm frustrated. I was told to take the one-hour test at 28w3d into my pregnancy. Most people take it earlier than that from what I understand. I found out at 29weeks that I failed the one hour so spectacularly I don't need the three hour test to confirm my gestationally diabetic status. The nurse told me Friday that someone will call Monday or Tuesday to set me up for a class and get me the supplies I need to monitor myself. Okay, but what am I supposed to do in the meantime? I am reading blogs, your comments, researching on different sites to figure out how to eat but I don't enjoy doing this "on my own". I want the class and the meter NOW so I can know what to do.

Since the diagnosis I've made changes. No more cereal with a glass of OJ for breakfast. Now I eat egg with whole grain toast. I got low calorie OJ and I dilute it by drinking 3/4 water 1/4 juice. I'm eating vegetable soups for lunch and salads with protein for dinner. For snacks I eat apples or grapefruit or a glass of milk and I always combine it with some sort of protein like cheese or nuts. I also am going to do light walking after dinner which I read can help. I'm also trying to eat a snack before bedtime.

But how do I know any of this is working? Thanks to PCOS I have Insulin Resistance and so I don't know if diet alone is going to do anything? I might need insulin shots as we speak and I don't know. I am scared that my baby is growing too big, that he might be in the NICU, that there may be complications I can't foresee.

The reason I'm stressing out more than usual is that my insurance is ending Friday. My new insurance is with Tri-care which is a little complicated. I have an appointment March 4 to get into the system and then I have another appointment March 8 with a primary care manager to refer me to see the doctors I'm already seeing. It's a weird system but its what I have to work with. Essentially if I don't get my class and meters this week I may not get them until mid-March around week 32.

I've explained this to my doctor's office and they say they get it and will make sure I get in this week. The nurse gave me the number of the coordinator who should be calling me and told me to ring her up if I don't hear from her by Wednsday. Wednesday? That seems so far away. I have no reason to disbelieve them when they say they'll get me in this week, they're always efficient, but the stress of feeling like its very late in the game to start addressing GD, and wondering if the diet I'm doing is right, and worrying about my upcoming insurance gap is all giving me a major headache.

If you made it this far into the vent, thanks for listening. Just feeling a bit like my hands are tied behind my back. Am I making too much of the GD diagnosis? If I am, please tell me. I really am okay with watching what I eat- I've done South Beach in the past and I'm used to it. I'm just scared of what can happen if my best efforts aren't working as time continues to tick.

Returning the Doppler....?

When I first rented my doppler at 9 weeks I bought a one month package and planned to keep it until the end of the first trimester thinking I'd stop being so scared once I passed week 12.


From weeks 9-19 it was my life preserver and quite frankly, I don't know know how I would have lived without it. Week 20-28 while I could feel definite movement, there were days I didn't and on those days that doppler kept me from waddling as fast as I could to the ER. [and as an aside, insurance companies should consider giving dopplers to recurrent miscarriers because they would save a pretty penny from frantic doctor and ER visits from such persons!] Now, thankfully, he moves pretty regularly inside me and when he's quiet I can often nudge him gently and he'll poke back and let me know he's there. We still listen to him almost nightly, but more so because its our security blanket, and less so because we're terrified out of our minds.

I recently learned that my maternal grandmother lost four children. One stillborn, two within the first two weeks of life and one who was two years old. She also suffered at least three miscarriages that my mom is aware of. Back in the day it was hard to know if it was a truly a miscarriage unless you were quite far along. She still managed to have five daughters, but I wonder sometimes how scared she must have been each time she got pregnant. No ultrasounds, no dopplers, nothing to reassure you. I think my months of waiting are bad, I cannot imagine how she must have felt. I shudder to think about not having had my doppler as a source of comfort during my darkest days of doubt.

The monthly rental ends at the end of the week. Jack thinks its time to return it. Part of me agrees but the other part is scared because its my blankie and if I give it away what will happen? Will I jinx myself somehow? I do have gestational diabetes now, so does that up my risk of losing him in any way? I'm reassuring myself that if he goes silent again I can always go to babysrus and buy the $25 dopplers that you can definitely use at this stage.

