Wednesday, January 31, 2007


How do you pronounce it? ME-ME or Mem like Memo or rhymes with theme like I read the other day?
Where Were You?
1. Where were you when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded? At work at a small newspaper in New Mexico. It was my first exposure to "bad news is good for newspapers". I worked with the circulation department and they were running around trying to decide how high to bump the press run since it was late enough in the morning to scoop the am papers.
2. Where were you when Armstrong first walked on the moon? Don't remember, I was barely in kindergarten, I think.
3. Where were you when Princess Diana died? In bed. Not alone. Enough said, as I think da Kane peruses this blog on occasion and it was before I met him.
4. Where were you on New Year’s Eve of 1999/2000? Las Vegas. But at home with da kane (before we got married). Went outside to watch the fireworks on the strip at midnight, had to go back inside as the neighbors behind us were firing weapons into the air to celebrate(!).
5. Where were you on September 11, 2001? Driving to work when I heard about the first one. My first thought was it was a little personal plane and somebody had royally screwed up. Then it quickly became apparent it was WAY more serious than that. Spent the day trying to see news on the internet as they wouldn't send us home. I had only been at that job for 2 months. Had a glass of wine at lunch I was so shaken. The woman I lunched with that day became a good friend and I think that day had something to do with it.
6. Where were you when you first heard about the big 2004 Tsunami? Sitting right here reading about it on the 'net.
7. Where were you when you first heard that Madonna would go on tour last year? Hahahahahaha

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pro-VBAC thoughts

I am still thinking about this and doing research. The answer is beginning to seem clear, but I still want to talk to my perinatalogist and some more to my regular ob/gyn. Luckily I don't have to have an answer for a couple months yet.
First of all, let me acknowledge that whatever I may choose, life may make other decisions for me. In other words, I may want to have a VBAC and prepare for one, but circumstances may dictate a c-section after all. That's ok - the number 1 priority is my bringing home a healthy baby within a few days of delivery.
Current research says that the chance of a uterine rupture in a VBAC is 0.6% - about 1/2 of 1 percent. Overall, a VBAC is SAFER for mother and baby than a repeat c-section (RCS).
Birth is a natural process. It's only in the last 100 years that it has become a medical condition. Granted, many women used to die in childbirth and medicalizing the process has improved those stats immeasurably. And I'm all for that. However, why should I choose major surgery over a natural experience? Women have been giving birth for either thousands or millions of years, depending on how fundamentalist your beliefs are.
I am honoring my body by believing that I am capable of giving birth to my child, and doing so. Having a c-section did not feel like giving birth to me - it felt like being opened up and having something removed.
I am honoring my child and the birth process to allow my body and the baby's body to notify me when he/she is ready to be born. Scheduling the birth to better fit my doctor's and my schedule seems just plain wrong.
Yes, the logistics, particularly with my 3-year old, are much more complicated. But again, having major surgery as a matter of "convenience" doesn't seem right.
This desire for a VBAC is very deeply rooted. I almost want to call it genetic memory. Every woman in my line from Lucy until my grandmother has waited for the baby to arrive, has experienced labor pains and delivered a baby. I don't know if that has any bearing or not, all I know is that the urge to deliver naturally is very strong and I think have the c-section with my son has made it even stronger.
Let me clarify something else - when I say deliver naturally, I really mean vaginally - I am not ruling out drugs, as a matter of fact I'm kind of counting on them. Better living through chemistry! The fewer interventions the better, but if the baby needs monitoring or I need an episiotomy - fine.
A friend of mine was telling me another theory. Birth is a battle for mother and child, it's not easy and it starts the child out as a fighter. I think we can all agree that the sooner a child realize that life's not always easy, the better.
Da Kane seems to be supportive now - meaning that he will not try to talk me out of a VBAC and he will be with me for the delivery, whichever route it takes.
My pro-RCS points seem rather lame at this point. More thought, research and discussions ahead.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A1C 5.5%

