Mia’s Mom-alogue Chapter 3: The dreaded diabetes and more from past 20 weeks

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.

xo

Mia

Mia’s Mom-alogue Chapter 1: If you ain’t first you’re last

 

The idea behind mom-alogue

So there I was, sitting with my nearly one year old baby ( well 10 months let’s not age him) sending memes back and forth with a girlfriend who also recently had a baby and then sharing stories of how these memes actually related to our new normal – why yes my baby did bite me while feeding today and yes I did snort his snot out of his nose… And it was in this moment I decided I was going to start a podcast for new moms. As I started to read up on “how to start a podcast” my baby woke up. I decided if I couldn’t figure out how to start a podcast in an hour nap time it wasn’t for me. And so instead I decided to start sharing my mom life lessons here on my blog.

There are a million “real” and “honest” and “funny” mom blogs/podcasts/youtube channels out there right? So what sets mine apart you may ask? Absolutely nothing actually. I have no qualifications, no degree, I am definitely not a doctor – although my mother-in-law is (if you are a mom friend of mine I have definitely said that to you oh a dozen times). But I have just leaned so much on my own friends to get me through the ups, downs, and everything in between of becoming a new mom, that I wanted to be your friend and help you through this crazy, beautiful, exhausting, emotional time of your life. And so every month I will add to the blog a new mom-alogue and I promise to be real, and honest, and open, and I like to find humour in some of these moments (how else do we make it through on like 4 hours of sleep a day?) and I am sure no one will really care because again, lack of qualifications, but that’s ok. If I can make one new, exhausted, and overwhelmed mom feel slightly less lonely then my job here is done. So let’s begin at the beginning.

Chapter 1: If you’re not first you’re last 

I decided to begin my mom-alogue with my experience of being the first of my friends to have a baby. My husband and I were one of the lucky ones that snuck our wedding in before the pandemic, and while I begged to wait until our friends tide the knot to start trying, after the zillionth covid wave, we decided it was time to try this whole baby thing out. Being the first brings on anxiety that I never really expected. Will my friends want to hang out with me ever again because I now bring a crying piece of hip luggage along? Will I ever sleep again ( I really really really like sleep)? I have never held a baby before what if I don’t support the neck right and it break? I don’t have any qualifications to keep this mostly helpless human alive!  (This was a surprisingly very common question or at least statement in my birthing class).

When I got around to taking a pregnancy test and texted 2 girlfriends and my mom asking if they saw the faint pink line I did, while holding it up to every light in the house I had this overwhelming sense of I am so so not cut out for this. I was more scared than that time I came face to face with a black mamba (just the world’s most poisonous snake). And then the very next day I got indigestion for the first time in my life and I knew for a fact that faint line that everyone said I was making up was really there and oh ya that indigestion I speak of lasted for 9 whole months.

We then had to patiently wait for the genetic testing results. The doctor called  me while I was working and when I called back they were on their lunch break. I spent the next 2 hours (which felt more like 10) panicking over every worst case scenario. Finally I was able to get through, and with tears in my eyes and clearly in my voice I asked the doctor how bad is it? She said you are low risk – would you like to know the gender?

Since I was the first of my friends I didn’t have anyone to really talk to about this.  The next few weeks google and I became both best friends and worst enemies as every cramp I felt could either be very normal round ligament pain, or an immediate visit to the ER.  There is nothing worse than going for your dating ultrasound and then literally never speaking to a doctor again for a month. I can be an anxious person but this took things to a whole new level. And while every blog told me to relax my brain said HA.HA.

On top of all of that my indigestion was making me feel sick daily, I had to pee every 20 minutes, oh and I had a food aversion to everything including coffee, which didn’t help with the fact that I was beyond exhausted. In fact I would get to 2 in the afternoon and just need a nap. And by need a nap I mean I would fall asleep on the carpet in my office. I called it my office dirt naps since I didn’t even have the energy to get to my bedroom. It was a fun time, and again I didn’t really have anyone to turn to in my friend group.

