35 Weeks

So yesterday was the beginning of week 35 and I spent it running to my perinatologist.

My fasting blood sugar is still not up to par or rather down to par or .. WHATEVER.  So we went up on my insulin again. GAH!

It feels like a personal failure.  I know that I’m watching what I eat.  I write down what I eat, so I KNOW what’s going in my mouth.  And I am CONSISTENTLY under the number of recommended carbs but my fasting blood sugar is CONSISTENTLY above what we want.

So I added the additional insulin last night and this morning! 95!  Under 100!  YAY!!  Still not under 90 but closer.

After a day of appointments, I tend to have leg cramps so it was into the tub with me last night for a nice warm bath and then off to bed at 10.  So nice.. except I was hot.  And I had leg cramps anyway… And I had this creepy crawly feeling.

I get this way right before my period most months – it feels like I have bugs on my skin or something.  It was bad enough last winter that I was afraid we had bed bugs and I inspected the mattress with a magnifying glass and flashlight.

Since I’ve been pregnant, the creepy crawly feeling comes about once every couple of weeks so it’s got to be hormonal some how.

Today, I’m working on putting together my hospital bag and of course, since I’m a list maker, that means putting together a list and checking it about 4,736 times.

Here’s the list so far:

  • Toiletries like shower gel and shampoo (SCORE!  I found some shampoo I acquired from our hotel room at DisneyWorld last year.  It SMELLS SO GOOD… ) and toothbrush and toothpaste and hairbrush and hairbands and other stuff like that…
  • Carmex – in case my lips are dry
  • Pajamas – cuz those gowns are sooooo sexy… Besides last time after the first day or so, it was nice to get up and have a shower and “get dressed”.  PJ’s reminded me that I’d just had major surgery but I felt more presentable to company and while walking the halls.  AND THEY MAKE YOU WALK as soon as you can.
  • Ginormous granny panties – cuz of the “Grossness” that follows childbirth
  • Also, Maxi Pads – in case I hate what the hospital has…
  • Socks
  • comfy bras
  • Nugget’s going home outfit and booties – the hospital we use provides t-shirts and blankets while you’re there but you want something cute for pictures and for coming home.
  • Pen and paper – cuz I will be given a million instructions and I will NOT remember half of it unless I write it down.
  • Some kind of file folder thingie – they give you about a million pieces of paper that YOU. JUST. HAVE. TO. KEEP. Like the birth certificate verification and photo order forms and stuff…
  • Phone charger – cuz my phone is also my entertainment…
  • Nail file – cuz Phoebe came out of the womb with a set of sharp talons and I was afraid to cut her nails.
  • Also, mittens – for the same reason…
  • Carseat – cuz they won’t let me take Nugget home without it…

I’m considering taking:

  • Laptop – Moo brought his last time and I surfed some and figure I could watch Netflix on it with the AWESOME free WIFI at the hospital.
  • Camera – amazingly this is not hot mainly because my phone is also a pretty good camera.
  • Pop-up laundry basket – Moo says I don’t need it but I’m still torn.  I mean, I can just unpack the suitcase and use it for dirty laundry.

Note, I’m not taking a few things on other lists because I am having a c-section so I have no need of things for labor like tennis balls or massagers for my back or watch for timing contractions.

What else?

34 Weeks

5 weeks from today, I will be having a scheduled c-section. 

5 weeks from today, I will be giving birth to a behemoth.

Well, maybe not.

I am now visiting the doctor’s twice weekly – my OB/GYN on Mondays and my beloved perinatologist’s office on Thursdays.

The Monday visit consists of a consult with whomever I am seeing that week – remember, this is the practice with a dozen midwives and doctors – and a Non-Stress test.  The non-stress test consists of sitting in a recliner with two sensors on my belly, one measuring baby’s heart beat and one presumably measuring any contractions, while I push a button every time that Nugget moves.

This past Monday, they took me back, got my vitals and then took me straight to the Non-stress test room as I was the first one booked.  The nurse did a great job finding Nugget – something others have had trouble with – and was able to get me situated comfortably.  After 20 minutes, nurse practitioner Gina came to the NST room instead of taking me to an exam room to do the consult while I lounged.

They had me go ahead and sign the consent paperwork for my c-section on February 24th.  I basically agreed that I was ok with a blood transfusion and that I was aware that c-sections were a surgical procedure that could result in different problems including disfiguring scars and death.

I was in and out of the office on Monday in an hour.

Today was the perinatologist’s office.  There, I get vitals taken (blood pressure was 110/72 – yes, perfect.  Weight is up 1 pound from my last visit but still down 9 pounds from my first visit in August).  Then it’s back out into the waiting room to wait for a technician to come get me.  After the ultrasound, it’s back out to the waiting room to wait for a consultation either with the perinatologist or one of his nurse practitioners.

