I’m not a crier 

I’m usually not a crier. But I was watching a recorded episode of Nashville last night, and a particular scene really got to me…

Now I know I didn’t purposely do anything to cause Nora and Nadia’s premature births and ongoing related issues… But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel quite guilty. I mean, my God, Nora had bacterial meningitis and sepsis as a preemie, two separate episodes. When they told us they said, I’m so sorry, as if she was already dead! I’m honestly shocked she’s doing so well. We still have many follow-up appointments, which reminds me, we need another hearing test for her, as she’s at-risk for hearing loss for several more years yet, I think until she’s five maybe. And Nadia, every time I look at her and will her to crawl or make a babbling noise I’m reminded of her brain bleed.

There is the rational side of it all… But then there is the side who wishes she could go back. To beg for the cerclage, or do more research on my own, or rest more during both my pregnancies. I don’t know, anything to change a 29 and 30 week delivery. And then I think of our frozen embryo. How do we give that little boy or girl a chance? Is it irresponsible for me to attempt another pregnancy? What if I delivered at 24 weeks next time? How would I live with the guilt of raising a possible special-needs child knowing my body was the cause?

I think back to the month we started our first round of IVF, how scared I was of the process… And here now, with two beautiful girls… The situation may be different, but the fear remains.

GD Update

I’ve decided GD sucks.  And my heart goes out to diabetics who have to eat this way all the time.  I mean seriously, unless you love meat and hate carbs, this is a nightmare.  I personally dislike most meat and could easily live on carbs.  So this is very hard for me.  Everything I crave, especially fruit, is very limited on how much and when I can eat it.  But hey, I can have all the hot dogs I want!  (For the record, I’m not a fan of hot dogs.)

So here’s the skinny…  If you even care to read.  This might just be info for me to look back on later…

How many carbs I can have…

  • Breakfast  15-30g  (no fruit, fruit juice, or cereal for breakfast)
  • Morning Snack  15g
  • Lunch  45-60g
  • Afternoon Snack  15g
  • Supper  45-60g
  • Evening Snack  15g

If you’re not familiar with how many grams of carbs are in something, go look at a few boxes in your pantry…  Yeah, most anything has a ton.

And these are what my blood sugars need to be…

  • Fasting / First thing in the morning  60-95
  • 1 hour after each meal  <140

So I’m basically testing four times a day.  I don’t test after snacks, but several days I’ve tested a few extra times out of curiosity, like the middle of the might, and when I felt like I needed to eat.  And overall I’d say my numbers are good.  I can definitely tell if I cheat for a meal.  Like one evening I made Nora fish sticks and tomato soup for dinner.  Not that she ate it, so I did.  And my blood sugars were too high.  I should have known better I guess.  And on the nights I don’t sleep well, as in, get maybe three hours of sleep, my numbers seem to be all over the place, even when I think I eat what I should.  I need to ask my doctor about this…

As an example of what I can eat, here’s what I had today…

  • Breakfast – Chocolate fudge protein bar (it tasted like chalk)
  • Morning Snack – 1/2 of a berry almond crunch bar, as the entire bar would have been too many carbs, and a hard-boiled egg
  • Lunch – Cheese and sausage with crackers, 6 crackers to be exact, a few strawberries, and a small container of fat-free Greek yogurt
  • Afternoon Snack – White cheddar popcorn, although not much of it!
  • Dinner – Taco salad I made at home
  • Evening Snack – Not sure yet, I crave so much I can’t have, like a huge buttermilk pancake soaked in maple syrup!

For the most part beverages have been water, iced tea with artificial sweetener, or carb-free sparkling flavored waters.  Every now and again I’ll go to Starbucks for a skinny latte, and even though they use sugar-free syrup, I still have to count the carbs in the milk.  And honestly, they don’t taste all that great and don’t really seem worth it to me…  And you know how I love Starbucks.

There are several foods that I’ve been eating a ton of, as they are carb-free according to this GD diet, such as nuts, cheese, peanut butter, and eggs.  I swear I’ve eaten three hard-boiled eggs each day this week!  And peanut butter by the spoonful!  I did buy pickles, cream cream, and dried beef today to make pickle wraps, as all that should be okay for me.  I’m running out of ideas already though, and it’s only been a week!  It just sucks feeling like you’re on a diet when you’re pregnant, the one time you crave so much more than usual, or at least the time I do!

