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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Live Blogging the Three-Hour GD Test

Welcome to the amazing world of glucose tolerance testing for gestational diabetes! I've seen people live blog important events like the Oscars, and I figure this is at least as exciting. Right?!?

Yesterday, 8:30am: Call to make the appointment. Nurse says I can come as early as 7:30am. Readily agree. Receive instructions to not eat anything after midnight.

Today, 7am: Consider nurse's words carefully. Decide that by "as early as" she really meant "anytime after."

7:01am: Hit snooze button.

7:30am: Wake up. Shower, et al. Pack entertainment bag consisting of breastfeeding book (scintillating), laptop, and Kindle. Grab snacks for ride home since am positive will be moments from starving when this is done.

8:02am: Holy shit, traffic is insane. People actually go to work this early? Lots of people?

8:14am: Check in for bloodwork.

8:15am: Phlebotomist goes on break.

8:30am: Called back. Blood sugar drawn. Best stick ever. Barely felt at all. Tell blood guy; he promises to try to be here for each draw. Talk about hospital portrayals on TV. Consensus: Scrubs is best; House is worst. Wait for results. Looking for number under 126; mine is 93. Score!

8:35am: Retire to waiting room to...wait. Already hungry.  This is going to suck. Sorry, baby, for withholding nutrients. But really, at a hefty 3.5lbs when most babies are 2.5, maybe you can use the break.

8:36am: Baby kicks in protest at implication that she is fat. Better get used to it, kid. You live in a world where people think a size 10 is obese.

8:37am: Every channel appears to be having 24 hour Royal Wedding coverage. UGH.

8:42am: Booooooored. UGH again.

9:20am: A little jittery and light-headed. Consider trying to nap on the couch. The hard plastic couch with no cushions.  Debate which pieces of clothing I can remove to use as a pillow without being obscene.

9:35am: Second blood draw. Different person, but another good draw. No instant answers this time.

9:37am: Back in waiting room. Again ponder clothing removal for pillow usage. Eye couch wistfully.

10:11am:  OMG kill me now. Another hour and a half at least.  If I hear "Royal Wedding" on TV one more time I might fly to London and personally....well, I don't know what I'd do. Something. Something drastic.

10:20am: Sugar drink + empty stomach = weird gassy pukey feeling.

10:38am: Third draw is done.  Sucked. First she slipped out of the vein so had to stick me again. Then the vacuum blew (??) so she had to get a new collection tube.  Light-headedness compounding. So glad I have snacks in the car. GOOD THINKING, LARA! One more hour, one more draw.

11:15am: HUNGRY. RUMBLING. TUMMY. Gulping water to attempt stomach-fullness trickery.

11:37am: Where are they?? Why haven't they called me back?  Panicking. Will it invalidate the results if my blood isn't drawn at an hour exactly? AHHH.

11:38am: Phew. Called back. Same chick from last draw. The one that sucked. Grimacing; anticipating worst. Over! Not bad.

11:41am: Devour crackers and banana in car. So grateful I brought them. 

11:55am: OMG. Driving home. So lightheaded. Trying to concentrate on not puking in my car.  Make emergency stop at fast-food drive through.  Life. Saved. By. Fries. Mmmmm. Start feeling better immediately.

12:10pm: Arrive at work. Consider pleading "not feeling well" to go home, but decide to suck it up.

12:12pm: Regretting suck it up decision. Want to go home. However, this is every day.

1:18pm: Waiting for results.

1:50pm: PASSED! Whoo. She's just a giant child.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Belly: Week 28. And a half. More like week 29, really.

Enjoy the fact that I put effort into my outfit but barely brushed my hair today.  Well, I brushed it, I'm not a total heathen, but this is what happens when I don't flatiron it or blow dry it. Hay-like fluff. Gross.

Do I look HUGE? What about if I hold the camera in my other hand? Then do I look HUGE? (Or do I just look like I'm missing a finger?)

Do I look....95th percentile huge??

I ask because this child is pushing 3.5lbs already and measuring in (can you guess?) the 95th percentile. I was a big, but not enormous, 8 pounds. Chris was 6 weeks early and was just under 5 pounds.  It's not like I'm eating TERRIBLY (not the greatest, but definitely not 95th percentile hugeness bad) or have gained 40 pounds already (though I do fully expect to surpass that by the end). Where she is getting this from, I have no idea.

Oh, wait, yes I do. Have an idea, that is.

I failed the one-hour gestational diabetes test.


The doctor mentioned two appointments ago (when she [the baby, not the doctor] was just a petite little thing merely in the 76th percentile) that it's something that was on her radar, but when the baby measured so large this time she said she wouldn't be surprised if I had it.  However, because all the baby's measurements are proportional, it could also just be that she's going to be giant.  Apparently, with GD, it's common that the baby's abdomen measures much larger than the rest of the body - but baby girl is perfectly sized...just, er, very large.

