THIS POST LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK
This morning, D. pointed out (er, announced with flair and gusto, I should say) that it had been six months since my last post.
Well, to sum, I am alive, and mostly sane, if much thinner and a little balder than the last time we talked. Let me gather the threads of my thoughts, and I'll get back to you.
08/23/10 14:47 in Babble
39 weeks (or, brutal honesty)
It's not too late to hit the back button! I'm still a needy, hyper-hormonal mess. Now with 50% more insomnia!
Through some fault of my own, I don't have anyone left I can talk to honestly about said mess. Even though the timing couldn't possibly be worse, I'm not performing well in pretty much every aspect of my personal life at the moment. Relationships (spousal, sibling, etc, etc): varying levels of fail. Parenting of a five-year-old: crimson capital F Fail. I even managed to fail my InDesign ACE exam; though I was cavalier about it at the time in the interest of preserving sanity (yeah, I see you smirking), it was quite a blow considering I studied for THREE SEMESTERS, acing (ha) everything.
I worry about the stress of a new little person to the midst of all this. Of course I do. I remember all too clearly the sleepless chaos of last time, and the havoc it could wreak. Even in the face of all that adoration.
I just have to admit that I might need outside help this time, probably of the pharmaceutical variety. Because, despite my best attempts at wand-waving, everything isn't going to magically resolve in the next week or so, and I know how prone I am to postpartum depression (though I wouldn't admit it to myself, or you, or anyone last time).
04/29/10 01:25 in Babble
Something Entirely Not Fetus-Related
Shocking! I know.
I love my foaming soap
. Love, love, love. And I'm happy they now make refill packs
so you needn't toss the dispenser. I haven't been able to find them locally, though. The gel refills
, though, yes.
So I tried Rob Cockerham's trick
with the gel refill, and so far, it works like a charm. I get Method's yummy-smelling non-toxic soap, foaming, at a tiny fraction of the cost of a foaming refill. I'll have to report back on any "sliming" issues (could be brand-related? He used a generic), since I've only just filled my first dispenser this week.
04/08/10 09:31 in Link
"Non" Stress Tests
Are a misnomer. There's nothing not stressful about them. Especially when routine.
Three problems with mine today.
First, a non-reactive heart rate. The fetal heart should, theoretically, accelerate a certain number of times within a certain amount
of time. There are many of the opinion that the routine use of this test is mostly out of fear-of-malpractice overkill that leads to many false results and lots of unnecessary expenditures on costly extended testing. Let's just say I don't place an undue amount of faith in it.
But I do
know that amniotic fluid levels need to remain adequate, and, even though they can change hourly, when you see an office ultrasound with what appears a shockingly decreased amount, that's enough to have you agreeing to be sent to the hospital for an extensive biophysical profile. Which is exactly what I did this evening. Lots of arterial pressure from being flat on my back, lots of trying not to pee with that mandated full bladder while being pressed upon, lots of trying not to pass out (almost happened four times). But lots of reassurance, too -- fluid levels were found well within the normal range (dead center, nearly). "Breathing" was very good. Heart was good. Size for age was good. Good!
But then we get to that pesky third NST issue, preterm contractions. More constant than last week. So it's to be modified bedrest, which is essentially house arrest with no housework privileges. I'm going to be honest -- realistically, this is only attainable to a certain point. I won't be walking (yet), or doing anything strenuous, or standing more than I absolutely must. But I have a five-year-old boy who is on spring break and is taking us both down to crazytown. And he needs to get to t-ball practice. I have GD and rising blood pressure and can't just eat whatever happens to be in the back of the pantry or anything that can be delivered; I need a constant influx of fresh food and minimally-processed stuff (and, controlling only with diet, I have to be fairly picky about brands and things -- some work for my glucose, while others just don't, and, after months of working out a boring but effective system, I'm the only one who is keenly aware of exactly where these things can be found, and what substitutes can or can't safely be made). And then there's the fact that even one day of blank, aimless, drool-inducing inactivity when I have THIS MUCH NESTING ENERGY drives my mood down to doubleplusungood places. If I were dilated I could see being very strict, but I've been contracting for weeks
every time I move, and quite obviously that, and the contractions I usually can't feel at all when at complete rest, haven't been working to any
cumulative effect on my cervix. They just are.
04/07/10 22:58 in Moaning
Sorry I haven't updated in so long. Honestly, it's usually just easier to decompress in the 140-characters-or-less format, and have the satisfaction of almost instantaneous feedback.
So, where to start. Things haven't been easy, to say the least. All of my mental and physical comforts have been stripped away one by one -- sweet, salt, bread/etc. (serotonin), only seeing the doctor once a month (read: lack of constant low-level anxiety), having spending money, exercise, sex... Most days it's difficult to feel as though I haven't been stripped down to a vessel. A physically useless, ridiculously costly vessel, since the area is so lacking in perinatal services, and our out-of-network service percentages aren't nearly as transparent as I thought.
