Saturday, May 22, 2010

The dreaded glucose tolerance tests

I had been nervous about my glucose tolerance test for a while. There are a few other pregnant girls at work, and I overheard one talking about how she failed the one hour and how she was dreading taking the three hour. Being a first time preggers, my imagination went into overdrive, wondering about the Glucola drink and how it would taste, whether I'd be able to keep it down, and then of course, whether I'd pass it. So, the one hour glucose test came and went, not really much of a big deal. The Glucola drink was fruit punch flavored and kind of reminded me of super sweet fruit punch flavored Gatorade. My main concern was passing the test, I just reeeeeally wanted to pass that test. I tried to make sure I ate more protein in the days before the test, stayed away from sweets, etc., basically trying to "cheat" the test. (Not the best idea, in hind sight, not to mention pretty much impossible.) So, you guessed it- I failed it. BOOO!!! But, I was buoyed by lots of friends who told me they failed the first test and passed the second, three hour test with flying colors. That reassured me enough to allow me to focus my fears not on not passing the three hour test, but on the fact that

1. I'd have to fast from midnight the night before until after the test. I don't do well without breakfast, folks.

2. I'd have to drink more of that Glucola crap. In five minutes, instead of 10 minutes as with the one hour test. On an empty stomach. Talk about a recipe for vomitousness.

3. I'd have to be pricked four times. Four. I've only got two arms! You mean you're going to re-prick the same arm?? I know, I'm a wuss.

4. I'll have to sit in a hospital lab waiting room for several hours throughout this process.

Looking back on these "fears" of mine, it all seems so silly. My child's health, and my health, are absolutely worth all of those tiny little inconveniences. It was really quite a painless experience, the ladies (phlebotomists?) were very sweet, and I got to take the rest of the day off to nap, read, run errands, etc.

That is, until I got the call from my nurse yesterday. I had failed the three hour test, putting me into the "gestational diabetic" category. I tried to contain my sobs as the nurse talked me through what this meant, my first thoughts being along the lines of, "What have I done? Is my baby okay? I thought I was eating decently! How is this affecting my little guy?" My immediate emotions were fear and guilt. I went back through the last 27 weeks and all the sweets I'd allowed myself to have throughout, kicking myself mentally. After talking to the nurse some about my fears and doing some research, I'm feeling better. I've ordered a few books on Amazon to help me figure out meal plans, and I will be attending a gestational diabetes education class this week where I hope I can find some help and answers. I am not looking forward to having to test my blood sugar every day, several times a day, but I'll do what's necessary for the little boy and for my health. Now I'm just praying that we will be able to keep the diabetes under control with diet alone, and that we won't have to resort to insulin shots. When the nurse called, she said two of four of my blood tests for the three hour glucose test were "out of range" but one of those two was only out of range by two points. She said that fact, along with the fact that she knows "what a smart cookie" I am, made her very confident that we'll be able to keep this under control with some dietary changes.
So, a new set of rules to learn. When I first got pregnant I went out and read the "What to Eat When You're Expecting" book and did research about what to eat and what NOT to eat, noticing some of my staples seemed to be out: cold cuts (turkey sandwiches were my go-to lunch), things with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or Splenda seemed out, too. I just kept hearing and reading that there wasn't "enough conclusive evidence about the effect of artificial sweeteners." Thus, I switched my yogurt over from light (with aspartame) to organic (with organic milled cane sugar). I've been drinking more water and milk instead of Crystal Light (aspartame) since I got pregnant, but apparently there is such a thing as too much milk-it's got a good bit of lactose in it. A part of me wonders if I've messed myself up by cutting out things with artificial sweetener and allowing myself a bit of real sugar, since that didn't seem to have any negative effects on my baby. (Before gestational diabetes reared it's ugly head, that is.) I wish I had thought more about gestational diabetes before now, and had been taking measures to prevent it from being an issue. It's too bad "they" don't counsel newly pregnant women on nutrition (other than not eating soft cheeses, sushi, cold cuts, hot dogs, etc.) to help women keep a reign on their blood sugar as much as possible. One thing I do know: now that I've been diagnosed with GD with this pregnancy, I have a much higher chance of being diagnosed with it in later pregnancies. I'll be sure to keep that in mind and maintain a GD type diet long before it's even time to take the glucose test.
So, wish me luck in my new adventure trying to learn the "rules" of GD eating, and please, leave any hints or tips that may have helped you or someone you know.

