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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 29: Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weight: 146 pounds
Symptoms: insomnia, edema (face, feet, and ankles), some back pain, frequent urination, fatigue, shortness of breath, random and fleeting aches and pains all over
Mood: exhausted, stressed out
Reading: What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel (again); The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
Listening to: The Last Resort by Trentemoller


Today's picture is blurry. A coworker was coming into the bathroom as I was snapping the photo. I had to hurry because I didn't want her to think I'm nuts for taking a picture of myself in the office bathroom!

Well, it appears that I do have at least one stress fracture in my foot. The orthopedic surgeon gave me this haute couture boot at my visit on Monday:


I was advised that it might still be eight weeks before my foot is healed. Eight weeks! I'll be close to delivering my baby by then (assuming there's not a preemie in our future). Anyhow, it already feels a bit better, now that I have proper equipment.

I have a new pregnancy symptom to add to my repertoire, as you might have noticed above: shortness of breath. This symptom just started within the past week or so. It's bothersome and uncomfortable, to say the least. It seems worse in the shower. Add to it the sweltering Texas heat and the broken foot, and I've got myself a very challenging third trimester.

Deep breaths, deep breaths...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend wrap-up.

We had a good time at the Lady Gaga concert on Friday, regardless of the fact that our seats were much worse than I had imagined. We could have taken a ceiling tile home with us as a memento. Oh, well, at least she sounded good, even if we couldn't really see her. Torin either really liked the concert or really hated it--he was active almost the entire time!

In the usual fashion, this weekend has gotten away from me. With my injured foot (for which I am seeing an orthopedic specialist tomorrow), I haven't been able to do much of anything around the house. I really need to move my clothes from the nursery closet into another closet, but my aching, swollen foot has impeded any progress I might have made in that regard.

And as if I'm not busy enough already, I have taken on a freelance editing assignment. I'll be helping an RN with her texts on narrative medicine and healing through poetry. It's interesting work, to be sure, and I look forward to including this experience on my resume and curriculum vitae. I just wonder when I am going to have time to rest and get the house ready for Torin. What have I gotten myself into?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 28: Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weight: 145 pounds
Symptoms: edema (ankles; a little bit in the face, Joey says), fatigue, insomnia
Mood: tired, hopeful, excited


Why am I excited? Well, first, because I'll be a mommy in less than three months. But also, Joey and I are going to see Lady Gaga in concert tomorrow night. Our seats aren't very good, but I don't care--it was so hard to get those tickets, I'm glad just to be able to go at all!

Last night, we had our last session of the childbirth preparation class. This session was all about breastfeeding. It looks like I've got my work cut out for me, what with the pumping and latching and positioning and all. Everything I've learned about breastfeeding so far has intimidated me, but I'm determined to make it work. The more challenging they tell me it is, the more I am driven to succeed. (I wonder if my son inherit my hardheadedness.)

Anyway, I'm sort of sad that our childbirth preparation classes are over. I was just starting to get into a Wednesday night groove and had been looking forward to visiting the hospital where Torin will enter the world. Oh, well. We have a one-day Lamaze class there next month, and then shortly after that, it will be time for The Big Event. I cannot wait!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Progress, finally.

Over this past weekend, we made our first big baby-related purchase (well, besides the furniture that we put a down payment on awhile back). We bought Torin's playard, the Chicco Lullaby LX Adventure:

Joey put it together in a matter of minutes (despite tons of consumer reviews saying this product is so difficult to assemble), and now it sits next to our bed, ready for Torin to lie in it. He will sleep in the bassinet portion of the playard, next to our bed, for the first several weeks, and then we will transition him to his crib. Afterward, it will serve as what was formerly called a playpen.

In other news, I had a routine doctor's visit today, with yet another of the four obstetricians in the practice. Joey and I liked this doctor, as we have all the other doctors and staff members in the practice. My foot is still hurting; I am being sent to an orthopedic specialist, whom I will see first thing next week. Otherwise, the baby and I are moving along nicely, and my measurements and test results are all good.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Week 27: Thursday, July 15, 2010

Weight: 145 pounds
Symptoms: edema (ankles only), back pain, insomnia, fatigue
Mood: anxious


Yesterday was Hump Day Bump Day, but because we had childbirth class last night, I am just now getting around to posting.

