Monday, January 25, 2010


I'm sitting in the waiting room of the hospital, not quite halfway through my 3 hour glucose tolerance test. Fun stuff. I ended up here because I failed my 1 hour glucose challenge. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Sophie. I failed that 1 hour challenge (just barely) and then had to do the 3 hr test (which I passed).

I fasted for the 1 hour challenge with Sophie, but this time I ate breakfast. I don't know what I was thinking. Well, I sort of do: I was thinking that if I had food in my stomach, maybe it would slow the absorption of glucose and make my reading lower. Except that I ate a whole wheat bagel. At about the same time I drank the nasty orange sugar water crap. Right after I did that, I realized I'd be failing the test.

Sure enough, I failed it. I missed it by more than I did with Sophie, but I didn't have double the reading or anything crazy like that. Unfortunately, taking the 3 hour GTT is not a good time. You have to fast overnight (no big deal), and then you have to drink 100 g glucose solution on an empty stomach. THAT is terrible. I get all nauseous and jittery, but if you vomit, you have to come back and do it again. And that is not something I want to do!

You also have to sit still in the waiting room for the entire three hours. I brought my laptop with me this time, despite the spotty wireless, in the hopes that keeping busy would prevent me from realizing how terrible I am feeling. That hasn't worked 100%, but I am willing myself to not get sick.

I'm nervous about the outcome of the test. I'm hoping not to have gestational diabetes--I've been feeling fine, but that doesn't matter--but at the same time, I can't say I'd be shocked. I've been eating ok. I haven't done a lot of junk food/fried food/sweets, but I also haven't been able to cook as much from scratch. The quick fix meals we end up with a few times a week are usually high carb and as low salt/fat as they sell (which still isn't terribly low). I know my diet has been fairly carb heavy. That is something I've been meaning to change, and it will have to change if this test comes back positive.

I have a lot of emotional turmoil about this. I know that having gestational diabetes sets the baby up for future metabolic issues. I also know it means I may have another big baby. Even without the diagnosis last time, Sophie was 9 lbs. She was also overdue, which I am hoping means she would've been a little closer to an average weight had she arrived on time. Both for my sake and the baby's, I don't want to deliver another 9 pounder. I also know that having gestational diabetes means I am at increased risk for developing type II diabetes in the future. I do have some extended family members with the disease--another reason I am praying Sophie and Josh get more of Tim's genetics!

I really want to improve my diet and exercise patterns, both now and after I have the baby. I know life isn't going to get calmer, and I've got to find a way to make it a priority. I already get very little sleep--but finding another hour or so a day may have to come out of that time pool.

We'll see how the test turns out. Even if the test comes back ok, I may ask about seeing a nutritionist. I feel sort of stupid asking, since I am a medical student doing some diet-related research. It's not like I don't know what is good and bad for me. I'm looking more for some real-life suggestions that also fit in a busy schedule.

I should know how things are looking in a few days. Till then, I'll keep focusing on not puking or passing out. I don't think I'll ever be able to drink orange flavored anything ever again...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pushing through

Sorry again for the big gaps. I've been pushing through, trying to get as much done in the lab as I can so that I can be done with experiments and have my paper submitted before I go on maternity leave. That means today, and many weekends to come, will be spent in the lab. As much as I miss that time with Sophie and Tim, I can get way more done on the weekends without the constant distractions/interruptions that come with being in the lab during the week.

Last weekend was supposed to be my last weekend of freedom. My family came up to watch Sophie on Saturday night so that Tim and I could get in one date before the weekend working started up full steam. Unfortunately, he had a terrible sore throat, and I had GI issues, so we bagged date night. We did run some errands together (romantic, I know), but that was it. It's been months since the two of us went to dinner alone, and it will likely be several more months before we can do it again. Oh well, such is life. We don't really have the budget to be going out all the time anyway, so it is mandatory frugality.

Actually, date night was going to be sponsored by the medical school. I presented my research on the medical student research day and won a poster prize. The award was $150, which is big money to me! I split it up into three pools: 1/3 for maternity clothes, 1/3 for my steam mop, and 1/3 for a date night.

