December 19, 2014
I haven’t thrown up in 9.5 hours. I’m hoping this continues. I’m not feeling that I will be successful. At first I thought it was the stress over dealing with the GD diagnosis. And then I thought it was because my morning sickness (which my mom thinks I should really be calling “persistent nausea”, so I’m thinking I’ll switch to the official diagnosis of “nausea and vomiting during pregnancy” or “NVP”)… So I thought it was because my NVP makes it difficult to eat as much as I’m supposed to to keep my blood sugar in check. And then half-way through an attempt to eat a dry toasted waffle, my afternoon snack decided it wanted to come back up. And then around midnight, my stomach decided it didn’t want the mucus and acid that it contained. And then at 7 this morning, as I was heading out the door, my stomach decided that it really wasn’t empty enough. So today’s happiness list should be taken with a grain of salt.
- Ikea makes awesome barf buckets. Oh, sure, they advertise them as “batter bowls”, but they’re good for much more than that. (And if you have a barf bucket and the dry heaves, you can sit on the toilet and throw up simultaneously without worrying about heaving harder than your Kegels can stand. I speak from experience.) I used one at my parents’ house when my afternoon snack came back up during dinner. And I used one at my house when the rest of my stomach contents came up.
- The nurse at Borgess Women’s Health thinks I have a stomach flu. Yes, this is making me happy. I’d taken my entire arsenal of drugs, and I was still throwing up. Sure, I feel miserable, but at least there’s a reason everything that usually keeps my NVP in check suddenly stopped working. (And it also explains the fact that I’d had some mild diarrhea which I’d chalked up to something I ate.) Anyway, she said they’re receiving a lot of calls and that as long as there’s no decrease in fetal movement and I’m not dehydrated, that standard self-care is the way to go. (She was also appalled that I called from work.)
- Which brings me to the fact that I can work from home. I put a bunch of files on my jump drive and the files I would need in a document bag (thanks, 4imprint, for the free sample!), and came home. I worked a bit this afternoon, and I plan to do the same on Saturday and Sunday, which should add up to about a day’s worth of work.
- Wendy, my diabetes educator, is pretty awesome, too. I spoke with her after I spoke with the nurse. She said that as long as my sugar stays below 200, she’s not worried, and that I didn’t have to worry about eating enough until I was able to eat as normally as my NVP lets me. I could even go ahead with some of the forbidden foods, namely Vernors, which, frankly, sounds cloying right now. I’m just not to exceed the maximum number of carbs at any of my “meals”, do my best to figure out when I should be testing my blood sugar, and not worry if any of my levels are high (as long as they’re below 200). It’s also a relief to be legitimately sick and not sick because I’m trying to eat enough carbs to meet the minimum for each meal; hopefully, this means that when I’m just dealing with the NVP, it will be much easier to hit my targets.
Like I said, a weird list for a normal day, but I don’t feel good, so it’s the little things. Here’s hoping I’m on the mend. Now you’ll have to excuse me while I run to the bathroom…
December 16, 2014
I failed. An there is nothing quite as wrong as a combination of pervasive morning sickness and gestational diabetes. No, I haven’t seen the dietician yet. I’m hoping she has some good ideas for food that is easy on the morning sickness and acceptable in the carb count. Because I’m having a hard time stomaching a lot of food this pregnancy. I can’t eat raw vegetables without feeling sick. My mom thinks the morning sickness is worse this time. She recalls that I was able to keep down a more varied diet at this stage. And I definitely have been taking more Zofran than last time. At the higher dose, I should add.
And I’m angry. I found out when Lori read off my results in the exam room. No one ever called with my results. They always call with a negative result. But no one called. So it must have been fine. She was a little surprised that it was the first I’d heard. (And before you ask, yes, I did check for my results online; they’re pending until 1:30 tomorrow morning. And, yes, I said morning as in the middle of the night.)
And I’m scared. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next nine weeks.
