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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Now that I’m nearing the end of my second pregnancy, I feel like I have a lot of experience (practically 20 months worth) about what is and is not appropriate to say to a pregnant woman. Most of us have read (or even written) the articles and blog posts schooling people on this topic too. We’ve heard the complaints from friends and can’t believe some of the things that come out of the mouths of co-workers, acquaintances, and complete strangers.

But in my experience? The most offensive people are the ones closest to me. My family and my husband’s family. And it’s even more infuriating because when it’s family, I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. With strangers, I could come back with a snarky comment, ignore them, or just flat out lie to them to get them to shutup. “Are you sure there aren’t two in there?” Actually, there’s three.

But with family? You can’t lie. And depending on who it is, you also can’t yell at them for fear of coming off as the crazy, hormonal pregnant lady that’s overreacting. And sometimes you’re even more pressured to share otherwise-private and privileged information, which then opens the gates to even more unwanted commentary.

Here’s just a sampling of some of the things that have been said to me by our relatives:

“You’re pregnant? Oh no…”

“You’re pregnant AGAIN?  Oh no… Well, I just hope this one is a girl.”

“It’s a boy? Aw I really wanted a girl!!”

“The next one better be a girl!”

“You should name him <insert a bunch of horrible names here>”

“What will his name be? Oh. I had an uncle with that name and he was nuttier than a fruitcake.”

“What will his name be? Well why would you name him that when neither of those names are family names?”

But the one thing that’s ruffled my feathers more than anything else happened today when a well-meaning relative posted a comment on my Facebook page, using my future son’s name. As in “Can’t wait for <NAME>’s arrival! Hope you’re feeling okay!”

Sounds harmless, right? But we haven’t announced his name yet and I have zero plans of doing so until he’s born.

If you’re privileged enough to know the name ahead of time, don’t go posting it on social media for everyone to see when it hasn’t been announced to the whole friggin’ world yet. Just because I told you (or another relative told you) doesn’t mean we’ve shared it with everyone.

I immediately deleted the comment. And now I know why people keep the name a secret until he/she is born.

What’s the most offensive/annoying thing someone has said to you while pregnant?

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Five on Friday

ONE: My latest ultrasound showed good news and bad news. Good news: my fluid levels have gone back up so I’m far from the danger zone at the moment. Bad news: This baby is huge. I’m technically 36w 5days and he’s already measuring 8lbs. My current c-section is scheduled for two weeks from yesterday, which means this baby will still be about 9lbs at delivery (and I’m delivering almost two weeks before my real due date)! Part of it is just that I make big babies, but part of it is also due to the gestational diabetes and the fact that even with the diet changes and insulin shots, shit just isn’t working. In just one month, this baby went from 60th percentile in size to 88th percentile. And his belly is bigger than that, which is a sure sign of a gestational diabetic baby. This is obviously very frustrating for me so please pray that this baby doesn’t end up in the NICU like D did.

TWO: The nursery is about 95% done. We still have one more piece of artwork to hang on the wall so as soon as that’s done, I’ll post photos. I posted a sneak peek on IG the other day and I’m really pleased with how it’s all coming together.

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THREE: Since we’ve essentially robbed D’s room of all things baby and moved them into the nursery, we’ve had to update his room to a big boy room. I’d say we’re about 50-60% done with the updates, but the hubs is actually DIYing a few things, so it’s taking a bit longer for his vision to come together. Two sneak peek pictures of the process include a lamp and some wall art of his name.

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FOUR: So the fear of having two under two is starting to settle in. For one, I’m nervous about breastfeeding. Since it didn’t work for me before and I ended up pumping for 7 months, I REALLY want nursing to work this time. Part of that will depend on if this baby ends up in the NICU for a few days and also when my milk comes in. Since I’m having a c-section a couple of weeks early, I have no idea if my body will cooperate or not, or if it’s going to take even longer for my milk to come in. (Last time, it didn’t come in until day 5.) I’m nervous about the actual c-section and my recovery. I’m hopeful that since I won’t be laboring for 15 hours before my c-section that my recovery will be easier, but I just don’t know. It’s still major abdominal surgery. And I’m nervous about how D will react to the new baby. He’s too young to understand us when we try to explain it to him that mommy has a baby in her belly and that he’s going to have a little baby brother soon. And while he CAN be super sweet and affectionate at times, he also has a mean streak and has shown zero interest in other kids/babies. I’m sure it’ll all work itself out and that one day they’ll be the best of friends, but right now I’m nervous.

