Glucometers, Lancets and Ketones Oh My!

Last night was my Diabetes Education class. I was going to blog about it last night when it was all fresh in my mind, but my class was from 6:30-8:30pm, clear on the other side of Portland and I had to stop at the store on the way home for some groceries so I could actually attempt to follow my new diet (I’ll get more into that in a bit). By the time I got home it was all I could do to change into pajamas before falling asleep. It was a looooong day.

So I managed to find my class and being the over-achiever that I am, arrived a little early. I walked into this fairly ghetto looking clinic only to find that aside from the teacher (and someone who was being trained to teach this class) I was the only one there. At first I was thinking maybe I was earlier than I thought or, worse yet, that I was in the wrong place. But they quickly assured me I was in the right place, it was just that I was the only one enrolled in this class. I was actually pretty excited about this because it meant I got a one-on-one with the dietician and could ask any questions I had, no matter how stupid they may be.

Overall, I would have to say the class was pretty helpful. As a frequent Internet user (Google, anyone?) and a first-time mother who reads anything on pregnancy she can get her hands on, a lot of the stuff was review. I mean who doesn’t jump online to look something up the minute you are diagnosed? So since I was the only one in class, we got to skip over a lot of the basics and get into the nitty-gritty. They provided me with my own Medisense Precision Xtra glucometer and taught me all about testing my own glucose levels. Surprisingly, I have to test my blood four (!!) times a day. Once first thing in the morning to get a fasting level, then two hours after each of my main meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner). So my little glucometer (it is actually quite cute-I will have to post a picture later since I can’t find a good link to it online) pretty much travels with me all day long. I just have to actually remember to use it!

Then we jumped into the diet portion of the class. I know how to eat healthy, as I have done diets in the past, but learning to eat to balance my blood sugar is going to take a little bit of work. There are some pretty zany rules specific to gestational diabetes (such as no fruit before lunch) due to the ever popular raging pregnancy hormones. There are some, in my opinion, contradictory rules (I can only have 8 oz of milk at a time, yet I can eat endless amounts of cheese) that are going to take some getting use to. For now I just have to stick to my diet book and become best friends with my measuring cups (and, sadly, measuring spoons) for portion control.

I also have to keep a food journal as well as a glucose journal to see how my diet correlates to my blood sugar levels. Then next Monday I have a follow-up with the dietician to see how well I did and if anything needs to be adjusted. At this point it is looking like I might get bumped up to a little bigger food allowance since my blood sugar has been pretty low. But I guess that is better than too high. Then again, maybe not. I don’t know. Eeee.

Early Nesting?

It appears as though I may have started my nesting phase over the weekend. Either that or I was just trying to find things to do once I boarded my husband on a plane to Kentucky where he will be for the next week. But considering how I normally fill my time when he is gone (running errands, shopping, or watching chick flicks) my vote is leaning towards nesting. You be the judge:

Once Simeon left for the airport, I watched TV in bed for a while then got up and took a shower. I started a load of laundry (FYI laundry is so much more fun with a nice, new washer and dryer!) and ate a bowl of cereal. All relatively normal behavior. Then I decided to gather up the garbage around the house to prepare for our garbage pick up the following day. Only when I walked into our bathroom, fully preparing to simply empty the trash into the large garbage bag I was carrying, I caught a glimpse of our medicine cabinet. I decided now was as good a time as any to toss out any expired items and tidy up a bit. I completely emptied the cabinet, tossed all the old items, dusted the shelves and put the few remaining things (I was really surprised how many things had expired. I don’t think I had ever cleaned our medicine cabinet since we bought our house in January of 2003) back in, organized according to use (first aid, cold/flu, dental hygiene, etc.) and then of course by height within the category.

Feeling quite happy with my completed task, and still armed with Pledge, Swiffers and Windex, I glanced around for another project. I spotted the nightstands in our bedroom and set to work. I cleared all the surfaces, cleaned and polished the furniture until I could practically see my reflection in the dark wood, and dusted each individual item before putting things back where they belonged. In the process I threw out a ton of stuff. This was particularly a task on my husband’s side of the bed, where he empties his pockets at the end of the day and grows quite the collection of completely random and useless junk (business cards, candy wrappers, movie stubs, etc). Happy with the absence of dust and lack of surface clutter, I considered the bedroom attacked and conquered.

At this point I was starting to get a little tired and decided to stop for a snack. I made myself a quick PB&J sandwich and sat down at the dining room table to enjoy my treat. While I was eating I glanced around the living room and noticed our DVDs in the entertainment center. Now I first have to explain that I am really particular about my movies and keep everything alphabetized at all times. Understanding this is a rather difficult concept for others to grasp (and more specifically, follow) I have a sort of “re-shelving” area (like they have at the library) of DVDs that have been recently purchased, watched, or returned from friends. Once I finished my snack, I took out all the DVDs, lined them up alphabetically, and integrated the other DVDs into the mix. Having emptied out the entertainment center almost entirely, I thought this was a perfect time to clean things up. I grabbed my Pledge, Swiffers and Windex and got rid of every speck of dust and every fingerprint I could find. Then I loaded everything back in, making sure all the spines lined up with not only each other, but the edge of the shelf. Anal? Yes. Very.

Then I decided I needed a fun project, so I set to decorating the house with all my fall and Halloween decorations. Dusting, tidying and fluffing pillows every step of the way. Finally I decided I was too tired to take on any more tasks for the day, so I grabbed some dinner and went downstairs to watch a movie. But I have my mind set on tackling the Tupperware cupboard later this week…then who knows where this frenzy will take me.

30 Week Belly

Firstly, I just wanted to thank all of your for your kind words over the last couple days. It means more to me than you know to have such a great support system, and you guys have never failed to come through for me when I need you.

Secondly, I am 30 weeks today. What I wanna know is HOW AM I 30 WEEKS ALREADY?! It just boggles my mind. On the positive side, I am three-quarters done with my pregnancy. And on the negative side, I am three-quarters done with my pregnancy. Yeah, I know!

Lastly, I hope everyone has a kick-ass weekend.
I plan to spend some quality time with my husband before he leaves me to go train in Kentucky for a week. Then I hope to get some things taken care of around the house. Cause you know, I am 30 weeks pregnant and that means we got us a baby comin’.

And now for the close-up:

Joining the 2 to 7 percent

Well it is official. I have gestational diabetes. I just talked to my doctor’s office and got the results of my 3-hour test:

     Fasting: 81 mg/dl
     One hour: 165 mg/dl
     Two hour: 165 mg/dl
     Three hour: 154 mg/dl

This is how they classify “abnormal” scores:
     Fasting: 95 mg/dl or higher
     One hour: 180 mg/dl or higher
     Two hour: 155 mg/dl or higher
     Three hour: 140 mg/dl or higher

So while my fasting and one hour tests were fine, the two and three hour were not. Luckily, my scores were not very far outside the normal limit, so my doctor said I should be able to regulate my blood sugar with diet and exercise alone. This means no insulin and no shots. Yeah! I will, however, have to test my own blood sugar levels between doctors appointments, but it should only be a tiny prick of the finger.

Next Monday night I have a diabetic education class, where I will meet with a dietician and learn more about gestational diabetes. They will send me home with my very own glucometer to test my blood sugar. Then I have a follow-up appointment the following Monday afternoon.

I know that between 2 and 7 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition, making it one of the most common health problems of pregnancy, but for now it is a little overwhelming. I have read just about everything I can Google on the subject. I know it’s common. I know it’s manageable. I know it’s not my fault. I know it is just that my pancreas can’t keep up with the increased insulin demand due to these damn pregnancy hormones raging through my body. I KNOW.

But still.

I stumble across phrases like “baby may be too large to enter the birth canal” or “twice as likely to develop preeclampsia” or worse yet, “increased risk for stillbirth in the last two months of pregnancy.” While I understand the odds of these things happening to me, given my test results, are relatively rare, it doesn’t change the fact that these things are all very scary.

But don’t get me wrong, I am going to do everything in my power to work this to my advantage. I am going to eat healthier. I am going to get more exercise. If nothing else, I am going to do my best to be as healthy and as aware as I can possibly be. And you damn well better believe that this is going to be a change my family will me making to help keep us as healthy and happy as possible.

29 Week Belly

Today I am 29 weeks and three days. I kept meaning to take my belly shot over the weekend, but I would remember only after I had climbed into bed for the night and there was NO WAY I was gonna get up, get dressed, and pose for a picture. So here I am, a few days later than planned, but still well within the 29th week range.

It’s funny how things go. Today I got dressed and felt relatively normal, not hugely pregnant. But I walked into my boss’ office to hear, “Wow. You look really big today.” Then our receptionist told me it looked like I grew a couple inches over the weekend. Now while that is totally possible, here I was thinking I wasn’t looking super pregnant today. Boy was I wrong! You decide:

Ready for the close-up?

(And no, that “bump” is not my belly button. Just a regular button. My belly button is still wide and distorted.)