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Michelle's Journal


September 2, 2005-Being fat had it's advantages

Wow, it feels like a long time since I've sat down and written in my journal, but in reality it's only been about two weeks.

I had a fetal echo yesterday and the cardiologist said the baby's heart looks "perfect." That felt really nice to hear even though Marc and I weren't worried. And, she was head down, which really psyched me out because at the last two ultrasounds she's been breech.

I'm convinced that being fat had some advantages when I was pregnant. Here's my thought process: I am about 40 lb. lighter now than I was when I was pregnant with my other two kids. Most of the physical problems I had with those pregnancies I don't remember until the end. Now, at 26 weeks, I'm having trouble sleeping and my lower back is killing me.

The back thing could have something to do with the fact that the baby is now head down, but that's just my novice, non-doctor opinion. So, now that I've been diagnosed as a diabetic, eating right (for the most part), exercising and losing weight, my body is in better shape than it was when I was pregnant with the other two. So I feel like I'm having more of a "traditional" pregnancy than I had before. I'm physically tired all the time, moving slow, etc. It's kind of interesting.

Aside from the back pain and trouble sleeping, my other major issue is horrible sinus headaches. My doctor prescribed Zyrtec, and I took samples for a few days so I could see if I liked it or not before I got the prescription filled. I loved it. But the insurance wouldn't pay for it. ugh! So, the nurse went round and round with the insurance company and they finally agreed to pay for it, but it was still going to be $50! So I went with what they wanted me to have in the first place, which is generic Claritin of all things. It's basically worthless. I can't wait for fall to get rid of all this sinus crap.

Speaking of eating right…I haven't really been doing that much lately. I think I just kept letting myself splurge here and there and now my brain thinks it's OK to splurge all the time. I have my moments, but I'm really letting myself slip a lot. It wouldn't be as bad if I were still walking consistently, but I'm slacking in that area, too. It's mostly been this last week. I've got a cold or something like it and I'm extremely tired all the time. It's so difficult to force myself to get out of bed at 5:20 when I could get that almost extra hour of sleep and not feel like crap all day at work. I read a lot at work, and I just can't concentrate or do a good job if I'm half asleep all the time.

And then I feel like I'm making excuses for why I'm not exercising or eating right. I guess, in a way, since I'm aware of my issues I'm more able to make things right. I guess.

Anyway. The baby is growing just fine and looks great. She's moving a lot and I can tell the difference between a kick and a roll. We're almost 100% sure on George's name, too. J

September 6, 2005-Pregnancy is starting to take it's toll

Man, I just don't know what's going on with me lately. My No. 1 problem right now is this lower back pain that I just can't get rid of. I thought that maybe exercising would help sort of stretch things out, but I could barely make it through my walk this morning. I basically just walked around the block very slowly because my back hurt so bad. The dog was pulling me along! I guess something is better than nothing, but I feel sort of like a slacker.

And I'm extremely tired lately. I know that just basically comes with the territory of running after two kids, trying to write freelance, working full time, blah, blah, blah. Oh, yeah, and being pregnant! It's the middle of the day, I'm at work, and what I'd really like to do is lie down on my desk and take a nap! Maybe I'll try to take a walk down the street a ways or something to wake myself up. I've got a heating pad on my back to try to ease the pain and I'm afraid that's what's making me so tired right now.

I told Marc that all of a sudden this pregnancy feels like it's going fast. I think it's all the doctor's appointments. And those are just going to increase here in about two and a half weeks when I start my weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests.

My other problem is that I feel like I'm five feet wide. I don't remember any of these symptoms this early on with the other kids. I feel like my belly is sticking out so far, even though it's really not. I feel like I more or less breezed through my other pregnancies compared to some of the issues I'm having now (diabetes not included). I remember with Marcus not being able to sleep well toward the end, but I can't tell you the last time I got a good night's sleep and I'm 26 weeks! It's weird, but I feel like I can sympathize more with women who say they go through this all the time. It's like this is more of a "traditional" pregnancy. Weird.

September 7, 2005-Are you stepping on my sciatic nerve?