As if the GD and consistent borderline high blood pressure weren't a powerful enough team to really throw a wrench in my peaceful pregnancy, my OB picked up rhythmic contractions (which weren't strong enough for me to feel) at my last weekly non-stress test, and I was shuttled off to the hospital right quick for an I.V. of fluid to stop them. Because I was only at 34w6d. And when it did, a whole new list of restrictions was issued. Luckily, I was not dilated in the least.
Unexpected hospital visits, of course, suck. Aside from the cost, my wrist hole from last week still hurts, and hospital diabetic meals
would certainly injure most of the real diabetics I've talked to; I was lucky to get away with just one meal which I could easily avoid finishing rather than spike my blood with sugar. I have my weekly appointments on Wednesdays, and if I'm sent to the hospital again this week I'm not sure how I'll contain the batshit-crazy waterworks.
Both my blood pressure and blood glucose are harder to control with the inactivity. So I've had to become even more stingy and choosy with the carbs (not just bread, rice, and potatoes, but milk, fruits, and veggies), and eat even more high-fat balancing foods, to compensate. But my OB should be thrilled that I'm now gaining weight, a lack which she previously criticized roundly (even though I started out
overweight, and unnecessary weight gain also exacerbates insulin resistance and elevated BP).
Right now I'm at 35w4d. I'm only going to maintain activity restrictions until 37. Not that I'll go off and run a marathon, obviously, but if very moderate walking brings about labor after that point (which I don't truly believe it will), then so be it.
One standard response to all this seems to be "You're almost there!" And while I'm grateful for the thought... Well. I'm no dead poet by any means, so it's difficult to gracefully impart just. how. incredibly. LONG
and relentless the past few months have been. No violins necessary. But perhaps the understanding that "just 30 days" means 120+ more lancets to the ever-hardening fingertips, 180 more meals and snacks to be swallowed long
past the point at which I can no longer stand the sight of another nut, egg, or slice of cheese, ??? more bills for labwork and office visits and hospitals. This on top of the quite normal pains and discomforts and mental assaults of pregnancy, and the expected dry indoor heat of winter making the usual (but of course untreatable in the usual ways) attack of my sinuses. It's been impossible not to succumb to some depression. Which leads me back around to not writing.
Needless to say, for far more reasons than the biggest one, I'll be happier once this little person is outside, even if more tired. I truly wish I didn't feel that way about my last pregnancy.
04/05/10 17:27 in Moaning
Early A.M. Sanity Disclaimer
Everyone probably isn't this way. Driven to a state of gestational hormonal madness at, well, not what I'd say small
provocations, exactly; they're sizeable enough, especially when you begin with a nearly pathological loathing of sudden change or perceived outside takeover. Usually I can manage to either write things out of my head, or find a sympathetic online eye to talk me down, so I've only lost control and "let" the most irrational, morbid fears escape into the neighborhood of hysteria (the kind usually reserved for stereotypical sitcom pregnancy) a couple of times in the past two months.
Today was one of Those.
I wish I could lend some of this chemical, errr... perspective, even for a day, to the more estrogen-impaired among us. Because, yes, I probably AM currently certifiable. My physiology has gone haywire, a situation that my recalcitrant troublemaker of a placenta is not helping in the least; it's gone and added a whole new layer of intermittent heavy-armed fatigue and dizziness to the equation. And though I'd like nothing more than NOT to weep (usually quite privately, thankyouverymuch) over even the tiniest scrap of thing -- believe me
, my sinuses are killing
me here -- I can't say it'll probably go down that way.
As much as I would like it to.
01/22/10 01:13 in Babble
Just Can't Catch a Break
I got the call this morning -- my three-hour glucose test yesterday showed slightly elevated numbers at the two- and three-hour marks. Which means I have borderline gestational diabetes (That test was a pretty nasty little event in its own right -- and I have the hole-filled arms and blown vein to prove it -- but I don't have the will to rehash it again. At least there was no puking).
Well, I hung up and just bawled. I'd been so very close to pass on the one-hour screen, and, statistically, that usually
means a pass on the three-hour. But I'm all about bucking statistics this time 'round, it seems. Lets hope not where it really matters, in the end.
I have to go to Santa Rosa on Tuesday afternoon (probably every week following, as well), and get dietary counselling and an Rx for a glucose meter. I'll have to follow strict guidelines, and test my blood after each meal. Which I will sure as hell be doing, and to the very last letter, because I do NOT want us to end up on insulin if it's at all within my power. Or marked as an even higher risk when it's time to give birth, and end up with surgical intervention.
I've been looking at sample diet plans (because almost a week is a long time re: baby-growing), and luckily mine isn't too far off the path. I need more proteins and less carbs in the early morning (when insulin resistance is highest), spread meals out a little more, and I need to obviously cut out the occasional white carb treats and juices (and sugar in the half-caf, sob), but the raw veggies, whole grains, and low fat (and of course low sodium!) proteins and dairy are there. I also need to work on short, glucose-levelling walks after meals, even if the thought is
completely exhausting/overwhelming right now.
