Entering into the third trimester seemed to turn on a switch of discomfort and overall grumpiness. It started out pretty crappy with the results of my glucose tolerance test coming back high…no make that a little high and only on one of the three blood draws they took. Apparently the doctor wasn’t concerned about it because he made no marks on my chart, but the nurse decided to refer me to a diabetes center anyway. I had to meet with a diabetes nurse who counseled me about what to eat and how to test my blood sugar 4 times daily. I was given the task of reporting to her weekly with my numbers. At first, I was very annoyed and upset with the whole thing, since I have tried so hard to take care of myself and eat healthy through my pregnancy, but I guess I would rather be safe than sorry and I will do what I have to do to make sure that we are both healthy. One thing I couldn’t compromise on though is adding a lot of carbs back into my diet. Yes, they want me, a person with GD, to eat MORE carbs than I am already eating. I allowed it to be an excuse for me to eat some previously avoided foods for about 5 minutes until I discovered that adding those carbs back in really made my blood sugar rise. So, now I am trying my best to keep things under control and eating fairly primal once again.
On October 6, I had a doctor’s appointment and the midwife told me that because I have gestational diabetes, I have to have weekly sonograms and non-stress tests. I had the first of these on October 21 and the sonographer was able to tell us that the baby is indeed still a girl and she has some hair growing on her head. She was head-down and covering her face with her hands, so we had a hard time seeing her profile. She seems to be measuring right on track, weighing in at 4 pounds, 7 ounces. That seems a little big to me, but he said she’s in the average range, so hopefully that means I won’t be delivering a 9-10 pound baby. The non-stress test wasn’t too bad. I had to go to the hospital and they put me in a bed, strapped a monitor onto my belly, and monitored her movements and heartbeat for about 20 minutes. I could have easily fallen asleep on the bed while I waited, but someone was giving birth just down the hall and let’s just say that the sounds had me a little unnerved for the rest of the day.
Then came a strange turn of events. Michael and I spent a week in Philadelphia, house and dog-sitting for his brother. We spent the first 3-4 days doing a lot of sightseeing and walking. Lots and lots of walking. I was exhausted. I could barely make it a block or two without having to stop to catch my breath and take a break. On top of that, almost as soon as I started moving, I also started contracting. I think during at least one of these days I had a non-stop contraction for the entire time we were out and about. I became very discouraged that I was feeling so bad so soon. I expected my last month to be pretty miserable, but I was never expecting to feel so miserable so early on.
On Thursday of that week, we decided to drive to the mall in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and have a leisurely day of shopping. My body had other plans. As soon as I walked into the first store, I felt a gush of fluid and after going to the bathroom, discovered that it was blood. So, Michael and I made our way to the nearest emergency room and I was admitted. As soon as they got me into a bed and started checking my vitals, I began to feel dizzy and sick, like I was going to pass out. Sure enough, within a few minutes, I had blacked out and vomited. At that point, they hooked me up to an IV and started doing all kinds of tests. I had bloodwork, a sonogram, and a non-stress test, but nothing seemed to show any problems and there was no more bleeding the rest of the day. After a long, long day in the ER, we finally got to head home around 9pm with no real answers as to why I had been bleeding.
We took it easy on Friday and basically just rested at the house. Since my tests had been good, my doctor didn’t make me come home right away. One interesting piece of information they had given me at the hospital was that I had abnormally high levels of amniotic fluid, but I had no idea what that meant.
We finally made it home and back to reality. My first day back to work was on Halloween and it was pretty miserable. I had more bleeding and had to make another trip to the hospital. They ran me through the same battery of tests and still were unable to find anything wrong with the baby. My doctor told me I would need to be off of work until I could get into his office to see him, so I managed to get an appointment for the next day. He also commented on my high levels of amniotic fluid and said that it was probably related to the gestational diabetes and could mean an early delivery. He recommended…no, insisted…that I drink a gallon of water a day and continue to come in for weekly sonograms and non-stress tests. Fortunately, he didn’t put me on bedrest. While I would have liked to be off work until the baby’s arrival, I really didn’t want to use up all my sick time before the baby was even born.
The weeks that followed have been full of ups and downs, days of feeling fairly decent and days of feeling completely miserable. I started seeing a chiropractor for some back pain I was having and all the water drinking did help with my Braxton Hicks contractions a little bit.
Although the third tri has been hard, there have been some good things happening too. My mom, grandma, sister Chelsea, and friend Holly threw me a great baby shower and I got a lot of beautiful things for the baby. They helped me get the nursery painted, Michael put the crib together, and I got all the baby’s clothes and diapers washed and prepped to go. Then the girls I supervise at work threw me a little baby shower during one of our staff meetings. It’s so nice to work around a group of supportive women who really care and understand. We picked up a few last minute items that hadn’t been purchased or given to us and have been busying ourselves with the last minute details like packing my hospital bag, getting the car seat ready, and putting the finishing touches on the nursery.
Baby is very active and likes to kick, punch, and roll all over the place, but at least she’s pretty calm at night…I hope that means she is going to be a good sleeper! Michael has been my hero in every way, picking up the slack at home and taking care of things that I just can’t do anymore. Even though I tease him about it, he’s always looking out for me, making sure I am drinking enough water and putting up with my whining when I’m having aches and pains. I seriously could not imagine doing this alone. He’s been so amazing. I couldn’t ask for more.
So, I’ve finally come up on 37 weeks, which means the baby is technically full-term and could come any day now. My weekly appointments, tests, and ultrasounds continue and I’m trying to get things caught up at work so that I can just forget about all of it while I’m on maternity leave. I really think the baby is going to take her time. I had my first cervix check today and she is head-down and ready to go, but I am not dilated or effaced yet. All that’s left to do is wait….