The maternity clothes came from the clearance section of I got six shirts/blouses and a pair of pants for $55. Unfortunately, sizing must have changed since I was pregnant with Sophie. I have one pair of old navy maternity jeans that I wear, and although they are a little loose, they fit ok. I ordered all but one shirt in the same size as the jeans. When the clothes came, they are HUGE!! And that's saying a lot coming from me--I like my clothes big. The pants were big, and I tried to shrink them. I think they'll be ok at the end of pregnancy, but I could fit another baby belly in them right now! The smaller size shirt fits ok, but the blouses (which were billowy to start with) are like muu muus. The issue is that it's $6 to return things, and since they were on clearance (and are no longer there), I can't exchange them for free. Most of the shirts are cotton, so I am going to try and purposely shrink them and see how it turns out. It was less than $6 a shirt, so I guess I can't complain too much. I'll know better if I ever order there again!

The steam mop was a better deal. I've been looking for one for a while, and the Eureka Enviro steamer got the best reviews. It was on sale at for $65. I had $20 promo credit from a survey site I use, so I paid $45. And it has a $10 mail in rebate. For $35, it's only a little more than what I would pay for a swiffer wet jet or something similar. It came on Monday, and I've only used it once. Pros: only uses steam, so I don't have to put chemicals on the floor. It does a good job with spots and stickiness. And it supposedly steams to about 215 degrees, so it sterilizes the floor. Cons: the reviews said it blasted tough dirt off of tile. I have some caked on/worn on spots from high traffic (rubber soled shoes, etc), and that didn't really go away. That may involve lots of hands and knees scrubbing (once I can bend again). But, for $35, it's a great every day/weekly steam mop--much better than a wet mop. It doesn't leave a lot of wetness--and no stickiness from chemicals--and it's a quick job. The semi-annual scrubbing may just have to happen the old fashioned way.

And as I said, the last $50 for date night didn't happen. We ordered some Chinese for everyone instead, and it was nice to be social.

Actually, despite all of the recent busyness, I have gotten to be a little social. We've seen a lot of family, which is always nice. And I got to catch up with an MSTP friend who's also a busy mommy. I really appreciate having a wide group of people to talk to. I don't have a lot of people in each group--maybe one or two--and I don't get to catch up with them as much as I'd like. But I've got family who've known me forever, a few pre-college friends, a college friend, some MSTP mommy friends, some MSTP classmates, and some lab friends. Each group really lets me get in touch with a specific part of my life. I wish I would've done a better job of keeping up with people over time, but I think it's natural to move closer towards people you connect with and farther from people with whom you don't share as much in common.

And of course, there's Tim, who really serves as the daily sounding board. We have always gotten along really well and share similar interests. Some things don't even need to be discussed. Needing to be near a tv for football playoffs? Of course. Watching HGTV and discussing future remodeling projects? A favorite pastime for both of us. We really spend too much time together--we can always tell that we need to get out more when we start saying the same things at the same time. That is the downside of being too similar :)

I have been forced to be more efficient at home while I'm being crazy busy at work. We got Sophie's new big girl room finished. My mom put up the border on Monday, and we set up Sophie's bed, dresser, and bookcase. We aren't pushing her to use the room yet, but I think she likes it. The colors cam out very cute (after painting it several months ago, I was worried, but it all worked out). It inspired us to paint the rest of the house. We've got the living room, dining room, nursery, and last upstairs bedroom left. Home Depot had paint on sale last weekend, so we bought a few gallons to round out what we already had at home. I have no idea when we'll actually have time to paint, but when we do, I think it'll look finished (finally). Never though it'd take three years to paint the house!

I've been doing rebates and coupon clipping as much as possible too. I don't have nearly the time I used to, but I try to cherry pick the best deals. With two in daycare by the end of the year, we need to save every penny we can. Coupons/sales are one little way to help. It does add up!

I also got caught up (almost) on pictures. I had a coupon for a free photo book, so that inspired me to load the rest of the pics on the computer. I can't believe how big Sophie has gotten! I don't have the pictures on this computer, but I'll try to do better about getting a few up here and there.

My blot incubation is almost up--back to work! I'll try to be better about posting, at least on the weekends when I am in lab and have a few minutes. The next few months will be brutal, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be done!

Oh, and I start the third trimester tomorrow. How crazy is that?

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Sorry for the delay, but after Sophie got sick, things got crazy (not like they aren't usually). Here's the catch-up:

-We pushed back Christmas for Sophie. She was still sick later on the 24th, so we laid low at my parent's house on the 25th, came home after dinner, and pretended that the 25th was Christmas Eve. Tim read her "Twas the night before Christmas," she wore her Xmas PJs, and once she was in bed, we got ready.

-I had gotten a bunch of toys off of Craigslist for free/cheap, but they needed to be cleaned up. It took me till 11 PM to clean everything off with lysol. Tim wrapped gifts, and I started to feel sick. I had more abdominal pain than I had in labor, so I knew it was going to be a rough night.