FIVE: Speaking of fear, I was contacted earlier this week by a man named Cameron, husband of a Mesothelioma survivor. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Most people diagnosed with Mesothelioma die within two years, but fortunately for Cameron, his wife Heather, and their little girl Lily, Heather has been cancer-free for 8 years now after a successful surgery to remove her left lung. They now celebrate that day every February 2 and call it LungLeavin’ Day.

Here’s what Cameron has to say about LungLeavin’Day: “The purpose of LungLeavin’ Day is to encourage others to face their fears!  Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire.  We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life! This year, we asked bloggers to take part and spread the word about LungLeavin’ Day.  We created an interactive page mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday that tells the full story of our special day.”

Pretty cool, huh? What a great way to celebrate life and take back control from your fears. Please check out the site if you get a chance. And congrats to the Von St. James family!!

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36 Week Bumpdate

Oh I have so much to cover and so very little time (or energy) so I won’t be doing my typical Q&A format. Instead, I’ll just hit the highlights…and lowlights.

Last Monday, I started insulin shots twice a day. Despite a gradual increase in my medication and a mostly well-restricted diet, my blood sugar levels were teetering on the recommended limits. The decision was made to bring out the big guns needles and start taking this stuff seriously.

The only problem? It didn’t work. The first two days saw higher numbers than any of the previous days when I was on the medication. I started to freak out a little. Insulin dosage was increased, but it only helped slightly.

On Thursday, I went in for my weekly monitoring and ultrasound and that’s when things got really interesting.

To summarize why I get twice weekly monitoring, I’ll try to explain it simply. Having gestational diabetes means my body (specifically my pancreas) is not producing enough insulin to break down carbs and sugars, therefore during pregnancy, the baby’s pancreas tries to do the work of both his little body and my big adult body. That’s not good. What usually happens is that the baby gains a lot of weight and pees a lot because it’s being overworked, therefore resulting in a big baby at delivery, with a very large, round belly, and swimming in too much amniotic fluid (aka baby pee). So when I go in for ultrasounds, the techs are looking for those warning signs – large baby, large belly, lots of amniotic fluid. So far, the ultrasounds have shown a perfectly healthy and normal-sized baby with normal-to-lowish levels of amniotic fluid.

Until Thursday, when my amniotic fluid went from a 16 the week before to a 4. A sudden drop like that typically means the bag of waters has broken or is leaking. I knew my water hadn’t broken and I hadn’t noticed any substantial leaking. Still, anything below a 5 apparently lands you an overnight stay at the hospital for continued monitoring and an IV. So that’s what happened. I was wheeled upstairs to the maternity ward and checked into a room, hospital gown and all. After a couple of blow veins, the IV was finally inserted (OUCH!) and monitors were strapped to my belly. The rest was pretty uneventful. The hubs and D came up for a visit and brought me a few essentials. I enjoyed taking advantage of the room service and stocked up on mesh underwear. (Don’t laugh until you’ve had a baby. Mesh underwear are AWESOME post-delivery!) Caught up on some work emails and some blog reading, and just tried to make the best of my first overnight hospital stay alone. It really wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the IV and the crappy L&D bed that was made for L&D and NOT for comfortable pregnant lady sleeping.

The next morning, my fluid levels were measuring at 6.5. Not great, but not bad enough to keep me so I was discharged early afternoon and instructed to keep track of baby’s movements and do kick counts until my next check-up on Monday. Talk about stressful!

Oh, and the doc at the hospital gave me a heads up that I most likely wouldn’t be making it to my 39W and 4Day c-section. That if my fluid levels dropped again, I could expect to deliver this baby sometime around 37 weeks. EEEK!

The rest of the weekend was spent in baby-prep mode, just in case Monday came and my fluid levels had dropped back down again.

Well, it’s now Monday and the good news is, I’m not at the hospital. My fluid levels were 7.5, which is still on the low side, but nothing terribly concerning. We’re still not sure what caused it, but best guess is my placenta is starting to fizzle out, perhaps caused by my change in medication from Glyburide to Insulin or just another random effect of the diabetes. No one really knows. But given both issues – the diabetes that’s being a biotch to manage and the low fluid levels – my OB moved my c-section up by one week, so my new due date is now March 13!