I finally broke down and called the doctor this morning about my back. I was up a lot last night because my back hurt so bad. I actually got up around 1:30 and SAT on the couch for about an hour trying to sleep. I laid down after a while on the couch and didn't toss and turn so much, but I was still fairly uncomfortable. I laid on my back a little, too, and that seemed to help, although it was uncomfortable in a different way because then all that pressure was on my tummy.

So I talked to an advisor or something because my doctor's nurse was out today. She said that sometimes they will send you for physical therapy and sometimes there's just nothing you can do about it. So I'm supposed to take Tylenol religiously today, I can keep the heating pad on my back, and if it's not better in the morning I have to call them.

I'm thinking I may have just overdone things over the weekend because mom and I took the kids to the zoo on Sunday and we walked around for about two hours. So maybe my back is just responding to a little too much movement or something. I would have thought, though, that being so active already would have worked to my advantage. And it's possible that's the case. Anyway. So I'll be anxious to see how the Tylenol works.

I'm extremely tired, too. I had planned to go to bed super early last night because I was already so tired from being up the night before. But, of course, I didn't. And then was up half the night, so I'm doubly tired today. And it's not even like I can take a walk to wake myself up!

My body just feels so out of whack today with the back pain, the cold and allergies, the fatigue. And George is moving a lot this morning, so I feel like I've had the wind knocked out of me or like I'm going to faint. Actually made my breakfast while sitting on the kitchen floor this morning.

I'm starting to get nervous about the wedding I'm in next week. The service is supposed to be at least 30 minutes and I just don't think I can stand up that long. The bride already said that I can sit down if I need to, but I'd to be a distraction. Hopefully I'll feel better by then.

September 8, 2005-The back pain disappeared!

My back problem is gone! It's almost weird to be able to move so freely-and quickly. I woke up this morning with no pain and have gone the entire day with not one iota of pain. It's great, but kind of weird, too. I keep expecting the pain to just sort of pop back up.

I'm not exactly sure what made it go away. I slept a little differently yesterday and also spent much of my evening just sitting in a recliner with my feet propped up. I slept on my back much more than usual and put the heating pad directly on my back most of the night. Around midnight I did sit up in bed for a while because my back hurt. It was at that point I seriously considered going back downstairs to the recliner, but in reality I knew I would probably get just as much sleep in that as I would in bed. I'm glad my tummy allowed me to sleep on my back. Or maybe I was just too tired to notice being uncomfortable.

It had occurred to me yesterday that maybe part of my problem was that I was sleeping on my sides. Well, for good reason. I literally can't sleep on my tummy, and it's usually quite uncomfortable to sleep on my back. So who knows, but I feel so much better today. Even my husband said that I sounded like I was in a better mood. I said "I can move!" It's basically that simple.

I remember thinking yesterday that I just couldn't do this for another three months, that I had to figure out what the problem is and fix it or I was going to lose my mind. I brought the heating pad with me to work today, but haven't needed it. I half-way considered putting it on my back just for good measure to keep the pain away, but I haven't. And I'll certainly have it by the bed tonight in case I need it. But I'm so excited that I'll be able to get up in the morning and do my exercise! Now it's a matter of finding something in the house to eat before I walk!

September 9, 2005-Did George go breech again?

Another back-pain-free morning! I swore to myself yesterday that if I felt fine this morning I would walk. And did I? Unfortunately, no. Ugh.

OK, I know she still has plenty of time to shift, but I'm wondering if the mystery reason why my back pain is gone is because baby went breech again. I guess I'd rather have her breech for the next 14 weeks with no back pain and then turn head down right before delivery. That's a little wishful thinking there, isn't it? ha!

Well, I have my next ultrasound, which, by the way, kicks off my weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests, on Sept. 22, which is just two weeks away. So we'll see then where her little head is.


September 22, 2005-Countdown to the end

I had the first of my weekly ultrasounds and non stress tests today and George passed with flying colors. We got a 10 out of 10. She weighs about 3 lb. 3 oz., good amniotic fluid level, right size for gestational age, and is still head down (Thank God!). Doctor said everything looked "perfect." That's so nice to hear. I hope it doesn't change.

