Archive | April, 2011

Surprise, surprise

27 Apr

I thought that the provoking of the Salty!Baby at the NST a couple of days ago would help shift her pattern of activity…

It has not.

My mom always said that I was a calm child in-utero; my sister, Star, on the other hand… My mom used to talk about how my sister’s finger and toenails curled up, significantly away from the nail bed, at birth because she was constantly moving her limbs  around in my mother’s womb.  They were convinced she was going to be a little boy because compared to gestating me, Star was a complete 180.

My daughter… just like my sister?  The one it took me so long to learn to appreciate?

God knows what he gives us and never gives us more than he feels that we could handle… right?


Thoughts on Glucometers

26 Apr

I’m pretty sure my high 2hr post-dinner BG is because I keep forgetting to count rice and beans as carbs.  Oy.  Being Tex-mex and trying to keep strict numbers…

The hateful meter itself, representative of everything I don't want... like diabetes... Somehow, I'll manage.

This post meal number was the last one I’ll take with my Accu-chek Aviva meter. No more strips left for me. My insurance from my old part-time job used to cover the Aviva, it’s test strips and even the drum-style lancets at a reasonable rate. This different insurance plan with my current full-time employer does not cover the Aviva line and apparently doesn’t cover lancets at all, so unfortunately I find myself transitioning to the Bayer Breeze 2 because that’s the only other monitor that my MFM will work with.  It’s huge, ugly and clunky and I’m not at all impressed with the “cartridge” for test strips.  With all the bulk, why not engineer a way for it take the strips back in for storage/disposal like my lancet drums can? This cartridge system offers me no more discretion or convenience than keeping the strips in a tube, especially because just like with a lancet-drum, I still have to carry around back-ups.  Also, this glucometer is totally more complicated and the instructions are actually LESS detailed than the Aviva’s.

I’ve loved two meters in my life.  I loved my Aviva, even when my averages were climbing up, and, once upon a time, I used to be in love with my old Ascencia Elite XL meter.  (Bayer meters used to be branded as Ascencia in the U.S.)  The Elite was my first meter ever and the strips came individually wrapped. I could just grab the amount I needed for the the amount of time I was going to be out and not have to worry about touching the strip before putting it in the glucometer (the nurse who was teaching us about testing was very big on telling us that it was a crime to mishandle the strip) or about finding a way to wrap the it up discretely post-test.  The fact that they didn’t come in a drum also meant that they could pack a little more discretely into other places like a backpack pocket – which is exactly what I did.  That was a meter from nearly 10 years ago… and it was still slimmer than this damned “Breeze”… *grumble*

I think I’m mostly just irked because when I first went to see Dr. Endocrinologist, I carefully researched which meters my insurance would cover and made sure to pick out a couple that I preferred based on reviews.  This time, I just got a lovely phone call in the middle of the day from the mail-order pharmacy that the MFM’s office contracts with (they “require” their patients to get their testing supplies via mail-order, which makes me wonder if they get a kick-back) telling me that I would have to pay full price for the Aviva strips or that they could charge me full price for the other meter that Dr. McMFM’s office uses.  Lame, lame, lame.  That was also back in February… and I’ve had supplies from my old ‘scripts and some extra boxes that my mom had on hand that held up through just today… so I’ve also been paying for these Breeze supplies that I sure as hell didn’t quite need yet…

After I’m done with the MFM, I’m just going to have to use the Freestyle Lite.  I liked it at first because it was small and you could light up the display, but it quickly fails to keep time properly and it’s very sensitive to heat and dampness (I’m rough, what can I say).  At least it’s cheap so it’s easily replaceable.  Also, since I have to pay out of pocket for lancets anyway, I can still use the drum-style Accu-chek Multiclix ones.

Eh, I need to go eat my protein snack and go over the instruction manual for this meter again.  G’night y’all.

P.S. “Tan” colored compression knee-highs are heaven sent.

Bits and pieces

25 Apr

I’m a little all over the place right now.  Please forgive me.  I’m craving a chocolate malt made with high quality ice cream and I’m only finally breaking radio silence to hopefully distract myself.