Monday, May 10, 2010

26 week belly pic!!

DH took this picture on Mother's Day, my first "official" Mother's Day. I don't quite feel like a mother, and feel like I have a long way to go before I know what it means to be a mommy. I am enjoying the baby belly, to be sure. I don't feel that big, but I look at this picture compared to my 16 week picture and am just amazed. Notice my arms- I refuse to put them by my side in these pictures. I'm trying to make them look as skinny as possible!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Prayers for a friend needed

Hello, bloggy ladies. I have a heavy heart tonight. I'm Facebook friends with an old high school acquaintance. He is such a sweet guy, and although I don't know his wife well, from what I have seen, she is also incredibly sweet. Last summer, his wife was on her way to go blueberry picking with their two young children when they were involved in a horrendous car accident. Her minivan was crushed, killing both of their children and critically injuring her. She has had several back/spinal surgeries and continues to endure physical therapy. To say that the last year has been a tough road for them would almost be insulting to the tragedy that they have endured. However, through it all, their faith has been stronger than I think I've ever witnessed. I simply can not imagine losing both of my children and then being strong enough to pick up the pieces, but they have. They are an incredible example to me. A few months ago, they announced that God had blessed them with another pregnancy. It wasn't something they were trying for, just something they decided to leave up to Him. This week, they found out their little girl has spina bifida. They continue to have faith through it all that the Lord is in control and that everything is going to work out for the best. I am asking for your prayers. This couple needs as much prayer support as they can get- prayers for their emotional and spiritual health, as well as physical health. My friend's wife is still healing from her injuries, and they need prayers for that as well as for the health of the baby. Prayers for their marriage, for their future, and yes, prayers for a miracle. If you're a praying person, please keep them in yours. Their names are Craig and Crystal, and I know they would appreciate any prayers you can spare.
Thank you, Lord for this baby boy kicking around in my womb, and for his health. Please continue to bless him with healthy development and growth, as well as for my health. We lift Craig, Crystal, and their baby girl up to you in prayer. Cover them with your strength, your love. Be their rock and their fortress and help gird them up with strength in the months ahead. We know, God, that you are all powerful and all knowing and can do ALL things. Bless them with a miracle, and heal their little girl. Amen.

I promise, I'm done slacking!

So, I'm back. At least, I'm going to try and jump back on the blog bandwagon again. It's just been a busy couple of months, and blogging has been the last thing on my mind. I am now 25 weeks along in this pregnancy, 26 weeks this coming Monday...YAY!!!!! So far, everything has looked and sounded good with each check up, praise the good Lord in Heaven. DH and I have been busy registering, figuring out baby room stuff, signing up for classes at the hospital, (Baby Basics, Childbirth workshop, Breastfeeding 101, and Infant/Child CPR). Also, my sister was here for the last few months with her two children, while her husband has been away. I've been trying to soak up as much time as possible with them over the last few months before they went back to Florida. As of today, they are settled back at home and her DH was scheduled to land this evening. I can't WAIT to see the pictures and/or video of their reunion. I know my three year old niece is going to go ga-ga when she sees her daddy. She has missed him SO much over the last few months. The school year is finishing up, and I'm trying to figure out maternity leave plans for next year, as the baby is due in August, a few days before school starts! Also, my team is moving classrooms AGAIN this year, so that'll be interesting in a few weeks. We'll take a 26 week picture in the next few days, and I'll try to post it ASAP. Meanwhile, is it me or does it seem as if EVERYONE I know is pregnant?? FIVE girls at work, plus one fellow teacher's wife are all pregnant. THREE girls that are friends from my last job, plus two old friends. And it seems like everyone is due between the end of this month and the end of September, with a few exceptions. It's CRAZY! Crazy in a good way, though. It's been nice to have some girlfriends to talk about all this pregnancy stuff with. I don't know what I'd have done if one of my girlfriends hadn't recommended the book Baby Bargains to me when DH and I were getting ready to register. She and the book were lifesavers!!! There is just so much you don't know about all the stuff out there for babies. Those big baby stores are pros at making you feel like your baby needs all of this junk. And as a first time mom-to-be, it's easy to be overwhelmed and suckered into registering or buying a ton of stuff, most of which isn't necessary and some of which may not be as safe as you think. (Giant fluffy crib bumpers, for example). So, that's all for now. I'm hoping to spend more time on this blog this summer, once school is out, my classroom is moved, and maternity leave lesson plans are finished!