Thursday, August 29, 2013

Filters, Baby Showers & the Steel Magnolia Effect, Non-stress Tests: Or, things lately.

Yesterday was the first day all week that someone hasn't told me how big I am  Mostly, I think that's because I didn't see very many people yesterday. I only taught one family's worth of kids piano lessons yesterday, and those children are all extremely polite and well behaved. And also, it's never the kids that tell me I'm big, it's just adults! It's like people have never seen a pregnant woman out here before! Actually, I think that might be true for a lot of people, since there aren't a whole lot of people having babies in Columbus.  My personal perspective on how many women are having babies and how often they are having them is a little bit skewed because of The Church I belong to, and how valued children and families are in that church.  Also, my congregation is made up of a lot of young couples (because we live near a university), so when you put young couples together with a belief system that values children and families so highly, you get people who are breeding like freaking rabbits. All_the_time.  This is not a bad thing, it's just hard to remember that pregnancy is not quite as normal in the rest of my community as it is in my church community, so I need to learn to be more patient with people who may have actually never seen a largely pregnant woman, or who at least haven't seen one enough to not make it a novelty. Le sigh.

Baby Showers
I've been thrown two baby showers this summer.  The first was given by my sister-in-law and aunts when we were out west visiting family.  It was lovely! So many of my family members and best friends from college (who I still consider my closest friends, even though I don't live near them), were able to come. And it was awesome. It was so great to be around so many women who I admire and who have loved and mothered and sistered and friended me for so long!

I was also given a baby shower by some friends of mine from my church. I was blown away by how many people showed up and how generous they were with their time, talents, food making abilities, decorating abilities, and gift giving. I'm not a very emotional person on the outside, but if I looked like a deer in the headlights during that shower, it's because I was so overwhelmed with how cared for and loved I felt.

Another awesome thing about my baby showers was that no body, NOT ONE PERSON, told labor and delivery horror stories! I'm 31 years old, and like I said earlier, belong to a church where people are having kids all the time, so I've been to my fair share of baby showers in my life time. And let me tell you, people are REALLY awful about telling horror stories to soon-to-be moms about giving birth. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard about 3rd degree tears, the worst pain you've ever felt in your life, never having your nether regions be the same again, or what have you. Sometimes those stories were so bad that it made me never want to have kids.  So, I was fully preparing myself to hear all sorts of stories like these at my baby showers, but no one told them!

I kind of think it might be due to what I like to call the "Steel Magnolia Effect." If you've never seen Steel Magnolias, it's basically a movie starring Julia Roberts as a pregnant Type 1 diabetic who ends up dying after having a baby and it's really sad. Any way, that's pretty much most people's experience with anything diabetes and pregnancy related, but even when that movie came out, it was super out-dated. Pregnancy and Type 1 is much more common and much more safe these days. But, I think it might still be preventing people from telling me their birth horror stories, because they're worried that my birth is already going to be like Steel Magnolias.  Or, maybe people are just getting more considerate about those sorts of things? Either way, I'll take it!

Don't get me wrong, I'm still scared that things won't work out with this baby, too. And while at this point the biggest complication with a baby I could encounter would be something going wrong during the delivery (just like everyone else), and the chances of still birth for a baby of a Type 1 mom are only slightly above those of a "pancreas-typical" person, it still does scare me. And I won't stop being worried until this kid is out of me and she and I are home in one piece.  But, I think that is every pregnant woman's fear, so I think I'm pretty typical in that sense.  Any way, I'm just very grateful that no one told labor & delivery horror stories, because I worry about that stuff enough anyway.

Non-Stress Tests
I've started having non-stress tests twice a week. Basically they just slap a monitor on your belly, find the baby's heart beat, and record it for like 20 minutes. Or, if the baby is sleeping and doesn't move enough, then a really annoying nurse says, "Let's see if we can agitate the baby!" and proceeds to push hard on your stomach to try to wake the baby up and get it to move around. Sheesh. Next time she's going to get ninja slapped. But, all the tests (I've had 3 so far) have been fine. It totally freaks me out to have to listen to the baby's heart beat for that long, because it varies up and down so much, but I'm told this is normal.  Also, one time I heard (and felt) her having hiccups while listening to her heart beat, and that was pretty fun.

