This is Easier/Harder Than Last Time

Having a normal sized baby, after having a teeny tiny one, is much easier than I was prepared for. 

It’s easier to go to the doctor, get NSTs and BPPs, there’s a lot less monitoring and blood work, and none of the medical professionals I see throughout the week come at me with a doom-and-gloom attitude.

My NSTs are over, passed with flying colors, in record time. My BPPs are literally just fluid checks — no dopplers, no practice breaths counts, no constant talk of growth scans. 

I’m not laying awake at night frantically reading about IUGR causes and complications. 

Doctors say things like, “this is all a testament to how well you’re managing your gestational diabetes!” as I stare blankly over their shoulders, thinking about plates of French fries and bowls of ice cream. 

It’s also harder though, physically.

While it’s only the matter of a few extra pounds, I’m feeling the difference between carrying a baby in the 10th percentile versus one in the 50th. 

My belly button is gone, and I’m horrified, and I can’t even look at it (which is difficult since I have to give myself multiple abdominal injections a day). Oh god I hope it goes back to normal. 

And then there are all the regular third trimester wonders like heartburn, and round ligament pain, aching back and ribs, and (new for me this time!) Braxton Hicks, all of which seem intensified this time, but that could just be my pregnancy amnesia talking. 

But of course, like any lucky former infertile (a former infertile with a miracle unicorn accidental pregnancy no less), I’m trying not to complain. 


Checkups and Confirmations

Today we had another appointment with our high-risk team, to check on Baby [Name Redacted] Little Brother’s heart.

As far as we knew, there was nothing wrong with his heart, but a Fetal Heart Echo is standard for 1) IVF pregnancies (which this was not, but I guess history counts for something?) and 2) anyone who has gestational/good ole’ regular diabetes.

His little heart looked perfect, and so did his itty bitty wittle face (pardon me, I’m biased).

I also had them confirm for me that he is, for sure, a he, since I finally broke down and started buying things I need (but also mostly DO NOT need, namely: tiny baby clothes).

While I was there, they also did a quick growth scan, and he’s currently measuring right on target for his gestational age, and is weighing in at a hefty 1 lb, 1 oz. Gus’ growth didn’t start to slow down until around 28 weeks, so I’m scheduled for another checkup with them next month to keep an eye on things.

And, speaking of Gus, I think we have a little clone coming our way (which, again, totally biased, but it’s going to be adorable in here).

(big brother/little brother)

17 weeks to go!

Mr. Baby’s Room

So, I’m having a baby in two weeks, if this wee one doesn’t make an appearance on his own in the meantime.

And he is wee.

Once I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, all my doctors were concerned we’d have a giant baby. So at my growth scan a few months ago, we were all shocked to find out Mr. Baby was measuring smaller than expected. Like, a few weeks behind-small. Physically there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for why that might happen — he looks fine, and is doing all the things he should be doing for his gestational age — he’s apparently just … wee. They said it could be a combination of my blood pressure (which has been fine for months and months) and my clotting issues (which have also seemingly been fine) OR, he could just be little.

I mean — he’s not like, freakishly small or anything. We had another growth scan yesterday, and he’s just over five pounds, and I still technically have three weeks left to go. He’s already bigger than his father was when he was born, and I’d much rather give birth to a five-pounder than a nine-pounder, so everyone wins!

We’re about as ready as we can be to bring this fella home. I officially finished his nursery last night (which was sort of pointless, since he’ll be in our room for a few months anyway — but whatever! progress! to-do list is getting smaller!)


Please excuse the somewhat blurry pictures — my shutter finger was tired from putting up all those birds!

I love, love, LOVE the room. Some things we knew we wanted to include from the beginning, and others we sort of stumbled across as we went along. I can’t tell you where I got everything — some things were gifts, and others were hand-me-downs I cleaned up, but here’s where you can find most of the bigger items we used, if you see anything you like:

Felt Balls
Wall Decals
Cloud Mobile
Balloon Prints
Pixel Roller Coaster Print
Under The Sea A-Z Print
Giraffe Print

The bookcase is an old Ikea number I bought when I moved off campus about eight years ago, and the dresser used to belong to my grandfather. It was my dresser in my nursery 32 years ago. Both needed some attention (the dresser more than anything) so I opted to paint them both white to help camouflage any scratches and dings. One of the dresser drawers sticks a little, but aside from that they seem like they’ll get the job done. The rug is a blue-ish/gray super-soft shag number we randomly found at the annual Rug Bazaar at our local Home Depot, which we stumbled across and just happened to find a rug we liked in the right size, for a decent price.

