***there were 2 comment / questions on the last post- answers below:
1. With my history of hypertension, I will have frequent (weekly) ultrasounds to ensure the safety and continued growth of the baby. This will start at 31 weeks and continue until delivery. If the baby starts to show signs of distress, restricted growth, or there is any medical reason involving my health warranting a delivery, a cesarean will be done immediately. I have been **told** that as long as there is no medical (emergency) reason for delivery, that the issue will not be pushed and my doctor has said a few times that he'd love for me to "go" to 39 weeks. Right now, we have not discussed scheduling a delivery. I have asked to be "allowed" to go into labor and my doctor has expressed his support. I will have a section as my delivery with Mary Louise, Kuylen and David was extremely traumatic and my uterine scarring is a bit more extensive, and classical in technique. So, ultimately, I don't know what will happen. It is my hope that I will go into natural labor and get to the hospital for a (unscheduled) cesarean. But, I am not naive enough to believe that the issue of scheduling won't be pushed as we get to the final few weeks of pregnancy. I am confident in my predicted due date however (May 13th) so I don't really have angst about exact gestation - due dates are typically give or take 2 weeks with alleviates some of my stress...but to say that I'm nervous about the delivery is the understatement of the year...Will keep updating on this topic as I know more. So far, so good at 29 weeks 2 days!
2. Ha - the 4D ultrasound and gender specifics: first, if you're a quizzy nerd like myself, you might be curious about what the heck the 4th dimension is - movement. A 4D ultrasound is a 3D picture in motion. Moving on...We tell the ultrasound tech each time we go for baby pics that we'd prefer not to know the gender. If they are scanning the kidneys, or pelvic area in general, we are invited to close our eyes or turn our heads. Having said that, Brent has tried many times to see the gender but can't quite read the picture fast enough. I haven't tried to take a look. We laugh about it later - but when we're in the session, I just want to hear, "the baby looks great - everything is ok." I have total tunnel vision - and hearing in that dark little room. When the 4D picture is turned on, the tech focuses on the head and above the waist area only.
I had a 1 hour glucose tolerance test on Thursday of last week. To be honest, it pretty much wiped me out - but was by no means awful. To me, having repeated trans-vaginal ultrasounds pretty much trumps whatever else they can think of to do...ahh - the wand. I assure you, we've made friendly so often I've paid for 2 offices worth of those horrid jokes of instruments. I always try to picture the sales pitch given by the rep...
Doctor: what do you have for me today?
Rep: well, we've got the newest in ultrasound technology (produces long unmistakably phallic wand from massive man-purse)
Doctor: **snickers as only a teenager would do during a sex-ed class** really? Oh, you're serious?
Oh - but I digress...back to the less than mediocre glucose test. Of course I failed the 1 hour. I mean, honestly, when are things ever that simple with my body?? My blood sugar 1 hour after drinking the flat, super sweet Sunkist tasting stuff was at 148 (it needed to be below 130)- and for a few minutes after the hour was up I felt as if I might break out in a marathon runner stride. Then, on the way home I hit bottom. By the time I slumped in the door at home, I was too tired to do a darn thing. Thank goodness Mommom was here playing with Mary Louise and David. I fumbled up the stairs to rest a minute...2 hours later, I was back to mid line and ready to tackle a few things around the house. I got the call that afternoon that I'd failed the 1 hour test and would need to be "officially" checked for gestational diabetes via a 3 hour glucose challenge test after a 12+ hour fast.
***note: complications from gestational diabetes can include, but are by no means limited to, large birth weight for the baby, trouble maintaining blood sugar levels during the first few days of life (for the baby) and possible complications with blood sugar levels for the mother. In addition, the mother is at increased risk for developing diabetes during the years after the diagnosed pregnancy. Also, gestational diabetes does not necessarily show itself symptomatically - necessitating testing. The 1 hour test is a screening tool used to weed out an "at risk" population. The 3 hour test is considered diagnostic. MOST of the women who end up in the 3 hour test are negative for diabetes though.***
Really?? that's just wrong. WRONG I tell you! To make a pregnant woman fast from everything - including water - then drink even sweeter gunk (think fake orange ice-pop syrup - doable - not pleasurable), then sit for 3 hours, pee in a cup and get stuck repeatedly...not my idea of fun...but the lab was really accommodating. I ended up napping in an electronic chair in my own private room for 3 whole hours! I listened to Ipod music, caught up on phone calls and actually took naps in between hourly sticks. I left looking as if I'd dabbled in some IV drug fun for a night or 2 - and that was before the bruising began as well.
But really, all things considered, I "enjoyed" the experience as much as I could. When I'm hungry, I get the added bonus of having a less than happy baby in my belly - so, in the quiet, I really got to focus on some good kicks and rolls from our little one. love love love.
I really didn't feel too bad after I left. I came prepared with a protein bar and large bottle of water and never experienced the HUGE let down post test. I was hungry - loosing my sense of humor when I left - but my blood sugar was a nice 101 so I felt fine.
If you want to know my trick (or advice) - I think I should have fasted completely before the 1 hour and it would have saved me alot of trouble. It's not supposed to be a fasting test...but I'm pretty sure I would have been fine fasting for that measly hour. For the 3 hour, I ate a really good dinner of brown jasmine rice with vegetables, baked chicken and sauteed zucchini and squash - whole grains and protein - prep to do a long run. I also drank a TON of water before bed - I mean at least twice as much as I usually do. I didn't really feel desperately hungry until about 15 minutes before the test was up - I was in testing from about 8:30 until 11:30. I was a little thirsty - but it was manageable. Lying down was just about amazing though - and I just got lucky with that. I was the only 3 hour test at the lab that morning so they babied me quite a bit.
I finally heard from my doctor yesterday afternoon - it was a rather painful weekend wondering what the results of the test were. I kept having dreams that the baby was doubling in size by the day - ha! Anyhow, the results were negative - no diabetes - all ok.
Just to recap. I've been watched and tested for just about any complication there could be during the past 7 months. I've been to a doctor every week - but 6 non-consecutive weeks. Nothing is wrong so far. I'm not getting cocky. I'm still very respectful of pregnancy and life in general for that matter. It is, in essence, unpredictable. I'm only saying that we seem to have safeguarded, or watched for anything that can be fixed or managed, and everything remains ok. In this moment, we are healthy, we are just fine.