Archive | December, 2010

Visiting WIC

28 Dec

It has been wonderfully slow-paced for the last week or so and I love it. This past weekend was Christmas and while we did a Christmas Eve service, my husband and I did nothing else. It was nice, but I’m already excited for next year when we’ll get to celebrate with our little one. I think we might finally invest in decorations!

I went to sign up for WIC assistance this morning.   WIC is a state-by-state program, funded by federal grants, to provide supplemental assistance to women, infants and children under the age of 5.  You can qualify if your household income is under 185% of the Federal Poverty guidelines or you receive other aid like medicaid.  I know some people have trouble asking for aid, but that’s one of the benefits of our government; we are able to offer aid (with stipulations) to people who need it, be it housing, groceries, education – they want to get you on your feet.

I was in and out of my local WIC office in about 90 minutes.  I didn’t have to wait to be approved either – there was no waiting list for benefits in my area, so I have a card in my possession right now for use of benefits.  YAY!  It’s comforting to know I will have some help with groceries. That means more money towards savings and the car and house, and ultimately, that means less stress. The state has been pushing a campaign for more breast-feeding, so the WIC counselor gave me a couple of pamphlets and a DVD on breastfeeding. I’m actually not too worried about the atmosphere I’m going to encounter when I do breastfeed, I’ve got the doulas, several mommy-friends, a friend’s mom who is an LC, another family friend who is a L&D nurse, and now I’ve got the WIC b/f-ing peer to turn to – I think I’m going to be fine.

While the outcome of the WIC visit was good, being there was humbling.  I logged onto Facebook when I got back and I saw that a friend of my family – the L&D nurse – had sent me a note with encouragement.  Being pregnant is not emotionally easy, and I am so grateful for the network of caring friends that I have.

Baby Steps

16 Dec

I’m going to be completely honest here:

I had to cancel my appointment and blood draw for today because I could not possibly cover the cost of my co-pay.

Some money mismanagement happened and I was expecting a auto-deduction from our checking account to go through on Friday, but it went through last night and caused an overdraft.

We will be fine: I will get a small direct deposit today or tomorrow morning from my part-time job, which should bring us back into the black, but I couldn’t risk going to the appointment and trying to pay my co-pay without knowing for sure that I’d have the funds.

It’s a bitch. I’m looking at some assistance programs that will help pregnant women close the gap, like WIC, because while I make “enough” we aren’t the best at using what we’ve got.  And my husband and I are also working on budgeting better and clipping coupons and watching sales – we’re trying, but I’ll be the first to admit that we never had the “training” part of life where we lived independently of our parents and each other before living together in a house with utilities and cars to maintain.  It’s not exactly a recipe for immediate success.  It’s all baby steps.

Funk

15 Dec

I’m not having a great week. I’m trying really hard… okay, scratch that: I’m not trying. I haven’t actively tried to think about my week being “good”, but I’m just tired of it all. I’ve been sick and I’m not getting better right away.

I want to sleep for a couple more hours.

Right now, I feel so gross and tired and it’s hard to appreciate the fact that I’ve got my little one growing inside of me. He or she‘s got tiny little fingers and is growing at a barely perceptible but indeed rapid pace. We’ve got about 25 weeks to go, he or she and I, until we meet face to face.  🙂

All these feelings of doubt and fear are normal. And I’ve been sick, so feeling bad makes sense.   And feeling down makes even more sense when I remember that I forgot to renew my insulin Rx before I ran out.  And I just finished reading Push, which was the inspiration for the movie Precious.

These things are dawning on me as I write.  A very cathartic, “oh yeah…” moment.

I’ll find my positivity soon.  I’m just in a funk – it’s normal and it’ll be over soon.

Mirth of the day:

If you’re feeling down like me, maybe this song from Garfunkel & Oates will bring a smile to your face – it helped me a bit.

Pineapple Juice be Damned

14 Dec

My husband has let it be known (I think since we first started dating) that he wants to raise a family of girls.  Not just a girl, but 3 or more.  He’s crazy.

Someone once told him (I think it was my mom, to be perfectly honest) that he could tip the scales in his favor by drinking pineapple juice when we decided to start a family.  Lucky me, I know that he is sensitive to the proteins in the fruit and will not allow him fresh pineapple or any straight pineapple juice (funny story: we went to buy *ahem* supplies once and I insisted we needed a distracting item to get through the register – I’m not that shy now).

