Monthly Archives: June 2012

28 weeks: hakuna matata

You know you’re pregnant when… you leave the house wearing your super pretty new red heels, thinking you look all New York City pregnant chic only to discover hours later that your new jeans still have the sticker attached to the back of the leg. Awesome!

You know you’ve got major baby brain when… you forget small things, like leaving the house without running the stick of deodorant along your underarms, or when you repeat something you’ve said two seconds ago without realizing you even said it, or when you rely on strangers to run up and close your gas cap for you before driving out of the station, and then you forget major things too, precious things, like an evening date with your nephews, that you would never have forgotten pre-pregnancy.

You know you’ve hit a new pregnancy low when… you can no longer buckle up your own shoes because you’ve got a watermelon-sized, uncomfortable belly in your way, and require Big Ring to do the honours… he swears this pregnancy has me reverting in age. First I can’t seem to get through a meal without spilling food onto the floor, now I can’t buckle up my own shoes, what’s next?

You know you’ve instilled pre-parenting fear into your husband when… he’s looking at old photos of you with a horrified look on his face, not because you had major fashion issues (which I did) or because you went through a really bad corn row phase (which I did) or because in one picture you looked like you belonged on the anorexic ward, and in another you looked like you belonged to overeaters anonymous (both of which I did), but because of the way you held the most precious beings in your life – and then proceeds to ask, with genuine concern shadowing his tone: You’re not gonna pretend thumb-sucking alien baby is the Lion King or dress thumb-sucking alien baby in cabbage patch kids clothes are you? Are you?”

It’s no wonder my cats opted to run into the jaws of coyotes over the “safety” of my childhood home :)

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Insulin, insulin and more insulin

Holy mother of I don’t know what, but I’m going through insulin like you wouldn’t believe. They kept telling me this would happen, that the hormones in my placenta would eventually slow down my body’s ability to efficiently absorb insulin,  and while I didn’t necessarily not believe them, I never thought I’d be registering total daily doses that are more than double what I was taking pre-pregnancy!


Going through insulin like mad.

It’s a bit of a pill to swallow. I’ve long prided myself on the small doses I take in, and when I get that shocked, holy crap, how do you manage that look from fellow Type 1s, or the wow, you must have super insulin sensitivity comments from medical peeps, I humbly smile, but inside am doing a freaking awesome party dance. I love my small doses.

But now, my gawd, it’s an embarrassment having to spill the beans every two weeks on my total daily doses, which are currently stacking up to anywhere between 40 and 60 units! Are you freaking kidding me? Pre-pregnancy, I was averaging 20-24 units a day!

I used to be able to get through four days on 130 units, now I’m filling the canula with 180 units and am barely getting through two and half to three days. I’ve had alarms going off telling me my insulin cartridge is nearly empty (I never used to go past less than 20 units before changing the infusion) and the last two site changes have had to be done emergency style in the evening instead of the mornings when I usually change them.


Ten units won’t get me through the night these days 😦

I’m told not to worry about it. I’m told this is normal. I’m told this is the sign of a healthy placenta – that if this wasn’t happening, then I should be worrying. But you know what else it’s a sign of – higher blood sugars. Not cool.

I have been struggling with post breakfast highs, and it seems no matter what I do, they just keep creeping on up. I’ve switched back to super fibrous bread for my toast (now that my belly can withstand it) which doesn’t have a quick-acting glucose release like white bread does; I’ve increased my protein intake; I’ve postponed my smoothie and fruit bowl to later in the day, as apparently those can cause glucose spikes first thing in the morning. I’ve also majorly increased my morning basal rates, starting an hour prior to breakfast, and have seriously decreased my insulin-to-carb ratio for breakfast; down from 1 unit of insulin per 24 grams of carbs to 1 unit of insulin per 5 grams of carbs. That’s some major wheeling and dealing there, but to no bloody avail.

And yesterday morning, I was told by the medical peeps at the pregnancy in diabetes clinic that it will only continue to tax my system. My blood sugars will continue to rise. My body will continue to pork out on insulin. My adjustments will continue to work one day and then majorly fail the next for no apparent reason at all.

It’s a roller coaster ride, the nurse told me, buckle up!

