Well if this isn’t where things start to get exciting during a pregnancy. In fact this chapter of my mom-alogue involves a bear encounter, a fight with a pair of socks, and a leaky lady part. Here we go 20 weeks and beyond, and by beyond I mean when somehow despite your stomach being the size of a small planet it just keeps expanding.
The dreaded Gestational Diabetes test
I remember going into my gestational diabetes test with extreme confidence. I am a former pro athlete, I lead an extremely healthy lifestyle, there is no diabetes in my family. I chugged that disgusting orange drink like a champ and left with a skip in my step. But alas I got the call from the doctor just a few hours later – I had gestational diabetes and oh my iron levels were very very low ( I guess that explains the extreme fatigue). I remember sitting on the couch yelling at my poor unborn child that I really hated him at this point ( I feel very guilty of that now) but at the time where I had yet to enjoy much of my pregnancy this was just icing on the cake (cake I wasn’t allowed to eat). This is hard for me to admit, and looking back at it I actually had a really easy pregnancy, one without too many complications and issues, but I wasn’t able to see that in this moment of disappointment – and guess what momma’s, it is ok to feel all the feels when you are pregnant.
I got the news just as I was about to leave on my baby-moon, and by baby-moon I mean the trip my husband had to cancel and I was now travelling on a few close friends. I remember showing up to the airport with my new meter and lancets on hand pricking my finger to test my sugar levels.
We were traveling to the Yukon in October, which meant beautiful fall colours but a crisp air, early darkness, oh and grizzly bears getting ready for hibernation. And so while all my friends were eating their homemade dessert I had to go out in the dark with two bear sprays in hand to get my 15 minute walk in post dinner and avoid the sugars that I wasn’t supposed to eat. After a night of singing to myself at the top of my lungs to hopefully scare of the grizzlies I decided to instead walk around the dinner table for 15 minutes watching my friends eat dessert. It was the ultimate form of torture. In fact if you ever need to get information out of someone – just make them watch their friends eat warm apple pie while they have to smell it and look at it but can’t eat it and on top of that they have to walk in the room with the pie for 15 minutes.
Alas I did not run into any grizzlies in the Yukon – but once I returned home to Squamish on a very cold, very dark, very wet post dinner walk with my dog Huey he started growling at something and when I looked up there was a giant black bear no more than 10 feet from me. Thankfully the black bear was nose deep in a garbage can and I ddi what you are never ever supposed to do if you do encounter a bear… I ran.
The GD brought on a whole other medical issue for me – one that I found out is called white coat syndrome. Every time I stepped into a doctor’s office from this point on I was so afraid I was going to get more bad news that my blood pressure would escalate. I was told to go into the room early before each appointment and meditate, the most tranquil setting let me tell you. Needless to say that did not work and I was sent off three times to check my urine for preeclampsia. They officially knew me by name there. Oh here is Mia back again for a urine sample let’s just try and keep her as cool as a cucumber.
Because of my GD I was scheduled in for two extra ultrasounds at 34 and 37 where I found out my baby was measuring large and I mean I was on pace to have an 11 pounder. Oh and also my water was normal but low – don’t ask me what that means. I was now petrified of what my body was going to have to do. I kept begging my doctor to induce me early, while he was still a manageable size, but she just kept telling me I was able to control my GD so I was creating a baby the right size for my body – I tend to disagree – no one’s body is supposed to deliver an 11 pound baby.
I decided I would take things into my own hands. I did every old wives tale in the book – spicy food, raspberry leaf tea, acupuncture, alas nothing worked and I ended up delivering 3 days late, on Christmas, a 9 pound 9.6 ounce baby but that story is for another day.
A fight… with a sock
I was lucky that for most of my pregnancy my actual body felt great (aside from the acid reflux I have spoken often about). I was working out daily, spinning, hiking, I had a lot of energy (most days in my second trimester at least). And I was carrying pretty well if I do say so myself. But then that all changed once I hit 30 weeks.
It seemed that every single morning my belly grew. It was like the poor girl who turns into a blueberry in the chocolate factory. I thought I was literally about to pop – but somehow it just kept expanding and expanding.
Then it happened, I could no longer reach over my belly to my feet. It happened on a cold November day when I had to go out for my post dinner GD walk and I was trying to put on my socks, but I could’t reach. I tried everything. Rolling around the bed, kicking my leg high in the air, crawling up in the fetal position on the ground. I eventually had to accept defeat and call in reinforcement, aka my husband. He also then had to tie my shoelace for me before I walked out the door. It was one of the more humbling moments of my pregnancy.
The weird, whacky, and the eww
What I also learned in the later stages of my pregnancy is all the weird things that happen to your body that no one tells you about and that just don’t make sense. I remember getting on the phone with my doctor when I thought my mucus plug fell out (if you don’t know what that is do not google it). She told me not to worry, it may just grow back.
I also remember one day where I barely felt baby move – unfortunately my husband was a few drinks deep hosting some friends so a girlfriend came to the hospital with me. We didn’t have the heart to tell the sweet nurse that we were not a couple and my deer friend came for moral support since my husband was a little tipsy and couldn’t drive me. We had to finally come clean when she asked my friend how to spell her name to put her on my medical file.
Oh and then there was Christmas eve morning when I was convinced I was leaking amniotic fluid and so another trip to the hospital – only for the results to come back negative for amniotic fluid and so now on my medical file it says, and I quote, I came in for a ‘leaky vagina’. Oh joy. We did do a sweep though and less than 24 hours later my amniotic fluid didn’t leak – it poured. My water broke at 12:01 Christmas morning but again that is a story for another chapter.
But the moral of this story mommas is if you feel like something is off, or wrong, or different trust your instinct. In fact the moment we left after my none stress test the nurse told me if I got to the parking lot and was worried about something else to just come back. It is better to be over cautious and get something checked when the resources are available – especially when you are going through this completely new completely overwhelming experience. You are not alone and you have a whole team behind you. I am so thankful for not just the team of my friends and family, but the amazing team of nurses, doctors, and hospital staff that helped get me through my white coat syndrome, GD, large baby delivery, pregnancy.
No matter what your pregnancy throws at you momma just remember you are strong as a mother and you can do this.
Next up L&D – the real fun stuff.