Week 27: End of 2nd Tri!!

OMG…it’s the end of my second trimester already. Can’t say I’m ready. At all. Except for having a car seat and stroller purchased. And having a bassinet and crib lined up from generous ladies in my community. But that’s it. We don’t even know where we might be living in three months because we’re trying to sell our current place and buy a new home right now. Timing’s a little tight. I know. Maybe even a little crazy…but I’ve heard it’s been done. And everyone survived.

The exciting part is that when the situation looks crazy or almost impossible…it’s a greater opportunity to see God at work. So that’s where I’m hanging my hope. Or trying to.

So, some updates…
I’m getting used to the finger poking four times daily and the insulin three times daily. But I’m still not as good with getting my prescribed snacks ingested on time. Sometimes I just don’t feel like snacking! And then I get bored of my choices…but we’re working on expanding the healthy snack repository in the kitchen. With any food restriction, I find myself thinking about the things I can’t or shouldn’t eat: chips, fruit yogurt, cereal, dessert, etc. I’m also reading how many grams of sugar per serving is in everything I buy. Unbelievable how much sugar is in so many products out there!

Thyroid is steady on normal. Praise God!

I FINALLY have a prenatal doctor. I was seeing a GP up til now and she was trying to get me into an OB GYN group to deliver in Vancouver since that’s where we plan to move…and because that particular hospital is fully set up for any potential complications. Considering my thyroid issue, gestational diabetes…AND marginal placenta previa…I’m not exactly low risk. But hospital politics man. I didn’t have a Vcr address and was shut out. Thankfully my GP was able to connect me with a family doctor in Vcr who does obstetrics and she could take out of city patients for Vcr delivery. OB GYN’s can’t.

At my latest appointment, the Dr said the fundal height was measuring a little on the big side. (This is probably why Skywalker thinks I’m already huge. “If you’re this huge now, what are you going to be like in three months?” he asks. “A manatee,” I say.) So the size could be account the gestational diabetes…though once sugars are controlled, baby growth should normalize. I really hope I don’t have a big baby….like six pounds at birth would be perfect. There are complications with big babies and it’s a little scary. I’m also thinking about the pain/tearing because I also hope to do a natural birth. But, can’t hold onto these preferences….things are often not in my control so best to manage my expectations early. Still though, I’m a little nervous.

So…here we go…next week starts the THIRD TRIMESTER!

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Needle Poking Tips

So far with all the needle poking I have to do with gestational diabetes, I’ve out figured out a couple things to make it a little easier. Of course, if anyone with more experience is reading this and has better tips….PLEASE comment. =)

With the glucose monitor, I have to test my blood sugar before every meal and also before my bedtime snack. That’s four pokes a day. The worst is pricking your finger, not being able to get enough blood from it, and then having to prick another finger. So finger poking tips:

  • Have warm fingers! If finger tips are cold or shriveled you’re not going to get blood out of them. Dahn recommended putting hand in warm water for a bit first. Or avoid washing your hands with cool water before you poke.
  • Try to “push” blood towards the finger tip a few times before poking.
  • Hold the needle pen firmly against your skin. I had some mental moments where I wanted to avoid the prick-pain so I held it gently against my skin. Result was the needle didn’t go deep enough to draw blood…so I had to poke on another finger…and feel the pain twice.
  • The index finger and thumb hurts more to prick than the other three for some reason….but it could just be me. Rotating fingers every time is good though.
  • Prick the side areas of the finger tip…and not on the surface that you’ll likely use (particularly if you will be typing a lot.)
  • Stay hydrated…blood runs better.

And with insulin injections…I have to say, thank goodness for advances in technology such that I don’t have to use a syringe and can just use one of those insulin pen things. The only thing I have to say about insulin injections is that you don’t have to press the pen so hard against your skin. It was a bit of a mental thing to get over before I could poke the pen into my thigh…but then I think I tried to overcompensate my hesitation by pressing harder. Not necessary. ha ha. Just make sure the whole 5mm needle tip is in the skin and that’s enough. If you can see the veins in your legs, try to avoid poking into them. Also avoid landing right in a hair follicle…there are nerves attached to those things. Drawing a drop of blood now and then is totally okay. Generally, insulin injections are less painful than the finger poking.

So that’s that. May it be a non-dreadful experience for you!

Week 26: Poke poke poke

(Image not mine)

It’s official…I have gestational diabetes…and it’s bad enough that I need insulin. =(

Some background info: Gestational Diabetes occurs when the placenta produces some hormones/chemicals that end up causing the mother’s body to become resistant to her own insulin. As blood sugars start to rise, her pancreas tries to make MORE insulin to break down the sugars. As the baby and placenta grows into the third trimester, more hormones/chemicals are produced, making her body even more resistant to insulin. They don’t know why it happens to some women and not to others; about 18% of pregnant women are affected. Of that, 7% can’t keep up with natural insulin production so extra insulin from outside sources is needed. That’s my case.

