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Category archive for: Personal Anecdote

Waiting Game

They have been giving me pills to soften my cervix. My water broke, but I wasn’t dilated and as of Tuesday (two days ago) my cervix was in tact, so I’ve been taking low doses of some pill every four hours that is supposed to soften the cervix and bring on contractions.

It’s 3:49 am and I’m in pain, but that’s it. I don’t have much else to report.
I was not in pain from 12:30pm to 2am, so I’m kind of pleased to finally be in pain. I was having contractions according to the monitor earlier, but I didn’t feel anything.

I can see the other rooms as well on the monitor, and I’m a bit jealous that those ladies seem to be having more frequent contractions. I’d like to get this show on the road.

David’s sleeping in a pull out bed next to me. He’s doing well. Our parents have visited and people are excited, but I’m worried she’s taking her sweet time.

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Week 39

Me this morning: David! I lost my mucus plug!
David: Oh! Should we buy you a new one?

David doesn’t know what a mucus plug is, which is fair. I didn’t know what one was until we got closer to labor. Losing a mucus plug is one of the signs of impending labor. You can lose it weeks before, so it’s not like your water breaking.

Other signs of labor are contractions and bloody discharge. Bloody discharge is not a great sign.

Yesterday the doctor was going to do a cervical wipe to help thin out the cervix, but she said I was so closed they couldn’t do it. The baby’s head is down and facing my back, which is how she was positioned last week too. Hopefully she stays this way so labor goes smoothly.

Movement has become quite difficult. Also there’s less room in my stomach, so I still love eating, but the next day if the food doesn’t come out, I feel like what I imagine labor will be like.

I got a pedicure and a manicure Sunday (manicure didn’t have polish, just made sure to trim down nails so I didn’t accidentally poke the newborn). And I uh…think I’ve decluttered? There is of course more to do. I think I’ve been secretly hoping the baby comes and someone else does the final cleaning for me. Or with a baby I don’t care about things anymore and just let David throw everything away, which is what he has been itching to do.

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Week 37

It has been a while. These past few weeks have been busy, and my brain has slowed down significantly.

The thing that has taken up the most time is the gestational diabetes. Since I’ve been trying to control it through diet, it requires I eat every two hours. That might seem easy, but that means every two hours I have to find something healthy to eat. Even as I type this, I realize how silly this sounds. But to put things in perspective, I didn’t used to eat that often. I ate when I was hungry, upset, or it was dinner time!

I’ve also started making smoothies. Smoothies are a game changer. Here are things I put in smoothies:
broccoli, kale, banana, blueberries, almond milk or pea milk, apples, and ice. Sometimes I throw in some pistachio. And I also try to immediately wash the smoothie container, so it doesn’t get sticky.
I drink two cups and store a third cup for snacking later. They make me feel like I’m eating responsibly. That’s my smoothie story.

For the most part, I’ve been able to control the diabetes with diet and exercise. My morning fasting numbers aren’t great, because you have to eat a protein snack at night. I don’t think I’ve figured out the right thing to eat. Peanut butter is normally good.

Here are some other things that happened these past few weeks:

-We removed our fireplace, so we can move part of the office into the living room. By “we removed our fireplace” I mean we paid a contractor to do it, and then the county sent an inspector to make sure the gas was properly closed.

-My mom came over uninvited and cleaned our place. David was out of town, and she demanded I work at my desk while she cleaned our bathrooms, kitchen, bedroom and living room. It took two full days. I was embarrassed and grateful. The place felt so much better.

-On Tuesday, two days after my mother had done her cleaning, a contractor came over to patch the drywall where the fireplace was and fix up the floors. His vacuum exploded, emitting all the drywall dust and other materials in the vacuum all over our place, setting off our smoke alarm and leaving a solid layer of debris over our entire apartment. We rented a hotel for the night because of the questionable air quality, and David had cleaners come in Wednesday. I did not tell my mom this happened.

-We took several classes. In sum, we’ve taken a class for:
Infant CPR
Breastfeeding
Early childcare basics
Birthing
Hospital tour

Initially, our ob-gyn said the only class we needed to take was Infant CPR, because everything else we would eventually figure out. I hope she’s right, because I don’t remember a lot of the content in the classes, even though I took copious notes and asked questions in all of them. The birthing class was a two day class, and I think I came away from it more concerned than I was going in, which to be fair, was quite concerned. Did you know for a c-section they cut, pull your skin open, and then reach inside, move your organs, and pull out the baby? In the birthing class, they spent three hours describing a natural birth. It looks like the process involves writhing in pain for 12 hours and demanding massages and damp towels until you give in and request drugs or an epidural, but it’s too late by then because you’re too dilated, so you have to push the baby out naturally. Those three hours describing the natural birth process were not helpful.

