Thursday, March 17, 2011

A really long post

So, I've decided to write about this because I feel like I've been writing about stuff going on in our home but have left out a huge, huge part of our lives right now. I have written some long posts lately and this one will be even longer so I'm just warning you up front.

I have some thoughts about this pregnancy that I hope I can convey with honesty and not have it come across as complaining. I don't feel like I need to complain, but things are also overwhelming and so it might be hard for me to write things accurately and still sound like I'm not complaining. We'll see how it goes.

I mentioned that this pregnancy has been harder on me than the others. Interestingly enough, the normal aches and pains and sleepless nights don't bother me the way they did with the boys. I'm sure it has to do in large part because of my exercise and eating habits. There are nights (like last night) when I wake up with aching hips that last into the first few hours of the day. Usually though, I just wake up, Mike so kindly massages my aching hip, and we go back to sleep until the other hip starts hurting and he massages that one. But really, it's not that big a deal.

The real challenge this time has been that I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. To say that I wasn't beyond disappointed would be lying. I spent more than a few tears on this. I had tried so hard to eat properly and I have been exercising at least five times a week for 45 minutes. I had hoped that all my hard work would protect me from this (since I'm normally borderline).

So, I failed. That was about a month ago.

The part of the test I failed was not the drink part. It was the fasting part (you fast and they take your blood before you drink the drink, then every hour for the next three hours). Since then, it's become apparent that my problem is rarely when I eat something. The number that is always high is my fasting level before I eat anything for the day.


First of all, I have to prick myself four times a day, record my numbers, and report them to the nurse on base twice a week. I had to visit with a dietitian and take in all my recorded levels up to that point and a food journal. I left feeling really hopeful because she seemed impressed with my levels and my food journal. She gave me advice on how to lower my morning levels even further (the target is 60-90 and I was typically around 93-98). I followed her counsel and saw no benefit. My OB suggested something sightly different so I tried that as well and still no positive outcome. Then I started waking up every two hours to prick myself and see what the heck my levels were doing overnight and at what times my levels were lowest and when they were highest. There really was no clear answer for why my levels were high in the morning.

The result has been to put me on a low dose of medication for the remainder of the pregnancy, which helps but only if I wake up no later than 6 AM to prick myself and then eat a small snack. If I sleep past that time my levels have already gotten too high.

I am now just shy of 33 weeks and this has been going on for a month. At this point, I have to continue all the pricking and reporting I was previously doing and now on top of that I have to get my amniotic fluid checked once a week. I have to have an ultrasound every four weeks (I had one three weeks ago so now I'm coming up on my second one) to measure her growth, and I have to go in for a non-stress test twice a week. Yup. You heard me right. Twice a week. Starting on the 31st I will also have to go in to visit with my OB once a week. So pretty much my life is spent at the doctors office. And, I should point out that I live about 30 minutes from base. That's a lot of time taken from my week people.

