Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Down to single digits

Nine weeks and counting; that is how long we have until the baby comes. That is how long Chris and I have as a married couple with no childcare responsibilities. That is how long we have not to worry about anyone but ourselves. Our lives are going to change. I acknowledge that. And while I am thrilled and eager for the change, I am a bit scared. (I think this is normal though).

The realization that Chris and my worlds are going to change, pretty much forever, is a bit daunting. I shock myself even as I type those words because, as you know, we've wanted to share our worlds with a child for so long. The realization that we are going to have a baby in our house, in our cars, in our cart at the grocery store, in our row at church, in our day to day lives is finally hitting me.

All the while, I am eager to see how God will pave the parenting journey. I think I have this vision of what it will be like, but at the same time, I know that realistically, nothing ever goes according to plan.

My anxiety level lessens a bit when I think about God's providence on our journey so far. He walks before us, knowing every step we take. And perhaps even more important, he walks WITH us as we take each step.

So, even though I've been having weird dreams and have ongoing parenting scenarios playing in my head more frequently of late, I have to remind myself of the One who is along for this ride too.

I'm okay. We're okay.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hedge Trimming and Pregnancy

I love to be outside working in our yard, and that's a good thing considering we have much work to be done! When we moved into our house last summer, the property had many jungle-like qualities. Since that time, we have mowed, weed-wacked, cut down trees, dug up stumps... the list goes on and on.

We have a hedge row that borders the front of our property. Yesterday, while giving the hedges a late spring trim, a man walks by me and says, "Wow. A pregnant woman using a hedge-trimmer. Now that is scary!"

I wanted to say, "Not as scary as it will become in .2 seconds if you don't stop staring at me!"

That's right. Keep walking. Nothing here to see.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

20 Paths to Positive

Take a look at Shady Grove's first e-book, 20 Paths to Positive, filled with inspirational, authentic stories from couples that have experienced all aspects of infertility. This e-book was written by patients, for patients; it's an honest view into the lives of couples on their journeys to parenthood.

Monday, May 13, 2013

29 Weeks

Note to self for future reference: At 29 weeks, you felt good; no major aches or pains. You didn't feel ginormous. You didn't feel little either. Just pregnant and looking forward to weeks 30 and beyond. You're really starting to understand that you will in fact have a baby in your house in 75ish days.

(Continuing the monthly photo chronicling. Note: This maternity shirt is comfy but slightly resembles a tent. I don't think I am as big as this photo depicts... At least in my mind's eye, I'm not! )

Mother's Day Mixed Feelings

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and while the day was clearly easier for me than in years past, I spent the day experiencing mixed emotions. Yes, there is a baby in my stomach and yes, that means I am going to be a mom in July. I should be elated, right? Don't get me wrong. I am elated; it's just that my elation has a memory--- a memory of times past when motherhood was this distant, seemingly unattainable, club that I was refused admittance.

I love that people see me (and my belly) and tell me how cute I look. I adore that women and men alike smile at the sight of my belly and the visual reminder of a future tiny life. I would by lying if I said I didn't enjoy the extra attention and focus at church and family gatherings.

All the while though, I am torn because I remember how I felt BEFORE this pregnancy experience. Before, it just felt like was I not interesting enough or normal enough for family and friends to treat me like someone "in the club." Clearly I was not purposely excluded from discussions. I have an amazing group of friends and family who love me dearly! At the same time though, there is only so much talk of breastfeeding, potty training, temper tantrums, pregnancy cravings, and labor and delivery stories that one can take! And even the discussions that were not about babies and children somehow felt like they were, to me, a sensitive gal trying to begin a family. 

So as another Mother's Day passes, I pledge to remember how it feels to be standing on the outside of the imaginary "baby" bubble looking in. I promise to seek out and authentically desire to know about the lives of women and couples who don't have children. After all  we MUST have more in common than our abilities to reproduce, right? 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sugar, Sugar

Last week, I went for my scheduled glucose screening test. I am not a medical professional, but I am told by one that most generally, women go for glucose testing between weeks 24-28 of their pregnancies to check for the possibility of developing the high blood sugar condition known as gestational diabetes.

I was not worried about this test; compared to the IVF process, I assumed drinking a "glucose cocktail" and then getting blood drawn would be no biggie. I fasted overnight and went in the morning to drink the glucose drink and then have my blood drawn. The drink was pretty gross, but not intolerable. It tasted like flat Sprite and had a syrupy consistency. I had to drink it in under five minutes and then wait in the waiting room to have my blood drawn 60 minutes later. Not a big deal.

Two days later, my doctor called to tell me I failed the glucose test. Apparently normal tests reveal sugar levels under 130 milligrams. My level was 155 milligrams. My doctor told me I would have to go back and do a three hour glucose tolerance test.

I have heard of a few women who failed the initial screening test, but I really didn't think I would fail it; I am, for the most part, a healthy eater, within normal weight range (well, pregnancy changes that a bit, but I am still within normal) and I have no history of dibetes in my family. Further, I am not a member of a high risk ethnic group (Hispanic, African American, Native American, or Asian).

So what causes gestational diabetes? Thanks to WebMD, here it is in a nutshell:

Almost all women have some degree of impaired glucose intolerance as a result of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. That means that their blood sugar may be higher than normal, but not high enough to have diabetes. During the later part of pregnancy (the third trimester), these hormonal changes place pregnant woman at risk for gestational diabetes.
During pregnancy, increased levels of certain hormones made in the placenta (the organ that connects the baby by the umbilical cord to the uterus) help shift nutrients from the mother to the developing fetus. Other hormones are produced by the placenta to help prevent the mother from developing low blood sugar. They work by resisting the actions of insulin.
Over the course of the pregnancy, these hormones lead to progressive impaired glucose intolerance (higher blood sugar levels). To try to decrease blood sugar levels, the body makes more insulin to get glucose into cells to be used for energy.
Usually the mother's pancreas is able to produce more insulin (about three times the normal amount) to overcome the effect of the pregnancy hormones on blood sugar levels. If, however, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to overcome the effect of the increased hormones during pregnancy, blood sugar levels will rise, resulting in gestational diabetes.

This morning, I went back to the lab for the longer test. The test started with fasting and a baseline blood sample. Then, an hour later, I drank the glucose cocktail (gross, again) and then every hour for three hours, I had blood drawn. This way, it could be seen how my body processes glucose over time.

Should my results indicate I do have gestational diabetes, this is not a huge deal. Yes, I will need to monitor my sugar levels more closely, and perhaps it means I can't reach for the extra cookie.

Complications that can arrise from gestational diabetes can lead to over-nutrition and excess growth of the baby. This may not sound bad, but over time, a women with GD can end up with some pretty big babies, which, come delivery day, may not be fun at all!

I have yet to hear back from the doctor's office about my results. For a while, Chris and I were joking that I was growing a monster in my stomach because of how hungry I was during the second trimester. Who knows... maybe I am growing one. A BIG one!

5/7/13 Update: The nurse called and said I "passed" the second screening! I think I hear the ice cream sandwiches in the fridge calling my name... Just kidding! This sugar test certainly has me more aware of my sugar intake. I am not going to 'diet' or exclude sugar, but I will be more mindful of not reaching for a second ice cream sandwich:)