Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thirty Weeks (and my 35th Birthday)

Today is my 35th birthday and I am 30 weeks pregnant. Only 10 weeks to go! I cannot believe it. I remember when I was 8 weeks pregnant and feeling like this would take forever. Now it seems like it's not quite time to end!

It's been 10 days since I started on the Gestational Diabetes eating plan. I have been sticking to it perfectly but, unfortunately, my fasting numbers are still higher than they'd like to see. At my OB/GYN appointment yesterday, she mentioned needing to add in insulin shots in the evenings. So I have an appointment with an endocrinologist tomorrow afternoon. I am not happy about that. I know it's nothing that I am doing to cause this (other than being pregnant), but the fact that I cannot control it with diet and exercise has made me feel like even more of a failure. With insulin shots comes non-stress tests on baby at every appointment. And there's an increased risk of low blood sugar with insulin, so I'll have to carry glucose tabs with me, just in case.

I know it could be worse and I am grateful that it isn't, but this has still been hard. I am a very sturdy person and have never been sickly, save for the occasional sinus infection or bout of strep throat. I have certainly never required medication on an on-going basis or regularly scheduled doctor's visits. Thank goodness I have great insurance coverage and can get the best treatment available without worrying about how I'll afford it. This certainly would not have been the case a couple of years ago when I was a self-employed artist and that fact is not lost on me in the least.

So this will be the first birthday in about 20 years that I am not having chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream to celebrate. My sweet husband did find some frozen mini profiteroles (cream puffs) that meet my limited carb count requirements, so I will get to enjoy six of those instead of big slice of frosted layered chocolate cake and vanilla bean ice cream. I am really fine with this, since my entire focus right now is on keep Libby safe and healthy.

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Guess I'll have to save the chocolate birthday cake for Libby's birthday celebration!

We got a sneak peek at her yesterday. She's measuring at 3 pounds, 10 ounces and has a heart rate of 133 bpm. She's been head down since our last appointment (two weeks ago) and the doctor predicts she'll stay that way. Seems to be a very long time to be upside down, but I guess it's totally normal.

Here's a look at her face...she was wiggling all around and stuck her tongue out at us!

Yesterday we did share our birth plan with our doctor and she said that she will only induce if I go past 40 weeks or if the baby seems stressed before that or if my health is at risk, but not automatically because I have GD. That was reassuring. She also was fine with all of our preferences except waiting for delayed cord clamping (she said waiting could cause jaundice, which I had never heard before and need to research further) and not administering Pitocin to deliver the placenta (she said the majority of women require it, even if they breastfeed immediately). I don't agree, but at this point, I am picking my battles and can live with those two concessions (I think).

We've also completed our crash course in the Bradley Method and have decided to hire our instructor to be our doula. She is a registered nurse and has been a certified doula since 2000. She also has given birth to seven of her own children! The last three were home births! So she has a wealth of knowledge and experience and we feel very comfortable with her. From here forward we just need to practice daily (relaxation techniques, rehearsing contractions in the the difference stages of labor, etc.) and prepare ourselves mentally and physically for labor. For me this includes 200 elevator Kegels each day, tailor sitting, pelvic rocking and walking at least 30 minutes. I am personally also practicing daily affirmations and positive visualization and meditation so that I can be confident moving forward towards a natural birth. Most of all, I am getting very exciting to finally meet our little girl.

According to BabyCenter, here's what's going on with her this week:

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Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

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  1. Happy Belated Birthday!

    I'm sorry to hear about the extra insulin shot you need to take. I hope your fasting BG gets better and your GD gets under control soon.

    I am impressed with all of the work you are doing to prepare for birth! Sounds great!