29 June 2011

Some Things in Life |read: Pregnancy| Just Aren't Fair

There are exactly three terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ways to wake up.

1: Someone yelling at you in an aggressive or angry way.
2: Excruciating pain from a leg cramp.
3: Excruciating pain from a leg cramp while you are 8 months pregnant.

For the love of all things that are good, why are leg cramps common during pregnancy?  We all know that if you wake up with a leg cramp, the best thing you can do is get up quickly and walk slowly.  This may also be the last thing you want to do << if you didn't know this little trick, tuck it away for a rainy day- you'll thank me >>, but trust me, it's the most efficient and effective way to straighten out a bunched up leg muscle.  If you've never been knocked up, or if you're a guy, I want to let you in on a little secret: while pregnant in the 3rd trimester, you can no longer do anything quickly. Period.

At exactly 5:54 one recent morning, I awoke to excruciating pain from a leg cramp while 8 months pregnant.  In hindsight, I'm certain it would have been comical to be a fly on the wall with a nice view of yours truly. The need to rollover quickly and get out of bed was great; however the execution was... well... not so great.  For a while now, I've been sleeping with 4 pillows << that's right... four...  I'm not going to tell you where they all reside, but I will say that I continue to sleep very well >>.

So, I'm deep in an early morning slumber, my right calf cramp commences, and I awake abruptly to an epic battle of throwing off the sheet, tossing away the plethora of pillows, and attempting to roll my pot-bellied self over, somehow managing to stand up while breathing like a horse who's just raced in the Derby, all the while trying not to scream or cry << both of which seem like perfectly reasonable coping skills to utilize in that particular moment >>.  In spite of all of the commotion, I manage to take 2 steps before the hubs rouses from his slumber, and in his sleepy voice he sweetly asks if I'm okay. After a few more steps I assure him << pretty sure I was reassuring myself >> that the cramp had passed.  He fell back to sleep approximately 12 seconds later.

It's just not fair.  In fact, it's cruel... cruel that a woman who is already tasked with the heavy burden << literally and metaphorically here, folks >> of growing a baby for 9 months has to deal with nighttime leg cramps. Whoever thought up the idea of forcing a pregnant chic to go from sleeping peacefully one moment to needing desperately to fly out of bed the next moment should have their head examined.  To boot, if you've ever had a leg cramp you know that afterwards, you're wide awake.  Needless to say, I was at work that morning bright and early << though I was not what  you'd call bright-eyed and bushy-tailed >>.

27 June 2011

Pregnancy Survival Kit

Most people would give you all sorts of suggestions for what should be included in a Pregnancy Survival Kit. For my personal kit, it would seem like slim pickins' compared to most.

I'm one of those girls who didn't have 5 minutes of morning sickness << keep your saltines >>.

I'm one of those girls who didn't have irresistible cravings that required my doting husband to get dressed at 2 am in seek of a grocery store that 1) was open, and 2) carried the exact brand of the exact food item  I could not survive without for 5 more minutes << keep your demands to a minimum>>.

I'm one of those girls that didn't have any trouble hiding our news until we hit trimester #2 << keep your secrets >>.

I'm one of those girls that, for the most part, didn't break down into uncontrollable sobs at the drop of a hat << keep your kleenex>>.

I'm also one of those girls that has managed to consistently get a good night's sleep, even with the normal mental and physical stress of a growing melon << keep your Benadryl >>.

If there are no saltines, solutions to random cravings, kleenex, cats being let out of bags, or Benadryl in my Pregnancy Survival Kit, then what the heck would be in it?  To come up with a solution, I'd like to pose one very important question, and I want you to answer honestly.

Who doesn't love TUMS?

Seriously, they're chalky, fruity, and they offer a boost of Calcium in each yummy bite.  The flavor variety is immense: assorted berries; tropical fruit; assorted fruit; there's even a sugar free orange cream flavor! Yum  << did you know that all Tums are gluten free AND kosher?  >>  Let me just say, I've learned so much about these little coin sized gems, because WITHOUT THEM I'D NEVER SURVIVE PREGNANCY.

There's an old wives tale that the amount of heartburn a pregnant woman experiences is directly correlated to the amount of hair her child will emerge with. At this point, if my son doesn't come out with dreadlocks, I'm going to cry foul and send him back.

11 June 2011

Could the Dr's Have Been Wrong?

