Friday, July 30, 2010

Glyburide, You are a Friend of Mine...

Even if you do scare me awake in the middle of the night with wicked heartburn and acid reflux. I'll take that in exchange for the ability to eat a freakin' noodle again. Bye bye chicken fingers for breakfast, hello oatmeal with Splenda! Maybe even bran flakes... I feel like the possibilities are endless.

I saw my perinatologist yesterday, and I liked him very much. Some things he said were disconcerting (i.e. "You are 100% guaranteed to have Type 2 diabetes, but you are 100% in control of deciding when you will develop it"), others made me feel much better. He explained that Baby Boy likes my high sugar levels and wants them to stay that way, so the hormones that are protecting him are making them stay high no matter what I do. Nothing I do on my own will bring them down, thus he prescribed Glyburide. It's supposed to increase my insulin production and help my body use it more efficiently. After one dose of it, my numbers were about 40 points lower than they have been in weeks. It's such a relief. Why didn't we do this weeks ago?

For the next three weeks, I'll be going to the doctor twice a week for non-stress tests because they want to monitor Baby Boy more closely as he gets bigger. Two weeks from now, I'll have an ultrasound to estimate his weight. I am not at all thrilled about that because of the level of inaccuracy, but he'll be about 38 weeks at that point so I'm not going to argue. They'll probably tell me he weighs 9 lbs and he'll come out weighing 7. Whatever.

Speaking of non-stress tests, we had our second one yesterday. That child was all over the place. The nurse yelled from across the room, "I don't have to worry about you, I can hear him moving all over the room!" It's the truth. She kept moving the monitor to find his heartbeat again because he kept rolling away from it. So this week, he still looks great and we'll have the same fun again on Monday. Then Thursday. Then Monday again, rinse and repeat.

The EGR Update
She did it. She spent the night away from home last night. She wasn't ready to leave Grandmother's house after supper, so we went through the whole deal again about how I would be sleeping at our house, etc. She decided to stay, and she slept all night. When I talked to her this morning, the first thing she said was, "Mommy, come pick me up." I'm very proud of her, and I feel a little better about the whole hospital stay now. Still worried about the amount of time away, but better. Dave told me last night as he wandered around the house, "I don't like it when Ella's not here." I don't either, but I'm excited for her making that step on her own.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Pregnant Caterpillar - Is there such a thing?

Oh, yes, there is and she lives in my house.

A bit of background: We have a cocoon in one of the trees in our yard, so we've been watching it and talking about the caterpillars that live in it and how they turn into butterflies, etc. We've also been making preparations for Baby Boy's arrival, including the cleaning out of the ball pit - I mean baby bed - last weekend. EGR was jumping in it Saturday, sans balls, and having a chat with Daddy about the fact that Baby Boy would be able to sleep in there and that she slept in there when she was a tiny baby. Then I overheard this bit.

Daddy: What are you now? (I assume he was expecting " 'ittle girl" as the answer; I was.)
EGR: A caterpillar.
Daddy: You are a caterpillar?
EGR: Yes, and I have two baby boys in my tummy.
Daddy: You do? When are you going to turn into a butterfly?
EGR: Four minutes.

She has also informed me, after a first but unsuccessful attempt to spend the night with Grandma and Pop last weekend, that Grandmother will bring her cot to the hospital when Baby Boy is born so we can sleep "all-gether." She's a bit nervous about the staying away from me part of this Baby Boy deal. I can't blame her; I'm nervous about it, too. She has spent one night away, and it was a quite a while ago. I was shocked when she asked to stay with Grandma and Pop the other night, but willing to give it a try. It was an hour later, after she announced that she was ready for bed, that I got the call from Grandma. Once she does make that leap, I'm afraid I might have the opposite problem - she won't want to stay home. Good grief, I will miss her while I'm in the hospital those few days. She spent several hours with Grandmother after church Sunday so I could get some much-needed down time, and Dave and I both were antsy to see her by the time she came home.

