Side note...I am participating in a program through our insurance company (Anthem) where they give us $300 in our HRA toward health costs, and all I have to do is talk to an RN every so often. It's really great, and I actually like the nurse a lot. Anyway, I wanted to mention her because she answered some questions about gestational diabetes, my new diet, testing my blood sugar, etc. I felt fine leaving the class, but once I started doing things on my own, I had some questions, so her timing was perfect when she called. She told me not to be too alarmed if my blood sugar was still somewhat higher at times even on this new diet plan b/c my body is having to adjust to the changes. I could eat the same thing next week and may see different results. For example, the other day I had 1 1/2 cups of Special K and 1 cup of milk. My blood sugar was 154, and it needed to be below 120. So, this morning I just had 1 1/2 cups of Special K and 1/2 cup of milk, and my blood sugar was 118. So, I think just making that minor change helped. In sum, this program was really helpful, and I think a lot of insurance companies are doing these types of things now. Of course, their goal is to keep down costs by patients going to the doctor unnecessarily, but for me, I wanted the $300. Plus, it gives me just another resource to answer any questions or concerns I have about the pregnancy.
Jumping back to the childbirth class...we began the morning session by breaking up into two groups (there were about 7 couples in the class), introducing ourselves, and writing down 10 topics that we wanted to learn about that day. Of course, we all wanted to just roll our eyes because it felt like high school all over again, but we pulled it together and finished the activity. The instructor was a lactation consultant, so all morning she created opportunities to talk about how wonderful breastfeeding is...which is totally is...don't get me wrong, but you could just tell that it was a big priority for her to talk about it a lot. She showed us how to do pelvic thrusts, and at one point, she even got on all fours and began arching her back and then relaxing it. This is a 65 year old woman thrusting her pelvis at us. Yeah, I was a little uncomfortable...not gonna lie. Ryan (the mature and practical one that day) reminded me that this lady was here to help us and our baby, and I knew he was right. So, I pulled it together and tried to keep an open mind. :)
Side note...at church today, Pastor Danny said something like, "Every single person in this world matters to God. So, everyone should matter to me." I really needed to hear that because sometimes I struggle with certain people I work with or the instructors at our class, for example, and it will be something good to remind myself of when I'm in those moments of feeling annoyed or bothered by certain people doing certain things. Those people are loved by God, too, so I need to show them love, too.
Anyway, I honestly can't tell you too much about the class because so much of it is stuff I have already read. I was surprised by questions people were asking (e.g., Are there side effects of an epidural?) because there is just so much literature out there these days that can explain everything to you. The morning instructor talked a lot about ways to cope with natural childbirth, how the hospital accommodates that, etc. She talked about working with doulas, too, which again reinforced our decision to have this baby at Methodist. Not all hospitals will talk about natural childbirth, doulas, birthing tubs, etc. I was the only one who raised my hand when asked if anyone was planning on a natural child birth. I think a lot of people were thinking more about it, though, as the class went on because the risks of medical interventions was discussed a lot, mostly in the afternoon session of the class.
In fact, let's just jump to the afternoon. We had a really hyper lady for the second half of the day, and again, I was telling myself, "She is here to help you!" She talked a lot about the different interventions that might occur during your hospital stay. I learned that every patient gets an IV port just in case of emergencies. I guess it is one less thing for them to worry about. Then she talked about inducing labor, epidurals, fetal monitoring, c-sections, etc. I'm not going to lie...when I heard about all of those interventions and how having one can often lead to another, natural childbirth again sounded more appealing to me! It only reinforced what have read in books and articles. The internal fetal monitoring tool was one of the scarier things she showed us. Basically, if they are having a hard time getting an external read on the baby's heartbeat (intermittent or constant), sometimes they will put an internal monitor on the baby. This requires sticking a long wire/tube inside of you and screwing a little hook into the baby's scalp....NO THANK YOU!!! Please don't screw something into my baby's head...are you kidding? My favorite was when the nurse was showing us the BIG METAL FORCEPS! They look like HUGE salad tongs, and the nurse could not get the two pieces to connect. She tried and tried for a long time, but finally she just passed them around in two separate pieces. Thank goodness that is the doctor's job, right? Anyway, I wouldn't even touch those bad boys. They were TERRIFYING! Please don't squeeze those in my body, grab my child's head, and pull him/her out of me. I've just heard to many horror stories about kids being permanently scarred, temporarly bruised, and worse yet...brain damaged from doctors using them. Again, NO THANKS! I pray that God gives me the strength to push this baby out because I don't want a vacuum or forceps used on my child's head.
On of my favorite parts was when we all sat down on out blankets and pillows (yes, just like the movies) and learned breathing sounds like, "choo choo", "hee, hee, hoo", etc. It was good stuff to talk about, but you just feel so silly pretending that you're having a contraction when you've never been in labor before. She also passed around several massage tools that our husbands could use on us during labor to provide relief. I like massages, so that felt great! Then she passed around some lotion for our husbands to massage our hand. OH MY GOSH! Ryan put the biggest pile of lotion on his hand and started rubbing my hand with it. My fingers had lotion strands between them...my hand was completely white with lotion, and his hands were just as greasy! I SERIOUSLY ALMOST DIED LAUGHING! I could not pull it together. We didn't have any towels or anything, so he just kept rubbing away, trying to massage my hand as the nurse was instructing everyone to do. I thought I was going to pee my pants laughing! I had tears in my eyes and was being a total distraction, but I really couldn't pull it together. I wish we had a camera because that would have been one heck of a picture to post!
At the end of the class, we took a tour of the hospital. We found out where to have our family and friends enter the hospital and how to direct them to the correct place. The waiting room is very small, I'm guessing so that not too many people come and bombard the hospital, but there is a larger waiting area downstairs on the main floor. Our plan is to labor at home for as long as possible to make sure that I'm actually in labor and in order for me to have freedom to move, take a bath/shower, eat, watch tv, try to relax, be as comfortable as possible, etc. before coming to the hospital. Then we have to go to triage where they will check me and confirm that I am in labor. After that they will put me in a labor, delivery, and recovery room where I'll do just that. After the baby is born, they keep you in that room for up to 2 hours or so. She said that as long as everything is ok at delivery time, they will leave the baby in with us for about an hour to start bonding and breastfeeding because the baby is usually really awake at this point (unless of course you've had narcotics that crossed the placenta). After that the baby will get its first bath, and we can do this ourselves in our room with the assistance of the nurse, or they will do it for us. I like the idea that the baby will never have to leave our sight (in the case of a healthy baby) unless we make the choice to have it taken away...or if it's a boy, and he needs to be circumsized. Then we we head to the postpartum unit where we'll spend the next 48 hours. It was good to see the rooms again and to be in the hospital. I know that I get really nervous at hospitals, so trying to create a calm, peaceful environment is going to be key to me not freaking out once we get there. While I feel somewhat anxious to go through labor, I know it will all be worth it once we see our little boy or girl. :) Having Ryan and our doula present during the labor and delivery will be so helpful, and I do trust our OB's skill set...even if she isn't the warmest person I've ever met. I also trust my body...that it was created to do this! Plus, I have the support of all of my family, friends, and God, so what else more could I ask for? Only 8 1/2 more weeks to go, and I can't wait!!!
The good news is...I can eat anything!!!!! Seriously, I won't have sugary beverages, but as far as food goes, I can have anything. I just need to spread out when I'm eating carbs throughout the day. The dietician came in and explained to us how to choose what to eat. This was my favorite part of the class because I was STARVING and DYING to know what I could eat. This is my food plan:
It's also important to know that 1 carb = 15 grams of carbohydrates. So for breakfast, I can have 1 1/2 cups of nonsweet cereal and 1 cup of milk), which will equal 3 carbs. If I was starving (which hasn't been the case so far), I could supplement that with eggs, bacon, etc. Veggies, meat, meat substitutions (e.g., cheese), and fats are all FREE! So, imagine my excitement to learn that I can eat PIZZA, MAC-N-CHEESE, PASTA, BREAD, some of my favorite carbs. I just have to do it in moderation and spread it out throughout the day. Not bad, huh? They also gave me a huge guide filled with various restaurants that break down their menu and show how many carbs each item is. I asked Ryan if we could go celebrate my ability to eat, and we stopped at O'Charley's for dinner. I got a bacon cheeseburger (2 1/2) carbs, water, and substituted broccoli casserole for the french fries. Just so you know, I have NEVER, I repeat NEVER, ordered broccoli in my life. I don't eat broccoli, so there is no way in heck I would ever order it for fun. However, I felt a real need to fully embrace this new diet and thought I'd kick things off with some broccoli! :) It turned out that the casserole had rice in it, too, and 1/3 cup of rice is 1 carb, so I just had about 5 bites and called it quits. You know what? The broccoli wasn't even that bad, but don't expect me to willingly eat it very often. :)
My restaurant guide
I begged Ryan to test his blood sugar with me so that he could understand I would be doing for the next 9 weeks. He (reluctantly) agreed, so here are some pictures of us tonight. My blood sugar was 118, and it needs to be below 120...whew! Ryan's was 125...good thing he doesn't have the DIA-BE-TIS!
It doesn't hurt - I'm just exaggerating!
Doesn't he look so excited to test with me?!?! He screamed when it poked him but later said it didn't even hurt! I totally thought it hurt him. :)
We also had one of my favorite things for lunch...Panera! They bought these delicious Panera sandwiches (I had ham & cheese) and also had fresh fruit, veggies, and chips, too. The cake was SOOOO good, even though I probably shouldn't have had any (see Gestational Diabetes blog). After we ate I opened presents, and let me just say this...I have such generous and thoughtful friends! I got so many great things...children's books, a baby bath tub, bath towels, wash clothes, bibs, pacifiers, bowls, bottles, a food processor, recipe books for baby food (I'm planning to make my own), a homemade book of children's poems (SO FUN!), lotion, shampoo, nail clippers, hair brushes, onesies (one of which says "Tax Deduction"), pajamas for me (YAY!), blankets, a night light, a robe and booties, baby food, spoons, burp rags, nose sucker thingy, hangers, a swaddler blanket, faucet protector, bottle brush, sleepers, homemade cross to hang in the nursery, toy bag for the bath, rinse cup, bath letters, rubber duckies, outlet covers, baby legs (see http://www.babylegs.net/photos.php), Bumbo seat (see http://www.bumbobabyseat.com/), and baby socks. Like I said, aren't my friends so generous?? I had such a great time with everyone, and it turned out to be a perfect day!
Fasting Blood Sugar: 79 (GOOD)
1 Hour Blood Sugar: 205 - Supposed to be below 180 (NOT GOOD)
2 Hour Blood Sugar: 201 - Supposed to be below 155 (REALLY NOT GOOD)
3 Hour Blood Sugar: 182 - Supposed to be below 140 (YIKES!)
For those of you who don't know about gestational diabetes, here is some information. Regardless of how much sugar is in your body, you are supposed to produce enough insulin to cope with the amount of sugar. However, my body is all out of whack from being pregnant, and I'm not making enough insulin. That means that the baby is having to produce more (SORRY BABY!). Insulin is a growth hormone for babies, so releasing lots of it can make you have a larger baby. So I have to take a class at Methodist Hospital on Thursday for two hours to learn about what kinds of changes I need to make in order to stay healthy and to best help the baby.By changing my diet and starting an exercise plan, I should be able to take care of the problem. I honestly am looking at this as a positive because diet and exercise are two great things to focus on for these last 9 weeks of pregnancy! :) I think I might have to test my blood sugar throughout the day, but again, I'll know more after Thursday. I'll keep you posted!
For those of you who wonder what that means in terms of months, we will be 7 months on Friday. Yep, only 2 months to go! What a better way to ring in the 30 week mark than to have a Glucose Tolerance Test. I slept really well last night and was ready for the 4 blood draws and fasting. It really wasn't so bad. There were people ahead of me at the lab, so they drew my blood for the first time around 8:30. Then I drank that sugary drink...it tasted just like last time but a little sweeter...no big deal! People really make that drink out to be awful, but I didn't mind it at all. Maybe it's the lime flavored one that doesn't taste so bad. :) Anyway, I waited the first hour without any trouble and had my blood drawn at 9:45...exactly one hour after I finished the drink. The waiting between 9:45 and 10:45 was a little worse. My stomach started to ache a bit from being hungry. I don't think having only sugary stuff on my stomach helped, though. I just laid down in the car until it was time for blood draw #3. I decided to just sleep through the last hour, and that really helped! The second it was over, I shoved a granola bar down my throat and then headed to the northside to get my hair cut. I will find out the results from the test tomorrow, so any prayers for good results are much appreciated! Enjoy the 30 week belly picture!
I decided to just take the whole day off on Wednesday. I'll be getting the tests done all morning, and then I'm taking the afternoon to do some shopping and to run some errands. I'm helping some friends throw a bridal shower Saturday late afternoon after my baby shower earlier in the day, so I definitely have some things that I can work on Wednesday. It will be nice to have a break from work for the day! Stay tuned for the final results on Thursday...
After the hot flash passed, I got dressed, and we went down the hall to draw my blood. I should mention that for the glucose test, I was not allowed to eat breakfast, so I had only had that sugary drink. It was the first time I had missed breakfast in almost 7 months! Anyway, I went to get my blood drawn and still wasn't feeling 100% from the ultrasound. I told the nurse that I was notorious for fainting from blood and that I wasn't feeling very well anyway. So, Ryan sat behind me in case I tipped over. She stuck me and began drawing my blood. The needle didn't bother me at all...it was imagining the blood gushing out of my arm! I began to feel sick...started sweaty...breathing fast and heavy...turning white. Yes, I knew what was coming...I had felt this way before! I told them that was I was going to probably get sick. So Ryan pulled this HUGE trashcan over to me. The nurse told me to lean toward it but said that she was going to keep drawing my blood, even if I fainted because she knew I wouldn't want to start the whole process over again (drinking glucola, waiting another hour without food, drawing more blood). I told her that was fine. She proceeded to take 3-4 viles of blood, and after what seemed like an eternity, she finished! I just leaned over the monsterous trashcan while Ryan wiped the sweat off my body. My color began coming back, and they got me some orange juice and granola bars to snack on. I felt a lot better after that. So, we went to see the doctor and learned that the baby's weight and the amount of fluid in my uterus were completely normal. The doctor determined that I'm measuring a little bigger because of the way my body is carrying the baby...all out front! So that was great news and was exactly what we were hoping to hear. :)
Opening gifts from Dad & Danette
My dad and Danette came to stay with us this weekend, and we had a really nice time! After they got here on Friday, we went over to Motherhood Maternity to pick out something fun to wear for our first baby shower Saturday afternoon and to see if I wanted to buy anything for our maternity pictures Saturday morning. Shopping for maternity clothes in January was a lot of fun because I was beginning to show but my old clothes didn't fit well anymore. When we went shopping on Friday, I was about 10 weeks more pregnant than the last time I went shopping. I can't say that I really enjoyed standing under those fluorescent lights and looking at my new body! However, I keep reminding myself that it is all for the baby and that my weight gain is right on track. After trying on about a dozen different outfits, I found only one shirt that I really liked. I also bit the bullet and got a "sleep bra"...I know...I wondered why I needed one, too. It's basically a cotton bra that helps provide support at night. This will definitely come in handy after the baby is born, and I'm nursing. I also got some denim capris but am thinking that I'm going to take them back. The pockets are kind of nerdy even though the front of them looks great. :)
Hooray for breast pumps!!!
Anyway, we got up early on Saturday to be at our appointment for maternity pictures. I was kind of nervous because I haven't had my pictures taken like that since high school. I had no idea if I looked ridiculous or great even though Ryan was giving me good feedback. You can check them out at http://jscottphotography.instaproofs.com/. Just go to "Amy A Maternity" and type in the password "baby". You have to put your email address in, too, if you want to see the pictures. I hope you like them!
How cute is this cake??? It matched the invitations perfectly! :)
After we finished getting the pictures taken, we went back home and had lunch. Ryan and my dad went to the Big Ten Tournament games, while Danette and I went to the baby shower that Ryan's mom and sister were throwing for me. The shower was so much fun!!! We played a game, ate some delicious food (including the cutest cake ever!!!), visited with everyone, opened presents, and visited some more! Ryan's family, my mom, and Danette completely spoiled us!!! Check out this list of gifts: diaper cake, stuffed animals, burp rags, snack cups, spoons, receiving blankets, pacifiers, onesies, Pampers Swaddler diapers, layettes, bibs, teething rings, high chair, Baby Einstein play center, activity mat, mattress, mattress pad, crib sheets, sound spa, ice blocks w/ bunny, Johnson & Johnson gift basket with TONS of goodies, Jeep stroller, puppy bath towel, socks, breast pump, and lots of fun blankets! Three of them were made my family members, which makes it that much more special. We are so lucky! I started organizing everything last night (of course) and am already wondering where in the world we are going to put everything. :) It's strange to set up the high chair now, for example, when it will be quite a bit longer until the baby needs it. I guess it will be good motivation to reorganize some closets!!
Kelli & Gloria made the cutest diaper cake!
Me in a sea of presents! How can you thank people enough for so many nice things??
Tuesday we met with Julie, the doula I was writing about earlier in the week. She was wonderful! I really felt comfortable with her right away, and it just seemed like the three of us, Ryan, Julie, and me, meshed really well together. Julie explained what she would be doing if we hired her as our doula. We will have two meetings prior to our due date. Our first one is during Week 32, and the second will be somewhere between Week 35 and Week 36. This will give us an opportunity to get to know her better, but most importantly, it will help her understand our dynamic as a couple, as well as what our needs/desires are during labor. For example, she will ask Ryan a bunch of questions about what kind of role he is comfortable with during labor and delivery. Some guys like to be more hands on with their laboring wives...others want to sit on the chair and just be physically present for their wives and newborn baby. This will help Julie know how to best support his needs during labor. Then, we'll also start discussing a birth plan and the different components we want in that plan. Ryan and I will actually create our own plan, but I think she will give us ideas/scenarios to consider. She also has many resources for us to look over and discuss about different childbirth methods (e.g., The Bradley Method, Hyp-Birth, etc.). She said that we will also do a simulation of labor to help us prepare mentally for what is to come...not that you can completely do that...but I like the idea of putting some time into it. After meeting with Julie, Ryan and I both agreed that she will be a great fit for us. I'm excited about it, and it makes me feel that much closer to meeting our baby.
Last night, we had a wonderful dinner at Moe's...A Place for Steaks downtown. OH MY GOSH! I just couldn't resist the filet, and I'm so glad that I ordered it. I got an 8 oz. filet, and it melted in my mouth with deliciousness! I haven't eaten an entire filet in FOREVER, but now that my appetite is starting to pick up, I didn't have a problem at all! It was glorious! The couple who joined us for dinner bought us two of the cutest little baby outfits and a bib...oh my gosh. I cannot wait to see our little one in them! We had a really nice time hanging out with them, too, so it was a really nice night.
Today, I was in desperate need for my manicure and pedicure. My brother had surgery today, which was definitely on my mind all day (I got a call saying that the surgery went really well!). Then, I got an email about a coworker who that found her 13 day old baby boy had passed away in his crib. They've determined that it was SIDS. I seriously lost it! I mean, a story like that always touches your heart, but now that I'm pregnant...man it really hit me hard! I was balling in my office (again...thank goodness for having my own office), and the baby was just moving around. I think it was trying to say, "I'm ok, Mom! Don't worry!" I had just seen my coworker's baby last Tuesday, so it was just heartbreaking. He really was a beautiful baby! We're collecting money in our school district because not only do the parents have to pay for a funeral, but they still have all of the hospital bills headed their way. It's horrible! I can't even imagine. I finally pulled it together and got a few things done at work. It wasn't my most productive day, but I really did the best I could. My manicure and pedicure were wonderful! I felt so pampered and relaxed...it's really just what I needed. Now if I just could've had that glass of wine....
Tomorrow is our ultrasound appointment...first thing in the morning. Any positive thoughts and prayers for a good outcome are very much appreciated!!! I will write soon to let you know the results. My dad and stepmom are coming into town for the weekend, so I will write whenever there is a break in the fun!
The baby's bassinette - gift from Grandma and Grandpa Till (my dad and stepmom)
Isn't it adorable???
I love that every Wednesday marks a new week completed in this pregnancy. Because it comes along mid-week, after Wednesday I'm focused on finishing out the week at work. Then the weekends are mostly play time, with some projects around the house as of late. Before I know it, I'm back to work on Monday and feeling busy with things to do. Then, it's Wednesday again, and another week of pregnancy has passed! It's exciting to know that we only have 12 more weeks to go. I know it is going to go by quickly, especially if I stop myself from thinking things like, "Is it almost over yet?" or "How much longer until the baby comes?" I really think a positive mindset is more than half of the battle!
Anyway, here are some pictures of me at 28 weeks. Really, they don't seem too different from the ones at 25 weeks, but it's fun to have some new ones!
I really love being pregnant!
I think that is everything I needed to share with you!! Now you are completely up to speed on the comings and goings of Baby Abell.
How sweet is it that the baby can open and close its eyes now? I can tell that it is getting bigger and stronger, as its movements feel so much different. When I first felt the baby move, it felt more like bubbles popping. Then, I would feel the baby move in one place on my body. Now when he or she moves, I will feel it in multiple places at once! In fact, it's moving as we speak. I can see my belly moving around, which is really fun! Sometimes I seriously wonder if other people can see it, too, because the movements will be so strong. I really love this part of pregnancy!
We went out of town this weekend to stay with my dad and Danette to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday! Ryan carried everything downstairs and packed up the car by himself (usually I at least help carry things). I'm just letting him do those kinds of things...it makes him feel good to help me and to know that I'm not carrying anything too heavy. :) I was really sore Friday after work, though. My hips and pelvic bone were just aching! Seriously, it felt like someone had kicked me a few times. I've had some pain in the past, but this was much worse than before! It was a pretty uncomfortable ride to South Whitley, and after sitting for a couple hours, it probably just make it worse. A good night's sleep with a pillow tucked between my knees sure helped. :) We had a great visit with my dad and Danette! They took us out to eat at this cute little restaurant called "The Brownstone" that is located right on the main strip of our town (right at the only stoplight). It reminds me of the restaurants in Zionsville. It was so good, in fact that we ate there Friday night for dinner (Foccasia Chicken, smashed potatoes, green beans, and a salad) and Saturday for their breakfast buffet. YUM! Saturday afternoon was the big birthday celebration at this restaurant in Warsaw called Cerulean. Check out the website:
We had a great time! For my dad's birthday, Ryan and I wanted to do a past and present theme. We got him candy from the 1960s (with the original wrappers on them) to represent the past:
We also got him a picture frame to put the baby's picture in and three books to read to Babell. Do you remember those Mercer Mayer books? They crack me up! We got two of those for Dad and a book titled "I Already Knew I Loved You" by Billy Crystal:
This book is so sweet!! It's from a grandfather's perspective about his anticipation of his grandchild being born. I have to admit, it totally made me tear up at the end! Anyway, I highly recommend it for a gift to grandfathers.
One of my goals this weekend was for my dad, Danette, my brother, and my sister-in-law to feel the baby move...and even see it move if possible. The baby cooperated, and everyone got to feel it! It was really special. :)
This month is going to be a busy one! Ryan and I are getting maternity pictures taken during the morning on Saturday, March 15th. Of course, I have to give you the website: http://jscottphotography.com/HOME.html. I saw this photographer when I was searching for someone to do our wedding, but we didn't hire him. He photographed my friend Abigail's wedding, and she told me that he also was taking maternity pictures. Since I have leftover Christmas and birthday money, I thought this would be perfect! Then I have a baby shower with Ryan's family that afternoon in Greenwood. I can't wait to see everyone and to celebrate this baby's upcoming birth with the women in his family. Then, March 22nd, my friends Abigail and Blair are throwing me a baby shower, too. I am really looking forward to seeing all of my friends again!! Our first childbirth class is March 29th from 9 .m. to 5 p.m. So you can see, this month will be very busy! I can't wait to write about everything. I'll try to post lots of pictures, too. Whenever we get our maternity pictures taken, I will try to post a link so you can see them, too.
That's all for now! I hope you all have a great week, and I'll write again mid-week!