changing my mindset

I saw something on Instagram a few weeks ago about changing your mindset to have a more grateful heart.

Last night when I was feeding & rocking Jordan, I got to thinking about it. I am struggling with returning to work next week. I mean hardcore, sobbing during every 4am feeding struggling. I carry the insurance for our family, we cannot live without my income – so going back to work isn’t something I can change.

What I can change is my mindset. I keep saying “I have to go back to work” and what I should be saying is “I get to go back to work”.  I have colleagues that so very generously donated their own sick leave to me to allow me to stay home with Jordan for almost 10 weeks, versus going back at 6.  I get to go back to a place that has given me so many opportunities in the last 5 years.  I get to go back to a job I really do enjoy, with coworkers that I adore.   I have a job, and that is more than some people can say.   Jordan gets to go to daycare, where she is going to make friends and learn so much.   Do I still feel guilty as hell – of course I do!  However, changing my mindset is hopefully going to help with that guilt.

What are some ways you can change your mindset?

 

Life lately…

So now that everyone is all caught up on Jordan’s birth story, here’s what is going on with the other 3 kiddos who have my heart!

Katie’s senior year is winding down and prom is this weekend!  She also has senior skip day on the 5th, which she asked us permission to do by showing us a power point presentation on why she should be allowed to do it.  In reality, she is missing 3 classes only.  Her 2 college classes don’t meet on Friday (so she doesn’t start until 11am and she gets out at 2:10).  We granted her permission – such terrible parents we are….haha!    She brought home all her graduation supplies last week, including announcements, senior tshirt, tassels and even her cap & gown.  Her graduation is June 7th, and is coming up very quickly.   Next big event is prom, which is this coming weekend! 

Jonathan is doing great in band and in school, improving his struggling math grade (side note – mama & Jake are terrible at math!).   We did find out recently he will be rezoned into the new middle school here in town.  He recently found out that his band teacher from his current school would be moving to the new school, and he seems pretty excited about the move, despite the fact that he will be separated from some of his longtime friends.  The new school will put him with some more of his friends from his baseball team.   Speaking of baseball – that is in full swing, with Jake as his manager.  He has been doing fantastic at 2nd base, and his hitting has improved so much in the last few years.  I give Jake a lot of credit for his improvement, since he has been working with Jonathan a lot over the past 3 years.   

Last, but not least – Natalee!  She is doing great in school as always, and loves being able to be a car rider right now since I am on maternity leave.   She is still singing in the choir at school, and they have a concert coming up in a few weeks.  She has really enjoyed singing in choir, and I am super bummed that I missed her singing in the talent show at school (it was the night after I had Jordan).   We were able to get permission to have her remain at the school she is at now, versus going to the school our neighborhood is zoned for.  This makes me happy, as she has been there since 1st grade.  We love her school, and cannot imagine her going anywhere else for elementary.  

 

Jordan’s Birth Story – Part 3

To see the beginning of this story, visit:  Part One  or   Part Two

On the morning of the 28th, they finally decided that I had peed enough to remove my catheter.   This was very exciting for me because it meant I could finally go see my baby.  It still hurts to think about that so many people got to see her before I ever got to hold her, and it’s something that I am still struggling with (and actually, makes me cry – including as I am writing this).   The nurse and Jake decided it would be best to wheel me up there, since I was not steady on my feet having been in bed on my back for nearly 24 hours.   So they get me all ready to go up, and Jake wheels me up.   The first thing we have to do is scrub in – which Jake has to teach me how to do (since he had done it the day before).   We get into the lobby area and sign in, and they tell us she is in #2 (there are 7 rooms with roughly 8-12 babies per room).  She is in the farthest corner of the room, meaning Jake has to wheel me past at least 4 other babies in varying states of sickness, from those who were born micropreemies still in isolettes to babies under the blue lights (for their bilirubin levels).

