Another Update (25w6d)

How has it been another week already? Let’s see what’s new in the last week…

  • Blood Sugars: I’m concerned about my blood sugars. They’ve been really pretty good for quite a while now. My last a1c test (long-term blood sugar report card) was a smashing 6.0. But since my last appointment, my sugars have gone back up. I’m eating basically the same stuff, no real changes. If anything I’m not eating as often, but I’m eating larger meals when I do. I’m avoiding eating in the middle of the night when I get up to pee and find myself starving. But my fasting sugars are much higher than they used to be (averaging 110-ish or higher) and my post-breakfast sugars look even worse as a consequence. That’s the really frustrating part – I eat the same three things for breakfast every morning during the week. But for some reason now my blood sugar is blasting up 70-100 points after breakfast, as opposed to the 30-50 points it did before. (I take my morning whopping dose of insulin and then eat breakfast within 20-40 minutes.) I know this will be a big discussion topic at my next appointment. I’m aware that as the pregnancy continues that it’s not uncommon to have some impressive insulin resistance, but I’m concerned that this seemed to come on so suddenly. I’m kinda hoping that it has a bit to do with my stress levels of late. I’ve had a big project at work hanging over me for a couple of weeks now – a server install/migration that has gone wrong in every way possible. Hopefully this weekend will be the end of it – if not, my job might be on the line… so maybe if I get rid of this stress, my sugars will behave? Here’s hoping.
  • Weight Gain: I have no idea how much I’ve gained since my last appointment, but I can’t imagine it will be good. I don’t know how to deal with the fact that I’m getting bigger. Everything in my life has always been about *not* getting bigger at any cost – so mentally I have no mechanism to deal with these changes. I’m not contemplating dieting or anything… but I live in fear of that scale at Dr. Schwartz’s office. For the record, I don’t feel like I’m getting bigger anywhere but my belly and boobs – but what the hell do I know?
  • Swelling: Some days are better than others. I’m always swollen in my feet and ankles to some extent, with the left being more swollen than the right. (Not to an alarming extent, but I notice it.) If I spend an inordinate amount of time with my feet up, the swelling will go down some, but when I wake up in the morning, things are still swollen. That said, I have three pairs of shoes I can rotate through depending on how bad the swelling is on a given day. My hands and face remain un-puffy, which is good since that is a sign of pre-eclampsia. My wrists are still pretty swollen though, so the carpel tunnel issues continue, and actually seem to be getting worse. I’m looking into braces or something to help with this, since I can’t do anything about my job that requires me to be on a computer all day.
  • Names: We have a list of 23 names we’re working on. Not sure if this list is the final list though. I’m still on the lookout for a good baby-naming book and always listening for a good name. Those who have glanced at our list have been surprised at how ‘normal’ the names are. I guess people thought we would be naming the kid something from Star Trek or Canterbury Tales? (Geoffrey Tiberius, anyone?)
  • Kicks: Our little man is a dancing, kicking, punching, rolling, whirling dervish. I have no real idea what appendage is whunking me at any given time, but I feel him all throughout the day these days. Sometimes when he’s really on a tear it can be hard to concentrate on other things for all the activity in my belly! I’m pretty sure I had a little baby bum sticking out to the right of my belly button yesterday morning though. I was re-familiarizing myself with myself in the mirror before hopping in the shower, and noticed a lump about the size of a tennis ball to the right of my belly button. I poked at it, but it didn’t do anything. It was gone after my shower though! (As I’m writing this, he’s kicking at opposite ends of my belly – I wish I could see what on earth he’s doing in there!)
  • Kicks, part II: Paul felt the baby kick on Easter Sunday! (April 4, 25w3d) I was hanging out on the couch with my hand resting on my side. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my hand jump – and realized it coincided with a big kick. I watched as my hand jumped again, and I quickly called Paul over. He put his hand where I showed him and a few seconds later, he felt his son give a mighty kick! He gasped and kind of giggled as he got a couple more punches in quick succession. The look on Paul’s face is something I will never forget. He continues to be impressed with how quickly the baby moves inside me – Paul assumes that it’s all dreamy water-world in there, not karate practice!
  • Nursery: Progress in the nursery is still slow. But we have a deadline now – the carpet installation has been scheduled for Saturday May 1. So painting the nursery will more than likely happen the weekend of the 24-25 of April. Which means the clean-out portion of the program has to be finished by then! I’ve given up the dream of re-painting the baseboards in the house before the carpet goes in – just too much other prep to be done, since it’s like we have to move out of the house to have the carpet installed anyway. I’m excited that things will finally be moving visibly forward, but trepidatious at all the work that has to happen before then. I’m looking forward to having something to show friends and family when they’re out for the shower!
  • Baby Shower: To my knowledge, no RSVPs have been received for the baby shower that’s in just over a month. Starting to wonder if anyone wants to celebrate this kid…or see the nursery! (On Edit: I didn’t realize that my BFF Lisa has been *dying* with a cold, allergies and asthma all ganging up on her at once and then sticking around. I’m sure that the RSVPs are being well-tracked. She’s just been a little too sick of late to pass them on to me! That said, feel free to comment here after you’ve RSVP’d either way!)
  • Daycare: One day last week after I got out of class, Paul joined me for a tour of the daycare that I’d toured a couple of months ago. He was as impressed as I was, and feels comfortable about placing our baby there when the time comes that we’re both working again. Not sure when that will be, but I wanted Paul to tour the place and see what I was so excited about. It was pretty neat watching him check out all the babies in the infant room. He doesn’t get this panicked look anymore, more interested than anything. Which I think is a big step in the right direction. He had much the same look on his face last week when he finally met Caroline’s little girl here in the office.
  • I guess that’s about it. Other than feeling pretty tired in the evenings (and right around 3:00 every afternoon) I’m feeling pretty good. Definitely feel pregnant, and it’s an interesting experience to say the least!

