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.


Getting My Chocolate Fix or Thank God for ‘Sugar-free’ snacks…

31 Mar

I desperately needed to get groceries and was dreading the trip for all the temptations that I’d inevitably want to pick up.  Sure enough, I totally blew more money than I needed to on “treats”, but eh, I’m pregnant and screw it – I’ve been craving chocolate, not carrot sticks.  (Though I have also been craving cucumber and I did buy two of those…)  I was trying to avoid buying anything with added sugar and especially nothing with sugar and chocolate… but sometimes you need to have something on hand so you don’t resort to stuff in the vending machine.

Much as Colombus failed to find an alternate route to Asia, I failed at my primary objective but ended up making two cool discoveries.

First: Sugar-free Mousse Temptations by Jello

Mousse Temptations by Jello... more like mana from heaven

O. M. G…  these are sooo good.  I picked up the Chocolate Indulgence flavor and I was blown away by what I got for 60 calories and only 10g of carbohydrate per snack cup.  The sweetness is just right.  The cups are sweetened primarily with xylitol (the same stuff you get in sugar-free chewing gum), but is backed up with a little sucralose (Splenda-type sweetener).  The texture is pleasing and helps play up this “adult” snack.  It’s light and airy, but it’s not the same as a true mouse.  I like that the top is not unlike the “skin” you get on a cooled off bowl of cooked chocolate pudding.  The chocolaty-ness is at the right level.  The third ingredient is dutch-processed cocoa, so you know that you’re not getting chocolate-flavored junk.  (Really?  Who thought chocolate-flavor was a good idea?)  These need to stay refrigerated, but I found I like the cups best if I pulled the cup out of the refrigerator, then waited a few moments to actually pull the lid off and start eating – they get “melty” quickly.  Drawback – I wish they came just a smidgen bigger – maybe 100 calorie sized?  It’d only be 16-17 carbs…

There are three other flavors available, which I can’t wait to try.

Second cool discovery: Emerald brand Cocoa Roast Almonds

Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds in 100 Calorie Packs

My grocery had these on sale, and I was already going to pick up a box of the 100 calorie pack Natural Almonds.  I find that snacking on nuts really keeps me going.  I like to combine a handful of natural almonds with a handful of craisins (yum!) so the little snack packs work for me.   I was originally leery of the Cocoa Roast Almonds because I couldn’t tell from the box if it was just going to be a dusting of chocolate powder or a candy coating, but I decided to go for it.  I’m glad I did.  It seems that the sweetened (hello there sucralose) cocoa is actually roasted onto the nuts (hence the name Cocoa Roast), sometime in the process with the salt.  It plays out very well.  The outer texture of each nut is rough, probably because of the crystalized salt and sucralose.  The nut itself is, of course, a little drier than the natural, unroasted almonds are, but it doesn’t take away from the experience.  The flavor is dark and almost smokey and would be perfect with some black coffee.  They stray a little on the sweet side, but are definitely not over-salted (I can’t have more than a few of their regular roasted nuts – only “natural” for me).  All-in-all, I think they’re great for keeping in my desk in case of snack machine beckons.  These have an advantage over the mousse cups in that they need no refrigeration or spoons, and provide protein. Drawback – these don’t have the indulgent connotation that one gets from a pudding cup.

The Cocoa Roast almonds are also apparently available in Emerald’s twelve ounce container, but I’ll be sticking with the snack packs to keep my servings honest.

Anyone else have some good, low calorie, low carbohydrate, indulgences they’d like to share?

I told myself so…

30 Mar

Just like I knew could happen, if I stuck to my meal plan and tried to keep to my numbers my energy and mood have rebounded… but as you can see, it hasn’t quite helped the sleep thing yet. In fact, I woke up at 1:30 this morning with my usual low BG symptoms, even though I’d had my “snack” at bedtime. Okay, I treated myself to a Jello Chocolate No Sugar Added “Mousse” snack cup, but I figured it’d be enough… So now, i’ve finished my usual fruit cup and a bit of cottage cheese and I’m just waiting for the fuzziness in my legs to disappear.

*sigh* I just want to sleeeeeeeeeeep.

Big Girl Blues

28 Mar

“My body is healthy and whole…”

“I love my pregnant body and accept it everyday.  Again, I love my pregnant body and accept it everyday”

-“Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations”, HypnoBabies Homestudy Course

I started this pregnancy obese.  I know that the numbers are only part of the clinical picture, but  I wasn’t healthy no matter how you want to put it.

