28 weeks: Glucose test results, colostrum, and weddings

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28 weeks pregnant!

I have so much to tell you from this week, so I will dive right in.  The best part of my week included getting my glucose test results back.  My midwife described them as perfect!  No gestational diabetes for me.  🙂  She sent me the lab results to keep in my records, and it said my level was 4.7 (if it’s greater than 7, they do the 2 hour fasting test).  So relieved!

Along with that was my midwife appointment.  We discussed different things, like preparing our parents for the type of parenting we’ll be doing now rather than waiting until the issues come up after the baby arrives.  More on that later.  She checked where the baby is lying, and at the moment, baby boy is breech.  😦  I figured this was the case because the kicks I feel are always low and never up near my ribcage.  He still has time to turn, though, so I’m hoping he will before 34 weeks.  When she checked the heartbeat with the doppler, it was just slightly irregular.  She said this is nothing to worry about but something to keep an eye on.  I told her if she’s not concerned then I’m not concerned.  If we continue to see this, she will discuss it with the ob’s at the hospital and see if they want me to get another ultrasound (not something I want, but if it’s to make sure he’s safe, then so be it).

Another exciting thing that came about was one of my breasts began producing colostrum!  It may seem silly, but I’m excited for this.  My mom had trouble breastfeeding (in fact, she only breastfed us all for 3 weeks), so any signs pointing toward good milk production and breastfeeding=okay in my book.

This past weekend, I was a bridesmaid in one of my friend’s weddings.  It was different than any wedding I’ve been to up to this stage, but it was still beautiful.  I will say that being pregnant and a bridesmaid is a lot more tiring than I anticipated.  We started with hair and beauty appointments at 9 a.m. and hub and I finally left the wedding at 9 p.m (I felt so rude but just really needed to rest at that stage).  Anyway, my feet were swollen the rest of the weekend (just call me cankles).

28 weeks cravings: SUGAR!  Because my midwife had me on the special diet, I had to cut back and cut out sugar for the week preceding my glucose challenge test.  Oh man, I missed it.  The night of the best, I ate a cupcake and some candy corn and immediately regretted it because I felt so sick from all the sugar.

Aversions: None really.

Symptoms: Hip pain, colostrum leak, breast tenderness, feet swelling, braxston hicks

Hope you all have a great week!

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Glucose Tolerance Test

I decided to take the glucose tolerance test despite the fact that I’m not at risk for gestational diabetes.  My decision was based on my weight gain, which has happened rapidly throughout the pregnancy, and because I thought it would be better to have the awareness of g.d. rather than regret later that I didn’t control it when I could.

I had the dreaded test this evening.  My appointment was actually scheduled for this morning, but part of having a private midwife is being flexible when one of their other patients have a baby.  So, even though I had followed a certain regime this morning for the test, I had to reschedule for this afternoon.  No big deal, really, because a sweet baby girl was born at home this morning, and I support that.

The regime my midwife had me follow helps to even out blood sugar levels over a matter of days and prevents false results on the test.  This will also prevent me from having to take the 2 hour fasting test. 
The regime is as follows:

  • Eat a large breakfast of foods normally ingested.  Remember high protein and low sugar
  • Engage in 45 minutes of exercise such as walking immediately prior to commencing the test, or as close to as possible
  • 3 days of carbohydrate loading with complex carbohydrates to equal a total of 150grams daily (no sugar or white flour)

Having any additional refined foods prior to the test will increase the load and potentially alter the results.  When the pancreas is presented with an unusually high glucose load, insulin is not produced fast enough to compensate.  A temporary pseudo-diabetes results, causing test results to be abnormally high.  When the pancreas catches up and the insulin surge brings the blood glucose level down, this rebound effect usually demonstrates hypoglycaemia. 

Other factors that can skew results include infection, lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, caffeine intake and fear and anxiety.  All interfering factors should be removed or cleared up at least 3 days prior to testing.

I felt a little nervous about the test, but it wasn’t bad.  The drink tasted like a flat sprite.  I had to drink it within five minutes, and that really wasn’t a problem for me.  I should find out the results tonight or tomorrow morning!  Hopefully it’s all good.

27 weeks: Emotional with cankles

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27 weeks!

