32 weeks!!

8 months. Wow. Silly pregnancy timing, though – one would think there’s only a month left because you’re always told pregnancy is 9 months, but no. I’ve actually got about 8 weeks left, assuming I go to the full 40 week term (why don’t they just say 10 months!?). But still, 8 months is pretty pregnant. I’m almost there!

8 months

Geez, this is like, the worst picture. Sorry for the darkness. I didn't realize it was on the wrong setting till after I sat down and looked at the shots I had. And then I was too lazy to retake it.

So, in gestational diabetes news this week, my morning levels have continued to be just slightly high, so I was referred to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist for an ultrasound followed by an appointment with the Diabetes Center’s main office, both located downtown. I hate driving in cities. I always get lost. Which is why I’m glad it’s been reiterated to me that I should be totally fine giving birth at my local branch of the hospital (they only make you go downtown if you’re really high risk. Or I guess, unless you choose that hospital in the first place just because you like it or live closer or whatever.). Anyway, the ultrasound went great! All her structures looked perfect and she’s actually measuring at the 55th percentile now! So, she’s no longer small (if you remember, about 7 weeks ago, she was measuring at the 22nd percentile)! I was so glad to hear that her size isn’t an issue on either side – the main point of today’s ultrasound was to check to make sure she wasn’t getting too big due to GD (which I really wasn’t concerned about since she was small before), but I also wanted to make sure she hadn’t slipped off the spectrum of normal on the small end. So, yay! I guess all the food I’m eating on the GD diet actually helped her. Plus, they checked the location of my placenta, and both the tech and the doctor confirmed that it has moved up, which is another good thing, since if it had moved down, I would have definitely needed a C-section due to the birth canal being blocked. But it looks good, so I’m still on target for a vaginal birth. She’s also head down and facing my back, which was cool to find out. They said she could still switch it up a few times before birth, but it’s nice to actually know how she’s positioned now so I can picture her better. Finally, babet kept her legs firmly clamped together, so we couldn’t get one more confirmation of gender, but oh well. I just keep telling myself that first tech was 100% certain, so don’t worry about it. Again, it’s not that I’d be disappointed with a boy at all – it’s just that I’ve bought soo much girl stuff! Some of which would probably not be returnable by the time she’s born. No more thought of that, though. Everything will work out. But basically, everything looked good and they said that I probably won’t need to come to their office again – I’ll probably just get one more ultrasound at my OB’s office, closer to birth, to check on her size again.

33 w ultrasound

33 week ultrasound! Top is a profile, with babet sucking her thumb (we actually saw the sucking motion!). Middle is apparently a foot up near the top left, where you can barely see the label "foot". Bottom is her right leg. ...the top one is the only one I can really make out much.

So, based on the facts that babet is perfectly normally sized and that my levels aren’t too crazy, the doctor decided not to put me on insulin, which is kind of more their “more serious case scenario” solution, but instead put me on the lowest dose of Glyburide. It’s just a pill I take once a day, at bedtime, to ideally fix my resting glucose level. With that fixed, the rest of the day should take care of itself with the diet. I’m happy with the course of treatment. I’m glad it’s basically the most conservative, lowest dose plan they could put me on. And they again reassured me that babet will be fine with the medication. Really the only thing I have to look out for in myself is signs of low blood sugar, but being on the lowest dose shouldn’t put me at much risk of that. And if it happens, I just drink a glass of milk. Any milk I want! Haha, that seems like a silly thing to punctuate with a “!” but on the diet, I’m supposed to drink whole milk (blech), so I’m happy to have more options if my blood sugar gets low. So, we’ll see how this affects my levels and adjust as needed, but I’m hopeful it will work as is.