I weighed around 174 lbs. at my first doctor’s visit all those weeks ago.  I’d been circling that weight for years.  In fact, I’ve been roughly the same weight, give or take 10 lbs since around the time I was diagnosed with diabetes.  Considering that I was still dealing with the fact that I hadn’t grown an inch taller since middle school and I still dealing with puberty and high school and the “freshman 15”, I actually felt proud that I haven’t been larger…

So, here I am at 194 and I’m freaking out.  I knew going in that I might touch that 200 lb mark.  I know that I more or less need to gain some because my baby needs me to, and I know that some of this weight is just extra fluid volume, but it’s hard to rationalize that when the numbers are staring me in the face.  Numbers are FACT and my numbers are FAT.

I’ve been hanging out in the mid 190s since February.  That’s not bad.  Most of my weight gain was right at the beginning and Dr. Endocrinologist said that it might have the insulin, and aside from that, I went from being on my feet 20 hours a week at one of two jobs, to just working one, on my butt.

But those snippets are of little comfort.  I’m struggling to feel comfortable in my larger body.  My waist is getting more obviously rotund with baby, and it’s no comfort.  I haven’t gained any significant amount of weight since February, but in the last 6 weeks, the number of blouses in my everyday wardrobe has slowly shrunk.  Not only has my weight changed, my proportions continue to change, too.

So I’ve been trying to use the HypnoBabies Joyful Pregnany Affirmations to keep me on the positive track, but its HARD.  Everyday I deal with this inner monologue telling me that it’s okay… but it’s hard to let go of this body consciousness.  I even did some web searching to try to find some positive vibes, but there’s not a whole lot.

Damn I just want some chocolate.  I just want to throw in the towel and stop eating and stop taking my insulin and just curl up in a ball on the bed… but to give in now would be more selfish than ever, right?  I have to think of my little one.

I have to remember that she will know my love and I will know hers.  I have to remember that people around me who say, “look at how big you are!” don’t say it out of malice.   I have to remember that I’m not getting enough sleep and that affects my mood, so I need to rest more and eat even better and it will lead me to feeling emotionally better and when I’m in a better emotional state, I’m in a better place to love myself…


“…Again, I love my pregnant body and accept it everyday…”

Fluffy Bunnies, anyone?

25 Mar

I’m still here.  I’m still alive.

Trying to process today.

Saw Dr. McMFM and did the numbers-download dance. That actually went well… considering my attitude and general drowsiness.

Went to work. Did some work. Then sat down to mention that I had upcoming appointments with one of my bosses (long story short: in order to justify the creation of my position, I find myself working in two departments, thus two “bosses”) who happens to be the SOCIOLOGIST and the MOM, and those viewpoints all culminates into the CYNICAL ACADEMIC.  I admire her, she is so friggin awesome. But she kinda scares me with all this conflict that I know will come up. I can read a chapter of What to Expect…without getting worked up, but I can’t leave a conversation about pregnancy/babies and work with her without being scared completely shit-less.  She’s really good at the reality check… like the one that I probably won’t be able to “afford” a full-twelve week leave (*sigh*, and the one about how asking for accommodations to pump milk for my child will inevitably lead to questions of how my time is spent (which is something I’ve been trying to prove is not what people think).  She could work on her fluffy-bunnys-and-rainbows technique, she really could.

The part I hate most is that these conversations make me  feel bad for being the post-feminist, arm-chair feminist who wouldn’t mind being a stay-at-home-mom… which then makes me upset that my husband is barely getting back on the motivation wagon with the whole bringing-home-the-bacon-thing.  Which then makes me feel like a bad feminist and a worse wife.  *sigh*

So that put a damper on my day, and then I didn’t do my HypnoBabies affirmations at lunch like I’d planned because I spent most of my lunch hour talking to her… and today of all days, I really needed the positive boost.

Well, I’m going to channel my frustration into doing some research on baby bottles and breast pumps while listening to my Affirmations.

Edit (about 1.5 hours later): Man, sometimes you just gotta write it out… I feel a lot better right now.  P.S. I’ve settled on a pump; will worry about bottles later.

Nesting in the disaster area

19 Mar

I’ve been getting a little nesty. Which is good, because my house really does look like a disaster area. There are a ton of excuses, most involving the fact that my husband and I were never forced to clean much as kids, and the fact that we’re rarely both home. But they’re lame excuses and eventually things just need to be tidied.

