Hello from pregnancy land! GD, NST, BPP, belly pics and more!

Wow so I haven’t posted since August… feels like only a couple weeks ago to me!  I knew once I hit the 3rd trimester it would fly by and I was right.  Warning… this is a long post, but when has brevity ever been my thing???

In my last post I was already worried and complaining about a possible gestational diabetes diagnosis, and it is times like this I hate being right.  I totally failed the 3 hour test… like really, really failed it.  Turns out I have a tendency for a terrible fasting blood sugar which of course destined to have me fail the rest of the test seeming I’d failed with my very first number.  Seven years since my last pregnancy and not really taking good care of myself for the majority of those years certainly did take a toll.  Trust me I am very conscientious about that this time around and plan to do everything in my power, new mommy again or not, to rectify or at least keep improving myself so that I may still avoid the official diagnosis of diabetes sans pregnancy.

So yes, it’s been hard with my tendency to want to eat the not-so-wonderful foods this pregnancy.  I did manage to up the protein in my life and have turned down countless wants of sugary sweet goodies, but veggies still elude me.  I miss them, I truly do… they are just the last thing on the planet I want to eat right now!  Occasionally I’ll manage a salad, some carrot & celery sticks, and yes even some broccoli, but it’s been so hard for me.  I usually love asparagus and making multiple foods with a variety of different colored bell peppers – all of which I finally gave in and threw away recently because they were rotting in my fridge.  What a waste!!!
I can’t wait to have my normal taste buds/food wants back.

As for the other parts of gestational diabetes, pricking myself and testing my sugars four times a day is really not a big deal and I once again get to learn a lot about how my body processes certain foods.
Unlike my last pregnancy, I was unable to maintain decent sugars without the aid of medication… at least for my fasting number.
As it turns out, I need only take half a Glyburide pill at night.
Well, just that half pill daily bumped me up into a higher risk category and starting last week I now have to go to my OB twice a week – once for a NST (non-stress test) and once for a BPP (ultrasound with a test baby needs to pass).
This is all certainly new to me seeming I avoided this my last pregnancy having controlled my GD with diet alone.  I have learned that BPP stands for Biophysical Profile Protocol.  It’s a 4 part test for which the baby receives 2 points per part for an ideal score of 8 and must meet all of the following requirements within 30 minutes:

•Amniotic fluid index (AFI) – four pockets of fluid are measured; two pockets must measure 2 cm or more for a score of 2
•Fetal breathing – fetuses “practice breathing” by contracting and relaxing the diaphragm muscle; a score of 2 is assigned for fetal breathing lasting 30 seconds or more (if baby has had hiccups lately, that counts too)
•Fetal tone – the full extension and flexion of a limb such as opening and closing a hand
•Gross body movements – two or three episodes of movement such as squirming or kicking

So for the past 2 weeks, my baby has passed with flying colors.  I in fact have a higher than average amount of amniotic fluid (a positive result of gestational diabetes as more is far better than less).

Last week (at 34 weeks) her weight estimate came in at 5 lbs 10 oz which puts her at the 74th percentile and I was told anything between 60 to 90 is just where she should be.  I am relieved that so far she is not measuring huge and if you assume the typical/expected ½ pound per week gain for the rest of the pregnancy, she’d estimate 8 lbs 10 oz by my due date which still puts me in the running for attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section).

Other positives this time around is that she’s already head down (though whether she’s face up or face down keeps changing daily, but I have known babies to be breech at this point or later and cause difficulty, so I’m glad her body is at least faced in the right direction), I have been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions (normally women complain or get worried when this happens, but they really don’t freak me out and I consider them like practice… like my body is getting ready) and as of yesterday’s appointment, although I am not dilated yet, I have begun the thinning process.

