We’re now down to the last 3 weeks of this pregnancy, which means I see my Ob-Gyn every week to see how I’m progressing. Last week I was 1cm dilated and this week I was hoping to see a little progression, but I’m still stuck at 1cm. Not that it really means anything. Our friend who had her baby in July, a week after her due date and only after she was induced, was told by her midwife that she was certain she wouldn’t make it to her due date. I know that the baby will come when she’s ready. I just wish that I wasn’t so uncomfortable and ready for this pregnancy to be over. It feels like these last few weeks will just drag by, in spite of how quickly all the previous weeks have gone.
My belly measurements have slowed down as well. Last week I was measuring 39cm and this week I’m still there. I had a late diagnosis of gestational diabetes and have changed our diet pretty dramatically since I found out. Clearly that’s helped a bit. I have a few classes to take, starting tomorrow, mostly to show me how to eat and how to monitor my blood sugar. I know it’s only for the last two weeks, but knowing that I’m at risk due to family history of type 2 diabetes, this will help for the future. Next time I get pregnant I’ll just assume that I have GD act accordingly.
Stella’s room is completely set up. The last thing we needed to purchase was a diaper pail and we picked that up this afternoon. It’s still sitting in the trunk of the car, though, because walking to the house and up the stairs with just myself is hard enough as it is. All of her clothes are put away – and she has some seriously cute clothes that I can’t wait to see her in – and blankets folded and toys stored and diapers stacked. We’ve got her hospital bag packed and mine too and we ready to go. Whenever she is. Wes has been telling everyone that it’s like he ordered something online and he’s just had to wait for it. Yes, it’s exciting, but the best part doesn’t happen until the package is actually in your hands. I feel like right now the package is on the truck and out for delivery and all I can do is sit on the couch and wait.
Back in June I took my glucose test to see if I had gestational diabetes. Knowing that I have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes made me a little nervous, but I’m also in pretty good shape and eat fairly healthy (less so since I got pregnant). Obviously, I know nothing about how the body works because I failed my test. And not just barely failed; I was nearly 50 points over the mark. I went back the following week for the 3-hour test, which includes 4 blood draws over three hours on an empty stomach (including no water). I failed one of the blood draws and was borderline on one but in the normal range for the other two. So no gestational diabetes for me, but the results showed that I could have a lowered glucose tolerance level and my doctor advised me to cut back on white carbs (bread, pasta, rice, basically all things delicious) and to get more exercise. So I started back up with swimming during the week and was able to cut down on white carbs, which I thought would be hard but has been pretty easy.
Now, I’ve never really had a sweet tooth, give me french fries over ice cream any day, but since getting pregnant I’ve not only wanted sugar but I’ve convinced myself that it was okay to indulge in my cravings because when the heck else would I be given a free pass to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. While Wes’ mom was in town our freezer was always stocked with ice cream and there were always peanut m&m’s in the cupboard. Of course I ate them – pregnancy apparently = free pass on food. They tasted delicious as I was shoveling them in my mouth but afterwards I would feel ill. Still, I kept going back to them. Even after she left and I told myself that was that, I had a hard time not eating sweets. In line at the grocery store I would grab a chocolate bar, something I rarely did before but was now happening on a pretty regular basis. “I’m giving up sugar,” I would think to myself. But then I would get a sweet craving and I’d indulge. Afterwards, without fail and regardless of what type of sweet thing I’d just eaten, I would feel queasy.
I keep a list in my head of the things I want for my daughter, and at night as we’re falling asleep Wes and I will list what we want for her and for us as a family. At the top of that list is to be good examples of how to lead a healthy lifestyle. I’ve always felt that it would be pretty easy for us but after this little sugar fiasco I’m not so sure. How can I show her how to be healthy when I’m having such a hard time cutting out something that makes me physically sick?
This morning I was catching up on a blog and read this post and the thing that jumped out at me: “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” So right now, something’s got to change: I’m giving up sugar. Small steps, obviously. Right now all I can focus on is cutting out the obviously sugary items (ie, candy bars, ice cream, sodas, cookies) because that’s what I think is making me feel the worst. If I feel better then I’ll know it was the sugar that was making me sick, though all accounts of people who have given up sugar say that they feel better even if there were no serious issues to begin with. I know this won’t be easy, but I gave up alcohol cold turkey so how hard can cutting out sugar be?
