Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blood Glucose Test - Check!

A few hours ago, I crossed an important item off my prenatal checklist: the blood glucose test. This is the test that checks for gestational diabetes. You have to drink a sugary concoction and then, after waiting for an hour or two or four, your blood is drawn. The lab then checks to see how well your body handled the sugar.

For the sugar drink, the phlebotomist offered me a choice between "Orange" and "Fruit Punch" flavors. I chose Orange. The phlebotomist gave me a horrified look, so I asked which flavor is better. "Fruit punch!" she declared, so I switched my request. She brought me a plastic container filled with clear liquid. It had a funny tang. The phlebotomist told me I had five minutes to drink the entire thing. I gulped it down in less than a minute. The phlebotomist was not impressed.

Now, if you search online, you will find no shortage of complaints about the blood glucose test. People write about the sugar drink as if it is some foul funk concocted in the depths of hell. It's not. In college, at parties, the fraternities served "beer" and that shit tasted like some foul funk brewed in the depths of hell. But did people whine? Well, yes, but we still chugged that shit as if it might bestow immortality, fame and wealth on the drinker. I have a point I'm trying to make here, but my pregnant brain lost it. 

Pregnant ladies sometimes have to wait two or four hours before having their blood drawn. I just had to wait for one hour, which I happily spent reading.  They also sometimes need to fast before the test. My doctor just asked me to avoid sugary foods before the test and to brush my teeth without toothpaste. During the one hour between imbibing the sugar drink and having my blood drawn, I could not eat or drink. Big deal. One lousy hour. After the test, I rewarded myself with  a bagel. It was delicious. 

A lot of pregnant women complain that the sugar drink makes them feel dizzy and nauseous. I have suffered from plenty of nausea during this pregnancy, but I did not feel a twinge of nausea during the test. Maybe my stomach is weird. After all, I still puke almost every day. Maybe my body was trying to be nice: I experience excessive puking throughout pregnancy, but hey, at least I feel fine during the blood glucose test!

Now that I've checked this item off my To Do list, I feel as if I am in the pregnancy home stretch. The third trimester is just two weeks and two days away (not that I'm counting or anything). I can do this!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

14.5 Weeks To Go!

I am 25 weeks pregnant, and my due date is just 14.5 weeks away - HURRAH! My body is not very good at this whole pregnancy thing, so it will be a relief to be done and have the baby in my arms. I cannot wait to eat food! For the past four and a half months, I have been living off of bread, cheese, apples and scrambled eggs. I dream about salads and vegetables and pretty much all of the rest of the food in the world. But my body cannot handle flavor. Two weeks ago, I ate a half dozen strawberries. The puking was epic. I might as well have drunk a couple of bottles of wine.

At this point, I am used to my bland boring diet and all my other fun symptoms: my superhuman sense of smell; the constant congestion; the dry eyes (I miss my contacts); and even the back pain. Yes, I am even used to the back pain. Every night, I fire up my super deluxe heating pad and then I schedule as many massages and physical therapy appointments as possible.

Earlier this month, I did have one unacceptable symptom: Insomnia. I know that the closer I get to the due date, the more I will struggle to sleep. But I am still relatively comfortable when I lie down in bed (after setting up a very elaborate pillow fort - two pillows for my feet, three for my head/back, and one on either side of my stomach). I was not cool with the second trimester insomnia, so I paid attention to what was happening, realized I was feeling physical symptoms of anxiety, and decided to cut caffeine cold turkey. You can drink up to 150 mg of caffeine each day when pregnant (and I've seen some books/websites that allow more), but I have always been ultra sensitive to caffeine. It's my Kryptonite. So I quit, dealt with a few days of withdrawal symptoms (mainly extreme fatigue), and now I feel much better and sleep fine. Sure, I get up when the baby starts playing a soccer match in my uterus, or when my bladder gets fussy, but if I go to bed at 9, I manage to get enough sleep.

