Of course I can’t go more than a week or so without a new issue to share with you! This week, its sleep apnea! I had a ENT doctor suspect sleep apnea last year, but I never was able to follow-up with any of the testing. So of course, as soon as I was pregnant and it came back up as a possible issue, I was sent to a sleep clinic. At week 20, I had my first overnight sleep study. (I think I mentioned this in an earlier blog….like how it should be called the NO sleep study!) A week ago I went for the results of that test, and they did diagnose me with moderate sleep apnea. So onward to another overnight study to be fitted with a CPAP machine.
I know sleep apnea is pretty serious, I mean after all it means you STOP breathing during the night, but I probably would have continued to put off this next study had the doctor not concerned me over the baby. He said my oxygen levels get down in the low 80’s and that concerned him for the baby getting enough oxygen. Of course when he said this, I made the next appointment. Me, I can do without a little O2, but not the baby!
So off to NO-sleep study #2. This was at a different clinic, a bit nicer and quieter, so I was hopeful. I was also trying not to panic. I had tried my Dad’s sleep apnea mask one night to see how it felt, and I panicked. I completely felt like I was being smothered. It reminded me of the this time in Mexico when I decided to try and go scuba diving, and after a 15 minute lesson, they strapped you to a tank and pushed you under water. I freaked – and spent the time int he shallows looking for fish, while the rest of the group headed out to the reef. Yeah, Mexico scuba diving was not for me….and neither was breathing through a weird mask! I told both the doctor and the clinic tech of my distress and they reassured me I would start with a nose piece only – no full face mask. I was still not convinced……
The tech let me wear the nose piece with the oxygen stream for about an hour while watching tv to try and acclimate to it. It was ok after about 10 minutes and I started to relax over the whole suffocating fear. I still don’t think I slept much that night, but apparently I kept the air-flow piece on and got enough sleep to make the doctor happy come morning. And so I was sent home with my new CPAP machine. Oh boy.
I am adjusting. The first night, I didn’t feel like I slept any, and ended up taking off the mask in my sleep and not realizing it. The second night, I woke up a bit panicked and took it off in the middle of the night. So far, I haven’t made it through a whole night with the mask on……I go to sleep with it on, but end up taking it off when I get up to potty and just won’t put it back on. It is not fun….it is cumbersome and uncomfortable and every time I wake up, it scares me that I have it on. But I keep trying, for the baby.
And so I continue to learn the lesson that I will no longer live my life for myself. My life is now about my child and the sacrifices I will make for him. God must have thought I really had a lot to learn before the baby arrives since he is teaching me all these lessons nice and early!
All I ever talk about is being pregnant! So I thought I would share a little bit about what else is going on in our Purdy World.
I dabble in photography, as some of you know. I started in 2003 with photographing landscapes and architecture and selling prints at art shows and festivals. I slowly transitioned over into photographing people around 2009…first for fun and practice, and then taking on paying clients. I have shot a few weddings, engagement sessions, babies, high school seniors, families and a bit of whatever is in-between. I only do natural light, outdoor sessions and prefer unique locations and settings. I gravitate towards couples and high school seniors because of the emotion and intensity you can get in the images. Weddings are very demanding and make me nervous. Babies are particular and challenging. Large groups loose creativity. I prefer those intimate shots that let you really see into a person. But hey, every photographer has a preference.
When I got a call to do a senior prom shoot, I was excited. I went to Pinterest and pulled ideas. I wrote down and sketched out some things I had only had floating around in my head for couple shots. I even made props. Like I said, I love working with teenagers and couples, so this was a great combo. And of course nothing went as I had planned in my head! It had been raining, and then was overcast all afternoon. We actually got rained out before I even finished. There were 16 kids total!! (Did I mention the challenges of big groups??) AND we were shooting half the photos inside the local county jail! Yes, I just said that. INSIDE the jail. You see, my client was the Sheriff’s daughter and the kids thought these would make for fun photos.
As I walked into the 80 degree jail, I watched my lens fog up from the difference in humidity and temperature. I was immediately worried. Then I noticed that the inside of a jail has NO natural light and some pretty crappy light sources in general. Oh-uh number 2! For a natural light photographer, none of this was looking good! Add in blah colored walls, gray steel bars, 16 kids and about 20+ parents with point-and-shoot cameras flashing everywhere, and I was one nervous photographer!
