The pregnancy conundrum: Rest or Work

We’ve definitely had a mixture of emotions this week.

We all caught the blasted Summer Cold going around the neighborhood.
For some reason mine sunk into a deeper bronchitis cough.
My poor belly with all this coughing.
The scar tissue under my belly rips and tugs when I cough. Boo-hoo.
So, I keep trying to rest.

I don’t cough as much when I lay down.
And my blood pressure is obviously lower when I rest.

For example, I go to the nurse’s station and have blood pressure checked and it’s like 140/90-ish. They take it a few times.

I rip the cuff off and tell them it will only get higher the more they take it (hello grouchy pregnant woman!). They put the cuff back on and take it and it gets higher. Told you! (plus… nurses, don’t put the cuff on so tight it feels like a tourniquet, that definitely won’t help anyone’s blood pressure) Anyhoo… Then five minutes later I go into my non-stress test and my blood pressure will be 118/80-ish… consistently. Rest is better I guess.

Have you ever been tired of resting? Yep.
But sometimes I’m just too tired to do anything else.
Oh, but there is so much to be done.
Things I am aware of… and have the desire to do…
the action/energy/physical mobility just isn’t there.
You know the whole nesting thing.

So I’m in a co·nun·drum
Rest or get stuff done.

Going to rest… more on this later.
haha

37 weeks … 9 more days to go

Yesterday I had a non-stress test, fluid check, doctor’s appointment that took half the day. Hannah came with me to hear babe’s heart beat and see what it’s all like at the doc’s. Melanie (aka… Mary Poppins) babysat the rest of the tots.

Best explanation of how I felt yesterday…. weary. I caught Truman’s cold and thus didn’t sleep hardly at all last night. Snuffy nose and all. Bleh. So tired physically and tired emotionally from pregnancy woes.

But – aha… there is always hope! 9 more days to go. My blood pressure was higher today but still not over 140/90. NST looked great as did babe.
08 august 20149Seriously so embarrassed to pose for a pregnancy picture… but don’t ya think our wee babe will grow up and be glad to see a picture of his mother pregnant with him? Maybe?

And then… a list of name ideas? My favorites to joke about:  Gladdy (with a Scottish Accent) and Hamil (middle eastern accent). Other top ones were Darth Mal which Liza thought quite funny. But seriously – I told Jim we really need to decide on a name. Liza insists it’s Baby Scotty…. so we’ll see.

Hannah took a picture of Jim eating a fresh peach. He’s been rather patient with my pregnancy complaints as of late.

Survival

We’re having a baby in two weeks.

2 weeks people!

I’m aware, more than ever that the piles, clutter, laundry, pantry, dishes, etc… need some major revamps if we are to survive with mom recovering from c-section + 6 kids in our home. Perhaps boxing everything up might be the solution. No toys, no books, no snacks… hmmmm, may not work!

I’m working on a plan… but for now, we’ll start with Kitchen Duties.
We have an eternal pile of dishes to be washed by hand.
I think we should stop baking and just eat out. Bleh.
I guess the budget wouldn’t survive that. And our health.

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If I come up with any other ridiculous home rules in the next week, I’ll let ya know.
Next up – laundry revamp!

Non Stress Tests

07 july 201433Yesterday at the doc, I was instructed that non-stress tests must start happening. According to Dr. Bean, I was supposed to do them at 32 weeks. Well, Dr. Bean went on vacation and Dr. Melendez said 36 weeks was sufficient. Here at 34 weeks, as hard as it is to leave the kids twice a week for hours, I think it wise to double-check my health/blood pressure and babe’s health.

Today was my first non-stress test that wasn’t in the hospital (like with Eliza’s pregnancy). They have a glorious recliner (that I think we all MUST have at some point!), a lovely view of the mountains, and that glorious nugget ice that I adore. Though it took me a while to chill out from the stress of rushing there and leaving tots and such, it was pleasant.

Allison has sure tried to help me not be so grouchy about all my NST’s. She’s a cheerful soul. I took my Canon Rebel camera and instruction manual and thought it might be a good time to finally learn how to use my camera off of auto. I learned quite a bit, but only had my shoes to practice on as I was reclining with belly bands recording baby’s heart.