Incase you are in the market for a doppler, I was very pleased with I bought the cheapest model and it worked fantastic. The customer service was also marvelous and the package arrived right on time. I'm not getting paid to say any of this but wanted to share my good experience for anyone else in the market and to let you know that at least for me, it was incredibly reassuring to know I had it handy if I felt afraid.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20, 2009

It was Friday and a particularly bad day at work. I stared at my cases piling up on my desk, jammed into the cabinets and tried ignoring the red blinking glow of my answering machine just as my boss knocked on my door, stuck her head in and told me I was getting four more cases transferred to me the next morning. With a sigh I consulted my planner trying to ignore the circles on the corner. . . my period was 16 days late. I remember feeling frustration bubble up inside of me. Metformin regulated my cycles for two months and now this? A 45 day cycle with no period in sight? That evening as I drove home I listened to my voice messages. A friend I threw a baby shower for called to thank me, I can't wait until its your turn! I remember I started laughing at her timing. Shoot me now I thought.

I called Jack on the drive home and we agreed to an evening of sushi and hookah. As I neared home I considered the evening of raw fish and tobacco and thought, maybe I should test, you know, just in case. I told Jack I was making a detour to Walgreens. He got annoyed. You're not pregnant! You waste too much money on those tests and I don't want you to ruin your weekend getting sad. I knew he was right, but I bought the three pack. Figured I'd be testing over the next few days since that was my typical mode of operation.

I came home. I put my purse down. Jack was napping on the couch. I remember feeling heavy. A heaviness from my head down to my toes as I unwrapped the test. I took the test and set it on the sink as I had countless times before. I watched as the control line reddened and looked at the blank slate next to it as I had countless times, hundreds of dollars worth of times, willing a second line to appear- except this time- it appeared.

My hands shook well before my brain received the message. I shrieked and jumped to my feet. Jack came rushing in. I showed it to him. No he said, its a fluke. I tested again, this time with a digital: Pregnant.

I cried and hugged Jack. I called my mother. I'm pregnant. I remember thinking: Its over. The struggle is over. I'm done waiting. I felt such a sigh of relief. I felt heaviness exit my body and lightness take over. Nothing could have made me happier in that moment.

Though I ultimately lost that baby, that moment ranks as one of the most beautiful of my life. I still have that test. Its buried at the bottom of our bills drawer, but I can't seem to throw it away because it reminds me of that day. One of the most beautiful in my life. The loss that followed cannot take away the pure joy of that particular moment in time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gestational Diabetes- results ***Updated

Well as expected, I flunked.

Normal levels: 130 or below.
Me: 211

The nurse didn't seem overly concerned and I'm scheduled for a three hour on Monday. She said despite this high result I could still pass the three hour. I had the blood draw Tuesday and I got results Friday which is a long time so I'm wondering when I'll get results from Monday's test and I'm wondering if I should go ahead and start a South Beach type diet just incase. The nurse said I didnt need to, but I'm wondering if I should.

I expected it but my old friend fear is starting to whisper again since GD does put you at elevated risk of stillbirth according to some websites I've read. Luckily that fear is kind of being stuffed under a mattress at the moment because I cannot handle even considering that.

I will go ahead and hope I pass the three hour, but given my history I also accept the reality that I will fail. I just hope that regardless, Sunflower will be okay. I can live without eating cakes or white rice, but I don't want to live without him.

**Updated**: The nurse called back to say that she misspoke and because my levels are above 200 I actually do have Gestational Diabetes so there's no need for a three hour test. I go for nutrition classes and will be more closely monitored by MFM.

I'm disappointed because I'm scared of the risks associated with it (jaundice, difficulty breathing, increased risk (50/50 chance) of type II diabetes later in life, birth defects. . .) but I'm trying to be positive about it. It is a common diagnosis and doctors have made great advances on how to manage it. Plus, I started off my pregnancy ten pounds overweight and I gained about 30 pounds since. Eating a controlled diet will ensure I'm not letting myself go more and will teach me healthier eating habits. Often my biggest challenge with losing weight or eating strict is will power but I have one helluva reason to stick to my diet. If I said in the past I'd hang upside down naked from a tree to keep my pregnancy, I can certainly pass on rice and sugar.

Have any of you gotten the GD? I heard that it means they will induce you the week before or the week of your due date and won't let you go past the date. I'm scared of C-Sections, and Pitocin, and all things associated with labor that is not natural, but at the same time if the end result is a healthy baby in my arms, that's what matters, truly, that is it.

