Tuesday, February 21, 2012

30 Weeks!

This week, baby Alfie is 30 weeks along; 10 more weeks (or less!) until she makes her appearance.  We are, of course, very excited.  We also have a lot to do.  The nursery has most of its furniture, but there's no bed.  There are coverings on the windows, but we'd like to make curtains and reupholster the glider chair in the same fabric. We have plenty of cloth diapers, and we've begun to pick up some little girl clothes.  She will most certainly wear big brother's onesies and shirts around the house, no matter how blue they are, but it's hard to resist tiny dresses with bloomers.  Bloomers!  We have her car seats, one for each car, and we'll put them in the cars at some point in March, I guess.

The biggest thing we haven't done is figure out a name.  We have a few months left, but it feels funny to not even have it narrowed down.  We found out we were having a girl on November 28, and we then we moved.  Then it was Christmas, then New Year's, then school started back and the bambino transitioned to a new classroom, and now all of the sudden it's the second half of February and Alfie has no real name.

In running news, I'm still at it!  I ran Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, plus an extra walk Saturday with the bambino.  Last week's mileage was 12 miles (13 with the walk), and I am very proud of that.  30 weeks is when I stopped running with my son, and I don't feel like stopping at all.

Here's what I wrote at this point last time around:


No More Running

So, it finally happened. At nearly thirty weeks, with 70 days left to go, it is no longer fun to run, and that's a word I use VERY loosely at this point. I went out for a nice, slow jog and discovered that twenty extra pounds make your legs feel awful. Also, my belly is large enough that there's definitely a little bounce. I now know what it's like to try to run with a spare tire. The plan now is to walk and maybe hike a little, both of which do not cause nearly as much trouble.

In fact,  I ran tonight after our church's Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner.  I did 3 miles in 33:45 and then walked to 40:00.  Sure, it's not fast, but it's a good workout at this point, and I was smiling almost the whole time.  And not just because I was watching the first half of the Downton Abbey finale.  What a great way to work off the pancakes!

Speaking of pancakes, my diet seems to be doing a great job of managing the gestational diabetes.  I have the nutrition class tomorrow after school, but just monitoring my blood sugar has made me feel a lot better.  Exercising at night seems to control my blood sugar first thing in the morning, which is important.

That's what it's like around here right now!  I've gotten used to GD, I'm still running, and we need to pick a name for baby Alfie.  I've also been thinking a lot about this summer and getting back into running running, as well as Fall and Spring racing plans.  More about that later...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I do not like to fail tests...

... but I failed a big one last week.

The one-hour gestational diabetes test.

For those of you who don't know, it's standard practice to test women between 24-28 weeks pregnant for gestational diabetes, a particular kind of diabetes found in pregnant women.  There's a one-hour test that requires drinking a very sugary drink, waiting an hour, and having a blood draw.  There are also two- and three-hour tests for if you fail the one-hour test.  These longer tests determine if you've really got gestational diabetes.

That is, unless you fail the one-hour test so badly that they won't give you the longer ones.  The normal range, according to my midwife, is 65-130.  I scored a 212.

I was shocked.  I worry about plenty of things, but this wasn't on my radar because I am active, I eat well, and before pregnancy I wasn't 20% overweight. (I wasn't overweight at all, actually).  Women suffering from gestational diabetes often gain weight quickly, and they often have high blood pressure.  Me?  I've gained 15 pounds in 28 weeks, and my blood pressure at my check-up on Thursday was 100/58.

Even though some women have a greater likelihood of having gestational diabetes, and some women show symptoms of it before the test, other women (like me) simply do not fit the profile.  Some women (like me) do not show symptoms.

I will learn more at the nutritionist's office next week, but here's what I know so far:

  • I will probably have to check my blood sugar levels many times a day (in the morning and two hours after meals) with a glucose meter.
  • During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones.  Sometimes, these hormones interfere with the body's ability to process glucose.  This interference increases as the pregnancy advances, and it can result in gestational diabetes.
  • The most likely reason that I haven't had any symptoms is because I've been controlling this with my normal diet and my normal exercise routine.  Aside from occasional (okay, more than occasional, but still not frequent) sweets, I eat pretty well.  We eat lots of vegetables, only whole wheat bread and pasta, and I do not drink sugary drinks.  Diet and exercise are often enough to control gestational diabetes, and that may well be what I've been doing.
  • If gestational diabetes goes untreated, you can end up with a really big baby.  I do not want a really big baby, since I'm one of those natural-childbirth-no-drugs-please-granola mamas.  
I found this out on Thursday.  Worrier that I am, I was very strict this weekend with my diet, probably stricter than I should be.  I haven't skimped on calories, but I didn't allow myself any refined sugar and had relatively few carbs.  Next week, the diabetic nutritionist should give me guidelines and a meal plan.  I tried to look this up online, but most were based on the idea that the mom-to-be was gaining too much weight, which I'm not.  I couldn't fit in the appointment this week, and the next one isn't until next Wednesday, giving me lots of time to freak out, so I bought a blood glucose meter yesterday to start checking myself.  Lo and behold, two hours after dinner last night my blood sugar was too low.  Today I'm trying to eat the way I did before I found out and simply check my levels.  We'll see how that goes.

So, there it is.  I have gestational diabetes, and it will affect the next 3.5 months.  But I'm also pregnant, and that will change my life permanently.  I want Alfie to get the best start possible, and if that means that I prick my finger multiple times a day and only get a teeny tiny slice of carrot cake for Jenn's birthday, so be it.  3 months just doesn't sound like much in the face of the rest of my life.