Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pregnancy Bummer

Today I had a lot of firsts. My first "pregnancy fail." My first pregnancy hormone outburst. My first frustration toward my doctor's office.

I am 27 weeks and went in for a standard glucose screening. For those of you who don't know, you have to be screened around this time for gestational diabetes, or diabetes you only get when you're pregnant (your pregnancy hormones can block your body from being able to breakdown sugar normally, so you can get diabetes for the short period of time you are pregnant). It's a simple test- you chug like 6oz of this orange liquid (mine actually tasted pretty good, like orange soda) then wait and hour and they prick your finger to test your blood. They told me less than 140 was the goal and when my results came back they were slightly elevated, 155 (200 is the high risk range).
I was really surprised! I thought for sure I would pass it, but she started filling out my paperwork to go take the THREE hour test at the hospital which would tell me for sure if I have gestational diabetes. Then she says to me, "and remember, you need to fast after midnight and not eat anything until you take the test, just like you were instructed to do for today's test." WAIT, WHAT? NOBODY TOLD ME THAT. I just sat there in shock as she gave me paperwork to check out. While I was making my next appointment I mentioned to the receptionist that I had eaten breakfast this morning and failed the test and she just shrugged and said, "looks like you'll be taking the 3 hour test." I just kind of nodded numbly and walked out to my car.
It didn't take long for first #1 to happen: complete, hormonal breakdown. No matter what I told myself (it's not a big deal, you can't help it, 3 hours isn't that long), I just could not stop crying. I'm sure people in traffic were slowing down to stare at my ugly cry face and figure out what was going on in my torture car. Reasons I was crying related to my other firsts:
1) Why did they not give me proper instructions? I know that banana may not have thrown me off, but what if it did? I'm a first time mom, expect me to be ignorant! No one, not my doctor when we talked about this at my last appointment, or my nurse before I took it, or the receptionist who booked by glucose test, told me not to eat. So lame.
2) Did I just fail my first mommy test? I know I can't help how my body processes sugar, but it still feels like I'm losing a competition.
3) I don't want to go to the hospital for 3 hours and not eat all morning!!

I finally pulled it together enough to place a rational phone call to my doctor's office and when I explained about eating the nurse told me that could definitely throw my numbers off. I asked if I could retake the 1 hr test instead of doing the 3 hr and she said she'd called me back. Another nurse called and said fasting doesn't effect the numbers so I just needed to take the 3 hour test.

So on Friday I will go to Willow Creek for 3 hours and sit in the waiting room by myself and be a guinea pig for people to poke me. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with doing anything I need to for Titus' sake, but I can't help feeling like this is going to be a waste of time since I only missed it by a few points. In fact, I did some research almost 25% of women fail the 1 hour screening while only about 1% of women actually have Gestational Diabetes. 
My thoughts are either we should just all skip to the 3 hour test so I don't spend a whole day on the verge of emotional collapse or figure out a way to make the 1 hour test more accurate. Hear hear!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Confession: I Don't Want to go to Heaven

As a "good Christian," I'm supposed to be dying to go to Heaven (no pun intended slight pun intended). From the time I walked down the aisle at 8 years old, I've been told I should want to go to Heaven; that this life is only temporary and if at any point I'm "called home" I should be jumping for joy. I know all the fantastic things the bible says or people interpret the bible to say about Heaven: Golden streets, pearly gates, no more pain, never ending joy, and most most MOST importantly, spending time face to face with my savior and creator for all eternity. 

Do these things sound exciting and make me happy? Absolutely. But here's the catch (and I feel a little religious guilt even saying this out loud): I don't want to go to there. Ahhhh!!!!!!!! Okay, track with me, I know that is totally not what a youth pastor's wife is supposed to be saying! First of all, I have a daily sin struggle that robs me of joy. I have made choices that have left me broken. People I love have struggled and ached and I have done so with them. I have lost and I have mourned.
 But the thing is, I love my life here on earth. I have an incredible husband who is more wonderful than I ever deserved, a sweet baby on the way that I can't wait to hold in my arms, two pups that keep me laughing each day, an incredible community of friends and family, tons of wonderful students in FSM, a job that fulfills me in every way, and overall, an extremely joy-filled life that has been granted to me BY my lord and savior.

So I'm stuck here between being grateful and embracing the wonderful life God has blessed me with, and whole-heartedly aching to leave this life to join the beauty he intended for me to live in long term.