I do hate how many times I have to tell Pippa "No."  "No, we can't go to the zoo."  "No, mommy can't sit on the floor."  "No, mommy can't run after you."  "No, mommy can't go outside, it's too hot." But it's all for a good cause - she's getting a baby brother - and she will not remember all of the No's and all of the afternoons spent watching The Cat in the Hat and Frozen. Besides, Child Services is not going to take her away if I let her have a popsicle for dinner. Which may or may not have happened last night.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Dawn of a New Era

I am attempting to write this post from my local Panera.  The internet connection is a bit wonky, so we'll see how successful this endeavor is.  Pippa is not with me.  She is at preschool camp!  Today is her first day.  I stayed for the first hour and since she was happy and busy and ignoring me, I said goodbye and left. She needed two rounds of hugs and kisses, but there were no tears.

Well, she did not shed any tears. I may have gotten a little misty eyed walking to my car.

My morning sickness is basically gone - so long as I take my anti-nausea meds at night. My stomach is still very weak and can only handle a half dozen foods; but if I follow my bland diet, I don't spend the afternoon puking. Yay!

I had some back pain a few weeks ago, but I saw a physical therapist and now I'm doing great. I can't do everything I normally can do. Like standing. I can't stand for more than a couple minutes at a time. It's easier for me to move and walk around than to stand in one place. But that's fine! I'm usually moving after a toddler anyway. 

I've been spending a lot of time in the pool - swimming laps, taking a water aerobics class (fun!), and just relaxing. Being in the water feels great. I miss Zumba, but I'm loving all the pool time. Sometimes I get ambitious and think about taking swim lessons so I can master some new strokes. But not now. Not while I'm pregnant. Right now I am just doing what works for my pregnant body and I don't need some swim instructor screwing me up by insisting on proper form.  Plus I really don't have time for swim lessons. This is more of a ten year plan.

I am in my twentieth week of pregnancy, which means I'm a little more than halfway done. Woot woot! I'm sure there are women who adore being pregnant and want the pregnancy to last forever. I am not one of those women. I'm ready to meet my little boy and devour a big bowl of salad.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Howdy!

It's been almost two months since my last blog post but I have an excellent excuse: morning sickness. I am eighteen weeks pregnant today and finally, FINALLY, getting past the morning sickness stage. My body takes pregnancy very seriously and turns all the hormonal dials to the highest settings. I had awful morning sickness with Pippa, but I thought I could distract myself this time around. Hey, I have a toddler! How could I worry about a little nausea when she keeps me so busy?

I felt fine through Week 6 and got really cocky. This pregnancy was going to be completely different from the first! No morning sickness - yeah!

Then, during Week 7, I had an In-N-Out burger for dinner. IDIOT. I should have known I was tempting fate. That night, a little before midnight, Pippa came down with a bug and cried until I brought her into bed with me. At midnight, I had to nudge her off me so I could run to the bathroom and puke.  And puke.  And puke. I kept puking until there was nothing left to puke, and then I puked some more. I felt like death. I tried putting Pippa back in her crib but she insisted on staying by my side. By 4 a.m., I waved the white flag and Nathan took me to the ER. As soon as Pippa realized something was happening, she slid off my bed and said, "Okay! Okay!" and tried to take off her pajamas. She was very disappointed that she had to stay in her car seat while I limped my nauseated ass into the ER. She was worried about me and wanted to be helpful.

After that fun excursion, I spent as much time as possible in bed. My doctor prescribed Diclegis for the nausea. The Diclegis certainly helped, but I was still puking throughout the day. No matter how carefully or blandly I ate, I was a puke-taster. If I walked more than twenty feet, I felt a very urgent need to vomit. It was a lot of fun.

I put Pippa in day care. I was letting her watch unlimited t.v., but still, she wanted to crawl all over me and run around outside and I couldn't do it. Movement made me puke; puking made me need to puke more; and I did not want to go back to the hospital. Lucky for us, a neighbor runs a day care from her home. She lives only two blocks away from us and used to be a preschool teacher. Pippa had much more fun playing with kids than staying home all day with a nauseated momma.

Between day care, Nathan, and my parents, we survived the hellish morning sickness phase. About two weeks ago, I started to feel a little more civilized. I went to a salon and got a haircut and pedicure. That made me feel even more civilized. I was still puking, but the puking was restricted to the evening hours. A vast improvement.

Every day, I feel better. I cannot eat much. Salad is the enemy. Oh my god, I really want a big Greek salad with roasted shrimp but I know that shit will just send me back to the ER. But I can eat bread and cheese, so there's that. I can also drink water again, and for five or six weeks, water was too harsh for my stomach. I could only drink orange Gatorade. I am so glad to have water back in my life.

