Monday, March 25, 2013

Holy Week

I've been running errands like a crazy-person today, trying to get ready for a trip to warmer climates.  These errands have had me driving over a hundred miles today, visiting three different towns.  And in each of these towns, I've passed multiple churches and companies that advertise Easter this week.  A church near me is hosting an Easter party on Saturday.  An acquaintance just celebrated an egg-hunt with her son yesterday.  Everyone has an Easter sale this week.  Everyone is ready to celebrate.

But it isn't time yet.

A friend of mine said she was having a hard time dealing with people wanting to celebrate the rebirth and happiness of Easter.  With her son's death, her joy for this event had been stripped away.  Not everyone is reborn.  At the time, I didn't think too much about what she said, but with every "Happy Easter" greeting, I'm coming to believe...she's right.  

This week is not about celebrating life.  

Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  A day to remember the time Jesus rode into a city where he would eventually be sentenced to death.  And Holy Week is the slow march toward that painful fate.  This is not a time of celebration or victory or bright colors.  This is a time of remembering pain and darkness and death.  And of course, many of you are asking yourself if I've lost it, but...

It is right to remember this pain.  

All too often we overlook the hard parts in life--our losses, pains, sufferings--and rush to "get over it."  People expect that when there's a sunny day on the far horizon, we should look beyond the rain that's falling on our heads.  

But I refuse.  Because there is beauty in that pain.

In loss and death there is beauty, and truth, and love.  Christ's resurrection would mean nothing without His sacrifice.  And the rest of my life would be meaningless if I did not remember the death of Carpenter.  Every single good moment, every celebration, every happiness--they all mean so much more after the loss of my first son.  If we cannot take the time to find beauty in the painful moments, we will never be able to truly understand what it is to celebrate something. 

So today I find so much meaning in the sign I made for my boys' nursery:

"Praise God for the Rainbows and the Rain."  For it is only through accepting the beauty in each of these that we may truly appreciate the other.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I intended to write this post an hour ago when nap time started.  Of course, other things had to be done, and Mommy's alone-time took a far back seat.  Luckily I got some things ordered for the nursery...I guess.  Whatever.  

Anyway, as the title suggests, I've been totally lost lately.  I'm quite sure a few people have noticed.  Well, maybe not.  But I haven't written or tweeted or volunteered or generally been a part of a community at all in weeks.  And I'm not really sure what's going on here.  

Everyone will tell you that with grieving there are peaks and valleys.  For me, I never know I was in a valley until I start climbing out.  And about a week ago, I thought I was climbing.  But I never actually got out.  And the strangest part was that I was completely unaware of anything during that time.  

This most recent valley was (is) not a cry-fest, or a pity party, or anything I would have expected.  I've just cut myself off mentally and emotionally from everything.  (Nap time just ended.  Guess I'll have to hurry up or shut up.)  

But that's exactly it!  I've been so lost in the everyday, the mundane, the job of being mom, that I have not self-assessed in weeks.  I'm merely a robot, set to keep two kids alive.  Apparently my control panel has decided the third can fend for himself.  

And it's disgusting.  I've felt nothing for weeks, including sorrow.  The numbness, now that I'm aware of it, is almost painful and embarrassing.  I don't want to be this person.  I don't even know who I am right now.  I'm just here, absolutely forcing myself to type this, so there might be some type of record for me to look back on should this happen again.  

I have no idea what's happening.  I have no idea what to feel.  I am lost.

Monday, March 4, 2013


I had an OB appointment today and felt like updating the world.  Matt's 29/4 now, and we have OB appointments and ultrasounds every two weeks.  So, here's how today went.

My doctor is really happy with my blood glucose levels.  He said I get an "A!"  I'll take that to mean I probably shouldn't be as hard on myself as I have been...but I doubt my brain will listen to that idea.  My nurse also told me that if on occasion, I am freaking myself out and feel the need to go to bed before dinner, I can do that.  Stress is so much worse on this pregnancy that skipping one test.  