Week 37 is a neat week, because it means the baby is technically at full term. So, any day now is okay for delivery. We are not ready for her yet though. Our place is still a mess, and I haven’t mastered taking care of myself, so taking care of someone else is still quite daunting. I think I’m moving just fine, but several people have commented that, “It looks like she’s having a hard time,” when they see me walking, so that’s rude. Those people are rude. Or those people thought I was an incredible walker before, possibly even a glider. They perceived my movements as graceful and effortless before.
Getting up and sitting down is hard, but I don’t think that’s what they’re referring to.

Our ob-gyn moved to North Carolina last week, so we have been scrambling to meet the other ob-gyns in the practice. I have two I like, and one who I have decided I do not like. If she’s the one who ends up being there on delivery day, I don’t know if I’ll have the restraint to avoid yelling, “NO, NOT YOU. WHEN IS THE SHIFT CHANGE?!”

In other news, we have book club on Thursday, and I haven’t read the book yet. Shhhh.

…..

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Week 30 Part 2

My birthday happened in Week 30, so this week gets two posts.

Exactly one week ago, I got the automated email letting me know I had failed the second gestational diabetes test. We were watching Euphoria, the new HBO show that is compelling but terrifying if you’re a parent of a teenager, I think. Anyway, the next day David got the call from the nutritionist, but he did not pick up. For some reason our doctor’s office has his number – the emergency contact number – listed as the primary number to call. I’ve tried to correct this at least 12 times. Even though I know it’s not David’s fault, I got mad at him for missing the call and forcing me to call essentially an answering machine multiple times a day to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. I thought every minute I was not speaking to a specialist was threatening our baby’s life. “What a luxury to be a man and able to not pick up the phone!” my eyes said via my glares at him.

Anyway, as you know, I finally became less angry when the nutritionist scheduler called me back and I signed up for a 1pm class on Tuesday. I showed up later to the class than was recommended because a work meeting ran late. I checked in, near tears (this is my general disposition now), and I heard someone say my name. It turned out Katie, an old friend, was one of the instructors! She said I wasn’t late, and in my head I thought, “The lord has blessed me with Katie in this moment of anguish.” But to Katie I just quivered, “I’m so happy to see you here.”

The class was super informative. Here’s what I learned:

1) A carb is bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, peas, corn, fruits, cereal, granola, yogurt, all sorts of things with sugars. You might be thinking, “Duh…” Well I didn’t really know fruits were carbs, and I eat a lot of fruits.

2) Proteins and fats are not carbs, except for beans. Beans are carbs and protein.

3) Gestational diabetes is not the same as diabetes. You need carbs for your baby when you are pregnant, so you cannot cut carbs out of your diet. You have to have a mix of foods.

4) For the diet plan, carbs are assigned points or choices based on approximate grams of carbs. A banana is 2 choices, because it has around 30 grams of carbs. A large apple is 2 choices!

5) You need to test your blood sugar two hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You need to snack two hours after meals as well. And you can only take in as many carb choices as allotted on your worksheet. The choices allotted are based on your pre-pregnancy weight.

In the class, the instructor gave an example of breakfast:

Instructor: Okay, so you have a piece of toast, an egg, and a cup of milk. How many carb choices is that?
Me: Two
Instructor: Okay, great, so you are allotted two carb choices for breakfast, but you are still hungry. What do you do?
Me: ….Cry?
Instructor: The correct answer is to add more protein…from the allowed proteins list.

Recommended schedule:
7:30am – Urinate on keytone strip (to make sure not in ketosis); Prick finger, test blood sugar
8:30am – Breakfast: 2 carbs (26-35 grams)
10:30am – Prick finger, test blood sugar
10:35am – Snack: 2 carbs (26-35 grams)
1:00pm – Mid-day meal: 3 carbs (41-50 grams)
3:00pm – Prick finger, test blood sugar
Between 3 and 5:00pm – Afternoon snack: 2 carbs (26-35 grams)
8:00pm – Evening meal: 3 carbs (41-50 grams)
10:00pm – Prick finger, test blood sugar
10:30pm Evening snack: 1 carb (11-20 grams)

For a total of 13 carbs per day or 199 grams of carbs.