I also had my last monthly OB appointment yesterday before switching to biweekly. I was supposed to meet Dr. Sharawy, but he was busy, so we just met with a nurse practitioner. She was perfectly nice and answered my questions just fine, but this is the second time I was supposed to meet Dr. Sharawy and didn’t. The first time I didn’t care – I met another doctor I hadn’t yet met, so it was all equal in my head, but a nurse practitioner isn’t going to deliver my baby – I need to meet ALL the doctors before I give birth! And there’s still 3 I haven’t met and only a few appointments left (my next one in 2 weeks is with one of those 3, luckily), so limited time! It’s kind of frustrating. I’ve heard nothing but good things about him, and I have sort of met him twice in passing (once on my way out of the office, we had a quick conversation about the icky glucose drink and once in the elevator on the maternity tour) and he was very nice both times, but I’d really like to officially meet him.  I just want to have met everyone before I show up to have the baby, because I’m sure that with my luck, the doctor on call will be the one I haven’t met. I know it’s not a huge problem – some people go to small practices and get to know one doctor intimately and then give birth while that doctor happens to be on vacation, which I imagine  is an even bigger letdown since they’ve gotten to know someone so well. I’ve got a pretty good chance of at least having met my doctor, with all the ones I’ve met so far. And they’ve all been nice. Overall, I know whoever I get will be perfectly able to do what needs to be done to get babet here safely. I’d just rather have met them first, so I don’t feel like a complete tool, pooping on the floor in front of them in my efforts to give birth.

In non-doctor news, we had a surprise baby shower this past weekend, courtesy of Chris’s coworkers! It was so sweet! We were expecting to meet up with our friend, Alex, and her daughter, at the Melting Pot for dinner and when we got there, we were led to a room full of people who yelled surprise! 😀 It was quite a surprise. Neither of us had any idea. It was really nice of them. We had a fantastic dinner, good conversation, and some gifts for babet! I’m so appreciative of everything! Thanks guys!

How Far Along: 32 weeks! 8 months!!
Baby’s Size:
Babet is the size of a jicama (what the heck is a jicama? it looks like a potato?) and weighs about 3.75 pounds!
Maternity Clothes:
Of course.
Best Moment this week:
The surprise baby shower! Though hearing good news about babet was really great, too!
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Still a little acrobat.
Food Craving: Sweet things. I did indulge in the dessert at the Melting Pot. I couldn’t resist. But, it was a one-time thing, so it’s ok.
What I miss: Sleeping comfortably.

Sleep:
Getting more and more difficult to get comfortable. I added a pillow to the fort for extra support behind my back, which helps some, but turning over or getting out of bed are still huge efforts. Also, babet likes to position what I think now is her butt right in my side when I lay down, which feels like I’m laying on a rock, so I have to switch to my other side. Then my hips start to hurt. And I have to turn again. It’s an endless cycle of discomfort. And sometimes when I try to get up, her butt or her feet or whatever is highest seem to get stuck on the right side of my ribs, which feels super weird.
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie. It does seem a bit shallower, but still holding out hope that it’ll stay in! I’m actually pretty surprised it’s still in.
What I am looking forward to: We’re seeing some friends from Greenville this weekend! And then there’s Halloween! I don’t get any candy (<pout>) or our ritual Halloween night beer and chick drinks (Chris still gets his chick drinks, though. 🙂 ), but I still like seeing the kids in their costumes!

 

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31 weeks!

Well, this was a pretty uneventful week, so this’ll probably be shorter this time.