It was nearing the end of 2013 when sugar started showing up in my urine tests. That lead to me taking the glucose test at Week 23 and soundly failing it. I received the diagnosis Jan 2 and was referred to the gestational diabetes clinic right away. Diet restrictions were given at Week 24, and I was happy to note my regular diet already met the guidelines I was told to follow. Thankfully, I’m also not a big carb or sweets eater. But, I do have to watch out for those big bowls of noodle soups I like. Added to my regiment was the daily finger pokes to test blood sugar. Before meals, blood sugar should be under 5.0 and after meals, it should be under 7.0.

I hate getting my fingers poked. (Reminds me of when I stapled my fingers in younger years. Twice.) For the first week, my heart sank a little more every time my before-meal sugar level was over 5.0. Even after sleeping all night my blood sugar was too high. Actually…it was too high before every meal. All my after-meal levels were normal. My pancreas couldn’t make enough insulin for the minimum carb diet I was on. At Week 25, the endocrinologist, nurses and dietitian all told me it doesn’t look like diet or exercise will make much difference in my case…I will need insulin.

I was pretty bummed.

But they all reassured me that it’s nothing I did wrong and there isn’t anything I could’ve done differently to prevent this. Thankfully this is a very well manageable condition and I can totally have a healthy pregnancy. So, even if I have to jab needles at myself through the day, Baby will be healthy. That’s the main thing.

The scary statistic is that 50% of women who get gestational diabetes will become Type-2 diabetic in about ten years. I do NOT want that to be my life…..50% chance is a very big number. I’m reminded and am grasping onto God in this….He is bigger than any statistic. He is Healer and Restorer. He was faithful as I wrestled with Graves Disease (over one year medication free now!) and He will be faithful in this too. Walking with Him is about learning to surrender and trust in HIM and not in anything of the world. As counter intuitive as that journey is sometimes, I’m determined to do this. Trust. So help me God.

Week 24: Staying positive

It’s a big week….Week 24. As my sister points out, Baby is now viable outside the womb, though only with extensive support. Of course I don’t hope that my or anyone’s baby needs to be outside the womb at this point…but just saying, Baby is developed and has all his/her parts! Pretty amazing…

I’m enjoying all the kicking and movements I feel. And it’s even more enjoyable when the kicking isn’t straight into my bladder.

We’re still kind of stuck on the naming side of things…but we’ve got time. So that continues to mull in the backs of our minds. Ms PR pointed me to this Baby Name Voyager that basically tells you if a name is a fad name or not. Fad names will likely only be popular over a certain period of time and then no more. Which means in another 30-60 years, that name will be an “old person name” where no young people will share that name to keep it “fresh” and popular. Take Jennifer. No offense to Jennifers out there….but one day that name is going to sound like Thelma to young ears. So, take a name, plug it into the Voyager. If the graph looks or starts to look like a pointy witch hat…then it’s likely a fad name.

On the health front, I’ve been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I was really hoping I wouldn’t be. But, I am. And a slightly worse case of it than “normal” too. Basically the placenta is causing my body to be resistant to the insulin it makes. I’ve maxed out insulin production and it’s still not bringing the sugars in my body down. Worse case scenario is that I’ll need insulin injections. Best case is if I can manage it through diet and exercise. I saw the dietician…and frankly, their meal plan suggestion isn’t very different from what I was already doing before being diagnosed. I already asked them to reduce the suggested carb intake even more because it’s hard to see where the sugars can be cut if I already don’t eat them. For sure anything sugary or made with white or rice flour is axed. Thank goodness Christmas cookies were nearly done with before I was diagnosed! And thank goodness I’m not a big carb or sweets fan to begin with. But yes, right now I have to poke my finger before and after every meal to check sugar levels. I also need to walk 20 min after every meal. It’s a lot to take in and remember….but ultimately this is for Baby. I want Baby to be healthy.

I’m trying to remember too that God’s hand is in this as well. It’s not about putting faith into diet and exercise though I know it will help. It’s a continuous journey to trust God for His healing and provision….because He loves this child more than I can understand, even as his/her mom.

So…trying to stay positive. Though I HATE getting my fingers poked all the time. This is just a temporary annoyance. Four more months!

Bump picture to come. =)

10 min Pregnancy Yoga Flows

I’ve been terrible about getting daily exercise through this pregnancy. I’ve been terrible about getting exercise before getting pregnant too. Terrible. I know all the health benefits/consequences. I’m married to a physiotherapist…and like most spouses of health professionals, I’m kind of non-compliant. [insert “sigh” and shake of head from Skywalker] BUT, I’m trying…this isn’t about me and my laziness…this is about another precious human being entrusted under our car, well, under my direct care for the next fourish months. I have to do this for him/her. And so…baby steps, I found these simple 10 min yoga flows on youtube. They’re great! When done daily it opens up the hips (critical for birthing), strengthens the core (also critical for birthing and recovery), improves balance and circulation. These flows are safe for all trimesters. And what’s nice is that I can do different combinations of them to build my daily workout. Or if I just need a 10 min break from sitting at my desk, I could just do one!

If anyone knows of any other really good prenatal yoga flow videos, please let me know! =)

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5