I am totally encouraged by the last two points especially because during my last pregnancy I got all the way to 4 days before my due date and NOTHING had gone on.  No labor, no contractions, no Braxton-Hicks and did not so much as dilate a bit or thin out.  It’s like my body already knew before I did that my baby boy was not coming out vaginally.
I also never felt him low in my pelvis or get discomfort from him.  The only pain I ever dealt with was pelvic pain and only upon really doing too much walking/standing.  This time, oh boy… pain & discomfort pretty much every day.
Sometimes it literally feels like I have a full sized bowling ball lodged in my pelvis!  So uncomfortable.

I deal with pelvic pain at totally random times (not just after doing too much) and this time I experience far worse feelings when I do overdo it (a pain that starts in my lower right abdomen, spreads to my left and then continues to rise and cover my entire belly so that it feels like I’ve done about 300 crunches in a minute – but sitting and resting makes it disperse pretty quickly).  I can only be on my feet and busy for about 20-30 minutes at a time before pain or increased discomfort starts to set in (quicker if baby happens to be extra “low” that day).  I can’t even manage a grocery store trip by myself anymore… it’s just too much physically for me.

I certainly have felt more of what I’ve heard is typical pregnancy woes… certainly more so than my last pregnancy which by comparison was a complete walk in the park!

Yet I don’t mind because it really feels like this could all really be heading toward my wish of a vaginal birth… at least I hope so.

Because of all these experiences and new feelings and the lovely progression and health of my baby girl, I’m getting a sneaking suspicion she’ll be appearing before my due date.  I’ve had this feeling for at least the past month.
It doesn’t help that the two other friends I had that were pregnant at the same time as me both had their babies early – both at least 4 weeks early!  In fact one of them had just had her 36th week appointment (mine is next Thursday) and her baby estimated at 6 lbs 8 oz (mine could be 6 lbs 10 oz… very close) and then just 2 days later her water broke and baby made her appearance – officially weighing in at 6 lbs 11 oz and perfectly healthy.  She seemed to have little warning seeming just the night before she’d posted on Facebook that she had just 1 more week to go before starting her maternity leave and that next morning at 4am, baby had other plans.

As you can imagine, this news certainly lit a fire under my & hubby’s ass to get shit done on our long to-do list.
That very weekend I learned of my friend’s baby news, hubby shampooed all the carpets in the house and I crossed off a few items on the list as well (taking frequent breaks to avoid pain of course).

We really are pretty darn ready as we can be at this point and I’m proud of that.  The nursery has been completed for over a month now, the baby clothes are washed and sorted, we have a travel system with stroller, car seat and two bases, a monitor, changing table, a hospital bag partially packed with a detailed list of other stuff to bring (in case hubby has to complete it alone), childcare back up for our son in case of emergency…  just about everything except diapers, wipes and any needed ointments – the things that can be bought while I’m at the hospital in plenty of time for baby to come home.

We are good to go and in total “count down” mode.  Sure I have just a few things left on my to-do list, but nothing too drastic that would be entirely necessary for a new baby… just stuff I’d like taken care of.

Right now my most time sensitive items on the list are fixing my son’s Halloween costume (it’s too long and I don’t want to alter it permanently as I’d like to resell it, so I’m using a duct tape fix that should work well) and creating my own costume.
I can’t resist taking FULL advantage of my very pronounced baby belly for Halloween.  When is this opportunity ever going to strike again?  I just missed it during my last pregnancy as we were coming home from the hospital on Halloween (with our new infant in a cow costume).
I’d thought about painting my belly to be a jack-o-lantern, but that could get messy and I’m the artist in the family and a perfectionist and could see difficulty attempting to paint my own belly, so scratch that.