I wanted to enjoy every minute of this pregnancy because I know that might be all the time I get with this baby. And instead I’ve been miserable. I’ve been sick. It hurts to walk either because the sciatica is acting up or my pubic symphysis is screaming. I’m lucky to get six hours of sleep each night because it takes me two hours to fall back asleep when I wake up to the go to the bathroom. And closing my eyes to take a nap either results in me realizing that, despite how exhausted I am, my eyes won’t stay closed or a nap that leaves me feeling groggy and even more tired afterward. And now this. Because I’m not miserable enough.
My mom drove me home. We left her car at the hospital, and she drove while I cried. And I texted Nicki. And I know she’ll help me get through. But I’m still crying.
And there are so many things that I want to say that I know will be misconstrued. I want to say that I wish it were all over. I want to say that I’m done. I want to say that I can’t do this anymore. I want to say that it’s too much. But I know that people will hear those things and think “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!” I don’t mean them literally. Please take them with the hyperbole in which they were intended.
I just wanted one thing in this pregnancy to go smoothly. That’s all. Just one thing. But apparently, that was too much to ask for.
December 15, 2014
And now that I’ve offended my Jewish friends… (Not really. I can’t think of any of my Jewish friends who don’t have a great sense of humor. We wouldn’t be friends otherwise.) Let me explain. Back in college, I was in The Diary of Anne Frank. You may recall that I went to Loyola. And Loyola is a Catholic school. There was nary a Jew in that cast. And so our joke became the title of this post.
My mom and I went to Ann Arbor to have brunch with Jess and Patty yesterday. Just like Esther, Jess’s grandma/Patty’s mom, was my Jewish grandmother, Patty is well on her way to being my kids’ Jewish grandmother. I don’t think she minds. I think we all benefit from having a bubbe.
I bring this up not only because we had a wonderful time. I mean, there aren’t a lot of mother/daughter pairs that my mom and I are both friends with who have the same sort of relationship that my mom and I have. Jess and Patty are our kindred spirits. And it was nice not only to catch up, but to just hang and talk about everything and nothing.
But I bring this up because while Jess and I were off picking up her son from Hebrew school, one of the things my mom told Patty was that about a week before my C-section, we’d change the sheets in the crib. Patty told her I was being very Jewish, and she approved. You see, customarily, Jews don’t do much before the baby comes. This was something Nicki and I had learned back when we did Fiddler on the Roof at the Civic. And it’s something she and I have said: I’m being very Jewish about this pregnancy. But it was really nice to have that be reinforced by someone who is actually Jewish. I’m not being weird by insisting that people wait until I have this baby to give gifts. I’m merely following a different tradition in regards to pregnancy. I’m not really Jewish, but this is a tradition that definitely works for me.
December 12, 2014
- I’m not wearing a bra right now. About three hours ago, I determined this was going on the top of my “what’s making me happy” list. I was really ready to take my bra off at that point. But, you know, I was at work, and Madge and Dorcas really need to be contained when I’m at work… It feels really good to have my bra off. <happy sigh>
- I had another really good work collaboration meeting this week. I feel like I’m getting involved in a bunch of “ask forgiveness” projects. You may recall that a certain person in authority at our institution at the very least minored (if not had a second major) in micromanagement. I’m waiting for us to be scolded for taking initiative on some excellent projects that we weren’t asked to do. But I’m all about asking forgiveness instead of permission if I think it’s a good idea. I had a meeting with three other departments about adding a new credit type to activities we already offer, which is exactly the sort of thing I think we should be doing. And everyone else involved had a lot of good ideas, too. Who cares if a certain higher up decides we should have asked him first? We’re all thrilled with this expansion of our educational goals. And isn’t that exactly what we should be doing?
- Nicki and I had lunch on Wednesday. It was really nice to just hang out and talk, clearly seen in the fact that we lost track of time and got back to our respective offices a bit later than originally intended.
- Zofran is making me happy this week. It’s been a rough morning sickness week. I really do think the famotidine is helping with the acid indigestion, but not so much with the days that lunch has turned into a lump in my stomach.