I can sum this week up in one word: Emotional.  I didn’t notice it until a few days ago when I browsed through some photos of my mom’s trip to Guatemala.  My mind wandered to how much she’s grown since her and my dad divorced and her bravery.  I started thinking about her trip here last year and how special it felt to share my life over in this corner of the world with her.  Then I thought of how she’s coming in February, how long it’s been since I’ve seen her, and how much I miss her.  In the instant of thinking these things, I wept.

Later that day, my husband called to say he had decided on a t.v. for us (we have needed one for awhile since ours probably came from the early 90s).  I thanked him profusely, because I knew he bought this t.v. more for me since I watch more t.v. shows and play more xbox than he does (confession).  His response: “You’re welcome, Sweetheart.  I wanted to do something nice for you that would be lasting.  I don’t buy you jewellery or nice things very often, so I wanted to get you something nice.”  I cried.  (Love that man).

These include just a couple of examples, but you get the picture.  Every little thing would make me all teary eyed and hormonal.  As for the big stuff, forgetaboutit, I’m a hot mess.

A massive (literally) symptom this week is my swelling feet.  The temperatures have remained incredibly hot for this time of year in Australia, and on days where I’m more active or out shopping, my feet sure do suffer.  I’ve had to shop a lot in the last week or so, frantically looking for shoes that will fit for an upcoming wedding (more about this next week).  At the end of each shopping day, and many times long before, my feet would balloon and I would have cankles.  Fun.  Usually, after propping them up or laying down for awhile, the swelling would go down, though.

Cravings: Biscuits slathered in jam, milk (still with most meals), fruity type sweets, pizza.

No aversions, really.  

Symptoms are mainly the same: Braxston hicks, hip pain, swelling feet, a little acne, back pain, and heaps of baby movements and kicks.

Oh yeah, and my laptop crashed over the week, which is why I only did one post last week.  Hubby has fixed it now, though, so I will hopefully get a few more posts up this week that I’ve planned.  Any requests?

Have a great week, everyone!

Stretch marks

Before getting pregnant, I hated the thought of getting stretch marks,  I already had a few from puberty, but they were light enough that they didn’t bother me.  I think pregnancy stretch marks worried me because they get so dark. 

Fast forward to yesterday.  I stood in front of the mirror observing my naked pregnant body in awe of what God has created it to do, and I noticed a few new stretch marks very low on my tummy (below the bump).  The side stretch marks that I already had are darkening and becoming more pronounced.  I looked at them and felt nothing but pride. 

They are the marks of love, of hard work, of new life.  They mark the end of a beautiful chapter and the beginning of a new adventure.  They are like tiger stripes that I’ve earned with aches, pains, emotional ups and downs, nausea, and more sleep than I ever thought I needed.  I told my husband how much I liked them, and he smiled (and, oh, how his smile can melt my heart still).  He likes them too.

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I found this on Megan Garrison’s pinterest board. A beautiful description of stretch marks.

 

26 weeks pregnant: Braxston Hicks, hip pain update, kicks for hubby, and a special day of remembrance

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26 weeks!

My favourite part of pregnancy so far is eating what I’m craving and not feeling guilty about it.  I don’t know if this has happened to anyone else, but sometimes when I’m craving something, I can actually smell or taste it.  A little weird, yes, but kind of one of those novelty pregnancy things that I enjoy.  Lately my cravings have included cake with chocolate icing, milk (with every meal), and iced tea.

A lot of excitement happened this week.  The most exciting thing: Baby finally kicked for Hubby.  3 big kicks!  Until this point, every time Hubby would put his hand on my tummy, the baby would stop kicking.  I have no idea why, but I’m glad he finally let Hubby know that he’s in there and does love him and stuff.  I think I felt more concerned about this than Hub, though (he’s chill).  I also had a great week meeting with friends and officially found a photographer for the maternity photos.  She’s a lovely friend that’s doing it as a hobby, so she won’t let us pay her (even though I tried).  I will definitely buy her a gift of some sort as a “thanks,” though.  When I have weeks where I have a lot of social activities, I realise how many friends I have actually made here.  In the past, I’ve just thought I don’t have any friends and mope when I’m homesick (because “all my friends are back in the U.S.”), but I’m seeing now how many friendships I do have in Australia.  They’ve been slower moving, yes (part of the culture, from what I can tell), and it has taken me 3 years to feel this way.  I guess, I see one more piece of the culture shock puzzle in place and done with, which feels wonderful.

I haven’t mentioned Braxston Hicks contractions yet.  I’ve been getting them a few weeks now, but I thought they were the baby trying to burrow into my abdomen/bladder.  It doesn’t hurt, but it’s a tightening feeling that’s hard to describe.  This is a normal part of pregnancy that simply means my uterus is toning for the big day.  So, yay, I guess.

Also, my hip pain is slightly better since last week.  I went to the chiropractor, and that made a huge difference.  I’ve also been *trying* to walk more (although it’s freakin hot outside–at least to me), which has helped.  Plus, the chiro gave me some tips on how to sleep to avoid the hip pain, and although it only relieves some, it has made a slight difference when I wake up in the morning.  I feel bad for hubs, though, because I know I toss and turn a lot and moan when it hurts badly, and he said the other morning that he’s not sleeping well.  I really hope we can upgrade our mattress size real soon, but we’ll see.

As some of you know, today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss remembrance day in the U.S.  To commemorate all the parents who have lost their babies, I will be entering a special time of prayer during my regular devotion time.  I know a few of you on this network of ttc/pregnancy blogs that have lost your little ones in the past year, some very recently, and I will be especially thinking of you in this time.  My heart goes out to all of you and to every parent who has lost a child.

I feel pretty: Beauty in pregnancy

I went through a period of depression when we first moved to Australia.  I couldn’t work for the first 6 months, and I knew virtually no one.  It proved one of the most difficult hurdles I’ve faced in my life so far: Picking myself up off the ground, going through culture shock, and attempting to make friends in a completely new country.  Each day, I struggled to get out of bed and get dressed.  When the government finally granted me permission to work, things started to pick up some.  I at least had a reason to get dressed a few times a week and meet a few people in town.  As time went on, the Lord started to speak to my heart about making a bit more effort in my daily beauty routine.  Thinking back, I believe I thought myself unworthy of the effort.  Slowly, as I learned to obey His new task for me, I started to see that He saw me as worth it…and that meant the world to me.  I started to feel better and had the confidence to put myself out into the world again.

When I saw the positive test and started to feel sick for those first few weeks, I knew what the importance of a beauty routine would mean in the coming months.  With all the hormone changes and commotion, I could easily sink back into a routine of sweat pants and oily hair.  So, I wanted to share a few things I do to keep myself feeling pretty and “glowy” during this pregnancy.

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  • My hair.  I have found that styling my hair really keeps me feeling pretty.  If I style it up, out of my face, and in a cute hairstyle that I know looks nice, the make up and clothes I wear are easier to put together.  I spend less time feeling frumpy and more time feeling cute.  Plus, over these past 3 years of practise, I have learned to do my own hair.  The lovely Christina at Hair Romance wrote an ebook that I bought a year or two ago (30 days of twist and pin) that has literally changed the life of my hair.  She has recently developed a new one focusing on braids–One of my great loves.  
  • Makeup. Admittedly, I don’t put on make up every day.  Most days, however, I do, because I have students or friends that I see and want to feel confident and look my best.  Even if I just put cover up on and a little mascara, I feel a huge difference.  I love Lisa Eldredge videos for make up tips.  The one posted above is a look that I want to try soon.  She has heaps of videos for different things, though, so check it out!  

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  • Clothes.  One thing I’ve tried to do in the past few years is buy clothes that had a nice, lightweight fabric that would feel comfortable yet look polished.  By filling my closet with these pieces, I have avoided looking frumpy even on the days when I just want to lounge.  Don’t get me wrong, I have sweatpants and hoodies, but a limited amount that I try to only wear at night (in fact, changing into my pajamas is a lovely routine for me that lets me know it’s time to relax and not worry about looks anymore).  Maternity clothes have proven no different for me.  I have less of them than my regular clothes, so I have to do more laundry.  It’s nice, though, to have clothes I feel good in and to have them nice and clean often.  Plus, I figure I have to get used to more laundry soon anyway, right?  The majority of my maternity wear comes from Old Navy.  They have a fun and affordable selection.
  • Other.  I painted my toenails the other night.  Although it felt like a marathon, looking down at my toes and seeing a cute colour now is one little touch that makes me feel pretty.  Jewellery is another little detail that can polish an outfit.  I don’t wear much jewellery, but a nice pair of earrings or necklace makes a bit of difference.  As far as shoes go, I’ve had to compromise a bit and get some sandals that look decent and feel extremely comfortable.  I have sensitive feet and need a good shoe that will not hurt my back (how old do I sound when I say that?  Wait, don’t answer that).  So, I went into one of those old lady orthopedic shoe stores and bought a pair of sandals with memory foam in the sole.  So far, I love the way they feel, but I do think of them as my first pair of mom shoes (i.e. I miss my cute shoes).

What are some of the things that are important to you in feeling beautiful, pregnant or not?

 

25 weeks: School holidays and hip pain

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Life has been busy, but sweet.  We just finished school holidays, a two week period that teachers and students have off after each of the 4 terms (although with term 4, we have about 8 weeks off).  Over the holidays, we had the goal of switching our office and bedroom.  We did it, and I’m so glad we did.  Hubby is very happy with the extra space he has in his office, and our new bedroom is the perfect size and very cozy.  Plus, now we can begin the nursery!  I will do a post soon on the plans and do a nursery tour when it’s all done.

Another great part about the break: Having some days where we could just relax and enjoy each other’s company.  We took a small road trip to the coast and had a nice day of shopping at one of the nicest shopping centres that we know of in Australia.  It was for an extended birthday celebration (since I had to work on my birthday) and I was also thinking of my friend Leah from the States since it was her birthday that day.  Other days were spent journaling, crocheting, and just existing with out the pressure of work.  I am pretty excited about getting back into the swing of teaching again, though, ’cause I only have this month and November left before my maternity leave!  Plus, teaching private piano allows me any amount of time off that I need.  Now, I’m a bit lucky, because we have school holidays for a whole month and a half before the baby’s due.  Then, I’m taking the first term off for my official maternity leave.  So I will have a lot of time to relax and welcome baby boy into the world.

I haven’t really had any new symptoms.  My hips hurt worse than ever.  They apparently twist out of place while I sleep on my side.  They’re pretty painful.  I’m going to the chiropractor today and hoping I can figure something out to stop waking up in such pain throughout the night.  Anyone have any advice for toning down the pain?  I feel like an old lady.  Also, my due date changed to a week later, which is when I thought it should be anyway.

I truly hope you have a fantastic week!  I am praying for each and every one of you that are ttc and hoping you get your bfps soon. 

Pregnant in Australia

Eating a meat pie on a road trip to the zoo. 2010.

As some of you may know, I come from America and living in Australia.  My husband and I have lived here for 3 years as missionaries and plan to stay long term.  In the time we’ve lived here, I’ve been through culture shock, seen my parents separate and divorce from afar, started a house church, and started my own business.  It’s a peculiar process, moving overseas.  When I first arrived, every difference between here and “home” seemed to scream at me and make me feel alien and unfamiliar.  Over time, the volume of differences has quieted, and in this time of pregnancy, God has blessed me with a deeper love for this country and our lives here that I didn’t have before.  Nevertheless, I want to share with you some of the differences that are fun that you may or may not know and what my pregnancy experience has been over here.  I hope you don’t mind bullets, ’cause they seem to be my thing lately.

  • The words and phrases.  This is probably the most well-known difference.  Rubbish=trash; “How you going?”=”How are you doing?”; “Give it a go”=Go for it.  “Good on you”=Good for you.  Capsicum=Green, red or yellow pepper.  Icing sugar=Powdered sugar.  Petrol=gasoline.  These are just a few examples.  The differences range from everyday things like this to musical terms (which I’ve had to relearn since beginning my piano tutoring over here), to obscure slang that not many people use.
  • The measurements.  Centimetres, not inches.  Kilograms (kilos), not pounds.  Grams, not ounces. Kilometres, not miles.  I still have a hard time converting certain things.  Should’ve paid better attention in school (but I couldn’t have dreamed I’d live in Australia then).
  • Spelling. You might notice sometimes that I spell things a little differently, if you’re really into that kind of thing.  Tyre, behaviour, metres, colour, foetal, etc.
  • Expenses. This is a not so fun one that I had to get used to.  Everything is more expensive over here, usually double the price.  Did your groceries cost you $60?  They would cost around $120 over here.  Petrol (gas) cost $4/gallon?  Then it’s probably $8/gallon over here.  Income is generally higher over here (age based minimum wage; $15/hour for teens), but taxes are too (up to 40% income tax).  The income sort of evens things out, but it’s still hard to live here with out both of us working full time.  We see the cut in income as worth it, though.  Because at the end of life, our time with each other and family will be more important than what kind of car we drove 50 years ago.
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On holidays (vacation) Mooloolooba, QLD 2010.

There are a lot more differences, but these are the most obvious that you would probably notice straight away (right away) if you came to visit.  As far as pregnancy goes, I will tell you what my experience has been so far, and you can tell me how different it is to your experience if you’ve been pregnant or are pregnant.  I have gone with a private midwife from the start of the positive test.  I did recently switch, but to another private midwife.  My experience so far has been very “hands off” from the midwives.  This country seems very open to allowing me and my husband to choose what’s best for us and the baby with out a fight.  I have the choice as to whether or not to take the glucose intolerance test in a few weeks.  It’s totally up to me.  No force or pressure for any ultrasounds that I didn’t specifically want (I’ve only had one and will only have had one if all continues to go well).  They are not worried if I am not worried, and vice versa.  Obviously, if something abnormal comes up, I will ring (call) them and find out if it’s anything I should be concerned about.  What I like about my new midwife is that she has a lot of knowledge about alternative medicines and ways of doing things.

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Mom, Hubby, and myself with a couple from church having afternoon tea. September 2011–Mom’s first visit to Australia.

As far as people interaction goes, I imagine it’s not much different over here to America.  I have had a lot of rude comments (“You’re big for how far along you are,” “Are you sure there’s only one baby in there?” etc).  Only one belly rub so far (which was weird, by the way).  I have also had a lot of lovely comments (“You’re glowing,” “You look beautiful,” etc).  People here are like they would be in, say, New York or New Jersey–very forward and upfront and not necessarily realising they might come across as rude.  So, I try not to think anything of it if they say something rude, because they most likely don’t mean it the way it sounds.

So what about you?  Wherever you are in the world, I’d love to hear how your pregnancy or previous pregnancies have been different to my experience.  Leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading.

Hiatus over: An update

I can’t believe it’s been over 5 weeks since I had an inkling to write.  A lot has happened since then, and I needed a break.  Emotional things, both good and bad, had to be processed.  The good news is, I’m feeling so good and blessed.  For now, I’m going to update you on a few things that have happened or changed since 5 weeks ago, and I’ll look forward to posting more regularly from here on out.  I’ll also update all my belly photos, so have a look if you get a chance! 

  • We had our 20 week scan and got to see our sweet baby.  We found out we’re having a BOY!  So excited!  He was on his tummy for most of the ultrasound, so we didn’t get any good profile pictures or anything, but seeing him move around on the screen was nice. 
  • My birthday was a few weeks ago, and my husband made it very special.  He is awesome.
  • We had a birth class with a midwife that goes to my church.  She drove out to our house and did it with the two of us.  It was awesome.  We both learned so much and were able to communicate about some things we hadn’t talked about yet.  I think it was especially eye opening for hubby, because he didn’t know much about the labour process.  So good.
  • After said class, we decided to switch to this midwife.  She is nurturing, caring, and gives us thorough information with out pushing us toward one direction or another.  Plus, with her, I have the option of a home birth (something I wanted from the start) which is not an option the other midwife clinic would allow for me.  I am so relieved and at peace and elated with our decision to switch.
  • My due date changed, and I’m happy about it.  This just means I’m one week behind where they had dated me before, but it’s when I thought (intuitively) the due date should be since my cycles are not 28 days ever.

Those are all the highlights.  Thanks for reading, and check back for more posts.  My creativity seems to be returning, so I have a lot of ideas for future posts.  Cheers.