As of last week’s doctor visit, my belly is still measuring ahead so I’m going for an ultrasound on Thursday to see if Stella is also measuring ahead or I’m just gaining all of my weight in my belly. I suppose this means I should pack a hospital bag and get a plan in place for Tsunami and maybe have Wes set up the car seat. You know, really prepare for a baby outside of washing clothes (which are washed and put away!).
The last few weeks have been pretty rough. I feel huge (and I have a younger cousin who won’t stop reminding me that I look huge and I know that shouldn’t bother me but it really does) and the weather has been miserable here. Swimming was saving me for a little while but now the walk from the beach back to the car is almost too much. And swimming itself is exhausting. Basically, just being awake is exhausting. She’s dropped a little bit so now no position is safe for me. Standing too long hurts my back but now my pelvis also starts to hurt because there’s so much more pressure on it. Sitting for too long also hurts my back and if I recline too much then I can’t breathe, but if I lean forward then I’m uncomfortably putting pressure on my belly from the top and bottom. My feet are starting to swell, as are my fingers (but only when it gets too terribly hot, which is a good 10 hours out of the day!).
There are good things, though, too. Stella’s moving about a lot. Limbs stretching, making waves on my belly. Sometimes I’ll feel her butt (I think, who knows what it actually is) turn out and stick straight up. Those are the things I’ll miss. I read a lot about people saying that the movements were tough to take near the end, but so far feeling her move inside me has been the easiest and best part of pregnancy; I can’t wait to watch those movements from the outside.
Our friends had their baby a couple of weeks ago and seeing them as new parents has been so great for me. I hear from a lot of new moms how crazy it is and that nothing gets done and your whole life changes, but the look in their eyes is a little haggard and implies that the change, at least in the beginning, sucks. But with Ben & Amber, they look happy. A bit sleep-deprived (as is normal with a newborn), but happy. Their house isn’t a mess and they are showered and in clean clothes. When they tell me a baby changes everything, their eyes are adding, “For the better.” I’ve been trying to stay optimistic about adding a newborn to our family and seeing this family in action makes it even easier for me to believe that a baby doesn’t automatically mean shit sucks. It makes it even easier for me to be optimistic about being a mother.
I turned thirty yesterday and for someone who is usually so keyed up about my birthday, it was pretty uneventful. Being seven months pregnant has that effect on a birthday, I suppose. I have been hearing for years that as you age, birthdays become less relavant and I would think to myself that no way will I not ever make a big deal about my birthday. But here I am, thirty years old and there was no countdown to the big day. I attended a ladies night Bunco game for Pete’s sake. Maybe next year, when I’m feeling better and can enjoy an adult beverage, I’ll get back to my usual excitement for my birthday.
In the months leading up to this birthday I wondered if I would start to freak out over this milestone birthday. I thought there might be a moment where I had a small breakdown at the idea of being THIRTY. But I didn’t. Perhaps it’s something to do with the weather in Hawaii; it’s hard to keep track of time when every day is just like the one before so it didn’t feel like my birthday was coming up. But I think more than that it’s that I’m so totally comfortable with where I’m at in my life that turning thirty didn’t seem like that big of a deal. Turning 27 and living with my boyfriend who seemingly would never propose and working at a job I didn’t like, living in a city I hated was a harder birthday than 30. Thirty was just another day closer to Stella’s birthday.
I did win a prize in for the most Buncos in last night’s game, so it’s not like it was all boring.
Filed under Me, Pregnancy
It feels like everything is a struggle these days: walking, eating, breathing, sleeping. It all takes so much energy and after a trip to the grocery store I need an hour of sleep just to recover. After walking up our flight of stairs I need five minutes to catch my breath. The other day the Spiriva commercial with the elephant sitting on a man’s chest came on and Wes asked if that’s what I felt like. “Yes,” I said, “I have a Stellaphant sitting on my chest.” And then I laughed for five minutes at my own joke, because that’s usually how it happens around here. But seriously, must she be right on top of my lungs?