At the end of the day, my nerves were shot and I was almost in tears. My props were still in the van. My ideas were never realized. And I wasn’t even sure I got a couple photo of my client! Not sure an emotional pregnant woman should take on a large group photo assignment!!
Luckily, I doubted myself too quickly and found plenty to work with when I got to my computer. With the help of my Photoshop editing skills and a few Lightroom filters, most of the photos turned out pretty good. One in particular seemed to really steal the show…..I may decide to share my before and after comparison, but I don’t want to give away all my tricks!
The Prom Night Line-Up:
At the end of the day, it was a good shoot….and they all looked beautiful. As a photographer, I have to remember, nothing goes as planned, and you just have to roll with the punches and MAKE IT WORK, as Tim Gunn would say! To see more of my photography, you can visit my Facebook Page – Purdy Pictures.
Well, I can certainly tell I am pregnant now – coming and going! Baby boy seems to be growing, and pulling me along with him! My profile view is definitely one of a pregnant lady. And boy oh boy can I feel him in there. It was like he doubled in size this week and decided he wanted to be known….punching and kicking and twisting and flopping all around in there. Uniquely odd and rather strange, sometimes painful, feelings! I am getting used to feeling them though and look forward to anticipating when he may want a little attention.
Since starting the gestational diabetes diet, I am very happy to report that my daily nausea has gone away. Yay! I do still have some crazy food and smell aversions, but the on-going nagging feeling of being sick has left the building! The diet is not much easier, salads every day and a snack of cheese and peanut butter still don’t float my boat, but if that’s what it takes, that’s what I am doing. I stay slightly hungry, which doesn’t help my mood swings (you can ask my husband about that one!), but I am still struggling to keep my sugar in check, even with the diet plan. Most days it does ok, but sometimes it is crazy high with little to explain why. I am still having high fasting numbers and am worried since they just won’t get any lower that medication is in my future as well.
The lack of food and carbs is making it tough to get a daily workout routine going. I am aiming for 15-30 minutes of walking a day, but when I have an extra 30 mins, all I want to do is nap. I am so tired all the time, I could sleep anywhere, anytime! Except at night of course! (Of course!!) I have a bit of pregnancy insomnia at night, mainly I think because my back aches so badly and my mind is going 90-to-nothing thinking of all the things we need to be doing forebear baby gets here, thinking about what I ate or need to eat the next day and trying to keep all my business ventures going.
We have started working on the house finally – we have SO much to do to get ready for a baby and haven’t done much of anything except talk about it. We started cleaning out my office and consolidating my business supplies. Most of them will move out to our outside shed/work space, and then my desk is moving into our living room. Shane’s daughter is moving into my office and her room, which is next to ours, will become the nursery. We have a goal to finish emptying my office and organizing the work space in May. Then moving Hailey into her new room in June and then we have July and August to make the nursery come together. Frankly, I am glad I still have another 5-6 weeks since I have no idea what I want to do with the nursery. I have some ideas, a whole Pinterest folder and we bought a white crib, but that’s as far as we have made it!
And then there is the subject of naming this poor kid. Right now, he is going to be known by his current nickname, Taco! I just can’t come up with a name that I LOVE. I have a list that I like, but none that just make me know for sure. I know I still have 4 months, but I would love to break out the embroidery machine before poor Baby Taco gets here!
Despite my struggles and issues, I have managed to keep one thing in check this pregnancy and that is my weight. At 5+ months pregnant, I am down 5 pounds from where I was when I started in December. NEVER thought I would need to get pregnant to change my eating habits and get healthy! Shane says it is the silver-lining to all of this, plus we read this week that the baby is getting taste buds so he should come out loving fruits and veggies!
No doctor appointments this week – thank goodness, but I am headed in to a respiratory specialist to discuss sleep apnea issues next week. Then the following week I am back with my OB to check on my blood sugar status. This kid should come out the healthiest little thing in the world as often as I see a doctor!