Happy 29 weeks to me!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My heart weighs three pounds

My visit to the MFM went well. . . I think? My cervix measured at 3.0-3.5. I felt concerned since at week 20 my cervix was 4.8 but the Doc said the cervix shortens through pregnancy and I'm well within the safety zone. I was also nervous about Sunflower's heart rate of 129. Considering he was using my uterus as a punching bag (I'm sure the brownies I ate this morning had nothing to do with it) I expected his heart rate to be higher. The Doc was not concerned about this saying it was within the range of normal. My resting heart rate while lying down can go as low as 42 so maybe he just takes after me.

I've gained 29 pounds. I am mortified. This is not all baby. I let myself go big time. I was never skinny but I was very careful about my food intake and now I'm ballooning. The doctor is not concerned and said I could go up to 35 but considering I have (hopefully) 11 weeks or so to go that's a tight squeeze of allotted weight gain left. He said when you hit 40 pound weight gain its hard to lose post-baby so now I need to get a grip and start eating better. Still waiting on my gestational diabetes test results but the weight gain leaves me expecting the worst.

BUT moving on to the good stuff. Sunflower is doing great! He weighs three pounds and is in the 59th percentile and has an alfalfa hairdo going on. I think my heart stopped when she switched the black and white ultrasound to 4D. Gone was the skeletal image and there was my baby. My baby. With plump cheeks, sticking his tongue out, rubbing his eyes. I can't stop looking at the picture. You're mine is all I can think. I can't wait to touch those cheeks, to kiss that forehead, to count those toes with my fingers and press you close to me. I'm amazed at the emotion from simple prods from within and an image on the screen. It hit me as though anew that my heart, it weighs three pounds:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When you hate what you do, it shows

I wrote previously about not really enjoying the other doctors in the practice I go to. Today I saw the meanest one, Dr. T and she did not disappoint. I sat down and she rolled her eyes and said do you want me to measure you or not? pull up your shirt. Hmm- I can think of about ten different ways she could have said that nicely. She measured me, slammed the doppler on my stomach causing little boy to kick hard and then opened the door to leave. I stopped her to ask her some questions. She rolled her eyes to each question and spoke to me like I was three. our encounter lasted five minutes, maybe. That. was. it.

I tell myself not to take it personally. I've read the reviews and she treats everyone this way, but I couldn't help it, I felt humiliated. I couldn't stop thinking about Eve and the horrible treatment some medical personnel gave her. When I once told my regular OB about Dr. T and how rude she's been with me in the past, my OB said she's going through a lot in her personal life and she's letting it into her work. I get it. I've had crappy days. I also know that not everyone in the world is nice. And mean people need jobs too. But. When you don't like what you do- it shows. Why not be a radiologist or some other behind the scenes doctor? I had this same issue as a teacher, surrounded by teachers who hated their jobs. They didn't know it- but it showed. I left my previous job because I grew to hate it and though it was scary to become a single income household sooner than I had planned, I knew if I stayed my dislike for what I did would show, and it would be unfair to my clients.

After the appointment I stopped at Publix for groceries and got a veggie sub for lunch. The guy who made my sub greeted me with a warm smile. He took care with my sub putting mustard on both sides and smoothed it out to even out the texture. He spread the veggies evenly instead of tossing them haphazardly in the center and asked me from time to time if it looked the way I wanted it to. That is the best sub I've ever seen I told him as he wrapped and handed it to me. He grinned I like to make subs for others the way I would like them to made for me.

That simple encounter left me walking away with a smile. It reminded me of the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King: Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better. And if you can't come even a smidge close to this standard, perhaps you should consider a different profession. And in the meantime, how about faking it till you make it? Isn't life too short to make yourself and those you work with miserable?

Monday, February 15, 2010

My grandmother, the hot potato

Tonight my father is an ocean away in the home he left behind 40 years ago to create a better life for himself and his family. He is there to care for his mother who is in her 90's, bedridden and completely alone. Her daughter lives fives miles down the road. Her son lives forty minutes away in a neighboring city. And my dad is there to care for her because no one else is willing. He can't stay beyond February and we're not sure what will happen to her then. The country he is from, from what my mother tells me, does not have nursing homes. Even if there is some obscure nursing home somewhere, to utter the word would cause one to shiver because that's considered abandoning your parents, the ultimate disgrace. I guess leaving them stranded in a bed in a small village with two servants who leave at night, is okay.