The gestational diabetes diet is going mostly fine. I’m not particularly enjoying it, since I can’t help but think “Hey, I’m pregnant. I should get to indulge in lots of stuff!” and I can’t help but notice things I really miss, especially now that my appetite is finally back, but overall, I do think I’m eating healthily, so that’s certainly a good thing. I’ve definitely noticed a trend with my blood glucose readings – I’m doing just fine after lunch and dinner, but I’m having a little trouble with resting glucose and breakfast. I talked to the dietitian today and she mentioned 2 things: 1. Higher pregnancy hormones in the morning make your body more insulin resistant in the morning, hence my occasionally high breakfast results (they’re never ridiculously high – the limit is 130 and my results tend to range from 125 to 135.) However, it’s only rising about 30 points from my resting glucose levels, which isn’t abnormal in itself, so if my resting glucose were closer to 85 like they’d like them to be ideally, my after breakfast results would likely be fine, just like after lunch and dinner. So, 2. My resting glucose seems to be the biggest issue and that would possibly be a problem with me not producing enough insulin overnight. Again, it’s not ridiculously high. The limit is 100 and my results usually range from 95-103. So basically, my dietitian is going to forward my results over to the doctor who makes the decisions on what to do next and give me a call back in the next few days. Since there’s not a whole lot I can do about resting glucose (I’ve tried getting up earlier and eating a snack really late at night, which are pretty much the only non-medication suggestions the dietitian had), she thinks they might suggest medication, but we didn’t go into what kind of medication (I know there’s insulin shots or some sort of pills) or if there are different doses. But again, since everything is so borderline, she’s not entirely sure if that’s what will be recommended. Really, the most important thing is to lower that resting glucose level just a bit so that my blood glucose is good on its own (through diet?) the rest of the day, so I’m not sure what they do for that. We’ll see. It does make me a bit nervous to hear that I may have to start medication – I’m sure they wouldn’t prescribe it if it weren’t safe for the baby (and PLEASE DON’T tell me horror stories of rare side effects or anything if you know them – I’m avoiding google for that exact reason. I REALLY don’t need to worry more about it or have any doubt about doing what is most likely in babet’s best interest.), and I realize it’s important to keep the excess glucose away from the baby, so I’m trying to just trust that whatever is prescribed for me to do/take, will just help. And again, it’s only another 8 weeks or so (since I’m writing this post on my week count changeover day – technically, I’m 32 weeks today), so it’s not forever.

We also attended the first (of 3) of our childbirth preparation classes last night. I liked this class the most of the classes we’ve taken so far. The teacher is really friendly and funny, we’re learning a lot of stuff, and there’s no clear bias or judgment about what we “should” do. So far, we’ve talked about some basic anatomy stuff, signs of labor (and had the hubbies get up in front of the class with bellies and read off situations for us to determine the proper course of action for – that was pretty cute), watched a video that showed us the stages of labor and a natural birth (ow), and started talking about relaxation techniques like breathing, body positions, visualization, and massage. Of course, once I’m actually in labor, I’m sure a lot of this will go right out the window as I just won’t think of it when I’m in pain and of course, there will be things we learn that won’t be applicable due to my most likely chosen method of delivery, but I’m hoping we can remember and use some of it. Or my chosen method of delivery could completely go out the window due to unforeseen circumstances and I could get to use a different set of things we learned. I’m trying to stay as flexible as possible. I intend to deliver with some sort of pain medication, probably an epidural, because I’m a wuss and I know I can’t handle the pain, but I know things happen sometimes and the plan has to be changed. I just want to get the baby here safely, however that turns out to be. I could be moving too fast to have an epidural and have to do it naturally. Or, the GD could make the baby get big too fast in the coming weeks and I could need an early induction or a C-section (though again, that didn’t appear to be a concern at all at the last ultrasound, 6 weeks ago). Or, my low-lying placenta could become problematic and I could need a C-section (so far, the doctors think I shouldn’t). Again, I just want to get babet here safely.

How Far Along: 31 weeks!
Baby’s Size:
Babet is the size of 4 navel oranges and weighs about 3.3 pounds!
Maternity Clothes:
Of course.
Best Moment this week:
Well, this was mostly a frustrating week, but last night’s childbirth class was fun.
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Still a little acrobat.
Food Craving: Candy. And pumpkin spiced anything. And I can’t have any of it. 😡
What I miss: Not looking at sugar and carbs on nutrition labels.

Sleep:
Bah. Still hard to get comfortable and still feel like a boat trying to right itself after capsizing when I try to turn over.
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie. It does seem a bit shallower, but still holding out hope that it’ll stay in!
What I am looking forward to: I really can’t wait to see the nursery come together. Still waiting on the furniture and hopefully, Chris is lining up a painter today – someone he knows about through a guy at work. I am getting a bit anxious about it all though – it’s getting kinda close!

30 weeks!

This week has been pretty full of classes.