I’ve been jobless for over a month now and on my first day home I thought I would be all sorts of productive. I envisioned a perfectly spotless apartment with freshly dusted counter- and table-tops, laundry folded and ironed on regular days, and Stella’s room set up with clothes organized and put away. I quickly realized, after two back-to-back trips upstairs that required 20-minutes of just sitting to catch my breath, that that wasn’t going to happen. Now I make a daily list and cross off what I can when I can. And that has to be good enough for now.
I know that when Stella arrives I won’t be able to do everything, so maybe these last few months of discomfort is my body’s way of saying slow down and get used to this new life where not everything you want to do gets done. Just as I get used to this routine I know that another one, even more difficult than this, will land in my lap.
Me (trying to play with Tsunami before we leave for a long evening): Get your ball.
Tsunami: Bitch, please. It’s way too hot for fetch right now.
Oh, man. Is it September yet? It’s getting really hot here, or maybe it’s just that I’m getting bigger so I notice the heat more. Whatever it is, it’s starting to get pretty uncomfortable during the day. We had the air conditioner on while Wes’ family was in town, but that felt a little closed off and meant that someone has to let Tsunami in and out, which was happening a little too often for my liking. That dog door alone is worth suffering through a couple hours worth of heat.
I’m not 32 weeks and at my appointment today we asked what the the odds were for having an incredibly large baby since Wes’ head is huge and we’re both a little worried about that being passed on to Stella and how that will work when I deliver. I’m measuring 34 weeks and have put on just a tad too much weight since my last visit two weeks ago, which I attribute to my mother -in-law’s sweet tooth. For three weeks there was a steady stream of m&m’s and ice cream and I indulged more than I should have. But now I’m back to swimming on a regular basis (well, regular for the past two weeks, anyway). Right now, being in the water is the only place where I’m not breathing like a fat kid. I’m not as fast as I was pre-pregnancy, but after huffing and puffing when walking up the stairs I feel like I’m flying through the water.
When I had my glucose test back in June I barely passed. Well, I failed the one-hour and barely passed the three-hour, so while I don’t have gestational diabetes I could becoming more glucose-intolerant. I’ve been told to cut down on white carbs (bread, pasta, and rice, which are the backbone of my diet and I know they shouldn’t be but oh, so delicious) but what I think has really been irritating me is sugar. So, with 8 weeks left, I’m looking into cutting our sugar -at least sweets (like m&m’s and ice cream) – and see how that affects me because after the first four months of throwing up, I’m not sure I can take it if the last two months are full of sickness too.
Stella’s been moving a lot. Limbs pushing out, legs doing swipe kicks. Sometimes I just sit on the couce and watch her move around and I’m in awe that there’s a baby in there and in two-ish months I’ll be able to see those movements without feeling them. There’s not much I’m going to miss about but watching my belly dance with her movements is one of them.
29 weeks and 1 day. I feel huge and can barely breathe but at least I’m able to sleep again!
This past week was my first week of unemployment and not having to wake up early and ride an hour on a bus has improved my mood by about 2000%. And that’s not an exaggeration. We’ve had Wes’ family in town for the past week so there has been a lot of beach time, which has been my plan since I decided on my end date at work.
I had plans to be incredibly productive on Monday afternoon before our visitors arrived but Monday morning Stella had shifted to what felt like directly on top of my lungs, making it very difficult to breathe. After every trip upstairs and back down I would need about twenty minutes to recover. So all the plans I had for unemployment are going to have to be modified a little bit to accomodate my new lack of breath.
For the Fourth of July we went to a BBQ at our friends’ house who live right on the beach. There weren’t any fireworks shows on our side of the island, so we watched the Honolulu and Pearl Harbor shows from their backyard. From so far away they looked like just large ferris wheels in the distance.