Doctor Bean scheduled me for my c-section on August 28… which is 38 weeks and 2 days (since I wanted him to be the doc to do the surgery). Guess we’ll see how the next few weeks go with all my many appointments.

p.s. the only other glorious bit of news is that Allison asked the doctor if I could hold off on further 24-hour urine labs until my blood pressure does go up. Yay! Storing a huge container of pee in the fridge for 24 hours is quite disgusting, not to mention inconvenient as a busy mom. See – there is always something to be glad about!

Temple Blessings

Last week I headed to the Mt. Timp temple for some peace… and quiet… and more peace. “Please help me know how to parent this 4-year-old” sort of prayer. “Please help me keep my head above water.”

This was a scripture that kept coming to mind… something I had shared in Relief Society the previous Sunday. As I feel the Love of God, I can share that Love with my family. Christ brings us rest and strengthens a weary heart!
ephesians 3 14 through 19

I happened to see the newest temple instruction film. I loved the music at the beginning… so jubilant and full of joy. JOY in CREATION! It mellowed a bit and the cellos came through with a message of peace and stillness. I walked out of the temple to see glorious light bursting through the trees. There is ALWAYS HOPE!
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Tonight… I escaped to the temple. I ran away. Yes, it’s true. Running away to the temple can’t be a bad thing, can it? Seeking peace and answers to prayers and love. I went to Jordan River for a change. I was tired beyond tired and feeling really super gynormous pregnant… with a sciatic acting up. An older temple worker Sister was full of smiles as I came down the escalator as she exclaimed “You look adorable!” Bless her soul forever for lifting my spirits!
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The scripture I read while waiting was this…
alma 58 10 through 13I loved the POWER of the words… the testimony of prayer and deliverance from trials … the tender mercies & miracles in this chapter… the FAITH He will bless us with … the COURAGE and MIGHT that God will give us as we rely on Him. There is ALWAYS Hope!

This sunset greeted me as I drove past the ponds in the neighborhood. Sweet is the PEACE the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings!
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Happy Colors – Fresh Summer Food

07-july-201417I know – It’s weird to take so many pictures of food. But I’m quite in love with all the fresh fruit/veggie colors this summer.

It’s been a delight (though an expensive delight) to have so much fresh colorful food in the fridge. I’m realizing there is a big difference to eating pure sugar in licorice, etc… vs fruit with fiber. I guess fiber helps the sugars digest more slowly so your glucose numbers stay more level. So fruit has become more of a treat this summer. I want to remember how much I enjoy eating fresh vs processed. Remember – oh, remember Heather! 07 july 201413Plus, it’s kindof fun to experiment with my camera and take pictures of things that stay put . . . vs moving children.

p.s. my blood glucose numbers are sorta high when I eat cereal for breakfast. I keep trying to sneak Cheerios and fruit in for a snack in the evening as my sugars are lower and seem to regulate better. Also… there is some low-carb vanilla ice cream hidden under those peaches. It’s been a tasty treat as well. Oh – the watermelon slushie… just watermelon, ice, and lemon juice. I like it much better than I anticipated.

How are you feeling?

Perhaps the most common question during pregnancy.
How are you feeling?

There are oodles of answers I could generally give:

BIG
Nauseous
Tired
Ready for this baby to arrive
Exhausted
Hungry
Thirsty
Stressed
Irritable
etc

Honestly, I rarely feel:
Glowing
Radiant
Chipper

Right?!

A few weeks ago when I was flying solo-parent at church on a Sunday,
I decided I needed an attitude change from my usual answers.

My new answer:
today i am blessed
Yes… indeed … it is true…
if I think about my reality…
I AM FEELING BLESSED!

Whenever I’ve shared this answer,
most women have chuckled with me,
knowing I’m focusing on the good
rather than the hard.

My attitude needs some perking up lately.
Yes, Physical Health Issues (pregnancy) + additional stress = It’s harder to see the good.
BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.
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God gives us so much every day.
Sunshine … rain … cloudy cool days.
Green grass for cartwheels … quiet snowy days.
Deep Rich Soil for gardening … bathtubs to wash dirty kids toes from the dirt.
Cold water … Hot chocolate.
Joyful moments as a family … tender personal moments.
Warm Blankets … Air Conditioning.
Opportunities to Grow … Adventures and Fun.
Chirping Birds … Rollie Pollies.
Days filled with Faith & courage … days of learning.
Challenges to overcome … A Savior to carry us along!