We took our infant CPR and safety class last Thursday night, where we learned the steps of regular CPR on an infant, modified choking CPR, and some regular choking instructions, plus a bunch of safety and childproofing info for the home. Unfortunately, the class was overbooked so we didn’t actually get a breather dummy; we just got regular dolls. They were fine for the chest compressions and choking stuff, but we kinda had to just mimic the breathing part since our doll didn’t have a protective plastic bit in it’s mouth or a chest that actually rises when you breathe into the mouth. But I still think we got all the info we needed.

Friday morning, we went to my diabetes self-management class where we learned what gestational diabetes is and it’s potential effects if not managed, specifically when to test, and meal plan components/schedules and specific ideas for foods to eat. Turns out I was testing at some of the wrong times – I’m supposed to test first thing in the morning (I had that right) and 1 hour after each meal (I was testing at 2 hrs – apparently the booklet that comes with my meter is geared more towards type 2 diabetes). I was also looking for the wrong values. Gestational diabetes has some pretty strict values compared to type 2 diabetes, so I’m now looking for under 100 first thing in the morning and under 130 at 1 hr (I had thought under 110 first thing and then under 140 at 2 hrs). I have to report my values to the dietitian every Monday. So far, it’s going pretty well. I’ve had 1 morning result at 101, which is considered a tad high for resting glucose, but they don’t make any changes to your plan till you get 3 high morning results and the rest of my mornings have been under 100. I was feeling a bit nauseous that morning and I had gotten up earlier than normal 2 days in a row (with poor sleep the nights before) and my dietitian suggested that bodily stresses can raise your blood glucose, which may have been why that resting glucose reading was a bit high, but I’m more concerned with not getting high results at all than knowing why it happened – there’s nothing I can do about feeling nauseous or having to get up early. As for after meal results, they’ve also all been good except for 1 rogue result after breakfast at 152, which really freaked me out. Turns out the milk I chose to drink with that meal (1%) was too low fat and lowfat milk often causes your blood sugar to rise more. I’m supposed to choose either whole milk (blech, I’m used to skim – anything higher than 1% feels like I should be chewing the milk) or a special Calorie Counter brand “dairy beverage” which tastes awful. When my dietitian calls today to schedule my follow up meeting, I’m going to ask if the yogurt on the list (Dannon Light and Fit – I’m not sure why lowfat yogurt is ok while lowfat milk isn’t) is considered a valid milk substitute, because that’s all I can handle. I’m not sure what else the yogurt would be classified as, so I’m hoping it will be ok, though I think the list might have mentioned adding in an additional fat to make up for the low fat content of the yogurt. I’m just nervous to eat it in the morning since pregnancy hormones affect insulin most in the mornings because they’re highest in the morning, which is probably an additional reason I had that high reading. Overall, though, I feel like I’m eating a good deal more than I was before – and it’s different stuff. Whereas before I ate a lot of pastas and other carbs, I’m now eating more protein and fat (of course there’s plenty of veggies and some fruit, too). For some reason I’m encouraged to slather everything in butter or cheese and have bacon with every meal if I want. I’m not used to it. Honestly, it’s not terribly easy – I feel like I’m on an hourly schedule of eat, test, eat, test and I’m nearly always full, which kind of takes the enjoyment out of food. The dietitian did mention that if I’m really full, I can skip a snack here or there, but the meal plan is technically classified as 2000 calories, so I’m trying to eat as much as possible, especially given that my weight has been an issue. Oh well, I guess it’s only another 9 weeks or so. (Just enough time to probably miss out on the rest of the pumpkin spice latte season, Halloween candy, and Thanksgiving. <cry>)

And then, finally, on Saturday morning, we had an intro to breastfeeding class. I had already watched some videos online, so some of it was stuff I already saw, but we did learn a good amount of helpful info. I’m also glad to hear that the breastfeeding consultants visit you everyday that you’re in the hospital after giving birth and then you have a follow up with them after you leave to see how things are going. I really do hope it goes well for us. I’m a bit nervous that I’ll have trouble. I don’t have any reason to assume I will though. I just hear such mixed things in all the blogs I read. Some people are champs right from the start and they talk about how wonderful the bonding is and how great they feel to be supplying their babies with the best nutrition possible. And some people complain about pain and cracked nipples and bleeding and engorgement and supply issues and mastitis and all sorts of other bad things.

