Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thought for the Day

On a regular basis, I read the God's Politics blog (link can be found to the right). I especially appreciated one of the recent "Word for the Day" thoughts posted there. I wanted to share it with you.

To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of creation. When we do it knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, destructively, it is a desecration.

- Wendell Berry
The Gift of Good Land

Wendell Berry was a very smart guy. If you haven't read any of his works, you should. I've read very little myself, but he's at the top of my list of people to read.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm all metered up!

Well. I went today to meet with the diabetes consultant and with the nutritionist. I have got some very specific guidelines for what I can and cannot eat. And I've got my oh-so-cool meter and test strips for all those times I'll be pricking my finger and testing my glucose levels throughout the day.

This is going to be fun. Okay, not fun. But it WILL be an adventure.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but this whole thing seems completely doable. It'll just take some getting used to.

In other news, I have discovered three new loves over the weekend:

1. The movie Iron Man. I did NOT want to see this movie, but Billy and a friend both really wanted to see it, so I figured, "Why not. Maybe it'll be entertaining." Turns out, it was more than mildly entertaining. It was GREAT! Robert Downey, Jr was excellent and unlike many superhero movies, the script/dialogue wasn't overly cheesy.

2. Disc Golf. I have played before, but Billy and I played twice over the weekend. I'm completely awful at this game, but it is fun, nonetheless. The game became MORE fun once we actually purchased regulation disc golf discs instead of trying to play with regular frisbees. There's a great 9-hole course in Wilmore, and Riley likes to tag along with us. There are some other parks nearby we may be headed to soon.

3. The TV show Veronica Mars. Our college friend James was in town visiting for the weekend, and he along with our friends the Merrifields convince Billy and me that we really needed to watch this show. The show ran on the WB I think, and only aired for 3 seasons. This is unfortunate. Because it is GREAT! The Merrifields loaned us Season 1 on Friday. In just 2 days we have watched half of the season. And were we at home more or if we didn't have jobs to go to during the day, I am CERTAIN we would have already finished Season 1 by now.

Later, friends!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Baby Update- A little less fun!

Today I had a doctor’s appointment—my 29 week check-up. We’re just 11 weeks away from baby girl’s arrival! I can't believe it!

Today’s appointment was an important one— today they tested me for gestational diabetes. For this test, they give you a VERY sugary drink, and test your blood sugar levels an hour later, to see how your body has processed all of the sugar. It was like drinking straight snow-cone juice or something. And it made Eisley go crazy and kick around a lot!

Basically, if your blood sugar is between certain levels, they make you go for more tests. If it is above a certain level, they do not make you do more testing, but send you directly to the diabetes education center at the hospital to train you in the ways of diabetes. Well, my blood sugar levels were well above that marker— so they determined that I do, in fact, have gestational diabetes. What does this mean for me & the baby? Here are a few questions & answers (and my best attempt at answering them, considering I just learned about this today!):

What causes gestational diabetes?

Pregnancy itself is the cause. During pregnancy, the baby needs food from me—the umbilical cord connects the baby to the placenta, and my glucose feeds the baby by way of the placenta and the cord. The placenta makes hormones that raise my blood glucose. Some women, like me, for whatever reason, cannot make enough insulin to cover this increased need for insulin during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is the result.

Has any harm been done to the baby as a result of this, up to this point?

No. Eisley is most likely very healthy. The reason they do this test at this point is because THIS is the point at which problems COULD occur if this condition goes untreated. I go early next week to the Diabetes Education Center—they will train me on how to check my blood sugar, how to monitor my diet, how to give myself insulin shots if needed, etc.

Will Eisley be healthy?

Yes, I can have a healthy baby! The most important thing is that I keep my glucose levels as close to normal as possible. I will probably have more frequent tests to check the heart rate, growth, and movement— they monitor these things more closely just in case, but in all honesty-- babies whose moms have gestational diabetes aren't any less healthy than babies whose moms do not have gestational diabetes.

What are the most common risks in delivery?

Eisley will most likely be a very large baby—that is the most common effect of gestational diabetes. So that means that the chances of having a c-section delivery are pretty high, and a natural delivery might be more difficult. This is the greatest disappointment for me. I am hoping to have a natural delivery, and now the chances of that happening could be lower if Eisley does turn out to be a bigger baby. I am not concerned about the health of Eisley or myself in the event of a c-section delivery (my doctor is very competent!). I had just hoped for a natural delivery experience. There’s still a chance that could happen, but I need to also start preparing for a c-section delivery just in case.