The turning point

Eventually a friend of a friend reached out and told me about pre-natal workout classes she was doing. I was only 14 weeks at the time and not showing yet so I didn’t think I qualified for prenatal classes, but I decided to go anyway. It was here that I met my mom crew – my people. We would go on walks together, for none coffee dates (remember I couldn’t stomach coffee). And lunches. I would come home to my husband and be all giddy about the new girlfriend I made and whose number I got today. It was like dating, but way less pressure – and thankfully since I was a few weeks behind all of them they could prep me for what was to come. The awkwardness of the 20 week scan where the tech will literally not say one word to you, the disgusting sugary drink you have to chug for the gestational diabetes test, what a mucus plug is (that was a fun life lesson). I was so thankful for this group of friends.

Yes there are advantages to being the first 

Now let me tell you why I say ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last’. While I was scared, anxious, overwhelmed to be the first of my friends it actually turned out to be a true blessing. Guess what, I still got invited to dinners and trivia night – but instead of two hands to hold the baby I had 20. Everyone wanted a snuggle. “Do you want me to hold the baby while you finish your dinner?” “Do you want me to hold the baby while you shower?” “Can I just hold your baby?” – Guess what, the more babies that come into the group, the less and less that happens – everyone has their own baby to stop from falling down the stairs or eating rocks. Don’t worry through friends – I will always try and offer to hold your baby because I know how helpful it is. And even if you aren’t the first your baby is not last – your baby is special and wonderful and special – but for any of my mommas out here feeling the fear because they are the first of their friend group to take the plunge, just know it isn’t that bad – and then you can pass down all your “expert” advice (again I have absolutely now qualifications except my baby seems to be a happy camper 96% of the time). And now I get to be excited for all of my friends that are going through their own pregnancy journey.

That is all for now my friends – stay tuned for chapter 2.

You got this mommas

xo

Mia

The truth about birth plans

I remember going into my first prenatal doctors appointment. I was 12 weeks and I asked my GP, ‘when should I start working on my birth plan’. You could tell she was holding back a smirk and responded, not anytime soon.

As my appointments went on the birth plan was always in the back of my mind. We started to get into weekly visits and she still hadn’t told me to start working on my plan and so I decided to be proactive and google how to create a birth plan.

I went through the steps and check marks and filled out the papers. I then sat my husband down and asked if I could discuss it with him so that he could manage it if I was in too much pain. As we went through the list I soon realized that every answer was the same, ‘I would prefer not to have a c-section but if the doctor says it’s the best option then we will do that’. ‘I don’t want an episiotomy but if the doctor says its the best option then I am ok with that.’ Every answer was if the doctor says that is best for baby and me then that is what we will do.

So at the end of the day we left the birth plan at home and just went to the hospital with an open mind. Having said that, I did find there were some positive takeaways from going through the steps of creating a birth plan that I want to share with you.

Ways having a birth plan helped prepare me for labour 

1. It made me do the research 

Before creating a birth plan I had no idea what an episiotomy was. As I went through the checklist I did some research so that I had as much information as possible and knew what could happen during labour. The birth plan gave me the gift of knowledge, which actually gave me confidence going into labour.

2. It taught me some new things

While doing research into a birth plan I learned the acronym B.R.A.I.N. This stands for Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, Nothing. While I knew if given a choice I wanted to do whatever the medical professional thought was best for baby and me – It was good to know that I had choices and gave me the information I needed to ask the right questions if I needed to.

3. Creating the plan helped me find ways to stay calm during labour 

While filling out my birth plan they asked questions like do I want music playing or any candles burning – this helped me think of things I could do in the labour room that could help keep me calm during delivery.

4. It helped me ask my doctor the right questions 

Filling out my birth plan online asked some questions I never even thought of or highlighted concerns that I had never heard of and so it gave me the right tools to be able to ask my doctor questions ahead of labour so thatI had all the answers and tools.

Like I have said in some of my other posts everyone’s pregnancy journey and birth are different and so having a birth plan ready to go might be right for you – for me the actual birth plan wasn’t necessary but it did help in other ways prepare me for birth.

But at the end of the day just remember you got this mommas

xo

Mia