Those felt balls? I originally bought them and turned them into a mobile, which I liked. Then I went to my baby shower and my cousin Ali gave me that cloud mobile, and I was in LOVE. I immediately went home, disassembled my obviously handmade mobile and turned it into garland (because I didn’t know what else to do with it, and I wasn’t about to let the dog eat $40 worth of felt, which she really really wanted to do). I envisioned making it a lot longer, and swooping along the crib wall, but I got lazy (too many knots) and then fell in love with the birds.

One of our favorite things is the Pixel Roller Coaster print — the artist is a retired graphic designer and WWII veteran with macular degeneration, who’s almost 100 years old. He makes everything in Microsoft Paint, so he can zoom in and work one pixel at a time. Each of his prints takes years to make from start to finish. Go look at his website — there’s a video, that I can’t even think about without crying happy tears.

T-Minus Seven Weeks.

The general consensus between my hematologist, the high-risk team, and my regular OB is that I should be induced no later than 39 weeks.

Which means, I’m having a baby sometime in the next seven weeks. And that — is insane.

I remember being just seven weeks pregnant like it was yesterday, and thinking the end was FOREVER and a day away, if I was lucky enough to even make it that far. And, then BAM! here we are.

Starting now, as a reward for a) making it to 32 weeks, and b) having gestational diabetes, I get to go to the hospital twice a week until Mr. Baby makes his debut for Non-Stress Tests (NSTs) and Bio-Physical Profiles (BPPs). NSTs monitor his heart rate and movements, and check to see if I’m having any contractions, while I sit in a recliner, sipping ice water and reading, with a bunch of monitors strapped to my belly. It looks like this:


And yes, that sliver of skin is the maximum amount of my stomach that will ever see the light of day on the internet. You’re welcome.

BPPs are ultrasounds to make sure things are doing what they should be — he’s taking practice breaths (which is weird!), blood is flowing the way it should, his heart is doing what hearts do. You know, human body type stuff.

Mike & I spent the last weekend getting the nursery put together, a process we gradually started a few weeks ago: painting the room with my momma, and then painting some old/hand-me-down furniture to match the white crib we wanted. Only when we went to buy the crib, Ikea told us they didn’t have any until maybe October. Ummmm… thanks, I guess. So we’ll just wait? But Mike discovered they had the crib we wanted in stock in California — but Ikea only ships regionally. So some of our favorite Californians, Kelly & Brad, very graciously shipped the crib we wanted across the country for us.

Swedish crib, by way of Santa Monica to Maryland. It’s a very well-traveled crib.


It’s not finished, but we’re getting there — and at least I have a place for the wee one to sleep.

In the meantime, I do think my nesting instincts are kicking in — although my body has some strong opinions about that. Namely, that we should be laying on the sofa, taking lots of naps and bathroom breaks.

Mr. Baby: By the Numbers

29 — I’m 29 weeks pregnant today. It seems like yesterday we were on pin and needles, hoping to make it past six weeks, and then 12 weeks, and then into the second trimester, and then waiting to find out if baby was a Mister or a Miss. And now the doctors are all, “Oh, well the pregnancy is viable,” like I should just stop worrying about things and take it easy. Umm, I appreciate your optimism — but let’s let him bake as long as possible, athankyou.

11 — … So that means I have 11 weeks left to go. I met with my Hematologist yesterday, and he recommended that I push my OB and the High Risk docs for an induction. It’s sort of a long, medicinal story, but basically taking blood thinner and having a baby gets sort of complicated towards the end (especially if you want an epidural, which I do, because I’m not a hero). His opinion is: 1) take the meds as long as possible, 2) if you wake up one day after 37 weeks and feel funny, skip the shot, just in case. and 3) ask for an induction date so we can schedule my last dose of blood thinner accordingly. I’ve got no issues with getting induced, as long as all the docs are on board and I’m like 38+ weeks along. So we’ll see what happens…

4 — I’m still giving myself four shots a day. Two in the morning (blood thinner and insulin) and then insulin before dinner, and at bedtime. Insulin needles are adorable, compared to blood thinner needles.

