Sunday, April 27, 2008


Found this link today, hobbled to the computer desk to sit long enough to look up some help--oh the pain! Yesterday I was semi-normal and I guess today I am paying the price. I ate meals at the table, walked about in the backyard with Charlie, drove around a little on short errands. You'd think I did a decathalon and got in a car accident-- I can literally feel the "fracture" in the front of my bones. Nothing feels good at all, side-lying, nothing.

Trying to keep the anxiety and terror about what I am going to do all week w/out my husband at bay by enjoying him today. Can barely, barely walk. : (

Being somewhat hobbled and in charge of 4 kids is speeding up my plans to obtain helpers after I have the baby, but also freaking me out with the re-remembered reality, vulnerability, danger and complete ludicrous-ness of that.
Have drafted up a big email to send to people, with the idea that by mid-May we will have everyone we know who has ever, ever tossed out a casual "Let me know if you need anything!" signed up and committed to varying degrees of childcare for postpartum.
Ok got to get out of the chair...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sugars and movements and such

I am chuggin along with my blood sugar testing, except the "bedtime" slot is almost all empty...I fall asleep on the couch, sorry! A few times I took it in the middle of the night and it was always "good". All of my readings are good, all below 120, every single reading. So, part of me is all proud that I am doing so well on my diet and part of me will always wonder how diabetic I really am/was. I am showing compliance to the Obstetrician, and if there is a chance the baby will be smaller, then awesome!

This past Saturday morning, I had a VERY non-compliant breakfast, instead of 2 eggs and one toast at 7 am it was huge bagel (sweet kind, too, raisins, brown sugar, the works!) AND coffee with all sorts of choco-whippy stuff in it, AND took some slugs off of Daddy's real pop. Oh yeah, this all took place around 11 am. BAD GIRL hahaha

but my 2 hour blood sugar reading after that insane breakfast was 91. So.....hey I was glad. That is no way to eat but if the reading would have been high then somehow things would have maybe made more sense? it was fun to have a treat, thats all.

I have not minded this diet one bit, and in fact, I have actually concluded that a very specific "eat-this-at-this-time-and-this-amount" might actually work for me, if I ever do an official "diet" like weight watchers or something someday. A hot topic, very loaded, but maybe another blog post down the line...diets and such...grrrr

The baby is so easy to feel, and me and my husband do fun little exams in the evenings. The head is down, and when she is curled up on either side, I feel and look quite reasonable for how far along I am--but sometimes, there is this huge distortion and there is a huge hard thing right at my sternum and all down my front, and it hurts really badly and I cant do much but look down at my middle in astonishment! What this is, we are pretty sure, is her going from right side to left side, spine outward---yeeowch! I worry that if I had a fundal height measurement during one of these moments, it would be like 45 and everyone would freak out! But outside of these moments, my uterus is nowhere near my ribs yet--another perk of being 6 foot 1 no doubt.

Not too much other preggo news to report, hope all is well with all of you, and that spring has finally come to everypart of the country by now. The fresh air has helped me tremendously to feel like it really is "nearly June", etc. Thanks for the abundandt feedback on the epidural thing...I just know it is no magic bullet and that for me it always lead to big trouble and tons of extraneous hoses and tubes-- so disturbing.

Friday, April 11, 2008

As nice as it might sound at the time, I do not want to get an epidural:

I do not want to get an epidural. I am not "against" them, the theory is very good. It gives you a rest, while you are totally awake. You can "relax" and dilate and then they can "turn it down" and you can push out your baby. This is pretty much how my first birth went, and with the Mag Sulfate, the IV's, and of course, the Pitocin, I was very glad to go from immobilized and in crushing pain to immobilized and numb as a corpse. Plus I didnt feel a thing when they unecessarily cut my vagina in half and sewed it shut afterwards! Yay.

But as we all know too well, the epidural can go very differently than that. It can slow labor, it can not work, it can partially work, it can lower blood pressure in you and the baby, and it can cause headaches and even paralysis and death in rare cases.

But none of this is why I personally do not want to get an epidural with this baby. The reason that I don't want to get one is this: I see it as a direct route to a C Section. and I see it as them taking away my ability to run away. Yep, I said it. To get the hell up. To move. To switch about. To stand. To empty my own bladder and bowels. To run out the door if it gets too psycho. (I am sure that that is EXTREMELY rare, but I like the option) To rock and roll and rock and roll and rock and roll my baby out. Call me fat call me tall but I don't have very wide hips, and for me, layin there like a flounder does not equal vaginal birth.

Its gonna hurt, labor. Its gonna hurt alot. Its gonna feel like a truck is parked on my back, like my bones are breaking, like my body is exploding, like I am drowning. Go ahead, think that is bad, think that is negative--but I don't. I think it is just how it feels, and my point is that it feels like that for a matter of hours.

A C Section hurts in so many different ways and for so so so much longer. Some people would say forever. Some people think that is dumb. Some people actually prefer a cesarean. Bla bla bla.