By yesterday afternoon I seemed to be able to breathe a little bit better, but Stella had also become a little less active. Probably because I haven’t been drinking enough water for how much we’ve been at the beach. I decided to take today off from the beach to rehydrate and hopefully get some more action out of her before I started freaking out for real. An hour at home with just some water and relaxation and I’m at ease once again.
Filed under Me, Pregnancy
I’m officially closer to the end than I was to the beginning. At five months pregnant I finally am starting to feel better, which I thought was nearly impossible. I haven’t had to take zofran in over a week and my appetite is back.
We found out four weeks ago that we’re having a girl and she’s already got Wes wrapped around her finger. He previously didn’t want to paint any room in our apartment but just days after finding out he had come up with an elaborate paint theme for the nursery, which is turning out to be a lot harder to make happen than we thought. But we will make it happen because it’s a great idea and will look great.
Going into the ultrasound I thought we were going to have a boy. I’m not sure why, except that maybe I really wanted a girl so I was preparing myself to not have one so that I wouldn’t be disappointed or sad or whatnot. When the tech said it was a girl we were both excited. I thought about all the adorable little clothes we could buy. And the mother-daughter things she and I could do together. And the father-daughter relationship she’d have with her daddy.
Days later, though, and I was scared. Scared of raising a daughter to be strong and independent and have respect for herself. I got scared remembering the me of 10 years ago and 8 years ago and how I had very little of those things. How I was scared and didn’t feel strong at all. I think about all the foolish decision I made because I was searching for something and I didn’t know what. How do I make sure that my daughter doesn’t feel lost and scared and alone? How do I make sure that she makes the right decisions?
This is something that I’ll probably fight with for the rest of my life: how to make my daughter strong. The only answer that we’ve come up with so far is to just be there for her. Be supportive and strict and show her how much we love her every day. I know parenting will be a constant struggle to keep up and though I’m scared of a lot of it, I’m also looking forward to the challenge.
Filed under Me, Pregnancy
It’s hard to tell with all the foliage, but I’m starting to actually look pregnant. Yesterday the bus I was riding was hit by a truck (how the truck didn’t see a large bus, I don’t know) and we stopped on the highway and were ushered on to other buses that passed by. The bus I happened to get on was standing room only, and with another 40 minutes left in the ride, I wasn’t especially looking forward to it. But a woman who had a small child sleeping on a seat woke her son up and asked if he’d like to give up his seat for “the lady with the baby in her belly” and I can’t even describe the relief and excitement I felt to hear that. I’ve crossed over to the Hey, she’s pregnant stage from the Is she fat or pregnant stage and that is a great feeling.
This week I feel even better than I did last week, and I felt pretty okay last week. I didn’t have to leave work early at all. I still feel a little nauseous in the evenings, but I’ll take that over all day. Monday afternoon I even felt well enough to clean and just having the apartment look a little fresh in parts (what, like I was going to clean the whole apartment?) definitely helped lift my mood of when-the-heck-will-I-start-experiencing-the-awesome-part-of-pregnancy? No, I’m not there yet, but I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Our stroller arrived on Monday (thanks REI for the fastest shipping ever!) and I put it together only to store it in the laundry room for the next five months. I told Wes that he should take a look at it to make sure everything was in working order because it seemed way too easy to put together (even though it was only putting wheels on and I’ve absolutely changed tires before). “It’s made for moms,” he told me. “It’s supposed to be easy.” And then I remembered that the photos they show in the directions are of a woman’s hand with a wedding band.
Monday is our next appointment and we will hopefully find out if we’re having a boy or a girl. It’s funny to hear the guesses from everyone because they’re all so different but each person is so sure – and sometimes for the same reason. One person thinks I’m having a boy because of the way I’m carrying while another cites that same reason for me having a girl. I have no feelings about, probably because I’ve been too sick to even think about it. And that’s fine with me. We want a happy and healthy baby, boy or girl (though Wes wants a girl because he likes the name we’ve picked out).
And speaking of Wes, tomorrow is his 30th birthday. He managed to plan a work outing for his team and their families to wander around the LPGA, which is taking place near our house. After so many months of being cooped up on the couch while I try to not throw up, I think we’re both looking forward to being around people and enjoy the sunshine outside.