So this is my goal… to remember to focus on the BLESSINGS rather than the hard!

Healthy Eating : including the kids

Alright already with the food posts – I know.
But this has been a huge deal this week to keep up with my new schedule/eating plan/testing glucose…
so I’m noting this for family record.

06 june 20142

Yesterday involved grocery shopping galore. – p.s. i think eating healthier is more $$
Strawberries
Blueberries
Apples
Carrots
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Green Peppers
Broccoli
Celery
{no pea pods… wahhh}
Protein Items (bleh)
Healthy Peanut Butter
Nuts
Salad makings
{note:  Yes… fruits & some veggies have sugars…
but it’s way better than what I usually eat… pure sugar!
Plus, I can eat like a 1/2 cup for 15 carbs}

I didn’t buy chocolate (well… for me anyways).
Oh wait – I did buy Chocolate Cookie Butter at Trader Joes.
I can have a TBLSP (4 gr Carbs) if I save a little room in my snack carbs.
No protein… but goodness me, it’s tasty, even just a tiny bit.
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I’m learning greater self control.
Man alive – it’s hard!
A gal at church commented that she would ‘die’ if she had to have such small portions and such few carbs.
Oh – I know chica!
I’m a lover of carbs… rolls, breads, chocolate, emotional treats, fruits.
1/2 cup of pasta for dinner doesn’t exactly satisfy.

I’m trying not to feel too bad for myself (well, occasionally), {keyword: “trying}
because I know the snacks I eat now are much better than sweets & treats.
Though I do have to say…
the granola bar I found that has protein, dietary fiber, and is low in carbs, isn’t necessarily low in calories.

Honestly I do take advantage of every snack and carb I can have… add protein so I won’t starve by my next snack/meal.
Occasionally I sneak an 1/8 cup of OJ and then my glucose numbers are high.
Even though that tiny bit fits into my carb allotment, it is still too strong.
Not good. So – I try to stay reasonable and remember health is more important than tasty foods/drinks.
{key words: “try to stay reasonable”}

I know – Yoda says … “Do – or Do NOT! There is no Try!”
Hasn’t there got to be some room for error and progress and effort?
Can you tell it’s a huge internal struggle?…

So, I’ve enlisted Hannah & Abe on my healthy snacks kick.
Abe needed to keep a food journal for 1 week for Webelos. Since this kiddo eats 99% Carbs, I thought it would be insightful for him to do this now… and try to incorporate more fruits/veggies/proteins into his diet.

I had the kids write a list of foods they enjoy eating:
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Then we have the food journal to keep track of eating habits.
Hannah did this with me last week. She rocks at eating healthy.
This week Abe is doing it.
Incorporating healthier food groups, especially into snacks, will be the goal.

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Lastly… a reminder as to why it’s good to eat healthy. We are blessed when we live by the Word of Wisdom. Different seasons of life may require different nutritional standards {as in… gestational diabetes (check carbs) … growing kiddos (include protein) … skinny toddlers (‘load on those calories’ says the pediatrician)}. But I believe moderation and following God’s revelation will truly bless us with ‘health in their navel and marrow to their bones”. I definitely need to remember this when I’m cranky-pants about not eating sweets!

word of wisdom

Glucose Monitoring

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Yesterday I met with the Gestational Diabetes Dietician, Elise Christensen.

Poor her to have to endure my grouchy-pants attitude about the no-to-low sugar thing.

Basically I can only eat 30 Grams of Carbohydrates, six times a day.
And then test my blood sugar 4 times a day.
Yesterday I set 10 alarms on my phone to remind myself to actually eat snacks so i wouldn’t starve by mealtimes…
and to remember to test glucose levels.

Elise said that for Gestation Diabetes purposes, I only needed to check Grams of Carbs.
I was complicating life by looking at calories, glycemic index, etc.
She said to keep things simple… just count by Carbs.
Plus, I read in my booklet that I can subtract the Dietary Fiber from the total carbs for that meal.
More Fiber = more eats!

