Monday, February 3, 2014

Gilligan's 3 Hour Tour

to the doctor's office.  I've never had to wait so long before!  My appointment was at 10 am so I actually went to school for an hour and a half before going there.  Looking back, I should have slept in like Mr. Desperate.  But, I work 10 mins from the doctor and he is about 40, so it made no sense for him to go into work.  And yes, even though I'm still grouchy and he's still driving me nuts, he does still come to pretty much all of my appointments.  My teacher friends with kids are jealous.  But, they didn't also spend what seems like an eternity trying to get pregnant, so to us, every appointment is a big deal.

We got a 3D ultrasound, but it wasn't nearly as exciting as the one the perinatologist did.  Their pictures were clearer and their machines were able to do more (which is what I had been told prior to going).  And of course, baby was as stubborn as always and had her hands on her face the majority of the time.  And if they weren't on her face, she was pushing her face into my uterus which gave us some really clear, smushy face images.  On the plus side, Mr. Desperate really wanted to do this, not me, and Dr. Dad threw it in as a gift to us.  I'm pretty sure he also threw in the HSG this summer because when I went to pay the bill today, they said I didn't owe anything.  Not to self, find something to buy for Dr. Dad and Midwife Mom.  They have a plane so maybe some jet fuel will do the trick?!?!

Anyways, we then waited forever to see Dr. Dad and everything looks good.  He wasn't even concerned about my post Super Bowl blood sugar number this morning, but seemed equally as frustrated as I was about not being able to get the gestational diabetes kit in a timely manner from my insurance.  He measured my stomach (30 cm) which is right on track.  The internet says that starting at 20 weeks you take how many weeks you are and add and subtract 2 to find your appropriate range.  So for 30 weeks, I should measure anywhere from 28-32 cm.  Obviously, you don't ever want to bee too big, but with gestational diabetes being too big is a big concern.  So far, so good. 

I'm supposed to go back in two weeks, but scheduling wise its more like 2.5 weeks.  Then 2 weeks after that.  And that following week will be 36 weeks which is when they start doing the weekly internal exams to see if anything's happening.  All of a sudden it seems like this baby will be here around the corner--I guess we better start getting the room painted and rooms rearranged!  Most excitingly, this weekend we are attending a Baby 101 class.  One of my best friends had her baby this weekend and when we were visiting her at the hospital and I mentioned it she looked at me like I was crazy.  Luckily, her mom asked why I would need to go to that so I didn't just have to thrown Mr. Desperate under the bus.  He has never changed a diaper!  And I'm not sure he's ever dressed a kid and definitely not given a baby a bath.  Not that I'm Super Nanny or anything, but I have been babysitting since I was 12 when I would spend the night and help my cousins with their 6 month old so they could still have their regular Saturday morning routine.  He is great with kids, but this should be interesting!!

Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Been Easy Until....

I turned into the biggest grouch!  I noticed this week that my students (who are 5/6 years old and a pretty adorable and lovable bunch) are driving me crazy.  They weren't following directions, weren't cleaning up, and weren't being their usual selves.  And then it hit me.  Neither have I!!  Now to be fair, once I got pregnant, the past 30 weeks of my pregnancy have been pretty easy.  Minus the recent gestational diabetes hurdle that I'm going through.  At this point, I think I've gained 21 pounds, although I'm pretty sure that was after having lost 7/8 in the past 2 weeks.  So maybe it's the lack of carbs that are making me a raging bitch and not the pregnancy.  Either way, Mr. Desperate and I have been fighting like crazy and sometimes I feel like he's on a whole other planet. 