General Update (25w)

It occurs to me that I should update, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot going on. Three weeks between appointments means there’s a slow-down in news, and right now things are mostly at a status quo. Almost boring – at least in comparison to earlier times when so much was happening.

The little man kicks like a fiend. Doesn’t hurt at all, but I’ve had a couple of jabs that have stopped me mid-thought or mid-sentence to look down at my belly. I’m positive that if I didn’t have all my extra padding that Paul would be able to feel stuff now. I don’t have his ‘schedule’ down yet – dunno if he actually has one. Some nights he’s up and bouncing when I lay down in bed, other nights I’m pretty sure he’s gone to bed before me! He’s rarely awake when I get up in the morning – takes after his Mama for sleeping in. I feel him at random times during the day. I’m a little sad to say it’s become commonplace now. It’s still nifty as heck, but I don’t sit in awe of my belly all day.

Speaking of my belly: wow. Getting big. I’m really seeing some growth there. My shirts are all starting to get tight, and even co-workers are noticing (and commenting) that I’m growing. I’m torn between freaking out about any gain in size, and being happy that my belly is getting noticeably bigger. Paul’s mom swears (after examining me in my maternity swimsuit) that I’ve lost inches in other places, but I can’t tell. I’m just impressed that my uterus is so noticeable now. It’s between my belly button and sternum, and I can totally feel it’s soccer ball size and hardness. I just might actually *look* pregnant at some point in all of this. I’m feeling kicks up higher too, which is kinda nifty – I can tell the little guy is getting bigger just by how far he can stretch!