Part of me thought I might start to lose weight on this new plan, but so far, I’ve lost only about a pound even though I’ve COMPLETELY cut out all sugary snacks and treats.  Although I guess I didn’t gain any either, so that’s encouraging!  Most of the free foods on this diet are high in fat though, which concerns me too.  I have my 30 week OB check tomorrow and I also meet with the nutritionist again tomorrow, so maybe I’ll ask about fat and if I need to pay attention.  The only thing I was told was to count carbs…  Speaking of tomorrow’s appointments, they start at 8:30am, and are almost two hours away, so I best do the dishes, clean up the house, and everything else I put off today.

29 Week Check-up

I am exhausted.  I left the house this morning at 9:15am, drove 1.5 hours to the doctor, was there for four appointments and then drove another 1.5 hours, arriving home at 5:30pm.  And I have to do this twice next week, once on Tuesday for several appointments for Nora, and then again on Thursday for several more appointments for me.  And all without Eric.  Ugh.  I keep telling friends I will come see them on the weekends, but I’m just too worn out.  And add to that the fact that I’m getting an average of four hours of sleep a night.  Not enough, between Nora waking due to teething and me just not being able to sleep lately.

So a recap of today…  Tomorrow I will be 29 weeks, a new milestone for me, as Nora was born on 29w0d.

  • OB Check-up – My doctor still wants to keep seeing me weekly, so another check today to see how I was doing.  We chatted a little about my gestational diabetes diagnosis, but we left most of my questions for the dietitian.  We listened to baby’s heartbeat, which was around 130-140 bpm, she moves constantly, so hard to get a good reading.  My OB measured my tummy again…  Last week I was measuring two weeks ahead, today I was measuring three weeks ahead, so she wanted to get a growth scan to make sure all was on track, especially with the GD.  Oh, and she checked my cervix also, last week I was just a fingertip dilated and cervix was 50% effaced. Today I’m just a tad bit more dilated, but still less than 1cm and still 50% effaced, so she was happy.  I’m still having lots of tightening, but baby is still inside, so we’re counting this a win for another week.
  • Growth Scan – I got lots of cute pictures of baby, posted below, and happy to report she is measuring perfectly, head and femur were 28w5d and they estimate her weight to be about 3 lbs., so just a tad larger than Nora was born weighing.  Also, fluid around baby is good, apparently GD can cause extra fluid, but not the case right now for me.
  • Nurse Teaching – This was really pointless as Eric had already walked me through how to use the glucose monitor, and really, if you can read, the directions that came with it are pretty good.  I’ve been using the monitor for the past several days, so really no need to review this.  The nurse did give me another Makena injection though.  I’m still saving the two doses we have at home, as I assume it will still take another two weeks or more to get our new insurance to approve the drug and have it shipped to me.  More on insurance below 😉
  • Diabetic Teaching w/ Dietitian – This was a really good visit, the woman I met with was super helpful and answered a ton of my questions.  She laid out a sample meal plan, went over what’s good and not so good for eating, and reviewed when I need to check blood sugar levels and what they should be.  This probably deserves its own post, so I’ll make some time tomorrow to tell you all more about that!

Our insurance still isn’t figured out, basically we just aren’t in their system yet, even though our coverage is active, therefore I can’t get the information I need to give my doctor’s office or pharmacy.  In their eyes I’m uninsured.  And OMG, my doctor’s office is having a COMPLETE FIT.  My four appointments today, you check in and out of each, and at each check-in and check-out, so eight times, I was asked about my insurance, even though all of them said they would add notes to the system, that I should have the data soon.  Oh, and my doctor’s office called me yesterday to remind me I had an appointment but no insurance listed in the system.  And then, while I was meeting with the dietitian, she got a page that I was to go see a financial counselor before I left the office.  UGH.  He was like, so you know if you don’t pay in 120 days we send the balance to a collection agency.  So I was like, can I just pay cash for whatever our balance is right now, which would only be from my appointments last week and this week.  He was like, well, there isn’t a balance yet, billing period isn’t over yet, so nothing to pay.  I wanted to scream, then why did I have to talk to you???  I seriously feel harassed…  No really.  It was that bad.

Okay, I have lots more to say, but honestly, I’m just too tired.  More tomorrow, if Nora naps!

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Gestational Diabetes

Yep, I failed, I’ll now be treated for Gestational Diabetes (GD).  Great, one more thing for me to worry about in this pregnancy.

I didn’t sleep very well again last night, imagine that.  I actually saw the results online around 3am when I was up to pee and judging from my google searches, assumed I’d be treated for GD.  So of course, I was looking up tons of stuff until about 5am when I finally fell back asleep.  Nora woke around 7:30am though, so not a lot of sleep overall.  One thing I did read is that the Makena injections I’m on to prevent pre-term labor can cause GD.  Awesome.  No clue if that is actually the cause, but studies showed higher rates of GD in Makena users, so who knows…  Maybe I want to believe something caused this other than my body who clearly sucks at getting and staying pregnant.