Seeing your baby in an isolette, completely naked (other than a diaper), with wires everywhere is not something I think anyone is prepared to see.  No matter what the doctors tell you, you cannot prepare for that.  I had already started crying before we ever made it to her while I was being wheeled through the room.  She looks so tiny, and so fragile – despite being one of the biggest babies in the room at 7lbs, 7oz (her birth weight).   We have to wait for the nurse to come get her out and hand her to me.  Once the nurse got her out, and got her wires adjusted and handed her to me – I just closed my eyes and cried some more.  It was a mixture of relief, and sadness.  Sadness that this was our reality now, and that she may have some medical issues we would have to face.

I don’t even remember the rest of that visit with her.  I’m not sure if it is just because the next 9 days were so stressful, or if I blocked it out.  I know the nurse talked to us, and the doctor I believe did as well.  I was allowed to do skin to skin the next day, which was an amazing feeling.  It did not take the place of the immediate skin to skin I wanted when she was born, but it did help me a lot.  They say it also helps the babies get better faster.   That same day I got to see her, I was able to take a shower and remove the first bandage from my incision.  Let’s just say it hurt like hell, and my husband is a saint for helping me.   We were able to enjoy (if you can enjoy hospital food) a nice dinner that night, something special our hospital does – complete with cheesecake!   The next 3 days that I was still inpatient were filled with multiple trips upstairs to see her, feed her and just hold her.   In addition to visits from the lactation consultants (who were amazing), lots of pumping breastmilk for Jordan, I had “goals” everyday from the nurses, things like pain management & walking the hallways to get my strength back.   She did move from room 2 to room 4 on the Friday the 1st.  We loved most of her nurses, and everyone was totally in love with her (and all her hair!).

On March 2nd, she had to go under the “blue lights” due to her elevated bilirubin levels, and got an ng tube through her nose for feedings (she was having some trouble finishing bottles).  With the blue lights, she had some super cool sunglasses, which she didn’t seem to mind too much!  Other monitors she was on (for the majority of her stay) were respiratory monitors (3 cords), her IV (part of the time in her foot, rest of the time in her hand), a pulse ox monitor (on her wrist or foot, depending on the day), and at times a temperature monitor on her chest.  Holding her was always an adventure due to all the wires & cords, and making sure nothing was kinked or pulled off.  The NICU is noisy, lots of monitors beeping on all those babies.  Alarms that go off, shuffling of nurses, doctors, consultants, and different specialists.  Depending on the baby – they are set to go off if respiratory, heart rate or IV levels get above or below a certain number.   You can see some of her different monitors in the photos below.

I was discharged on Saturday, March 2nd and to say it was the worst day of my life is an understatement.  We packed up all my stuff, said goodbye to the nurses and left – without Jordan.   While nothing can prepare you to see your baby in the NICU, there is absolutely nothing you can say or do to prepare yourself to leave the hospital without your baby.  Jake and I both cried.  It was a mostly quiet ride home, we were both lost in our own thoughts, and of course as always – holding hands.   The day we were able to go to Jonathan’s baseball game (Jake coaches), and have a good dinner that my mother in law prepared.  Then it was back up to the hospital to feed Jordan at 8pm.  The multiple trips were something that was repeated daily until Thursday the 7th.  I would go up in the morning with my mom (who arrived on the 3rd when my MIL left), and we would stay for most of the morning, go home at lunch, get the kids from school and then Jake and I would go back at night to feed her.  It was absolutely exhausting, and draining both emotionally and physically.  I was pumping every 2-3 hours, 24 hours a day as best I could – in between taking care of my husband, the house and my kids.  On March 5th, Jordan was moved from the NICU to the special care nursery, a “step down” and a step closer to going home.    It was quiet in this nursery, without the constant beeping you hear in the NICU – and honestly, I kinda missed the noise when she was in there, it seemed too quiet to me.  While in the special care nursery, she got all the newborn tests most babies get when they are first born.  She had her hearing screening and got her hep vaccination.  In addition, she got a 2nd echo cardiogram to check her heart, to see if some issues that had presented at her birth were still an issue (they are not, but she will have a repeat echo at 3 months).   Her first echo was done the day after she was born.