For example, his company is about to go through open enrollment and there is a new insurance option.  He tells me he wants to discuss it and come up with questions before he goes to the company meeting where they explain the policy.  I don't know about you, but how the hell am I supposed to discuss something when all we have is a generic definition of the type of plan that is being offered.  Then he tells me it is mandatory and there are no other options unless we do health care on our own.  Which I find odd since the letter from HR said it was one of several options.  Which makes me believe that there are other options than the one he wanted to discuss.  Obviously, the whole thing makes no sense to me.  Yet, every time I tried to ask a question he told me I was interrupting him.  Then he got frustrated that I had questions at all because it was "SO simple to understand".  (Well, if that's the case, then how about explaining it to me in a different way, or repeating yourself, so that I do understand.)  And all of my questions were centered around the end of this pregnancy and the health care for our baby.  Shouldn't he be concerned about these things?  Am I really as crazy as he made it seem like I was???  Uggghhhhh I'm frustrated all over again!  At least he hasn't brought it up today.

On another insurance front, my insurance takes a super long time (7-14 business days) to validate and process the gestational diabetes prescription.  Meaning the 10 test strips they gave me at my appointment last Friday are up.  And yes, you can count right.  10 days have not passed since last Friday, but I didn't exactly have the easiest time figuring out how to prick my finger and test my blood sugar.  The nurse was very quick to explain, and her English wasn't the greatest.  When reviewing what I should eat she told me to "take care of carrots" which I translated to mean "be careful of eating carrots".  Not a problem, I don't' really like carrots anyway.  So it's been a week of testing just my morning fasting glucose.  I'm supposed to test 4 times a day but can't do that until I get the extra test strips and needles in the mail.  Which could be during week 33 at this rate.  I'm a little concerned that I won't see the doctor again until week 35 and I do NOT want them telling me that the baby is too big or there's not enough fluid and I have to go on bed rest or have the baby ASAP.  I'm going Monday for a 3D ultrasound so I will voice my concerns then and see what he says.  So far I only had one day of testing where the number was above 90, and it was only 93.  I was still concerned but the next day it was back down to the 80s and the nurse I spoke with today didn't seem concerned.  Or maybe she just didn't understand what I was saying.  Uh oh...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gestational Diabetes

Tomorrow I have my first appointment with a Perinatologist/Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist to look further into my gestational diabetes.  Clearly, the 3 hour glucose tolerance test did not go well.  I got the results back weeks ago, but the doctor couldn't fit me into her schedule two weeks ago and then was out of town for something medical board related all last week.  They told me that the results were not too out of control so it wasn't too crucial for me to come in immediately.  I was a little hesitant about this, but luckily, last week I started to feel the baby moving.  Today marks 29 weeks, so I've waited a long time for this!  I thought for awhile now I would feeling movement from time to time, but my placenta is in the front, so it acts like a nice little cushion and has kept me from feeling anything consistently.

I'm pretty sure that tomorrow they are going to do an ultrasound (at least that's one benefit to this), go over what I should/should not be eating, and teach me how to check my blood sugar.  My doctor told me I would have to do this 4 times a day.  FUN.  Maybe I can convince the school nurse to do it for me!  Although... she isn't too friendly. 

My sister delivered at 30 weeks, 3 days after the sudden and unexpected loss of one of her twins so this week is really hard for me.  Just knowing that I've made it this far, but that I'm not guaranteed anything, is really real for me.  I'm not really sure what questions to ask the specialist tomorrow, or at any of my follow-ups, so if anyone has any advice, I'd appreciate it!  My doctor did tell me that no matter what I will not go a day past my due date, and probably will deliver between 39-40 weeks.  Best case scenario, of course.  But then, the midwife was telling me about women who have delivered 9-10 pound babies at that point in their pregnancy and I would really like to avoid that. I'm nervous that this is all becoming real.  And that tomorrow they will be able to pinpoint a sooner-than-expected delivery date.