My doctor’s office already called this morning.  A nurse called in supply orders for glucose testing equipment and then this Thursday when I’m there for my next OB check I’m also meeting with a nurse and nutritionist to learn all about not eating anything fun.  Okay, maybe I’m over-reacting, but that’s how it feels right now.  I was tempted just to go through our pantry and cabinets and throw out all the sugary, sweet, junk food items…  Maybe that would help me not be tempted.  Pinterest had a couple good cheat sheets for what to eat and not eat, so I glanced at those and started a new board of my own.  Feel free to send me pins if you know of good tips or recipes!  And I downloaded an app on my phone to track what I eat and my glucose levels.  I like technology so I figured if I try to incorporate it, maybe this will be more exciting.  Maybe.

From the list of what I can eat I found on Pinterest, my breakfast today was two scrambled eggs and a spoonful of peanut butter…  I’m hungry already and I have a headache.  I really wanted the bagel and cream cheese I was feeding Nora.  Oh, and so much for my fun Starbucks beverages.  I suppose they sell sugar-free, but really, what’s the point??  Or is fake sweetener just as bad??  I guess my main drink will be water from here on out.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise.  I’ll admit I’m not the best eater.  I’ve craved tons of fruit this pregnancy, mainly watermelon, and I see even fruit now isn’t the best choice for me.  I was worried I was gaining too much weight though, so maybe this will slow my gaining.  And I want to talk to my doctor about at least walking on our treadmill at home for exercise.  They originally told me no exercise to help prevent pre-term labor, but maybe now that I’m getting nearer to 29+ weeks they would allow me to add some in, as I see that’s good for your blood sugar as well.

I’ll all ears if anyone has great advice.  Or just encouragement, I’d take that too right now!

Oh, and our insurance still isn’t all figured out.  I assume paying cash upfront for diabetes supplies isn’t cheap!  I hope submitting all these claims later isn’t a pain in my behind…

28 Week Check-up

I guess overall today’s check-up went well.  For the past week I’ve had such a strange feeling that this baby is going to be born as early as Nora.  I hope I’m wrong!

Highlights from the visit

  • This isn’t really a highlight, more a pain in the behind…  Since Eric’s work changed a bit on August 1st, so did our health insurance.  We shouldn’t have a gap in coverage, but since I don’t have the information for our new insurance, and our old expired at the end of July, it’s making things difficult.  Apparently Eric’s new HR department is not exactly, with it.  Yesterday morning I got three phone calls, one from the specialty pharmacy who supplies me with my Makena injections telling me that the refill claim was rejected, one from my doctor’s office alerting me that I had an appointment tomorrow (today) and my coverage was expired, and another from the nurse at my doctor’s office who worked seriously three weeks to get our previous insurance to pay for Makena saying she was asked to start the approval process over…  Ugh.  And of course I had to tell each of them I was pretty much clueless, that we have retroactive coverage, but I have no idea who it’s through or what it covers.  The approval process for the Makena is just more than I really want to deal with again, and I even considered just paying cash for it, but it’s $3,000.00 per injection, so per week, and that will add up quickly.  I had my doctor’s office give me an injection today so that I could save the two doses I still have at home, hoping the insurance mess would be resolved before I run out.  I’m not holding my breath.
  • Right when I arrived the nurse had me drink the orange glucose ‘beverage’, for lack of a better term.  I honestly don’t think it’s bad, but then again I love Starbuck’s flavored lattes which I assume have about as much sugar.  They told me I didn’t have to fast this morning, but to limit sugars…  I had a piece of peanut butter toast and a banana.  No clue if that was a good or bad choice.  I just received my results online, 163, which I’m pretty sure means I have to do the three hour fasting test.  Does anyone know for sure?  With Nora my result was 137 and I remember them telling me I just passed.  Great.  One more thing to worry about.  I’ll wait to hear what my doctor has to say…
  • The nurse also told me that it’s at your 28 week check that they like to give a tdap booster, so of course I was willing.  Already my arm is killing me though!  Picking up Nora tomorrow should be fun!
  • My doctor came in next and we chatted for quite a while about all my symptoms.  Even tonight I’m still experiencing all the same, lots of pressure very low in my abdomen, off and on tightening of my belly, very low, some mild cramping, etc.  I basically feel like baby is just way too low already, sitting is uncomfortable, how can that be at only 28 weeks tomorrow?  And forget bending over!  My belly just aches all the time.  Is that how others feel when they’re pregnant?  I didn’t have this until last week… around the same time I started having these feelings with Nora’s pregnancy.  I just can’t imagine feeling this crappy for another 12 weeks.  I mean, I know women go through worse, but… this isn’t fun.  Although neither is having a baby in the NICU for months…  And I wouldn’t say the tightening is painful, more uncomfortable, like I find myself moving to try to get the feeling to stop.
  • My doctor listened to baby girl’s heartbeat, which was in the 140s I think, which she said was good.  Then she measured my belly with the tape measure, and it measured 30cm, so two weeks ahead of where I should be.  She said she wasn’t concerned, that measuring bellies is more an estimate.  My doctor doubts whether this baby is actually the size of the average 30 week baby… probably more just how she is laying currently.  Oh, which is feet down right now.  So perfect if she’s born in the next week, maybe we can have a repeat breech delivery!  Kidding, let’s hope not.  Does anyone reading have experience with not measuring to the week you actually are?  Just curious how common this is and what it means.  With Nora they never measured my belly, I guess we never got far enough!
  • Next my doctor checked my cervix (which I thought they weren’t supposed to do, but she’s the doctor) and she was happy to report that the length is still around 2cm and I’m dilated to just a fingertip, which she said is okay with her, given my history.  She said usually the cervix will completely shorten (efface) before it truly starts to dilate, so being it’s still 2cm long is great.  I mean, it’s shorter than it should be by about 50%, but at least I still have some length!  The fact that I’m not dilated further than a tiny bit tells my doctor that my tightening is not true labor, not yet anyway.
  • Given all my symptoms, and the fact that I am dilated just a tiny bit, my doctor wants to start seeing me weekly.  Ugh.  That’s a lot of driving, but probably a good idea.  Her main concern is, if I am going to have this baby early, the more notice we have for steroids the better.  She said that steroids are most effective the later and closer they are given to delivery, preferably 48 and 24 hours before delivery.  Giving too early can waste their effectiveness so to speak…  Nora’s were given almost exactly at 48 and 24 hours as I was given magnesium to stop labor until we completed those doses, and thankfully, breathing was never her primary issue.

