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Monday, November 30, 2009

Breathing (and much less cussing)

Breathing again.

Not the short, shallow, hyperventilating breaths of last week.

It's really good to have friends and family don't you agree? That fact was not lost on me last week. The emails and blog comments and phone calls from you all have helped my blood pressure tremendously (staving off pre-eclampsia as a by-product). Even my doula called me today and maybe it's because she's very motherly and has helped to deliver hundreds of babies or maybe because she seemed quite non-plussed by the news, I am feeling not so panicky about my situation.

I meet with the diabetes counselor tomorrow morning and get the joy of learning how to stab myself in the finger 4 times/day. I'm hoping I can finagle Len into doing it at least during the times he's home from work. Oh dear, that sounds like I want him to take his blood reading in place of me...hmmm, not a bad plan since his blood sugar is normal. No, I just want him to pull the trigger on the lancet that will slice into my finger. It'll be just like old times from 2 years ago when he would stick a long needle into my stomach every night for fertility treatments.

We forgot to do a baby bump picture this weekend (or maybe it was the permanent frown on my face that deterred Len from suggesting it) so we will try to get one this week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trying oh so hard to be thankful....

FFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, in case that wasn't a giveaway, I did indeed fail the 3 hour glucose test and I officially have gestational diabetes. Because my body seems determined to give me every negative pregnancy symptom and make me hate every minute of this journey.

I have to go in next Tuesday for diabetic counseling and get a fucking monitor (I might want to mention right here that I will probably be cussing a lot more than normal--sorry if that offends but I don't have the where-with-all right now to come up with something more eloquent to express my extreme unhappiness) wherein I have to prick my finger (yay, more needles for me!) before breakfast and then after EVERY FUCKING MEAL to see if I can control it with diet. Have I mentioned that I eat every 2 fucking hours to control the nausea??

Now let me just say right here that I have had an aversion to sweet things during most of this pregnancy and have only imbibed on very rare occasions like when we have company. At my last appointment I had gained 5 lbs in the past month (for a total weight gain this pregnancy of 13.5 lbs) and was measuring right on track at 28 cm. Seems like none of that really affects whether or not I have gest. diabetes.

Bottom line for me is that if I cannot manage to control it and get my numbers down, I will get transferred out of the midwife group and back to the ob's and be classified "high-risk".

And just to add another bit of bleak news to this already crappy post (Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!), I got a phone call last night informing me that the tour of the birth center I signed up for next month is cancelled and that there will be no tours of the birthing center AT ALL UNTIL MID-APRIL because of the fucking H1N1 scare. Oh, and no one is allowed to be there with me except Len (I have to get a special pass for my doula) at any time during or after birth (i.e. no visitors). So, I have never been to the birthing center, have no idea what the rooms are like, etc. and now I get to go in blind while I'm having contractions and hope I can relax enough to keep labor moving in a strange environment that I've never seen.

I'm trying not to read about all the other dire things that can happen in the last trimester (pre-eclampsia, early labor, etc) for fear that my body will get more ideas. Can I even just say how really pissed off I am right now? I don't care about the diabetic diet, I can do that, I just really don't want to have to poke needles in my fingers every time I eat for the next THREE FUCKING MONTHS. I really thought I was done with the needle thing when we stopped fertility treatments.

In a supreme effort to not shit on your Thanksgiving completely, I will now attempt to find some things to be thankful for..............................................................................................
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the baby is still kicking which means I haven't managed to kill her, Len is home from work early on Thanksgiving eve, our friend Karen and her sister Debbie are coming over to share the holiday with us (and bringing the turkey!), and I won't have the monitor yet so I guess that means I can have some stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and thankyouverymuch for letting me vent (and for putting up with my adolescent colorful expressions of my fear and anger). I do know there is a lot more in my life to be thankful for but at this moment I am blinded by the prospect of more needles for the next three months.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is why I never gamble

Good News: I have weaned myself off of the anti-nausea meds! The final push off the cliff was a recent ad I saw on tv for the drug I was taking. Fortunately, I only took this particular drug for less than 3 months and haven't noticed any twitching or random movements so I shouldn't need to join in the lawsuit.