- My mommy made a lovely risotto for dinner last night. It’s one of the few things I ate this week that both tasted excellent and didn’t leave me feeling nauseated an hour later. I’m really hoping I pass my glucose tolerance test tomorrow because rice is one of my most reliable foods.
- And finally, a couple of links that were interesting/enjoyable. There was an interesting interview about the history of Hanukkah today. And Alan Alda was on Science Friday. How can you not enjoy it?
December 5, 2014
It’s been a week. One of those weeks with lots of little things. And then my eye started twitching. (Yes, it’s stopped now.) So here goes…
- I have a friend who is currently going through IVF. Or rather has just finished another cycle of IVF. And, yay!, she’s pregnant. She’s had two miscarriages, so make that a qualified “yay!” She texted me on Sunday that she’d woken up in a pool of blood. (Told you it’s been one of those weeks. First Jenna, now this?) But she talked to her doctor and was told to still go to her ultrasound appointment on Tuesday to see just how bad it was. And this is where it turns mostly happy. They’d transferred three embryos. The doctor thinks that two implanted. But only one miscarried. So despite the bleeding, she’s still pregnant! Yay! Mostly! Still trying to be realistic!
- My rice bag made me really happy this week. I was practically crippled on Tuesday. My pubic symphysis hurt so much that I could barely walk. Not that sitting was much more comfortable. I couldn’t sleep because it hurt so much. (This would be the day my eye started twitching.) The heating pad (aka rice bag) helped immensely. I was still moving a bit slowly on Wednesday, but I was almost back to normal (or what passes for normal given my intermittent sciatica) by Thursday.
- My morning sickness was pretty rough the past two weeks. I’m sure this was partly the stress of Thanksgiving, plus Jenna dying, plus my friend possibly having a miscarriage, plus me not sleeping well… There were plenty of triggers. But at my appointment yesterday, Lori asked how many times I was taking an antacid and decided I should add famotidine (aka Pepcid) to my daily anti-nausea regimen. I’ve only had a few doses so far, but hopefully it will help!
- The one thing that really and truly made me laugh that I can still remember is this. NBC showed a live performance of Peter Pan. From what I hear it was meh. NBC is one of the channels I don’t get, so I didn’t see it. I did, however, hear David Bianculli’s preview of it on Fresh Air. The preview itself was charming. But what made me laugh was that he actually describes Mary Martin as Larry Hagman’s mother. Why is this still making me laugh? I’m glad you asked. Gerard Alessandrini, who writes the parodies that make up the Forbidden Broadway collection, wrote a song for “Mary Martin”. It’s all about how much she hates the fact that, despite her own illustrious career, now people only know her as Larry Hagman’s mother. The last verse goes, “Though I love him like no other / I am green with envy and awe. / Yes, I’m Larry Hagman’s mother / and I wish that he’d majored in law.” I have been singing this song for the past two days. And it makes me giggle every time.
November 29, 2014
It’s not Friday today. It’s Saturday, and I’m listening to the TED Radio Hour, ready to enjoy a day home with nothing of import to do. I plan to knit a lot. (I finished the sweater for Amy during my glucose tolerance test yesterday morning. Now I need to finish the sweater for Courtney.) And I plan to take breaks to move the Christmas decorations out of the storage unit and possibly start decorating. There’s snow on the balcony, so all of the boxes will probably be moved at once so that I only have to put my boots on once.
I could have written this yesterday. I was home early enough. But it was a busy day. And I hadn’t slept that well, so I was tired. And it just didn’t feel quite right to make a list of the things that made me happy this past week. A while ago, you may remember, I told you about my cousin’s friend’s five-year-old who had an inoperable brain tumor that was no longer responding to treatment. And you may have just noticed that I used the past tense in that description. Shawn emailed yesterday morning to let us know that Jenna passed away Thursday evening. So while there is a nice list of happy things, it just didn’t feel right yesterday.
So on that note, here are some things that made me happy this week, several of which might cheer you up, too.