On March 7th, my mom and I arrived to spend the morning there and the doctor came to talk to us.  I will never forget her saying “ok mom, I think today is the day – Jordan can go home”.   I immediately broke down crying, because we had not expected this at all.  Once the doctor went over some stuff with me, I called Jake (who was at work), to say “are you ready to take your daughter home?”.   What a relief, and the day that I had prayed for multiple times daily.  Leaving the hospital with her was an amazing feeling.   We did not tell the kids she was coming home, we just showed up with her that afternoon – and the kids were also overjoyed!

She is now a month old, and growing like a weed.  There are moments I still get sad (mostly sad about going back to work in another few weeks).   She sleeps like a dream (in her own crib!) – 4 hour stretches at night before eating and immediately going back to sleep.  She does great in the carseat (she spends about 2 hours a day in it going to drop the kids off at school, and picking them up), and loves her siblings and her daddy.   I am still pumping daily, and we have a nice freezer stash going for when I go back to work.   She has been eating 3oz per feeding, burps and of course – farts up a storm (just like her daddy).

We are head over heels in love with her, and are so glad she is finally home with us.   I do find myself thinking daily of the other babies who were around here in the NICU, and pray for them daily.

Jordan’s Birth Story – Part 2

You can see part one – here:   Jordan’s Birth Story – Part 1

On the 27th, we arrived at the hospital “bright and early”, and by bright and early I mean – it was pitch black outside and cold.  We had to be there by 6am.   The check in was a repeat of the day before, sign one paper, get a gown, get an IV.  It was mostly the same nurses as the day before (they do shift change at 7am, so we had both evening nurses and day nurses there).   Because this is a scheduled c-section now, some things go quicker.  I get some fancy booties, Jake gets scrubs and I get the normal monitors on my tummy to monitor contractions & Jordan’s heart rate.  They did have to wait a bit before everyone was there and ready to go go to the OR.   I had to sign some paperwork, go to the bathroom probably 30 times (thanks Jake for holding all the cords & IV stuff while I peed).   Then it was time to walk to the OR – which lets be honest, is slightly intimidating.

They get things set up, and I get up on the table (which I swear I’m going to fall off of because it’s so slim).  The anesthesiologist group gets there, and I’m prepped for my spinal.  This part didn’t really hurt, it did sting a bit.  The worst part was having to hug a pillow, and being told “once they get the spinal in, we are going to yank the pillow from you and get you laid on the table”.   Well, in my silly way of coping with stress, I said “oh I get it you are going to steal the pillow from me and throw me backwards!”.   Midway through I told my student nurse that I felt like I was suffocating.  I was holding her hand at the time (along with another student nurse), and my face was basically planted in the pillow.  I will never forget her little fingers inching their way up the pillow under my nose to make sure I felt like I could breathe.   A few minutes later, the spinal was in and I was laid down on the table.  My arms were then spread wide, but not strapped down.   I remember getting very cold, and then Jake came in.  The doctors both came in, and Dr. Castleberry put her phone by my head so I could hear the music she and I had decided on earlier (for the record, it was country – old country like the Judds).  I don’t remember many songs it played though, as I was talking to Jake and listening to the chatter in the room.  I felt like I was getting very sleepy, and they gave me an oxygen canula for my nose.  I started to shake from my shoulders up (everything below my shoulders was numb).

I’m not sure the time it took between the first cut and when they got her out, but it felt like forever.  Of course, in typical Jordan fashion – she came out butt first.  They held her up for me to see, and I remember being so incredibly relieved.  I feel like I asked Jake if she was crying because I didn’t hear her, I’m sure he assured me that she was fussing.  The nurse told him to come over to the other side of the room, so he could see her. He was able to take a photo of her for me to see.  I wish I had been able to see his face when he saw her for the first time!   She had taken in a lot of fluid, so they immediately suctioned her and then put her on a c-pap machine before taking her upstairs to the NICU.  They finished sewing me up (which also seemed like it took forever!), and I was off to recovery for a bit.