So all in all, I guess okay for now, except for hopefully I pass the three-hour glucose, if that’s where I’m headed next.  I know this sounds selfish, that I should put baby girl’s needs first, but honestly, I just don’t feel right and can’t picture feeling this way for 12 more weeks.  I know inside is better than a NICU though, just trying to wrap my head about feeling this way for an extended period of time.  I remember in the hospital, when I was in active labor with Nora, the nurse kept telling me that this was my new normal, that I wasn’t in labor, and I wanted to punch her.  I was actually relieved when she was born, that all that awful pain was over.  I guess a part of me feels that way now.  So again, lots of guilt.  I don’t wish this baby early, but just this feeling in the back of my mind that my body isn’t acting as it should…

I think I had more I wanted to write about, but I only slept two hours last night, thanks to my pregnancy insomnia.  So I’m off to bed now that Nora is sleeping.  Good night!

I made it to 27 weeks!

Yes people, I made it to 27 weeks!  Below are pictures from 26 and 27 weeks.

26 weeks27 weeks

I think I actually look smaller this week than I did around week 23.  I just feel fat though, as according to my own tracking, I’ve already gained 26.6 pounds.  Yeah, I think that’s too much.  And I don’t feel like this baby is necessarily ‘falling out’, like I always did with Nora, but I definitely feel like she is lower the past week or so, like too low, like stuck down there.  I considered getting my belly bandit thing back out, as I seem to remember that making me feel better last time.  Maybe this feeling is normal…  What do I know!  I’m still having a lot of tightening on and off, which I notice much more on days I’m more active, lifting and carrying Nora a lot.  Not sure how to get around not doing that though…  She is still being very clingy!  Oh, and this baby is so very active.  Maybe Nora was too, but I rarely to never felt Nora move.  This baby is jumping around all the time!

Cravings are still mostly fruit, strawberries, watermelon, honeydew melon, apples, peaches, etc.  And I might have just finished the package of Fruity Crisp Oreos.  OMG, they are so good, and I’m not usually an Oreo fan.

I think this little girl’s room is going to be shades of dark and light purples with plum or berry mixed in.  So far I ordered this rug, but not sure I’m thrilled with it.  It has a ton of strings hanging from it, right out of the package.  I fear it’s never going to hold up.  And now that I’m back on the site, I see a bad review.  Ugh.  It’s huge, too much work to send back…

I have more to say but wanted to write separate posts…  On to the next one!