The latest thing she does that baffles me, aside from the fact that she's growing twin boys in her tummy, is wake up from a deep, peaceful sleep in a full meltdown. Over what, you ask? Her cup. She goes from sleep to full trantrum over what kind of cup she is going to drink out of that day. Is she dreaming about cups? I don't know, but I know that I can't talk to her, I can't touch her, and she thrashes and throws herself about with giant tears dripping from her face until I realize in my own early morning fog, "Oh, yeah, she needs to pick out her cup." Once the cup is selected and freshly filled with milk, all is right in the world. This has happened three times in the last week. I can't pretend to understand it. It's one of those things that my friends with similar aged kids and I explain like this: Because she's two.

The world of a two year old is an interesting place. She is desperately torn between being her own independent person and doing everything herself in a world where she has very little control, and being the little baby she used to be. In rapid succession, she goes from climbing into the booster seat, strapping herself in, eating with a fork and wiping her own hands and face to needing to sit in my lap while I feed her. I know that a lot of this is about growing up and establishing her autonomy and the rest of it is about her uncertainty of her place when there is a new baby in the house. I'm just trying to be flexible and keep up. The comment I keep hearing lately is that she's too young to understand about the new baby; I'm here to tell you, she does. She doesn't understand the full scope of the change in her life, but she knows it's coming, she knows it will be big, and she knows it's because of Baby Boy. I've been very careful not to use Baby Boy as a reason for why I can't do some things the way I could before, but she's made the connection on numerous occasions.

She is so ready to meet him. We talk almost daily now about going to the hospital for him to be born. We read books about new babies, and we study the hospital pictures from her birth. We've talked about everything from the umbilical cord to the IV in my hand to the way she nursed when she was just born. I'm grateful now that she's had her own hospital experience so it will (hopefully) be less intimidating for her to see me in the hospital. She seems to be preparing herself as much as I am preparing her.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feeling a Bit Encouraged

First let me ask WHY you would offer online pre-registration to the hospital if you are only going to make me complete the exact same form again when I get to the hospital to sign my paperwork? I spent 45 minutes in pre-admitting (making me late for my non-stress test) because I had to fill out the same form again and the poor lady working at the desk seriously struggled with her data entry skills. That combined with the fact that is was about 80 degrees in the office and my feet were sweating in my flip-flops did not make me a happy camper. The last time she told me to take a seat because she had to calculate my estimated payment and her program wasn't open on her computer, I nearly lost it. I informed her that my appointment happened to be 10 minutes ago and I wasn't moving from the counter until she was finished with me. I think I was also panting and fanning myself at that point; she took me seriously and figured out a way to make the process faster. I later found out that Brookwood has seriously screwed up their Admitting department - so plan to spend the afternoon if you have to pre-register there any time soon.

Luckily, the nurse overseeing my non-stress test was expecting me to be late because she knew I had to go through Admitting first, and she had no problem expressing her own frustration with the new "process." I hauled myself up onto the stretcher and she hooked me up to the monitors and brought me a cold Diet Sprite (bless her soul). She explained the whole deal - monitoring my blood pressure, baby's heartrate, my contractions, and that we were trying to see Baby Boy's heart rate accelerate 15 beats above the baseline twice in 20 minutes. He passed with flying colors. At one point, he moved so hard I expected the monitor to pop off my belly. I was afraid he would be napping during the test since he played all morning, but the cold Sprite woke him up. Everything else looked good, too. The nurse said, "The doctor is going to be happy with your strip (the print out of all this activity)." To which I responded, "Good, because he's not going to be happy with my sugar numbers."