After class we were provided a glucose meter and some strips. We were instructed to call our insurance companies to see which kits they cover, and once we know that, ask our doctors to put in orders for those kits. Well I did that, and this process is ridiculous. Here’s how the call went:

Me: (Calling company, annoucing I have gestational diabetes, asking about meter)
Insurance company: Let me connect you to our partner who provides that.
Partner: Hello, yes, your insurance covers the Accu-check Guide Me Meter, Accu-check Aviva Plus, and Accu-check Performa. Which one do you want?
Me: What is the difference?
Partner: (Rattles off a list of features, none of which seem related to blood sugar, all of which could have applied to a smart phone)
Me: Which one do you recommend?
Partner: Ms. I don’t know, you have to decide.
Me: Which one is the cheapest?
David: (overhearing question) NO. THAT IS NOT HOW YOU CHOOSE THIS!
Me: Which is the easiest? You mentioned one has blue tooth – I do not need that. I just need it to tell me the blood sugar.
Partner: You can look up the differences while I wait.
Me: (Trying to speed read about the devices. I pick the one that seems most straightforward.)
Partner: Okay we will send you a free kit so you can try it, it will arrive in 8-10 business days.

I’m not one to waive off free, but WHAT IF I DID NOT HAVE A STARTER KIT AND I NEEDED THIS DEVICE RIGHT AWAY? Insurance is insane. Politicians say people want to research and pick their devices and procedures, but I don’t know who these people are that are interested in undertaking research projects in the midst of an ailment. I don’t want to research procedures and devices. This was a nuisance. I’m still unclear on the differences, and I ended up walking over to CVS after the call and just buying extra lancets and test strips for the starter device the nutrionist gave me, which I’m going to keep using.

Anyway, the same evening as the class, I happened to be meeting my college friend Kim for dinner, who also had GD. She gave me pointers on how to use the needle and dispose of the needle. I hadn’t seen Kim IN YEARS. When I saw her, I thought, “The lord has blessed me with Kim in this moment of anguish.” But to Kim I just quivered, “I’m so happy to see you,” and gave her an uncomfortably long hug to stop from relief-crying.

The day after the class was Wednesday, my birthday. We spent this day eating healthily, testing for blood sugars, and ending it with a movie. David made salmon and rice and he did all the dishes. Thursday was America’s birthday, and we went to two barbecues, where I ate poorly and had a high reading. The readings have been good since then. I’m back to biking and continue to take longer walks. I also lost some weight, which you’re not supposed to do in the third trimester. Hopefully it is okay because I’m controlling the blood sugar. She has been kicking, so I think she’s okay so far.

In other news, the U.S. women’s team won the World Cup today, so that was super nice. My mom was excited too. I also read this piece, which is the best love letter I think I’ve ever read.

Here’s my favorite passage – it’s in the section where she talks about Megan-goggles:

I swear, it was like the most amazing thing happened: It was like the entire country, all at once, for this so improbable but also somehow very very very possible moment….. PUT ON MEGAN GOGGLES.

It was like the entire country, all at once, said — Soccer? YES. Women’s soccer? YES. An openly gay superstar swagging out with two goals and batsh*t celebrations and leading us to a huge-ass win in women’s soccer? YES. That same openly gay superstar not just taking some preapproved level of pride in her sexuality, but actually being the world’s biggest most kissable goofball queen and literally crediting her sexuality for those two goals and her batsh*t celebrations and our huge-ass win in women’s soccer? YES.

This is the American flag now, someone tweeted — and it’s a photo of my girlfriend, BEAMING ear to ear, smiling her BOOBS off on a football field, mugging for the camera, weirdo dye job and all — just totally and completely over-goddamn-flowing with excellence? YES.

After the game, I went out to lunch with my parents. It was a nice way to end Week 30.

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Week 30

This is the start of Week 30.

I failed the second test too, so I have gestational diabetes. The next step is to set up an appointment with an nutritionist who can walk me through what I’m supposed to eat and not eat. I’m supposed to cut down on carbs, but I don’t really eat a lot of carbs to begin with, so I’m not sure how this is going to work. I’m not looking forward to the pin pricks. I spent most of last year and the beginning of the pregnancy either getting blood draws or daily injections, so the thought of more needles is upsetting, but I’ll do anything to make sure she’s healthy, so more needles it is.

This does put a damper on my food plans. I have brunch buffet reservations on Sunday, and I’ve gone ahead and cancelled birthday meals this week. I’ve also started a food journal tracking what I eat. Since I haven’t had a nutritionist appointment yet, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be doing. And I’m confused by the sample meal plans I’ve seen online so far, because I don’t see ice cream listed on there. What time of day am I supposed to eat ice cream, and how much of it can I eat? These are questions I’ll have for the nutritionist. Also I’m worried I’m not smart enough to understand how to monitor blood glucose levels.