To lighted the mood a little, here's a cute story.  At the end of the school day today I was walking my class and another kindergarten class to carpool when one of the little girls in the other class looked at me with her head tilted to the side.  She pointed to my stomach, moved her finger in a little circle and said, "What's going on there?"  It was SO cute and SO funny.  Her mom had a baby at the beginning of the school year so I knew she knew what my stomach meant but she wouldn't make any further comments.  Her teacher told her mom, who was shocked that she said anything (she swears she taught her never to ask a woman if they are having a baby... which, technically speaking, she didn't!) and was even more shocked to find out that I was pregnant.  BTW, I see this woman every week, and possibly multiple times every week.  When she asked when I was due, her mouth dropped and said, "Less then 3 months??  You should be HUGE!"  I will take that as a major compliment and as a screw you to the gestational diabetes!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

BAM! Glucose overload

At my 24 week appointment I did the 1 hour glucose test.  Evidently, not overloading on sugar does not give you an edge towards passing this test.  My doctor retests anyone over 136, although I read online that over 140 is worth a retest.  Either way, I was 142.  Boo.  So now I have to go in tomorrow and do a 3 hour glucose test.  Good thing I have good veins and am not afraid of needles, because they are doing 4 blood draws.  I haven't really wanted to know about what the test results could mean, because I feel there's no sense in worrying over something for an entire week before the results come in.  I, of course, did google some info about glucose testing after getting my "you failed" results (and had flashbacks to a Geology course I took in college that I barely passed). 

I tried not to read too much but saw that having a high number means you have gestational diabetes, which means a recommended diet during pregnancy.  And, it means you are more likely to have a bigger baby and need a c-section.  All things considered, I can take that.  The one thing that I'm  not so easy going about is that it means your baby is more likely to have Type 1 Diabetes.  Type 2 Diabetes runs in my family, but no one has had Type 1 Diabetes that I know of.  After hitting 24 weeks I was feeling pretty good and really believed that since it wasn't easy getting here, that once I got here, everything would be smooth sailing.  Wishful thinking! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

24 Weeks, 4 days

I went in for my 24 week appointment today. As usual, I got nervous when I didn't hear the heartbeat immediately (Just a doppler today no ultrasound.  Boy, does seeing a specialist certainly set you up for a pattern of disappoint when your insides aren't always on display.), but all is well.  I wonder if there will ever be a point when I start being more optimistic than pessimistic.  I feel like I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop and fear that once I do get excited about everything that that's exactly when it will drop.

They measured my stomach for the first time and it was 24 cm, which the doctor said was perfectly average.  I also found out how much I've gained since immediately before getting pregnant, and that's on the high end of the average range, but still within the average.  Since I wasn't really hungry in the beginning and had to force myself to eat I guess that's helped slow my weight gain because never in my life have I had a problem gaining weight.  Thank you PCOS.  Now, desserts are too sweet for me, so unless I really force myself to eat them, I'm pretty much staying away from sweets.  Now if only I had that problem with carbs...

We scheduled our next appointment (28 weeks), a childbirth class and hospital tour offered through my doctor's office with the midwives, and our next ultrasound appointment (31 weeks) which the doctor said he'd throw in the 3d ultrasound package for free.  Mr. Desperate has been dying for the 3d ultrasound, so once again, he's getting what he wants.  He doesn't understand how I can want to wait any longer to see this baby's face.  That's when I remember that as much as this past year sucked for him, he didn't take the disappointment each month as hard as I did.  I know in the IF world, a year is not by any means a long time.  But for me, someone who for her entire life has only pictured her adult life as being a stay-at-home mom to a house full of six kids, it was excruciatingly painful.  When I think about the time frame being open-ended with no certainty whatsoever, waiting a few more months doesn't seem like such a big deal to me!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Feeling Relieved... and Panicked

24 weeks.  Yesterday.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I woke up.  Granted, my next doctor's appointment isn't until Monday, I made it to this much anticipated week.  At 24 weeks, many hospitals and doctors believe this week is when the use of intensive medical intervention to attempt to save the life of a baby is possible.  Not that I'm planning on having this baby anytime soon, but knowing that a NICU stay would be possible is a huge cause of relief for me.  I know there are still a thousand things that can happen and go wrong, and I am terrified but relieved at the same time.