The baby could also have low blood sugar in the first few hours or days after birth. This is nothing to be concerned about, really. They know how to monitor and treat it. The chances that the baby herself will have diabetes after she is born are very very small.

The chances of these things happening are made smaller the better I keep my blood glucose levels under control. So although I HATE the idea of a restricted diet, it’s definitely going to be something I’ll work at so that Eisley (and I) will be as healthy as possible!

Will I have diabetes after the baby is born?

85-90% of the time, this form of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. They’ll monitor me for a couple of weeks after delivery just to make sure everything has gone back to normal.

This also means that in any future pregnancies I may have, there is a 90% chance of me having gestational diabetes again.

What will my day-to-day look like from here on out?

I will have to check my glucose levels somewhere around 4-7 times per day. This involves pricking my finger and testing my blood on those lovely testing strips. If insulin is needed, I’ll need to give myself a shot. I will also have to keep a very detailed log of those levels to show to my doctor.

I go back to the doctor in one week so they can check in on me again and see how my diet, exercise, and new regimen of checking my blood sugar has been working.

Just wanted to let you know what’s going on with us. I am not worried— you should not be either! This is just another fun adventure in pregnancy!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I wonder...

At the encouragement of a friend, I have decided to post my mid-finals-week musings and observations. The other day I was at the library trying to work. Today I am at the library trying to work. These are some things I wonder:

- I wonder why people in the library think they can talk as loud as they want, even though people all around them are trying to get their work done.

- I wonder why the library is often the loudest place on campus to do homework.

-I wonder why I keep coming to the library to do my work, thinking that surely THIS time will be different. It's finals week, for crying out loud!!

- I wonder why the guy beside me is eating his (say it with me) "CHEEZ-ITS!" so loudly that I can hear him crunching them even though I have headphones on and music playing.

I also wonder why I haven't read more of John Wesley's sermons. I am currently writing some sermon reports for my John Wesley's theology class. And they are quite good!

And today? Today I am wondering about something else. Today I called ahead and placed a lunch order at Subway. I ordered a BLT (ingredients? Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato). The lady asked me what else I wanted on the sandwich and I said light mayo and provolone cheese...

I wonder what happened between her taking the order and the guy making the sandwich. When I sat down to eat my delicious BLT, I discovered that the ONLY ingredients on my sandwich were Bacon, Provolone Cheese, and Lite Mayo. No lettuce. No tomato. HARDLY a satisfying enough lunch to fuel me for the final exam I take in approximately 15 minutes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Only in Wilmore...

We live in a small, quaint town. Picture Mayberry, if you will. Now picture it in color. That's where we live. Population: tiny. The total number of police cars in the Wilmore Police Department: 2. City Hall is probably only 2 rooms big, and downtown is approximately 3 (short) blocks in length. Downtown you'll find Sims pharmacy, complete with a soda fountain, where yummy shakes and malts can be enjoyed, as well as some of the most delicious pizza you'll eat.

During the summer, hanging baskets of pink and purple flowers line the main streets of the town, and it's really one of the most lovely sights you'll ever see. It's a safe enough town to leave your doors unlocked when you leave, and if you're outside in your yard for more than 5 minutes, you're BOUND to see someone you know walking by. It's a tiny little bubble of a town, and I would maybe even say it'd be the perfect place to raise a family. We're only 20 miles from Lexington, so we are close to a bigger city (Lexington's population is about 200,000) and close to civilization.

In the winter, the whole town comes out for the Old Fashioned Musical Christmas Celebration. The town Christmas tree is lit, and all of the local shop owners downtown open their doors and serve hot chocolate, apple cider, and other Christmas goodies. There are choirs singing, and even horse-drawn carriages cruising down Main Street(the horse-drawn carriage is around all-year, though).

In the summer, the whole town gets together for the Fourth of July parade (complete with a super-soaker brigade AND a lawnmower brigade!) and cookout. Yes, there are 25-cent hot dogs, 50-cent burgers, and watermelon and icy cold Ale-8 (a delicious Kentucky soft drink).