On top of all this, the doctor is concerned about the number of contractions I am having at this point in the pregnancy. For me, it is very normal to feel a lot of contractions. He keeps asking if it's more than the four or five a day. It isn't uncommon for me to feel more than that in a few hours.
So, I've been told that I need to continue to exercise for the gestational diabetes but the exercise increases the amount I feel. So then I'm also told that when I start feeling a lot I am supposed to stop what I'm doing and sit for a long time.
I know he knows this is contradictory advice so I'm left to my own devices to listen to my body and make the best choice about what to do.
(today during the non-stress test I had a contraction that the baby did not like so the nurse said I would have to stay an extra one to two hours to be monitored! Thankfully, Dr. Williams came and did an ultrasound and said it was ok--that she most likely was pinching off the umbilical cord--so he sent me home.)
Taking it slow is not easy for me considering I have three busy boys. Plus, it's not really in my personality. But, I'm trying to eliminate all things that are unnecessary from my life so that I don't have to worry about extra things getting in the way.
This has placed a lot of stress on me emotionally and physically. I'm so tired. It's pretty sad because while I FEEL fine as far as pregnancy goes, the added chaos and burden of so many appointments and worry, have made me more than ready to be done with this.
I absolutely do not want her to come until she is completely cooked but the minute that happens I want her out of me. The doctor will not let me go past 39 weeks because of the increased risk of complications but I've never made it that far anyway so I don't think it will be too much of a problem.
I have gone through a lot of different emotions the last few months. Mostly disappointment. I had been praying for a long time before I got pregnant that I could feel more joy this time around. I just wanted to experience more of the happiness of the gift of having a baby rather than the anxiety but things have been way, way more stressful this time. I have gone through moments where I have felt resentment. It's been hard to hear people tell me that this isn't that big a deal or hearing women talk about how pregnancy is the time to eat whatever you want. I've never had this mindset and it's really hard to see others that eat what they want and don't exercise and do not have these problems. I know I shouldn't feel this and I don't want to feel this, but I have.
I know that every person has trials that are hand picked for them and while this might not be hard for someone else it has been hard for me. It is not fair for me to compare myself with anyone else, nor is it fair for anyone to make my trial seem less than it is.
I have felt a great amount of love from my Heavenly Father amidst the disappointment.
One huge blessing is that Mike's thesis is done. He graduates next week and because of this, his schedule right now is very light and he has been able to be home for all of my appointments thus far. Had we moved in December when we were supposed to, he would already be working and unable to help. I also know that Dr. Williams is supposed to be my doctor and if we had moved in December I would not have his help.
There is still so much I need help with, the new baby, the move, etc. but I know that Heavenly Father has my best interests in mind and that He is helping us.


Michelle said...

I hope that the time can pass quickly for you during this difficult time. I will keep you in my prayers.

Marcy said...

I also hope that the time doesn't drag for you and that all will be well with your baby girl. I'll be thinking of and praying for you.

Gillian Mohlman said...

I admire your ability to see the good out of this hard trial you are going through. I love you lots and know that I am always here for you if you need an ear.

Dave and Tana said...

That is a lot of Dr visits! Good luck!
Oh and PS thanks for the emails about the Nursery. I got some sutff and I am super excited!

The Duke said...

Just know that our prayers are with you day and night. Not only for your physical safety, but for the emotional struggles that come with new babies.
I'm excited to be coming out early this summer to help out a bit. I wish - oh how I wish - that we lived closer.
I love you tons and I admire your strength and spirit.

Ange said...

Oh no! I am so sorry to read this. As you know, during my last pregnancy I went through a lot of this stuff too (stress tests, ultra sounds, extra appointments, etc.), but with blood pressure issues. It was so frustrating! I felt fine, well as fine as one can feel when they're pregnant, but all the extra stuff was hard, having two kids already at home. (Luckily I moved back to Marquette during my last trimester.) I'm so glad Mike is able to be there to help, because sometimes it's just hard asking other people so much. I don't think you came across as complaining...this is just a hard experience, and I think it sounds like you are trying to keep a good perspective. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. I hope it flies by!

Katie said...

Sounds like my pregnancy with the twins, so many doctor visits! So many ultrasounds and non-stress tests and worry! Bleh on aching hips, too!

I'm sorry that things are crappy right now, but I am really impressed with how you still try so hard to find the blessings in all the hardship.

I'll keep you in my prayers.

Jenny said...

oh Adrianne you are such a strong person and I am just amazed at how happy and fun going you are every time I talk to you! You are a trouper, hang in there you only have a few more weeks and then you will have a beautiful healthy little Piper :-) and lets just not talk about the moving part (im pretending it really isn't going to happen)

Rachael said...

So sorry Adrienne. It sounds horrible.
Seriously, if I was in your position, I'd probably die. Not many women are even capable of practicing that much self-discipline. I think you're amazing, and I really hope time passes quickly for you.
I love you, and I'm sorry I haven't been very available as a friend. I'll try to do better with that. Think I'm getting to the point where I can really serve other people.
Can't wait for your baby shower!
I'm having so much fun working on some things for you.
Thanks for your incredible example!

Papa Doc said...

As I read your post I am turned to thoughts of my wonderful wife, the mother of you eleven kids! She was not diabetic at all, but hurt she did. She worked hard, she had to! She thought when we we first married that she didn't even like kids. She was willing to try it out, and learn she did. I thank her and you for your love and effort in behalf of me, a husband and in behalf of the children. Wait for a few years and your daughter or son will write such a post and you will have a new perspective.

Dad Clark