So anyway, that's where I've been.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Some Rambling Thoughts on Beauty and The Beast

Pippa just went through a big Beauty and the Beast phase. Confession: I bought our new copy of Amazon for $154.  It's in the Disney "vault" so that that's the only way to get it. Yes, I'm an idiot, but after watching the ending of Frozen for the fortieth time in two weeks, I really wanted to see Beauty and the Beast. The ending of Frozen reminds me so much of Beast: main character presumably dead; long pause for us to get emotional; then the music swells; ah, love saves the day; and of course, the Disney magic, thanks to love, the spell is broken, our hero/heroine lives happily ever after.

Confession: I still get teary at the end of Beast ever damn time. Even if it's the fourth time I'm seeing the movie in two days.

But Nathan is doing his best to ruin the movie for me.

He will not call it Beauty and the Beast. He calls it "that movie that celebrates bestiality."

I guess he has a point. The Beast is a big hairy animal and Belle falls in love with him and wants to kiss his big bear face and fondle his goat horns. But it's symbolic, damnit! It's romantic!

At least Belle is a brunette with brown eyes who loves to read. Oh sure, she is a bit conceited, looking down on the members of her poor provincial town, but everyone thinks it's strange that she reads, instead of cooking and spending all day admiring Gaston's trophies. I can accept a little snobbery on Belle's part since it's in the name of women's liberation and literacy.

Beast is cranky and a little scary, but Pippa and I spend a lot of time talking about his feelings and how he could better handle them.

Then Gaston dies and I just say "Oh no, he fell" and hope Pippa is not traumatized. Why is there so much death in the Disney movies? Why do I have to tell Pippa that Anna's parents got a boo boo and then promise I'm not going to get a boo boo? I feel like these movies are so emotionally rich - but maybe they could be a little less rich in the "parents dying and orphaning their babies" department?

I know I'm the 874,283rd person to observe this, but why do the parents always have to die in the Disney movies?  For fuck's sake, we are the ones paying for the movie tickets, stuffed animals, stickers, lunch boxes, backpacks, costumes, Disneyland mortgages, bankruptcy bullshit, can we at least be celebrated? Or at least allowed to live??? What is the message we are sending our kids?  Hey, kids, you can have loving parents and a boring life; or, you can have DEAD PARENTS and lots of fun awesome adventures! 

So according to Disney, only orphans have amazing lives? But if we were all orphans, then who the fuck would refinance the house to pay for a trip to Disneyland????

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Questions Raised By Pippa's Favorite TV Programs

  • Where are Max and Ruby's parents? We see grown-up rabbits all the time, including their grandma, but nary a glimpse of their parents. Have they been abandoned? Is Ruby raising Max? Should someone alert bunny welfare services?
  • I have other questions, so many questions, but I am so g.d. tired I cannot remember them.
  • I do remember some questions I have about Pippa's favorite movies, but since the title of this post refers to TV Programs, I'll save those questions for another post.
  • No, I'm not going to change the title of this post. I'm too g.d. tired.
  • Good night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Climb Out of Darkness - Team Pasadena!

Last year, I participated in Climb Out of Darkness, the world's largest event rising awareness about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.  I went on a local hike, and I did it alone, and it was such an awesome way to celebrate how far I had come since I was first diagnosed with postpartum depression.  I blogged about it here. In that blog post, I vowed to organize Team Pasadena for the 2015 event.

Guess what? I am! I am the Leader/Sherpa for Team Pasadena for the Third Annual Climb Out Of Darkness. We are hiking on Saturday, June 20, 2015. I haven't pick the exact time, but it will be 9ish - civilized, but early enough to beat the heat.

Do you want to donate to my fundraiser campaign?  Click here and then click the donate button.

Do you want to join the team? Click here and then click the register button. You do NOT have to do any fundraising to participate in the climb. You just have to register. I am choosing between a few Pasadena hikes right now, because I want something easy enough for toddlers. The hike I went on last year was beautiful and inspiring - and had about 38 good places for a toddler to die. So this year's hike will be beautiful and inspiring, minus the toddler death traps.

Do you want to join a team but need something a little more local? Go here to check out the map of all the awesome hikes.

Warning: this is my first post about the hike. There will be others. I have so much to tell you. And thank you in advance to my readers who have already donate - you are rock stars.