-Sure enough, 1 AM on the 26th, I was sick. Almost seven years to the hour after I had to be hospitalized for the stomach flu, I had another terrible bout. As I was laying on the cold tile in the bathroom, I willed myself to stay awake. I was dizzy and disoriented, and I was worried that I was dehydrated. Since that caused me to go unconscious seven years ago (resulting in an ambulance ride in a blizzard), I wouldn't let myself go back to sleep until I kept some powerade down.

-I was sick all day. Really sick. Sick to the point that Tim videotaped Sophie opening her gifts because sitting upright made me almost faint. Poor Sophie.

-And I suffered some additional Christmas guilt too. I spent $13 on Sophie for Christmas. That's it. $5 for a little tikes vanity, $7 for a step 2 kitchenette, and $1 for a coloring book. The rest were Craigslist freebies (books, stuffed animals, clothes, a few games, and some learning/alphabet toys) or CVS freebies (a magna doodle and fishing game). I spent more on an exchange gift for my extended family than I did on my daughter! Luckily, she liked everything, and she got spoiled rotten by our families. Money is tight, but it's not that tight. Is there a line when getting good deals becomes being too cheap?

-I was upright on the 27th, and Tim started feeling off. He never had the full flu, but he didn't feel 100% until the 30th/31st. Since Sophie started on the 24th, that was a full week killed by the flu. We washed every piece of bedding in the house multiple times. Fun.

-And that was my week off. I didn't have a car for three days of it (one to get the window fixed, one to get the rest of my maintenance done, and an extra because the mechanic tripped the security system I didn't know I had, couldn't start the car, and had to get the dealer involved). So I was car-less and recovering for my vacation. So much for the long to-do list I had hoped to clean up.

-On New Year's Day, we finally planned to visit the extended family we didn't get to see on Christmas. And on that day, it started to snow. We made it to my mom's side, but by the time my dad's side started, the roads were horrific. We had to bail and head home.

-The next day, we headed down to visit my parents. On the way down, the car in front of me hit a deer. I saw the red spot going up the hill, but the car and the deer were just after the peak of the hill. The car was off on a side road, but the carcass was in the middle of my lane. And there was another car coming up the hill towards me. I couldn't swerve, and all I had time to do was slam on the brakes and hit it head on. It was revolting.

-My car drove ok, but the check engine light came on, and we could see a wire hanging down. I took my car into the shop (again) a few days later to get it fixed, and luckily it was an oxygen sensor, a cracked bumper (which I didn't care about--it's plastic), and a hose-down. Less than $150, no insurance involved.

-And this was the day after Tim and I talked about how my car should be up to speed for the next five years after doing $$$$ worth of maintenance to it in 2009. Figures.

-And since New Year's Day, we've been getting constant snow. On Monday night, in a brief break, we had 15 inches on the ground, with drifts over four feet tall. And it's snowed since then.

-And we're in an Alberta clipper now, which should drop 3-6 inches, with lake effect snow tomorrow potentially dropping another foot.

-Did I mention I have experiments tomorrow? And Saturday?

-And that Cleveland is only supposed to get 60 inches of snow in a winter? We'd be at almost half that in a week!

-This is the time every year when I ask, "why can't I live somewhere warmer?"

Anyway, that's been what is keeping me busy. Despite all of that, I have been really upbeat. I am looking forward to 2010. I'll get my PhD, have a baby, return to med school, and generally progress in my life. Things have felt stuck during my PhD years, especially as I watch everyone around me move on to bigger and better things. But soon, it will be my turn...

I'm hoping there is much less car drama in the near future. I would have never put that much money into my old cavalier (which started clunking at 50k miles and didn't make it to 75k). The difference is that every mechanic has told me that the car *should* run problem free for another 100k miles without more than oil changes. Let's hope so...

Money is tight, especially with daycare costs going up this year, but I am thankful that we have jobs, a house, and our health. None of those should be taken for granted ever, but especially not with what other people are facing right now.

Sure, I wish I would've gotten a vacation. I wish it would stop snowing! But I'm taking things in stride as much as I can. Now, we desperately do need to get to the grocery store soon, but I'm hoping we can make it past the next round of snow. And I have a lot of experiments scheduled. But other than those two things, I think everything else can slide for a little while.

No new year's resolutions this year. I am trying to improve many aspects of my life slowly, and I feel more successful without imposing start/stop times. Life in general is a work in progress.

I'll try to be back sooner rather than later. If I get snowed in, you may hear from me more than you might want :)