Bad News: I failed (miserably) the 1 hour glucose tolerance test. I had to go back in today for the 3 hour glucose challenge. Fun times. First I got to fast for 12 hours (having just gone off the aforementioned anti-nausea meds, this was poor planning on my part), then have my finger pricked to be sure I could handle the 100g of sugar water I had to drink. I passed that test, had the first of 4 blood draws and chugged my orange breakfast drink in less than the allotted 5 minutes.

Three hours later I was sleepy (although it had the opposite effect on the baby who was kicking and spinning around like I had just given her crack) and starving. I wolfed down a ham and cheese sandwich from the hospital cafeteria and headed home for a nap.

I hope to have the results by tonight or tomorrow and I'm really hoping that I pass this one. Usually only 4% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. Considering I had less than a 1% chance of conceiving and carrying a child, the odds don't look good for me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I was made an honest woman in Target

It finally happened...my size 6 wedding ring no longer fits. Actually, it's been a few weeks now. It's not a huge deal except that when we go out, I keep feeling like something is missing and then I have a momentary panic attack when I notice my ring is gone until I realize that I left it at home.

The problem was solved at Target this weekend when Len agreed to present me with a new ring, thus taking care of my momentary panic attacks and legitimizing our child. And it cost him a lot less this second time around--only $20.99 at the jewelry case! Behold, the new size 7 cubic zirconia.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The last few miles...

Back in 1998, I temporarily lost my mind and signed up to run the Marine Corps. Marathon in DC. I had not been a runner prior to this and I have not done any running to speak of since then but I was new to DC and I thought it would serve several purposes: I would lose weight, meet some new friends and fulfill my New Year's resolution to raise money for a charity, in this case the Whitman Walker AIDS Clinic.

As I was crossing the 14th Street Bridge, which is around Mile 20-22, I had to jump over someone who had collapsed and was throwing up (the medics were on the way so please don't think I was THAT callous). But as I crossed that bridge I remember thinking, "OMG, I think I might make it to the finish line!"

For those unfamiliar with this particular race, the last 1/2 mile or so is straight up the hill to the Iwo Jima memorial, I think one of the few hills on the race. Nice planning huh? But in that last bit, my stamina returned and I sprinted up that hill like I had not already been on the course for half of the day. The feeling I had when I saw the Marines and my friends cheering me on was amazing, one I will never forget.

And that is exactly how I feel now: exhausted, achy, hungry, thirsty, but "OMG, I think I might make it to the finish line!" I hit 7 months this week--officially in the last trimester.




I think this experience will be very much like that marathon experience: I have never done anything like this before and I don't plan on doing it again (there will probably be a vasectomy post in the next several months if it makes it past the "Len censor"...) but I feel my mental energy is returning now that the end is in sight. Like the marathon, I have my team of cheerleaders in place (Len, a doula, my midwives, our family and friends) and we are preparing for that final sprint up the hill to the finish line.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gifts and another nursery sneak peek


This was a week of fun surprises from the mailman. Thank you to Nancy H., Rebecca, Rachel, Nancy M., Julie and Shannon for all of the wonderful baby clothes, toys, crib gear, bath stuff, etc. We never cease to be amazed at the generosity of our friends--and we miss you all greatly.

Today I had an electrician here to finally have some new light fixtures installed. The first was a ceiling fan for our bedroom. Then a fabulous fixture for over the dining room table and finally, a new chandelier for the nursery. I will post pictures of those after I clean up the rooms and make them picture-worthy...

In the meantime, here is another small peek at the work in progress in the nursery. I have not put the rug down yet and I still haven't found a curtain that I like...Mom? Feel like sewing? :-)


In other news, our downstairs neighbor just had a baby girl this morning so looks like our baby will have a playmate. I am officially in my third trimester (I KNOW...RIGHT?!) and we will be posting another bump picture this weekend. She is quite active now and although we have yet to capture it on film, my stomach entertains us with strange jumps and ripples after dinner now. My next prenatal appointment is on Monday and then I start going every 2 weeks. At this appointment I should get the results of my latest blood work and glucose challenge test that I took this week. Hopefully all will still continue to be "abnormally" normal.