I felt I had made so much progress to get back on track with my numbers, but it’s so easy to slip.  Last week not so good.  I missed at least two doses of my NPH, left my meter at home one day and missed nearly a whole day of testing and the corresponding bolus insulin, didn’t do a lick of physical activity outside of walking to and from my car…

I hate myself for letting myself and the little one down.  I hate that I know that the MFM doctor isn’t going to be encouraging, only stern… I hate that when I’m feeling down, I only want to indulge some more… which leads us right back into the ugly cycle.  Like a whirlpool, I get sucked in and down, down, down.

I can’t bottom out though.  I have lil Salty to think about.

Oh little creature of gentle nudges, random cases hiccups, rolling position changes and relentless bed-time Jazzercize, I love you.  You are so precious to me.  I’m going to work to be the best mom I can be, which means being the healthiest I can be.  I promise.

Blood pressure has been up a bit and I’ve noticed “significant” swelling in my feet.  I hadn’t noticed anything major until this last weekend.  Friday at Dr. V’s office, my BP was 113/60.  Not bad.  I hadn’t noticed any swelling, but she did remark, oh look at your little feet! And then I noticed that yes, my flintstone feet were looking a bit more vienna sausage than usual.  Hrmm… THEN all weekend, they did swell.  Probably a bit because I was sedentary.  It happens… so this morning at Dr. McMFM’s my BP was 130/66 and my feet, while not as badly swollen as they had been, had no defined ankle.  I ask her about it and she said that 1) I had no protein in my urine (thank the heavens!), and 2) my BP is always around that number when they record it at that  office… Um what?  It’s usually around 115-120, at least since my sugars have been in better control and I quit my second job… I suspect it’s the White Coat Syndrome and my distrust of that office that might be a factor… but I’m still concerned.

So yeah, I was totally at the MFM’s today… after an appointment only just Friday with the OB.  Yes.  It’s happening.  I get to do Non-Stress Tests with them both.  As in twice a week.  Dr. V brought it up at my appointment with her last Friday… apparently in the transfer of my file or whatever communication they have between offices, Dr. McMFM said that she wants me doing NSTs at her office, too… as in, I should do them twice a week.  Immediately.  SUUUUUUUUUCK!  You know it’s fishy when your own doctor is trying to explain that she wants you to just go with it and then goes to say, “I don’t know, maybe it’s the money…”  WHAT?  Not exactly reassuring, Dr. V.

Also, these Non-stress tests are totally stressful.  Possibly contributing to why my BP was up a bit this morning.  I may have mentioned that Dr. McMFM’s office has these horrible recliners that they use instead of the standard exam “table”… they’re weird.  And for a person who is under 5 foot, it’s nigh impossible to get comfortable.  I spent about 40 minutes while they tried to get baby “on” where I couldn’t breathe fully because my neck was thrust forward and my boobs were choking me to death.   Finally a nurse had the idea to have me sit up.

Also, Salty!Baby is a night owl.  She seems to be most energetic when I’m trying to sleep… at night.  Not at 8:30 a.m.  So they had to “buzz” her awake and made me drink two cups of cold water while trying to maintain my supine position (seriously, get some straws).  Well, then she’s awake… and wants to party.  They couldn’t maintain her heart rate on the monitor because she kept evading the monitor.  *sigh*  I was hooked up for over an hour before they could get a good tracing on her.  Sad thing was, Cindy even straight up said that baby was looking good, but it didn’t count until they could clearly read that on the monitor.  *facepalm*  Machines are only half of medicine.

Note to self: MFM visits correlate with whirlpools of self-loathing and neglect… remember to seek out another MFM for future pregnancies and to send critical letter via registered mail postpartum.

You have to admit, it’s a valid suggestion…

17 Apr

From the hilarious movie, Baby Mama, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, I bring you this week’s belly laugh:

Side Note: I’m holding off on watching any movies featuring pregnant women as central characters, especially those with childbirth as a plot point, so as to put the media’s presentation of what is normal for childbirth in the back of my mind.  This is hard because I used to watch Juno every other month or so.  “I’m already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?”

Control: An appointment recap

15 Apr

I originally just thought I was being paranoid, that I’d read one too many birth blogs, too much Ina May Gaskin and had just joined the unrelenting ranks of birth-activists… but, it’s slowly becoming apparent that my Maternal-Fetal Specialist doesn’t give a damn about me as a human being.  Sure she wants me to succeed in that she wants to keep me and my baby safe and healthy… but she seems to believe that that success can only be had by exerting control over me.