This is all helpful, especially over all the crazy/stupid stuff that's happened lately.  After Thanksgiving, the school nurse approached me and wanted to share some medical information with me.  A child in 3rd grade returned to school with Fifth's Disease (sounds worse than it is, who puts the word "disease" in something that isn't terribly, horribly awful???).  Apparently it's not great for a pregnant woman who has never been exposed to it to now be exposed to it.  We played Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon, and pretty much decided that I really don't have any contact with 3rd graders (I teach kindergarten) and that my students don't have any siblings in that grade level.  I really wasn't concerned, but appreciated being told.  My school operates on this weird concept where they don't share medical issues with the staff.  On one hand, I understand, (the nurse never told me the name of the child, btw) but on the other hand... what if there are other teachers that are pregnant that no one knows about?  My two supervisors and co-teacher knew at 12 weeks, but the staff didn't know until 14 weeks, and the school nurse found out at 18 weeks because I happened to be in the restroom talking to someone when she walked in.  Anyways, I wasn't concerned for my own health or the baby's.

I was a bridesmaid in a wedding the Saturday after this conversation.  I had my makeup airbrushed and then woke up Monday (which was weird that it wasn't Sunday) with red splotches on my face.  I wasn't sure what was going on but decided to go bare-faced to work, where my face got progressively redder and redder.  I stopped by the nurse to see if she could give me Benadryl and she said she wouldn't do it without a fax from my doctor.  Luckily, Doctor Dad loves me and I text messaged him telling him I had some weird rash and could I use topical Benadryl (I was going to run to CVS to avoid the unnecessary faxing).  He proceeded to tell me that there was this viral thing that kids get and asked for pictures, which I sent.  He decided it was probably just an allergy, but when I mentioned a kid at school had the virus he was talking about he insisted I come in so he could see it in person and get blood work done to see if I was immune to it (it's like Chicken Pox--once you've been exposed you can't get it again).  I was pretty sure I had it as a kid, but my mom only remembered my friend down the street having it (seriously, mom?!?!).

Anyways, once he saw me he decided Benadryl was the best choice.  Blood work came back earlier this week saying that I had already been exposed and had the virus as a child so I was fine.  Good thing, because a few days before the results were in, Fifth's Disease popped up on my daily pregnancy app as the info of the day.  So, that brings us to today.  When a child walked into my room this morning with rosy red cheeks.  I calmly suggested that the mom take her to the nurse, who suggested she go to a pediatrician to see if she had Fifth's Disease.  Of course, the rash is the sign that the contagion period is over.  So basically, this child was at school when she was contagious.  At least she knows now that when she is pregnant some day she won't have to deal with this!!  The mom came back to school this afternoon in a panic because the doctor told her it was really only dangerous for pregnant women and she was feeling horrible for having her child around me.  I tried to reassure her that I was immune and told her this whole story but she didn't seem to buy it.  It was actually very sweet.  And she really felt that the school should inform every parent and teacher that someone has it. 

If I hadn't been in the wedding and had that weird reaction I would have been FREAKING OUT today.  Like, gone to the director to explain how crazy the health policy is and then rushed to the doctor.  I'm still going to discuss the health policy, but now I can do it in a much more thought out, calm manner.

So, here I am, 24 weeks and immune to Fifth's Disease.  Relieved.  So I decided to pick up Baby Bargains (suggested by my sister-in-law), which is like a Consumer Reports with parent input and feedback.  They tell you what is recommended to buy, what's a waste of money, etc.  And now I am swimming in information.  Goodness gracious.  Mr. Desperate and I are both so indecisive, and this book is now making it more difficult, as anything we think about getting I will now have to check here and on Consumer Reports.  Why did I think we'd be able to pick furniture, create a registry, and finalize the bedding order by the first week of January??  Now I'm trying to find out if the company of bedding I love makes their sheets with elastic all the way around and debating whether I should or shouldn't get a crib bumper.  Both safety/SIDS issues.  Maybe I should just go look at cute, tiny baby clothes... expect there was a whole section on flame-retardant sleepwear and cotton vs. polyester.

Side note.... I am finally visibly pregnant.  21/22 weeks my clothes were tight and uncomfortable and I finally felt that I could pull off maternity pants (i.e. keep them up without looking like I was wearing clothes that were too big).  23/24 weeks it becomes more visible as the day goes on (ahem, after I eat), but when I get dressed in the morning there is definitely a bump.