We started cleaning over the weekend. I threw out a lot, but there’s still more to go. I had 2004 romantic hit _The Notebook_ on in the background, so I was also crying profusely while cleaning. It was very good for my sinuses. That movie is even more amazing the second time when you understand why Duke is reading to her. And if you are full of hormones, it’s even more powerful.

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Week 29

I did not pass that gestational diabetes test. I got a 150, and the number they’re looking for is under 130. 190 means you definitely have it, and I didn’t get 190, so I’m back at the doctor’s office for the next round of gestational diabetes testing. My vision is super blurry after drinking that ridiculous concoction, so I’m guessing my body is not processing sugars the way it’s supposed to.

This is a setback, because I’ve been worried this entire pregnancy (such is my way), and now I have something concrete to worry about.

Anyway, I’m sitting at the doctor’s office, waiting for my third blood draw of the morning. The first draw was a baseline draw, the second was done an hour after drinking a stronger fluid.

When I came in, there was another woman in the room who is also doing the three hour test and waiting for her blood draws. Her partner/husband was in the room, and they said they needed the other chair for a patient, so he got up to leave. They told me I could change the channel if I wanted to. The TV was tuned to CSPAN, so I said that was fine. I was interested in their coverage of last night’s debate. The people who host this show are saints, because the people who call in are nuts. For some reason a bunch of Republicans called to weigh in on their opinions on the best Democrat. Then when asked if they would vote for any one other than Trump, they said No, absolutely not. One person claimed he was a Democrat for the past 50 years, and then he started talking about how gays are ruining the sanctity of marriage, so he’s registering as a Republican. One guy called in and complained that he was always being blocked, because he’s a Republican. I don’t understand who these people that call in are. Are they real people?

Anyway, the pregnant woman I’m sharing the room with asked to change the channel at some point. I handed her the remote, and she chose the Home Shopping Network. She was about to leave the room to get her blood drawn and I think I gave her a look and she went and sat back down and picked a different channel.

She has now chosen Nickolodeon and is watching what appears to be Paw Patrol. So _we_ are watching Paw Patrol.

She is an adult – l’m guessing early 30s or late 20s at best.

I might have to share a room during the actual delivery too…and normally I’m the one in the relationship to be more assertive, but if this happens during that time I’m going to need David to step up. I won’t have the energy to tactfully tell someoone about to go into labor they have bizarre taste in television programming.

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It’s February

It’s February! I was slow in January. Very slow. I slept more than usual and did not exercise much at all. I plan to exercise more in February. But boy oh boy am I tired. For example, I had to take a break between writing the first sentence of this post and the second one.

Deep breath.

I’ve learned that adding cheese to vegetables is one way to make vegetables delicious.

And I suspect lentil soup – covered in cheese, of course – is correlated with devastating bowel movements.

Also multi-vitamins aren’t really regulated, so you might not be getting the dosage you think you are, POTENTIALLY JEOPARDIZING YOUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF ANYTHING GROWING INSIDE YOU. IS THERE NO END TO THE HELL THAT IS PARANOIA ABOUT EVERYTHING GOING AWRY AT ANY MINUTE?!

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What if it’s bad news?

I haven’t gotten a call yet, and I was expecting one 24 minutes ago. WHAT IF IT’S BAD NEWS?!

No. I need to stay positive.

BUT WHAT IF IT’S BAD NEWS?

No, no, there are laboratories, and people, and phone calls before mine that could take longer.

BUT WHAT IF THEY ARE DELAYING THE INEVITABLE?!

They call in order that the results come in, and they are busy. That room was full of other people, and that’s just one of many offices in the area that needs to process information. So multiply the number of people you saw by 10.

BUT WHAT IF THE SAMPLE WAS LOST?

They don’t lose samples, do they? Wait, is that a thing that happens?

SURE, HUMANS ARE FALLIBLE. MACHINES ARE FALLIBLE, BECAUSE THEY ARE MADE BY HUMANS.

I could just call if I don’t hear back eventually.

YES DO THAT.

And eat a small chocolate while I wait. And have some warm water. With a lemon.

OKAY.

And lentil soup. Lentil soup is good for you.

FINE. WHATEVER.

I love lentil soup.

TAKE THE PHONE WITH YOU.

I’m just going over here.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T HEAR THE PHONE RING?!

I’ll take the phone.

GOOD.

I finished the lentil soup. It was delicious. I squeezed some of that lemon I cut for the warm water into the soup.