I am also trying to watch sodium in processed foods.
Not that my high blood pressure is solely based on sodium intake,
but I want to help out where I can.
After I had Liza, I ended up in tears at the reality of cutting out sodium.
Sodium and sugar really are delightful. smile!

Elise also reassured me I could eat anything I wanted, it was just about portion control.
So – why would I choose to eat 2 redvines, when I could have something that would actually fill me up?
Though some days I think that might be emotionally beneficial.
Like today. I looked up the snowcone syrup carbs.
1 oz of syrup (2 TBLSP) = 15 Carbs.
Thus I could have a very mini snow cone… or add lots of ice for a slightly flavored summer treat.

All proteins are free = 0 carbs so I can add those to anything.
For example… breakfast this morning.
I could have 1/4 cup granola (not much!)
+ 1/4 cup milk.
I threw in an orange for 15 Carbs.
I was at my limit.
So I ate some scrambled eggs (eggs are NOT my favorite!) to fill me up.
This consistent diet requires me to make greater effort in the kitchen for my own meals.

I do wish I liked protein more… like meat or cheese or nuts.
Perhaps I’ll learn to like them.

Overall… despite my grouchy attitude about cutting out sweets,
I know it will encourage a more healthy lifestyle… for me and baby.
I am hoping to lose 10 lbs of ya know – heather back fat…
Don’t worry – I have plenty to shed… like 25 or so.
Baby will take what it needs.

The other bit about gestational diabetes is the encouragement to exercise.
I have done better at going on random walks with the kids.
A few summers ago we were rockstars at going on morning walks.
Once we got to 4 & 5 kiddos, we were stopping every 5 seconds to assist someone and the walk was not super beneficial.

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In other food news… this meal definitely wasn’t up to Gestational Diabetes code…
luckily I wasn’t on my strict diet yet. haha.
but this is what I took the gal I visit teach who had a baby (cutest little bug he was!)
Texas Roadhouse rolls with cinnamon honey butter! Yum (definitely not working with the under 30 carbs thing).
Green leaf lettuce & spinach…
blueberries, mandarin oranges, roasted sliced almonds with a strawberry poppy seed dressing.
We added rotisserie chicken which actually cubed quite tidy (I’m a dork at whole chicken!).
Fresh pineapple … and what a delicious meal to me.
Too bad I’m not more creative & adventurous to try new meals such as this.
There is always hope for me and food though!

Gestational Diabetes

Wasn’t surprised. This pregnancy seems to be the catch-all.
Advanced maternal age.
15 lbs overweight to begin with.
Ongoing High blood pressure
Hip pain… including dysfunctional rotation which makes for awesome waddling

I knew this pregnancy would be hard.
Still glad we went with the Spirit’s prompting to have #6…
praying for a happy ending (of pregnancy) /beginning (of newborn love) in 11 weeks.

Things definitely are not as hard as it could be though…
No Accreta. yay!
No placenta previa. yay!
Major blessings that nausea is over. yay!
No major weight gain. or minor for that matter. yay!

Monday I failed the 1-hour test.
Thursday I failed the 3-hour test.
That one was a doozy. An hour into it and I felt so icky and nauseous.
But I lived. I watched a movie on the ipad which helped pass the time.
Major fuzzy brain problem though … as felt when running a quickie to Target.
Came home and ate leftover taco salad.
Suddenly felt so clammy and ick.
Took a nice nap and felt greatly improved.

So – next week I meet with the Diabetes Specialist at the hospital.
Fun! or not.
gestational_diabetes_causes
35650-diabetes
I pretty much adore sugar.
Snow Cones summer love!!! How will I live without this sweet frozen delight?
Red Vines.
Orange Sherbet.
Frozen Hot Chocolate.
Fruit.
Cold Cereal.
And as always, chocolate.

Now nobody is surprised to hear I have GD! Haha.

but health is important… for me and babe.
Going off of sugar makes me incredibly grouchy.
I’ll have to find another high…
I love that they say to get lots of exercise… oh really – with dysfunctional hips?
We’ll plug along and keep trying.

I’m almost 27 weeks… so really I just have 11 weeks left. 77 days.
ugh. sounds like forever, eh.

Guess for now, I’ll start enjoying pea pods, celery, and uhhh… ice water.