Yes, my A1C was 5.5% - down from 5.7 last Sept. Moving in the right direction, and actually pretty good considering Thanksgiving and Christmas were within those red blood cells' lifespans. (hmmm, something grammatically odd about that phrase). I get to go back every 4 weeks from now until delivery, we'll see if I can get it down to 5.2 or so. These overnight glucoses in the 80s have got to help tremendously.
No 160s after lunch on the weekends would help a whole lot more.
The report said my 2 week test was normal as well. Huh? What 2 week blood glucose average test? Never heard of such an animal.
My TSH was actually up from Dec even though I've upped my thyroid meds - I guess pregnancy does a number on your thyroid as well, so my dosage is going up again on that too. I wish I could blame this tiredness on the thyroid but it's only 2.381. That's a lot lower than it used to be "normally" before I went to an endo who actually had read up on the latest suggested "normal" ranges.
I wonder if I might be anemic. Ob/Gyn said I could try iron and see how I felt. Cripes, I'm getting blood drawn about every 3 weeks from one doc or another, you'd think somebody could check it for me. I hesitate to just start taking iron because it's so constipating and I'm having enough issues with that just from the pregnancy hormones!
No wonder my husband calls me hypochondriac!
This afternoon I get my final crown put in! Hopefully back to every 3 months for the dentist. It will be nice to get to only FOUR medical/dental/therapeutic visits a month. Sarcasm intended. But I will do whatever it takes to ensure this baby's health and well-being.
I have given myself until May 1st to decide whether to persue the VBAC option. I am researching it and talking to all these experts. Expect to read more on the subject.
My elastic waistband today is uncomfortably tight. I do believe I have started growing in the belly area. This is difficult for me, being overweight already. As much as I am delighted to see proof of the baby - I dread seeing my waist expand even more. I doubt the average person on the street would even guess that I am expecting. I am thinking I need a couple pair of maternity slacks and maybe several tops that make it OBVIOUS that there is a baby in here. Maybe a sign for around my neck?
Everytime I tell another person, I feel a twinge of fear. Fear that telling people will cause me to lose this baby too. I can't even write about it much because it is a paralyzing emotion.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

VBAC Decision

To VBAC or not to VBAC, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to face the slings and arrows of outrageous childbirth or to take scalpel up with a scheduled cesarean section?
My heart REALLY, REALLY wants to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). But, I have little support for this option from my ob/gyn who I would HATE to change after 5 years, 4 miscarriages and the birth of my son. Da Kane also doesn't see any reason for it. So, I might need to hire a Doula or just go it unsupported. It is supposed to be healthier for baby and less risky me than a surgical birth, but there is a 0.6 - 1% chance of uterine rupture which would mean surgery anyway, and a slighter risk of serious repercussions for baby or I (up to and including death, but that is a minuscule percentage).
I do not know why I want one so badly. To be a part of the sisterhood of women? To understand the natural birthing process? To be awake and alert and feel more like a mother and less like a vessel having a child removed?
The largest negatives are mostly logistical. My doc is up near work, home is 55 miles south. That means at least a 45 min drive to the hospital, which could be a problem for false labor or when labor actually starts and Da Kane and I are freaking out.
DS will need someplace to go or someone to come watch him. We have very few friends near where we live and certainly no one I'd feel comfortable calling at 2 am to come over. There isn't any family we could have come stay for a couple weeks either. Obviously this would be a PRIORITY to work out.
Those are 2 HUGE reasons to go with a scheduled surgical delivery. But they're just logistics, we're talking my last childbirth opportunity for life.
Oh yes, I also need to call my insurance company and see if they cover tubal ligation and if there's any financial benefit to doing it as part of the c-section rather than a separate surgical procedure a day or two after delivery. Funny, I feel inner resistance and I've always thought that was the way to go once we were done adding to our family. Part of me thinks if I am having this one at 44, maybe it's possible to have another at 46 or beyond, it's certainly not unheard of. But how many miscarriages can I take? 3 in a row was pretty devastating. Then we also get into the environmental reasons to stick with zero population growth (2 kids to replace Da Kane and I on the earth). Of course, we both have 2 siblings who haven't reproduced, so theoretically, we could have up to 6 and still be zero growth from our generation. MAN, am I splitting hairs or WHAT? Wouldn't adoption after 2 biologic children really be the way to go? I haven't used any birth control in 5 years and going back to it would be a major drag.
It helps to put all this in writing. I must say a repeat cesarean is looking like the logical choice.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm Austin?

You Are Austin
A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.You're totally weird and very proud of it.Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.
Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick

Friday, January 19, 2007

Check it out - 5th month!