Class went well. Joey didn't seem to get as much out of it as I did. We practiced bathing, changing diapers, and swaddling. I guess Joey has already done these things (mostly with his nephew), but I have no experience in these matters at all. I need all the help I can get! Also, we learned about safety, mainly for the car and home, as well as postpartum/discharge hospital procedures. Next week, during the final session, we'll learn about breastfeeding.

These classes are informative, yes, but they also help reality settle in. They are very eye opening. I am just now beginning to understand how drastically our lives are about to change. I'm curious and intimidated, excited and shocked.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Photo: Week 26





Monday, July 12, 2010

And his name shall be...

Ta-DAH!

We chose Torin because it's not very common, yet it's not too far "out there" or strange. It is a Gaelic word meaning "chief." The middle name, Parker, is a family name on my father's side. One of my more famous relatives is Quanah Parker, the last Quahada Comanche chief.

So there you have it. Now I can start buying personalized stuff--yay!

The verdict is in.

I passed my 3-hour glucose test! The nurse didn't give me any specific numbers, but I'll bet it was a close call. Perhaps I will celebrate with some ice cream this evening.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My left foot.

A few posts back, I casually mentioned that I had an injured foot. It began last weekend, while Joey and I were shopping. I was just walking along, and bang! My left foot began to hurt. Well, that pain never subsided. In fact, it got a lot worse this morning, so much so that I called my OB's office. The doctor on call, who happened to be the one we last met with this past week, advised me to head to the ER for radiographs.

As I suspected, there was no visible fracture or other abnormality on the radiographs. The ER doctor explained to me that what's probably happening is that as my body prepares for labor (yikes!), some of the cartilage in my body is going to soften. Of course, the body can't choose which cartilage softens, so my left foot is suffering. I was given an orthotic shoe and a pair of crutches and sent on my way.

I hope that my staying off of this foot will help it heal quickly. Otherwise, these next 13-14 weeks are going to be a LOT longer than I had anticipated.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A three-hour test. A three-hour test.

Today's three-hour glucose test went well (I hope). There's nothing quite like the taste of 100-g glucose solution first thing in the morning. It reminded me of a flat Sprite soda.

Throughout the morning, I was checking my blood sugar levels with Joey's meter so that I could assess whether I'd be likely to pass this test. Here were my plasma readings, with normal values in parentheses:

Fasting: 85 mg/dL (less than 95 mg/dL)
One hour: 168 mg/dL (less than 180 mg/dL)
Two hours: 155 mg/dL (less than 155 mg/dL)
Three hours: 114 mg/dL (less than 140 mg/dL)

By these numbers, I should be fine, with the exception of the two-hour reading--it's right on the borderline. Our readings can differ from the lab results by 20%, so there is some uncertainty there. I guess will find out for sure next week.

I didn't feel as bad during this test as I thought I would. I thought maybe I'd feel nauseated and sweaty, but I didn't have any problems. Joey slept most of the time, and I surfed the Internet on my laptop. It wasn't the worst medical experience of my life, to be sure.

However, afterward, we went to eat lunch at Chuy's, and before we sat down, I began feeling the effects of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. I know this feeling, as I've had pancreatic problems before. I checked my blood sugar with Joey's meter: It was down to 38 mg/dL! Just a few more points lower, and I would have passed out. Luckily, we were seated right then, and I was able to boost my sugar level with Dr Pepper and some of Joey's sugar pills. It was quite the scare! Afterward, I called the doctor's office to let them know what happened, and I asked if this episode could have harmed the baby. I was assured that all is fine.

Needless to say, I did feel bad after all of these ups and downs with my blood sugar, so I came home and napped. I still have a bit of a residual headache right now, but I think my baby and I will be just fine.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

School's in session.

Our first of three childbirth preparation classes went off without a hitch last night. As much as I've read and researched so far, I think I still stand to learn quite a bit from these sessions. Last night we learned about the signs of labor, the benefits of donating the baby's umbilical cord blood (which we will do), and what happens at the hospital upon admission.

