Monday, February 16, 2009

27 weeks ... and feeling it!

Well, I've gained an inch or two in circumference and a pound or two in weight since I last posted in January (or about 3 inches and 5 lbs!), and my baby is now the size of a head of cauliflower :) I'll have some real pictures by the end of this week, maybe, but in case I don't get time to post them and this week eats me alive, you'll at least have a visual of *some* kind. I have started clinical rotations again - this semester I have critical care (various intensive care units) and inpatient psych - so in addition to classes two days a week I'm working two 8-hour days at the hospital. I love critical care so I'm enjoying the semester so far ... I'm not so keen on psych, though, so that may be an interesting few weeks. Getting up at 5:30 in the morning to get to the hospital by 6:30 is something I was dreading, but it's actually proving to be pretty manageable - certainly more so than when I was doing it during my first trimester!

Here's how fat I am now ... I had just gotten back from the gym, the effects of which I quickly counteracted with a cookie! However, tasty treats are now a thing of the past because this last week I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GDM). The test for it is a routine screening that all pregnant women get and my risk of actually having a positive result was extremely low since I don't have a family history of diabetes (that we know of) and I'm not normally overweight. But sometimes it can just happen. In regular diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or can't effectively use the insulin that it does make. Since insulin regulates the amount of glucose in the bloodstream and converts it into energy that cells can use, problems with insulin levels mean that blood sugar levels are too high. Which isn't a serious problem for me - a) because it just means I need to stick to a low-carb/low-sugar diet for the rest of my pregnancy and b) once the baby's born GDM usually goes away - but all of the extra circulating sugar in my bloodstream could mean that our baby grows bigger than it should and has to be delivered by C-section. It might also have some problems regulating its own glucose levels right after it's born, so that's something that will need to be monitored while we're in the hospital. So ... having GDM isn't a huge issue, but it is something that we need to watch and I probably won't be posting any more pictures with cookies!

Other than that, things are progressing the way they should ... the baby moves *all* the time now, and it feels like it's learning to crawl while it's in there! I can feel it bumping into my pelvis and my ribs at the same time, so it's getting pretty long. I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a week or so now, so I guess my uterus is starting to practice for the big day. It doesn't hurt - it does feel very tight and uncomfortable, though! I'm starting to need pillows to prop my belly up while I sleep; I can only sleep on my side, which makes my belly fall down to the side I'm sleeping on - if this sounds at all comfortable, be assured that it's not!
Ha - I'm finding myself falling into that 'mother-pattern' of talking about children - the ones who spend 15 minutes complaining about all the back-breaking, thankless work it is to raise them, and then end the paragraph with, "... but it's so worth it!" We had a quick ultrasound a couple weeks ago and got to see the baby sucking its little thumb and yawning at us - seeing that totally made me forget how uncomfortable I was feeling laying there on my back with my huge uterus pressing down on my spine!

The other significant thing that has happened since my last post is that we asked our very good friends Kris and Nicole to be our baby's godparents. We actually only met them less than a year ago, but our friendship with them is one of those rare gifts that you don't stumble upon very often. We love spending time with them and really want our baby to grow up knowing and loving them too ... so luckily they said yes when we asked them to be godparents! This is me & Nicole on the most beautiful day in the history of February days (yup, that's a tank top ... and yes I was wearing flip-flops!), and the one on the left is one of Kris & Nicole that I stole from her facebook :) Kris is a doctor at Mark's dad's residency program (the one that keeps sneaking me in for extra ultrasounds!), and Nicole is on the same nursing course that I am. Mark and I are trying to convince them that they should move to Ethiopia and start a hospital with us when we're all done with school :)

Speaking of school ... that's definitely something I should get to work on now. I may be having another ultrasound at the end of this week so hopefully I'll have some more pictures to post here soon!