Cirque du Soleil delivery

If you saw this flashcard, what would you think was being asked of you (Take note: It will be interesting to see the differences between the male and female answers):

During a recent prenatal class, flashcards were handed out for us moms-to-be to practice different pain-abating positions to help during the dreaded delivery (which seems to get more and more dreadful with every prenatal class I attend). When Big Ring picked this one up, he told me I had to get on the ball, flat on my back, feet and arms in the air, all acrobatic style. I gave him a questioning look, like are you kidding me, I can barely get out of bed on my own, how the hell am I supposed to manage this? But he was adamant, this is what you have to do, he said; I’m sure silently laughing his ass off that he didn’t actually have to do it himself.

I sat on the ball, stared at the card, absolutely amazed that I was expected to do such a thing. Big Ring started to encourage me, just lie back, he said, give it a go. And just as I was about to give in, a flash of Pilates exercise gone by rushed through the darkness of my hippocampus.

Wait a second, I said. I shifted the card counterclockwise, and voila:

While a ball squat is still not all that comfortable with a ginormous pregnant belly before me, it sure as hell beats breaking my neck trying to perform a pregnant chick’s version of Cirque du Soleil!

So, I ask you, what did you think I was supposed to do?

Scatterbrained…

Because I’m rather scatterbrained these days, like seriously scatterbrained, I figured I would grace you with a rather scatterbrained, oh-so-random post. These are my Wednesday musings:

1. Last night Big Ring and I took thumb-sucking alien baby to its first concert: John Mellencamp. The venue was a little shoddy, the sound had issues, the band didn’t really seem to be gelling for the first half of the show, and I don’t know if ol’ Johnny Boy was drunk or what, but I’m pretty sure he forgot the words to Jack and Diane! However, the second half of the concert picked up quite nicely, with John thankfully finding a second wind to give us that hip-swilling heartland rock we came for.


Mellencamp performing Small Town.

Throughout the entire concert, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was any possibility thumb-sucking alien baby could get shaken fetus syndrome from all the loud pounding. Hmm… probably should have thought of that before going 😉

2. I recently discovered that my five-year-old nephew thinks it his right to name our baby. See, before he was born, I was the one who came up with his name, and when he found this out, he asked his mom “Does that mean I get to name auntie’s baby?” Seems fair, right. But the thing is, this five-year-old nephew is the same five-year-old who wants to change his name – to Rat! Yeah, you’re so not naming our baby kiddo!

3. Yesterday, I had to go in for a fetal echocardiogram test to check and see if the little alien has a fully functioning heart. For Type 1s and 2s, the worry is if the mom’s blood sugars are high at conception, the baby will develop abnormalities of the heart.


Which is why I was getting my HgA1c tested every month leading up to pregnancy.

Apparently I was supposed to be sent weeks ago, but someone in the medical field completely dropped the ball. Awesome.  The good news, baby’s got four solid chambers, a completely average heart rate (I’m good with average) and from what the perinatologist could see, nothing wrong with the heart. Wahoo! She also informed me: “Your baby likes to move,” to which I replied, “Yep, that’s a future runner/cyclist in there!” 😀

4. I think Dallas may become a new guilty pleasure!


He may be a lot older and with more unruly eyebrows, but he is just as evil – and awesome –as the old days!

5. This morning when I checked the tracking information on my super pretty birthday shoes, and saw that they’d arrived in Bellingham (which is where I get them shipped to for cheaper shipping rates) I practically jumped out of my seat for joy at the thought of being able to slip them onto my feet later in the evening.

However, when I arrived at the shipping place, the chick behind the counter said there was no package for me, and after checking my tracking information, she notified me that I had read the details wrong, and was in fact, a day early. Oh crud.


Sigh 😦

But that wasn’t even the worst of it. I left the shop wondering how the heck I was gonna explain to the border guards why I was not coming back with any goods after all. After crossing nearly two streets, I heard my name being shouted from behind. I turned around and saw the behind-the-counter chick running after me – with my passport in her hands! Yeah, totally left that behind! What the?

Scatterbrained!

26 weeks: Channeling Aretha

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! That’s the song I felt like belting out as I soared out of the diabetes in pregnancy clinic earlier this week all afloat with good momma-to-be vibes swooping through me.