OOOOOoohhh, I just noticed my pregnancy ticker above moved to the 5th month! WooooHooooo.
Long discussion with Ob/Gyn yesterday about attempting a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). He's leaving it up to me, but stressed the 1% chance of bad things happening. Further research says it is really a 0.6% chance. I think he likes to do surgery.
I am still torn though. I want a "regular" birth, but also a little frightened of the pain and wondering if I'm physically fit enough to do it.
I also don't know how supportive this doc will be and if Da Kane will support me either. Good thing I have several months to decide.
Any input?
Boring day at work today. I really need to get re-motivated or something.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thanks

The endo visit actually went quite well yesterday. Unfortunately I will not have blood results until Friday or Monday. He wasn't too concerned about my lack of consistent testing, as a matter of fact, he showed me a new scatter testing method which boils down to only testing twice a day. The tough part is that every other day I still have to remember to test pre and post dinnertime. When trying to get dinner on the table for all 3 of us and keep the 3 yr old entertained, it is tough to remember. We don't eat until 7, so 2 hours post-dinner I am often snug in my bed. I guess I take the glucometer to bed with me.
At 20 weeks (just 15 days away) the placenta really starts pumping out the insulin resistance hormones (which is why they test for glucose intolerance then), so I will need to be more vigilent to keep my insulin dose correct.
I was 6 lbs down from my pre-conception visit. No one is concerned about it except me. I do need to start testing for ketones a couple times a week. I love this doc, he realizes that I have a mild case of T2 (so far) and will jump on any big bg fluctuations without prompting. The last pregnancy, the endo had me testing my blood sugars SEVEN (7) times a day and ketones DAILY. This is with an A1C of 6.0.
I see my OB today. I have a whole list for him. This is weird, seeing both a perinatologist and an OB/GYN. Not only is it double co-pays, but add in the endo and the nutritionist and that's 4 specialist co-pays a month. Add in my teeth freaking out from pregnancy hormones and my therapy - and I am off to a doctors appt every other day it seems!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I like Diane Keaton. I think she's a good actress and she certainly looks stunning for 61 years old. I had the impression that she was intelligent. I like L'Oreal too - I even use one of their moisturizers, and LOVE Garnier Fructis. HOWEVER, "re-densify" is not even CLOSE to a real word. So, DO NOT use it in a commercial, a blog, a book, even a magazine ad or article!

Tomorrow is my endocrinologist appointment. I have not seen him since I said:
"Let's change the focus from getting pregnant to losing weight"

then promptly conceived, probably that very night. I am a bit concerned because I have been lax on testing my blood sugar except for fasting levels. While I know fasting level is important, it's the after-meal levels that can damage you long-term and make for a fat little baby. I am not sure how to go about reminding myself. I think my A1C might be high. Also anxious because he is probably not going to be happy that he is just now seeing me at 17 weeks, when he stressed before he wanted to see me every 4 weeks. I have asked the nurse several times if he doesn't want to see me sooner via my faxed blood sugar reports (when I send them) and she doesn't respond.

It's that old male in authority fear - he might yell at me. OH WELL.

Work has been stinky, icky, yucky poo. Or as my darling son would say - POOPY.
OH WELL. I have to deal with these people for approximately 11 more months. And I get 3 of those months off for FMLA or good behavior.

It is of the utmost irony to me that the one time in my life that I am ALLOWED to gain weight (modest amounts anyway), I can barely stay the same. It really isn't fair. My appetite is off and when it's on, it seems to want fruit and such.

Da Kane is still reserving excitement over the impending birth. I realize that he is protecting his emotions, but we are past all the spots where we miscarried before and all the miscarriages were (most likely) genetic and we have a good Amnio report back now. Chances are very good that we will have a baby at the end of June. I feel a little shortchanged that my husband cannot be excited with me. This is not the first time I have been disappointed in da Kane's reaction or lack thereof. I can only surmise that this will not be the last time I feel this let-down. I cannot help but wonder if my next life will bring me a more satisfying primary relationship.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Amnio Results are Back!

The amnio results are back and everything genetic is fine! Two of each chromosone and all in the right place, etc. Whewww.
Big relief to me. Told work this week - it was fun.
New habit - waking at 1 or 2 am for 2-3 hours. It's wiping me out. I took a holiday tomorrow - will have dear son but still won't have to work and can sleep til 6 or maybe even 7 am. He sleeps later when I'm not prowling around the house getting ready for work at 5 am.
I have some blogs I really love and they are making me feel like a terrible blogger. Hopefully I will improve.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

One Year Quit!

It's amazing. I am quit for one year today! Here is the post I wrote on - a terrific resource for quitting smoking!
Note that they give the title Doctor to people quit for one year and beyond.

