Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Photo Shoot

We've been busier than ever with this little baby, but we finally had the chance to take some pictures of her on Halloween (before she got her costume on). Hope you like 'em!
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Evelyn's Birth Story - Unabridged Version

Since I haven't had time to write an abridged version, I'll share with you the whole thing - with lots of details. I must say, this was my dream birth from start to finish, the only exception being the tearing that happened. But, I'd do it this way again in a heartbeat, you know, if we ever decide to do this again! Ha!

After going to bed on 7/31/2009, Evvie was VERY active in utero. She usually kicked some at bedtime, but tonight, she was kicking and moving way more than normal.

At 3:00 am on 8/1/2009, I woke up to go to the bathroom. Given that I was 38 weeks pregnant, a nightly bathroom trip wasn’t unheard of. Typically, though, I went around 2:00 or 5:00 am, so 3:00 was a little different. When I finished using the restroom, I felt a small surge of fluid and thought “hmm…that’s odd, I thought I was finished”. I thought *maybe* labor was starting but didn’t want to get too excited. I put on a panty liner and walked toward the bedroom, when another small gush of fluid came out and the panty liner was clearly not enough. I changed into another panty liner (which was all I had upstairs) and went to Evvie’s room and got a prefold cloth diaper and used that instead. I went back into the bedroom and told Scott “I think my water broke.” He said “Seriously?” and I had another surge of fluid. Yes, seriously. I tried to go to bed and sleep some more since it was so early in the morning, but contractions started coming at about 2 minutes apart lasting 40 seconds or so. They weren’t too strong yet, but because they were so close together, I couldn’t sleep. I felt pretty icky after my water broke, so I decided to take a shower. I washed my hair and shaved my legs and stood under the water for a long time. Then I got out, got another diaper (I had soaked the first one through already) and went to lay in bed. Scott coached me through the contractions using visualizations and techniques we had learned in our Bradley class. (Scott says: I had been worried I was not going to be able to keep talking long enough during the contractions and that I would run out of things to say. Or that I would keep using the same couple of visualizations over and over for such a long time that Jenni would gripe at me, “Say something ELSE!” In reality, Jenni was such a natural at finding her rhythm and relaxing through the pain, I didn’t have to do nearly as much coaching as I thought.) Scott timed the contractions using his iPod Touch and they were still about the same as they had been before. He got me some water and around 5:00 am he called our Doula, Kelly. She advised us to call our doctor, so he did that as well. Since my water had broken, the on call doctor didn’t want me to labor at home longer than 8 hours, so she advised us to come in at 11:00 am. Around this time, my contractions started to spread out some, so I was able to nap in between them. At some point (around 7:00 maybe?) I threw up and we called Kelly again. She asked to speak with me and listened to me have a short contraction (I was disappointed – this was the shortest, weakest one I’d had yet, and it was the one she listened to!) and advised me to use slow, deep breaths during the contractions. She listened to another one and said I was doing very well with the breathing. She asked what I thought of the contractions and my response was “These are serious.” She also advised that I try to eat small bites of food and drink water, so Scott made me some oatmeal, which I ate a few small bites of.

I brushed my teeth and got dressed in comfy pants and one of Scott’s XL college t-shirts and we went downstairs where Scott could make me some more food. This time he made toast with margarine. I sat on the exercise ball through several contractions and texted and called friends and family in between them. I still needed Scott to help me through the contractions either by massaging my back or by talking me through them. We timed them, but they were erratic – sometimes lasting 30 seconds, one lasting 2 minutes, and anywhere from 90 seconds to 3 minutes apart. (Scott says: Somewhere around now, Jenni moved to laying on the floor on her side. Intensity was certainly picking up, but we were still taking our time and not in a hurry.) We called Kelly hourly at this point, and at 10:30 am Scott called Jenn (our Bradley instructor, assistant doula, and photographer!) to come over while he packed up to go to the hospital. We planned to leave at 11:00 am, but we waited for me to go to the bathroom, then waited out a couple of contractions, so we wound up leaving around 11:20 am. In the car, I turned completely inward and began to manage the contractions on my own. Scott has since told me that he couldn’t tell when I was having a contraction and when I wasn’t, so he wasn’t able to help me, which was OK – I was handling them well. His job was to drive smoothly and safely. The remaining timeline was recorded by Jenn, otherwise I would have absolutely no idea when anything happened.

The car ride wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated, and since it was a Saturday, it only took us 20 minutes to get there. Once we got there, Jenn suggested we walk around some before checking in, just in case things slowed down, then we could leave and go to a hotel nearby instead of checking in just as labor slowed down. I didn’t really want to walk, but thought the advice was good, so we started walking outside. It was too hot and I needed to go to the bathroom, so we went inside. I went to the bathroom as quickly as possible so I could stand up during contractions – those that I had on the toilet were the hardest, and I didn’t like them one bit. Scott and I walked around the lobby area for a short time, and I started to feel queasy, so I sat down and pointed to our makeshift puke bucket. Scott didn’t know what I was pointing at, so I pointed more fervently. He quickly understood when I started coughing. He got it to me in time, when I vomited bile. At this point, I just wanted to lay down, so I laid on the floor of the lobby. Jenn (I think?) gave me a pillow and at that point Kelly showed up. She joked about this being the place we were going to give birth and encouraged me to go upstairs and check in. I was so thankful. Labor was not slowing down; it was progressing at a good pace.