However, there are no stretchmarks to be found.

Friday, November 29, 2013


It's good to be home! Every year for Thanksgiving my husband and I spend time with my family. And I mean my WHOLE fmaily. My grandmother's family has gotten together for what is now 40 years. I think there were almost 70 people at dinner last night and more family members come today. It is literally a 4 day feast.  And don't worry, we have Thanksgiving dinner at a hotel because who in their right mind would cook for 70 people!!!

So we flew in yesterday afternoon and my grandmother was sleeping (of course).  I saw my grandfather for about 5 minutes before he headed back to their room but I think he referenced my stomach.  Which, at 21 weeks on Thanksgiving day, has finally started to make an appearance.  Mostly after I eat but I definitely think there's a little visibility pre-food.  I really just think I look kinda fat.  Which is ironic because for the past month or so people have been telling me how great I look.  I have pretty much been overweight my whole life (my family would roll their eyes at this but I seriously can look at food and gain 5 pounds.  I have to work so hard to lose and keep off weight that it becomes an obsession.  And even when I do lose weight I never look as small as I think I'm going to so I get disappointed.... Thus ending the obsession.) and just know that I am going to be one of those pregnant that is huge all over.  No cute bump by itself.  No one saying, "you can't even tell you're pregnant from behind.". I guess I should enjoy the compliments while I can!  I am not trying not to gain weight by the way, in case that's what it sounds like.  I started gaining weight this summer with all the meds and the fact that I was so unhappy.  I'm not sure what I weighed immediately before I got pregnant but I've definitely gained at least 10 which I just read is the low end on the average for this point.

Anyway my grandmother still hasn't said anything.  Her memory isn't great and I know it shouldn't bother me because it's not like she's being rude but it still sucks.  My grandfather finally mentioned something about where people are going to sleep once I have the baby so I'm positive he remembers. My grandma didn't even comment on it so it wasn't like hearing that was a shock which was good.  My husband suggested I just tell her again and said that it would be fun to see her reaction.  Wrong.  And way to piss off the hungry pregnant lady.  If one of his grandparents (he has 4 living grandparents still-it's amazing) was losing their memory he would be devastated.  He would never think it would be FUN to retell them your most exciting news ever.  It's hard and it gets harder every time I see her or talk to her.

The family traditions start before dinner where one of the hosts gives a little speech and announces all the other hosts' names.  Then they rehash the food plans for the weekend (which have been exactly the same for years) and ask if there are any newcomers that need to be introduced.  One of my cousins brought his girlfriend and as he's introducing her to a room full of people (so intimidating btw) my dad asks if he can announce the baby news.  It was funny to see how surprised people were (again with the "you look so good" comments) excluding my aunts, uncles, and first cousins who knew already.  My more distant cousins were like, "How did I miss this on Facebook???", because we have not posted anything, and probably won't for a while still.  I'm 3 more weeks from the point where I know I will feel safer, as most hospitals won't enter an infant in the NICU until 24 weeks.

I had a dream the other night that I was at my doctor and there was no heartbeat.  I woke up at 4:17 am and just chalked it up to my usual crazy, vivid dreams.  I didn't even tell Mr. Desperate when he woke up.  But I couldn't shake the feeling all day.  I finally texted my doctor (this is where it really pays to know your dr well) and he assured me that everything was fine but suggested I come in to hear the heartbeat to ease my mind.  I felt crazy but of course I went anyways.  Midwife Mom told me that I could come in anytime and I told her she was opening a can of worms.  So as she finds the heartbeat on the monitor I finally cry at one of my appointments.  It was such a huge relief and even though I had been there 5 days before it was such a different feeling.  So for this once in a lifetime Thanksgivukah (Thanksgiving and Chanukah) I am thankful that everything is okay with the baby.  She even had the hiccups, which of course I couldn't feel.  But it was crazy to hear!  Probably more crazy because I couldn't feel it.  Hopefully I will feel her moving soon!!