He wasn't, but because I was proactive and had already been logging every thing I've eaten in three weeks, he also knew that I've been trying to do the best I can and I have what seems like very little control over this. According to him, the numbers aren't outrageous, but they are still trending upward. He asked if I thought seeing a dietician would help and I felt like bursting into happy tears as I said, "Yes! How much more salad and chicken can I eat?!" So, he's doing one better than that; he's referring me to a perinatologist who has developed a strong program for managing gestational diabetes. He'll be able to help me with meal planning along with the timing of when I eat what/how much (like 30 grams of carbs for breakfast, etc) and when to test my sugar to get the most accurate perspective of what's going on in my body. I'm excited about this. As much as I've tried to educate myself, I really need someone to help me troubleshoot my diet to get my numbers where they need to be. With Ella, simply following the sample diet my OB gave me was enough. This time, that was blown out of the water after the second week. I felt so much better leaving there yesterday than I did last week. Now, I'm just waiting on the perinatologist to call and set up an appointment with me.

The EGR Update
She now has two baby boys growing in her tummy and they are going to "get born" so she can "cuddle them, snuggle them, play with them" (I wish you could hear it in her list-making voice). I've told her we might have too many baby boys running around if they keep multiplying in her tummy. It makes me think of Gremlins. I hope they don't multiply in water because I know she's going to bathe them, too.

For supper last night we had ham, cabbage, squash, and green beans. Grandmother asked me if she eats cabbage and I told her just to put it on the plate and we'd see what happened. Ella promptly pointed to it and asked, "What's that?"
"I don't 'ike cabbage."
"That's fine, you don't have to eat it."
Ten minutes later, the cabbage hole was empty. Then the ham, green beans, and most of the squash disappeared. She loves her vegetables, but she also had to be starving because she'd been living off of milkshakes and biscuits for two days since her mouth hurt too much to eat. She has two nicely swollen spots on her bottom gums, but still no molars.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Pregnancy Lists

Now that I'm facing weekly appointments and we are getting the house stocked with tiny diapers again, I've come to the point in this pregnancy where I'm both anxious to meet this baby and I feel like I need to freeze time so I can preserve the last few days with Ella as an only child. It occurred to me last night, as I cuddled her to sleep, that life as she knows it is about to change forever. That makes me a little sad for her, but I also know how excited she is about seeing Baby Boy.

I don't worry about loving one or the other of them more, because there's not a doubt in my mind that I will love them both as the individuals they are, but I do worry about having enough time and energy to meet their individual needs. I fully expect raising a boy to be a different experience because boys are just made differently. I'm excited about that new adventure, but I also wonder how I'll juggle life with two young children.

As I've struggled with feeling ready for this pregnancy to be over and trying to enjoy the last few weeks through the stress of Gestational Diabetes, I made some lists. It's what I do. :)

Things I Will Not Miss
1. Needing to pee every time I stand up. I wonder how much toilet paper I use while I'm pregnant?
2. Hearing "Wow, you must be due any day" and "You'll never make it to August" and variations of the same. Yes, I know I'm gargantuan.
3. Heat rash.
4. The constant worry, guilt, and analysis of everything I eat or think about eating.
5. Splenda.

Things I will Miss
1. Feeling the baby move and random parts sticking out.
2. Having elevators held for me as I trudge across hot parking decks.
3. Elastic waist pants.
4. Not having to maintain the litter box.
5. Watching Ella cuddle and talk to my belly and feed the baby through my belly button.

Things I'm Looking Forward To
1. Moving from sitting to standing without feeling like my body is tearing in half at the hips.
2. Rolling over in bed wihtout lying there wondering if it's worth the effort first.
3. Wearing my fire engine red, patent leather high heels.
4. Bending over without squishing the air out of my lungs.
5. Cuddling Ella without this huge bump in my middle.
6. Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
7. The tiny newborn phase.
8. Ella meeting Baby Boy.
9. Nursing and baby wearing again.
10. Watching Dave with a son, and my dad with a grandson.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Still No Teeth

Last week was rough, what with one child gestating, one child teething, VBS, blood sugar issues, and bedtime pushed at least an hour late every night. Whew! VBS is always a blast, but I'm glad to be back to normal. No new teeth, though. I'm sure they'll pop through the week of August 17th - which incidentally is also the week she starts preschool and will probably be the week Baby Boy chooses to make his arrival - just because my life works that way.