Well, dang it, whether he drank the juice or not, I think it’s a girl.  I really have this feeling.  And it makes me sad because I’ve very anti-gendering babies; I don’t want a plethora of pink in my house and I would want my kid to understand that he or she could do, be, any feel however they want.

But I still feel it’s going to be a girl.

The Chinese Gender charts say I’m having a girl.

The heart rate method says I’m having a girl.

The old wives’ tales are slowly stacking in favor of a girl.

The fact that little girl babies keep turning their heads to me and reaching for me in public allegedly means I’m having a girl.

And my intuition tells me this is a girl; when I think about this baby, I just don’t see a little boy.

I’m still going to have wait until that ultrasound circa week 20 to be sure…  I could just drop the $35 and pick up an Intelligender test at the pharmacy, which is allegedly 80% accurate, but I hate peeing in cups, so I’ll just be patient.

Did you find out the sex of your baby?  Were the old wives’ tales correct or mistaken?

Not-Flab

12 Dec

Bump by Dominic Casario "poloroid667"I’ve always had a -ahem- pudding-like mid-section, so it’s really no surprise that I don’t much look pregnant…

But this morning I discovered that if my stomach is empty (stayed in bed way too long), and I lie on my back, I have a bump that isn’t flab, but is the beginnings of my very own baby-bump.

BABY BUMP – YAY!

Okay, you can go back to your regularly scheduled program.

Quad Screening

11 Dec

Oh geez, I looked up the name of the blood test that I’m going to be drawn for next Thursday.  Dr. V wants me to go in for a “quad screen” and I’ve had so much blood drawn in my life that I didn’t think to ask what she was testing for this time, so I didn’t think to ask while I was there.

The quad screen will look at my levels of hCG, AFP, Estriol, and Inhibin-A – proteins and hormones that are present in the baby and thus detectable in my blood.  The purpose is to screen for the likelihood of certain defects like Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida and other genetic disorders based on different combinations of the protein and hormone levels.  It’s a bit more accurate than the triple screen, which doesn’t look at the Inhibin, at least when detecting Down Syndrome.

According to what I’ve cobbled together from WebMD and a few reputable looking websites, this type of screening is ideal for me (and my baby) because I am young (thus not considered to have the risk of chromosomal abnormalities of a woman with older ova) but have the risk factor of being a diabetic on insulin (some places cite this as having Type 1, but I guess the need for insulin is the main factor).  The same problems can be tested by amniocentesis, but that is a heck of a lot more involved and runs the tiny risk of infection and possible pregnancy loss.  With the blood screening, I only have to deal with that risk if the results from the blood screen indicate a high chance of a problem, otherwise I move on with my merry little baby bump.

I’m not too worked up about this, at least not after thinking about it for a moment.  It’s just a screening, not a diagnostic test, and if something was not perfect with my baby I would want to know right away so that we can prepare our house, lives and families to accommodate the child’s needs.  Besides this is about as non-invasive as pregnancy screenings get – seriously, I’d rather give blood than pee in a cup any day of the week.

But still, there’s that thought of, “oh shit, why do they gotta check?”

[Pregnancy paranoia] + [anxiety-prone person] = [a lot more meditating to do]

A few snippets from the last week

9 Dec

I was at a birth Monday night.  A sister-doula’s daughter was going in for an induction and the person who was going to be the second support person was sick, so they invited me.  It was my first birth!  I didn’t do much, but it felt good to be able to see this actually happen and to do what I could to be a helper.  I’m not the type of person who feels comfortable sitting and doing nothing.  Anyway, the birth went very smoothly considering she had a couple of interventions.  The baby boy was beautiful, not too long, and had the cutest chubby cheeks.  Mom seemed to be doing well and even got to nurse some.  It was a wonderful experience.

I went to see Dr. Endocrine, or rather Ms. J, his nurse practitioner last week.  They’re content with the progress in my numbers but there is work to be done.  I need to really crack down on my exercise and eating habits (newsflash: I’ve been using, “I’m busy” as an excuse to eat fast food).  I have a carb counting class before my next appointment (literally, right before) so that should help.

Dr. Endocrine thinks I would make a good candidate for an insulin pump, if I can afford it.  The thought of being constantly hooked up to a medical device is frankly terrifying.  I have a consultation with a pump rep or something like that right before that carb class (literally right before) so I’ll hear them out and learn of the cost to me, but I really don’t see myself being happy with that.  I don’t know if I’m ready to say that I will be on insulin for the long term.  I really want to not be.  I don’t like this disease.  It’s not fun to know that even though I don’t feel sick every day, I am, and it feels like it’s only a matter of time before neuropathy and kidney failure and heart disease take me.  I’m 23, going on 24, and I’m about to have a kid.  I have to be responsible, but it just feels like I’m too “young” to have to deal with this shit…

There is an article called “Tethered to the Body” that I ran across a few months ago.  It describes the feelings being unable to detach yourself from the device in a figurative way when you’re trying to be intimate with a partner.  It’s kind of a horror story to me.

