As my time as a PL draws to a close, lots of people ask me, “How have you done it, Emily? How have you maintained such poise and grace throughout the last 33 weeks?” Okay, so no one has asked me that. But if they did, I would have one answer for them: David. Since not everyone can have David specifically, I suggest they immediately get a similar model if they become pregnant. Pre-pregnancy, he made my life extremely nice and easy, and he has more than stepped up to the plate on a daily basis since I peed on that stick back in July.
Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking to yourselves, “I am a grown-ass lady and can take care of myself.” Yeah, me too, my feminist sister; however, that sucks and is no fun. I’m not saying if you decide to have a baby, you need to run out and get yourself a husband. But you need to find someone who will coddle you and do your bidding for at least the duration of your pregnancy. It’s quite a commitment, but as long as you aren’t a complete asshole, you should be able to rustle someone up.
So here is the part where I openly brag about my perfect husband (as I am known to do–can you blame me?). When I found out I was pregnant, David bought me a gift card to a spa so I could go treat myself. He has drawn warm baths for me. He has rubbed my back, feet and legs whenever I ask and sometimes even when I don’t. He has cooked me anything I’ve asked for. He has scooped the litter boxes. He has gone to birthing classes with me. He has helped me pick baby furniture, crib bedding and all sorts of other baby products because he knows such decisions will cause me to have a meltdown. He has supported every single decision I’ve made regarding my pregnancy and upcoming birth. He has singlehandedly packed up a good bit of our belongings for our upcoming move and told me “don’t lift a finger.” And he thanks me randomly, when I least expect it but really need to hear it. For instance, if I’m having a particularly rough day, he’ll put his arms around me and tell me how much he appreciates me going through all this for our baby. Or like this morning, out of nowhere he told me how much he appreciated me researching all the baby stuff like carseats, strollers, etc.
I could go on and on and still not do him justice. I am such a lucky girl to have him in my life. His only goal, whether I am pregnant or not, is to make me happy and to make things easier for me. He is going to be a great dad.
So while some people swear by body pillows, Bella Bands, lollipops, Tums, stretch mark creams and various other mom-to-be sundries, I think the most important thing to have while pregnant is someone who loves and supports you no matter what, but is also open to doing your bidding at times (okay, all of the time). It’s the last time in your life when anything will be all about you so you might as well eat it up with a big freaking spoon.
I am enormous. David had to take this picture about ten times because I kept looking at it, disgusted by every angle. I decided I could live with this particular shot. One thing nice about being married, pregnant or not, is having someone around who will take a picture of you over and over until you are satisfied. And by now he knows saying “You’re such a beautiful girl” after each one ain’t cutting the mustard. I have seen some of the pictures he follows up with that compliment and decided his taste is not to be trusted.
This was my favorite appointment so far. I saw one of the new midwives (I met her once when she was still in training) and really liked her. She was very doting and sweet. I started out the appointment by weighing in as usual and found I gained 5 pounds, so that’s an improvement from that scary 7-pound gain the month before. I am reporting it in this post since it’s not as bad as I thought. Blood pressure was good as usual (100/60) and the baby’s heartbeat was 150 bpm. As usual, the baby was active and moving about. I am starting to wonder if Baby Castille ever rests!
The midwife told me I’m anemic and suggested I take Floradix, a liquid iron supplement that has a better absorption rate than iron tablets and won’t stop me up (thank jesus!). She also recommended I take it with extra vitamin C to enhance absorption. Another supplement she recommended was Vitamin D. So after a quick trip to Whole Foods later that week, I was all set with my additonal supplements. I now take something at every meal like an old lady.
Another tidbit of interesting info the midwife gave me was to drink warm prune juice if I was having any bathroom issues. Seriously, try this, even if it’s just for fun, because it works.
The best part of this doctor’s visit was the midwife checking the position of the baby. It was really cool because she could feel the head, butt, everything! What was not cool was that during this, David was playing on his phone and ignored the midwife asking him if he wanted to come feel the baby. Being a bit more hormonal and less kind than the midwife, I barked, “Put down your damn iPhone and come feel this baby!” and he jumped to attention. I forgave him, though, because I could tell he felt bad. He got to feel all the main parts of the baby through my tummy and it was very exciting. We kept laughing because the midwife exclaimed not once, but twice, over how strong my ab muscles are! HA! Yes, my abs were rock hard before all this. Anyway, she managed to overcome my abs of steel and detect that the baby was head-down still, so that is good. Stay put, baby!
Next appointment will be at 33 weeks and we will also take a tour of the birthing center! Yay!
I have been pure long enough. I have not had a cigarette or a drink since JULY. This is seriously probably the longest I’ve gone without such staples since I was 14 years old. Has it really diminished my fun all that much, you ask? Yes. Absolutely.
Here is what is going to happen on March 12 (my due date): if I do not have a baby by that evening, I will enjoy one cigarette and one glass of wine before I retire to bed. I will continue this ritual for every day that I am late. Once I go into labor, even if it is at 8 a.m., I will calmly drink a glass of wine, smoke one cigarette, time my contractions and hit the hospital once it looks like the shit is about to go down.
So I found out I failed the glucose screen, which is not uncommon. I was livid when I found out, not because I failed it but because of how I was notified. I took the test on a Wednesday and the midwife I saw for my appointment afterward told me she would notify me by the following Friday if I needed to come back in for the longer test. That Friday came and went with no call so I assumed I passed and had successfully avoided the big test. Not only did that Friday pass with no call, but the entire following week nearly passed until I got a call the next Friday from Ochsner telling me I had failed the screen and needed to schedule a glucose tolerance test. I was pissed my midwife didn’t do what she said she would do and I let them know that. David also called to let them know that. I declared I would not take that goddamn three-hour test because lots of people failed the first one and ended up being fine. I also declared I would never see that particular midwife again. I decided to buy a home test kit and monitor my glucose levels myself.
Well, of course after a couple of weeks, I started to feel guilty, especially every time I ate a cookie or drank a Coke. Even though I was pretty sure I did not have gestational diabetes, I knew I’d never forgive myself if I did and wasn’t taking care of it. Plus, I kept envisioning myself having a big-ass baby, one of the things that is likely to happen if I have GD but wasn’t taking care of it. So I scheduled the stupid test.
I did the test last week and it wasn’t so bad. It was mostly just boring. Pregnancy has really made having my blood taken a breeze. There is still the whole nausea factor, in that I don’t like seeing the needle going into my arm or seeing how many vials they are about to take. But as long as I look away, I am okay. All four of the blood tests went off without a hitch, even though one of the chicks was kind of a bitch, but whatever. I thought I was going to fail the test for sure because my fasting blood glucose had sort of an elevated result (112). They wouldn’t tell me the rest of them, insisting they had to send them to the lab in New Orleans. I don’t really get why they were able to tell me my first result immediately, but not my subsequent results.
As for finding out the final result, I took matters into my own hands and activated my account on the clinic’s email notification system (where they remind you of appointments, send you test results, etc.). Got the notification Monday morning that I passed. Hooray! Although I think the nurse who drew my fasting blood sample is a filthy liar because my results say that my fasting was 95, not 112. My one-hour was 156; two-hour was 146; three-hour was 108. I have celebrated these results with a delightful assortment of candy the last few days.
Ultimately, I’m glad I took the test for peace of mind. I was not pleased with how my arm looked afterward though. The mean nurse didn’t bandage my arm tightly enough after the final draw, so the blood pooled up right underneath my skin, causing me to look like a drug addict: