Here’s the thing about being 30 weeks preggo, for me: I feel like everything just got so much more serious.
The only rational explanation I have is I know of many babies born somewhere within the 10 weeks that start with a 3. Term is 37 weeks. (Used to be full-term, now is “early” term.) That means that I reasonably could have a term baby in 6 weeks and 2 days.
Yup. Just saying “I could have a baby in 6-weeks,” seems so crazeballs I cannot even manage it out loud. But, there we are. Even more crazy? One way or another, I will have a baby in my arms within 11 weeks and 2 days. (The likelihood of anyone allowing me to go over 42 weeks is pretty much nil.)
It’s just…sobering? Something, maybe something undefinable, but something has shifted in passing this milestone. I still don’t feel like, “I want this kid out NOW!” Nor do I feel like, “OH GOD, it’s all happening too fast!” Yet there’s a brevity to the whole thing that wasn’t quite there at 29 weeks.
I’m sure being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes has made me focus a bit more on time. Part of the reason my pregnancy has flown by is it hasn’t been all that different from my life pre-pregnancy. I’ve been too busy living life to really take note of the passage of time. Now that I’m taking my blood at timed intervals throughout the day, there’s a sense of division or marking of time that wasn’t there before.
I’m going to get into the logistics of what keeping track of my blood sugar entails, including pictures. I’m doing this because as much as I knew about GD before getting diagnosed, and as much as I know about low-sugar/carb eating, I really had no clear idea of what my daily routine would be if I did get diagnosed. Hopefully this will clear up the basics for you if it’s something you’re facing yourself. There is one image of a drop of blood, so if you’re super squeamish or what have you, you may want to skip down to the cookie photo. (Or just finish reading now and meet up with me again next time. I don’t judge.)
At the moment it’s being assumed that I have the most basic, low-risk GD. This means that I am particular about what I eat, and my blood sugar hangs out at a normal level. In order to monitor this, I have to take my blood sugar reading an hour after every meal. Twice a week, I also take a fasting reading. Which basically means I wake up and take my reading before I eat anything for the day.
Today for lunch I had two large chicken souvlaki skewers, amazing tzatziki that I swear they make with crème fraîche instead of yogurt, and a side of cut cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. It came on a plate larger than my torso, and the plate did not appear to overmatch the food. Water to drink.
I set a timer for an hour as soon as I completely finish eating. When I get close to my timer going off, I get out all my tools.
The Accoutrements [Just wanted to note for those of you who really hate needles, the actual needle part is about half the size of the round part there at the top. It’s about 4 mm and not all that goes into your skin.]
Once it goes off, I use the pen-like lancing device
to acquire some blood. Basically the thing has a spring-fired tiny needle that pokes my finger once and then “disappears” back into the pen. You can set the depth the needle penetrates, so if you have super thin, callus-free skin you’re not going to use the same depth as someone with thick, well-worn hands. (You don’t actually have to use your finger, it’s just convenient.) The range is from 1 to 5. I find 3.5 works best for me. I use one finger a day and switch from one side of the finger to the other every time I test. Sometimes I feel it, and other times I barely notice. Regardless, I have to “milk” my finger once or twice to get my little blood droplet. This droplet goes onto the testing strip; the strip is read by the testing unit.
As you can see above, my readout is 5.5 mmo/L. The goal is to hit 7.8 or below so…yeah, I make that easily. I usually get away with just holding my finger with a tissue for a half minute, but if I’m rushing I’ll slap on a bandaid. I record the number in my book, properly dispose of strip and needle, and I am free to go about my day until an hour after dinner tonight.
So that’s the process. Is it ideal? Of course not. I hope all of you manage to sweep through pregnancy without having to worry about GD at all. Still, I’d take this over “morning” sickness any day.
I don’t find the low-carb (or carb watching, whatever you want to call it) difficult. Some people probably would. Especially as now is the season for things like this to be left on desks:
In the words of M1, “It’s Christmas, you can have a stinking cookie.”
Because my average readings have been so low (6.05 mmo/L) my midwife M1 is pretty confident that I’m going to be fine with diet. She was super aware and supportive of how me “dieting” can mess with my head a bit. She spent quite a bit of our appointment just talking about GD being a no-fault situation. She also said that unless something drastically changes, I won’t be seeing the OB much longer, and–best of all–I can still birth at the birthing centre!
Later on that night MFH and I went to our second prenatal class. This one was about pain management, birth support, and (rather timely all things considered) birth plans. I think MFH and I both got a lot more out of this one. We all got the opportunity to narrow down our choices and share with each other what we did and didn’t want out of the experience. (Oddly enough, the ladies number one fear was not pain, labor, or actually dealing with baby. It ended up being C-Section.)
MFH mentioned something that I thought was hilarious, mostly because it shows how well he knows me. He was in with all the future Dads and they were talking about coaching their partners through labor. MFH was like, “It’s fine for them to talk about how you’re supposed to be really cheerleader-y, but I can see Ms.I looking at me and daring me to say ‘good job’ one more time and see what happens.”
Every time I read or see a suggestion for a partner to be repetitiously vocal about encouragement I feel itchy. I don’t have an issue with genuine awe/support. Just nothing forced/silly. Of course, things may change on the day…who knows?!
In related news, I may have started experiencing braxton-hicks contractions. I say may, because something’s going on, but it’s not exactly how others have described it to me. Have you ever gotten hit/dinged so hard that there’s a moment of almost vibrating numbness before pain? That’s sort of what this feels like to me, minus the eventual pain. The location seems to move from one area to another, and they’re never really very close together. (I may get two a day.) Spawn ceases all movement for the few seconds I have this “vibrating numbness” which was the only thing that made me think it might be BH in the first place. Afterward Spawn shows displeasure by recreating the chopsticks scene in Big on my ribcage.
Also, I have to say that with Christmas just around the corner, I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in my life. It sometimes is to the point of discomfort. I am a blessed (lucky) person. I cannot stress that enough. Come the good, bad, or otherwise, I have so much to be grateful for. I certainly plan to post again before the big day next Wednesday, but–in case life makes other plans–I wish you all a wonderful day of joy regardless of your own beliefs or celebrations. May this year–no matter how great–be only a shadow of the awesomeness that next year brings you.