The nurse did leave me on the monitor for about an extra 20 min., though, because she said baby's heartbeat wasn't fluctuating like it should. I didn't quite understand this part because her actual heart rate was fine and she was really dancing around in there. But whatever, I'm not the doctor. Baby was really moving, but they did have to stimulate her at the ultrasound and at the beginning of the NST. She's just not a morning person-like her mama! So I think I'm going to make sure I drink some cold water or juice or a snack or something right before the NST from now on. They had me drink water and eat a snack this morning, so I'll just be more prepared from now on.

Even though the nurse kept me on the monitor extra long, the doctor came in and said everything looked perfect. Nurse had said that maybe since I'm only 29 weeks that the heart rate fluctuation thing was fine.

Also started on the Novolog pen today. It will take some getting used to, but I think overall I'm happy to have my numbers more under control. I took it for the first time at lunch and even though nothing leaked out of the injection site, some did leak from the needle. I asked my educator about it and we're going to play with it. I'm planning to get some longer needles this weekend; we both think that will help. I was a pretty good 122 after a lunch of about 60 carbs. I'm sure my ratio will go down (down?) soon; my educator suspects I might get down to about 8 carbs/unit of Novolog before all is said and done. I guess only time will tell.

I'm very, very tempted to go out to dinner tonight. Not because I have new insulin on my side, but because I didn't set anything out tonight and Marc's got football practice so it's just me and the kids. We have plenty of leftovers, but I'm not sure I'm in the mood for that. I've been saying all week that we'll go out on Friday after I get paid and when we can all eat together, but like I said I'm pretty tempted to do it tonight instead. Also, I have a baby shower on Saturday in St. Louis, which is a two hour drive. I'll probably not eat so good on the way to St. Louis, probably not so good on the way home from St. Louis and I'm sure the baby shower goodies won't be diabetic approved. So maybe tonight is a better night instead of tomorrow. Not to mention the fact that the season premiere of my favorite show is on-ER. Fortunately, it comes on after the kids go to bed. Unfortunately, it comes on after my bedtime. Maybe I'll watch it in bed.

On the head down front: I was nervous in a way that the almost overnight disappearance of the severe back pain I had a few weeks ago was because baby had gone back head up, so I was really, really happy to hear that she was still head down. I'm convinced now that my back pain was caused by a combination of two things: sleeping on an ultra, ultra firm mattress one night and then going for a two-hour walk around the St. Louis Zoo with my mom and the kids the next day. I think that just did me in.

Speaking of walking, I've significantly reduced the amount that I'm going. I'm not going nearly even half as far as I had been going and I'm really taking my time, so I'm only walking about 15 minutes a day. However, some walking is better than none. I just can't do it so much anymore. I get several blocks and I'm just about spent.

I'm a little nervous, too, about what the walking will do for my labor. I guess I feel like I had fairly easy labors with my other two kids and I wasn't in nearly as good of shape as I'm in now and wasn't exercising at all. Now, I'm nearly 40 lb. lighter and exercising at least frequently although sporadically. I know that they say exercise helps prepare your body more for labor and delivery, but I guess I'm nervous that it will have the opposite effect for me. I hope not. I guess I'm just a worrier. My husband would certainly agree with that!

Speaking of preparing for labor and delivery, I need to start doing Kegal exercises. I did it every now and again with the other two. Who knows if it helped or not.

Ugh! I've had the same stupid song stuck in my head for three days!

6 p.m.-Well, I got home from work and Marc was in the middle of feeding the kids, so that answered my go-out-or-not question. Still, I looked in the fridge and wasn't happy with my choices. I still considered taking myself out to dinner. Then, I decided that I wanted to see how the Novolog would work with a regular dinner, and knew that we'd for sure go out tomorrow night, so I had a regular dinner.

I was 86 before dinner. I don't know if that's normal or not for me since I never check before meals. However, considering I had an apple and a Hershey bar this afternoon (fruit usually makes my sugar go high) I think 86 is pretty good. So I think the Novolog is doing its job.

I feel this sense of freedom now. It's kind of nice and kind of weird. I feel like there's not that much wondering about whether or not I'm eating too many carbs or whatever. I'm not going to totally slack off and completely rely on the insulin, but I felt OK drinking milk with dinner tonight. (Lately, milk has been shooting my BS pretty high.) I still plan to exercise and eat right, I just feel like I'll be able to more easily correct any possible highs.

I do have to be a little more conscious of my carb counting, but I'm pretty good about that anyway. I was really good about it in the beginning, even before I got pregnant, so I guess like some people have said I sort of already know how much I can get away with eating.

I don't feel like I have a crutch at all with the fast acting insulin. I just feel like liberated or something. I'm not really sure how to explain how I feel, but mostly just better. I'm in a good mood today, I feel great physically. It's a good day. I'm wondering now, too, if getting my BS back on track will help me not feel so tired all the time. Maybe I'll get a better walk in tomorrow. Who knows?

Well, I am taking the kids to DQ for ice cream in a few minutes. I know I know. And I'm not doing it just because of the Novolog, although I'm sure that will help. I want to be able to take my BS at one hour at least before I eat the ice cream, just to see. At least I'm not going to the grocery store and buying a gallon of ice cream that will stay in the freezer for a week. I know, I'm justifying this trip to DQ, but leave it to me to justify eating ice cream! I'm thinking about a hot fudge sundae. Or maybe the brownie thing…

September 26, 2005-I'm nesting!

Man, I can tell I'm starting to get close to the end. I'm a list-maker anyway, but I'm starting to get all kinds of energy to do things around the house and I'm making more lists of things I want to do. And it's not necessarily things I want to get done before George arrives, it's just stuff I want to do. It's like I'm nesting.

And all of a sudden yesterday when I re-did my erasable calendar that I have on the fridge and put October up I realized we only have two months left! I mean, it's one thing to say I'm 10 weeks from my due date, it's another entirely to look at a calendar and go October, November, baby.

What's really cool, though, is that Marc and I are both starting to get really, really excited. I hadn't said anything to him about my excitement level and the other day he just said "I can't wait until the baby comes." It made me feel good to hear that, but also made me feel good to know that we're on the same page. I was telling someone the other day that with our first child we were excited all the time and basically on the edges of our seats. With the second one we were excited, but it was a different kind of excited. And now with this one, we're excited, but it's like we've run that marathon before. But I'm starting to feel the same excitement and anticipation I think I felt with our first child. And I'm starting to think it has something to do with the fact that I'm taking Prozac. Seriously. I think my mood and overall demeanor are so much better right now, not to mention the fact that I really, really know what I'm getting myself into! (Sort of.)

I've decided to room-in with the baby in the hospital, too. I sent the other two to the nursery at night, and I just got to thinking that there's no reason why we shouldn't room in from the get-go. I mean, sleep is out the window anyway, so what's a couple extra nights, right? And then maybe that'll help getting to know her a little more. Does that make sense?

What also got me thinking about how close we are is that Marc and I started talking about how to arrange our room to fit a baby crib, rocking chair and dresser. I've got it marked on my October calendar at work to start working on that stuff this month, but the fact that we started talking about it and saying we need to move this here and get the crib from the attic and move that there, etc., etc., really kind of put it in perspective. Well, not really, but sort of.

I think October is going to fly by. I have something almost every weekend, plus I have projects that need to be done this month-including making two Halloween costumes-and I think that before I know it it will be November and all of a sudden I'll be saying Oh, shit, it's November and the baby's coming next month!

September 27, 2005-Ready for a challenge

OK, this is going to sound incredibly egotistical, selfish and a host of other not-so-warm-and-fuzzy-adjectives, but I have to get this out. I really feel like I am ready to write on a bigger scale. I really enjoy the stories I'm working on for this little community newspaper and I enjoy the contacts I've made, but I am so ready to do this on a bigger scale.

For instance, I'm working on a story now that I'm looking forward to writing. And I remember thinking out loud that I wish I could write it for a national magazine. It's a great story and I feel like I could do it more justice on a bigger scale.

I think in a way, too, I feel like the stories I'm writing are totally lost in this publication. Well, not all of them, but a great many; at least the ones that are my favorite to write. When I worked there full time it was a different paper, really. We covered much of the same and much different material. I feel like there was a better mix of stories then. Furthermore, since it pays so little and since I'm trying to make contacts over my lunch hour, I feel like I'm rushed and don't always do it the justice I could. I feel like if I were working for a bigger publication-and getting paid more-that I would be able to take more time to do these stories instead of trying to crank out one a week.

Now, writing one story a week really isn't that big of a deal, but when you're doing it on the side while trying to take care of a family and be pregnant it's kind of a lot.