Anyway, as for us, we’re doing pretty well. Babet is still moving around like a little acrobat in there, still most wildly at night, but she kicks me often during the day too. I still have no idea how she’s positioned. I think she’s supposed to be head down now based on the BabyCenter emails, but I can’t tell. I never noticed a big change in how I felt things were positioned. I occasionally get a little lump just to the left of my belly button, but I don’t know if it’s a butt, feet, or a head. At the same time, I get a bit of a lump on my right side, which is why I’m so confused. It would almost seem that she’s sideways, but I’m pretty sure that can’t be the case at this point. I feel kicks and punches all over – one minute they’re way down in my pelvis, the next they’re making the middle of my belly jump, and sometimes when I roll out of bed, my ribs feel crowded on the right, but I don’t know whether it’s by feet or a head. I’m also still feeling pretty good – my energy is pretty good and I’m not terribly achey or anything. Just still finding it hard to get to sleep at night because it’s hard to get comfortable.

Chris has been really busy at work, managing a project, so he’s been working some long hours for the past week and a half. I feel so bad for him – he basically gets home, we eat dinner, and then he’s out. He’s so tired. But it sounds like the project is going really well, so I’m proud of him. 🙂 It also makes me feel bad to ask him to do anything around the house on the weekends – he deserves to relax. We’ve officially given up on the border though – the steamer was working better and Chris did manage to get some of the border off, but it was taking a long time and he was concerned about the state of the wall it was leaving behind it (and we didn’t know what to do to fix it before painting), so we’re going to leave it to a professional. We have chosen the color though! It’s called Sandy Beach (though it’s pinker than you’d think of a beach) – we decided Jasmine Flower was practically white and Toast was too gray-brown. The brand makes a zero-VOC paint base, so I think I’ll go and pick that up in our color. No word yet on the nursery furniture, but I think it was supposed to leave the manufacturer this past weekend, so depending on when they make a delivery to USA Baby, hopefully I’ll get a call in the next 2 weeks! And then I just have to schedule a delivery to here. So, I’m hoping we can get the painter in and done by then.

How Far Along: 30 weeks! Though not a month number, it’s still exciting!
Baby’s Size: Baby is the
size of a head of cabbage (regular cabbage this time) and weighs almost 3 lbs!
Maternity Clothes:
Yup.
Best Moment this week:
Feeling a little more prepared by the classes.
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Still a little acrobat.
Food Craving: Ugh, nothing. Too much food.
What I miss: Not looking at sugar and carbs on nutrition labels.

Sleep:
Bah.
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie. It does seem a bit shallower, but still holding out hope that it’ll stay in!
What I am looking forward to: Getting a call that the nursery furniture is in!

29 weeks!

Well, I finally have an update on the glucose test. Basically, I came back right at the cusp of what they consider gestational diabetes – of the 3 hourly draws, 1 was elevated and 1 was borderline. So, they consider me to have gestational diabetes now, but I suppose it could be a lot worse than it is. The OB called in a prescription for blood glucose testing supplies for me to test my blood 4X a day for the rest of the pregnancy (the gestational diabetes should go away once babet is born) and I have to take a 2.5 hour class on Friday. I thought I was supposed to start testing right away, and so I did – once in the morning and then 2 hours after each meal. So far, my results have been good – the booklet that came with the supplies says pre-meal should be under 110 (I’ve only had one rogue morning test slightly higher than that) and 2 hours after meals should be under 140 and I haven’t seen anything over 124. So, I guess that’s good! However, I called up the OB just to make sure I was testing at the times they wanted me to test at (their instructions on the prescription label just said 4X per day, whereas the booklet seemed to suggest 6X a day – just before and 2 hours after every meal, so I had just guessed that a baseline morning and the after meal testings were the most important if I had to pick only 4) and they just told me to stop testing until I take the class and get the “official instructions”. So, whatever. I hate to lose a week of testing because, assuming I was using the right schedule of testing, it really helped me to know how specific meals affected my blood sugar and I hate to lose a week of, basically, control. I’ll still watch my diet of course, but still, knowing exact numbers would allow me to customize my meals much better than just saying “NO SUGAR NO CARBS” because obviously I need some carbs. I’d also think that a week’s worth of results might have helped the class instructor give me more customized instructions, but I guess they don’t really do that.  On the other hand, I can also understand the OB wanting me to get all the info I need before I start.