But for me, for my family, for my life with baby, this might just be the thought that gets me through the labor pains. That it will soon be over. It will soon be over. Each one brings me closer to the end of pain. Each contraction showing that my body works fine and that everything is going as it should. All the ladies on the birth videos, all the stories in the books, all the women leaning forward, leaning forward, rocking their hips, moaning in low tones, eyes closed, this is Birth. I really feel like I have a chance. But I am not going to try it paralyzed, no matter how nice it sounds, no matter how much it hurts, I cant risk it.

If I need a cesarean, it isn't going to be because I couldn't push while laying flat on my back and completely numb.

My interest in focusing on flowers or beaches or spirals or muzak is lessening as the date draws nearer. Although I do have one distinct memory of "traveling" up into the holes in the drop-ceiling tiles of the hospital when I was in labor with Charlie, for the most part, I am ok with feeling it all. Maybe its a by product of being behind that blue curtain, head lower than my body, stark naked, paralyzed up to the neck ("sorry, Mom, sometimes it can feel like you cant breathe, but you can") arms strapped out, crucifix-style with industrial strength straps that makes me okay with feeling. Feeling is real and feeling is normal and feeling is really my only hope. Do I love pain? Ummm no. But I know what the score is, and had a baby at home. I remember making it through each contraction, and living, obviously. It wasn't easy, it wasn't ecstatic, it wasn't orgasmic, but oh the afterwards sure was! For MONTHS I was glowing, healthy, empowered, optimistic, proud, sane, whole.
I also remember my three other births, and the cuts and the staples, the stitches and burning, the aching and pinching, the fevers (all 3) and infections, the incapacitation, the ice packs and hot packs and pain pills and crying, the not being able to walk or rock or feed or lift or change or dress my baby or toddlers.....THAT is pain. THAT is intolerable pain. Not a contraction. Not a sore coochie or achy shoulders.

Well, this is my reality. I am just a person, putting my thoughts down onto my blog. Just like you and thousands (millions?) of others. You don't need to email my midwife and tell her you are "concerned" about me. You don't need to tsk tsk or shake your head at what I have to say. You don't have to agree with me or refute me. I am sad to say that I am this close to shutting down this particular blog, and I don't want to. I am not sure if I have exhausted all there is to say, or if there is more. I started this almost 2 years ago, before any thoughts of a 5th child were on the horizon. I never knew what a pregnancy of my own would do to this blog. I still have lots of opinions about the state of maternity care in our country, but now feel like I have to be "careful" what I say, lest it speak for my own situation and flip everyone out. This pregnancy and its grey-zone semi-high-risk wierdness has knocked me off my soapbox and has ruined the quality of my writing. On many levels, this pregnancy has turned this blog into a nerve-wracking chore. I am sorry to all of you for all of the ways that it has changed.

I am looking forward to everyone's input about epidurals, etc.
Love to all!
Housefairy Joy

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Whats up with ole' Joy today

I am no longer a bartender! I am just a Mom! Whooooooopie! I lay down at 9 pm! I dont have to make dinner at 4! I don't have to get dolled up at 5! I don't have to work until midnight! YAY! The Curling Club is closed for the season. They melted the ice, it is over.

I also went to my Gestational Diabetes class and it was actually very cool. Very informative. I completely understood what they were telling me to do and I am on day 2 of this new way of eating. I take my blood sugar with a finger-stabber thing when I wake up, 2 hours after breakfast, 2 hours after lunch, 2 hours after dinner and at bedtime. It doesn't hurt at all, very cool surprise. I like this, actually and have already noticed a steady feeling today. It cracks me up that I HAVE to have all these snacks, at 10 am and 2 pm and 9 pm AND 11pm if I am awake. Yum! : ) I bet the baby likes it, too.

My numbers today were right around normal, and it was good to see. They wanted each reading to be under 120 and they were like 112, 119, 128. My "fasting" number upon waking was higher than they like, but I was warned that that might occur.

The baby is nice and active, and is now getting to the part where she can actually kick hard enough to hurt. Not too often, but here and there, especially in the evenings! What she does do for sure is completely switch positions still, but at 30 weeks I am not worried about "breech" yet and am quite amused at how easy it is to tell how she is lying. By the way, all this SHE stuff is still so bizarre to me, knowing the sex of the baby, argggg so strange!

Charlie is showing a lot of signs of verbal maturity lately which I think will help alot when the baby comes. Although I still stand by my feeling that 3 years apart is the closest one should go between children, this is going to be a 2 1/2-er and all I can say is thank goodness it isn't only 2 years, as at 2 Charlie was a B-A-B-Y and it could have been bad bad bad. Of course tons of families have kids much closer together than this, but for me, WOW it is too hard. Casey and Charlie were 26 months apart and well, it was pretty horrible. He was the angriest of all the siblings upon arrival of the new baby, and I was least able to help him. But they are best little pals now, so it all works out.

Well, I am supposed to go on a walk one hour after dinner so here we go. Slow, but hey. At least I am not standing behind a bar, dying of braxton-hicks, drinking pop : )

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

initial findings

My fasting result was 104.
My one hour result was 224.
My two hour was 140.
My three hour was 40.

I was told that those numbers "weren't too too bad", but that I will still need to go to the classes and follow the new diet. There was no mention of a glucometer, but we'll see.