As for the adoptions, China is still a long-ass wait and since we don't have to do any paperwork to keep in the queue we aren't too worried about it. Nepal has still shown no movement either with giving travel approval to those families matched back in September or in sending out the rumored referrals that have already been matched. It's an excruciating time for Nepali PAPs because no one seems to really know what is going on, including the agencies.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

27 weeks and some Seattle pics

Just because Len is getting the shaft with pictures on the blog since he's not pregnant, here's one I took of him yesterday near Montrose Beach here in Chicago.


Here is the baby bump at 27 weeks.


The view I normally have when I look down--puts things in perspective doesn't it?? My feet and legs are long gone...


Seattle's Pike Place Market area.


Puget Sound


More Pike Place Market




Our views from the Westin (since the last time we were there, a condo building has gone up and blocked most of the view).





Saturday, November 14, 2009

I wonder if she's contagious?

Want to guarantee an empty seat next to you on your next flight with Southwest?



It really didn't occur to me that people would think I was the one who was contagious...I was just trying to keep from getting H1N1 on the flight to/from Seattle. Since we were fairly near the front of the plane and there would be streams of people filing past, I put on the mask and then realized I'd found my seatmate repellent. I wish we had gotten pictures of people's faces when they would notice the mask...it would start out hopeful as they would see a seat near the front, then they would glance to see who they would have to sit next to. It was almost better than having a screaming baby as a deterrent.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No timeline for Nepal adoptions to resume....yet again

We received another update from our Nepal adoption agency today and it was not good:

It appears that Nepal is in another state of unrest. According to her contact in Nepal today, the government is fighting with the Maoists again and a new government is in the process of being formed. Government offices are closed and people are striking in all parts of the country. There is no timeline for adoptions to resume at this moment. I will let you know when situation improves.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Food, beds, boats and airplanes

Apparently my reference to Seattle via multiple piercings and dreadlocks escaped a few of you as I received questions on why it was not mentioned directly in my post. My apologies...I thought mentioning Seattle was enough.

Today the sun is shining and I'm trying to figure out if my sciatica will allow me to walk where I want to go or if I should just take a cab. Last night we went to the Dahlia Lounge for dinner. Fortunately it is only a block or so from the Westin since it was raining quite a bit again.

Tonight we are meeting up with Debbie and going to Barrio Restaurant on Capitol Hill. Tomorrow's plan before flying home is to go to Boeing Field and the Museum of Flight. Did you know that Boeing used to make bedroom furniture and boats? When aircraft sales soared after WWI, Bill Boeing decided it would "behoove us to keep our shop occupied with work of a character other than airplanes."

Off to get a shower and move on with my day. Happy Veteran's Day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rain, multiple piercings and dreadlocks

Yep, we're in Seattle for a few days which is why there is no recent baby bump photo. Len is teaching a two day seminar on speech writing to the communication's team here. We arrived yesterday and spent a portion of the afternoon at Pike Place Market sampling the wares. Len then needed to do some work and I needed a nap before dinner so we came back to the Westin and relaxed for a few hours. Sadly, we forgot our camera on that jaunt so no pics of the rain-soaked adventure.

We met up with a previous co-worker of Len's, Brian and his wife Audrey, who lived in DC, currently live here, but are moving back to DC in January. They suggested a fabulous place for dinner--The Flying Fish and we had a great time with them catching up and eating yummy Northwestern seafood.

Today was the first of Len's seminars for beginning speech writers so I spent part of the day shopping for an outfit for the baby shower and having lunch. Then the rain picked up so I ducked into an exhibition that I had wanted to see when it was in DC but missed--Bodies: The Exhibition. I ended up spending several hours in this as it was so fascinating. There was a small section that contained fetus's that had died or miscarried from 5 weeks up to 30 weeks. To see the tiny individual fingers and toes at 9-10 weeks old was amazing. I also got to see up close what happens to your internal organs when you are pregnant and your uterus takes over your entire torso (it's not pretty and explains a lot like acid reflux, constipation, no room for food, constant need to pee, etc).

The rain had let up by the time I got out so I stopped in to a small cafe for a snack and some hot tea. And now I think another nap is in order before Len finishes work and we head to dinner.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hiccups

This morning was the first time I felt something that wasn't quite a kick, a flipping around or a nudge. It was rhythmic and was taking place directly in the center of my stomach, about an inch up from my flattening bellybutton. It looked like a heartbeat. Len had not yet left for work so he actually got to feel what turned out to be baby hiccups. I had just finished drinking a glass of juice and I guess I gulped it down too fast for her...