I'm surprised I have any sympathy for my grandmother. She is an unpleasant, bitter woman. She lived with my family on and off for three years and tried bringing my parents to the brink of divorce several times. I still remember her smiling sweetly to me at eight years old and telling me how much she loved me, and then as soon as my father left the room her expression changed I don't care about you one way or the other, get out of my room. It takes work to be that mean.

My grandmother has become a hot potato. I can only wonder how that must feel to know that none of your children care enough in your final days to help you. In some ways, its what you get for spending your life dividing your family and stirring anger and resentment. I'm just a little frustrated because my father, as the eldest, is left to figure out what to do. He's in his late 60's, and he's been under the weather. He's in a cement home with no heating, erratic running water by himself and his mother doing what he can for the few weeks he is there. My aunt, five miles down the road has a home with central heat and flushing toilets and four spare rooms. My uncle too has a home that would be middle class in the US and lives in a city where she could get the proper care she needs. No cigar. I'm proud of my father for doing the right thing but I'm angry at her for having been such a lousy mother that most of her children have become what they are. I'm angry with her that the life she lived has resulted in this final treatment. I wish she had been a nicer person.

But I also feel sorry for her. Because I'm going to be a mother soon. And I think about my son living miles from me, knowing I'm bedridden and dying, and feeling indifferent. Don't get me wrong, she was a horrible mother and I know I will be nothing like her. But- she is a mother, and she is dying and five of her six children simply can't be bothered, and despite her wretchedness, its a very sad way to end your final days. My mother says God can punish us in this life or the next and perhaps he has begun to exact for her misdeeds now. Maybe- I just look at my dysfunctional relatives and think of the family I'm hoping to create and just hope that I can do better. I hope my children will never have to know relatives as disappointing as mine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Other Uses For Baby Aspirin

Every state but one saw snow in the past 48 hours. Living in the south when we see flurries we get giddy with dreams of snowmen but to no avail. Except today. Wow did it snow, the nice sticky kind. Now I can attribute two rare occurences to February: my first pregnancy and snow you can sink your shoes into. The rather rare occurrence of snow helps explain the ahem, unorthodox manner in which we gave our little snowbaby eyes. . . aspirin: fever reducer, blood thinner, and a good way to give a snowman eyes! (Doesn't he look so thug?) Hope you enjoyed the snow wherever you are (except Hawaii, sorry, you had no snow, but you live in Hawaii, so there's that).

Friday, February 12, 2010

28 weeks

I am officially in my third trimester and Sunflower now has a 90-95% chance of survival! Next week is doctor week. My glucose test on Tuesday and I'm accepting I likely have GD based on my personal and family history. I'll miss eating carbs but there are certainly worse things that can happen. I'm practically giddy to see little dude on Wednesday at the MFM. He's very quiet lately. I've read at this point movement is more personality than well being, and he does move, just not that much. My placenta is positioned in a way that I should feel his every move, but hopefully all is well.

I'm not sure if its pregnancy or because I'm home a lot more but I seem to notice every single dent, stain or scratch. I look at a bump on the ceiling and wonder if it was always there, or if its new. We are talking to a handyman who would paint some of our rooms, and the ceilings, replace some window sills and possibly even replace our foyer hardwood floor for a pretty reasonable price. I need to double check with my doctor if its safe for me to be around the dust that will ensue from ceiling painting (we are converting our popcorn ceiling to smooth) and then its game on. The thing with having a house is, just when you think you've fixed an issue, another one springs up. I feel like donald duck on a boat that pops a hole, you plug it in with your toe, and then another one pops up that you plug with your thumb, but the more you plug, the more holes spring loose. Some people are made to be home owners. My dad and brother get positively starry eyed discussing fan replacements, or mowing the lawn but Jack and I feel nauseous just driving past a Home Depot.

We bought this house in our early 20's because our parents pressured us. We thought we were supposed to. While home owning has benefits its been a big source of stress. I used to resist the concept of having a child for some time as a direct result of this. People were pressuring us to TTC and I didn't want to do something because it was an expectation. I wanted to do it beacuse I wanted to. I find it ironic that I had to struggle as I did to actually become a parent but at least I can't say that someone else was the reason for my decision. Though a baby will also bring with it responsibility much like this house has brought, I am doing this because I wanted it badly and I will have no resentment that I was pressured into it.