I took time on Mother’s Day to reflect on what this day will soon mean to me…..for the rest of my life. And then I cried. I have waited my whole life to become a mother, and now, it is slowly happening as our sweet baby grows inside of me. I spent Mother’s Day this year with my Mom, and we talked about travels we have been on together and laughed at how much I have changed over the years. Later, when I was home, and doing more reflecting, I realized that this is the journey I am starting on with my own child. In 30+ years, I too will be looking back on the moments we shared together and enjoying our memories each Mother’s Day. It made me feel that Mother’s Day will soon be my favorite holiday – a day each year for me to just reflect and remember my favorite days with my son.
I am struggling through this pregnancy. I don’t enjoy it and each day seems to actually get harder. I cry often and am worried I am getting depressed as the challenges increase. I am fearful I am not bonding with the baby enough. I can’t seem to get excited about the nursery or even baby names. I am pretty much hungry constantly from the limited gestational diabetes diet I am on and that only contributes to my crankiness and emotional state. I feel like I have postpartum depression pre-baby.
I am blessed to have found friends and other women who will talk honestly with me and let me know I am not alone. Because I feel like I am. I feel like something is wrong with me for having such negative feelings about being pregnant, when I have wanted this for years. I feel like I am a bad mommy for not having bonded with the baby yet and not feeling more excitement for pregnancy. I feel like its somehow my fault for being sick and have GD and being so miserable every day. I am thankful to the people who comment and message me to let me know I am not alone and its not my fault and I will get better and love this baby with my whole heart as soon as I meet him.
I write this blog to help me handle my feelings and emotions. Sometimes I can write what I can not say to to my husband or my friends. I write so I can look back on this and know I will be stronger from this experience, and that I will love my child even more having gone through such a challenge to meet him. I need to remember that part of becoming a Mom was not easy for us – we had 2+ years of infertility and now a pregnancy that is far from easy, emotionally, mentally or physically.
So for Mother’s Day, I don’t want to be a black cloud, but rather a voice from within the cloud letting others who share my experience know that we are not alone. Becoming a mother is a beautiful thing, but not everyone has a beautiful experience the whole time. Some of us fight for it with every day, every tear, every ache and every new challenge. I am counting on it making motherhood that much more to appreciate.
What a week this has been! As we hit 21 weeks on Wednesday, and Monday’s diagnosis of gestational diabetes was still sinking in, I was completely overwhelmed. I spent all day Tuesday crying. Literally. I just couldn’t quit. Through the ride to my doctor’s appointment, through lunch, on the way home, all night. My poor husband didn’t know what to do or ho
w to help. Honestly, there was no help or anything anyone could do. I had such a feeling of sadness, anger, desperation, confusion – just so many emotions all at once.
Wednesday I just took it easy. Started adjusting to the new diet and read two books on my Kindle on GD, trying to educate myself on what to eat and what to avoid. I took a three hour nap, partly since I find it easier to sleep through the challenges if I can. I had a raging headache from lack of sugar and carbs and was starving.
Thursday my testing supplies were finally approved and ready so that was a new challenge. I took my first blood test reading at 8pm, two hours after dinner, and cried through the whole thing. Yes, it hurt. Yes, I realized it was the start of a new lifestyle I wasn’t ready for. Yes, I am just emotional. My sweet husband even went first to share in the pain and experience with me.
Now its Friday, and I just watched my office co-workers enjoy a party complete with sandwiches, dips, pigs in blankets, chicken wings and chocolate pie, as I sat in the corner with my glass of water and waited for my husband to bring me a salad for lunch. This was not an easy day! I tried to stay social until the pie came out! Then I just couldn’t take it and had to excuse myself.
As I test my sugar more, I will learn what my body needs. Last night my sugar was low and I had a moderate level of ketones in my system (which is not good for baby, and means you need more carbs) so I had a yogurt and pretzels for a snack. But then woke up to a slightly high sugar level this am. Obviously there is much to learn and many adjustments to be made along the way. I am feeling better today, still a bit lethargic but the headache is almost gone. My fingertips are getting sore, esp when it takes me two or three tries to test my blood properly, but I am learning and I am sure will toughen up and get better at the blood draws.
Now since my sugar was good after lunch, I am going to have a spoonful of spinach dip and a few pretzels!
I started my 20th week pregnant having a 3-hour glucose test. Not my favorite way to celebrate my mid-way point of this pregnancy. I made it through the 1-hour test ok, it wasn’t too bad, but I was seriously dreading the 3-hour re-test. Any process during pregnancy that begins with 12 hours of FASTING is not ok! I was pleasantly surprised when my husband and I got to the lab and they had a private waiting room for us, complete with tv, remote and 2 reclining chairs. I had magazines and my iPad, but the waiting room made time pass so much faster. I was nauseous the first hour, and then just bored. All and all, not nearly as bad as people had said, blogged about and frankly worried the bejesus out of me over.
Fast-forward to today, five days later when the nurse calls from my doctor’s office. I missed the call and my heart sunk listening to the message, assuming if all was ok she would have sounded more chipper, or probably already told me the news. I reluctantly called back and heard what I was fearing most – I failed the test. I hung up in tears and lost it moments later, not the most appropriate action while at your desk at work, but frankly I had no control. A rush of emotion just hit me – was this my fault, have I hurt my baby, how much have I done wrong to make this happen, what is going to happen, how much more challenging could this pregnancy really get. Irrational? Probably. Un-natural? Not at all.
I didn’t start my pregnancy in the best of shape. I had recently lost my job and gained 15 pounds on top of my already ‘healthy’ frame by the end of 2012. I didn’t have the best eating habits and I didn’t exercise. I was still emotionally drained from a brutal year at my job and dealing with failed fertility treatments and being told un-assisted conception wasn’t in the cards for us. Food was my comfort. And I knew that, and I knew I planned to change my lifestyle when we were ready to try to conceive in a year or so.
And then I got pregnant.
I will never understand God’s timing, but I don’t question his plan and try to take each of these new challenges day by day. I have had ‘morning’ (AKA when ever it feels like it) sickness for the entire 20 weeks. I weight less now at 5 months along than I did at Christmas last year. My hormones are a mess, my skin is a HOT mess and my emotions control my days. I had early round ligament pain, leg numbness, extreme indigestion, food aversions, crazy scent sensitivity and leg cramps that wake me from a dead sleep most nights. My stomach feels like it weighs 50 pounds already and I get short of breathe with little effort. I am, quite frankly, miserable. And now, I have gestational diabetes.
I KNOW it is best to know early for my own health and the health of the baby, but no one is prepared to hear they have any form of diabetes. I KNOW my daily treat of a Coke to calm my queasy tummy has not been healthy, but it has been my saving grace many days and the only nausea cure that worked. I KNOW I will be healthier reducing my carbs, sugars and processed food, but that doesn’t make me feel better when I have gagged on broccoli every try so far. I KNOW I can do this, and I will, but that doesn’t make the thought of eating 5 times a day, writing down every food I eat and pricking my finger 5+ times a day any easier to digest. I KNOW the baby has a fine chance of being healthy in the end, but it certainly doesn’t make this news less stressful to an already stressed out momma-to-be.
So welcome to my GD pregnancy – my gestational diabetes pregnancy that is. I am sure this blog will take an interesting turn in the coming weeks. I should have my first appointment with a nutritionist and counselor this week. I can’t wait to share my first few days of finger pricks and carb counting. Pardon my emotions, but I think I need to cry again……
As a mother-to-be, I am so excited thinking about Mother’s Day. I am pretty sure it will become my new favorite holiday by nest year. I am thrilled to be a mom, and just can’t wait to enjoy this special day with my son in the future.
To celebrate my excitement, I am offering a fun Mother’s Day giveaway from our companies.
You have several ways to enter and there is a goody basket of 4 great prizes for one lucky Mom (or someone who wants to share with their favorite Mom)! Enjoy and good luck!
Start over on our Facebook page: http://bit.ly/ZHAMZo
Contest ends May 11 and winner will be announced here on the blog on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013.
Those two little words every pregnant woman dreads hearing – Glucose Test! I have heard so many horror stories about that terrible little bottle of orange syrup. So when my doctor requested an early glucose test for me at 17 weeks, I tried not to panic. Most expectant Moms get to wait until week 20 or later, but no, not me, I got the orange bottle nice and early. (Since I am high risk, I get lots of extra tests and early tests!)
Now, the glucose test in itself is probably bad enough, but mine just so happened to have even worse timing. The suggested day for testing was the morning after a sleep study that had also been ordered. I have thyroid issues and they wanted to see if any issues may also be coming from or compounded from sleep apnea. Of course the testing was needed in week 17, along with my sugar test!!