I actually found a blog that dedicated a post to creative Halloween costumes for pregnant women.
There was this one costume with her in a hospital gown and you see a baby doll arm coming out of her belly with blood around the opening and the tiny hand is holding a mini bag that read “trick or treat” and her husband was dressed up as the doctor in scrubs wielding a scalpel.  I do believe it was titled “partial c-section”.
So I’m taking a more simplistic approach and only involving myself and instead of a hospital gown, I’m sticking to a plain t-shirt.  I will have the little baby doll arm sticking out and a little blood surrounding, but I’m going to use the baby finger to write “Trick or Treat” on my shirt and I actually already have a mini plastic orange pumpkin with handle that works as a tiny version of the typical plastic jack-o-lantern pumpkin kids use to collect their treats.  I call it “a gestational diabetic’s costume – BABY WANTS CANDY!”
Very appropriate for me seeming I have to deny baby for my and her own health.  I’m even refusing to give out candy this year because honestly the temptation is too great for me with these food tendencies I deal with on a daily basis.
I really hate the thought of deprivation (not my thing anymore – best lesson I learned on my 2 year weight loss journey… moderation is the key, but unfortunately pregnancy food desires overload the ability to moderate), so I told hubby that we’ll buy up some candy the day after Halloween when it goes on sale and keep it for me for *after* baby comes out.  I’m sure I’ll be more equipped and able to ration it out in a better fashion at that point, plus I won’t have to worry about my sugars getting too high for baby (not to mention my sugars won’t be as high in general once I’m no longer pregnant).
And I only want the “good stuff” – i.e. mini candy bars like Snickers or peanut butter cups, not the crap filler cheap Halloween candy I don’t find worth it like candy corn and lollipops.

As far as a weight update, as of yesterday I hit an all-time high of just 6 lbs over my conception weight (actually 5.2 lbs to be exact).
Seeming my baby is estimated as weighing more than that, plus there is my enlarged uterus, the placenta, general water weight gain, higher blood supply and my more than needed amount of amniotic fluid that all should be adding to my weight, that isn’t too shabby!
I am pleased with my weight this pregnancy just as much as I was with my weight maintenance with the first one.  I am still fully within limits to have a nice weight loss and be under my conception weight when all is said and done.  Even if I only got back down to my lowest weight ever achieved on my continuing project (which was actually during my 1st trimester) I would consider that a success as I wouldn’t have any weight to re-lose when this pregnancy is over.

All in all, I do feel like I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy… at first I fought it and found myself stuck in the middle of wanting to continue my weight loss journey but being unable and not quite looking or feeling pregnant yet (at least not feeling it in a positive way), but once my belly started to pop out and we had the ultrasound and it was the girl we wanted, everything got real.  I started to feel better and more pregnant all at the same time.  Even with the aches and pains, it’s all worth it because it’s those factors that make me feel pregnant and remind me that I am.
I know that’s sort of weird to hear, but again I only have my first pregnancy to compare it to and since that one was such a walk in the park, I truly only felt pregnant for about 2 months and then my baby was taken out of me.  I would have gladly kept him in me for another two months… it felt too short and I didn’t really get to enjoy my preggo belly because it took until basically my 8th month to really pop and be more obvious (honestly I just looked and felt fatter before that point… pretty much no one off the street would guess I was pregnant).
But this time I started with a slightly better figure and since my belly had popped previously, it had no issues popping much earlier this time around and I managed a more rounded/proper preggo belly look instead of the two belly/just fatter look I seemed to have last time.  I’ve enjoyed showing off my belly WAY more this pregnancy!
I have essentially another month to go and already feel like I’ve been pregnant twice as long as my previous experience… mostly all in a positive sense.
I really do want to enjoy this because unless we win the lottery, this will be our last child we have.

So here is my preggo belly “bump” progression:

Is it me or does it look like I am shrinking as my belly is getting bigger?  Love it!

Another positive side note of being a smaller me for this pregnancy is that I got to stay in most of my same shirts or even wear shirts I had packed away that were too small even at a non-pregnant state at the beginning of my weight loss journey… such a good feeling… and also good for the wallet as I’ve spent $0 on maternity clothes this time around!

OK… novel over.  Probably the next update you’ll hear from me will be all about my birth experience!  Wish me luck.

About gwenacious

Always a person in progress. On a mission of self-improvement and exploring my artistic side.
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One Response to Hello from pregnancy land! GD, NST, BPP, belly pics and more!

  1. Congrats on the baby! Good luck on the rest of the pregnancy & the birth 🙂

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