Next goal: 30 weeks. Thirty has never looked so good!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This and that and a belly shot!

I've been monitoring my spotting but save a teeny bit of pink spotting in the morning, nothing. Because of the negative FFN test and the minimal spotting I'm going to see if I can hold off on my MFM appointment until its scheduled time next Wednesday. Thank you so much for your kind comments and support!

Taking advantage of an extra spurt of energy I cleaned Sunflower's room a little bit and donated a bunch of things to the American Kidney Services. I wasn't planning to decorate his room, but now that its emptying out I'm starting to have daydreams of what it could look like, so maybe I just might put a little bookshelf in with my favorite children's books. Take that spotting, I will not let you bring me down!

I also wanted to link to this post by Lilly. I haven't gotten it out of my head all day. It's a powerful reminder I hope to never forget.

And finally, this morning I looked down at my belly and was shocked. I am ginormous. I've been seeing many of you capture your pregnancy progression and I realized save a shot of myself at 21 weeks I have no belly shots! So, here is my belly at 27w4d. I think I'm looking a whole lot bigger than one should look at this stage. I think you are actually looking at half baby Sunflower, and half pizza, but it is what it is!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SIL strikes again

Since telling SIL the news of my pregnancy, we haven't heard from her. She lived five miles from my parent's home in Orlando but claimed to be too busy to meet up the rest of the week we were in town back in December. Jack found it odd but shrugged it off. SIL called Jack today. Is this a good time, I need to talk to you. Jack said sure, and she began bawling about how hurt and angry she is we didn't tell her in a special way. She demanded to know why my family knew before her. Why we waited so long to tell. Jack calmly explained to her that I was free to tell my family whenever I wanted, not to mention the fact that we were staying with my family and I was obviously pregnant. She countered that we could have called her before coming to Orlando and told her the news. Jack told her once again that someone had to find out first, and if it happened to be my family, it was nothing to get upset about.

When we told her about my first pregnancy in a 'special' way her response was simply, oh. She did not smile once. Instead, she launched into a lecture about not having a baby shower since it can jinx your pregnancy. I told her that was silly and had a miscarriage the next day. I know there is no correlation but because of her taunting words I'm not having a baby shower. Its not her fault necessarily that I've made this choice, but I resent her for putting this kernel in my ear that now correlates baby showers with loss.

To be fair to her, she doesn't know I'm high-risk. She doesn't know how vulnerable we feel. But her calling and bawling her eyes out at not being made to felt special. . . after the shit day that I had wondering if I'm having preterm labor, after the fear-filled first and second trimester, to hear someone trying to make my pregnancy about them. . . it disturbs me. I appreciate my husband's patience with her. Had she said those things to me. . . I don't know what I would have done.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Braxton Hicks- Still hoping**

Last night as I slept I kept waking up feeling a little bit of pressure in my pelvic region. It could simply be constipation or gas, but that plus the uterine tightening that's continuing today plus the brown spotting yesterday all made me think I should call my doctor. I thought they'd dismiss it and put a red flag next to my name as the crazy person, but they are having me see them in a few hours. Hopefully its nothing.

**Updated: At the doctor's office when I went to change I saw that my spotting turned into pink spotting. The doctor said my cervix is closed and she can't figure out the source of the spotting but she is having a fFN test done. If its negative I think it means I won't go into labor during the next two weeks and if its positive she'll want me to go to the hospital for further testing. She said if its negative and I still see spotting tomorrow to have my MFM appointment pushed up so they can measure my cervix length. I should get the results of the test this evening or tomorrow morning.

*****Updated: The doctor just called and said the fFN test is negative! If spotting continues I'm to go to MFM and get an u/s of my cervix and she urged me not to ignore my symptoms. It's so hard to balance in my mind what is something to be concerned about, and what is just fear echoing in my mind. Hopefully the spotting stops and next Wednesday at my MFM they can measure a hard and closed cervix.

May. Cannot. Come. Fast. Enough.

Thrown out of the closet

We went to a Superbowl party today. Jack had a private conversation with the host many months ago about our miscarriages, the only person Jack confided in. The host shared that his wife had lost a child at 25 weeks gestation. I was looking forward to meeting his wife because I wanted to get to know someone 'in real life' who had experienced loss and who perhaps I could become friends with and be able to talk about this part of my life, but I didn't quite imagine it would go the way it did.