For full disclosure, some doctors' offices have their patients fast for 12 hours or give them a list of "don't eat" foods.  Mine didn't - my only instructions were to have a regular breakfast about an hour before I came in. I had Frosted Mini-Wheats. Obviously those are coated with a delicious sugary crunchy frosting. Whether that made a difference, I'm not sure.  I mentioned it to the doctor and she said it could go either way.   So we'll see.   I'm waiting on them to call me back to schedule the three-hour test.  I know you all are now on the absolute edge of your seat waiting to see how it goes. Never fear, loyal blog reader, I will keep you (that's the singular you, since there's just one of you) updated.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One Year

It's frankly impossible to believe that one year ago today I delivered Caleb. Impossible in every way - how did I survive a full year after my baby died? How has it been that long? How hasn't it already been a lifetime?

It's hard to be sad when there's this little girl bouncing off the (uterine) wall and making me smile with each movement (but, uh, if you could just scoot off that sciatic nerve it'd be great, honey!).  But it still hits me like a ton of bricks: what I was doing this time last year (at this exact hour, I was laying in a recovery room on the opposite side of the maternity ward from all the happy families). What I was feeling. How different I am now.  Then, I never thought I'd get to where I am now.  But I'm here, and I'm grateful to be here. I wish it had been a different path. Oh, how I wish. But I'm here.

Happy birthday, tiny man. I miss you.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Belly: Week 27

Okay, technically 26 weeks 4 days.  I'm like a little kid anticipating their next birthday: once mid-week passes, I mentally move on to the next week, so when I actually DO hit 27 weeks it will be a bit of a letdown.

Third trimester in either three or ten days, you choose. Pregnancy is dumb and doctors are dumb and apparently no one has agreed on an "official" start gestation for the three trimesters, except they're all pretty sure you're pregnant two weeks before you're actually pregnant. Other than that, you're in your second trimester at 12 weeks...or 13w3d...or 14 weeks. It depends on how you calculate the trimesters, and every book, iPhone app, doctor, and website uses a different method (quick lesson: here).  So at either 27 weeks or 28 weeks I'll be starting third tri.

In terms of how I'm feeling right now as I wind up the second third of the pregnancy...so far so good! Still no stretch marks, no swelling, no super uncomfortableness. The belly is starting to get in the way of bending over and shaving my legs.  Every once in a while I have some pain around the ribs as those suckers bend to the will of the uterus.  And occasionally I get combat boot vag syndrome, which is when it feels like someone kicked you in the vagina with a steel-toed boot.  Neither of those are constant or that bothersome, though. I'm trying to enjoy this period of relative comfort before the child takes up a full third of my body.  Even though the kid is enormous (remember that 76th percentile number?) my fundal height is still on track for 26 weeks, so at least my belly isn't enormous to match. Although it is quite large, and I'm sure any day now I'm going to get the oh-so-helpful comments of "When are you due? JULY? OMG, I thought you were going to say like a week! Are you sure it's not triplets??"

In the following picture, please note the poor toilet paper roll, who hasn't had an official home since I accidentally threw away the rod part of the holder a year ago. You'd think one might try to get that replaced at some point, but hells no. I like never knowing exactly where the toilet paper is going to be, especially in the middle of the night when I don't want to turn on a light while I pee to prevent myself from fully waking up. Feeling around the floor and counter and bathtub in case it got knocked in is fun! An adventure every night!

Also, Chris thinks under-boob belts are dumb and look like dog leashes.

He may have a point.

But it's the only thing that keeps my boobs from melting into my stomach in some shirts, so in this case leash > looking fat. TER. Looking fatter.

Then I remembered that our bathroom always has weird lighting and you can't white balance on a phone so I took these at work later. But I left the above picture so you could all "enjoy" my "hilarious" toilet paper story.

I was going to crop this one but thanks to perspective I look smaller than the sink, which makes me feel not giant, so I left it. 

Really all these pictures are because I made an actual effort to look cute today and I want this fact documented.  SEE, NOT A SLOB*.

*(all the time.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Name that baby!

Names are HARD, man. Sheesh. Who would have ever thought that trying to determine what combination of letters (and possibly symbols: Ke$ha) your child will be known by for life (if they don't hate you and change it as soon as legally possible) would be difficult??