By Friday night, EGR and I both had about had it with the crazy schedule, and we were so glad to fall into bed and sleep until 8 Saturday morning. We had a leisurely morning with breakfast at Chick-fil-a, then we shopped at Target (because the new NCAA football video game has been released and EGR picked out a cute puppy dog lunch box for school), then Books-A-Million (because Mommy deserves a prize due to the release of said video game), and Pugits (Publix). Then we spent a couple of hours alternating between cuddling and reading, and playing while I read and waited for her to wind down for a nap. Saturday night was our first baby sprinkle for Baby Boy, and there was no way I was letting Ella skip her nap. She desperately needed to catch up on rest.

Our sprinkle was fun, even if most of the scheduled events were rained out. We did still have water balloon batting practice - which I loved. My goofy husband said he wasn't going in the rain to get wet hitting water balloons, but he changed his mind after I took my turn. Who doesn't love to play in the rain? We got loads of diapers, wipes, baby wash and lotion AND I managed to find a place to put all of it! In classic EGR style, she played in the rain until she couldn't stand her clothes any longer so she stripped naked. Then she sported Aunt Becca's t-shirt and tennis shoes the rest of the night. She had a blast opening presents for Baby Boy, and a few for herself. We saw a tiny baby at church Friday night, and we was completely in awe of him. I think she's really ready for Baby Boy to be born.

My relationship with food has gotten even more interesting than it's always been. Controlling my blood sugar has been more challenging this time around; my doctor cites my age as a reason (because 2 years older is still 2 years older) and I also think my chaotic schedule has a lot to do with it. Two Fridays ago the nurse told me to cut out all breads/rice/pasta etc., and that worked but good grief it's hard to follow that diet. It's hard to think of things to eat, it's hard to eat on the run, and it makes me feel bad physically. After my appointment last Thursday, during which my doctor told me my numbers aren't runing high enough to justify medicating me so I had to keep following the diet, I gave up and ate a lamb gyro for lunch on Friday. That was the best I felt all week. I've certainly not forgone the diet all together, but I decided to be a little easier on myself because I know stress and exhaustion makes the numbers higher. Proof of that is that regardless of how badly I ate over the weekend because of the party and a family dinner (lasagna, garlic bread, and brownie trifle), my fasting numbers have been okay for the last few days. Besides, chicken fingers and Diet Dr. Pepper for breakfast isn't half bad - just don't make me eat eggs.

I have to start going to the doctor weekly from now until B-Day, and I'll be having non-stress tests again, just like I did with Ella. While it's inconvenient to spend half a day at the doctor's office, I'm kind of glad he decided to go ahead and start the weekly appointments. I want to be in closer contact with him about my sugar, and lying on a cot, listening to the baby's heartbeat for half an hour isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon. I think I will remember to bring my book this time around, though, because afternoon TV is BORING. Oh, because everyone asks: non-stress tests measure contractions, the baby's heartrate in response to them, and the number of times he moves in the 30-40 minutes. Also because everyone asks (and because I just look more pregnant than I am when I'm growing another human), the baby is still measuring right on time and the doctor has not predicted a weight. If you just need a prediction of his size, my gut tells me he will be long and thin; I think he'll weigh less than Ella did (7 lbs. 13 oz).
By the way, this time my Welcome Baby celebration meal should consist of a Chick-fil-a chocolate milkshake, a giant bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and a slab of chocolate on chocolate cake. Someone make note.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wild Animal or Hungry Toddler? Is there a difference?

Last night was the first night of VBS (that's Bible School, in case you don't know). EGR is attending the preschool class this week, regardless of the fact that she's only 2. I've had a few worries about her readiness, but mostly I think it's something she will enjoy. I sold it hard over the weekend and she even assisted me in putting together the first night's snack, insisting that we sing Jesus Loves Me while we worked for God.