The men were in the basement, we were in the family room. We were discussing pregnancy as a group and I mentioned I find myself more nervous than other people, and she said yeah my husband told me about your losses. She then went into her own story, but I kind of felt shell shocked. I wrote earlier about inching out of the closet but I felt a bit flung right then. I really like this woman but it felt like I was sitting there with no clothes on at that moment.

She lost her child ten years earlier. She now has four children. She said her loss happened for a reason. I would want to pummel other people for this tired cliche but how can I begrudge someone who used this phrase to get through their own loss? As we were leaving she got my contact information and said, I know I seem okay with this now but it happened ten years ago and I have four healthy children. I am not so sure it would have been this easy to accept what happened otherwise.

I have to admit something though. I know we need to talk about IF and loss as a society. We have to take it upon ourselves to break the chain of silence. But. It is very weird to be out. It is very weird to discuss why you likely won't have a shower. I'm out. I'm glad maybe someday someone might think of me and know they're not alone in their IF/loss journey. But. In the meantime, being this exposed feels. . . uncomfortable.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Remembering Speck

February 7. One year ago today I ovulated for the first time in years. One year ago today we conceived Speck, though we did not know at the time. Three months from today, May 7, I hope to give birth for the first time to the third being created in my womb.

I'm spotting brown today. If you know me, you might be shocked that I'm simply monitoring it and am not panicking. Dr. Google says if its intermittent and doesn't subside to call a doctor the next day. Miracle of miracles I'm okay with doing that. The Braxton Hicks may have pushed some old blood out. Or maybe my body is remembering someone.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Damn you Braxton Hicks, I hope

I woke up to the use the bathroom and when I went back to bed I noticed my stomach was hard as a rock. It didn't hurt and after about a minute it softened back up. Then about ten minutes later, again. There is no discernible pattern, no pain, so I'm hoping its just a harmless Braxton Hicks contraction that I read can begin in your 28th week. I've had about five of these contractions in the past two hours. I took a warm shower as recommended, am drinking my fifth glass of water and am about to lie on my side in the hopes that it will ease things. Any of you experiencing this? Because I'm not having menstrual like pain I'm not panicking. Hopefully it will just go away soon.

Friday, February 5, 2010


After 6 miscarriages, Jenn tried one last time before ending her TTC journey. She saw two beautiful lines. Her numbers rose. And then they fell. If you can, please send her your support.

27 weeks and going inactive

27 weeks. According to baby-gaga at this point in a healthy pregnancy a premature child (with intensive care) could easily win on the show: “Survivor: The Early Years.” Last night I had a nightmare that I had my baby and kept forgetting to feed him. He also never pooped and I only noticed a week into his birth! I woke up so happy because I was having a fear about being a mom dream! That means my subconscious is starting to believe this is going to happen [albiet being a bit of a spazz] and that makes me happy to no end.

I'm finally hitting my stride. Finally feeling peace settle over me. Despite the gloomy weather I've managed to be depression-free for a while. A friend recommended a daily dose of Cod Liver oil as both a good source of Omega 3 but also to alleviate depression. I'm not sure if that's the reason I feel better lately but I'm grateful for my emotional betterment since as I said in the last post, the physical discomfort is coming at me full steam.

I'm calling the State Bar today to go inactive. I doubt I'll be practicing law this year and its cheaper to be inactive. I find it fitting to go inactive since I really am inactive in the truest sense of the word. Lately with physical discomfort ramping up I find myself doing a lot of reading, writing and television viewing. I envisioned my time off work and pre-baby to be filled with organizing, packing and stacking and while I have done some of that, I mostly find myself inactive. After having spent the majority of my life go-go-go, it feels weird to be so out of commission. I like to tell myself that despite this seeming inactivity, I am baking a child so at all times I am engaged in some sort of activity.