Is it because I’m of a darker complexion in a city that boasts a large number of immigrants from Latin America?  Is it because I’m diabetic and thus medically inferior?  Is it because my chart says “some college”?  Is it because I also need “control”, which I at least admit to because otherwise my anxiety runs wild?  Is it just because she’s used to having that absolute power and fails to remember that with power comes great responsibility – like the discretion to compromise or educate?

I don’t know and I won’t assume, but I do know that visiting Dr. McMFM’s office is never fun or exciting for me.  These visits do not put me at ease – I always walk away feeling like I was just told, “well, it isn’t bad yet, but don’t worry, we’ll catch it when it does get bad,” like I should just submit to the defeatism being imposed upon me.

Dr. V, my awesome OB smiles with her eyes and makes sure to get close and make jokes; Dr. McMFM isn’t like that at all.  Part of it is that she is there basically to run over test results, which are very clinical, so no, she doesn’t get the intimacy… but she also holds back her smile when saying something that should be positive, like she doesn’t want to commit to a positive sentiment in case things go wrong.  For instance, my monitor download last Friday revealed a huge swing in my average numbers, so we upped my insulin at dinner and she cautioned me and I paid attention.  Then today, my numbers were back to where they had been.  I worked really hard to get those numbers and she didn’t even acknowledge that the extra insulin combined with my diligence had paid off.  She just gave me the same script that she usually does, “Well, your average over the last week was X – premeal Y and 2 hours after Z – so we’re just going to keep your dose the same/change your dosages to A.  I want to see you back here in B week(s) for a download/download and ultrasound/download, ultrasound and non-stress test…”

Also today, I was scheduled for the Non-stress test, which I had already had at the OB’s office just yesterday afternoon.  When I had mentioned that it would happen this way and that Dr. V would prefer that I go for regular NSTs at her office at last week’s visit, Dr. McMFM got very authoritarian.  She seemed upset that I would suggest such a thing and told me that I needed to come to her office for one weekly regardless… so, I bit back tears of frustration and practiced some HypnoBabies (bubble of peace/affirmations) and figured she’d understand better at this week’s appointment because I could tell Dr. V what was going on and I’d already have the test and it’d all be kosher… well, it wasn’t.  Suddenly she’s telling me that I should be having these tests twice a week because the results are only good for “about 3 days” so I’d better schedule to see her on a day spaced out from the OB visits for NSTs – WTF lady?  Last week you were telling me once a week?!?! Screw that noise.  I scheduled another NST with her office because I’m trying not to make waves, but basically, I knowingly said I wasn’t able to schedule during any of their open hours next week, so I won’t be there for 10 days and she’s probably going to have another power conniption when I do get there.
Again, screw that noise.  I’ll keep doing my kick counts and going to Dr. Vs and following my eating plan and taking my insulin, but I’m not going to drive myself nuts by being hooked up to a EFM twice a week, just like I’m not going to do the 24-hour urine test.


At least she doesn’t attend births and we know that Dr. V has in the past acted against Dr. McMFM’s recommendations.

P.S. – My husband and I started attending a local, free, and non-hospital affiliated childbirth class this week.  This week’s class included the tidbit that we don’t have to know the numbers on how much weight we’ve gained if we think we’ll be neurotic about it.  As the instructor put it, “Doc, just tell me if I’m doing good or bad…”

11 Apr

*waves white flag*

Got in from my hometown last night: two baby showers, one weekend… it was a blast! But I’m exhausted. Blog later.

“The Conscious Family” series and giveaways

7 Apr

The blog Bellies and Babies has declared April the month of “The Conscious Family”.  She’s inviting bloggers with family to blog on the conscious choices they make as parents – type of schooling, discipline, eating habits, diapering, ecological impact… it’s a HUGE area to touch on and I have enjoyed the posts so far.

The blogger Nicole is also running some sponsored giveaways in promotion of the theme.  I am totally craving the two-tone heirloom quality wooden rattle by Painted Turtle Wooden Toys.  (Actually, I’d been coveting their entire line since before I was pregnant, now I just have an excuse!)  You can get in on that particular giveaway by clicking here.