We re-drew for my progesterone level.  Last week the lab royally screwed up my test--three times.  Each time, of course, they demanded it was right...until they called back a little while later to admit they made a mistake.  So, we won't be using that lab again.  Unfortunately, that means that my blood tests have to be sent off to the Pope Paul Institute in Nebraska.  So I got the exciting task of taking blood serum to the post office today.  I was promised we were in complete compliance with USPS regulations with the packaging.  I was also promised I would likely have a hard time sending this stuff.  

Did I ever.

But that post office attendant is a real jerk, always, giving a bad name to postal workers everywhere.  He is Newman.  So after being publicly ridiculed, I took the box to a pack and ship place and they sent it off with a smile and thanks.  USPS, you suck.  Thank you, packing-guy-that-looks-like-Lionel-Ritchie!

So, back to the actual appointment:

The ultrasound was awesome!  Matt looks fantastic!  He was so wiggly the whole time, but still gave us some good looks at his cute little mug.  He's practicing breathing now, which an awesome sign for his good health.  He also has no signs of hydrops at all, so none of our worst fears are coming true.  He's measuring right on target for some things, and a little ahead for others. 

Overall, our doctor says he looks perfectly healthy.

With all the worrying and testing and shots...and he's perfectly healthy.  

This perfectly healthy kid is going to kill me.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I've got to get something off my chest.  It's time to confess.

I have gestational diabetes.

And I'm sure that statement just received one of the following responses in your mind.  1.)  "Boring.  I thought it would be something interesting."  or 2.) "She should have taken better care of herself."

Well, I hope you're not all sitting there judging me, but damned if I haven't been judging myself for the past week.  I actually sobbed when I got the call telling me I need to see a nutritionist.  No, I don't have to take insulin.  It's not bad at all, really...I only failed my three-hour glucola test by a few points.  But I do have to change my diet.  

At first, I was overwhelmed by the shame of it all, which is exactly why I haven't shared this until now.  Diabetes (except Type 1) often comes with a connotation that you've not taken care of yourself.  You've eaten yourself into this problem.  But that's not true at all.  And that's why I'm finally willing to talk about it.  It just took a week of self-loathing to get to this point.

Fun little factoid: those progesterone shots I've been receiving for months...they're insulin-blockers.  So every time I got another shot, I increased my chances of developing GDM.  Apparently women who get progesterone supplements are 4 times as likely to end up right where I am.  

And this is just one more damn thing I've developed during this pregnancy.  

My nurse told me the other day how ironic it is that I have freaked out about this so badly when it's the one thing in this pregnancy I've actually been able to control.  Yes, you might think I should be panicking about my titer levels, or the fact that my progesterone won't ever increase naturally, but no.  I've decided to throw a fit about carbs.  (Of course, Oreos being carbs, you can see how I could lose it over that alone.) 

Sweet irony always being by my side, my last blood test showed my progesterone was skyrocketing since I've changed my diet.  I've delved into research, trying to find one person who has proven that a low-carb diet naturally increases progesterone, but there's nothing there.  But how uncanny would it be if the progesterone caused the GDM, and the GDM diet cured the low progesterone, and not having the shots cured the GDM?  Oh, sweet dreams of dancing cupcakes.  But doubtful.  

So for the next 8 weeks, I'm on a low-carb, high-roughage and protein diet.  I mean, I love protein and roughage, so it's not a big deal.  The big deal is that I have to test my blood sugar four times a day.  And we all know how Annie deals with needles.

No, there's nothing at all fun about stabbing yourself in the fingers four times a day, then squeezing out enough blood (apparently I have calloused fingers) to test.  Nothing at all.  But so far, I'm doing a fantastic job.  I've even managed to safely eat one or two Oreos.  

So for those of my sisters who fear the great GDM (with good reason!), I'm here to tell you, it's not the worst thing in the world.  No, it's not shameful.  No, you didn't bring this on yourself.  No, it's not horrible to manage.  Let's just all remember the mantra of the hopeful-rainbow-pregnancy:  

It's all for the babies.

This kid so owes me.