Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby II Week 30: Abs of Steel

I'm a day early on this post, but I doubt much will change in the next 24 hours so here you go... 30 week update!

I just have to give a shout out to my uterus. I know most women whine about Braxton-Hicks contractions but I love them. They hurt and all, but I'm proud of my uterus for not just laying around and instead actually working on something. Since 28 weeks I've been having extremely impressive BH contractions daily, more noticeably when I run but definitely something every day. They're much stronger than with Milo, which I suppose is because they've done this before. Hopefully after another 10 weeks of practice my uterus will be a lean mean, baby pushing machine.


BH contractions make me need to pee, like immediately. There's no "I'll just finish shopping then hit the bathroom on the way out." It's now, or we'll be needing a clean-up on isle 9.

My tummy is getting very itchy from all the stretching.

Also, for no clear reason, my nipples are also super itchy and I'm pretty sure they are not stretching, at least I hope now. If having babies means I have to look like one of those African women in National Geographic then I'm quitting now. That is my biggest problem lately though. I still haven't googled the issue, anyone else experience this and like to admit to it?

Last complaint: my wedding ring is beginning to get tight. I don't want to take it off, I hate being without it, but I don't want to have to have firefighters cut it off so I may give in in the next week or so and let my finger breathe again... it has some serious ring muffin top right now.

This month's doctor's appointment went well. I've gained 20 pounds now. I'm now measuring two weeks ahead instead of three. We have another ultrasound on February 2nd to check out my funky placenta. And we have our first midwife appointment next week. All good. Oh and my blood sugar has been great, no problems controlling it so far, though oddly enough cream cheese makes it spike like crazy. Boo that.

I would have liked to have belly pictures for you, hopefully I get my computer back soon!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baby II Week 29: Get Me a Paper Bag ASAP, Natural Childbirth Freakout

So suddenly I'm getting all this "OMG can I do this?" anxiety, and uh, I don't like it. I knew there was a teenie tiny seed of doubt in me as soon as I gave birth to Milo. I had gotten an epidural, maybe I can't cut it. Also, I had gotten it and it wasn't a total disaster. I didn't love it, but it was fine. Overall I still felt like I could have labored naturally without the pitocin and that I did everything I could to have a very big baby in a high risk situation as safely as possible... but that little seed was there. Over the past year Eric has heard lots of "Do you think I can do this?" from me. His answer is usually "Yes" but I know his confidence is a bit shaky too.

The doubt has remained in ungerminated seed form since Milo's birth. If other women can labor naturally then why shouldn't I be able to? I often go through my list of women in my head that have experienced natural childbirth and lived to tell of it. I go through my reasons why it's important to Eric and I, and all the skills we have to achieve our goal. I repeat the reasons why we were unsuccessful before and remind myself of what we are doing differently this time to avoid those obstacles. It's a childbirth brainwash really.

Well for some reason my brainwashing got interrupted. I think it maybe started with a birth story post by one of my favorite mommy bloggers. Now, I've read tons of birth stories. Natural, emergency, horrific, miraculous, easy, hard, home, hospital, water... plus I don't know how many birth videos on YouTube. I have read of horrors, my friend, the stuff only nightmares are made of (elaborate, severe tears are always the worst for me!), but for some reason this one was the little drop of water the awoke my flip out seed.

There are a lot of facts and promises I've leaned on to keep me motivated, but there's also facts and unknowns I've push out and suddenly I've let them flood in. This baby will probably be big, despite how hard I've worked, I can tell. He's huge. Big babies don't just get stuck, but laboring with one is more painful. I wasn't allowed to tear last time, but what if I do this time... what kind of wreckage will another 10 pounder leave in his wake? Will I be able to endure that drug free? I can't imagine just laying there laboring cow style the way we learned with Bradley during the contractions I was experiencing on max'ed pitocin, will natural labor really be that different? Or as soon as it gets serious will I suddenly remember and freak...