When I walked into the clinic Tuesday morning, I was prepared to give them hell if they gave me any trouble – any trouble! – with my weight gain or BG control. I’d been practicing in my car all week with strong one-sided conversations with that nasty dietitian I saw last, and I was determined not to let her break my shell again. But the practice was all for not. This week I saw a new dietitian, and my favourite endocrinologist of the clinic was back from her European holidays.


The past couple appointments I’ve felt dread walking through these doors, but not anymore!

So what happened? Well, let’s start with the weight gain: It seems I’m down a smidge from a month ago (0.7 kg to be exact) which could have something to do with the fact that because these medical peeps have essentially freaked the crap out of me, I wouldn’t step on that scale without first removing my shoes, jeans, insulin pump and watch! (FYI: the scale is in the washroom, no one is around me, I could have gotten stark naked if I so desired… and believe me, the thought did cross my mind.)

The new dietitian, who I really liked was a little concerned with my slight weight loss, and so I told her what I did and why. Her eyes half bulged at my reasoning for stripping down. She told me I am in no way overweight for my pregnancy, that in fact, I’m slightly below the range I should be. Not upsettingly low, just 1 kg below the 73 to 77 kg range they’d prefer I be in. She told me not to worry about weight gain, I’m “on the right track.”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!


Seriously, with meals like this, how could I not be viewed as healthy?

She was also super impressed with how much I check my blood sugars. I half-laughed and told her that over the years I’ve become a bit OCD with my BG control, even before pregnancy, to which she replied I was a breath of fresh air after dealing with so many others who hardly ever check their blood sugars.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

When it was time to see my favourite endocrinologist of the clinic, I was so super happy and took the opportunity to combine the diabetes appointment with a counselling session. Pretty much as soon as I walked into her office, I was spilling out every bad appointment I’d had since she left more than a month ago, the tears, the nasty comments, the worries, the fears, everything. And I kid you not, I think she might have been more offended than I was with the situation. She told me in no way should any of that have been said to me. She said my HgA1c is “outstanding,” and that “it’s the best of anyone in that clinic,” and that my belly, which measured 25 and a half inches, was perfectly in line with being 25 and a half weeks at the time, and that the higher blood sugars I was experiencing corresponded to the exact same time that non-diabetics get tested for gestational diabetes due to a healthy placenta pumping out added hormones that make it more difficult for insulin to do its job efficiently. “You are doing everything right,” she said. “Don’t let them freak you out!”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!


You better believe I was channeling Miss Aretha!

So basically, suck it nasty doctors and dietitians!

For the love of bling

It wasn’t Tiffany’s, but it was bling.

As I stood in the cool Juneuary air with my moms, my favourite running chick and Miss Speedy next to me, a smile washed across my face while listening to the event organizer talk of the reasons why we had all congregated at Thunderbird Stadium that morning: “We wanted to stay fit, keep active, bond with other women,” she said. But my favourite running chick, she knew we were there for other reasons. She leaned over towards me, soft giggles exiting her mouth as she whispered, “I’m here for the bling!”


Indeed.

Saturday morning my moms and I walked the 5 km Starbucks Run for Women, while my favourites ran the 10k.


Favourite Running Chick and Miss Speedy.

It’s always a risk signing up for first-time events, knowing that they can’t possibly live up to the glory of well-established runs, but hoping they won’t completely bomb (ie. run out of water, run out of fuel, have no spectators, have unenthusiastic volunteers… I’ve been burned on this in the past). But this run, for its first time in Vancouver, was so well organized, it didn’t feel like a small run at all! It had great volunteers, an awesome motivational speech by Canadian Olympian Jen Heil, who also ran in the 5k event, and coming into the finish line, all our names were announced by none other than John Stanton – just like in big time events!

I couldn’t have asked for a better morning. It was a gorgeous setting through the trails of UBC, and great mother-daughter bonding time for me and my moms.


Heart!

This was the first time my moms and I have participated in an organized event together, and let me just say, she’s a little motorer. There was only one time, early on as we climbed a hill, that she had to slow me down, telling me that she didn’t quite have the fitness in her legs that I’ve got built in mine. But as soon as we crested that hill, it was as though she had a fire chasing her legs. I kept asking her, how she was, if we needed to slow down, and with a lovely smile on her face she kept telling me she was doing great.