While it was sort of exciting to think I could have a baby this week, I’d MUCH rather hold off as long as possible for the health of the baby. I’ve already experienced having a baby in the NICU and I’d like to do everything possible to keep from repeating that experience. So a 38-week delivery sounds just perfect to me.

And since I wasn’t sure if I’d be having a baby tonight or not, I went ahead and snapped a photo this morning, just in case.

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5 Weeks Left

As of today, I have exactly 5 weeks until baby #2 is here.  This means I’m about 8,567 years  35.5 weeks pregnant.

The Good:

We’re almost there!! My twice-weekly appointments are showing a healthy baby who is not too big or floating around in too much fluid. We’re also about 50% there on the nursery. Crib and changing table are put together and in place. Curtains will be hung this week. We still need to wipe everything down, find a rug, and clean out the closet to make room for all his clothes, but we’re close. I can envision it now and it makes me so excited to think there will be a BABY in that new little crib very soon. I’ll post pics as soon as it’s complete, but don’t go expecting something out of Apartment Therapy or HGTV. With such a small room, our primary focus was function rather than style.

The Bad: 

My gestational diabetes is becoming more resistant to the medication I’ve been taking. This means it’s getting worse, which is typical as the placenta grows and is exactly what I expected, but it still sucks. It also means I’ll likely be on insulin shots  before the end of next week. I REALLY wanted to avoid the shots. When the doc told me to prepare for them, and then told me I’d have to stick a needle in my stomach 4 times a day, I may have dropped the F-bomb – quite loudly – as my response. I was pretty bummed the rest of the day but knowing I have to do this for the health of my baby means I’ll just suck it up and do it.

Diabetes aside, things are getting more and more uncomfortable. I get winded more easily, my lower back hurts most of the time, and it’s getting difficult to do simple things like…put on a pair of underwear. I actually dread bedtime because it’s so hard for me to flip from one side to the other and my pelvic bone already feels like it’s being pulled apart. I get kicked/punched in the bladder and lady parts at least a hundred times a day. Then there are the baby hiccups. Cute, in theory, but holy moly do they drive me absolutely bonkers. I’ve also experienced a few contractions. Mostly just Braxton Hicks, but last night was something far more painful to the point where I needed to lie down and just go to sleep. Having been through real labor before, I was able to convince myself this wasn’t the same thing, but it sure wasn’t pleasant.

 

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Five on Friday

ONE. This week has kicked my butt. Between food poisoning early this week, disagreements with the nurse at my doc’s office, a fight with my mom (that is now resolved), and more stress than usual at work, I could not be happier that it’s finally Friday. I’m looking forward to a night at home with the family, eating BLTs for dinner, and vegging out on the couch.

TWO. One good thing that happened this week: Our nursery furniture arrived! Once again, we went with a Walmart.com purchase (the Graco Hayden crib set, since the Delta set we bought for D’s room has been discontinued. Boo!). Even though they’re different sets, they’re similar in style and both convert to toddler beds. So if we ever decide to make the boys share a room, their furniture will sort of go together.

I’ve been really happy with Walmart.com for big purchases like this because a) cheap and b) free shipping directly to our house. We’re only purchasing a crib and small changing table this time around, and moving the glider into the new baby’s room since I rarely use it with D anymore. Can’t wait for the hubs to assemble everything, hopefully this weekend, so that I can start envisioning wall shelves and rug options. This baby’s room is considerably smaller than D’s room so we have far less space to work with.

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THREE: Were you a NKOTB fan? Did you love Marky Mark back in the 90s? I wasn’t a fan of either way back when, but I’m really digging this new show on A&E called The Wahlburgers. It’s centered around Donnie and Mark’s mom and brother Paul, who’s a chef with a burger joint in Boston, but the more famous brothers make frequent appearances and it’s hilarious to see them all interact and talk about their childhoods growing up. Just a bunch (NINE) of poor Boston kids eating “macaroni and welfare cheese”, as Donnie said, and look at them now.

How cute are these kids?

