Life through the eyes of a diabetic, first-time mom.
In recent months I have become more and more active on Facebook. It’s become a great contact point for my friends and classmates, particularly related to being pregnant, since quite a few of my classmates are moms and there’s even a handful of us expecting. A pair of girls I graduated with had daughters already this summer and two others are due the first week in November. It’s been fun comparing notes, keeping up with their status updates on everything baby and pregnancy related, and just chatting in general.
Facebook was also a place a I ranted when I was frustrated with my blood sugar, my doctors, and so on, or freaked out about something as well as shared news like on July 2 when we found out the sex of the baby. I’ve transferred that more to this blog but at times it is still helpful for a quick rant to post it as a status update on facebook.
Folks in the community, my readers and professional contacts, have also been following things via Facebook. I try to be careful what I post on there and I try to keep it fun and informative. It’s fascinating to me how many people are watching my progress but I appreciate it.
One thing I try not to do is post when I see my friends, particularly the pregnant ones, posting about eating or drinking something I can’t have — I so do not want to be a buzz kill.
But I am super jealous that I don’t get to drink coffee. It elevates my blood pressure and because I’m diabetic I am at a higher risk for pre-eclampsia, which is when a pregnant woman has high blood pressure and high levels of protein in her urine. It can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood and cause low birth weight in babies, according to WebMD, and “it is also one of the leading causes of premature births and the difficulties that can accompany them, including learning disabilities, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and hearing and vision problems.”
So, we don’t want that. What I don’t miss is Coke Zero or other caffeinated beverages. Thank you food aversions. So no caffeine is hard at times but have managed for nearly four months now. Well, except for two cups of coffee, but when I saw how much that elevated my blood pressure even 24 hours later the last time I had a cup I knew that I was done with it for the duration.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts I can’t eat bread, pasta, rice or any sweets. And oh how it kills me at times when folks are posting on Facebook about the tasty stuff they’re eating or about to eat. Every time I see a post like that I want to say, “I miss (insert no-no food here) so much!”
I have to resist that urge because it just makes everyone bummed out.
As it stands, though, I’m less than three months away from delivering so I’m going to just try to tough it out and not be a buzz kill.
It dawned on me about an hour ago how quickly time flies. I was at the obstetrician’s office getting checked out by Barb, the wonderful nurse practitioner, and she said something about how there’s only about 10 weeks to go which is plenty of time.
Holy cow! That’s 2 1/2 months! That’s right around the corner. Oh my gosh! We have so much to do. My head is kind of swimming at the moment. This weekend I need to sit down and make a list. I’ll be taking a week off soon, so, hopefully this will allow Jason and I to get the nursery furnished. I also have to sit down with my mother in law and work out details for my baby shower which is about five weeks away. Eek!
At least my blood sugar control continues to improve, which is especially important now that I’m in the third trimester, because baby girl is really going to get growing now. I just have to keep it up. Barb also said this morning that I am right on track with my measurements, everything looks good, and when we listened to her heart beat the baby sounded great. Yay! So that’s one less thing to worry about.
Phew. I just am amazed by this whole process. I can’t wait for what’s in store after she is born since this is just a prologue!
I know we talked about doing a baby name contest but no formal details came out of it so we haven’t had a lot of response.
Now, I am realistic. I understand that Jason and I are not Josh and Anna Duggar of “18 Kids and Counting” fame. The young couple got married last September and began trying to start a family right away. They found out in February that Anna is pregnant and they’re expecting baby no. 1 in mid-October, just a few weeks before I’m due.
Josh is the oldest of 18 kids. His youngest sibling, Jordyn Grace, was born in December just a few months after he got married. Anna comes from a family of eight children. They’re both 21 years old.
If you’re not familiar with the show that airs on TLC, which is one of my favorite networks, “18 Kids and Counting” follows Josh’s big family, which is part of a small conservative Christian movement that believes children are a gift from God and leave it up to Him to determine how many offspring they produce.
It’s a controversial decision and it seems like the Duggars are either loved or despised. Personally I find it interesting to watch big families. I’m just interested in kids and parenting but these large families have some unique circumstances and challenges. Being a journalist I’m probably more voyeuristic than most Americans. Heh.