Fashion be damned: I’m currently wearing black yoga pants, a green/brown/black/cream tunic and Men’s size 12 lilac Croc shoes. I have a pair in gold too, but they’re a size 11 and if it’s a busy day they’re too tight by the evening. (Hey, you take what you can get at the Outlet. I was looking for size, not style.) The swelling on my feet and ankles continues – and isn’t going down as much overnight as it used to. Dr. Schwartz still is OK with it – and assures me that it’s normal. My hands and face aren’t swelling at all – so that’s the checksum of this whole thing. Pre-eclampsia is marked by rapid swelling of the face and/or hands or extreme swelling of the legs (usually with one being far worse than the other.) Granted, some nights I question what ‘extreme’ swelling actually looks like. But I comfort myself with the knowledge that my 9-5 job at a desk all day is just about the worst thing I could do if trying to prevent swelling, so at least I know part of what’s contributing to it. We’re all on guard for other symptoms, but for now I’m just ugly from the shins down. Thus, I have embraced the Clown Shoes (that are 3 sizes larger than I normally wear…)

Progress in the nursery is moving slowly. We’re almost to where we can paint. I’m hoping to have the carpet installed towards the end of April. It’s gotta be in the couple of weeks before the shower so we have time to put the house back together before everyone is here. But since we don’t have to have the install on a weekend anymore, that opens up the schedule some. Paul is making good progress on several projects at home, so I can’t complain. (Especially since there isn’t a whole lot I can do to help him with most of it!)

I’m INCREDIBLY looking forward to the Baby Shower. It’s going to be a great weekend of friends and family – lots of whom are coming in from California (and Arizona!) I can’t wait to see Oin & Cynthia, Sean & Kristy, and of course Lisa & Mike! (Also: cake. I’m really looking forward to cake.) I’m very glad that Paul will be at the shower, as will several guy friends. I’ve struggled for this entire pregnancy to find ways to include Paul, and this shower is certainly a big one! It’s his baby too, no reason why he shouldn’t get to participate in the celebration of his kid!

I have to say though, when I really get to thinking about it, I’m just overwhelmed that it’s happening at all. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the day-to-day of being pregnant, and forget sometimes just how amazing this all is. Paul and I had absolutely given up hope that we were going to have kids. I worked hard for years to get myself to a place where I was OK with that. (Sean & Kristy can attest to many conversations exploring God’s plans and how they’re frequently hard to understand…) But looking at the little teddy bear-shaped invitation with our names on it, or looking at the registry we’ve built for our son, or even just typing those words “our son” chokes me up. This is really happening. It’s awesome and incredible and scary as hell all at the same time. And I am so so so incredibly happy that Paul and I are in this together. I can’t wait to see Paul’s son in his arms. And no matter how our situation may be right now, I’m confident that we’re going to be just fine, and a happy little family.

And speaking of the little family, here we are last weekend after the Jefferson Jackson Democratic Party dinner, where Al Gore was keynote speaker.

Late March, 2010 - 6months

Appointment Update (23w6d)

Boring appointment with my little jerk. :)

He refuses to cooperate with the nurses to give a decent ultrasound. They wanted to take more measurements today, but he wasn’t having any of it. They were finally able to check out his heart, but not as thoroughly as they’d like to. He just will.not.move into a position that gives them what they need. He likes to hide directly under *my* belly button. But our little guy is looking good, and is measuring only like 2 days ahead at this point – so that’s fantastic. He’s weighing in at 1lb 4oz. (Dr. Schwartz says his growth probably slowed down a touch because we have an even tighter grip on my blood sugars now.)

But my BP was good (for me) especially considering that I was in so much pain in my boobs this morning I was near tears. So a 138/84 was cause for celebration. (Dunno what the crazy breast pain is… but it’s tear-inducing. I was literally in tears on the drive over this morning. Heat seems to make it better, after a while. Dr. Schwartz says it’s basically normal, nothing can be done.)

I gained 6 pounds. So that’s two pounds a week since my last appointment where I was positive I’d gained 5 pounds and had only gained a half-pound; for 11 total in 24 weeks. I don’t know how I feel about that. Except that I’m saying at least one pound is in my swollen feet & ankles, and another pound in each of my boobs. Dr. Schwartz said not to be concerned about it when I emailed him this afternoon.