How cute are these kids? Paul on the top left, Donnie in the middle, Mark is the baby

FOUR: Another piece of good news is that my friend Sara is expecting a baby GIRL this summer! I love the way she announced both the pregnancy and the gender with a cute graphic. Getting and staying pregnant hasn’t been easy for her in the past so I’m super excited to hear this news and can’t wait to follow her pregnancy journey. This will be baby #2 for her and I just know her little boy Mac is going to be the best big brother!

FIVE: Speaking of pregnancy and second babies, I’ve now started my twice-weekly fetal monitoring appointments. My first one was yesterday so I had a full ultrasound done to take baby’s measurements. He’s been growing like a weed since my ultrasound two weeks ago and is up from 3lbs 7oz to roughly 4lbs 11oz. In just two weeks he’s gained more than a pound! He’s also long and lean, with LOTS of hair already. The tech tried to get a decent 3D shot for me, but the little stinker had his arm over his face. His other hand was busy pulling the umbilical cord to his mouth, trying to suck on it. And when he wasn’t doing that, he was grabbing his toes. (It was a long ultrasound.) His head and general length is measuring about a week ahead, but he’s still on the skinny side, which is good because it means I’m managing my gestational diabetes well so far. (Babies of gestational diabetic mothers tend to have really round stomachs, which D did toward the end of my pregnancy with him.) My fluid levels were also well within range (another risk of GD is that they could get too high), and everything else checked out great, so I was instructed to just keep doing what I’m doing. Phew! While I’ll have ultrasounds twice a week from here on out, I won’t have another in-depth one like that to check baby’s size for a month, so it was nice to see everything and be reassured that everything is looking fantastic!

Before I left the house that morning, the hubs said I looked like I was getting ready to head to the boardwalk so I figured I’d take a pic of me and my coastal-looking outfit. Make this my…third belly pic in 32 weeks? I’m terrible at these things. For the curious: pants, striped tank top and jean jacket are all from Old Navy Maternity, with the pants and jacket “recycled” from my first pregnancy.

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32.5 weeks

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30 Weeks – Bumpdate

How Big is Baby:  At last week’s ultrasound, the tech estimated 3lbs 7oz, which puts baby boy in the 60th percentile for size at the moment.