Recovery is an interesting place.  A transition nurse came and took Jake upstairs to show him where Jordan had been taken, and run him through the protocol for entering the NICU.   Erin (charge nurse) and my favorite student nurse Vallie came in and pushed on my uterus a lot to make sure I wasn’t passing any huge/abnormal clots.  Another nurse came in and basically milked my breasts of colostrum for Jordan.  When they are early, and in the NICU they will literally just swab the inside of the babies cheek with the colostrum/breastmilk to give the baby much needed nutrition.    I couldn’t tell you how long I was in there, but I remember Erin saying they kept us in recovery longer than normal because of the situation, and because they thought we were a fun couple.   Erin did tell me thank you (and made me cry) for letting the student nurses be a part of every piece of my admission/c-section/recovery/etc.

They wheeled me off to the “Nesting Place” where I proceeded to sleep a lot for the next 20 hours or so. When they first wheeled me to my room, I remember asking Erin “what do I do if I feel like I’m going to throw up”, and seemingly out of nowhere, Erin had grabbed a blue bag and stuck it under my mouth.  Sadly, I did indeed puke probably 8 more times that afternoon/evening – including right when my kids arrived to see me.    Jake was able to take Katie and his mom upstairs to see Jordan, while I was still stuck in bed with a catheter and an IV.   It wasn’t until  almost 24 hours after Jordan was born that they were able to remove the catheter, and I was able to be wheeled up to see Jordan in the NICU.

continued……

Jordan’s Birth Story – Part 1

So this is going to be a multiple post story, because of the crazy that it all was.

It all started on 2-26 at 6am when we “reported” to the hospital for a scheduled inversion, followed up by an induction or c-section.  Backstory on an inversion – baby girl was transverse the day before (on the 25th) – laying sideways in my tummy with her head on the right and her feet to my left.  They got me checked in, got an IV started, set me up with a fabulous hospital gown and I got settled in.  They did an ultrasound to see where she was located, before proceeding with the inversion.  Turns out, her head was at the top of my uterus (basically, her head was between my boobs), and her feet were down below.  So, we proceeded with the inversion.

O.M.G – I do not recommend this to anyone – EVER – unless you are medicated heavily.  Apparently this was an option, but I do not remember anyone ever mentioning it to me.   My OB and another OB who was on rotation stood on either side of me, while my husband sat on my right and at least 5 nurses (3 students & 2 full time) watched.  There may have been more people, but I’m not sure too many more could have fit in the area of triage we were in.   My OB took her butt and the other OB took her head, and while she was still in my stomach they each pushed on her through my skin and rotated her.  This was the single most painful thing I have ever experienced, and that’s including giving birth 3 times before this.  Jake said he would have tapped out midway through, I was squeezing his hand so tight and was pushing myself off the bed.  It was awful.  One nurse kept reminding me to breathe, because apparently I was holding my breath.

After this was done, they did another ultrasound and she was head down and we could proceed with the induction!   Yay!  Baby day!   So I was moved to a labor & delivery room, and we got set up with our diffuser (hospital approved and encouraged!), and we took a few photos.  We were told they would come back in an hour or so and check her again to make sure she stayed in place, and then proceed with the induction.  An hour later, they brought in the portable ultrasound and she had turned enough to put her shoulder over my cervix and prevent the induction from starting.

At this point, the doctor comes in and explains that they had a few emergency c-sections scheduled and I would have to wait.  In front of Jake, a nurse and myself she said that at this point, it would be after 6pm before they could do my c-section and that I could wait if I wanted, or come back in the morning (or Thursday morning if I wanted my doctor to do the c-section).   Jake and I talked about it, and decided we had waited long enough, and we would keep waiting.  I had already come to terms that the c-section was happening, and I was ready to get it over with.  Regardless of our decision, I had to stay there for at least 4 hours after the inversion, to make sure I didn’t go into labor or my water breaks.   The doctor came in an hour or so later and said “the nurse told me you guys made a decision”, and we said yes, and told her that we were willing to wait.  She immediately said “oh you can’t wait” and “that wasn’t my intention to make you think you could do it today, you will have to come back tomorrow”.