Is there a Doctor in the house?
From Ottoette on 1/7/2007 10:27:15 AM
Well, yes, as a matter of fact - there is!! ME.
In 30 minutes it will be exactly one year since I smoked a butt in the cold garage and asked myself if I was going to quit or not? I had intended to quit on the 3rd after the holiday, but had spent a few days torturing myself, bumming smokes, smoking half, going back hours later to find the butt and smoke it. It was a Saturday morning and I smoked the last bit of a butt some smoker had bummed me at work the day before. You remember how nasty those taste.
I asked myself if I was going to quit this time or not. Honestly, I was more concerned about blowing my husband's quit than anything. He had not tried to quit for 3 years and if we didn't do it this time, I thought he might take years to quit again. I knew I had a LOT of trouble quitting with his smokes in the house so I gathered my courage and told myself that I could stay quit as long as he could - I had more knowledge, more practice, more help (patch, zyban, the Q). This is about my 25th quit since 2000. I had learned A LOT.
So, it wasn't an epiphany and I didn't see a burning bush or suddenly just not want to smoke anymore, but everything changed that moment.
It hasn't been easy, especially the first 6 months. We put a lot of emphasis at the Q on making it to Elder, and probably for a lot of people, that is when it starts getting better. For me it was more like 6 months or 200 days.
I used Elder as an important goal that I had never reached before. Then I shot for 1 week quit for each year smoked (27) thinking maybe that was the magic calculation. Maybe it wasn't magic, but it kept me hanging on thinking it had to get better.
You know what? It did get better - a little tiny bit every day. I still have moments that I want a smoke, a nostalgic longing kind of thing. But I don't let myself dwell on it and I take a moment to be amazed at my quit and then I move on with the task at hand.
I will always need to keep my guard up, especially if alcohol is around. I see SO many quits blown after a few beers - if you can, just don't drink for a few months. If you can't - maybe you need to look at that behavior too?
Many thanks to the Q and all my friends here - and even some of my not-friends who kicked me in the butt when I needed that, even if I resented it at first. You guys are AMAZING and a truly wonderful resource.
364 days, 23 hours, 34 minutes and 44 seconds smoke free.
7300 cigarettes not smoked.
$1,241.00 and 1 month, 25 days, 18 hours of your life saved.
Your quit date: 1/7/2006 9:00:00 AM

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

2007. Wow. That sounded so far away when it was first mentioned as my possible layoff date.
Dick Clark. Geez. Ok, maybe I'm not inclusive enough or sensitive enough or whatever, but PLEASE do we have to see him every year so diminished from what he was? A minute or two's appearance would be ok, even heartwarming, but don't prop him up like some taxidermist project behind a desk like he's really appearing or something.
The fireworks off the top of Pike's Peak were especially beautiful this year. Maybe the coldness or all the snow or the almost-full moon. Quite lovely. No, I didn't get any pictures - standing in my robe on the front porch at 19 degrees Fahrenheit was enough suffering without struggling for the proper midnight camera settings. Just lazy, I know.
I am always reminded of New Year's Day in Kona when some neighborhoods looked like it had snowed a red blizzard all night. People lit 100,000 count firecracker strings like there was no tomorrow. Some Asian superstition/tradition about scaring the bad demons away from the new year
Resolutions. I sometimes make them, sometimes not - rarely keep them. It crossed my mind several times recently that Quitting Smoking is NOT on the resolution list for the first time in at least a decade, maybe 2? I knew I should quit long before I would admit it to anyone else. I was going to be a "die-hard" -- pun intended. I'm so glad I have 359 smoke-free days behind me. I continue to be, and probably always will be a puff away from a pack a day but I think as long as I avoid drinking alcohol with smokers, I think I can stay smokefree. As long as I always remember it's the first puff that kills you.
These thoughts lead me to consider that perhaps I can now move onto another important New Year's resolution. This one I haven't had on my list since "Tainted Love" was a hit by Soft Cell. It's related to a resolution I've had longer than the quit smoking one. I always VOWED to lose weight. Obviously at 15 weeks pregnant, I won't even consider that for this year, but I CAN consider....
Exercise. Yes, intentional exercise on a regular basis. I think 4 days a week, 30 mins minimum is reasonable, measurable and specific enough. I know that to many thousands of Americans, that would seem like a lame target -- but I know that to many MILLIONS of USA-folk, it is beyond what is currently achieved. Most importantly, it is much needed for me. I have had several streaks of 2-4 weeks this year but I have never, ever stuck to a routine for very long.
I don't want to get bogged down into all the reasons/excuses why I haven't done it before or why I have stopped. I want to focus on all the very good motives I have to do it this year. And that is a post for tomorrow.