Plus I can kind of relate to the big family. My best friend, Mike, is the fifth child in a family of nine. He is the ultimate middle child. We’ve been friends since sixth grade. His mom, Sherry, is like a second mom to me because I spent so much time with their family.
While I admire people who choose to have large families it’s a choice that wouldn’t work for me due to my health issues. I don’t wish to judge the Duggars but I do understand why others do.
As a result of the attention they get being part of a TLC reality series, Josh and Anna have gotten a ton of suggestions for the name of their first baby, and I admit I would have liked to have a comparable list from everyone in the community following my pregnancy.
But I understand the issue is that we haven’t really put it out there well.
So, what we’ll do is gather suggestions for another month, then we’ll narrow it down to the top five. After that we’ll post a poll to the Reporter Web site and the winning suggestion will get a prize of some sort.
I know we won’t get thousands of suggestions like Josh and Anna did but at this point I have two! By the way, they decided to name their baby girl Mckynzie Renee.
As I’ve mentioned previously, we’d like to find an L name that goes with the middle name we’ve picked out, Elizabeth.
We just liked L names and the other thing we’re doing is honoring my husband’s grandmothers this way. His maternal grandmother’s middle name is Louise. His paternal grandmother’s first name is also Louise. This is particularly poignant because Nana Louise, his dad’s mother, died from injuries she suffered after she was hit by a car while crossing the street in Kirkland in 2006. She had lived nearly eight decades.
So, if you have L name suggestions, please post them in the comments of the blog or e-mail them. I will compile a list and in a month (so, by Sept. 26, please) we’ll pick five and put it to a vote.
Yesterday I faxed my recent blood sugar numbers — about a week’s worth — to my endocrinologist. Like my weekly appointments with the obstetrician, this is becoming another regular ritual of mine.
This morning I got a call on my cell — yay, the phone actually rang this time — from Melissa, my endocrinologist’s assistant saying to keep with the same insulin regimen since it seems to be working a the moment. Woohoo!
I still have the occasional blip but overall it seems like I continue to maintain control over my blood sugar.
So I had a little blip after lunch. I think maybe I should avoid peaches for a while. Or maybe it was because I spaced out and got pasta fagiole soup from QFC for lunch. I got all the way back to my office with it when I realized it has elbow macaroni noodles in it. D’oh! Pasta is on my ‘No No’ list of foods.
I am basically happy that I’ve kind of got this blood sugar thing figured out. At least for the moment. I won’t see the OB this week. Apparently they let doctors go on vacation. But I will get checked out by a nurse practitioner. They can’t let me go a week without someone checking up on me. Heh.
On the upside, every week I get to hear our little one’s heartbeat as part of the appointment, so it’s not all bad.
Touching on a previous blog post, I did finally pick out some maternity tops, and after putting on a couple different shirts this morning I’m glad I did. I got onto oldnavy.com and ordered three shirts on Sunday afternoon. For now that should do the trick as I have three other tops that are long enough to cover my pasty white baby belly. I just hope they get here soon or else I’m going to start wearing sweaters before it’s cold enough.
In the meantime, put your baby name thinking caps on. More on that tomorrow.
In high school I struggled mightily with math and barely managed to get through three years of it. I got Cs and Ds in algebra and geometry. I actually got moved out of algebra/trig as a junior into algebra 3/4 halfway through the first semester because I wasn’t cutting it. In the end that seemed to have worked out because I landed in Ilyse Wagner’s class, who helped me bring my first semester D up to a B in the second semester, but that was only one small piece of the great friendship we have now nearly 15 years later.
So, now that we’ve established that my math skills are marginal at best without some help, let’s talk about pregnancy math.
People ask me daily how far along I am and honestly, I’m starting to get a little bit confused, and I’ve read up on how the due date is calculated a few times.
As I was getting ready to write this post I decided to pop over to www.whattoexpect.com and refresh my memory on the topic since I don’t think I could explain it myself.
What prompted this whole thought process was when I tried telling people on Saturday I’m seven months pregnant.
Jason and I had just gotten into my car at the Maple Valley Farmers Market when Sandra Russell from the Covington Lions Club (as well as one of the organizers of the local Relay For Life) pulled into the parking space beside me.
“Hey Kris,” she said before rolling up her windows. Sandra came over to my door and asked if my baby belly was any bigger — oh, it is! — and that infamous question, “How far along are you now?”
“I’m almost seven months,” I replied.
“So you’re due in October?”
Err. No. This baby girl is supposed to arrive some time around Nov. 19. Yikes! I’m starting mess up how far along I am so I said, “Well, I’m almost into the third trimester.”
Hopefully that cleared things up.
My helpful husband quietly said, “No, you’re about 6 1/2 months.”
But all the books and Web sites I’ve read say that when you hit 28 weeks, and I’m almost there, that you’re seven months pregnant.
Jason told me that seven months is the same as 30 weeks not 28.
When we got home I pulled out “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and showed him the first page of the chapter on the seventh month which in a subhead said, “From about 28 to 32 weeks.”
Ha! I was right. Sort of. I think.
Apparently full term is anywhere from 38 to 42 weeks, though generally people figure a pregnancy will last 40 weeks, but the counting starts after the first day of your last period, not from conception which according to whattoexpect.com is about two weeks later.
Oh my gosh, my head is going to explode!
I like the KISS principle but apparently you just can’t apply it to pregnancy in any way, shape or form.
As of tomorrow, I will be 28 weeks, I think.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
So, fashionista I am not. But one thing I can tell right now is that my shirts don’t cover my belly and I don’t think anyone looks good like that. Especially given that my tummy hasn’t gotten meaningful sun exposure in years. I don’t want to blind people.
In any case, I know that as I approach the third trimester I have to admit that I need a few maternity tops. I haven’t gained much weight, like seven or eight pounds, all in the belly. Shocker, eh? I am still able to wear all my pants, shorts, capris, etc., that I was wearing before I got pregnant and I lost more than 15 pounds before I started putting weight on. My thinking is I can get away with not getting any maternity bottoms. We’ll see.
Everything I’ve read says don’t spend a lot on maternity clothes since you don’t wear them very long. Now for some women who need them halfway into the second trimester I think that’s not so great advice. For me, since I seem to just need a few tops, I’m going to try not to overdo it.
There are some options. I scoped out the maternity clothes that Annette Cyr sells at her great little shop in Covington called Kid to Kid. I didn’t see anything I like but since what is on the racks there changes regularly I’ll be sure to look again. If you don’t know about Kid to Kid, check out the story I wrote about this new business in the spring, http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/south_king/cmv/business/40855393.html.
I’ve also been looking around online. I like Old Navy and the clothing store’s Web site has a good size collection of maternity tops that I like. I even looked at Gap’s maternity clothes online but it’s a bit more expensive so I’m not sure there. Another option are maternity stores in local malls but I can’t seem to work up the momentum to go shop at one.
The concept of buying maternity clothes is kind of intimidating. And in some ways, it’s like admitting defeat, which I know sounds irrational but I’m pregnant therefore I’m allowed!
So I’m pondering this now but I figure I don’t have much more time to ponder. I’m really showing now and I don’t care how great a pregnant tummy looks I’m still not going to blind people.
Thoughts, tips, suggestions are welcome in the comments or via e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org
So I bought this book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” back in May when I found out I’m pregnant. Each month there’s a new chapter that tells you about how the baby is developing week by week. There are frequent comparisons of the baby’s size to fruit. It’s an analogy I find strange. Though one Web site I was reading about a month ago said the baby at the point was the same length as a footlong sandwich from Subway. No lie!
Another feature of this book is looking at how mom’s body is changing including your physical and emotional state. Early on it talks about nausea, vomiting and other delightful digestive issues. Me, I just wasn’t hungry much and didn’t eat much, at least not until about a month ago.
Then I got to the sixth month. In the book it says among the many physical signs a woman experiences at the end of the second trimester is a “hearty appetite.”
Oh, boy. I’m just a few days away from the third trimester. Hearty appetite is a dramatic understatement. I am hungry every three hours. Easily. Now for some people that may be normal, but for me, I eat then four hours later I’m hungry. Generally after dinner I’m still full when I go to bed.
Now snacking is a challenge being diabetic. Lately I’ve been sticking to cheese, beef jerky, yogurt or sugar free pudding. Oh, and nuts. I particularly like almonds and cashews. High protein. Low carbs. It works OK.
Then there’s cravings. Now those start sooner in pregnancy (along with some food aversions) but it seems like they become more intense the further along I get.