Today, I went back for vitals and then straight into an ultrasound room – good timing I guess.  This baby hasn’t been very photogenic.  He has let us see everything we’ve needed to see when we needed to see it, but he likes to hide his face so we’ve only been able to get shots of his face in quadrants and only one good view of his profile early on.  So I have no pictures for you unless you’d like to see his kidneys.

He’s head down and has his face towards my spine so we get marvelous views of his spine and of his vital organs.  But again, it makes for crappy views of anything interesting.

Again, I am making a GINORMOUS baby.  Nugget is measuring at 6 pounds.  Phoebe AKA Spider Monkey was measuring at 7 pounds at 34 weeks as you will remember from THIS post.  And again, part of the weight is because of his LONG legs.  His legs are measuring at 37 weeks, 6 days – so again, like Phoebe, he’s LONG LONG LONG. 

The tech said I was probably gonna deliver a 10 pound baby.  I just smiled and nodded because they said the same thing about Spider Monkey and she was just 8 lb 15 oz.  But then I again, I am reminded that I delivered her at 38 weeks, 2 days, so she might have made it to 10 pounds if she’d baked until 40 weeks.

Afterwards, I consulted with nurse Susan today.  Despite my own efforts, my blood sugar sucks rocks and that was the bulk of our conversation.  My fasting sugars just do not want to get into the range desired.  They want me under 90 fasting and I’ve been averaging 110 over the last week. 

Nothing I do seems to help – having a snack or not having a snack.  Eating late or eating early.  Doesn’t make any difference.  My diet is quite good.  I eat between 2000 and 2400 calories a day and it’s mostly low carb.

I am craving fajitas, sweet and sour chicken, meatballs and soft serve ice cream.  So some of my cravings are even low carb.  And I’ve only indulged in the sweet and sour chicken once this pregnancy and the ice cream 3 times. YES, IT IS TORTURE.  I could literally wallow in a big tub of sweet and sour chicken while scantily clad cabana boys feed me soft serve ice cream. But I have been good and have abstained… Le sigh…

I take two shots a day – before breakfast and before dinner.  And I take 2 different kinds of insulin – regular and a slower acting insulin called NPH.  They keep cranking up my insulin and it IS helping but I’m still not within the range. 

The internet has been most discouraging, telling me basically that it will get worse before I deliver.  Nurse Susan basically agreed today and added a third type of insulin and a third shot daily.  This one taken right before bed time.  This insulin is even more slow acting than the NPH and costs a fortune even with the co-pay.

Do not get me started about insurance.  I am incredibly thankful that I have insurance.  I am incredibly happy that I have pharmacy coverage, but quite frankly the hoops you have to jump through are ridiculous.

A vial of NPH only lasts about 14 days and the regular lasts about 25 days.  Because of this, I’ve needed refills pretty regularly and had 3 refills on each prescription.  However, my insurance coverage states that if I need maintenance medication - meaning anything with more than 2 refills, then I must buy 3 MONTHS of meds at one time.  My argument that I will not be pregnant for 3 more months is irrelevant. 

This is NOT cheap.  Not remotely.  I am also aware that I will have a number of unused bottles of insulin that I will HOPEFULLY not need after delivery.  I am hoping to find a charity that I can give unopened, sealed medications to when this is all over.  This stuff is too expensive to throw away and some poor person who can’t afford their meds could sure use it.

Other than being peeved with this, I am quite well.  I am tired.  I am having leg cramps.  I feel a little breathless because he’s right under my boobs.  I feel heavy and slow and I waddle.  He moves a LOT and usually when I’m trying to sleep like at 5AM or at 11:30 PM – especially when I need to get up at 6AM.

Moo puts his hand on my belly and feels Nugget’s movements.  I don’t know what he expects – a flutter or a slight shift?  Instead, he gets a roundhouse kick that shocks him and he mumbles something about not knowing how I can stand it.  I think it freaks him out just a little.

Also, the constipation is back – I know: TMI.  But you know you want to know this stuff.  I mean, have you ever taken a dump so big you thought you should name it? 

Pregnancy ain’t for wussies, y’all.

The Lie of Motherhood

I was talking to a young woman the other day who is expecting her first child.  She sees me as something of an expert since I’ve had one and lived through it to get pregnant again.

41UTViw UdL._SL160_ She asked my opinion about strollers and wipe warmers and bottle sterilizers and such.  I told her the only gadget that I recommended was the Itzbeen Baby Timer because it covered all the bases with a newborn.

Why did I need such a thing, she asked.  So I explained that Moo and I had found that newborns are much like combinations with only 4 numbers on their lock.  These things are:

  1. Feeding
  2. Changing
  3. Sleep
  4. Holding/comfort

and that with this little timer, I knew what I had done last and could try something else if baby wasn’t happy.