On the positive side, my last blood pressure reading was pretty much normal. I still feel
as if it's high at times, so I don't know what to make of that yet. Someone offered me the loan of a home monitoring cuff, and I think I might just take them up on it. I have a suspicion that stress may be triggering it more than I thought, and I'd like to test that out a bit.
01/21/10 20:45 in Nugget
Nut Butter Overthrow
I'd been buying and enjoying Skippy Natural for a few years. Just roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, and salt -- no nasty hydrogenated oils. But suddenly, I can't have the sodium, and my bananas were sad. Additionally, I don't eat a whole
lot of meat, and I don't care for unsalted nuts, so, aside from yogurt, protein becomes sort of problematic.
Luckily, I had half a jar of Trader Joe's Almond Butter in the fridge (used it to make low-carb cookies for Christmas). Took a look at the nutrition facts: just
nuts. Nothing else. No sodium. Much lower in saturated fat. Higher calcium (by far) and fiber content. Took a taste: a bit oilier than I like, little stirring to do, but not bad. Not as creamy as peanut butter. Surprisingly sweet for a spread with no added sugar. Most importantly: it still tastes delicious on bananas! Almonds have officially saved snack time.
01/13/10 11:57 in Food
Some Brain Relief
Well, first off, my labs were all clear. So I don't have preeclampsia, at least not yet! Big, huge
But. My two machine readings today were higher than I could have imagined -- about 185/100. Oh. My hell.
My OB (who I am now INCREDIBLY glad I chose, because when something is really important, she takes the time to work through it and doesn't just jump the gun) wasn't satisfied with just one set of readings, so she had her intern take them with a manual cuff. And those
readings were in the 150/80 ballpark. Not great, but not faint-inducing, either. Then she had the nurse who took the initial readings use the cuff, to test for user error, and those were again different (I think both systolic and diastolic were a bit lower). So she's a little frustrated with the discrepancies, but believes that, generally, manual readings taken by a doctor are most accurate, and doesn't want to prescribe meds if they're not absolutely necessary (which bodes well re: her philosophy and how I jibe with it, I think). I go back on Thursday, when she'll manually take my BP herself. If it's still
high, THEN she'll prescribe Methyldopa
I still get lightheaded and have palpitations, but now at least I'm feeling a lot less anxiety than I was all last week. I might even actually get a full eight hours of sleep tonight, as opposed to the four or five I've been able to!
01/11/10 20:57 in Nugget
Fetusdate: 23 weeks, 3 days. Due in 116 days.
That last number is what makes our current situation so potentially dangerous. Monday I was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension, and this early in the game, that's not a good thing. It has a one-in-two chance of eventually developing into preeclampsia, which can be damaging to my organs and slow the proper flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients across the placenta. And other, far more terrifying things which I've spent much energy willing my brain not to examine too hard. Actually, it could even be preeclampsia (PE) now, but I'm waiting for the results of the urine and blood tests tomorrow (ask me about peeing into a brown plastic jug for 24 hours straight sometime!).
Needless to say, it's been a long week. I'm trying to keep my anxiety under control (and hence help the blood pressure), but it's difficult not to worry, and I'm losing some sleep. Normally food restrictions irk me, but now I'm obsessively keeping clear of sodium without complaint.
Normally I would question any diagnosis based upon numbers taken from only one day, but there've been other indicators: Last month my readings were high (not alarmingly so like this month, but still not good). When we went for a walk last weekend, I just didn't feel "right;" it was much, much more effort than normal (and remember, last pregnancy I was hiking elevated trails much later without undue stress). And I haven't felt right lately at all, heart-poundy and fluttery and lightheaded.
My OB told me that I'd likely be put on (fetus-safe) blood pressure medication, and hopefully, hopefully, that and moderate rest will control the situation until at least 37 weeks. If it should turn out that my kidneys are leaking protein badly, treatment is more harsh, and I may be looking at either a long haul in bed here (leaving the house only for appointments), or stricter rest in-hospital with constant monitoring.
I won't lie -- I'm absolutely terror-stricken by the thought of the last. It would be likely I'd be made to lie on my left side for the duration (that's four months), not allowed to use the bathroom, and develop increasing soreness, and muscle and bone and sanity loss every day. Even the thought of home bed rest is disturbing, but being assisted atop a bedpan when you're physically capable? That's beyond all my coping powers at the moment. I'm sure some of my most Aspergers-ian traits (uncomfortable with strangers touching me, being out of my comfort zone for an extended period, no control over my own routine) come into play here, too.
Last night we went out to the movies, and, while I of course enjoyed it immensely, I could feel the toll it took on my heart. We went to CVS to check out home monitors, and to use the blood pressure cuff there. I know those public freebies probably aren't the most accurate, and I'd been moving around a lot (and irritated) minutes previously, but still, 160/80 isn't a number you want to see.
So today I'm just trying to take things as easy as possible, waiting it out. I only wish I could have a mild sedative, and maybe shut my brain down for the next 24 hours.
01/10/10 14:29 in Nugget
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