It's been a little over 2 weeks since the medical professionals in my life told me I have Gestational Diabetes, and it's been a little more than a week since they instructed me to stab myself 4 times per day to check and see that my blood sugar levels remain within a "good" range for a preggo with Gestational Diabetes.

Here's what the peeps at the Diabetes Clinic instructed me regarding diet, post-diagnosis.
Recommendation #1:
INCREASE carb intake to the following schedule:
Breakfast - 30 g's
Mid-morning snack - 30 g's
Lunch - 45 g's
Afternoon snack - 30 g's
Dinner - 45 g's
Evening snack - 30 g's
They all turn into glucose.
* Note: there was NO mention of other recommended foods to include or what sort of nutritional balance to aim for.  I was told that veggies are "free," excluding potatoes, corn, and sweet peas.  They also informed me that our bodies process carbs into sugars no matter if they're jelly beans or whole wheat pasta.  "Count the grams," they told me.  So I have been  << I've experimented with cereal, fruit and fruit juice, whole wheat bread, cookies, ice cream(!), and many other typical staples >>

Recommendation #2:
EXERCISE for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

*Note: If you know me, you know I have a love of exercise.  My pre-pregnancy exercise routine consisted of high-impact cardio, lifting heavy weights with the big boys, and long bike rides with the hubs-- typically 5 days a week.  During pregnancy, I've shifted to swimming, yoga, walking, low-key weight lifting, and water aerobics, still averaging 5 days a week.

After the appointment at the Diabetes Clinic, I've come to a few conclusions about what they recommend in order to control my Gestational Diabetes. 

Conclusion Regarding Recommendation #1:
 The food recommendation IS NO DIFFERENT than what I was eating before.  << For clarification purposes, I'm raising my voice here- not quite shouting >>. If anything, my carb intake is higher than it was before. I've always eaten 5 - 6 small meals per day, and they're almost always really well-balanced nutritionally.

Conclusion Regarding Recommendation #2: 
The recommended exercise IS NO DIFFERENT than what I was exercising before.

With over a week of recording the numbers the little monitor spits out after I stick a needle into my fingertip, NOT ONCE have my blood sugar levels been higher than the number they're looking for.  In fact, the number hasn't once come close.  I feel great! The baby moves, wiggles, and dances ALL the time.  So the way I see it, there are two possibilities. First, maybe, just maybe, the medical professionals were wrong. Or second, it's a miracle!  Maybe there was in fact a time where my body struggled to process the sugars from my food, but as miracles go, that imbalance has been re-balanced.

Either way, I'm grateful.  I know it could be so much worse -- there are plenty of women with a lot of complications and challenges during pregnancy.  I had one week << between diagnosis and treatment plan >> of fairly poor mental health resulting from all this drama.  At this point, I'm feeling great.  I'm sleeping well (for the most part), and my excitement levels continue to grow over the notion that our family is growing.  Let the nesting continue!

06 June 2011

Laughter to Cope with Pregnancy

These days, I'm laughing a lot.  Seems like humor is my new favorite coping mechanism.  It's great until my sides hurt- then it's just uncomfortable.  I think I've laughed until I cried more since I've been pregnant than ever in my entire life.  I'm mindful that sometimes what seems absolutely hysterical to me at a particular moment just flat doesn't convey when I try to re-tell it later << so take that as your warning... this post may be dreadfully boring for some of you >>.

1) A while back on the phone with my mom, I casually told her, "This week your grandbaby's the size of a small cantaloupe."
"Oh goody," she squealed with delight. "I have a cantaloupe in the fridge at home."
"When you get home, I think you should pull it out of the fridge and cuddle your melon for practice."  As soon as those words were out of my mouth, I fell into an uncontrollable fit of giggles.

2) After she finished reading a previous post on here, my sister comments on the FB link, "_Whoa, cool! Not sure if this makes me want to have babies or not..._" For some reason, this tickled me bright pink!  It's hilarious to my progesterone poisoned mind that sharing this amazing, ridiculous, miraculous experience with the whole world << who am I kidding, the "hits" I get from Russia and Malaysia are probably just spammers >> would possibly cause folks to re-consider whether or not they should take the plunge... bite the big one... go for the gold... okay, I'll stop now.