She also has this thing where I feel like my hip bone is being tickled from the inside. Whenever I lay on my side, I get this strange sensation like tiny fingers are playing the piano right on my hipbone. I'm not sure if she's bracing herself from sliding too far to the left or right or if she's just found a new toy to wrap her fingers around but it sure does feel odd.

My prenatal appointment was this morning. I have gained another 1 1/2 lbs for this month bringing my total weight gain to 8 1/2 lbs for this whole pregnancy. Guess that's what happens when you A) had some weight to lose to begin with and B) throw up for several months. Happily, my stomach is measuring right on track, 26 cm, and her heart rate was normal and sounded strong.

There appears to be some good news on the Nepal front. For now, the Maoists are bowing to global pressure and have said they will not barricade the International Airport in Kathmandu as previously threatened. The economic harm it will do during the tourist high season seems to have over-ridden their political agenda. The US Embassy is still saying that the Children's Ministry is up and running and should be sending out the promised matches that were said to have been completed and sent out months ago but they did insert a CYA note indicating that with the current political crisis, no one knows for sure what is being done. We're all hoping the former is true--there are a lot of hearts on the line right now waiting both for travel approval on previous matches and to receive a match at all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Payback for Halloween Fun


Back in my first trimester when I still believed all the assurances that my second trimester would be a time full of renewed energy and big appetites, I signed us up for a 2+ hour guided walking tour of Graceland Cemetary for Halloween Day.

Yeah.

Two hours and 20 minutes later on what turned out to be a blustery, cloudy, cold morning, my sciatica was screaming and I needed a snack and a nap. However, we did get some nice photos of some of the more impressive monuments to the dead and they are in the slideshow above.

The tour was promptly followed by something, anything warm and readily available for immediate consumption so we found a lovely cafe serving homemade soup and sandwiches nearby. The rest of the afternoon was spent errand-running, some of it for fun stuff, some of it not. By the evening I was craving spicy Indian food so we went to one of our favorite restaurants on Devon Street, Udupi Palace, and we feasted on spicy curried veggies and uthappam (which is a pancake made of rice and lentils and stuffed with all sorts of veggies and served with coconut chutney and sambar). Because it was a slow night (Halloween and all) we got the attention of the owner who brought us some extra little dishes from the kitchen to try out like a spicy potato mixture and a pickled lemon which Len really liked.

Guess who also liked the spicy meal and stayed up from 11pm-5am doing somersaults in my belly? And guess who was snoring away, blissfully asleep, from 11pm-8am? (hint: not me)

Sunday I felt like I had a hangover all day. My hips were throbbing, my stomach was recovering (I still have no regrets--that meal was FANTASTIC), and my head felt like the day after a really good Mardi Gras party (but without all the yummy hurricane drinks...).

We got a lovely surprise in the mail from my friend Stacy who I met in DC but who now lives in sunny CA. Our baby's library is expanding! Thanks so much Stacy for sending some of Annie and Ivan's favorite books.


This week's belly bump update picture looks really large to me. Week 26. My next prenatal appointment is tomorrow and I'll be interested to see how much weight I've gained. It sure feels and looks like a lot!


That picture was also another peek at the nursery which is coming along. Len worked a good bit on it yesterday but we still have yet to clean out the closet and find a suitable window treatment.

As for what's going on in Nepal, the Maoists are making good on their threat to hold protests but so far there are no reports of outright violence. We shall see if anything happens to change the Nov. 10th deadline when the Maoists say they will shut down the International Airport. One of the people on my yahoo group reported that their agency had been in contact with the Ministry in Nepal and had received assurances that all of the matching process for all dossiers logged in in 2009 would be completed by the end of this year. I think there must have been some problem in translation or, if not, a good bit of wishful thinking. There are over 60 agencies registered in Nepal and each agency was allotted 10 dossiers for the year. That means there are over 600 dossiers at the Ministry. Considering they have matched less than 50 so far and it's already November...you do the math.

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