Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gestational Diabetes

I found out yesterday that I have Gestational Diabetes. This news has hit me quite hard, even though in a way, I was expecting it. I have PCOS, but along with that, I am also insulin resistant. My blood sugars have never been so crazy out of control that anyone diagnosed me with diabetes, but it was definitely something I was concerned about. When I first went to my OB/Midwife appointment back in November, I mentioned this concern and worry, especially when they told me that I would come off Metformin at 12 weeks. The midwife basically argued with me for over 10 minutes about the issue, claiming that I couldn't be insulin resistant without being diabetic and that PCOS had nothing to do with insulin resistance. I seriously wanted to choke her. I told her that I had a pre-existing condition and told her exactly where to find my labwork that showed I did have some issues with insulin.

At my second appointment, the midwife (a new one this time b/c the practice rotates several) acted as if she'd never heard this news. She didn't understand why I wanted an early glucose test. She just stared at me with a blank face and said they do the GD test at 25 weeks and there was no need to do it early. I insisted, expressing again that I was concerned about it. Finally, I was scheduled for a test at around 19 weeks (last Thursday). They just called me back yesterday at almost 5 in the afternoon to tell me that not only were my levels high, they were so incredibly high I won't even have to do a 3 hour glucose test. She used the words "Dangerously high", which of course freaked me out. Anything over 140 is bad, right? My level was 232. She then said that I would be sent to see a specialist at Duke, but when I asked when the appointment would be, she just said, "Well, if they don't call you within the next week or two, give us a call back." WHAT?? A week or two? You can't say my levels are dangerously high and then tell me it might be two weeks before anyone bothers to explain to me how to deal with these levels or begins to monitor me. I was both devastated and angry.

I went in this morning and demanded to talk to someone in patient services. I explained the problems I've had so far with the practice and that I haven't felt like I was taken seriously with my concerns. The woman agreed that some mistakes were made. For example, there was not a single note in my file about me having previous insulin resistance. She said I should have been treated from the very beginning as a diabetic patient rather than just let this go untreated. I'm so upset. I don't know whether to stay at this practice or try to find a new doctor. She said she would mark my file as MD only from now on so that I won't have to go in and see the midwives. There are 2 OB's at this practice. Ironically, I chose this practice specifically because of the fact that they have midwives. I felt I would get a better level of care and personal attention, but that hasn't been the case at all. I've been rushed through every appointment and had to argue my way through both this insulin issue as well as details of my due date, ultrasounds, etc. But I also know that switching practices mid-way through my pregnancy could be a real ordeal. Will insurance cover everything? How do I know another practice will be better? How do I find a better practice? I have no idea what I should do, to be honest.

This news of GD comes with a whole new set of fears. Will I have to be induced now? Will I need insulin shots? Is my baby going to suffer because of this? Will he be healthy? Will he be too big for me to have a natural birth? Is he growing okay in there? It's such a scary thing. I know there are plenty of women who have gestational diabetes and who go on to have perfectly healthy babies, so right now I am trying to concentrate on the positive, but it's so much easier said than done. I am going to have to be super diligent about eating well and eating low carb, high protein for the next 20 weeks. I also need to get more exercise in and make sure it's every single day. I hate that my gym closed, because that would have been an ideal place to go walk on the treadmill every day even when it's cold outside or raining. I just want everything to be okay.

Sorry this post has been kind of a rant out of nowhere, but it's been a tough day for me, and I'm so scared. I hope my baby is okay.

Friday, January 6, 2012

16 / 17 Week Update

Wow, I've been slacking on my posts!! Since I am finally feeling a lot better these days (yay for no morning sickness!!!!), I have been working about 10 hours a day on my novel. I am working my butt off to get it published by January 20th, so it's been a whirlwind of a past couple of weeks with both work and the holidays and such. But I needed a break from the novel, so I wanted to give a brief update on what's been going on with the pregnancy.

How Far Along: 17 weeks tomorrow

Picture of Baby:

My Baby This Week: Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop. (From

Weight Gain: 7.5 pounds. Not bad! I am trying to keep it below 25 pounds for the entire pregnancy, so I feel like I'm actually pretty much on track.