I managed to hold it together until she left the room, and then just lost it.  I felt so defeated and the panic and anxiety were rising within me.  Once she walked out, I rolled onto my side absolutely sobbing, with my whole body shaking.  Jake crawled in bed with me and just held me, telling me it was going to be OK – we would have the baby tomorrow.  The nurse came in an hour or so later and took out my IV, all the monitors and I was able to get dressed.   We left the hospital and prepared ourselves to come back the next morning.

Continued tomorow…..

Five Things – the C-section Edition

Five things they didn’t tell me before getting a c-section.

We knew going into the week leading up to my daughters birth that a c-section was a strong possibility, simply because of her being transverse (laying side to side versus head down). Well, I went to the doctor on Monday the 26th and the little stinker was head up! You could almost see her head at the top of my stomach nearly between my breasts. But, in all my research and in talking to a cousin who had one, here are some things I didn’t know written in no particular order.

1. Someone will possibly have to shave you down there. Depending on how they are making your incision, you may have to be shaved. Completely humbling experience to have a nurse you just met with an electric razor having a normal conversation with you while shaving your lady bits. Thanks Erin for making this seem like it was a perfectly normal everyday occurrence for me.

2. The afterpains. Holy crapola are these “fun”. I actually called the nurse line because I felt like it stung but only on one side. I was assured this was normal, as it is the nerve endings coming back together after being severed with the incision.  These afterpains lasted about 3 weeks or so, and luckily have tapered off.

3. Sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose. The first few times this happens in the hours or days after, grab a pillow or your spouses hand, or the cart at Target (latter was me during a sneeze). You feel like you are going to explode your insides.   Apologies again to anyone in Target who heard me say “oh f***” during a sneeze a week after I had Jordan.

4. The catheter – mine was in for almost 24 hours due to me not “giving enough output”. This also delayed me being able to see my daughter in the NICU. I was on my back from roughly 9am on the 27th to about 8am on the 28th, as my spinal wore off. Advice – drink all the water they tell you to!!

5. The tape. So after you are cut open and your baby is out, they sew you up and cover your incision with a bandage. In addition to this stickier than a toddler with a glue stick bandage, I had tape on my leg from the catheter lines and tape on my arm from the IV lines. Nearly two weeks later and some work (and lemon essential oil), I was finally getting off the last of the sticky residue left over from the tape.  The tape covering my incision we were able to take off the day after while I was in the shower.  This took Jake and I about 15 minutes to get off while I was standing in the shower in my hospital room shivering and freezing my butt off.  It was painful too, pulling tape off skin that had been stretched out from pregnancy, as well as freshly shaved the day before.

While the recovery seems easier than my last vaginal delivery, it may be that I have way more help than last time too.    Was there anything that surprised you about your c-section delivery?

Happy Valentines Day!

Saw this fun little “quiz” and thought it would make a fun blog post.

Relationship length: 3 years this past January
Married: 2 years in July.
Who’s older: Me
Age difference: 2 years and a few months
Who was interested first?  He says I reached out first (which I did), and I say he followed thru with keeping the communication going.
Who’s taller: Him.
Worst temper:  Probably him
Most sensitive: 🙋🏼‍♀️ – me totally!
Loudest:  Depends on the situation
Funniest:  both of us
Most stubborn:  Him (even though he’d say me)
Falls asleep first: 100% Jake.
Cooks better: S me
Better singer: Me!  But ask him someday to sing his rendition of Mercy (country song)
Most adventurous:  I think we are a good mix on this.
Most organized?  Me
Dresses the nicest:  We are about 50/50 on this one.
Most protective:  He is protective of me and the kids for sure.
Best driver:  I’m going to say me, and just let the 2 accidents Jake had the first 2 years we were together speak for themselves.
Has the most clothes: Him.  His t-shirt and polo collection alone equals more than my own clothing.
Most competitive:  Equal on this for sure!

