Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Could Do Without . . .

I suppose immediately I could do without the swelling. My ankles, my calves, my hands, my wrists . . . I am retaining fluid and so very, very puffy. You can kind of see it in my hands in this picture. My blood pressure is higher than normal, still within okay ranges for now, but it concerns me that it's gone up, probably no coincidence that it went up right after I stopped my regular acupuncture treatments and started with the acupuncture inductions.

More immediately, I could do without the fear. I am trying not to carry it, but the doctors seem as if they have no idea that how they present information can be misleading, discomforting, and confusing, to the average patient. I ask lots of questions, and try to root my way around the issue, so this has helped some.

For instance, on Friday, at my appointment, my doctor started off by saying that inducing labor because of a predicted large baby did not reduce the incidence of c-section. Which seemed obvious to me, since induction more easily leads to c-sections. Then he said that in my case, we'd worry about shoulder dystocia, which would be a good reason to induce, because diabetic babies tend to have larger bodies than heads, that they're "chubby" because of the mom's high bloodsugars.

(Again, please remember, I have an a1c of 5.1; my baby is large, but so are most babies in my family, regardless of diabetic status.)

Then my doctor said, "However, judging from the ultrasound, your baby's head is in proportion to its body. You just have a big baby."

DUH. I mean, I KNOW that I have a big baby. I walk around every day with this little dude. I know he's a big guy. And I have had a feeling all along that he is healthy, strong, and, well, in proportion.

So after scaring the bejeezus out of me with the shoulder dystocia crap (which is still scary, even though it occurs in a very tiny percentage of births), he agrees that yes, I am likely not a likely candidate to experience it in labor.


This reminds me of something that happened the other day, too.

Doctor's comment:

"Your amniotic fluid is slightly high today. It's still within normal range, but it's probably because your bloodsugars have been high."

My bloodsugars had not been high.

NST technician's comment:

"Your amniotic fluid is a little high today, but that could be because your baby just peed. Let's look." (She checks the ultrasound as she's scanning fluid.) "Yep. Your baby's bladder is empty. He probably just peed."

Do you see how the latter's comment is so much more patient-friendly and reassuring? It drives me crazy that this sort of thing is overlooked in patient care, especially when I am there all the damn time.

Still, I agreed to an induction on March 1st if the baby doesn't come by then. Peter asked me today if we were actually going to go through with it. I honestly don't know. I want to allow him time to come on his own terms (or the terms that I am "naturally" allowing him to come by). I'm going to do a few more acupuncture inductions this week, I am taking homeopathics, I am walking uphills, I am trying to envision him coming, I am trying to get my oxytocin levels up . . .

I feel ready. The guest room/nursery is ready. The crib is in our room. The diapers are all washed and ready to go. Our bags are packed. We are ready for you, Uli! We want to meet you! And I would really, really, rather meet you without intervention, induction, or a c-section. But no matter how you come to us, as long as you come healthy, we will be so grateful.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Sewing!

I must be fully in the nesting-while-there's-still-time mode, because I whipped these up over the last two days.

(Thanks Mom for sending me Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing For Baby, which is where these came from, pattern-wise.)

First, we have a fleecey baby hat modeled by a teddy bear passed on to us from April and Eric. The teddy bear is also swaddled in a snuggler. I will get to that later.

What is this? Why, it is my brilliant way of culling reggae t-shirts from Peter's wardrobe! This t-shirt has been made into another baby hat, with braided ties. For the reggae-loving baby.

And here's the finished snuggler. It has the softest, softest fleece on the interior, with Ikea Marimekko-esque fabric on the exterior. I really hope the chubster will fit in this thing for at least a couple weeks. After that, it will be Emily's and Ian's.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Well, not really. I sent a totally ridiculous email to my doctor with the subject line DUDE. The email was in all caps and basically ecstatic. Then I apologized, kind of, for being so over the top.

The reason? This.

My medical team was pleased when my A1C was 6.7. It was excited when my A1C then dropped to 6.4. But 5.1?! That is in the low range for normal non-diabetics. That is some crazy shit. I have never in my life had an A1C this low.