I promise, I don’t have any whacky food cravings, just very specific ones. My favorite stuff to eat lately has been caesar salad, strawberries, peanut butter on whole wheat bread and chocolate. Ironically, all but one of those are favorites for my husband.
After a week straight of wanting caesar salad, for example, my husband said to me, “Well, there’s no doubt it’s my kid.”
Ha! Unfortunately for Jason, I have yet to crave pineapple, one of his all time favorites. I loathe pineapple. So, this little one isn’t all daddy’s girl. At least not yet.
I just have to be careful about overindulging my “hearty appetite.” I’m not supposed to gain too much weight since I started off a little heavier. My obstetrician says I’m fine so far. Yay! I just have to keep it up. And keep active. I’ll try.
Speaking of the obstetrician, I missed him today, so I got looked over by a nurse practitioner. Baby girl continues to grow normally and her heart rate was perfect, right in the middle of an acceptable range, and no lectures on my blood sugar. So another good week. I have learned that there are some things I just can’t eat while other times spikes are unpredictable but I seem to be getting a handle on it now. Just a few more months of eating like this, taking insulin and being careful.
Glad to have that out of the way since I have other things to think about like finishing the baby’s room, signing up for birth prep classes at Valley, and oh my gosh, maternity clothes.
I’m going to tackle that last topic next time. I just can’t think about it right now.
When I found out that I’m pregnant I wanted to tell everyone I knew immediately. My husband wanted me to keep it low key, at least at first, but I couldn’t get much more than an hour away from seeing “Pregnant” on the home test before I had to tell someone. First person I told is a good a friend who lives in Bristol, Tenn. We share the same birthday, we were just born six hours apart on opposite sides of the country. She has a 10 year old son so she was really excited for me when I sent her a picture message of the pregnancy test.
That test was taken around 8 a.m. on Friday, May 8. I came to the office and a couple hours later Dennis Box, the editor, arrived. I had mentioned to him previously that we wanted to have kids. So, when he made a comment in jest about a mutual friend who “eclipses the moon,” I said “Well I may be getting pretty big myself in the near future.”
Dennis knew exactly what I meant. “Are you pregnant?!?”
And the sneak attack announcements continued.
Since we found out right before Mother’s Day we broke the news to our families that weekend. On Saturday we celebrated with my husband’s family at his parent’s home in Bellevue.
I had gone to Babies R Us and found a gift for his mom, a small Winnie the Pooh themed photo album that said “Grandma’s Brag Book” on the cover. Along with a card and a DVD of “Pinnochio” I stashed it in a gift bag. Finally after dinner and dessert, Jason’s mom and grandmother opened gifts. We asked her to open ours last. As she pulled the photo album out of the bag last, I was shaking with anticipation, holding off my ear to ear grin.
“Ohh, this is cute. Grandma’s Brag Book …”
Gasp. Light bulb goes off. Stare of disbelief.
“Are you pregnant?!?”
I nodded and grinned. She was flushed, thrilled, on the verge of tears and practically a joy-induced heart attack. The in-law’s had given up all hope of grandchildren. Ha! We just took our time.
The next afternoon my sister and I took our mother out for lunch at Bamboo Gardens, a vegetarian Chinese restaurant near Seattle Center, and once we ordered our food I sprung it on them.
“So, I have some news. I’m pregnant!”
My sister, Elizabeth, was thrilled. My mom was so shocked, she was speechless, in fact it took her a few weeks to recover. On the ride back from Seattle, my sister was teasing mom about becoming a grandma, while I was telling my mother she needed to figure out how she wanted to be addressed by my offspring.
A few weeks later, my husband’s oldest friend, Eli came over. Our guest room was already well into the conversion process. It had been repainted and had new flooring. I told Eli he had to come check out how the new room looked.
“We figured it was time to get this done because I’m pregnant.”
Eli nearly jumped, wowed and uttered some expletives in his surprise.
Another good friend of mine used to bartend at a local restaurant. I went to visit her at work. We were chatting about the kitchen remodel my father in law had taken on in our house — it’s what the guy does when he’s excited, he builds stuff — and how I was thinking it would be really practical after the baby comes. She did a double take. Yes, another sneak attack pregnancy announcement.
Most of our other friends were informed via e-mail, Facebook or text message. It took us more than a month to tell everyone. I had a lot of fun telling everyone and was pleased with everyone’s positive reactions.