See now why it sounds so selfish?

I just, I'm so ready for something more, for something bigger. For me, yes, it's partially about the paycheck, but it's also about the recognition. I've always said I think that I'd rather be a big fish in a small pond, but I'm starting to think that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be a small fish in a big pond.

I remember feeling much like this not long after I started my first full-time reporting job. I couldn't tell if I had outgrown the job or vice versa. I just remember feeling that I had learned everything I was going to learn there. I kept sticking it out, though, because I started feeling that just two months after I took that job and really thought that maybe I just had an inflated sense of where I belonged. But my second full-time reporting job I really learned a lot and grew a lot.

I know that I need to sort of master what I'm doing before I can move on. I know that God wants me to be the best at what I'm doing before I try to do it on a bigger scale. However, in a way I'm challenged and often do better work when there's more at stake. I think. I just know that I'm tired of working for the little community newspaper. I enjoy it a lot-A LOT, but I know I'm ready for more. And somehow I feel like that's enough. I might be fooling myself, but I might not. I guess I feel like at least I'm trying to get better and to do more and to be recognized on a bigger scale. Trying pretty damn hard. I feel like I just need to get my foot in the door at one magazine and maybe that will help to be able to write more and more for either that magazine or another. It's such a pain sometimes to know I can do the bigger stuff but have to concentrate on the smaller stuff because that's what's paying the bills right now because I don't have time to wait six weeks to hear back from a magazine that might or might not like what I have to submit. It's like they're both priorities, but I don't know how to focus on both of them at the same time without it running my life. OK, in a way I do want it to run my life, but it can't since I have obligations to a full-time, paying job with benefits and a family.

OK, I'm running around in circles now, I just needed to get that off my chest. Maybe now that I've done that I can see what I've been feeling and maybe do something about it.

September 30, 2005-Can't get back on the walking track

I woke up with such an overwhelming sense of guilt this morning. I have been so good about going for my walks the last week or two. I didn't get to go yesterday because I had a doctor's appointment early in the morning and I typically walk in the morning. And then I had McDonald's for dinner followed by a Twix candy bar. Well, I knew that I would be able to make up for the bad eating because I would walk this morning.

Well, I was working last night and then got on the phone with my mom and it was 10:30 before I went upstairs to bed. That's WAY past my bedtime, by the way. But even though I went to bed late and I knew I would be tired, I was still determined to get up and walk.

Then Megan woke up at midnight crying. Said her tummy hurt and she couldn't breathe. We gave her some Tylenol Cold and figured all was well. I was still thinking I would get up and walk. But she woke up again and Marc brought her in our room. She's a restless sleeper, especially when she doesn't feel good. She kept me either up or in light sleep for way longer than I could really handle.

So my alarm went off this morning and I hit snooze once as usual. It went off again and I hit snooze again, but fell back to sleep. When I woke up I still would have had enough time to get up and go, but I decided I would be better off with sleep than a walk today. As I'm writing this I'm already thinking about taking a nap.

So I got in the shower later this morning and was just racked with guilt. I felt so awful about my food choices last night-even though those fries and that Twix were sooooooo good! And THEN, my back started hurting. And I realized that maybe I was better off for that reason for not walking. I might have hurt my back even more. And my fasting sugar was only 94, which I was incredibly surprised at, so I started not feeling so bad.

But then I thought I could make up for it by walking home for lunch (I live about four blocks from work). I got really excited about that prospect, until I remembered my back. So I think I'm just going to rest it today. I'm a little discouraged about my walking. I really want to do it and longer and more often, but my back just won't let me. I had been going for a very short, modified walk lately mainly because of my back. But I had started to feel so much better and was getting through my walk easier that I decided to add a little. So I added just a block or two for two days and the third day my back hurt so bad. ugh.

Marc keeps saying, well you are in your third trimester. And I'm thinking sure, but I was doing the long walk for so long I guess I just figured I could keep it up through the end. But I keep trying to tell myself that 15 minutes is better than nothing.

So anyway, I don't feel so guilty anymore. Especially since my fasting sugar was 94.


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Please consult with qualified professionals in order to find the right regimen and treatment for you. Do not make changes without consulting your health care team. .

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