Studies point to a near-complete reduction or elimination of diabetic complications if an A1C of 8% or below is maintained. I haven't had an A1C over 8 in years and years, but they have mostly hovered in the 7s and 6s. But now? Now I want to maintain this freaking magical number for the rest of my life. Yes, it has required a lot of work and extra bloodsugar testing. But is is all completely worth it.

It's all completely worth it for my own health, and the health of this cutie little babe that soon will be making an appearance in the world.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Serious Signs of Nesting

Even more than usual, which is saying a lot, if you know me.

I just finished making this salve. There's a lot of it! I infused olive oil with fresh calendula flowers and rosemary needles. These two plants have great antifungal, antiseptic, and vulnerary (wound healing) properties. Calendula especially is supposed to be good for everything from diaper rashes to cracked nipples, so it will likely get lots of use on both me and the dude in the next few months or more. All that's in this stuff is beeswax, herb-infused olive oil, and Vitamin E oil. I didn't want to add any essential oil or scent because I wanted it to be as benign and edible as possible, especially if it's going on my nips when there will be a little chomper on there, too.

I also sewed up a a cover for the diaper changing pad. I need to sew up a few more. This one is so darn cute, though. I have some left over material that I think I might use to make an iPhone cover for myself.

I also sewed 10 curtains for the baby/guest room. I wish I would've taken pictures, because the difference between the ugly white blinds and these beautiful curtains is pretty stunning.

Indeed, even Peter said, "I knew that the curtains would make the room look different, but this is transformational!" I love it when Peter busts out with some ridiculous Peterism that plainly captures the situation at hand.

I also made two more on-the-fly diaper changing pads. They have an organic cotton towel on one side, and cute fabric on the other. I thought about putting a button and elastic on there, but a ponytail holder seems to work just fine, too.

I also sewed up this funny little square pouf/toy for Uli to lounge about on and cuddle with when he gets older. There's also a tiny matching pillow that has jingle bells in it, which should be a nice soft, cuddly toy that he can amuse himself with.

Still more crafting to go, though!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Settling Down

I know it's likely pure folly to wish for the early arrival of this kiddo, but wish I do. And I talk to him, too. He's actually a very good listener. I asked him to turn from breech to head-down at 32 weeks, and only did a handful of inversion poses to coax him along, and what do you know? Within two days he was head down. I am not going to take this as any sign that this kid will be compliant once he emerges from my womb; indeed, he has two of the most bullheaded, contrarian parents around, so it would be a miracle if he did listen to us.

Yesterday I had my first cervix ripening acupuncture appointment. My cervix is already pretty soft and low, and this was confirmed when my doula Nickie's mom Juli, who's a midwife, gave me an exam last night. Apparently I'm 1 cm dilated on the outer oss, and my cervix is low and centered, but not quite forward yet, and very soft. Julie asked me if my due date could possibly be off, since at 35 weeks I am already quite a bit ahead of the game as far as this goes. I don't think it could be, though, at least not by much . . . it could be that the little dude is just eager to get out into the world and go exploring with us, see what that barky puppy he's been hearing for the past many months actually looks like, get a glimpse of the East Bay Hills from an Ergo.

Juli also palpated my stomach again, and in her opinion, the babe isn't much more than 6 pounds. That's still big for his age, but not by much. And again, the mommies in my family all give birth to big old babies, so this isn't unexpected by any means. She also told me that I have a very open pelvis, which of course will help matters during labor.

Strangely, I've gotten another burst of endurance, and the belly, as big as it is, isn't bothering me too much. I've been taking long, brisk hikes, and though I haven't been swimming, I have been sewing and nesting like a right idiot. I've sewn two soft baby toys (one with jingle bells in it) and two portable, roll-up baby changing mats. I've also re-washed all of the baby clothes and all of the cloth diapers and organized them, gotten the babe's room together (though he will sleep with us for a long time, of course), and continued to try to get the house tidy and ready for his arrival.

We got good news from Nickie, our doula, last night, that Uli (the babe) is getting a limited edition vinyl copy of the new High on Fire record signed by Matt Pike, which made Peter nearly pee his pants with joy. I reminded him that the record was for Uli, not him, and Peter said that he would of course give Uli the record upon the occasion of his reaching adulthood. Pretty sweet. Due to this new news, we are considering an additional second middle name. But that's a top secret secret until we get the birth certificate signed!