Also, we got to take a tour of the Labor and Delivery department, where we saw some newborns in the nursery. We also saw a room that looks just like the one we'll be in after the baby arrives:


I didn't take that picture; it's from the hospital's Web site, but you get the idea. It's not your average hospital room. The sofa even turns into a small bed for Joey to sleep on (however, the cushions are stained, so we'll need to bring a bed sheet for him).

Our instructor, Allison, is a Labor and Delivery RN who obviously loves her job and gushes enthusiasm and positivity. I really hope she is on duty when I'm in labor. I need her and other nurses like her to help me through this ordeal!

In all, it was quite overwhelming to watch videos of childbirth and learn about everything that will be happening to my body just before our son arrives. I am completely filled to the gills with a cocktail of fear, hope, curiosity, and more fear. I mean, once my body recovers, will I be a good mother? Will Joey be a good dad? Will my son be able to detect my fear? These and a hundred other questions keep firing off in my head.

I could sense that many of the other couples in the room were having the same thoughts. All of us must look wide eyed and terrified to the instructor. After all, this is probably the mother of all life-changing events for couples like us (pun intended).

I guess the reality finally hit me last night: This baby has to come out at some point, and I'd better learn how to cope!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 26: Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weight: 141 pounds
Symptoms: fatigue, edema (ankles only), back pain, hip pain (only when lying down for a long time)
Mood: excited, nervous, preoccupied
Reading: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Well, this is the last week of my second trimester, and what a better way to kick it off than with childbirth preparation classes! Joey and I go to the first of three sessions this evening. I can't wait to tour the labor and delivery department of the hospital, meet other expecting couples, and learn as much as I can about what I'll be experiencing in three short months.

And it's official: My doctor's office called and said I did indeed fail yesterday's glucose test. I have to go back this Friday and take the grueling three-hour test. I'm going to take the whole day off work since I know this test will make feel all sorts of yucky afterward. If I fail this test, then I have to see an endocrinologist for the treatment of gestational diabetes. Yay me.

I hope to post updates from our first childbirth class here soon!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bittersweet, without the "sweet."

At my regular monthly appointment today, I took my one-hour glucose tolerance test. According to Joey's blood glucose meter, I failed. My blood sugar got up to 200 mg/dL (the limit was 130 mg/dL)! Of course, I'll have to wait for the official word from the doctor's office, and after that, I'll have to do a more intensive, three-hour glucose test. I'm fairly certain I will fail that one as well.

What does all of this mean? It means I most likely have gestational diabetes. No more sugar or otherwise high-carb meals or snacks for me. I can't say I'm surprised. My pancreas has always been "weak." However, I don't know how I will be able to accept the fact that I can't have any more ice cream, candy, or cake for the rest of this pregnancy. How depressing. That seems cruel and unusual for a pregnant lady, doesn't it?

In other news, we got to meet with another one of the obstetricians in the practice today (they want us to get acquainted with all doctors in case my own doctor won't be available when I give birth), and she was delightful. She was very thorough and friendly. Joey and I are extremely pleased with our choice in obstetricians. Everyone at this practice is extremely helpful and kind. It's reassuring to have this sort of peace of mind about the people who will be there before, during, and after the delivery of our son.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our last independent Independence Day.

Today is the Fourth of July. Joey and I have spent most of the weekend roaming around town, shopping and dining. It's so refreshing to have three and a half days off work; my growing body needs all the time it can get to rest and rejuvenate. I don't really have the strength to do much of anything right now, especially since it seems that I have somehow injured my left foot and am coming down with a sinus infection.

I can't help but wonder how Independence Day will be next year. Will our son be old enough, at nearly nine months, to enjoy fireworks? Will we be spending the holiday outside, perhaps by a pool and/or a barbecue pit? What sort of adorable red, white, and blue outfit will I dress our son in? Will he be standing on his own by then, and getting close to taking his first steps?

The holidays will be forever different for me and Joey. I hope that as a family, our festivities are more exciting and more memorable than they've ever been. Our boy will add a much-needed depth to our celebrations, no doubt.