Only 7 of the 30 days of April have passed, so you have plenty of time to get on over there, consider some new perspectives and approaches and see some great handmade childfriendly products in the giveaways.

HypnoBabies update

4 Apr

I finally made it through the “Creating Anesthesia” HypnoBabies track without falling asleep!

I must say that the combination of not enough sleep and soothing background music are mostly to blame.

Anyway, this one was very interesting and will definitely pose a challenge in the coming days.   I need to practice the technique I learned tonight 5 times a day!  And since I couldn’t finish the track (and believe me I wasn’t experiencing hypnotic amnesia and forgetting about the track), I didn’t feel right moving onto new tracks associated with new “classes,” so I was feeling like I was falling behind… but now I have. Huzzah! [and the villagers rejoice!]

Plan for the next two days: practice the two tracks I’m on – both once daily.
Starting Thursday: next class’ track series.

Eep! I really want to get to my maintenance routine by the last week of April.

Prenatal Recap

2 Apr

I saw the doctor yesterday.  She’s telling me that I’ll have weekly visits which will include Non-stress Tests starting on the 15th until I deliver…

I want to tear my hair out.  See,  part of me knows that being scheduled to be there is just part of ‘how they do things’ – it’s cookie-cutter care.   I know that this recommendation is just part of a larger recommendation for care of pregnant diabetics, and that very little takes me and my baby’s individual needs into account.  And I have this budding faith in us that Salty!Baby and I don’t need this constant monitoring… But in real life, I’m not good at playing assertive.  When I try, I just end up getting grumpy and passive-aggressive.  And there’s a significant part of me that does worry that something could go terribly wrong and we wouldn’t catch it *in time* if I intentionally skip out on an appointment…

This inner conflict between wanting to say, “no, I won’t do this” and just submitting are driving me nuts.  I also realize that I feel that if I had a condition that was a result of the pregnancy and had little to do with my health prior to conception, I wouldn’t feel so conflicted about these extra tests and doctor’s visits.  I could just throw my hands up and say, “oh well, it wasn’t meant to be” and that would be it… but that’s not the case.

I’m scheduled to be at the MFM’s office this coming Friday and looking at my original appointment card, I was just supposed to be there for a download and ultrasound, but the second appointment card (their scheduling lady always gives me a new card for each appointment that I already have on the calendar in addition to the newly scheduled appointment) says “NST” so I assume that they’re going to have me do the non-stress test there too.  (And I already scheduled an NST-specific appointment with them on the 15th.)  I mentioned this to Dr. V and she said to go in for that one and then tell them that she’ll take over the non-stress tests afterward and to just tell them that will be the case.  *sigh* I don’t like that it’s been put on me to be the one to say these things.  If I’m going to the Maternal-Fetal specialist that they wanted, even though it was apparent from day 1 that the way they practice is not a good fit for me, all because they are used to communicating between the offices, you’d think that they’d already have this NST thing worked out, or that at least my OB would tell her nurse to call the MFM’s office and straighten it out.  Now the onus is on me.  I missed the opportunity to call after my appoint because the MFM’s office closes at noon, so I hope that I can be clear and assertive when I call on Monday and tell them what the OB wants.

If I really get to expect to do these non-stress tests once a week, then I’d at least prefer to do it at the office with the friendlier staff.

On a parting note, partially inspired by an old blog post by the Well-Rounded Mama (“You Have the Right to Decline to be Weighed”, March 26, 2010), I asked the nurse to not tell me my weight.  I didn’t feel like being “difficult” by refusing to be weighed, but I realized that after last weekend’s downward spiral, I didn’t want to hear numbers.  So I closed my eyes as I stepped on, she covered up the digital read-out and then simply didn’t announce the number.  No one got hurt or had to exert extraordinary amounts of effort and I walked away from that moment without feeling like a sheep OR a cow.  🙂 Small victories.

P.S.  I discovered The Well-Rounded Mama in the last week and I highly recommend her if you’re concerned with the way the medical establishment approaches larger patients, especially pregnant moms.

P.P.S. Navelgazing Midwife has a nice description of a non-stress test.  She is a former midwife and now acts as monitrice/doula, so her blog definitely exhibits a pro-NCB viewpoint, but she’s actually quite moderate.