On a positive note, I got to see Dr. V for my first official prenatal visit.  Got to hear the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler – it was cool!  And most importantly, reassuring.  Stay in there you little leech!

I couldn’t follow through with the insurance benefits explanation with L, the office’s benefits explainer, because I have overlapping coverage right now: my new insurance (hopefully slightly better, at least as I understand it) started on the 1st and my part-time job’s insurance will be terminated around New Year’s.  They only had the old insurance on file and it’s not worth it to either us to sit and explain a policy we know will be terminated within 30 days when she just needs to verify my new insurance and I’ll be in the office again next Thursday.

Oh yeah, can I get an non-enthused “huzzah for blood draws”?  ‘Cause that’s what I go in for next week.  I hope their resident vampire is as good as Ms. Y from Dr. Diablita’s office, because the ladies at Dr. Endocrine’s certainly don’t have her magic.

the Diabetes Blues

2 Dec

You don’t see as much talk about the mood/emotional side of type 2.

I think the most obvious manifestation of my blood sugar levels is my mood.  My family has an established history for mood disorders and while I don’t have any formal diagnosis, I know I deal with the symptoms of depression.  When my glucose levels are at least steady (even if they’re just consistently high) my mood is smooth and consistent, when they’re low and steady is when I tend to be the most extroverted.  When I can’t manage to keep my glucose level from going WAY high, then crashing WAY down, I’m an emotional wreck.  Mostly “cranky” but also I get really morose.

This past week was really rough emotionally.  I had the stress from holiday travel and the unusual routine.  I tried not to burst into tears every time I thought about not getting to see my mom after this visit for awhile.  I wasn’t eating like I usually do – less carbs, a bit more “grazing” – so I had some dips in my glucose levels because my body wasn’t used to it.  I felt “happy”,  but I couldn’t feel confident with my appearance.  I started feeling angry at myself for not having a reading of less than 88 in the morning.  And I kept having weird dreams.  I wanted to twist my poor husband’s neck into a knot.  Since I got back home, I’ve mostly felt like crap.  I’ve had some sinus-allergy problems and I haven’t been getting enough sleep.

And then yesterday and today, I just completely could not control my BG.  I guess that today’s morning is because I had a horrible (nutrition- and carb-wise) meal last night and I hadn’t been very cautious the rest of the day either.  I ended the day at 279 – not good.  This morning I had a half-cup of quick oats cooked in water with a sprinkling of dried cranberries and yellow raisins with a few almonds thrown in for salt and protein.  My fasting sugar had been 124 – not good, but not scary, especially considering how sugar laden my dinner had been.  Well, 90 minutes later, my blood sugar was 190; 2 hours, 186; 3, finally 124 (I ate some more almonds here).  So I will admit, I was feeling compulsive and I needed “control” so when my BG at lunch read 93, I decided not go to the cafeteria for lunch where temptations abound but I went with some chicken bouillon and Ritz crackers.  Dinner is going to probably be the buffet at Souper Salad because I have an awesome coupon and  because dammit! I’m not going to let my mood-blood sugar cycle rule my life…

This thought scares me.  I know I am an “emotional eater” – I eat when I’m bored and I love to celebrate with food and I tend to have the worst cravings that I “have” to satisfy when I’m feeling depressed.  But I’ve always felt this pull towards disordered eating because when I feel “depressed” or when my blood sugars are bottoming out and I’m in the fucking 50s, all I want is control.  I mentally convince myself that I’m not hungry and I’m a wimp for feeling shaky or that I need to keep eating long after I’m full to make sure I don’t feel weak again.

Having diabetes is acknowledging that you don’t have complete control over your body.  You can learn about how to control it properly and many try with varying degrees of success, but so many more shrug and say, oh well Doc… but my point is that while I feel like I steer my body, I don’t always avoid the currents.  It’s a feeling that makes me feel very small sometimes.  And I’m trying to work with it this week.  I’m trying to dress up and feel “pretty”.  I’m trying to think about my meals for the next few days.  I’m trying to make sure I test each and every single time I’m supposed to.  I’m trying to not hold it in.  And I guess that’s all I can do.