“Don’t you just know what the baby will need?”

She has bought into the mystical mothering lie that we all buy.  Mothers are supposed to form a bond with their children so deeply that nothing else is like it.  And that part is true.

99% of the time, I know what Phoebe needs without her telling me – something that’s bitten us in the butt with her speech development – but I digress.  She wasn’t born with me having this knowledge nor was I born with the ability.  No magic wand of motherly pixie dust was sprinkled over me in the surgical suite during my c-section nor did a switch get flipped somewhere and I just KNEW what she needed.

When you are pregnant with or, for those of you adopting, preparing for your child, you think that when that child is placed into your arms for the first time that you will fall instantly in love with this creature. 

This is true for some women, but not all of us. 

We have this picture in our head that our child will look like pictures we’ve seen of ourselves or our spouses as newborns – the truth is very far away.  After all, you aren’t giving birth to a clone of yourself or your husband – you’re birthing a completely new and different person with their own mix from the gene pool.

So, we are handed this creature that we know is our child but doesn’t look like anyone we know.  All babies look vaguely larval to me - the same smooth features, mushed noses and squinty eyes.

This tiny creature is completely reliant upon you but doesn’t really know you that well either, but you smell familiar and your voice is familiar.

So we have this creature, we’re exhausted, our hoo-ha’s hurt or we have an incision, our entire life has just been turned upside down, our family dynamic has just changed, our marriage has just changed, our financial picture just changed.  You name it, it’s changed.

And somehow, we expect to have learned or acquired or been blessed with the magical glow of motherhood.

That, my friends is magical, mystical bullshit.  And I think it’s part of the reason why women have serious trouble with postpartum depression or babies are abused or neglected or why some women have so much trouble adjusting to motherhood. They feel like there’s something wrong or that they are personally missing something or the hormones tell them that the problem is the baby, etc…

Let me tell you this: I’ve talked to more than one woman that didn’t instantly feel that bond with their children.  I felt no huge bond to Phoebe when she was first born either.  But I think the difference is that somehow, either through friends or family or television, we found out or were told that it’s ok.

It’s ok to feel overwhelmed when you have a newborn.  There will come a time when you are exhausted, you haven’t showered in a couple of days, the house is a wreck, all you seem to eat are sandwiches and you have this tiny creature who has needs and you are the number one person on the list who can fulfill them. 

It’s ok to wonder “what the hell have I brought upon myself?” at 3 in the morning when the kid won’t sleep.

I’ve been there and I expect that in a couple of months, I’ll be there again.  But what you learn is that you get through it.  You learn that everything will work out.  One day, you will look down at the baby and the baby will smile – even though you know it’s gas – and you will know that it’s worth it and, in that instance, that’s when bonding is really happening.

I have no scientific back up for any of this, of course, but I do know that the bond of motherhood and the love you feel for that child, your child, is something that you learn and experience every day as your child grows. 



164711_1734418527604_1452797312_1849900_709775_n Picture it: Winter. Snow and ice in almost unseen amounts hits Atlanta. The interstates are shut down. People are stuck in their homes. I PERSONALLY missed 5 days of work.

People call for better preparedness. People call for more snow plows, more sand trucks, better planning for future events.

Think that sounds like the current conditions in Atlanta? No. I’m describing what was called the Storm of the Century in 1993. Here in Atlanta, we commonly refer to it as the Blizzard of ‘93.

162793_1748883211450_1519930970_31776609_773772_n My front yard is currently covered in about 5 inches of snow with about 1 to 1-1/2 inches of ice on top of that. The street in front is covered in the same ice. I’ve seen a couple of cars (usually 4X4’s) go by but we haven’t ventured out.

Additionally, temperatures haven’t risen above freezing since Sunday. So you add 6 or more inches of frozen precipitation with 5 days of below freezing temperatures and you have a mess.

Atlanta and metro area counties are being criticized for their preparation or lack thereof and are promising to be better prepared the next time.

Our own storm preparations have been quite successful. Moo’s been working from home as we’ve kept electricity and, more importantly, internet service throughout week. I went to the grocery store on Saturday and got our normal groceries along with an additional loaf of bread. I also roasted a turkey Saturday morning.

In addition to the turkey, I do one batch cooking session every week and this week was lasagna. Our recipe makes 4 good size lasagnas and we put the extras in the freezer. So far, we’ve enjoyed the fruits of previous sessions in the form of turkey enchiladas, chicken tacos, veggie beef soup, homemade cinnamon rolls, and the lasagna made this weekend.

Here’s the important part of this: an event like this or even close to this only happens in Atlanta every 10 to 20 years!! Before the storm of ‘93, there was the storm of ‘73 which also had people housebound for several days.