Let me close with the ironic vignette.
In early April, Jason and I were in Las Vegas. We were standing in line to buy a magnet for my sister in the gift shop of the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. A woman in front of us was buying a pile of baby items telling the cashier all about how her daughter had just gotten married a few days ago and was off The Pill so she was buying stuff now for future babies.
She then turned around and told us all about it as she completed her transaction and we moved up to the counter to pay for the magnet.
I smiled, nodded, and said, “That kind of sounds like something my mother in law would do. Except we’ve been married for nine years and we still don’t have kids.”
Kind of a snarky thing to say. Little did I know that as I was standing there being the typical, unfiltered smart aleck that I am, I was already about six weeks pregnant. Figures. Yet again I spoke too soon.
Today was my weekly, yes weekly, appointment with my obstetrician and for the first time I did not get lectured. Woohoo! Remember what I was saying about small victories a couple days ago? This is another small victory.
I got a “good job” on getting my blood sugar under control during the past week which is like giving my inner second grader a shiny gold star on my latest book report.
Then I was told he wants to see me again next week. My husband asked, “If you’re doing better why does he want you to come back next week?”
I shrugged. My guess is probably to continue to monitor my numbers since my “insulin needs will increase” the more pregnant I get. At this point this is my eighth week straight so it’s pretty much routine. Monday and Tuesday I get all my stories and photos together, Wednesday I help Dennis lay out the paper, Thursday I go see the OB.
It’s been a good week, though, as far as my health goes so I am happy. As much as I like roller coasters since this blood sugar control one is the only ride I’ve been on since I found out about my pregnancy I’m happy to see the platform approaching because I want to get off this ride.
And talking about roller coasters reminds me of some of the questions people ask me when I’m out and about. How am I feeling? Am I experiencing any morning sickness? Generally, I feel great, I only got sick once durng the first trimester and haven’t had any kind of nausea since April. Luckily I was spared that and most women get over that by the middle of the second trimester anyway. So, I’m good. The things I deal with are no fun to talk about anyway since they relate to digestive problems so if you ask how I’m feeling, I’m just going to say “pretty good” and leave it at that.
I’m also feeling the baby kick. A lot. Daily. Sometimes she kicks or punches so hard it makes me jump! And my husband has felt her move a few times, too, which is super cool. He described it as “amazing.”
So now I’m just trying to enjoy being pregnant. And we’re still waiting on your name suggestions. We’re looking for L and R first names for a girl. Feel free to post your suggestions in the comments of the blog or to send them to me at email@example.com.
Until next time when I have a few good stories to tell you about how we informed everyone of the impending arrival of our baby.
Today I have had great blood sugar numbers, especially compared to a week ago, and I’m really happy about it. Quick refresher, before I eat, the obstetrician wants my blood glucose under 95 and under 120 two hours after a meal.
This morning I started out at 99 — close enough for me — and was 128 after breakfast and I’m still happy with a little over compared to 100 points over. Before lunch it was 78 and after lunch it was 105.
Here’s hoping I can keep it up the rest of the day. With the right meal planning I should be able to do that.
For this week it seems like I’ve found the magic combination of insulin dosages and amount of carbs. This is a victory and I’ll take it no matter how small.
Turns out my endocrinologist is not at fault, it’s my phone, or perhaps more specifically the at&t wireless network.
Just now I got SIX voicemails from last week. What the heck?!? I guess this is what I get for cutting the wires a few years ago and going without a landline. Of those six, two were from my endo’s assistant, Melissa with instructions about insulin dosages. Man do I feel like an idiot.
On the other hand, I’m not sure the dosages are enough … 15 units of humulin at breakfast, 10 at dinner, four units of humalog at each meal. I’ll try it tomorrow and see how it works but from what I can tell 10 units at night just doesn’t cut it.
Meantime, I’ll call back tomorrow, apologize for not getting the voice mails and seeming so irritated last Thursday then call the OB’s office and tell them the message I left for that doctor about the endo was a mix up.
Blame my phone. I’ve never had this happen before, though, so I am trying to be understanding. To an extent. But maybe I’ll send at&t a nastygram since getting these messages in a timely manner was really important.
Excuse me while I go bang my head against a wall.