We talked about my swollen feet, ankles, and wrists. Dr. Schwartz checked the swelling (so glad I remembered to shave this morning) and pronounced that “Yes, you’re just one of those lucky ones who swells!” which isn’t great news, but sure beats “OMFG, you’re swelling to a crazy, worrisome extent!” He assures me that the carpal tunnel will go away once I pop this kid out.

We talked about my crazy dreams & nightmares. I have a really strong family history of depression, so I’m on the alert for PPD and am concerned that if my brainmeats are responding to pregnancy hormones in this way now, does that mean I’m more susceptible to PPD later? He doesn’t think this is a indicator, but he wants to keep a close eye on me and wants me to tell him if the timbre of my dreams changes to any darker than it is now. (For example, the corpses that I’m trying to hide of the people I’ve killed… I didn’t *see* myself kill them, I just know I did. If I start to actually see myself kill someone or want to kill someone…. Dr. Schwartz wants to know.) So I find it really reassuring that he’s taking this as seriously as I am. I’m willing to go on meds if he thinks it’s necessary, but for right now I just want my husband and OB on alert to help me be watching for changes.

Other than that, nothing to report. We got pics on a CD from the ultrasound, but I haven’t had a chance to look at them. Our little man looked at us several times, so I think we have a face shot or two.

Next appointment is in three weeks on April 14th, and then I’ll prolly go back to every 2 weeks. Non-stress tests will start between 32 and 34 weeks.

Perchance to Dream? (23w)

I have landed on my least favorite part of being pregnant. Yeah, I know I’m only half-way and things are gonna get more interesting here with a quickness. But I’m gonna hold firm on this one. My least favorite part of being pregnant: the dreams.

Apparently this is yet another magical Progesterone thing. Makes ya have crazy-go-nuts, insane, psychedelic dreams. I tend toward vivid dreams/nightmares/night terrors anyway, but nothing like this. (There’s a reason Paul double-checks the locks every night, cuz I haven’t yet been able to figure out how to undo both deadbolts when I’m still asleep.)

These dreams are incredibly realistic and detailed. Nevermind that the giraffe that’s serving me a decaf latte has purple spots and a British accent. The detail on the color and the texture of the hair on those purple spots – not to mention how good the coffee smells.

But the dreams are terribly involved – like the most complex Law & Order ever. And because I wake up several times a night to pee, I have several distinct dreams a night. I wake up mentally exhausted from dreaming. I don’t feel like I’m really getting any rest cuz my brain is working so hard overnight, every night.

And then there’s the nightmares. Dead bodies that I’m trying to hide in a grocery store. Having our home surrounded by wolves and other monsters that keep breaking windows and finding a way in, trying to kill our pets and lunging at my belly. Being chased by evil, psychotic comic book characters while I frantically try to complete a scavenger hunt that will make them stop their pursuit of me. Trying to save myself and my family from a raging flood in my grandmother’s old trailer park. A swarm of gnats surrounding me and flying in my mouth as I screamed. (These were all within the last week, by the way.)

Last night was the worst though. I’ve only dreamed about the baby twice. First time was what told me I was having a boy. Yes, there were problems with him, but they weren’t terribly concerning. I knew he was OK. Last night was just losing the baby. The baby died inside me. I was so upset and angry in my dream, poking my belly, pleading with the baby to move and prove he was still alive. Wandering the streets, pleading with anyone I saw to explain why God would give us this baby after 10 years to just take it away. Screaming in anguish until no sound would come out anymore. I woke up with a sore throat, sobbing. (I ended up getting up for an hour and having cereal in the hopes that he’d wake up and make himself known.)

The other disturbing dream last night was about my mom who died in in 1998. Oin and I were with her, and somehow she died. But no one else knew, and if we didn’t say anything, she would appear to still be alive to them for about a week. She wouldn’t appear directly to us, but we could see her interacting with other people. Part of me in the dream knew she had already died a long time ago, but the rest of me was just trying to deal with the grief and anger and astonishment all over again.