If I'm being honest I can tell you the thing that keeps me from wanting to be in Heaven. But I don't want to. But otherwise why did I write this blog post? Okay, I will tell you.
Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing friends and family forever that don't know Jesus. Fear of not getting every ounce of joy out of this life before it's my time to leave it. 
But I have a very wise friend who opened my eyes. My friend Katie, who is only 25 and a newlywed, was recently diagnosed with cancer. This isn't supposed to happen to people our age, and definitely not to people I actually know. But the great thing about Katie is that she is a straight shooter, so when I asked her how it made her feel to be presented with such a personal possibility of Heaven, she told me she actually wasn't scared at all (cue mouth drop and big eyes as I sat in my driveway listening to her). She said that from the moment she got her diagnosis she actually felt more at peace about dying than she ever had before. How does this happen, I ask?! Katie told me as plainly as she could that while it was totally crushing to be told you have cancer and may or may not survive, and while she definitely struggles and hurts over her situation, that the peace she has been granted could only come from the Holy Spirit and is greater than the feeling of loss. She said she wasn't scared to die and go to Heaven--she was grateful for her salvation and knowing that Jesus would be waiting for her. Needless to say, I am so proud to call her my friend and so grateful for the Lord's presence in her life.

Closing thoughts: I have come to the conclusion that it's not a bad thing to love the life the Lord has given me, embracing blessings from him will never be anything but grateful. But I do need to pray for a peace about the fact that no matter how much joy I am experiencing here, one day I will die and that's okay, because Heaven will be so much greater. So I pray to be more like Paul:
Philippians 1:21-24 "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live."

God, help me to continue serving you while on this earth and give me a heart like Paul, a heart that values Jesus over all other sources of joy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I was Not Expecting That...

Okay, so here's the deal. There are tons of pregnancy symptoms/side effects that I knew about from my job. Probably hundreds, actually; I think I'd heard of everything under the sun. But as my pregnancy progresses, I'm realizing that I will never understand the depths of what this baby is capable of doing to my body.

First of all, I have no immune system. You know that disorder where your body can't fight off anything and you have to live in a blow up ball so that nothing can get to you?(remember when Jake Gyllenhaal was in that movie Bubble Boy ? Man, has he come a long way). Well it's basically like that. We've had this incredible winter that has been in the 50s and 60s every day, the sun shines, I'm into the good part of my pregnancy where I have energy and feel great, yada yada yada. It's all butterflies and rainbows except for the fact that I have been hacking up a lung for over a month (not to mention, snotty, stuffy, runny, achy, general yickiness). I tried everything, rest, vitamin c, antibiotics, plenty of pregnancy safe OTC meds (which all suck because you can only take the products that remove the good stuff!), and I'm just now starting to feel a little better.

Secondly, my thigh randomly goes numb? What the? I was really confused by this one. At first it would only happen when I would wake up and realize I had rolled onto my back and the outer part of my left thigh (same place every time) would feel like it was asleep. I'd roll over to my side again and it would completely go back to normal. As Titus has gotten bigger the last couple of weeks, it has happened a couple times when I was standing as well. I assumed it was lack of blood flow because of his positioning, but after doing a little professional research (google and pregnancy forums) I've found out that this problem is actually quite common. And it's not a blood flow thing, it's actually a nerve thing! Basically the additional weight to the front of me has caused my back to be slightly out of line and (supposedly) getting it adjusted by a chiropractor will fix it. Who knew!

Lastly, I think my stomach is trying to escape to my ankles. Seriously, sometimes I just hold it up to reduce gravity's pull. I'm sure this is a pretty normal thing for most women, but it's definitely new to me over the past couple of months. It is definitely giving me a preview of what it would be like to have a beer belly, so this will be something I never allow to happen in the future!

Rambling completed.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Registry 911!

Okay Mommas! I need your help. 
As I am registering for all kinds of baby things I'm realizing that there are about a BILLION options for baby entertainment! In a perfect world I would have endless money and space and I'd just buy one of everything for Titus, but alas, that's not going to happen. So here is my criteria for choosing from the many entertainment items out there on the market:
1) Space. We only have space for small, compact, or foldable items! Anything that takes up a ton of space is a definite no no.
2) Cost. Needs to be cheap for friends to buy or cheap for us to buy if we don't get it at a shower!
3) Practicality. Will we use it often? Will we be able to use it for very long as he gets older? Is it unique/different from the other toys?
4) Baby Enjoyment. Is this toy going to keep Titus occupied?
5) Attractiveness. Come on people, not ugly/gaudy stuff!

Okay, so now that you know what I'm needing, take a look at the following play items and let me know what has worked for you/your baby, what you would recommend, and what you would definitely avoid/never ended up using!
P.S. I'm sure you haven't used the exact brand/style that I have listed here, but advice on the general type of toy would be helpful!! 

Portable Swing: $69.99
Large Swing: $99.00
Jumper: $70.00
Door Jumper: $30

Vibrating Bouncer: $60
Sleeper/Rocker: $60

Play Mat: $40
Walker: $59.00

I would really, really, really, REALLY appreciate any feedback you could give me on these types of toys!  
**And of course anything not listed here that you think is a worthwhile buy feel free to suggest!