What I found online was this:

The following are the values which the American Diabetes Association considers to be abnormal during the 100 g of glucose OGTT:
Fasting blood glucose level ≥95 mg/dl (5.33 mmol/L)
1 hour blood glucose level ≥180 mg/dl (10 mmol/L)
2 hour blood glucose level ≥155 mg/dl (8.6 mmol/L)
3 hour blood glucose level ≥140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)

So, to me, it looks like I just have a hard time with initial sugar-loads. Duh. I am pregnant and it only seems normal if you drink some nasty glucose drink after starving that you will be funky for a bit.
I am 100% on board with dietary changes, maybe a new lifestyle even. But I am happy with these initial findings and glad I did the darn thing.

My 3 hour glucose test fun fun fun

Yesterday morning I went in for my 3 hour glucose tolerance test. I had to fast for 12 hours prior so it sucked already...I had to conquer my almost paranoid fear of being starved and sugar-crashing by trying to absolutely NOT think about it. I brought good books with me and went to the hospital.

7:50 am I drank the stuff. Mine was like a lemon-lime concentrate, like soda syrup. It was presented cold with a straw and I tried verrrry had to pretend I was just chillin on the beach havin a Sprite. I gagged and even cried a little, but mostly out of fear of peeing/barfing. I drank it all!

Then I was told to basically take a hike and come back in an hour...tell us if you vomit, Honey...Absolutely no leaving the building

It was a long hour. I felt really hot. Like a hot flash, like the kind I get when I get very freaked out. I tried to read 2 cool birth books but it was getting hard to read. I tried to watch TV but it was too dumb, Regis and Kelly too quiet. I went to the bathroom and splashed cold water all over my hands and face. I got really really panicky about just sitting there rotting for 2 1/2 more hours. My legs were swelling up from the waiting room chairs, but walking around made me hotter and dizzier. I went to the bathroom again and resplashed my hands and face.

About 5 minutes early, 8:45 am, I returned to the lab room and the lady asked me how I was feeling. I hung my head down and told her "not too good". I fully expected her to chastise me but she said to come on in. She told me that the first hour is the hardest, which made no sense, as I only envisioned getting hotter and sicker until finally I exploded (I didn't feel like barfing, just like I needed to go lay in some snow or go swimming or something--a distinct suffocating and hot and swelling type of sensation that didn't really make sense to me--was this "high blood sugar?" I didn't know but it was yucky)

She took my blood and took me to a new waiting area, one that appeared to be for ladies in hospital gowns who had drank Barium. There she showed me to a little bench where I could lie down. That sounded SOOOO much better than sitting in the main lobby. I laid down and listened to louder TV. Still feeling incredibly hot and cagey, I made about 10 trips to the bathroom to get my hands and face wet with cold water. By now,I looked like a greasy drenched freak, but sort of avoided eye contact with the barium ladies and curled up with my face to the wall. I couldn't sleep, but did rest.

I went in for the second blood draw, 9:50 am. This time I was so sad (the only word I can think of here!) that I really didn't even talk to the lab lady. She asked if I was feeling any better and I just shook my head. She drew the blood and told me to hang in there.

I went back to my little bench-bed but couldn't deal with it anymore, so I broke the rules and went outside. Oh, was it great! It was humid and cold and I felt ALOT better. I sat out there for about 5 minutes, nobody cared, what could they do, arrest me? Cancel the whole test? I couldn't have cared less. It was very very good weather for someone having a stifling, nauseating, upsetting, overheated experience. Very windy and misty, like the seashore or something.

I went back in the regular waiting room and read Elle. So trivial that it did pass the time better than anything else. Finally, finally, it was 10:50 and I went in for my last blood draw. they offered me juice, which sounded sick after having only a sweet drink in the last 15 hours, but I did take it, a little can of cranberry juice. I staggered out of there into the surreal weather and had a really hard time finding my minivan in the parking structure. I fought harder than even the entire test period to not completely LOSE IT and cry cry cry...wandering in the fume-y parking garage, braxton-hicks almost stopping me from walking at all, sipping on my tinny cranberry juice, it took me almost 15 minutes to find my car.

I bought some lunch on the way home but was not ravenous, and only took little nips of it for about an hour. My husband had taken the morning off, but after greeting me sweetly with a hug and walking me into my bedroom, he had to go--now!!--and that was it.

I was extraordinarily "wipedout" for about 3 hours. The children were really, really good, just playing toys and totting around playing xylophones and flutes "to cheer me up" and watching shows. By late afternoon I was fine.

I was supposed to go to some diabetic class at noon to learn about how to eat, but there was no way I was doing anything besides going home after that morning. It is rescheduled for next Tuesday. The only time you can take it is 12 to 3 pm--what kind of time is that for people? My friend is going to bring her kids over and babysit, thankfully! In my old neighborhood, really all of my adult life, I had nobody. I could never ever go do anything. I was years behind on dentists and Gyno's and all of that. anyhow, very grateful to have some great friends now.

So, I guess they'll tell me how it all went. Sucky, but I lived :)