I won’t go into lots of detail on the sleep study only to say there was NO sleep involved! I would be highly surprised if they got any conclusive data since I seriously am not sure I slept more than 45 minutes straight. How they think ANYONE can sleep with 15 probes attached to their body – from my legs to my side to my throat to my face to my scalp – and ALL connected, making movement uncomfortable and really impossible at times, is beyond me. I get what they need to study, but there has to be a better way than what they have come up with – I mean two nights with half as many probes at once would be better. Or seriously, in this day and age, how are the probes not wireless!! If my phone can stream TV, I am sure a medical facility can pick up on a transmission of brain waves without wires!
Oh, I digress. So with little sleep and no patience, I leave the (no) sleep study and head to McDonald’s to find a protein-only breakfast. I settle for a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit and a water. Note to self, eggs have made me sick this whole pregnancy, why would you choose eggs on a morning like today?!?! I go to the lab and park outside and attempt to remove the biscuit from my sandwich, which is easier said than done given the cheese. I reluctantly throw the biscuit in the parking lot and watch the birds feast on my favorite part and attempt to choke down the remainder. Now for dessert.
I had the (no) sleep clinic folks keep my glucose drink in the fridge, but its been about 30 minutes now and it is starting to warm up, which isn’t ideal. I gingerly take a sip and am quite surprised it tastes ok, like a flat Sunkist soda, which I kinda like. I start gulping since I have been told to drink it all within 5 minutes, and have to stop half-way through. It has hit my tummy, mixed with that dang egg and it isn’t happy! I stare at the bottle for at least 60 seconds before deciding to call upon my 25-year-old self. The girl who could party with the best of ‘em, shoot tequila, chug red bull and swig down Jager. I got this…….
At the end of exactly six minutes, the orange bottle is empty, I am queasy and gagging and I still have 45 minutes to sit and wait to go in the lab office. Yes, my 25-year-old self did good, and it was just like old times.
After the blood work was complete, I headed home and took a nice, long 4-hour nap. I woke still a bit queasy, but hey, that could still be the morning/all-day sickness I continue to have. Now, I wait and pray I pass the test. Cause not even my 25-year-old self wants to chug on and off for 3 hours for a re-take!
Ok, so baking cakes isn’t anything new, but for this pregnant, swollen, tired to-be-momma, it was a feat! Especially when I attempted a brand new recipe that had been circulating on Facebook, and it ended up being a 3 hour process!!
I was drawn to the recipe because it used fresh strawberries, and it is strawberry season here in North Florida, and I love strawberries, and I hadn’t had any shortcake in awhile. This cake looked like it would satisfy for Easter dessert and have yummy berries. On closer reading, as I was making the cake, I realized the cake also ended up with 7 eggs, 4 sticks of butter, 2 packs of cream cheese, 7 cups of sugar (YES, 7!!!!) and a bunch of other ingredients. I would estimate the cake cost me about $12-$15 to make, partly because I had to re-stock my pantry with baking powder and baking soda, as well as cake flour ($5 right there).
But, was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! It was a huge hit at my family dinner, and my husband says I now need to promise to make it every year. He even made me pinky promise, although I don’t think any commitments made while pregnant are legally binding. Or at least they shouldn’t be – I live in a state of duress.
I take no credit for the recipe, so you can find it where I found it: http://blog.babygizmo.com/2012/03/vanilla-cake-with-strawberry-cream-frosting-recipe/
And here was the finished product, I swear about 10 pounds of yumminess! Since the baby still doesn’t like for me to eat a lot of sugar, I held back and only had a small slice at lunch, but everyone else had some for lunch and again after dinner! I think we polished almost half of it off today!!
A few side notes:
- I did read on the original post in the comments, that you should eat the cake within about 3 days since the fresh berries just don’t hold up real well.
- I think its obvious too, but keep it in the fridge since the frosting is cream cheese based.
- I ended up making the icing and baking the cake one night, and then assembling the cake the next day. I recommend this if you have time since the cake was completely cooled and sliced in half easily. The icing was also firm from being refrigerated overnight and went on really easy without picking up crumbs.