So far, my rational, prepared, still pretty comfortable and totally not in labor yet self thinks she can do it. I'm also stubborn, and if I go into labor naturally and we face no serious obstacles, I'm not sure if I could ever hold my head up high again if I gave in and abandoned our mission. I know plenty will chime in about it being ok and as long as the baby is healthy and all, but goals are important to me. I really believe this can be done, and if it can be done... then damn it I'm gonna do it. ... right after I finish my anxiety attack... bag please.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby II Week 28: Win/Fail/Win...

Eric and I are without a computer for the next 2-4 weeks, so expect sporadic pregnancy update postings... not that I've been particularly consistent lately.

28 is a huge week... it's the week I've been working towards for over a year. From the day I got the go ahead from my OB to drag my flabby postpartum bod to the gym and every single week since (since Jan 3rd '10 I've missed only 1 week) I've been thinking about week 28 and that damn glucose tolerance test.

I was told that I would probably get gestational diabetes again, unless I lost 80 pounds. Holy cow, ok. Well I lost 50, close enough. I've gained 19 pounds as of today which isn't awful, I've exercised and dieted and did everything the diabetes gods told me to do. I went into the test feeling good. I quickly did not feel good anymore, the draw was a disaster. The lab I typically go to (because they let you leave during the test) had been taken over by another and they had new phlebotomists. I was comfortable with the ones the other lab had. I am very difficult to draw from and the techs there could get my one and only, tiny, rolly vein in one stick every time. One stick is crucial. Try to go for two and I may not be conscious for it.

The lab had just moved in, they were actually hooking up computers and phones still. The woman at the front desk looked (and sounded like) she would be better suited as a checker in Walmart than any place you might find medical professionals. She told me I had to stay so I replied loud enough for the manager looking guy in the back to hear, "that's ok, can you just get me directions to the closest Lab Corps?" He quickly said I could leave during my test (win) which she had a hard time comprehending. He had to repeat it several times, slowly. Perhaps she needed a translator. I chugged my juice like a pro and returned in an hour. As usual I broke into a cold sweat as soon as it was draw time, however I have never passed out for a draw. At the dentist, yes. Hospital, you betcha. But miraculously, never for a draw. We headed back and much to my horror, the woman that I thought was a mere receptionist was the phlebotomist doing my draw. Oh God.

I gave my "I faint, this is the one usable vein, if you aren't sure you can hit it don't try, I don't want to see the blood" speech. She missed the vein, proceeding to talk about how hard it was to hit, finally did, but it was too late, I knew I needed to get out asap. She left the viles of blood out right next to my arm, continued to talk about the draw until I snapped "stop talking now." And we left. I ended up passing out in the car, poor Eric. He had to put up with my panic attack (they are embarrassing) and then me slumping over, creepy open eyes and all (also embarrassing). No seizure though, so he got out of that one!

So my dramatic draw could not just end there, but it had to tack on a punctuation mark in the form of a fail. My blood sugar was 152, well over the 129 max. Failed my glucose test. Damn. GD again.

No flip out this time though. Last time I really felt like they had made a mistake, and this time I just accepted it and got to work checking my blood, which has been perfect. I haven't gone over once except after I ate a chicken sandwich and milkshake. My numbers were so perfect that I thought "maybe the test was wrong this time" and wanted to test my theory. Blood sugar jumped to 166. To put that in perspective, after you gorge yourself on a massive Thanksgiving meal your sugar might reach 120... might. So I definitely have gestational diabetes but because my diet has already been basically a diabetic diet, and because I'm already working out, it's been completely manageable. Other than having to bleed 4 times a day nothing in my daily routine has had to change. This is actually kinda good, because now I HAVE to stick to my diet for the next 12 weeks, if I had avoided GD I might be tempted to give myself the next 3 months off as a reward for a job well done. This way I have to keep up the hard work which will be better for me and baby in the long run.

Oh and another little win, the doctor I am seeing for my GD is spectacular and ultra rooting me on to have a natural birth. It was great to be in a doctors office and have the doctor be throwing around words like "doula," "midwife," and "natural" around. Very encouraging, and it made me actually feel really hopeful that we can still achieve our goal of a natural birth this time.

So week 28 finds me quite positive. I feel pretty good physically, experiencing a little shortness of breath once in a while, but over all I don't feel "huge." I also don't feel like I'm gaining everywhere like last time, I just have this hard beach ball interrupting the middle of my body. It's not horrible... haha famous last words.

Here's my 28 week belly, 19 pounds gained. PS, I'm growing out my bangs, what do you think?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baby II Week 27: The 10k Post

This week I somewhat completed my goal of running a 10k. I say somewhat because I didn't end up running the whole thing. I heard the route was "hilly" but what they should have said was "a hill, the route is a hill and you might die before the downhill."

I started the race in the port-a-potty, because even if the gun was going off I had to pee and I knew I wasn't making it 6.2 miles on a full bladder. Let's face it, at 6 months preggo I'm lucky if I make it from the car to the house on a full bladder. Anyhow, fortunately the crowd was slow moving at the starting line so we joined the group and quickly started passing people. I saw my Godmother in the group and slowed to say hi for a bit, then we picked our pace back up. Feeling good.

The good feeling was short lived as we began to head up what was more like a hiking trail, not something I would consider race material. We zigzagged up and the higher we got the louder my complaints got. Feeling pretty pitiful for doing so, I had to walk for a bit just after mile one. Some chick had the nerve to say to her pre-teen daughter, very loudly, "honey remember last year, when you ran this WHOLE hill and didn't stop!" If I could at the moment, I would have sprinted and pushed her off the trail and into the gully or river or whatever was over there. Instead I just thought evil thoughts.

We picked it back up and finished the hill which lasted for somewhere a little passed a mile and a half... I thought it was two but according to our GPS watch thing it wasn't. We should just say it was two. So after the longest hill ever we reached some glorious downhill. I was pretty unhappy with my performance on the hill so my morale was a little down. No one had yet commented on me being pregnant, so I was completely convinced everyone thought I was fat.

We had a long period of pretty easy running. We kept up a decent pace, but I think we were already far behind many of the 10k runners and once the 5k runners turned back it was pretty lonely. Just us, some old people, and a fat guy. We had to at least beat the fat guy.

I was huffing and puffing and red as a tomato but I still wanted to stop and take a picture by the ocean, thinking it would take only a moment, but our camera freaked out and I watched like 10 people pass us. I flipped out and screamed at Eric to forget it and get running as if A. I was going to win this, B. I had any dignity to preserve, C. anyone else cared that I came in 577 instead of 587. Then Eric had to pee so he stopped, then I had to pee so I stopped, then my baby toe started wearing a hole in my other toe so I stopped again to bandage it before it sawed through and I bled to death.

Once we got to the next water station and I saw that the volunteers had left... I panicked... we were going to be last.

We hit the last loop and another one mile hill. Damn. I walked a lot of it, but we could still see that fat guy and we were not going to let him beat us. It started to rain, I considered finding some meaning in it, then decided that was really lame. At some point we ate fat guy's dust, not sure how he got away from us. Scooter maybe? Started running again, no more stopping.

The end was anticlimactic. They were packing everything up (though we were NOT the only ones still finishing so I thought that was rude) but we were still able to pass over the little electronic thing. We finished in 1 hour and 37 minutes. I was not impressed with us and neither was anyone else. Someone asked if I was pregnant and, puffing up my pregnancy glow, I said that I was 6 months. I waited for that all day. Unmoved, they replied, "A few years ago the woman who won was like 6 months pregnant." Typing this I'm thinking of new awful things to say to that person, but at the moment I had nothing.

So that's it. If you want to see our stats, our GPS puts them all online for your viewing/mocking pleasure. It's kinda neat to see the route and the elevations and such, check it out here.

Oh and what about my pregnancy. Nothing new. I'm up to around 16 pounds gained and feeling just a touch puffier than I was last week.

Here are some pictures from the race, and some 27 week belly pics from just before the race. Sorry about the photo quality, like I said, our camera was having issues.


Middle, soon before I started yelling:

Just after the finish line: