Well, it’s been long enough since I posted about my life that I’m now in an awkward position because I can’t post about my current life because you wouldn’t know what the hell I was talking about. So I need to clear up some of the backlog.
I know some of you are wondering how PH is doing.
Generally, he is closer to staying alive than he was a couple of months ago.
But we aren’t out of the woods yet. No miracles.
If you asked me how I was doing, I could say “that DEPENDS”.
Depends, get it? No of course you don’t.
But you will.
My health tanked around the same time that the whole nearly-losing-my-husband thing happened.
I guess the stress killed my immune system, because the mild cough and sore throat that had been nagging me for two months suddenly turned into a death cough which forced the baby down into my bladder with each hack so I was urinating copiously and uncontrollably with every spasm.
Owl succumbed as well, and developed a simultaneous lung infection, ear infection, and eye infection, and was prescribed antibiotics for the first time in his four years of life.
So while PH was hospitalized I was sloshing around in wet pants while single-parenting a sick four year old.
Shortly after PH was discharged his mother arrived to stay with us and help.
I HIGHLY recommend the live-in mother-in-law.
It helps that my MIL is preternaturally sweet and helpful. She doesn’t nag, or criticize, or make veiled passive aggressive comments. Hell, you can’t even GET her to give you advice even if you outright ask her.
So she slept on our couch, got up with Owl in the mornings, gave him his medicine, made him breakfast, got him dressed, made meals, cleaned… all while I hacked and coughed and wet myself again and again.
I really can’t emphasize my embarrassing level of bladder control enough. We’re talking about leaving wet spots wherever I was sitting. In the end, PH and his mother came back from the store with DEPENDS and I WORE THEM FOR LIKE TWO WEEKS.
They’re surprisingly comfy. They manage to absorb both your urine and your seeping dignity.
Anyway, I ended up on antibiotics too and was eventually able to go back to my regular underwear.
Meanwhile I went through my standard set of 28 week pregnancy tests, including the famous surgary-orange-drink test, aka the glucose tolerance screen.
Which I failed.
So then I had to go in and drink a much more concentrated sugary orange drink and it was confirmed – I have gestational diabetes.
The crazy thing is that I never would have guessed. I had hardly gained any weight with this pregnancy – only about 15 pounds or so – and I certainly had no diabetes symptoms (which is apparently common in gestational diabetes and that’s why they test for it).
And THEN, when I saw the endocrinologist because a simple test can’t officially diagnose me, she said “well, all signs point to it. Your 20 week ultrasound showed that the baby’s abdomen was enlarged which is common in gestational diabetes.”
Uh WHAT? What happened to “everything looks perfectly normal”?
Oh, and I was also informed that the baby was measuring three weeks too big.
So now I was freaking out. Because Dr Google tells me that when the mother’s body can’t produce enough insulin, the baby gets too much sugar and gets too big, making it more likely that you will need a C-section. Also, the baby compensates by cranking out extra insulin, which permanently sets her body systems to pre-diabetic levels, which means she is more likely to be obese and develop diabetes herself in the future. Oh, and babies of mothers with GD also have lower IQ scores.
So basically my failing pancreas were making my daughter fat, unhealthy, and stupid.
I immediately went on a diabetic diet and lost an alarming 6 pounds in a week. When my appointment with the Diabetes In Pregnancy clinic rolled around the nutritionist told me that I’d been too strict on the carbs, because apparently you can’t restrict sugar TOO much in pregnancy, because then your body makes ketones which damage the baby’s brain.
My urine turned the ketone square dark, dark, purple.
On the bright side, once they sent me home with a glucometer I found that my blood sugars were actually fine (on a whole-grain, protein-with-each-meal, no-sugar-added diet) for the most part, except for first thing in the morning.
But the ketones. Oh my god, the ketones.
So for the last month I’ve been worrying about my baby’s brain and urinating on sticks multiple times a day.
I have recently found that if I eat even higher amounts of carbs, like sneaking raisin bread in at night and eating some forbidden potatoes at dinner, the ketones disappear. Which is good.
But my morning blood sugars got even worse, so now I’m on insulin in the evening.
And this week, I suddenly gained 5 pounds for no apparent reason and my blood sugars have gone all wonky, even though I’ve been eating basically the same things for the past three weeks without the slightest change in my weight.
I’m starting to feel defeated.
Thank heavens I have help, because the baby, who is still three weeks too big, is making me decidedly uncomfortable.
My sweet mother in law traded off with my parents last month. My folks are subletting a place nearby instead of crashing at our house so PH and I get some time to ourselves in the evening, which is nice, but on the other hand, there’s a lot more coordination – when do my parents arrive, when do they leave, at whose house shall we eat dinner etc etc.
But I’m not complaining because I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have the help. The same thing I was doing before the mothers started flying in, I guess – haul my butt out of bed, dress my child, feed him, and generally survive.
But I’m deeply grateful not to have that pressure on me, because as you can see, even with the help I’m so low energy that I haven’t even had the energy to write. Besides, the pressure of my enormous baby is getting bigger. Quite often – especially at night – I can feel her pressing on my liver and it makes my liver hurt.
I’m not sure if I should be concerned about this.
I mean, maybe liver pain is a perfectly normal part of late pregnancy and it’s just that most women my age (including myself last time I was pregnant) wouldn’t know what liver pain feels like. I would have described it as “discomfort in my upper abdomen” or something.
But this time around it’s very distinctive to me. My effing liver HURTS, especially when I roll over at night or get out of bed or have to hunch over for any length of time.
Also, is it normal to get shooting pains in the groin/bladder? The doctor just shrugged it off as “probably some sort of ligament”.
And now I’m craving cardboard.
Well, wood pulp in general, really. The smell of lumber is so delicious. I want to gnaw on Jenga pieces and chew a nice great wad of really fibery paper. Some of my books smell so amazing it’s all I can do not to nibble on them.
Not sure what to make of that either. I am taking my vitamins every night.
Anyway, that’s the basic summary. I’ll chime in with more specific stories – the saga of Fluffy, Owl’s feelings about the pending sibling and so on as I develop energy to do so.
So… how are YOU?