We walked to the elevators and I had a contraction or two on the way. When I would have a contraction, I would lean my head against my forearm on the wall, and Scott would rub my back. Slowly we made it to the elevator and up to the 3rd floor, where we had to check in - after a few more contractions, one in the elevator, several in the hallway on the way to L&D. (Scott says: It was a good thing we had so many people with us, because we brought so much stuff to the hospital! Yoga ball, pillows, soft-sided cooler with juice and ice cubes of Gatorade and chicken broth, an iPod docking station, another bag of dry foods, a duffle bag with clothes and other odds and ends.) I had to fill out some paperwork and was barely “with it” enough to do that, but we made it through. At this point, it was around 12:45 pm. There were no rooms available but one was being cleaned, so they sent us to a “waiting room” which was actually a hallway with chairs in it and a family or two hanging out. Kelly asked if I wanted to sit on my yoga ball, and I definitely did, so I sat with my back to the families and went back into my own world. Kelly suggested I go to the bathroom and I told her I didn’t like to labor on the toilet. She said that that meant it was the best place for me to be because it was getting the baby into a good position. So, I went to the toilet, and Scott joined me in the room. He kept telling me I was doing a good job and would occasionally remind me to relax my shoulders or my face or wherever he noticed I was tense. This was very helpful and I was able to do as he said.

At 1:25, we were finally in a room. I changed into a robe I had brought from home instead of the hospital gown. Dr. Carrie Lawson – the on call doc for Dr. Tchabo – came in and checked me (this was my first internal check through my entire pregnancy) and I was at 5 cm and 100% effaced. I was so relieved because I was worried she’d tell me I was only at 2 cm or something and after all that work I would have been seriously disappointed. As it was, 5 cm sounded great to me! My contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart and 1 minute long and steady. The doctor looked over my birth plan and said everything was fine and that I would need a Heplock. The nurse (Sarah) came in and introduced herself. She was really nice and totally amenable to the birth plan too. I started to relax a little about having a hospital birth. She tried to put the Heplock in my right arm (the side where all the other wires, etc, would be for the monitors), but failed the first time. I really don’t like needles, and they were even harder to deal with while managing contractions. I needed Scott to help me through it, so I stared into his eyes and I think held his hand while she tried the other arm. I had to ask her to wait through the contraction I was having before sticking me, and she complied, but I remember thinking that she wasn’t very observant. The doctor agreed to intermittent monitoring, and so the nurse also strapped those on to me (also not paying attention to my contractions).

I labored on my right side in bed for a while, and Scott went to the cafeteria to get lunch. I asked for the monitors to be removed, and they were. At around 3:10 pm, Kelly convinced me to labor on the toilet, which brought on very intense and powerful contractions. I had a lot of bloody show and Kelly estimated I was probably around 7 cm at this point. I started feeling a fullness in my bottom and I pushed, completely involuntarily, once or twice on the toilet. Once I knew what pushing felt like, I was more capable of breathing through that type of contraction to wait until I was fully dilated so that I could push. Not pushing was certainly difficult, though! Scott came back from lunch around this time, and I was put back on the monitor in bed. I was very very warm, so Kelly and Scott applied cool washcloths to my face and neck, and I kept eating ice chips. I also became very verbal around this point – saying “ooh, ooh” or “ow ow ow ow” during contractions. Kelly advised me to use this type of vowel sound that kept my throat open rather than closing it off because if you keep your throat open, your cervix will be freer to open. At 3:45 I really started having the urge to push, but I had not been checked again, so I had to blow through the contractions. They were really intense and painful and I couldn’t resist pushing entirely. The nurse and doctor were called to let them know I was pushing, and at 3:55 Dr. Lawson checked me again. I was at 9 cm and, according to Jenn’s notes, I was having lots of double peak contractions, even one or two triple peaks. I had no idea at the time – I just knew they were strong. Kelly and Scott alternated putting pressure on my left hip/back area – the same place that had been hurting me during pregnancy and that had lead me to the chiropractor. The pressure helped, but it did not eliminate that back pain. I can’t imagine what it would have been like had I not been receiving therapy for it for months! I think it was around this time that I had the one fleeting thought of “an epidural might be nice” but then another contraction came and I had to focus, and I never thought about artificial pain relief again.

At 4:23, Dr. Lawson came back and declared that I was ready to push (I had declared this a while ago, and was practically begging them to let me push!). For the first push, Dr. Lawson held up my cervix to see if the baby’s head would drop, and at 4:25 I officially pushed for the first time. The doctor seemed surprised to say that I was a good pusher. I wasn’t so confident. Pushing was new territory – I had learned to cope with the contractions and could handle them. Pushing was a totally new experience.