- Thanksgiving went pretty well this year. I went up to my cousin’s with Matt and my dad. Unlike last year, I did not have to walk into a house full of people who would want to hug me and touch me all at once. And Laura and I had fun comparing belly sizes. She has a C-section scheduled for three days before mine, but she hasn’t decided if she wants to try for a VBAC or not, so I might still have this baby before she has hers.
- I did some reading to catch up on my blogs. NPR was a bonanza. The dancer in me loved this piece about an Indian-American woman with Down Syndrome.
- MasterChef Junior is back. I highly recommend this delightful take on the cooking competition. The kids on this show put adults to shame. We could all learn a lesson from them. I also recommend this post by Linda Holmes about the show. (And in keeping with my belief that Linda and I would totally be friends if we knew each other, we’re rooting for the same two little girls this season.)
- The New York Times decided to make a list of 50 dishes for Thanksgiving, one for each state. (Michigan got German potato salad. I don’t know how Michigan that dish is, but I do love German potato salad. I believe our recipe came from my favorite Great-Aunt Elizabeth, who was first generation, her parents having immigrated from Germany.) Some other suggestions, on the other hand… Well, once again, I defer to Linda Holmes. (Have I mentioned how much I love her?)
- One of my favorite NPR features each Thanksgiving week is when they talk to America’s Test Kitchen about recipe suggestions. This year’s interview started out like a bad joke: A vegan, a gluten-free, and a paleo walk into your Thanksgiving dinner… Sure, you could read the article, but you really should listen to it; otherwise, you’ll miss the joy of listening to Chris Kimble try to roll out a gluten-free pie crust.
- And the last NPR happy moment goes, of course, to Linda Holmes. You’ll have to listen to this one because there is no article associated with the interview. Please enjoy this delightful discussion of made-for-TV Christmas movies.
- When I got home on Thanksgiving, I checked the mail. There was a card, and I remembered that Lisa had tried to send a card a couple of months ago, but she didn’t have my current address. And I thought, Lisa sent me a card! And you know what? Lisa sent me a card! And, of course, it made me smile. How could it not?
- And the other exciting thing in the mail was a large envelope from the Helen Hayes Hospital in New York. The archives sent me two articles. The first is a newspaper article from the ’70s interviewing a man who was a patient at the hospital back in 1909 when he was 12. The second is an article from an orthopaedic journal from 1916 explaining treatment recommendations for tuberculosis of the bone and joint. This is exactly the sort of information I was looking for, and I will definitely be incorporating this into the book. There was also a handwritten note telling me to let them know if I need anything else, that they have a lot of photographs in the archives, too. Such a wonderful gift!
- But one of the biggest happy things this week was having coffee with Paula yesterday. It was nice to talk about pregnancy with someone else who’s lost a baby. And we both had a good laugh over the education we gave to anyone who was sitting nearby. If I weren’t part of the conversation, it’s definitely one I would have been eavesdropping on. We suspect that some of the guys sitting near us were only pretending to be absorbed in their computers.
So despite the sadness of yesterday morning, there was a lot this past week that made me happy. I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, too.
November 26, 2014
I’m having a rough go of it this week and not because things are going wrong.
Courtney had her baby on Monday. And Amy had hers last week. And I’m jealous. And I know that I shouldn’t be because I’m pregnant, too. But I am. And I also know that this is a normal feeling for women who are pregnant after a loss. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
And Thanksgiving is tomorrow. And I know it will be fine. I’m going to head out with my dad and my brother. They’ll be heading to my cousin’s early so that they can fry the turkey. This means I won’t walk into a house full of people. I think that’s part of what did me in last year. But I’m still a bit panicky about the sheer scope of it. (And, yes, we’ve had plenty of family gatherings since last Thanksgiving. And, yes, I’ve survived all of those just fine. But the memory of last Thanksgiving isn’t helping.)
And I just picked up the mail, and there was a card for me. Dr B made a donation in Sofia’s memory again this year. And that’s wonderfully sweet of her. And I really appreciate it. But it caught me off guard when I’m already teetering.
But I’ll see Paula on Friday. And we’ll be able to commiserate about the joys and terrors of being pregnant again. And it will all be good.
I just need to make it through tomorrow.