Actually, my mom was in the dream where I lost the baby too. She was the one who confirmed that yes, my baby had died. She was pregnant too.

I don’t dream about my mom like that usually. If I dream about her at all, it’s usually from the time before I moved out when I was 19. And it’s always just normal day-to-day inconsequential stuff. She’s just another person in my dream, not OMG-my-mom-who-died.

Every time I woke up last night I looked at the clock and tried to figure out if I could just stay up the rest of the night so that I wouldn’t have any more dreams. I’m tired right now, but I’m dreading going to bed.

Yeah. This is my least favorite part of being pregnant.

General update (22w3d)

Most common question I’m asked these days is “How are you feeling?” So I figured I’d update, since there’s nothing major to talk about really.

I’m feeling pretty good. I’m not sure where this whole “Holy crap, you’ll feel freaking fantastic and have all the energy in the world!!!1!1!” myth came from; but I do feel better than I did in my first trimester. I’m don’t feel like I’m walking through waist-deep water all the time, so that’s a vast improvement.

I’m getting bigger, of this there is no doubt. My waist is disappearing more and more every day. I’m positive that I’m gonna lose my belly button before this is all over. I’m finding it hard to squeeze between things I used to be able to pass with no problems. (Like between the dresser and the bed on Paul’s side of the bed.) I’m mostly OK with it all – just have to remind myself occasionally that I’m pregnant, not fat. (well, not fatter than I was already… ha!) I’m pretty sure that my internal organs are getting shoved up higher though, which is making me get winded a little easier than before.

My maternity wardrobe is holding steady. Some tops are getting too tight to wear fashionably, but I’ve got others that are still fine. I’m terribly grateful that no one at work really cares about what I wear. I’m in yoga pants nearly every day now. I miss my jeans.

My ankles and feet are swelling pretty much every day, but most mornings I wake up with non-swollen ankles and feet, so I’m not terribly concerned. I wear Crocs shoes every day, so the swelling hasn’t affected my footwear yet. I come home in the evenings and put my feet up, literally. The degree to which I’m swollen seems directly proportional to the activity level of my day – the busier the day and/or the longer I was on my feet, the worse the swelling is. But the swelling isn’t limited to my lower extremities. My wrists are pretty swollen too. I’ve definitely got some pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel going on. Numbness and tingling in the hands is pretty common now. So that’s annoying, but I have faith that it will go away once I pop the little man out.

I’m not bending over much anymore. It’s just not comfortable, and the kid kicks me when I do it, so I don’t think he likes it either. If you wanna know what it feels like, take a large honeydew melon and hold it tight on your gut, just at your belly button. Now, bend over at the waist. Yep. There you go.

Um, I feel like I’m back in high school in regards to my face. Oil slick city, man. Hair too. I had to switch shampoo/conditioner because everything I had was to combat the dryness out here in the desert. I’m now using a daily clarifying shampoo and an uuber-light conditioner. And I gotta say, my hair is looking pretty awesome. It’s growing pretty fast, which is making Paul happy. (Granted, I know it’s gonna fall out after I have the kid, but I try not to think about that.)

The little man is a flip-flopping, kicking, tap-dancing machine. I swear, sometimes it feels like he’s trying to tap-dance his way out already. But it’s cool to feel him regardless. I don’t have his cycles down yet, but it’s noticeable when he wakes up, that’s for sure. I can’t wait for Paul to be able to feel it.

My labs are all great. My A1c had dropped to 6.0 at my last appointment, and my blood pressure has settled down into 130’s over 80’s which is really much better than it was. My blood sugars are in a happy-making range for Dr. Schwartz, and I haven’t had a med adjustment in over 6 weeks. I’m still on 3-week appointments, but I know that’s gonna end eventually – by my last month I’ll be on twice-a-week appointments for non-stress tests.

I guess that’s about it. The state of the Sarah (and little man.) Did I miss anything?