I barely remember that storm as I was only 2-1/2 at the time – the same age as my daughter now – but I recall my mother’s stories about us losing power and then regaining it a few hours later because our townhouse had a generator. My only real memories of that storm are because my grandmother, who lived a short distance away, came to stay with us after a few days because her power was out for nearly 3 weeks. She brought her little Toy Manchester dog with her and our cat, Muffin, hated that dog and would spit and yowl at it.

Also in my memory is the big storm of ‘82 when the storms hit late in the day. My father got off work at 3:30 and ended up finally home at 8PM after walking the last 7 miles home after the car got stuck.

My memories and experience is limited to the 40 years I’ve been on this Earth but I can tell you this - spending tons of money on snow plows and salt trucks as some have called for in the last couple of days seems a little like overkill in light of the fact that this kind of thing only happens every 10-20 years. This is one of those times when you need to prepare yourself and your family.

Figure out what you and your family would need if you couldn’t get out for a few days and start that way. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash or time on preparedness. A few frozen pizzas and chicken pot pies in the freezer and some firewood is all most folks need.

So folks, the moral of this story is this: we got through those other storms and we’ll get through this one.

Relax and try to enjoy it.

Mr Weather

15183930 This is Glenn Burns.  He has been on the air as a meteorologist here in Atlanta since 1981 on WSB-TV.
Mr Burns has been on air during some of Atlanta’s worst weather in my memory everything from heat waves in the 1980’s and the blizzard of ‘93.
For the most part, I like him.  His style is informative and educational without being patronizing.  However, the more dire the weather prediction, the more giddy he gets.  This giddiness led my mother to call him “The Happy Bastard”.
During normal weather, my mother would say, “Let’s check the weather.”  During times of extreme weather, she’d say “Let’s see what The Happy Bastard has to say.”
I cannot help but call him the Happy Bastard, especially on a day like today when he is all over the giant snowfall we received last night.
Atlanta is woefully unprepared for snow.  We only have 1-3 instances of frozen precipitation yearly, so we only have a handful of sand/salt trucks and snow plows.  I don’t know anyone who has snow tires or chains.
Besides, we don’t usually get much snow.  We generally get more ice in the form of sleet and freezing rain and NO ONE can drive on ice – not even Yankees.
The Happy Bastard has been predicting this mess since Friday and he’s been right this time.  So this morning, Moo stayed at home and is working.  My OB/GYN office called yesterday to let me know that the office would be closed so I’m not trying to get to a doctor’s appointment.
So we’re home, safe and warm.  Comfy and cozy.  And the Happy Bastard is predicting more precipitation for later this week.

The Dreams of Your Heart

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I’ve talked about this before, but if you remember, Moo and I have been searching for a church ever since we moved to our house 7 years ago.

I have some very specific requirements and so far, none of the churches in our area work for us.

I’ve discovered that a large church in Texas really touches my heart in all the right ways and they show their services live on the internet on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.  More often than not, I watch the Saturday night service and it really gears me up for the next week. 

Last night, the minister said “You have to open your mind up to new ideas.”  And then later on he said that “There is no dream in your heart too big for God.”

I have always believed that the dreams of your heart, your heart’s desire, whatever you want to call it – are put there by God because YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO IT. 

In the church I grew up in, we often talked about the call to service that God put in the heart of ministers, but I always believed that it wasn’t just ministers who were called.  I believed that doctors were called to heal in His name.  I believed that teachers were called to teach in His name.  I believed that accountants were called to juggle the numbers in His name; writers to write in His name, etc etc…

I am a Christian, but I am what my father always called a pragmatic Christian.  I look at the spiritual through logic and order.  In all the books of all the religions, in the beginning there was Chaos and God brought order.  So in my opinion, order is the goal of everything.  In my beliefs, we are given things we like to do and things we are good at (which are usually the same thing!) because that is WHAT WE ARE MEANT TO DO! 

In my beliefs, this is logical.  After all, why would God give us things to do that we don’t like to do??  I’m not saying that every task is pleasant and a joy.  I don’t like mopping my kitchen floor or taking out the garbage, but like having a clean kitchen and I like cooking in that clean kitchen.

I have a dream in my heart that I will have the opportunity to do the things I’ve always loved in my career (administrative stuff, database development, payroll and HR) where I work with my husband in my own business.  My dream also includes being able to be home with my children.

When I visualize what this looks like, I’m working in my office, Phoebe is sitting at a table in the room coloring or drawing pictures and baby boy is on a blanket nearby playing.

So when that minister said that I have to open my mind, I immediately jumped on it.  That message immediately resonated with everything in my soul and it has played in my mind over and over again.

So I am keeping an open mind and I am ready for God to fill my mind with the ways to do His will.

Do you need to open your mind?  Do you need to reminded of the desires of your heart?