Photo taken week before our 1st Valentines Day together.

blood, sweat and tears

Ok, so there was no actual blood shed during this project (at least not that I am aware of) – but sweat happened and tears happened.   Jake did the sweating (along with my parents) and I cried a lot over the last 4 months.

Remember back when I posted this:   http://www.vannclan5.com/2018/11/chaos-and-patience/

Our bedroom had severe water damage from a leak in the chimney that had been ongoing for years, and we were trying to figure out what to do, and the best course of action to take.   Well I’m happy to say that after 4 months exactly, we woke up this morning in OUR bedroom, in our bed, with everything intact.

After the realization that baby girls due date was coming in fast and quick, and the chimney repair just being completed last week, we knew we had to buckle down and finish.  Well, being 35 weeks pregnant – I’m kinda limited to what I can do heavy lifting/painting/etc wise.  So, we called in reinforcements.  Less than 24 hours after my plea for help, my parents drove down from NC to help.  Between Friday-Sunday morning they managed to knock out finishing up the drywall, then painting, then laying the wood floor.  The latter took the most time.  We were also able to move all the furniture back into the room!    Dad also helped Jake carry the baby’s dresser upstairs to her room, as it is has been “living” in our office since we got it in early October (before everything happened).   Now this week, Jake is going to paint her room, so that we can begin to get it set up and hopefully be able to “relax” some before her due date (if you know us and know our family, it’s sort of laughable that I say relax, because we are always busy!).

Here are some peeks at the process (I only helped here and there, as noticed by my socks in a few photos, I had to “stand in” certain places while they hammered or locked things in place.   Also, Chip and Jo got nothing on my mama & daddy.  They are rock stars for sure, and even my kids got in on the action!

 

Here is what it looked like when we went to bed last night:

 

There are still a few things left to put up, and items to find where they were stuck during the chaos;  But to be back in OUR space – I slept better than I had in months.   My only challenge was when I got up around 1:30 to go to the bathroom, I sat up and my feet didn’t touch the floor and I was a little confused for a moment.  Jake whispered “be careful” and I was good.  Going from sleeping on our mattress on the floor to our actual mattress on a bedframe while pregnant = so much better!

that’s not a real number

So two weekends ago, Jake and I packed up and drove to Michigan.  Yes, drove.  We left as soon as we dropped the girls off at school, and started an epic road trip.   First, let me say what a trooper my husband is, because 14 hours of driving on Friday only to turn around and drive home on Monday is enough to make anyone sick.   While he did get sick 2 days after we got home, he got us up there and back safely!   Only two mild panic moments from me, once when we hit the tunnels of NC and once when we hit this ridiculous bridge in Cincinnati (that town is something else to drive thru!).

So we knew going up there, the potential for snow was high, as was the potential for temperatures I have never seen in real life.  Friday we got there, and it was hovering around 18.  Ok I thought, this is fine – I’ve done 18 before (didn’t want to think about the windchill).  Our baby shower was on Saturday morning, and we woke up to snow on the ground and temperatures hovering around 8.  Again, did not want to think about the wind chill.   Saturday morning Jake went out in his carhart bibs, jackets, gloves and hats and ran the snow blower around the driveway.   I managed to get dressed and go out to take photos.  Let’s just say it took longer to get dressed to go out, than it did for me to stay out and take photos.   The baby shower was wonderful.  Baby girl got spoiled, and we got so much love from family that we hadn’t seen in over a year (since our wedding).

Sunday Jake had talked about going to Ann Arbor, to go to the Bo Store (Michigan Wolverines thing), and to go to Zingerman’s deli.  Wake up and look at the temperature and immediately started laughing – it was -8.  NEGATIVE EIGHT.   That’s not a real thing, nope – it’s not that cold out.   Fake news, I reject this.   So we bundled up with our coats, gloves and hats – and my heated car blanket and set off for Ann Arbor.   It was SO cold, I’m quite sure I have never been that cold in my entire life.  We visited the store, and the deli and then headed for home – after a stop at the Twelve Oaks Mall and of course Meijer for Jake.  From what I can remember, it never got above 0 (zero), and the wind chills stayed in the low negative numbers.   We had dinner out that evening at a local place that Jake and I love, and immediately came home for couch snuggles and warmth!