Baby Bump:

Sleep: I love my snoogle pillow!! It gives me great support and it's helping me be able to sleep on my side. Overall, I think I'm sleeping much better. I crave naps all the time, but I find that when I do nap, I usually feel groggy and have a headache afterward, so I've been trying to avoid them. Basically, that means a lot of tired days, but I'd rather be tired than feeling sick.

Best Moment of the Week: Technically, this didn't happen this week, but my best moment since my last update was telling my family that we are having a baby boy! Everyone was so excited and surprised (since it's all been girls so far in our family). It was a fun moment that left a perma-smile on my face.

Movement: I want to be feeling this baby move! I still haven't felt any flutters yet, though. On Sunday night, I felt something strange, but it was there and gone so fast, I can't be sure it was the baby. Nothing more since then. At the gender u/s she said I had an anterior placenta and it might be a while before I can feel the baby since he's kicking the placenta instead of me most of the time. Boo!! I know it's coming though and I absolutely can't wait!

Symptoms: Heartburn!! I actually bought little plastic containers and filled them with tums so I can put one in each of my purses, by my bedside, in the bathroom, and in my laptop bag. Ha! I'm still tired, but it's nothing like it was at the beginning. I feel great overall and am so happy to be pregnant and having things progress so well!

Food Cravings: Root Beer. How's that for a strange craving? I'm trying to stay away from it, though, because of the sugar content. Still, sometimes I just can't resist.

What I Miss: Nothing right now. I'm honestly just happy with how things are right now.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Feeling the baby move. Also, our anatomy ultrasound on Monday. I hope everything looks great and the baby is growing well. Since we declined any other genetic testing, this will be the first real look at whether there are any indications of Down's or anything like that. I pray everything looks healthy.

Weekly Wisdom: Even if the beginning is tough, hang in there and just stay positive! Better times are coming!

Milestones: Finding out the gender! Baby Boy Bittmann is now officially Andrew George Bittmann :). It's so much fun to be able to start planning the nursery and baby registry. In fact, we already bought our bedding set for Andrew's room.  Exciting!

Emotions: I am overwhelmed with happiness these days. Everything is really finally starting to feel real and I am getting comfortable in the fact that this baby is really going to be our baby boy! I think I was holding back in my excitement at first, but now it's all really happening. Getting so close to halfway now!!

Good things are happening. Monday's ultrasound will be our last official ultrasound as long as everything looks good. It's hard to believe we won't be able to see our little man for the rest of the pregnancy, but at the same time, it will mean he's healthy, which is awesome. Also, we are very close to starting our Hypnobabies birthing class! That starts January 21st, and I absolutely can't wait! Now, I just have to get this novel published first and I can start really working on the nursery and getting the house in order.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's A....


Definitely crazy excited to share this news with you! I never really pictured myself with a son (always had thought I would have a little girl someday), but the second the u/s tech said boy, I felt so overwhelmed with love and excitement. I announced the gender to my family on Christmas eve and they couldn't be more excited. This will be the first grandson in the family as my sister and brother both have little girls. I didn't do anything too crazy for the gender reveal, but I did decorate plain brown paper bags, then put a little blue surprise inside. Here are a couple of pics.

The little surprise was simple - just tulle circles filled with kisses and tied with a blue ribbon and a tiny little blue pacifier charm. Cheap, but fun! I passed out bags to everyone in my family and had them open them at the same time.

And here are the beautiful pics of our baby boy.

We will have our big anatomy scan on January 9th, so they will be able to tell us without a doubt what the gender is, but the technician at the 3D place was pretty sure it's a boy. Also, I'm sure I've mentioned that my acupuncturist also thought boy since week 11.

We are going to name him ANDREW GEORGE BITTMANN. Such exciting news to be able to share at the holidays. Looking back over 2011, it's hard to believe one year could be full of so much sadness, yet end with so much happiness.

My sincere prayer is for those of you out there who are still struggling with infertility to find your happiness and have your dreams come true in 2012.