At 4:25 the doctor left and Kelly and nurse Sarah attempted to put up the squatting labor bar. And then they thought they had it wrong, so they turned it around. And then they fidgeted with it some more and turned it back around. (Scott says: And then they thought they had it wrong, so they turned it around. And then they fidgeted with it some more and turned it back around. Finally, we all decided this must be right, because the other way looked even more wrong than this looked.) This was all very distracting to me. Finally, the labor bar was in place and the bed was positioned properly. Despite the labor bar being advertised on the hospital tour, our nurse said she had only put it up one other time in her 10 years at the hospital. Kelly sat at the foot of the bed and held a hand mirror so she could see how I was progressing. I had had a few more pushes and Kelly kept telling me what a good job I was doing.

I was pretty uncomfortable in the position I was in – I was sitting on the bed and would stand up on the drop-foot part of the bed and push against the labor bar during contractions. I wanted something to lean on in between pushes and Kelly suggested Scott sit behind me, so he did and I sat between his legs and was able to lean back on his chest when I wasn’t pushing. This made it more comfortable for me, but as I said earlier, pushing was a whole new ball game, and I didn’t like it one bit. I finally told Kelly “I’m so scared!” and saying it made it easier for me to focus on the job at hand. Scared didn’t begin to describe it – I was absolutely terrified. Scott has since asked what I was scared of, and I can’t put my finger on it. For one thing, I was worried, despite being told what a good pusher I was, that I was doing it wrong because I felt like I was only going to the bathroom – not pushing out baby. But, I don’t think that was all of it – I think I felt a little alone and without direction. The books all talk about labor pain management, they don’t spend a lot of time on the pushing part. I think Kelly told me it was OK to be scared and that I was doing a great job. During the next few pushes, I started making very guttural, animalistic noises – very loudly. After a few of these, Kelly suggested that my throat would be sore if I kept up this way, and so I tried to push without the noises. I would push for what I’m sure was a few seconds (that seemed like minutes…or days) and at the end would let out a roar. These pushes became much more effective, and Kelly told me I could touch my baby if I wanted. I tentatively placed a finger inside and sure enough, I could feel a bit of her head! I asked Kelly “How much longer?” and she, frustratingly ;), said “I don’t know.” Kelly recommended I pull against the bar instead of pushing against it, and again, this helped my pushes be more effective. All during this time, I was very hot and Scott and Jenn kept applying cold wash cloths to my face and neck between contractions and feeding me ice chips (I think).

Somewhere between 5:10 and 5:15 pm, I let out a mega-roar of a noise and pushed with all of my might. I began to understand the idea of “ring of fire” – an apt description of crowning, for sure! At 5:15, Dr. Lawson came back in and asked if this was the position I intended to give birth in. I was confused – was I not in the process of giving birth? So I said “yes” and the doctor took over Kelly’s position at the end of the bed. She asked if I wanted a perineal massage and I think I said yes. She then proceeded to run her finger around Evvie’s head as I pushed. This was SO PAINFUL. I think I said “ow ow ow” during those pushes. Sometime around this time, Kelly thought to ask for a mirror so Scott and I could watch as she emerged. They got it up just in the nick of time – I gave another push and her head was out – and it seems to me that her body just came out with it, but I may have had to push for that too. In any event, her body emerging was the most wonderful feeling! And at 5:22 pm, Evelyn Lily arrived. I barely saw it on the mirror – I was too relieved to not have to push anymore!

Dr. Lawson placed Evvie on my belly and they began to rub her. She was a little gray (Scott says: she was extremely gray for the first 10 seconds or so) and wasn’t yet crying. I didn’t really worry too much – just a fleeting thought of, “shouldn’t she be crying?!” before she did. I was able to hold her and kept saying, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” It was all I could think. Dr. Lawson, as per our birth plan, let her cord finish pulsing before it was time to cut the cord. I asked Scott, “Do you want to do it?” and he replied, “I guess so”. And he did. (Scott says: It was thick and tough and took a few snips to cut all the way through. I was also worried I might somehow slip and cut her, so I was probably being extra-cautious.)

Soon after the birth, someone asked me about our next child and I replied "I think we'll adopt the next one". At that moment, no one, including me, was sure whether I was joking. A few hours later, though, I knew that I was and that I'd gladly carry and deliver another child, when the time comes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

She's Here and She's Hungry!

Just 2 weeks ago, I figured it'd be a good idea to let my bosses and coworkers know that I was planning to take 2 weeks off when Evvie gets here. We still had 3 weeks to go before her due date (Aug 16). So I sent them an email:
Time is getting short for the arrival of the first contribution to over-population to the planet from my wife and I. This email is to let you all know that I am planning to take two weeks of leave when she gets here. The date the doctors made up for that arrival is August 16, and since Jenni is diabetic, we know it will happen no later than that day. I am sure that two weeks later I will return to the office fully rested and with my full mental capacity restored from a great two weeks of playing with the new baby.
Our office manager replied, "You're typing this sober, right?"

That was all the way back in July. Early that Saturday morning, August had barely gotten here, and Jenni woke me up at 3:11 am and said, "I think my water just broke." "Seriously?" I asked, groggily. Then I encouraged her to come back to bed. We knew not to get excited, because adrenaline can cause labor to slow down, and we wanted things to progress at a nice even pace. That's as far as I'll go into the birth story. That story is Jenni's to tell. She earned it. I will say I'm incredibly proud of what she did and how she did it, and that the end result is that she and I have our first baby here in the world.

Our first week was full of newness and excitement and fear and joy. One of the things I've learned about parenting so far is that it is full of swift plot twists and mood swings; one second you're full of happiness and pride, the next, abject fear that you're one of only two people on the planet responsible for keeping this kid alive. Often, it still doesn't seem real that she's here. I'm reminded of the feeling I had when we were first married, and couldn't believe that we actually were. That feeling subsided, although it still comes every once in a while. I'm sure we'll get used to her being here. Jenni has already said she can't remember being pregnant.

So today is the first day of my 2nd week off from work. That first week just flew by in a blur of diapers and midnight feedings and moments that would make the burliest lumber jack melt inside. Of those moments, a few occurred when she got her first bath at home, so I will leave you with a couple of pictures of that occasion.

First Bath at Home

Clean and Swaddled

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thanks, Mom!

My mom is SO talented! She sewed many of my baby clothes when I was a little one, and my prom dress. She's created BEAUTIFUL quilts - several of which are in my house now, one of them is on Evvie's wall. When I told her I was planning to use cloth diapers, and showed her how cute they are now, she said "I think I can do that!". So I bought her a couple of patterns, and boy did she go to town! I have something like 15 diapers that she made for Evvie - and they're all adorable! Today in the mail, I received a package from my mom. In it, I found:

A blue tiered dress with coordinating fleece hoodie
A diaper to match:
And socks and a hair bow, also to match:

Also in the package were a diaper cover and bows that can be interchanged on the headband/bow that is shown above! Genius! And, she says there are matching pants to come. Evvie is so lucky to have a grammy who loves her so much already, and who knows how to sew to boot! I'm very proud of the creations she's made and look forward to future goodies!! Thanks again, mom! I love you!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Thanks to all who were concerned after that last post. To give you some closure, here's how it ended: Scott and I walked up and down the stairs at 1 am and did yoga at 2 am and those two things (probably combined with the gallon of insulin I took) brought my blood sugar crashing down nicely to a 40-something in the middle of the night. At least I wasn't high any more.

Now, onto this week. I'm 37 weeks pregnant! Yay! That means I've passed the first alarming milestone for Diabetics Who Don't Want to be Induced Way Too Early - I got past 36 weeks! Wahoo! I'm having weekly non-stress tests, all of which have gone swimmingly so far. The nurses keep telling me how good of a girl Evvie is because she passes them with flying colors each week. But, I already knew that.

I also have a weekly "AFI" which uses ultrasound to see how much fluid is around the little one. So far, so good here too.

The most exciting news (for me) is that I've been having a few contractions! Like 1-2 per day! And I'm not just talking about the Braxton Hicks ones that I've been having for months - these are honest to goodness pre-labor, practice contractions! w00t! This is good news. Hopefully, HOPEFULLY!!!, it means that this little girl will decide to come sometime BEFORE the dreaded induction - likely to be set between August 14 and 17 (I'm pushing for the 17th. Or 18th. Or maybe 20th, but it's more likely closer to the 14th - boo.). We might actually get to experience labor as it was meant to be experienced - without drugs to make it harder (i.e. induction) or "easier" (i.e. epidural)! We might get to follow our plan of laboring at home (using the Bradley Method for those who are interested) for as long as possible and only going to the hospital for the actual pushing part! We might get to feel almost normal and not like a "special case" with lots of caveats on what is and isn't allowed due to diabetes.

To encourage this dreamy possibility, we've been walking a lot this week. And drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea. And doing yoga. And walking some more. Because that's what the books say will help encourage and support a good labor. So, while we're not ready for her JUST yet (unless she really wants to come now - then that'd be OK), we're doing a lot to try to encourage her to start making her way into the world.

And, by the way, I'm hoping she'll come on August 7. Her great great grandmother for whom she was (will be?) named was born on August 7 and I think it would be a super cool coincidence. Plus 7 is a prime number, and I like that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sometimes, things just get wonky.

Tonight, my good friend and college roommate (for 4 years!), FAC, had a Harry Potter Party celebrating the release of the new movie. She had "Golden Snitches" (mini corndogs), "magical pizza" (because she thought the snitches didn't turn out well...but they did), "Cheesy Grubs" (cheese curls), and my favorite - Cornelius Fudge (It's a little nutty) (she thought of that, not me). Scott and I went to the pre-movie party and enjoyed ourselves, spending time with some good friends. I ate freely - enjoying a couple of slices of pizza, a snitch or two, a piece of fudge, and a cupcake (supplied by Liz who dressed as a Golden Snitch!). All was delicious.

On the way to the party, I remembered I only had a little bit of insulin left in my pump, so I pulled out my stash of insulin and reservoir set from my purse, refilled, and as I was putting the pieces together heard a weird "pop!" sound. I didn't notice anything wrong, so didn't think anything more of it.

Then, we got home from the party and I tested my blood sugar. 378 mg/dl. Crap. So, I bolused something ridiculous like 16 units (thanks, pregnancy, for making me more resistant to insulin!) and waited. And an hour later, I was 386 mg/dl. Dammit. I'm sorry, baby Evelyn. At this point, I changed the tubing of my pump, thinking that was where the problem lay. I was wrong. 45 minutes later, and I'm in the 350 mg/dl range. So, I changed my entire pump set - reservoir, tubing, and infusion set, and give myself another huge slug of insulin, hoping that it will get my blood sugar back in range. By the way, at this point, it's around midnight, and I was ready for bed at 9:45 when we got home from the party! At 12:20 I test again, and it's down to 318 mg/dl. Going in the right direction, right? One would think. Now, it's 1:15 am. I'm totally exhausted, and my stinking blood sugar is still 332 mg/dl. That's 3 hours of being HIGH - way higher than I should be, especially while pregnant. I'm feeling guilty, nauseous, tired, and defeated. I just want the insulin to work. I just want to go to bed. Most of all, I just want my baby to be healthy.

Hopefully my blood sugar will come down soon, and then I can go to bed. Hopefully I haven't caused too much damage either to myself or to my unborn daughter.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

She's growing!

16 weeks:
22 weeks:

34 weeks (this past Sunday):

5 weeks until our due date! Let's hope she hangs out for at least 3 or 4 more weeks, and that the doctors let her hang out that long! :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What is this? Seattle?

So, here in the DC area, it's been raining. A LOT. We've had a few gorgeous 80* sunny days, but not nearly enough of them. So I thought "what is this? Seattle?". Well, two interesting facts:

1.) Seattle is, in fact, currently in a dry spell. They may be saying "What is this? San Diego?" out there.
2.) Washington, DC typically gets about 4 times more rainfall in May than Seattle, WA, according to this site and this one.

So, while any other year my smartass comment would have been completely wrong, this year, at least Seattle's experiencing a little unseasonable dryness.

And, for your pleasure, here are some recent belly pics that Scott took while we were visiting his family in the Outer Banks last weekend:

Maybe someday when you're old enough, I'll tell you what we were laughing at.

It was REALLY sunny. No rain in NC while we were on the beach, luckily.

Scott gets artsy. I think it turned out to be a pretty neat photo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How did we do it? How do other people do it?

I have found myself beyond busy since becoming unemployed. How did we ever get the oil changed in the car, get the laundry done, the dishes cleaned, dinner cooked, and still both work 40+ hours a week? And how did we EVER survive when we were both working full time and going to grad school part time?! Oh, right, we didn't. The car oil changes often went weeks or months overdue. We regularly ate out or ate super quick homemade dinners, and the laundry was a joke. It was a mountain of dirty clothes that we picked through to do a load here and there to accommodate our needs, usually for the next day.

As I said, I've been busy. But, surprisingly from the text above, not really from doing laundry, though we are regularly caught up on our laundry - it doesn't take nearly as much effort now. I'm busy running to doctors' appointments, lunches with friends, shopping trips, more doctors' appointments, running errands, and did I mention the doctors' appointments? Unfortunately, with all that running, our house is no where near as clean as I'd hoped it would be when I was first laid off. And I'm not getting as many projects finished as I'd hoped either.

What I am getting is rest, relaxation, and time to read all of those pregnancy, birth, and parenting books I had on a list that I never had time for before. I'm spending more time with friends and family (I got to visit Kentucky for 8 days instead of 4 when we went a couple of weeks ago!). My dogs aren't cooped up in the kitchen for the majority of the day (well, at least not most days), and I can volunteer at church.

I'm a little surprised to tell you that I'm thoroughly enjoying my time at home. I never really thought I'd be a good "stay at home wife" (SAHW), and judging by the state of our house, well, maybe I'm not. But I am thankful that we are doing just fine on Scott's income and that I can have this luxury during the third trimester of pregnancy, and especially that I'll have it once Evvie arrives. That's not to say I won't go back to work either part time or full time at some point - but right now, I'm counting my blessings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Does this make me a yuppy?

I have some time to kill this morning in between having my blood drawn for my monthly thyroid check and going to lunch with people from church to church to celebrate administrative assistant day (or whatever it's called now), so I decided to bide my time in Panera. With an Asiago bagel. And a giant cup of chai. As I sit in an arm chair, with my oversized mug of chai, eating my bagel while reading my much neglected Google Reader on my iPhone, I wonder what high school me would have thought about this me. And then I thought, I can't imagine a more relaxing way to spend a morning in Fairfax, and that makes me happy.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

She'd look just like her daddy

if her daddy were Terminator, that is.

At our most recent ultrasound, Evvie was very cooperative in letting the doctor do an echocardiogram on her, and make sure that her heart is perfect (it is). But, again, when we tried to look at her face, she wasn't really up for it. The doc jabbed my belly with the ultrasound wand and Evelyn looked at us for about 10 seconds. I like to think she was glaring at the doctor for disturbing her. The one picture we got, well, it isn't the most becoming.

Here she is, imitating the Governator himself:

It reminds me a lot of this:

I still think she's cute. And if you look closely, it looks like she's smiling at us. Aww :) I can't wait to see what she looks like without the sci-fi special effects. Only about 15 weeks left...I can't believe it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?

Let's start with the bad news. Remember the dream job I blogged about last year? Well, unfortunately that company was not immune to the economy, and they've had to eliminate my position. My last day was last Friday. Since I'm 6 months pregnant, there's about a .01% chance that anyone else would hire me to do something similar, even if the economy were in better shape. So, that's the bad news.

The good news is that Scott and I have been preparing for my maternity leave and beyond by saving my entire paycheck for the past few months. We're able to survive on his salary without making too many cuts or sacrifices. We have a pretty good emergency fund built up, and with my unemployment pay, we will be able to continue making that grow.

Some more good news is that during my 3rd trimester, I'll be able to take it easy as I need to. All of those doctors appointments won't make me feel guilty for missing so much work. I can visit my family and Scott's without worrying about the time off eating into my maternity leave time.

While I wish the timing had been better, and that the choice had been mine, I'm keeping a surprisingly positive attitude about the whole situation. I will get to be a stay at home mom, at least for a little while. The company has told me that should I want to come back and the position is available, they'll welcome me with open arms. That makes me feel good. So, the future isn't clear, but when is it ever? And though it's not clear, it at least looks bright to me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sometimes bad dreams happen for good reasons

The other night, I had a nightmare. I don't remember many of the details, but I know I was being chased, and I had to get to La Push to get Jacob and his friends to help me. I woke up, startled and confused, and decided to test my blood sugar. It was 230 mg/dl. That's high.

I had changed my insulin pump battery just before bed, and when I went to program in a correction bolus, I found that my pump was not working. I freaked a little, and went downstairs, got a coin to open the battery case and removed the battery, and found that I had installed the battery upside down! Of course my pump wasn't working! I corrected my mistake, programmed in a bolus, and made my way back into dream-land completely unencumbered by nightmares.

I have found often that if I wake from a nightmare in the middle of the night, that my blood sugar is usually out of whack. I think the bad dreams are another trigger from my body to my mind, to get me to wake up and fix things. The human body and brain are fascinating and I'm thankful that, despite my obvious malfunction, that other aspects work so well.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pregnancy update (almost) 21 weeks

21 weeks is 5 months 1 week, over midway through the pregnancy for those keeping track :) I thought I'd fill you all in on how things are going, and I must say - so far, so good. The headaches stopped not long after the last headache post. Otherwise, I've been feeling great. Until this week, when my back started hurting non-stop, but I'm hopeful that that will go away, too. My blood sugars have been relatively easy to control, thanks to my doctor's rapid responsiveness when I send her numbers. She and her CDE, Wendy are great and so supportive - I can't say enough good things about them.

The big news that we got last week is that we're having a girl! We're naming her Evelyn Lily after my great grandmother and Scott's great aunt, respectively. We'll call her "Evvie" for short (pronounced Eh-vie, not Ee-vie). She's perfect in every way - measuring right on target, and I think she has her daddy's ears. We didn't get to see her face or left hand this time, so we go back at the end of April for another sonogram, where they will also do a fetal echo cardiogram.

Lots of people have asked "So, how does diabetes affect the pregnancy?". The biggest effect I've seen it have is the number of appointments. Right now, I go to the endocrinologist once a month, the OB once a month, the perinatologist (high risk OB) about once a month, though this varies based on needs. I also have to see the eye doctor once a trimester. This is a lot more than an average pregnancy requires, and it hasn't even gotten to the hectic time yet, when, starting somewhere around 30-32 weeks (I think), I will have to go to the OB (or perinatologist, depending on how things are going) 2 times per week, and may have to start seeing the endocrinologist weekly. Normal pregnancies get 1-3 sonograms. I had 3 by the time I was 13 weeks along, and once I start going bi-weekly, each visit will be a sonogram. I think it's 100% worth it, though, and am confident that Evvie will be as healthy as possible.

There's a lot more I could say about diabetes and pregnancy, but I'll leave it here for now. I'm sure the 3rd trimester will bring lots of new and exciting blood sugar issues, and I've still got 6 weeks to go until I reach the third trimester!

I'll leave you with an updated picture - from this past Friday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

This year, Scott and I will be taking part in JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes, along with one-half million other walkers across the country, as we try to reach our goal of raising $105 million.

We have participated in the ADA's walk for many years, but this year decided to go with the JDRF walk because more of the money goes to actual research, and it is focused on Type 1 diabetes, which is what I have had for 22+ years.

Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating disease that affects millions of people - a large and growing percentage of them children. (I was diagnosed at age 6)

There is some good news, though. Scientists are predicting that we CAN expect to see a cure well within our lifetime! When I was diagnosed, I was told not to worry - there would be a cure by the time I reached my teenage years. Those have long since passed, and still we haven't found a cure. After quite a bit of reading, though, I'm more convinced than ever that the scientists are on to something - and with proper funding, I'm hopeful that a cure will be found, and hopefully soon!

Now, more than ever, you can make a crucial difference. Won't you please give to JDRF as generously as possible? Together, we can make the cure a reality! Donate to me here.

Or, donate to Scott here.

Thanks, and I look forward to sharing our fund raising accomplishments and hopefully pictures from the walk with you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Belated Birthday Wishes

I've missed posting about THREE birthdays just in the past week! In chronological order, first, happy birthday to this blog! It started on Pi Day last year, and on Pi Day this year we had new flooring installed and went out to dinner - and had free Key Lime Pi(e) - Yum!

Next, happy birthday to our doggy, Corgan, who turned 3 on 3/15. On Saturday, he and his "brother", Cash and I went to Performance Dogs for some slightly soggy, but still fun lure chasing and off leash play. Corgan, as always, chased the lure until his muscles quivered. Cash preferred to chase other dogs. Both were exhausted at the end, and I think it was a good day overall. To celebrate his actual birthday, Corgan had a nasty upset stomach and required a trip to the vet that set us back a pretty penny. Poor guy. Luckily he's feeling better now.

Last but not least, Happy Birthday to Caitlin! What a year it's been since her last birthday - welcoming her not-so-little girl, Allison, into the world in July, and going from a part time working mom to a stay at home mom - fulfilling her deepest desire. Congrats to you, Cait, and I hope your birthday was fantastic (despite my belated post)!

And, just so I'm not late on this one, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

My First Post

My first foray into the blogging world was as a guest poster on Being A Dad Ain't Bad (language warning). They have an open forum blog for all dads or soon-to-be dads (as is my case), and I have the distinct honor of being their first guest blogger, which comes with a door prize of a gift basket from Hickory Farms that was on super clearance. Actually, it didn't come with any prizes. Maybe I'll log in to Blogger under a different name and suggest that they give door prizes to attract more guest articles.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

In other news...

The weather this weekend is GORGEOUS! Not to get all grandfathery on you to talk about the weather, but it's truly remarkable - 78*, just enough clouds to make it comfortable out, and not a rain drop in sight. It's perfect! And, by the way, there are still dirty piles of snow here and there, which is quite bizarre.

The crocus are up at church, and our daffodils and tulips are coming up in the front yard. Dare I say's starting to feel a little teensy bit like spring! How exciting!

Also, we're having new flooring installed!! We've had disgusting carpet for the 3 1/2 years we've lived here, and now that the little one is coming (and my bonus check was deposited), we've decided now is the time. We're getting laminate in our main level that looks a lot like this and carpeting in the upstairs level (where the bedrooms are) that is a gray-based dark beige.

The carpet is being installed NEXT WEEKEND! Holy cow! And the laminate may very well be the weekend after that! I'm SO excited about this - it's something we've been wanting to do since we moved in, and we've finally got the resources to do it =D. We're also using a local flooring store and are happy to be supporting the local economy and a family-run business. It makes us feel good :).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hallelujah! - wait, scratch that.

I was all geared up yesterday to write a "Hallelujah the headaches are gone!" post, but alas, they're back. The had stopped the day I wrote the last post, and showed up again last night. I came prepared to work today, bearing my Tylenol plus Codeine in the event that it worsens through the day.

I've noticed something here at work. Whenever I have a headache, someone inevitably burns toast in the toaster. Why is this interesting, you may ask? It's interesting because the smell of burnt toast makes my headaches worse (and if I didn't have one already, often GIVES me a headache). I wonder what I've done wrong that is making the universe want to punish me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What a pain

I told you a while back that I'd be sharing details about diabetes and pregnancy. So far, my conclusion is - it's not so bad. Lots of monitoring and doctors appointments, but really, not much different than what I was doing before.

What has changed, however, is that I've had headaches off and on (mostly on) since 2/8/09. At first, I assumed Tylenol was all I could take. Then I called my OB and the midwife there told me I could also take Excedrin Migraine, which usually kills a headache in about 20 minutes. Well, not this headache. After a 2-day migraine, I took the midwife's advice and went to my primary care doc. He says it's likely hormonal and could last a few weeks, or it could hang out til the baby comes, at which point, I'm guessing headaches will be caused by lack of sleep rather than hormones. He prescribed me some Class C drugs and sent me on my merry way. I'm trying to avoid taking the drugs, but have succumbed to the headache a few times and taken Tylenol with Codeine. Today, so far (KNOCK ON WOOD!!) no headache. Yesterday, it kicked in during church. Other days, I wake up with it and go to bed with it and wake up with it the next morning, too. Ah, the joys of pregnancy. :) I can't really complain too much, though, because I had almost no nausea in my first trimester and I'd say it's been an easy pregnancy so far. Thank God for that!

PS - check out Anthony's post over at Being a Dad Ain't Bad for the dad's side of the pregnancy headache coin.

PPS - speaking of the dad's side, Scott has decided to share this blog with me, so he will hopefully be posting here soon, too! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The customer is always right?

Recently I've had 2 exceptional experiences with customer service. One good, one bad. The first was with For Christmas, I ordered Scott a tripod for our digital SLR camera. He used the tripod a bit (maybe 3-6 times/month) and never did anything with it that would damage the integrity of the tripod. Then last week, one of the leg locks just broke. No real reason for it, it just malfunctioned and we couldn't get it to function again. So I emailed Amazon explaining the situation and how although it had been longer than their 30 day return policy, I didn't feel it was our "fault" and there was something wrong with the product. They agreed with me (!!) and sent me a label to mail back the broken tripod, and the next day we received a brand new replacement tripod. Easy peasy. I am a satisfied customer, happy with my experience, and with a working product. Great!

