Archive for October, 2011

None For Me, Thanks

Good news: I did not get the diagnosis of having gestational diabetes. That’s exactly the way I heard it. Not, “You passed the test! You don’t have gestational diabetes.” But instead, “You did not get the diagnosis.” Why the morbid technical tone? Apparently one of the timed tests came back borderline. So instead of getting to be relieved, I got to be lectured on improving my diet and avoiding simple sugars.

Do you know how it feels to have given up everything delicious (i.e., glutenous, creamy, carbonated, and caffeinated) for several years, only to be told: Do Better! Be Even More Miserable and Diligent! — especially when I don’t drink soda, eat ice cream, or snack on sweets??? To have to chug the most ridiculous amount of flavored, throat searing sugar drink and be told this is the only way to know that I’m healthy enough? Well, it ain’t a nice feeling.

Maybe I should just eat 'em all! That'll show The Man.

And then today I waddled over to the pharmacy to pick up the “prescription” for iron tabs the nurse midwives called in for me to beat this terrible anemia I seem to have suddenly developed. Guess what? These over-the-counter supplements contain 25 mgs of iron, while the ones I’ve already been taking¬† have 20 mgs. Wow! I’m so glad the medical world is here to test and correct every aspect of this journey! I just know those extra 5 mgs are the missing link between me and a healthy pregnancy.

Sorry for the dump, but I really want to be left alone for a while. I think this might be part of the “nesting” period I learned about in our birth class. A simple, “Let me sit on my egg in peace already! Enough fear mongering. Seriously.” Tell me, ye readers with used wombs, do I have other tests and scares to look forward to in months 8 and 9?

Speaking of our birth class… I get the distinct feeling that I’m being set up. We’re being given all these “tools” to use to have the most successful labor and birth possible, and even while I’m listening and nodding I feel all the information draining right out of my head. “Holy crap, this is a lot of pain! Oh, wait. There was something I was told to try to deal with this… what the eff was that?!” Yeah, I’m sure it’s just gonna all come right back to me in the moment.

Needle, Damage Done

The fun: ya know, it just don’t stop.

On Wednesday I had to do the glucose screening. I was dreading it because I heard the drink is gawdawful. Well, it was, but it wasn’t thick and pink or anything. The worst things about it were the burning of my throat/esophagus as I drank and the fact that I had to down it in 5 minutes while someone watched. Then an hour later they drew blood to see how I tolerated it. I got the call today that my result was 142. Below 140 is passing. I’m a big failure who eats really healthily and is not overweight but apparently may have gestational diabetes.

I will go in early Monday morning, having fasted for 12 hours. They’ll do a fasting blood draw. Then I’ll drink again, but this time it’ll be double the glucose in the solution. Then, continuing to neither eat or drink, I will be tested (with more blood draws) every hour for the next 3 hours. My main concerns: throwing up the drink (’cause I’d have to drink another), going crazy without water or food (I am constantly drinking these days and eat at least every two hours to feel relatively decent), and failing it.

I have one other thing to say in this post, and it’s about those people. People I’ve mentioned in other posts — the ones who say stupid things. After I drank the glucose drink yesterday, the nurse midwife said she (and the CDC) highly recommend all pregnant women get a flu shot. I’d never had one since I don’t get too sick in the winters. She added that if I got the flu while pregnant, I could die. So that pretty much sealed the deal for me. Plus she said their shots had no preservatives. But then… I asked the nurse who came in to give me the shot if many pregnant women decline it. She said that some do. That was a sufficient answer. But she went on to say that she never gets a flu shot anymore because the two winters she did she had the worst cases of the flu. She said this while prepping my arm and the needle. At this point I’m thinking: Wow! If I don’t get the shot, I’ll get the flu and die, and if I do get the shot, I’ll get the flu and die! Then I think: Why do people suck so bad? Why did the midwife have to say “death” (adding, “not that I’m trying to scare you into getting the shot”)? Why did the nurse have to tell me her horror stories as she’s injecting the stuff in my arm?

UnneceScary

The other night K and I got the opportunity to revisit past trauma. She’s been having blood pressure problems the past couple weeks, without any clear cause. Migraines were added to her list of discomforts as well. So when she came home from work in terrible pain — around her kidney — we got in the car and headed back to the place where it all went down.

It’s a no-brainer to go to the same hospital where her nephrologists work, even though it’s not the closest to our house. They knew enough to save her life over that long month when we lived there three years ago. But walking in to the same ER and harboring the same fears was not so easy. I was trying to keep it together (which I rarely do when we watch movies about someone losing a spouse), but seeing her in such pain and waiting to be seen brought back the helplessness I felt when she first got sick, and I lost it — I started sobbing like someone had just told me my spouse had died. That is not the way to be supportive.

I called up our good friends to come give me spine so I could be brave-ish. They sat with us in the ER while K got her everything tested and scanned. Thank godfully, all her tests came back normal. Unfortunately, we still have no idea why her blood pressure has been getting high while on her meds and what the heck that horrible pain was. So we went home, exhausted and shell-shocked and grateful.

What really shocked me was how seriously, I realized, I still need her around. I mean, I’ve got this big growing baby inside me that needs me to stay around, and I still don’t think I could do this life without K. Maybe that’ll change once baby is here here. But the love of a good wife, in my opinion, is a once-in-a-lifetime thing that I’m just so not okay with losing.

Today her blood pressure has been great and she seems to look and feel good. I like that a lot, and still I think any sense of security I could feel (which I really don’t) would be False (capital Ffffff…). So, I just keep going, right? I begin my 7th month today and I guess I pretend it’ll all be fine. I mean, Fine.

Fava Beans & A Nice Chianti

Did you know that besides certain marine animals, we humans are the only mammals that don’t eat our placentas? If you haven’t figured it out, this post has a medium-to-high ick factor. Be warned.

So, of course, I never heard of the concept until moving to Portland. It’s the exact kind of thing I would use to explain part of the unique culture here. That said, I also never thought I’d consider it. But then I heard about its benefits, and, more importantly, that you don’t have to “eat it” eat it.

Nuthin' says love like home-grown placenta!

Our doula can take mine, cook it, freeze-dry it, grind it, and then put it into capsules.

Why do something so barbaric?
Well, homosexuality is barbaric, so I’m cool with it on that level.

Why do something so disgusting?

  • It can help replenish the iron and protein often depleted during childbirth due to blood loss.
  • It can stimulate breast milk production.
  • The oxytocin in the placenta enables the uterus to contract and quickly return to its pre-pregnancy size, as well as slow postpartum bleeding.
  • The pills can be frozen and saved for menopause; it’s a completely natural source for hormone-replacement therapy.
  • My favorite reason (even if it’s proven later not to be true) is that it can help curb postpartum depression. Since I’m a depressive chic already, I figure I can use all the help (natural is nice) I can get.

Here’s something I learned from our doula as well: hospitals sometimes sell women’s placentas to pharmaceutical companies and cosmetic companies — thus making money off our hard-won placentas!¬† I think the hospital will get enough of our money as it is. Plus, it’s a bit disingenuous to have you sign a form that says they’ll be using the placenta for scientific study, when really a pharmaceutical rep comes with a big bag and loads up on ’em for drug companies or make-up companies. That’s an ick factor I can’t stomach.

Okay. So you think I’ve gone a little too far off the left coast, huh? Lemme hear it! (but don’t think it’ll make me change my mind)


(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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