On the upside, again assuming I was testing at the right times, I seem to be doing well managing my blood sugar by diet alone, which the nurse suggested would probably be the case for me, being right on the cusp of GD. And, based on that ultrasound I had about 3.5 weeks ago, I don’t seem to be experiencing the main concern that a lot of GD babies have – becoming too large. But again, I may end up having at least one more ultrasound before babet arrives to make sure that she’s well sized (not too big due to GD or too small due to my lack of weight gain), so I’ll be glad to just keep tabs on her size. But I don’t go in for another 3 weeks, so nothing till at least then (grumble, grumble). So, overall, I’m not terribly worried about this. When I first got the call Friday morning, I freaked out and cried on the phone to Chris, but ultimately, it’s a manageable thing (which, based on what I’ve seen so far, assuming correct, doesn’t seem to be hard for me to manage), I don’t seem to be having the main concern of an overly large baby, and I only have to deal with it for about 11 weeks. I will absolutely do whatever it takes to make sure it’s under control and that babet arrives here safely and that’s all there is to it.

We also toured our hospital’s maternity ward this week. We were both really impressed. The hospital is quite new – built in 2004, so everything is nice and updated. The surgery room (for C-sections) and nursery looked good, but what I liked the best were the rooms. Each patient gets a private room, which is quite big and equipped with a private bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, entertainment things like a DVD player and TV, and everything medically necessary for a normal delivery (plus emergency supplies). I was happy to hear that you give birth in the room and that your baby is cleaned up and examined right there next to you – they don’t whisk her away to a separate part of the hospital. They also encourage you to keep the baby in the room with you as long as you want, or of course they’ll take your baby to the nursery if you need some good rest alone. They also had a cool baby lojack thing where the baby gets a wristband that sets off alarms if taken past certain points in the hallways to prevent baby theft (though the hospital mentioned that it’s pretty much only ever gone off because of parents who weren’t paying attention). It seemed like a really nice place to give birth and I’m feeling really good about it.

Not much else to report. We had a yard sale on Saturday, which really helped clean out part of our garage. We very quickly sold all of the bulky items we had and anything we didn’t sell, we took up to Goodwill and donated, so half of our garage is in a much better state now. We pretty much just have to continue breaking down the pile of empty boxes for recycling and that should be most of what I wanted to clean out. No further work on the nursery yet, but our neighbors dropped off their steamer for us to give the ugly border removal one more attempt, so hopefully Chris’ll try that this weekend.

How Far Along: 29 weeks!
Baby’s Size: Baby is the
size of a butternut squash and weighs 2 1/2  lbs!
Maternity Clothes:
Yup. And finally found a jacket today! Which I think may still work after pregnancy as well!
Best Moment this week:
Seeing our awesome maternity ward!
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Though I still have absolutely no idea how she’s oriented or which body parts are making which movements. She does seem to like to hang out on my right side when I’m in bed, though.
Food Craving: Now that I know I have GD, chocolate, naturally. I’ve been giving myself one Hershey Kiss per day (I found Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses and Caramel Apple Hershey Kisses at Target! Found them the same day I picked up my blood glucose supplies. Figures.). Maybe I’ll get lucky at my class on Friday and find out I can have 2.
What I miss: Not looking at sugar and carbs on nutrition labels.

Sleep:
Bah.
Belly Button: Still firmly an innie. It does seem a bit shallower, but still holding out hope that it’ll stay in!
What I am looking forward to: 3 classes this week! Infant CPR and Safety on Thurs night, GD class on Friday morning, and Intro to Breastfeeding on Sat morning.