2 — Pregnancy has given me a serious case of the dropsies — and so far I’ve dropped those aforementioned syringes twice, and tried to catch them. Well, I guess I successfully caught them, but I’m not sure if it counts as “catching” when you just end up with a needle sticking in your palm, and once under my fingernail. Damn cat-like reflexes.

4 — In between those four shots, I also get to check my blood sugar four times a day. Once in the morning, and then again after breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s really not that bad — aside from the morning check, which needs to happen around 7-8 hours after my last meal the night before. So, if I eat a snack at 10 and go to bed, I need to test between 5-6am. But I don’t have a “real job” and I get to sleep a lot, so I have to wake up like three hours early and prick my finger, while I’m half-asleep. #Housewifeproblems, I know.

20 — I mean, I have a job — I’m just not there very often. I work two days a week (and that’s assuming I don’t have to spend the day in Georgetown, visiting my Hematologist, despite my best attempts to schedule things on my days off). So, say I’m induced at 39 weeks — that’s only 10 weeks away, which means I only work 20 more days, and then I have a baby, which is crazy.

5 — Sorry pregnant ladies everywhere, but at almost seven months pregnant, I still weigh five pounds LESS than I did when I got pregnant (I’m not really sorry, I’m super excited).

2.5 — Yet, despite my magical negative pregnancy weight gain, Mr. Baby is weighing in at an impressive 2.5 pounds, and the internet assures me he’s the size of a butternut squash. I have another growth scan in a few days (the only plus of dealing with gestational diabetes, is lots and lots of ultrasounds) so we’ll be able to see if he’s still growing on schedule (which he has been so far).

3 — We (and by “we,” I mean “I”) registered at three places. Mike was a big help for our main registry — he followed me around and said things like, “whatever you want, dear,” and “sure that sounds good,” and “when I scan your head with the scanner, nothing comes up.” The other two I did on my own, because Mike could care less what crib sheets we have, or how many muslin swaddles I pick out. I cannot stop checking my registries to see what’s been purchased already (I did the same thing when we got married, don’t judge me!).

1 — Cases of “Sleep Sadness.” What’s that, you ask? Well, I sort of made it up. The other night I was asleep, on my wrong side, and apparently I started snoring right in Mike’s ear. So he very sweetly and quietly woke me up, and asked me to roll over, and I BURST INTO TEARS. I was just so, so sad that I was keeping him awake. He was like, “Gah! Don’t cry, I love you!” and I sleepily yelled (on my way to the bathroom, because helllooooo that’s all I do now), “I’m fine, I just have sleep sadness!” Mike insisted that’s not a thing, but obviously it is.

153 — The number of times I roll my eyes while reading posts on BabyCenter. Super-fertile people complain about everything, and most of them don’t understand anything about baby shower etiquette. It’s also nice to know there’s no correlation between being able to spell, or read and write, and the ability to get pregnant whenever you feel like it. Also, there are going to be a bunch of kids with really, really weird names growing up with Mr. Baby. In short, BabyCenter is the worst (unless you have to take blood thinner — those ladies are cool, and not annoying.)

1 — So, I broke down last week, and cheated on my GD diet, just once. I didn’t feel great, I’d had a terrible night’s sleep, and all I wanted was a bowl of pasta for dinner. Nothing else sounded remotely appetizing, and after doing a little reading — I decided to just indulge the craving. I figure a sporadic increase in blood sugar isn’t going to do any long-term damage to me or Mr. Baby (if it did, OBs wouldn’t order glucose testing, sometimes repeatedly, right?) and since I don’t plan on doing it all day, every day, I just said screw it — bring me the tortellini. Here’s hoping I don’t end up with a 13 pound baby.

3 — Starting in about three weeks, I get to go to the doctor(s) three times a week. Once to my regular OB, and twice for monitoring and non-stress tests with the High Risk team at the hospital. I’ll make the one- to two-hour drive to check in with the Hematologist a few more times too. It’s a lot of appointments, yes — but you won’t hear me complaining. After everything we’ve gone through to get to this point, I’m all for extra attention and monitoring. Thrice-weekly checks to make sure I’m not in early labor, and Mr. Baby is OK? That sounds good to me.