OKAY.

It made the lentil soup even tastier, if you can believe it.

OF COURSE I CAN BELIEVE IT. IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE DONE THIS.

Yeah but it just delights me every time.

WHERE DID YOU PUT THE PHONE?

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New Year’s Eve

I’ve been sleeping a lot this past week, because I figured I’d treat myself. I’ve also been reading the physical copies of The New Yorker. This is going to be the new me, I think: someone who reads the physical copies of The New Yorker. I read something about using facial recognition technology on cows to detect pain early. I also read a Washington Post article the other day about how dairy farming in the US is no longer profitable. I’ve always wanted to have a dairy cow, so I don’t know if this is the universe discouraging me from going for that dream: the technology is too expensive and a lack of technology is untenable. Also I learned you can’t raise chickens in my county, so any attempts at farming are out of the question. I guess that settles that.

A lot of 2018 was about trying to conceive. We did our first IUI in February, and we started the IVF process in July. The process has felt all consuming, but I wanted to point out some other things happened in 2018 that I should feel good about, should the transfer not work out:

1) My animated short was accepted into different festivals, including a pretty big one: HBO’s Women in Comedy Festival in Boston. Strangers laughed out loud in a movie theater screening at something I made. Yay! The short won Best Animation for the Broad Humor festival. Yay! Also three people in the media industry listened to a read-through of the _next_ episode and laughed out loud and told me I should “keep going.”

2) We took some very cool trips this year: Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, Mexico, Greece, Canada, London and Las Vegas: all were AMAZING. We watched some great tennis, ate some delicious food, and enjoyed the time together. Traveling with David, whether it’s a walk to the supermarket, a car road trip, or a long flight, is always the best.

3) The tennis team I captain made it to the playoffs in the Fall! I don’t think I won any matches personally, but I did set lineups, enter in scores, and write inspiring emails, so that’s nice. And to do this, I had to learn about the rules I had been ignoring previous seasons, because we didn’t have a real chance before.

4) My D&D character died and came back to life. This had nothing to do with me, really. The death was accidental, even though I had been trying to kill off my character intentionally for months. The resuscitation was entirely thanks to David who wrote a scathing email about the circumstances of my character’s demise. I was touched by this, and I’d like to think that if I were to die in real life, David would also have some thoughtful, stern words for the people in charge. I think I might make a bullet journal in 2019, primarily to do a better job of tracking my D&D progress. I have a terrible habit of falling asleep at D&D sessions (on account of them running late and my not sleeping a lot), so maybe a bullet journal coupled with a new commitment to sleep will help in some way.

5) I rode 150 miles on the bike in December, which was a big Peloton win for me. And I did this via 30 and 45 minute rides, which I typically avoided. And I recognized I was not as fast as other riders, but I could make up the miles by riding more. This was a valuable lesson I hope to take into 2019: persistence can get you pretty far.

6) I directed a holiday comedy show. This entailed reviewing and editing scripts, setting the order, casting, selecting the music, making sure the tech script was ready-to-go. I also wrote a sketch and performed in the show. And I was really proud of how it came out. The crowd laughed. We tried new things: it was great. I was super proud to invite my friends and family to the show, and it was fun to do.

7) I wrote a tight 5 (4.5 technically) and performed it at an Open Mic. I only did one Open Mic this year, but at least I did it! My friends who came laughed and laughed, and strangers were confused that I was doing a Mrs. Claus bit, which is weird because it was the day before Christmas Eve… so there really should have been more holiday jokes. The only holiday jokes people had were about loneliness and suicide, and they didn’t feel like jokes as much as suggestions. Anyway, my friends who had come from out of town almost felt out of their chairs laughing, because they are good friends.

8) From a work perspective: I personally contributed to at least a 44% increase in sales, with considerably less resources than we had before. And I think it might have actually been more, because I did not count the contracts yet.

9) I think I wrote more blog entries this year, and that’s always a good thing.

10) OH! Here’s a thing I was SUPER proud of: I made mashed potatoes. My family agreed to let David and me host for Thanksgiving, so we were in charge of the menu. David cooked pretty much everything, because he is a better cook. But I used the internet to learn how to make mashed potatoes, and I peeled them, boiled them, and put them in the mixer and added butter, milk and a pinch of salt. They tasted amazing. I also baked cookies this year, and they were well-received.

11) I produced another animated short. I was worried it was not good enough, so I did not show it to anyone. I’m planning to share it tonight.

All in all, this list was helpful. 2018 was a year of some progress!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2019.

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