3) I definitely laughed at myself for all the fruit I was eating.  If we're friends on Face, you know of my obsession with fruit. Specifically citrus fruit, but there have been other strong contenders.  I've been known to polish off: an 8 lb bag of oranges in less than a week; a pint of blueberries in less than 24 hours; and a 10 - 12 lb basket of mixed fruit in 4 days.  My fruit cravings are the only consistent ones I'm having, and not a moment goes by where I don't think to myself... "Mmmm... oranges...  mmmmm... strawberries... mmmmm..."  You get the point.

Here's the humor: at the height of my fruity cravings, the inside of my mouth was almost one big citrus blister.  I literally had to be cautious how much fruit I ate, otherwise my mouth would react.  One day in particular, a colleague at a lunch meeting says to me, "Jess, I can't believe you're not getting fruit!"  Embarrassed, I was forced at that point to confess my excesses. And believe it or not, I giggled my way through it, recounting all the fruit that I'd eaten in the past 5 hours.

4)  If you know me, you might know that I have an unusual, and heretofore un-matched, talent for memorizing all of the song lyrics to all of the best early 90's Rap music that I grew up jam skating to at the roller rink.  Every now and then a song comes on, and I'll happily sing along.  I might even booty dance, which might take place in the bathroom when I'm getting ready in the morning... at home... by myself (except for the dog).  If I happen to see myself dancing along as I'm rappin' my heart out, I just about fall out. Every time.  There's something << wrong? hilarious? absurd? >> about having 2 large melons up top and an extra-large melon on my waist while shimmying around the room shakin' what my momma gave me that throws me into uncontrolled fits of giggles.

02 June 2011

Your Last Request

We recently watched a movie that I was utterly unimpressed with. When it finally ended, I looked at the hubs and told him bluntly, "I'd like that hour and a half of my life back."

Then a couple days later I found myself thinking back to a part of the movie that sort of, kind of << okay, I'll reluctantly admit it >> stood out. The chick who plays the main female lead asks the main dude, "If you were on death row, what would you want your last meal to be?"  There's more conversation around last songs, last conversations, etc., and overall it didn't make me like the movie any more or any less.  A few days later, it did, however, give me pause to reflect.

In light of my Gestational Diabetes (GD) diagnosis << I know, I know, it sounds SO dramatic, doesn't it? >>, I reflected back on what my last meals were the Wednesday prior to "failing the test," in the words of the inexperienced nurse at the dr's office. << Reminder: an appropriate alternative to "You failed the test" would have been, "Your number was a little higher than what we were hoping for." >>  Here's how it went down.
Breakfast- We had staff meeting at The Plaid Apron, which involved a delicious breakfast of a Bacon Omelette (good for GD!) and two decadent slices of whole wheat toast with strawberry preserves (not so good for GD!).  Everything was oh, so delish, even down to the coffee.

Lunch- I met one very dear friend for some eats at a new-to-me restaurant, Chez Liberty. This is a place for real life, hard core foodies. I ordered a crab cake sandwich with french fries (not so good for GD!).  Fresh ingredients, perfect quantities- I was a happy kid.  Unbeknown to me, my sweet friend had ordered a dessert for us to share: chocolate torte with a dark chocolate ganache, served with 4 raspberries and a scoop of raspberry sorbet.
Now this baby growing inside of me has provoked just one consistent craving: fruit.  Early on it was citrus fruit, but it has transformed into a more general "colorful fruit" craving for the last couple of months, including all sorts of berries.  So for my eyes to fall upon both raspberry AND chocolate on the same plate, I'm not sure the folks at the restaurant could have found a quicker way to my heart.
We got the first round of news the next day with the possible diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes.  Since then, it's been sugar-free, low-carb for this girl.  Again, after watching this awful movie that I felt wasted my time, it did subsequently cause me to reflect on my "last meals" ... not that I'm on death row or anything.  << Let's be dramatic, but let's not be that dramatic. >>

In hindsight, I'd like to thank my boss for having a daughter and son-in-law who own a nifty little breakfast/lunch/coffee shop in town that serves such fresh and delicious local food. And I'd like to thank the Figgster for suggesting such a froo-froo lunch spot and sharing a most-decadent dessert with me.  Mighty fine way to spend my last day of "free eating" if I do say so myself.

01 June 2011

Less Talk! More Photos!

12 Weeks
Ranch and Citrus Baby Bump

16 Weeks
Citrus Baby Bump

20 Weeks
Citrus Baby Bump

23 Weeks
Citrus Baby Bump

25 Weeks
Citrus Baby Bump

27 Weeks
Veggie Baby Bump
28 Weeks
Veggie Baby Bump