When we crossed the finish line, we were rewarded with a specially designed Foxy bracelet; the only thing missing were the firemen to hand them out 😉


Moms showing off her bling…


Favourites showing off their bling!

And the cameras, my gawd, they love the thumb-sucking alien baby bump! I swear I’ve never before had so many pics taken of me by event photographers! And yes, I did “borrow” these … Thanks My Sports Shooter!


And this wasn’t even all the pics taken of me!

Total mileage this weekend: 18 km; 3 km shy of a half marathon!


And that’s the smile of ice cream cake visions about to become reality in my belly 😀

Never Eat Soggy Weiners my butt

I knew something wasn’t right, could feel it in my bones, my legs, my feet. But I kept going … and going … and going. I had directions, Big Ring directions, which for most people probably border on the obsessive with the amount of detail in them, but for me are a necessity.

You see, I get lost. A lot. It doesn’t matter how often I have walked, ran, cycled or driven an area, I will inevitably get turned around re-seeking that area. I get lost in the town I grew up in,  the town I currently live in, heck, I even get lost trying to find my way home again. Directions have absolutely no meaning to me, I don’t trust GPS’, I can’t read maps, and seriously, what the heck is up with that Never Eat Soggy Weiners compass cross that you learned about in Grade 3 – it doesn’t work!

This morning I had an eye specialist appointment in Vancouver to check and see if the pregnancy is causing disturbing blood spots on my retina (more on that in a future post). And the plan was for me to walk from West Broadway to the Running Room in the West End where I was to pick up mine and my moms packages for the Starbucks Women’s Walk/Run tomorrow. The trip should have taken 40 minutes…

Big Ring gave me two options, which I failed to study before getting the dilation drops in my eyes, which make everything blurry for hours. Big mistake! But I did ask, before leaving the loft, which direction east was coming out of the office, based on the first point in one of his options. He told me, the way I came.


Take note, there’s an option 1 and 2.

After the eye appointment, I spent a good 10 minutes (despite Big Ring’s use of larger script) with directional option 2 practically glued to my eyes, trying to figure out how to get from point a to point b. I left the office, turned right, and started walking. Two seconds in though, I remembered, no, that’s not the right way, I have to go left. I turned around and continued on my way.

But the thing is, with every step I took, a nugget of doubt grew in my belly. The directions were to take me over the Burrard Street Bridge, which I’ve gone over hundreds of times, and never, not once, have I ever gone this way to get to that bridge. But then I thought, hey maybe Big Ring’s just trying to give me a longer stroll, so I continued on.

After awhile, I figured I’d get some added clarity. I pulled out my iPhone map app and typed in Burrard Street, Vancouver. A map pulled up indicating that I was in the Mt. Pleasant area. I started walking with the app, and by all accounts it appeared I was walking in the right direction, so I kept going.

But it didn’t take long for nasty thoughts to fill my head: My god, where the hell is he sending me; Longest frickin’ walk ever; Is he trying to kill my legs??? Finally, after walking for nearly an hour, I called the culprit.

Princess: You did tell me to walk toward Mountain Equipment Co-op right?
Big Ring: Yep, if you were taking the Skytrain option.
Princess: What Skytrain option? I’m walking!
Big Ring: Uhh, where are you?
Princess: Victoria and Broadway.
Big Ring: Oh.

Yeah, so I was nowhere near where I should have been. I could have walked back, but my blood sugars were fast plummeting, so I hopped on the bus, with the intention of getting off at Granville, to continue the trek in the right direction. But, guess who missed her stop? Yep, that was me. So another bijillion blocks later to get back up to Burrard. Are you kidding me?


My day in maps.

After picking up the walk packages, I sluggishly hoofed it over to Coal Harbour, my old running grounds.


Being back here again had me longing for my running shoes.

Twelve kilometres, a slice of banana bread, a less than impressive Whole Foods sandwich, a chat with a four-year-old girl from London, and a pair of throbbing legs, feet and buttocks later, and I was finally back on the Skytrain heading home… praying I got on the right train!