Monday morning, we get up to leave.  The temperature is now -11.  Again, what the hell.   Everyone kept saying it hadn’t been that cold there since February 2018, and that they had so far had a mild winter.  It was in the 50’s just a few days prior!   The truck had been parked in the garage all weekend.  Midway through Ohio, Jake went to  use the windshield wiper fluid and nothing happened.  We were almost all the way through Tenneesee (3.5 states from where we left from) before it thawed enough to come out of the sprayers.  We kept laughing and laughing about it, because what else can you do?  We had even poured 2 cups of hot water into it to try and help it thaw.  It didn’t help that it was in the negative numbers or hovering around 0 the entire way home.  By the time we got into SC, I was so excited to see 20 degrees and then 30 degrees!

I’m glad we went, but I am not sure I will be doing the trip in the winter anytime soon!   Photo below taken in my mother in law’s front yard in front of my favorite trees (that look so beautiful in the snow!).   It was 4* when this was taken, and again – not even sure I want to know the windchill.  It was a very quick photo op!

at the end of the day

I was scrolling back thru my phone and saw that I have saved this back in October.  Oh how did I know that I would need this back then?

Today has been hard.  Being given a diagnosis with just the bare minimum of instructions on how to handle it is one of the toughest things I have had to experience.   I got my gestational diabetes diagnosis on the 26th if Decemver and the only instructions I got were “no white bread, white rice or white potatoes.  No cereal, sweet tea or juice.  Limit fruits to mealtimes only, so no more than 3 per day.”

No instructions on where to keep my numbers, they literally called in a glucose meter and all the parts to our pharmacy and told me to start testing.   Thank god for my husband who had a general idea of how to use the meter.  I pretty much sat at the table sobbing because looking at all the testing stuff and instruction manual was incredibly overwhelming.   I got minimal guidelines again at my last doctors appointment on the 4th, just in terms of where she wants my numbers under.  The OB admittedly struggled with finding me a class and nutritionist to meet with, and I do finally see them on Thursday the 17th.

Today I went to find lunch for myself and while the kids and Jake ate nachos.  I took out eggs, cheese and bacon – 3 things I know are “safe” and I just couldn’t stomach eggs again.  I have eaten more eggs in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 years.   I stopped what I was doing, went upstairs and laid down on my bed and just cried and cried.  The weight of making sure I am eating the right balance of carbs and protein, while staying under the numbers – but again having no guidance other than what I can google is so overwhelming.  It’s panic inducing – am I hurting my baby, am I hurting myself?   Since being diagnosed I have lost about 11 lbs, which my doctor told me would happen.  As long as the baby is growing how she should, I can keep losing.  I’m now at a lower weight than I was when I got pregnant.

I cannot wait until Thursday so I can “learn how to eat again”.   So far it’s been a lot of trial and error on what makes my numbers spike and what doesn’t.  What works for friends, doesn’t work for me and vice versa.  Case in point – I ate some French fries from Rush’s on Saturday and thought for sure “this is going to spike me”.  Ate it with some fried chicken, cole slaw and a few tiny bites of a roll.   I wanted the amazing sweet tea that Rush’s has – but I drank bottled water instead.   My numbers were the lowest they have been all day.   Our bodies are weird.

I struggle with the guilt of “what did I do to cause this”, knowing full well that there was nothing I could do to prevent this diagnosis.  Gestational diabetes is caused by the placenta and hormones, and there is not a damn thing I could have done differently.   

My husband is so patient with me, he keeps telling me that I’m doing so well with the minimal knowledge I was given.  He tells me he is proud of me.  He even tries to eat the things I can eat, even though I know he would much rather be chowing down on a baked potato.  I really could not do this without him.

I just have to learn to be patient with myself, that this whole journey is a learning process with the best gift at the end of it – our daughter.