She was so very excited to have her own VBS t-shirt, just like Mommy and Daddy's - so excited that she accepted no less than I strip down in the middle of the kitchen and put mine on while she watched to make sure it got done. She was so cute in her t-shirt and ponytail (a rarity these days), marching in line with the other preschoolers to the opening rally. She made it half way through the night before she melted down because she had come to snack time and didn't want to leave me to go back to class. I retrieved her and convinced her to watch the movie while I stayed with her, but she just wasn't going to finish the night without me, so I took her back to the kitchen. My thinking was that I didn't want her to be so traumatized that she didn't want to go back. We are in it for a week, that I think she'll enjoy, and that, frankly, I don't want to spend with a toddler glued to my leg while I assemble and serve snack every night. We met up with her class again at the end of the night for the last song, and she was much more composed at that point.

When we got home, my sweet little girl played Bible School with her baby until I thought I might have to pull a Good Fairy move and Bop! her on the head to get her to go to sleep. The baby had it's Bible and bag, and she went to Ms. Amy's (that's Amory) class. As she started winding down, she began naming off her teachers and the kids in her class and we had to pray for every one of them (more than once); then we had to pray for the "other kids" whose names she couldn't remember. She kept asking me their names and I told her she would have to learn them tonight and tell me, because I don't know all of them (side note: there were 14 - FOURTEEN!- preschoolers there last night - Ms. Amory is a patient soul). Alas, she fell asleep.

She woke up after 3:30 and then again many times crying about snack. I considered that she was hungry, but she didn't seem awake enough to actually eat, so I didn't get up to get a snack. She just kept screaming for 'ogurt bites, and "open my snack!", etc. I chalked it up to sensory overload after VBS and a late bed time.

Fast forward a couple of hours to wake up time. Holy cow, I've never seen her act the way she did this morning. She was not the sweet 2 year old I put to bed last night. Oh no, caged porcupine is a more accurate description. I couldn't even get near the child as she alternated between cowering into the headboard of the bed and lashing out with limbs and snarling teeth, all while giant tears ran down her face. She didn't want her clothes on and other garbled things I couldn't understand through all the racket. When I finally got her to calm down enough to hear me, I asked her what hurt (that's the only explanation I could think of for her behavior). She said, pitifully, "My teeth! My teeth! I need teething tablets!" Whew! Finally, something I could work with.

For the first time ever, I sent my child to Grandmother's house in her night shirt. She did have a clean diaper, but that was all we could do this morning. She settled for a milk cup, 'ogurt bites, and the promise of Motrin and teething tablets as soon as we got there. When I left her, she was all "Bye Mommy, 'ove you!" like she had not just tried to maul me moments earlier.

It turns out - she was hungry. Very hungry. I've known that she can go from happy to empty in 60 seconds, and I've known that hunger is one of her triggers for tantrums, but I've never seen what I saw this morning. Reports from Grandmother tell me that by noonish today, she had eaten a breakfast burrito and hashbrown from McDonald's (at her request), eggs and sausage after her short nap, and rice, beans, chips and cheese directly after her 2nd meal. And, she ate ravenously, like she hadn't been fed at all.

I'm thinking she might have a growth spurt, and I really hope there will be 4 shiny new molars with it. But what I know is this - we will be packing the food into that child until she stops eating it. I'm only hoping she'll make it through VBS tonight on the snack provided. I'm hoping she'll make it through VBS tonight without a melt down since she has a better idea of what to expect and there will be a slight change in the snack schedule so that she doesn't see me until it's over.

At this point, because I've been awake since 3:30 am, I'm hoping I make it through VBS tonight without a melt down.

She has a Boyfriend

Last Monday morning, as EGR came walking up the stairs from Basement Time with Daddy, I heard Dave say, “Tell Mommy who that is.” She was carrying a Beanie Baby, Class of 1999 graduation owl in her arms and she promptly replied, “My boyfriend.”


“I ‘ove him.”

What?! Me to Dave (perhaps a bit accusingly): “Where did she learn that?”

He had no idea; she just started saying it. I can only conclude that she must have picked this up from older kids somewhere – and given her limited exposure to older kids, it must have been at church.

Here I have been worrying about what knowledge she might share at church (I do have a special affinity for the word “crap”), and she comes home talking about boyfriends already?! She’s 2!