Sunday, November 20, 2016

(24) I guess we’re not done poking me

It sounds silly now, but my first concern after hearing I had gestational diabetes was that I’d have to give up my favorite pizza.  I’ve been making a special effort to eat healthy foods throughout this pregnancy, and the pizza was one of the few exceptions.  And it wasn’t really that unhealthy…  Deep down, I know that my diet had nothing to do with the diabetes diagnosis, but I’m still pretty shocked by the news.  And for the first time, I’m actually a little concerned about myself.  Gestational diabetes is typically temporary (going away after giving birth), but not always.  Permanent diabetes isn’t something I bargained for.  With an inward sigh, I remind myself again to be positive.  Be positive.  Be positive.

The nurse with the diabetes diagnosis also provided the number to the closest nutritional counselor.  It was close to my house (not in Portland or Washington, or worse), so maybe my luck is already turning around.  On the following Monday, the very nice nutritionist let me know that I just barely didn’t pass the gestational diabetes test.  But even a mild case is taken very seriously, especially for any pregnancy considered high risk (like mine!).  To my relief, she also tells me that my favorite pizza and peanut M&Ms are not off-limits after all.  I just have to refrain from feasting on them.  Can do!  Now I’m really feeling that my luck is turning around.  Then, the nutritionist provides an organized outline of what I should eat and when.  Basically, it’s a good guideline of how you should eat all the time, gestational diabetes or not.  And, it’s really not far off from how I’ve been eating during this pregnancy already.  Can do.  Next, I get the blood testing kit from her.  It’s small and portable, and appears easy to use.  But yes, it does mean poking my fingers three times every day, on a very specific schedule.  More pokes...  But at least these are minor compared to the progesterone!  OK, so now I know the new rules.  Anyone who knows me can confirm that I’m a “rule follower”, so this situation is no exception.  Besides, I’ve got my precious cargo to keep me motivated.  I do exactly as I’m told.

Now I’m recording my blood pressure AND blood sugar levels, three times each day!  I even created a special “spreadsheet” to keep everything organized.  After all, I have to turn in these readings during my many doctor visits.  After the first week of this, Holly and Darren came over for dinner.  For moral support, Holly suggested we all do a finger poke.  Holly steps up like champ, even letting me push the “needle release” button on the testing meter.  If you know Holly, you’d know that she doesn’t give up control of something like this lightly.  Tom was next.  No issues.  Then it was Darren’s turn, and it was clear he was not so enthusiastic about participating.  This was not his idea.  Reluctantly, he stepped up to the table, and nervously sat down.  I demand a finger.  It’s pretty comical how he starts to comply, then pulls his finger back.  He’s smiling, but is not happy.  I finally grab his ring finger and push the needle release plunger, but Darren’s finger shows nothing!  He thinks he’s done, but Holly and I are not satisfied without seeing that telltale small blood droplet.  This just means a slightly deeper setting is needed, and I proceed by making the adjustment on the meter.  This time, he pulls his finger away so fast that I couldn’t grab it for a re-poke.  He cried “deeper, why?!”  He knew why.  But I calmly reminded him that we saw no blood on the first try, likely due to thicker skin or a callous on his finger.  Resigned to his fate, Darren agreed to a 2nd try.  As the needle penetrates his finger, a look of panic crosses his face, and an exaggerated expression of pain follows.  PRICELESS!  

Sept 6th - 26 weeks

June 21st - 15 weeks Bare belly

Sept 6th - 26 weeks Bare belly

Saturday, November 5, 2016

(23) Feed me!

I continue see a doctor at least once per week, and so far I haven’t had any new issues.  Yes, I still take BP medication.  Yes, my cervix is still short.  Yes, I still have the pessary in place.  But at least things seem stable.  I’ve hardly noticed a difference with/without having that hard plastic pessary inside me.  Maybe a little TMI, but the only time I notice it is during my nightly Progesterone suppository routine.  I try to get them as close to the cervix as possible, so yeah, I feel the hard plastic.  And for those who are wondering about “intimacy”, there is none of that happening!  Officially not allowed.  I’m wondering if my husband will go bonkers by the time this is all over.  He and I are handling it well so far (I think!), but it’s not a restriction we were anticipating.  Another small sacrifice.

At almost 25 weeks, it’s that time in my pregnancy for me have the glucose test to check for gestational diabetes.  I’m pretty confident I’ll be OK.  I certainly don’t want to worry Holly with anything beyond the BP/cervix/pessary situations.  The test starts early (7:30am) at the doctors’ office with a “fasting blood check”.  To prepare, I have been instructed not to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before this test.  So I’m waiting with four other hungry/thirsty pregnant women to get finger pokes.  Not exactly a happy bunch.  To pass the time, we chat about the babies to be, so I fill them in on my little adventure.  Usually people react with positive enthusiasm when they hear my story, but not everyone.  Some people believe you shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature.  Luckily, I don’t encounter any such negativity today.  After we all get the first finger poke, we get to drink a lovely syrupy drink.  Yuck.  I chose the lemon/lime because I was told it’s the best one, but it was still bad.  We had 15 minutes to drink it.  Then we get two blood tests: the first after one hour has elapsed, and then another after two hours have elapsed.  Needless to say, we are all starving by the time the test is over.  Afterwards, I have an appointment with Dr. Winkler, one of my favorites.  I haven’t seen him in a while. They do the normal checks.  My weight has been pretty steady lately.  I’ve gained about 29 pounds, which must be OK because it’s never brought up as an issue.  They check my cervical length too (again).  No surprise, it’s short, but unchanged from prior checks (measurements are generally between 1.8-2.1cm).  After my appointment, I go to my favorite pizza place (Life of Pie) down the street from the doctor’s office.  It’s starting to become a ritual.  But I can’t help it because it’s that good!  If you’re ever in NE Portland Oregon, you can’t go wrong eating there.  At 5:30pm my phone rings with the glucose test results.  Yep, I have gestational diabetes.  Crap!