Friday, October 30, 2009

Gestational Diabetes

I heard back from the doctor's office on Tuesday that I have gestational diabetes. I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the news. On the one hand, I do have a family history of type II diabetes, on the other, I'm a pretty healthy person. Pre-pregnancy, I was a pretty dedicated exerciser and generally ate healthfully, although I've always had a sweet tooth.

I've really been feeling guilty about it, like there was something I did or failed to do that made me have GD. Luckily, one of my best friends is a doctor and she has done a great job of reassuring me that since I have a family predisposition, there's nothing I could've done to prevent it. Now, I just need to focus on eating a low carb diet and monitoring my blood sugar. That's the best thing I can do for my baby.

I met with a dietitian yesterday to get a meal plan and learn to use the glucometer. The meal plan isn't terribly restrictive, but I did find myself hungry yesterday after following it. I think I need to add a little more protein and veggies at each meal in order to keep myself from getting too hungry. The dietitian was very nice, but the whole thing feels very overwhelming to me. I've had to watch my diet closely my entire life since I do have a family history of diabetes and have always teetered on the upper range of a "normal" BMI. I was really enjoying the fact that pregnancy gave me a brief respite from watching my food so closely, but the GD ends that.

Between worrying about the GD and getting ready for the baby, I just felt so overwhelmed yesterday. I tried my best to keep the tears at bay, but ended up crying in the dietitian's office, which was so embarassing. She was super nice about it, even saying, "I'm menopausal, I know hormones make it hard." I cried for a solid hour and a half after leaving her office. It was awful.

Brett and I sat down together last night and planned out three GD-friendly breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. Then we went to the store and bought the groceries I'll need to stick to the GD diet. I feel a lot better now that I've had time to figure out my plan of attack.

In addition to the diet changes, I have to see my MW weekly now and get NSTs twice a week. Luckily, my boss is letting me keep track of those appointments and count them as sick leave. I get 12-weeks of maternity leave, regardless of how much leave I have banked. The only thing is that I get full pay for each day of leave that I have accrued vs. 60% pay once I run out of leave. This really isn't too big of a deal to me, though.

My MW did say that the GD diagnosis means that they will not allow me to go past my due date. Since I am pretty insistent on a natural, spontaneous labor, I asked her if we could do everything possible to induce labor naturally. I think this will entail lots of sex, walking, and her stripping my membranes at 38.5 weeks. Here's hoping this baby comes early on his own so that I can have the natural delivery I want.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Emotions

Now that we are coming down something that resembles the "home stretch" of pregnancy, my emotions are all over the place.

Stress - I'm coming to accept the fact that I am a stress-prone person. You know those amazing people who can just sit back, relax, and trust that things will work out fine? I'm not one of them. I feel like the more planning/worrying I do in preparation for something, the better the outcome will be. In addition to attempting to complete every item on the Bump's pregnancy checklist, I've added a whole other slew of things to my to-do list. I'm trying to clean up the last bit of debris from our grass project in September, finish my Christmas shopping, and switch my summer non-maternity clothes for my winter ones. I am the one adding all this to my plate and stressing myself out. I just hope that it's part of my nesting instinct, rather than something that will continue into motherhood. Once Cashew's here, I hope to be able to let things slide and focus on him, rather than a massive to-do list.

Affection - I've been so touched by the big and small ways that people are showing their love for me, Brett, and the baby. From hosting showers to switching up Christmas plans to babying me on the couch, it's clear that there are tons of people around me who want my last months of pregnancy to be enjoyable. I'm so appreciative for that.

Isolation - At the same time that I'm touched by the support, I somehow find myself aching for time alone. I already feel like a little mama bear who just wants to be alone with her cub. All our friends and family members are making Thanksgiving, Christmas, and post-birth plans to come and see us. I totally understand that they are simply excited about meeting the little guy. At the same time, I find myself resenting every little intrusion. I must be in hibernating mode, because I really just want to spend the last bit of pregnancy and first bit of Cashew's life holed up at home with Brett.

I'm also struggling to disentangle which of my emotions are hormonal and likely to subside after pregnancy and which of them are just part of my character. I'm lucky to have Brett around, oftentimes whispering, "Relax" into my ear. Hearing this from him has a huge impact on me. I'm not a subservient wife, by any means, but when Brett asks me to do something, I always try my hardest to do it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Busy, Busy

It's been a couple of busy weeks for us.
  • Pre-Natal Visit: At my visit last week, we got the great news that Cashew is now head down. Although this means that his little butt is squashing my ribs to the point that they hurt constantly, it's great to know his little head is pointed in the right direction. We also found out that I failed the 1-hour glucose test by one point. I took the test over a month ago, but apparently my MW felt like the one-point fail wasn't worth requiring me to do the three-hour test until I had glucose in my urine at last week's appointment. She seems to be pretty sure that I don't have gestational diabetes, but is sending me for the test tomorrow anyway. Ugh.
  • Shower: This weekend I had a shower in my hometown, with lots of my old friends there, as well as my mom's buddies. The theme was children's books. My friend made invites that looked like bookmarks and everyone was supposed to bring one children's book for the baby. The invites included a little sticker/bookplate for people to write a message to the baby and stick on the inside cover. It was such a precious idea! We got lots of books, some clothes, and a few of the items lingering on our registry. We really don't need too much more.
  • My nervous breakdown: Yes, the hormones are officially raging at this point. In addition to being rather uncomfortable most of the time, our birth instructor really pissed me off this past week. We were supposed to write birth plans and send them to her for review. We tried to make ours sort of witty (I've head that providers get so annoyed/bored with birth plans that they rarely read them) and we tried to strike a tone that would create a partnership between us and our medical team (i.e. saying things like, "we aren't medical experts and will need to rely on you to let us know the pros and cons of the choices before us.") Well, the instructor emailed back that our birth plan was "silly" and made it seem like we weren't taking the birth very seriously. She also felt like we were giving the medical team too much power. I'd had a long day and her email started what ended up being a 24-hour crying spell, which leads us to...
  • My birthing class decision: I'm struggling to decide whether to attend the last 5 of our birthing classes. The instructor's philosophy on labor and delivery seems to be that our medical team is going to push every intervention that makes their job easier/more convenient, despite our wishes. She has painted a portrait of doctors and hospitals as being "out to get you" and seems to feel like our labor and delivery is a power struggle between us and the hospital. She has also given us information that extends well beyond the Bradley Method, such as telling us we shouldn't get the H1N1 vaccine, advising against certain infant vaccinations, etc. Ultimately, I feel like the class is making me feel more stressed out, rather than more prepared. Brett and I are trying to decide whether to keep going.

Sorry for the long update, but I seem to blog in spurts. Here's the 32 week belly pic from this weekend's shower...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not Worried, Just Annoyed

Last week was my 30-week appointment. Cashew was still hanging out in a transverse position. The MW didn't seem concerned at all, since he still has lots of time to flip head down. I'm confident he will, but I hope he does it sooner rather than later so I don't have to worry about it at all.

This weekend I went to NC with three of my best friends from high school. We all live in different cities now, so it's rare for all of us to get to spend time together. We flew into Charlotte, spent two nights in Wilmington, and one night at my friend's house outside of Greensboro. It was such a fun trip. We shopped, swam in the ocean (it was amazingly warm on Saturday morning), ate fabulous meals, and spent lots of time gabbing about girly things.