Then, today, we tried to return a baby heart listening device thing that we got from Burlington Coat Factory. We had the receipt with us, and had bought the thing with a credit card. Since the purchase, though, we've replaced the credit card with a new one because our old number had been on a list of numbers that were stolen. We didn't feel safe with that, so we replaced the card. Logical, right? Well, apparently Burlington doesn't think so. In order to return the item, you must have the exact card you used to purchase it. Nevermind that you're standing there with two other cards that go to the same account - that doesn't matter. What matters is that the numbers match (mind you, those numbers could have been fraudulently used, had we kept them, but who cares?). So, after explaining all of this to the customer service representative, she says her only option is to give us a Burlington gift card, which she says is "the same as cash". Sure, in Burlington it is, but if I want to use it at, say, Giant, I'm screwed. I say as much. She doesn't care - rules are rules. So I ask to speak to the manager. Who also doesn't care and agrees - who cares if the customer is satisfied or not? Rules are rules. If I want, I can come back Monday through Friday between 10 and 5 to have them call the corporate office. Which would be fine, except, you know, I have a job and so does Scott. So, we take the gift card, feel totally screwed and our requests ignored, and feel like "customer service" is a joke. It's really "corporate service" where they happen to have to interact with customers. I'm currently trying to sell the gift card and plan to never shop at Burlington again. Not that we ever really did - it was on a whim that that we went there in the first place. But still, I don't want to deal with a company who cares so little for their customers' needs. I'm ordering everything from Amazon from now on.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Does this exist in Outlook?

It would be handy if you could link pertinent emails to your calendar invitations in Outlook. Lately I've gotten several seemingly random calendar invitations that I later come to realize are related to a string of emails that I've been a part of. Do any of you know of a way to associate these invites with the email chain associated (but not obviously associated) with them?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day!

OK, so it's not a *true* snow day, because I still have to work, but I am working from the comforts of my couch with my pups curled up next to me, watching the snow drift down outside. Judging by the fence post, we have maybe 3 inches by now (maybe more, maybe less - I'm horrible at judging). It's our first snow of the winter, and while Claire will scoff from Syracuse, we're getting quite a bit (you know, for us). And it's really pretty, and it makes me happy. That's all :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Had A Dream

Last night, I had a dream. Not the kind that Martin Luther King, Jr. had, but an interesting and funny one nonetheless. In my dream, I was out to dinner with some friends including my church friends Karen and Cindy. At this dinner, the main course was...cupcakes. (Because who doesn't eat cupcakes for dinner? At a restaurant?) Apparently Karen would only eat square cupcakes, so she was cutting off the rounded edges. I was eating her "leftovers" (the rounded edges). Actually, I was inhaling them - eating them greedily and without abandon. At some point, I realized that I had forgotten to bolus (give insulin) for the cupcakes. At about the same time, someone from another table came to our table and asked if we would "star" in an impromptu play with the theme of "sugar causes diabetes". I adamantly refused (obviously) and got up on my soapbox in the middle of the dinner to educate the crowd on what causes diabetes and what doesn't.

When I awoke, my bloodsugar was 33. That could explain me eating cupcakes without insulin, and may also explain the wacky dream too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The cat's outta the bag!

Scott and I received wonderful news on 12/4/2008 - we're expecting our first baby! I'm due 8/14/09 and am incredibly excited to be pregnant. I very much look forward to the second trimester, to sharing a little bit of what it's like to be a pregnant Type 1 diabetic with a fantastic team of doctors and nurses who are truly on my side, and to learning as we go along.

So far, things have been A-OK. My bloodsugars are not unmanageable, I haven't had horrendous bouts of morning sickness (just the occasional nauseous moment (or day)), and I am not bone-deep exhausted all the time, though I am sometimes.

In preparation for pregnancy, and to help the process along, Scott and I had weekly acupuncture therapy. I attribute my feeling of mostly-normal-ness to this practice, and highly recommend it for anything from fertility treatment to diabetes management to arthritis, etc., as long as you find someone you trust.

I don't feel like I'm really starting to show yet, but some people (you know who you are) think I am. I'll leave it to you to decide:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oh, they didn't specify "grilled"

How I love Panera Bread. Their soups, salads, and sandwiches are all yummy lunchtime fare, and their chai latte is among the best I've tasted.

Sometimes, though, customer service is a little...quirky. I went to lunch with some coworkers and ordered the 1/2 and 1/2 - 1/2 a bowl of baked potato soup (21 g carbs) and 1/2 a sandwich. I asked for a "Grilled Cheese" (35 g carbs). The guy behind the register asked me what kind of bread (the kind on the menu) and what kind of cheese (also the kind on the menu). When I picked up my order, sat down, and opened my sandwich wrapper, I was surprised to find cold bread with two 1/2 slices of cold cheese in between - decidedly not a grilled cheese sandwich as I had ordered.

I headed back to the food prep area, and explained my situation. The response I got? "Oh, they didn't specify 'grilled'".