Let’s Talk About Food, Baby

Yes, I’m still talking about food.

I officially want to eat everything. After almost four months of gagging at the idea of anything more substantial than water, I’ve finally reached the point in my pregnancy where I am a bottomless pit. Well, sort of — I still can’t eat very much, but at least now I actually want to eat things.

Oh, but damn you gestational diabetes! Damn you straight to hell! All the things I want to eat are off limits.

I’m told as soon as I have this baby, I’ll be back to normal. So, naturally my thought process is something like:

1) Have a baby!
2) Hold that baby!
3) Kiss my husband!

And because I like to daydream about food, and torture myself, here’s what I have planned for November:

photo (9)photo (11)photo (8)photo (7)photo (10)

(Not) Eating For Two

Normal ladies fantasize about getting pregnant, and just eating everything. Right? C’mon, I know I wasn’t the only one who had big plans to chow down.

Turns out though, I don’t get to do that.

I spent the first 15-16 weeks of my pregnancy eating as little as possible, because the very idea of food made me want to vomit. (Fun fact, the only thing that has repeatedly made me vomit is brushing my teeth, with is cruel and unusual, because then all you want to do is BRUSH YOUR FREAKING TEETH.) From February to May, I survived primarily on ice water with lemons, and dry rice chex. I’d periodically get a hankering for something really specific — like soft pretzels, or filet-o-fishes, or a stack of pancakes. I ate so little, I didn’t hesitate to eat whatever I wanted when the mood hit, because I knew Mr. Baby and I needed the calories. Let’s just say, there were a LOT of french fries involved.

I still lost like 15ish pounds.

Fast forward a few more weeks (third trimester is right around the corner, what?! how did that happen so quickly?! who wants to come paint a nursery?!) and I never really gained any of it back. I’m either holding steady week by week, or still losing the occasional pound or two. Mr. Baby on the other hand, is growing at a normal rate, and measuring on schedule. I somehow still ended up with bigger boobs and a sort of baby bump?

Pregnant ladies everywhere hate my guts. At this point I’m hoping to make it out with a healthy baby boy, and maybe a smaller pants size.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. See, one of the main reasons I’m not really gaining any weight is I ended up with Gestational Diabetes.

I wasn’t super surprised. I’ve had PCOS forever, and with that usually comes along with insulin resistance. I’ve always been able to control it with diet and exercise though, so that pesky diabetes (or as it’s known in my social circle — the Wilford Brimlies and/or the Bret Michaels) has remained at bay.

But apparently the placenta is a real bitch, and makes whatever insulin a lady makes day-to-day totally worthless. So I got to meet with a dietician, and come up with a fancy meal-plan to help manage my blood sugar. But after two weeks, it wasn’t enough, and now I get to give myself three injections of insulin, every day.

For those of you keeping score at home — that’s four injections total (blood thinner and insulin) and four finger pricks (to check sugar after meals) every day. Eight needles. Eight.

To say I’m officially cured of my fear of needles is a tremendous understatement.

And so my dreams of eating for two have been dashed. Unless, of course, I want to eat broccoli or kale for two — which unfortunately I do not.

Am I complaining? No, I’m really not. I would do anything for a healthy happy baby, obviously. I stick to that diet like nobody’s business, and I do it with a smile on my face. Oh, you want me to take a bazillion more shots a day? Ain’t no thing, doc, sign me up.

But just because I’m not complaining, doesn’t mean I’m not compiling a list of things to eat and drink as soon as Mr. Baby gets here.

In no particular order — I want one, or three, of the following (preferably while still in the hospital):

An ice cold Coke Zero (I know diet soda makes you fatter, but I don’t care right now)
A pitcher of margaritas with salt, because — obviously.
Like, a whole plate of Rice-A-Roni
A whole cheese pizza, ala Kevin McCallister
Macaroni and Cheese!
18 Cheesesteaks!
A whole cream-cheese filled coffee cake, and the world’s largest coffee

Instead of flowers, please bring french fries and chicken nuggets.