After sunflower gets here, I plan to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) for at least the first few years of Sunflower's life. Jack is fine with this though he worries I'll get bored. My family is disappointed I'm giving up on my legal career after all the investment. As you know I have a book that's currently being shopped but even if it sells, debut authors shouldn't quit their day jobs as book advances are down lately. These things make me feel guilty and there are days I miss earning my own paycheck and wearing dress up clothes but I feel I'm making the best choice for me. I'm considering Sunny my SAHM role model: If its what you want to do and it makes you happy, then don't let comparing yourself to others get you down.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Achy Braky Back

Thank you for your kind comments on my last post. I felt relieved to admit it. It helped to hear from others that I could likely not have done anything to prevent a doomed pregnancy. Its one thing telling yourself because when I said it to myself it felt like I was justifying what I did, but your comments help me let go of it just a little bit more.

I woke up this morning feeling like a bus hit me in my sleep. I feel nauseous, like first trimester nausea but worse since my first trimester nausea wasn't that bad. I'm also getting migraines and feel generally icky.

Then there's sleep. Sleeping used to be my friend. All my life I either slept on my back or my stomach. Its hard to get used to sleeping on the sides as is but add to this the fact that I use lovenox on my sides and resting on my bruises hurts. Lying down also gives me acid reflux and indigestion. I didn't eat much yesterday but I still woke up at 7am and still felt like I hadn't digested anything. In attempt to avoid side sleeping and the indigestion issues I propped up a ton of pillows last night and tried to sleep semi reclined, but it was difficult to get deep sleep like this and my back began aching.

And speaking of back- It's entirely my fault that I gained over 25 pounds as of now, most of it being pizza and cookie weight (thought quitting Metformin hasn't helped matters). I thought because pregnant bellies grow gradually your body would not hurt so much carrying it around, but lately that belly is hurting my lower back quite a bit which is frightening since I still have a long ways to go.

And then, in the one area I can't complain, little dude is getting bigger and though he's still a gentle giant for the most part, once in a while, particularly in the morning he gives me a nice hard POW to the gut. This feels surreal. Is that you kiddo? The one that felt like a butterfly trying to get out just a few weeks ago? Now you're getting ready to play for the World Cup in there? When he kicks me to move me from a position he does not like (sleeping on my side) I ofcourse immediately move but its just funny, I feel like I'm part of the odd couple, and the grumpy one is inside of me. I also wonder, he already dictates my life now, my how things will change once he arrives? I look forward to finding out.

I know this post is a series of complaints about aches and pains but I'm sure it goes without saying I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I used to feel bad complaining but the fact is, these things are annoying. I'm blessed to be here, but just like if your back hurts when you're not pregnant, it can hurt when you are and just like insomnia sucks non-preggo it sucks preggo too, but never for a minute do these things make me wish away the underlying source of these aches and pains.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Losing Bug: My Secret

3:00am. Another sleepless night. It's normal when you can't sleep on your back like you have all your life, but today I saw a miscarriage on television and it triggered some pain of a secret guilt I've harbored since July 2009.

The news didn't look good when the doctor personally called to tell me my numbers weren't doubling and my progesterone was very low. She told me I probably lost the baby long ago and a regular period-like miscarriage would follow since I was early in the pregnancy. She insisted I still see the MFM to advise me on Lovenox for subsequent pregnancies. I went home, watched Paul Blart Mall Cop while eating Chinese Food and tried to let the pain wash over me. And this part is difficult for me to say but when I took a scalding hot shower, I wanted to hurry up and get the miscarriage over with. I'm going into TMI territory so I'm going to write the following in white and you can highlight over if you want to read it, but I had read that when pregnant you are to under no circumstances douche, I decided to hurry nature up and did so thinking if it was bad for a pregnancy, well it would speed up the inevitable. At the MFM later that week, despite my protests that I did not want to see my dead baby, they performed an ultrasound which showed a baby with a normal heart rate, growing on schedule. The MFM said HCG didn't mean much if a heartrate was there and my baby might be allright.

48 hours later I went to the bathroom and saw blood. We called the doctor's office. Dr. T seemed uninterested but told me bed rest couldn't hurt. I lay in bed for the next 36 hours and the bleeding remained bright red but light. After 36 hours, Jack and I felt like we were losing our minds and decided we wanted to go to the ER to see on an ultrasound that bug was okay. As soon as we got to the ER and I stood to fill out paperwork, I felt a gush of blood. I sat quickly down. It stopped gushing. They wheeled me into a room. I lay down on the examining table. They asked me to get up to change into a hospital gown. I stood up to change and when I removed my underwear, bug fell out of me. I will never forget it. A tiny little sac, so perfect and intact containing the little creature I saw on the ultrasound just a few days ago.