And that's basically it! We're just in a holding pattern now with diabetes stuff.  My insulin needs have increased a bit more (what's new there?), and I just had a three-week long fight with my medical supply company to get them to actually do their job and ship me some infusion sets for my insulin pump, but any diabetic person, pregnant or not, knows what that's like, so that's not really news. :)

Thanks for sticking with this super long post, friends! I'll keep you updated as more interesting things happen!

Friday, August 9, 2013

30 Weeks, The Vitruvian Man, and Waxing Philosophical

Well, I've officially made it 30 weeks, carrying a fetus in my uterus.  If there's one word to describe how I feel, it's this:


The end is approaching, and while it seems like it's coming to an end quickly, it also feels like it can't come soon enough.  I really just want the space in my thoracic cavity back.  I used to like being short, but it seems that being pregnant and short is a little more uncomfortable because there's just not as much room for the baby to spread out.  Even though she spreads out anyway.  I'm pretty sure she's constantly got herself in a spread-eagle/arms and legs splayed out like the DaVinci Vitruvian Man stance (see below).

(the Vitruvian Man)

But, things could be much, much worse.  One of the quirks I've developed with diabetes (and I think a lot of people who've had a chronic condition for most of their life feel this way) is the feeling that I'm always waiting for my body to somehow fail me.  I'm waiting on the next medical problem, the next complication, that day when a doctor finally tells me that in spite of all my hard work and expended effort, the disease has finally caught up with me and now something bad is happening.  I don't express this feeling very often, because I've worked really hard as a teenager and an adult to overcome my tendency to have "Worst-Case-Scenario-Thinking" about everything. It doesn't do you any good to think that way, and nobody wants to talk to you about anything, because you'll jump to the worst possible conclusion, so I've worked hard to get my brain to quit that kind of thinking. But with diabetes, those thoughts are always there, quietly in the back of my mind, taunting me.  I am actually FLOORED that up until this point, I have had no problems with this pregnancy and that this little life forming on the inside of me is doing so well.  Let's face it, if we didn't have insulin and synthroid and all sorts of other medical interventions, my genetics would NOT be being passed on to the next generation, and natural selection would've had its way about 20 years ago. But, MY BODY IS ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING RIGHT!!!! It's a miracle.

So, deep thoughts aside, here is the latest on how things are going.  I've had two appointments today, with my endo and OB.
  • Endo-My blood sugars are still great.  I am continuing to have increasing insulin resistance (totally normal in a D-pregnancy), but we just keep dialing up the insulin to match my needs. I still can't believe how much insulin I'm taking on a daily basis! And I am SO grateful that Apidra just happens to be running their "no-copay" promotion this year, the same year that I'm having a baby. Tender mercies, indeed! My thyroid function has remained stable, and my A1C has been so freaking good, that they didn't even bother to test it today.  I've had to start changing my infusion sites daily in order to get proper absorption, but apparently that's pretty normal, too.  So the tl;dr: everything is normal.
  • OB- We had an ultrasound just to check on how the baby is growing.  The baby looks great! We got to see her wave "hello" at us, we saw her using her hands to play around with the umbilical cord, and we also saw her give me a swift kick in the gut! (she can pack a punch/kick these days!) The doctor took all kids of measurements, and said she is measuring exactly where they want her to be. She's in the 45th percentile, which means she's just a teensy smaller than average, which he was really happy with. With uncontrolled diabetes, there is the possibility that the baby will get too big, so they always worry about that and want to measure her to make sure she's growing appropriately. But, I am an extremely well-controlled diabetic momma, and the baby's measurements are reflecting that. She's weighing in at approximately 3.5 lbs! (Isn't it sad, that people are already obsessed with women's weight from the time they are in utero?--just kidding, it's an important measure at that point in a women's life).  Anyway, it was lots of good news.  I will start having non-stress tests twice a week starting at 32 weeks, and at that point, we'll just be marking time until this kid arrives!  Tl;dr: The baby is fine, everything is normal.
Well, that's about all so far. I'm sure I'll keep having more to say as we get closer to my due date!