I spent a little bit of time here and there this week picking up the living room, and this morning I finally got to a point where I could see the carpet. I’m mostly not exaggerating. Most of the crap wasn’t even stuff we needed in the house – just mail that we never finished sorted into the “special file” (that’s what Michael Scott and I call the trash can). The previous residents still receive a ton of mail here even though I’ve sent back bales of mail marked, “RETURN TO SENDER, Addressee moved”. (Special tip: learn who’s selling your name/address to other companies by changing your last name to XCompanyName when filling out forms. Like all my stuff from Bath and Body Works comes addressed to Mrs. Salty BathBody.)

This was the worst area in the house, so I’m really glad I’ve accomplished what I have. In the last few weeks, I’ve reorganized the bathroom (start small to boost my confidence) and have kept the kitchen at a manageable level (I don’t wash each dish after every meal, but at least I can cook stuff in it).

The only areas left to tackle are the laundry room/storage aka where the dogs will soon be sleeping, and the guestroom (which requires switching the “closet” back into the guestroom so that we can clear the second full-sized bedroom for the baby’s things).

I’m so pumped that I can’t even decide if I’m sarcastic.

Well, I only have the Rug Doctor for another 20 hours, gotta get on on cleaning the living room carpet.

Drip. Drop.

15 Mar
"Don't Cry Over It"

"Don't Cry Over It" by Flikr user sgrace

TMI post today.

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Phamaceutical monopoly leads to progesterone shots going from $10 to $1500 a shot

14 Mar

Apparently the company that now owns the sole rights to produce progesterone shots, which were previously available for about $10 for each dosage from a compounding pharmacy (think hand-made generics), has decided to use its new-found monopoly to set a price of $1500 for the shots, to be marketed as “Makena”.  Apparently, this could mean that progesterone treatment to prevent premature labor could cost around $30000.

Really?  I understand that it costs a lot to continually test drugs for safety and to market drugs to doctors and consumers, but this? This just seems GREEDY.  It sounds like they didn’t seek FDA approval to be the sole producer because they were truly concerned about quality, but because they saw an easily exploited niche.  And the sick part is that pharmaceutical company is going to offer a “discount” program to families who make less than $100,000 a year, basically using their position of power to make themselves look like benevolent gods.  I don’t see why they couldn’t at least find a middle ground of price, like even $100.  (God, now that I’ve written that I can’t help but wonder if that’s actually what they expect to charge and the $1500 price tag is just a sick way of bargaining with the public mind…)

I haven’t done any research on this, nor have I received progesterone therapy, so I don’t know about how progesterone treatment works or if there are reasonable alternatives out there that help prevent pre-term labor.  I don’t know how much progesterone cost before the previous FDA-approved maker dropped it (presumably because they were not selling it at high mark-up and were unable turn a profit).  I won’t pretend I know all the facts about the news story.  I just know that this really sounds bad and smacks of a precedent that is only cost medical consumers (that’s you! and me! and even the a-holes who work for pharmaceutical companies!) a lot more going forward.

EDIT 4/3/2011 – I get a lot of hits on this story and just wanted to point out that Nicolas Fogelson at the Academic OB/GYN has been talking about not prescribing Makena to his patients and advocating a boycott.

Doctors’ Appointment Update:

13 Mar

I finally get to confirm that we are indeed expecting a little girl!

Oh no! Bring on the pink! (I spent the entire afternoon working on my registry – ugh!)

The appointments I had Thursday went as expected.

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Birth Intentions – Draft numero uno

7 Mar

I’ve been working on my birth intentions.  I’m a bit of a procrastinator – I tend to pretend it’s because I want everything perfect, but honestly, I think I just wait too long and get overwhelmed into producing inferior results.

Anyway, I spent several hours Saturday looking for recommended plans/hospital scenarios for diabetic women and found very little.  (I did find some a couple of small journal articles on prenatal care for pregnant diabetics that I hope to share here soon!)  It was a nice reminder about how little our unique situation is overlooked, even as it becomes more and more common.  No one wants to be a diabetic, no one wants to be a diabetic mom; but until the health situation changes in America, and we seriously ALL start changing our lifestyles, the numbers of pregnant diabetics (type 1, 2 and 3/GD) is only going to rise.

Without further ado, here is my one-pager for my primary birth intentions (notes in italics):

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