I credit my Bug for my first normal period in years that gave me my little boy who is kicking me as I write this. I try to leave it at that and usually do for the most part. But the truth is, I blame myself for losing bug in the first place. What if I hadn't done what I did in the shower? What if all that baby needed was for me to lie down and continue bed rest and be patient I fucked it all up by my selfish need to see an ultrasound?

When I think of my second pregnancy, I think of my little fighter. That heart that was beating, the little being growing on schedule despite messed up beta and progesterone levels. That baby was a fighter and that baby belonged to me. It kills me to think I might have had a hand in that baby's demise. Ofcourse I never knowingly would have engaged in acts considered dangerous in pregnancy had I known I had a potentially viable pregnancy. I can't undo it but sometimes like today I'm kept up at night wondering if I had a hand in the loss of my second pregnancy.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to share now. Maybe because its weighing on me at this time and this blog is a place I write about things that are sitting on my heart. I don't beat myself up over this on a daily basis since I know that I never intended to lose my pregnancy and that it was the furthest thing from what I wanted and if I could, I would do anything to have prevented what happened from happening. But sometimes, like today, I remember, and I feel a weird smattering of emotions. Gratitude to bug for giving me my beautiful son I carry now, and sorrow and regret that perhaps I played a hand in losing bug too soon. If it was my fault, I hope I will be forgiven.

Monday, February 1, 2010

How to make K feel like a loser

X: Hi! We're with American Express ready to offer you account protection that will protect. . .
Me: No, its okay I don't need it. . .
X: Oh yes you do! What kind of job do you have right now?
Me: I'm not working.
X: Oh, in school?
Me: No
X: Oh, um, do you plan to go back to work anytime soon?
Me: No
X: So you're just. . . home.
Me: Yep
X: Oh- you're right you don't need it.

Wow- the credit card lady whose sole job it is to sell me unnecessary stuff gave up on me. I stared at my soapy washcloth and felt a little. . . lame. My novel is currently being shopped around by my agent, I hope it strikes an editor's fancy soon.

Random aside, Katery had her baby Louise! She is the one person I followed from the start when she pretty thought it would never happen to the positive pee stick to the agonizing first trimester and now here, to a beautiful little girl!

Random thoughts and wonderings on pregnancy

I remember people would say of young boys and little puppies oh I'm so sorry he hurt you he doesn't know his own strength. Apparently I don't fully get the circumference of my belly since I wore a tank with a cardigan out in public today only to realize mid-stride at Target that I was essentially wearing a bare mid-riff. While Pregnant. I thought this tank was long and stretchy. I apologize to anyone I may have traumatized along the way.

I've also noticed that clothes I owned that were non-maternity but empire-waisted that I thought I could wear during pregnancy because of their loose nature just don't look right. While the clothing does fit, the bump looks absurd in them despite the loose material.

I hear pregnant women pee often but it hasn't really happened for me until today when I've found myself having to go every twenty minutes since 4pm. Is this because baby is bouncing on my bladder?

I am very stretch mark prone (Puberty was unkind to me) and so I fully anticipated a highway of marks across my belly once I began expanding. Luckily, I read a post by Myndi in my first trimester encouraging preggos to lotion it up well before any expanding takes place. I use lotion to listen to Sunflower on the doppler at night and then I lotion up after each shower so I'm moisturizing twice a day. I'm feeling quite victorious at my smooth non-lined belly but am I celebrating prematurely, is the worst stretching to come?

I thought by this time babies were kicking their moms all the time in the womb. Mine seems to be a bit stubborn, at least I hope that's why I don't feel punched constantly. Lately, even orange juice isn't working. I'm trying to figure out if this is normal?

I'm still not really thinking about labor. I still have 95 days to go (but whose counting?) so I have time I guess. I think about pregnancy and parenting but I don't focus more on the actual bringing the baby into the world. Yesterday a girl who had a five year old said, don't be afraid of a C-Section. I WISH I got a C-section in retrospect. She lowered her voice then and said trust me, your body will be messed up for good. We were in mixed company so I couldn't get into it with her but now I'm disturbed. What did she mean? I realize a seven pound human being would be passing through me but I thought things um, bounced back afterwards? I do hear of people having sex-lives post-baby. . . am I wrong? Are the best days behind me?