I had a fairly uncommon name growing up.  It's more known now, thanks to Lara Croft and Lara Logan, but when I was a kid the only people who recognized it were old people, who knew it from the movie Dr. Zhivago.  Even now, though, I will say or spell my name and still get called Laura on a regular basis. It doesn't bother me and truly never really has. Chris, on the other hand...well, his name is Chris.  Not only is he Chris, but my sister is also marrying a Chris. And I have two cousins named Chris - one on each side.  Needless to say, though I'm going to say it anyway, he grew up with a very common name and has always been one of many Chrises.

So we have two very different perspectives on names and the importance of popularity and uniqueness.  The names I'm drawn towards are more unique and vaguely (sometimes not so vaguely) British or European sounding. This may be projecting my desire to move to Europe.  However, I don't like names that are made up or that have creative spellings (see: most names from Teen Mom).  I can't tell you what names Chris is drawn towards because he won't give me any ideas (except Riley, which is our dog's name, and Laura, because it'd be "funny"* when people called me Laura to say, "No, that's my daughter!").

*Note: This is not funny at all.  But he also thinks Two and a Half Men has great writing, so I'm not surprised.

Right now we have a front runner. I won't tease you and say that but not share the name: it's Carys, pronounced CARE-iss. Start judging now, it's fine. Little do you know that by judging me you're also judging Catherine Zeta Jones and her perfect eyebrows.  Ok, sure, so she's ACTUALLY Welsh so using a Welsh name for her daughter makes sense, but whatevs. We're just one big global society now, right? What with The Internet and all.  And I'm sure somewhere in my family tree* we have Welsh blood.

*True story #1: There is someone in my family tree named Amerika. **

**True story #2:  I was going through my family history and laughed when I found someone named Pocahontas. "Ha, I can't believe that someone named their kid after her! I wonder if that was the big celebrity name of the time. Oh, wait...what the...this is THE Pocahontas?" True true story; she's like my 12x great grandma.

For middle names, I'm leaning toward Josephine. Josephine was my great-grandmother's name, and an oddly high number of people in our family have "Jo" as their middle name (Chris's aunt, my aunt, Chris's sister). So we could honor a shit ton of people with that. I also love Marie, which is my mom's middle name.  I also love Jane, which has nothing to do with anyone but of which I love the sound of immensely.  Carys Josephine H.; Carys Marie H.; Carys Jane H. Oh, and possibly Carys Thuglife H. if my brother has his way. I admit there's a certain urban charm there.

Chris is done discussing names and is fine with Carys.  However, this only came about after his initial reaction of, "No, that's too weird," which was followed by me reading name lists to him, followed by him getting sick of that, and asking "Which one was your favorite again? Let's just do that. Done." Now he's dead set on it, and I don't know if it's because he LIKES it or because he doesn't want to have to listen to me recite "The 100 Most Popular Names from Soap Operas over the Last Six Years" and ask his opinion on each one.  Either way, he's pretty sure that's her name.

Me, I'm not ready to hang name letters above the nursery, but I do like it. I'm waiting to see what she looks like. Chris disagrees with this approach because he vehemently insists that all newborns look alike. I tried to prove him wrong with the following argument:

Other babies                                 Our baby

(note: not our baby)

But he just went off on some tangent on Google and restricted access and crazy so I stopped listening to him.

However, the point remains that she won't have a name for sure until she's born, and maybe not even then. Have you ever seen me at a restaurant trying to decide on an entree? It's torture for everyone present and involves asking everyone at the table what THEY are getting and Venn diagrams.  Trying to finalize a name is going to be a mind fuck for me, I know it. I'll probably be wandering the halls shoving my baby in the faces of strangers and asking them if she looks more like a Carys Josephine or an Audrey Elise.  Or maybe Story Marie. Or Pocahontas Amerika.

The point is there is no point to this, but don't buy her any monogrammed blankies quite yet, please.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Belly: An Update

Still huge. But still in regular jeans! Yay for low-riding stretch. Still no stretch marks. But just waiting...it's gonna happen. I thought I got one yesterday, but it was just a scratch from being giant and clumsy and running into things.

Not quite looking pregnant from the front yet (ok, the bad lighting helps here, but even in good lighting it's not super apparent) (unless I just had a big dinner).

But then you turn to the side and BAM. Whoop, there it is, belly button ready to poke your eye out.

TheBelly© looks a lot better in clothes than it does not in clothes. It's kind of weird shaped naked.  Actually it's entirely possible that most of the weird shape could be from eating an entire box of Trader Joe's knockoff version of Oreos. A FauxReo belly, if you will.

Naked weirdness.

Looking better...

And boom, clothes fully on and it's okay again.

Baby girl is modest and only likes to be photographed when her mom isn't looking like a hillbilly from some non-specific hillbilly state [don't want to take the chance of offending any of my three readers] with her giant belly hanging out for the world to see.

Keep up that modesty, little one. It will make the chastity belt that much easier to take.