Big Developments: BabyCenter just says his eyesight is improving. Nothing substantial. I’ve noticed almost daily hiccups though. Just like his brother.
Baby developments aside, we’ve finally started tackling the disaster that is our house. We took a car load of stuff to Goodwill on Saturday and got rid of two big bags of trash. We still need to do some organizing in the basement to make room for some of the stuff from the office. Then we can work on cleaning out the office entirely. Hoping to make more progress this weekend.
Also, the hubs felt the baby move for the first time this week! Pretty sure this happened way earlier the first time around, but as second-timers, having him feel the baby move hasn’t been a huge deal. But last night baby boy was having a dance party crazy enough that you could watch it from the outside. Seeing my belly move like that was a little freaky the first time, but the second time, it’s really quite cool.
Food Cravings:  Well, considering I have to stick to a low-carb diet now, my biggest cravings have to do with sugar. I’d love nothing more than to have a giant, warm, chocolate chip cookie and chase it with a Coke. Aside from that, I’ve had cravings for sushi lately. Fortunately, cooked sushi exists, so I satisfied this craving on Saturday AND Sunday. So good! And maybe I’m just thirsty but I could drink an entire gallon of milk in a day, if I was allowed. Sadly, milk has carbs.
Food Aversions:  Still want nothing to do with fast food.
Other Symptoms: I’ve been feeling increased pressure deep in my pelvic area for quite awhile now, particularly at night while sleeping. This baby is getting HEAVY. And big, because at times I’ve felt like he’s up near my lungs, making it harder to breathe. All typical stuff though. I’ve noticed some slight swelling in my ankles at night, but nothing like last time (yet) so I’m trying to get up and walk around during the day to avoid it.
Sleep:  Varies. Some nights I’ll be up past 11pm and not really feel all that tired. Other nights I’m passing out on the couch at 9:30pm. I get up to pee about 4 times per night, on average, and this massive belly is making it harder to flip from side to side. We’ve also had a few nights of co-sleeping with D, so that hasn’t helped matters much. Must fix this before the baby arrives.
Maternity Clothes:  Nothing new. I thought about buying one more pair of full panel maternity jeans but I may just hold off. I’ve only got 9 weeks left.
Speaking of maternity clothes, I was at Target last night with my boys, all bundled up in my maternity peacoat. A woman with two littles stopped me in the shoe aisle and asked, “How far apart will they be?” It caught me off guard since I haven’t really had any strangers comment on my pregnancy this time around. And I was fully covered in a coat. I told the hubs I thought it was a little risky for her to ask that, not that I was offended or anything, but then he reminded me that I’m more than just showing. I’m huge. (Thanks honey!) So we’re at that stage now. I should expect more stranger comments over these next 9 weeks.
What I’m Looking Forward To:  SPRING! (Because the first day of spring is my due date.) It’s funny how the first time around, I still had baby showers to look forward to. This time, I have almost everything I need, including plenty of clothes, so there really isn’t much else to get excited about. I’ll be glad when the nursery is done, but I’m definitely not looking forward to the process.
Thoughts: I’m going to use this for a gestational diabetes update, for anyone who cares. So far, the diet has been manageable. I’m not starving, and I’ve found a low-sugar ice cream made with coconut milk that fits within my diet plan, so I’m not completely deprived of sweets. Still, changing my diet alone wasn’t enough and my fasting numbers were still too high, so I had to start taking Glyburide. Just one pill at night. My fasting numbers dropped a little, but still not enough, so on Monday the nurse called to tell me to up my dosage to two pills at night. So far, that seems to be working, though we’re only a couple of days in and my body’s need for insulin will only continue to increase as my pregnancy progresses, which means I could still end up taking insulin shots before this pregnancy is over. Hoping that’s not the case, but it’s still a strong possibility.
I’m still learning what foods affect my sugar levels, and it’s a trial-and-error process. If I eat too much at one time, even if all of the foods are low-carb or no-carb, my levels will be high. So learning portion control and eating smaller meals/snacks throughout the day has worked best, though it’s the hardest to do. Beans, it turns out, also keep my levels high for longer stretches of time. And if I don’t get at least 20 minutes of walking in a day, I can see it in my numbers. You would think walking for 20-30 minutes a day wouldn’t be so difficult, but when you sit at a desk all day, and it’s WINTER, and you have to make dinner and take care of a toddler at night, it’s much harder than it seems. So I’ve been making excuses to go to the store in the evenings or to walk to the post-office during work hours to try and fit it all in. Some days it just doesn’t happen though.
Some friends on Twitter asked for a belly pic. If you haven’t noticed, I’m REALLY BAD at taking regular belly pics, but I’m not one to disappoint my friends so here you go.

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Five on Friday

It’s been a pretty craptastic week, so pardon this post as it’s a bit on the negative side.

1. The Weather. Yes I know EVERYONE is talking about it, but I seriously hate winter. I’ve been holed up in my house for the better part of a week now and when I did venture out to go to my many doctor’s appointments, the roads were so terrible I wished I’d never left. Fortunately I have a job that allows me the ability to work from home when absolutely necessary, and it was totally necessary this week.

2. Speaking of my doctor’s appointments, I had 3 this week. One with my OB, one with my gestational diabetes doc, and one at the hospital to get an extensive ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that everything is perfect. Hooray! However, my blood sugars are still higher than they should be when I first wake up in the morning, so I’ve had to start taking medication. Boo! What’s worse is that the smallest dose isn’t working so I’ll likely have to up my dosage and if that doesn’t help, I’ll need to start taking insulin shots. (Hold me.)

3. One problem I had during my first pregnancy was an almost weekly battle with constipation. I’ve been better about my diet this time around and was very happy that this hadn’t been an issue at all…until this week. I guess the extreme diet change for the gestational diabetes plan didn’t agree with my digestive system. So that’s been rather unpleasant.

4. Since D will only be 22 months old when baby #2 comes along, we need to buy another crib. I really wanted to buy the same crib again, just in case we decide to one day put the boys in the same room, their beds will match. Well guess what? The crib we bought for D has been discontinued and I can’t find it anywhere. Nor can I find anything that’s a super close match, so I’ll have to buy something entirely different. Not happy about this.

5. Before we can buy a crib, we have SO MUCH work to do to turn our office into a nursery. And nowhere to put all the office stuff. Part of me is looking forward to the major purging that is about to happen, but part of me is dreading it because I know we’ll end up with a ton of stuff we absolutely need to keep with no good “home” for it.

Hoping for a better week next week, with more positive posts.

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