But yet... there are strange things that happen in Wilmore. Sometimes things are a little "off" and I wonder, "Can this place be real? Where am I living?" For example:

Not too far from our neighborhood is a Primate Rescue Center. That's right. Primates. Our friends were hearing strange noises from time to time-- figuring it was SOME kind of animal, but the sounds were unfamiliar. A little research and they discovered that Wilmore is home to this Primate Rescue Center. They were hearing monkeys in the night! Making CRAZY sounds.

We've been enjoying a lovely spring, and have been sleeping with our windows open at night. We've heard SO many cats, it's not even funny. Yes, this can happen anywhere. But I think our neighborhood is home to the largest number of stray cats per capita than anywhere I've ever lived.

Also, at the end of our neighborhood, and right outside our friends' back door is a large field of cows. Every evening around dusk, the cows come up to the fence to graze and moo and carry on and say their hellos. They're really kind of cute.

And today. Today something VERY strange happened to our friends. They had a very funny adventure. I'm pretty sure this kind of thing happens only in Wilmore. I will now direct you to their blog so that you can see for yourself and read the account of what happened, and better yet-- see the pictures. Click here.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Baby Update

Well, when we first made our announcement on the blog that we were having a baby, I said I'd post periodic updates. I haven't exactly done that. Sorry to all of you folks back home who might be interested in that sort of information. So here is an update on little Eisley. Sorry to bore any of you who are NOT interested in this sort of thing... you can just skip this post and check the blog again later for something else. :)

The baby weighs about 2 and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures almost 15 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open and close her eyes, which now sport lashes (eyelashes!! Can you believe it?!). This movement is more of a reflexive blink than a deliberate opening and closing. She continues to put on weight, adding more and more baby fat. If she were to be born now, she would have an 88% chance of survival. Next week, at 29 weeks, that percentage jumps all the way up to 96%. Obviously, we want her to keep on cookin' and make it all the way to 40 weeks, but it is good to know that now if something WERE to go wrong, she would have a good chance of making it.

Billy and I have also been quite entertained by all of her kicking. It's fun to watch my belly and see it moving around from time to time when she REALLY gets going.

I have a doctor's appointment next Thursday. This is my last appointment at the monthly interval. After this appointment, I'll start going once every two weeks. You know what that means. It means we're getting closer and closer to arrival day! I still have not chosen which doctor we will be using in the delivery room, but hope to make that decision very soon. I have ruled out ONE of the doctors I can choose from. I think I may have even come close to ruling out TWO of the four. To be truthful, any of them would be great, as they are all very well qualified and capable. It's mostly just a matter of who I "click" with the best... and here within two more doctor's visits (when I see each of my "top choices") I should feel confident enough to make the final decision.

We start our childbirth classes at the hospital on June 3rd and are really looking forward to them. Those classes will no doubt help us feel more relaxed about what is to come. Our friends Jeremiah and Lindsay have taken these same classes recently, along with a "Baby Boot Camp" class and have said they really are quite helpful. So bring it on! I'm ready.

I think that's about it for now. I've got a mountain of schoolwork to complete by next Friday, when the semester is officially over with. I'm drowning, but I know I'll make it.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dia de los Madres

Unless you live under a rock, then you are aware that this past Sunday was Mother's Day. The day to celebrate Mom.

This was my first Mother's Day. Sort of. I guess technically I'm not a mom yet. But at the same time, I am. Our child is happily growing within... every decision I make these days revolves around her-- from the things I eat and drink, how much sleep I get, the way I take care of my body and the amount of exercise I get. She has dictated what I do or do not do with my waking (and sleeping) moments since November when we found out I was pregnant.

I had wondered in my mind (you know, instead of actually asking) how Billy felt about Mother's Day and I wondered if we would celebrate. Then on Friday night, we were in the car on the way to one of the best date nights we have had in a long time (hooray Date Night!), and Billy said, "So, Sunday is Mother's Day. Do you want to celebrate? I already think of you as a mom, and I've got an idea of something I'd like to do for you. But if you think that would be weird, then we can just wait." Well, I LOVE celebrating. So I said, "Heck yes! Let's celebrate Mother's Day!"

My first Mother's Day was great. We went to church, where I received many Mother's Day wishes from the folks at church. One of my 4th graders was so sweet and had even made me a card that said "Happy First Mother's Day!" One of my 5th graders, who did the Opening Prayer in church was sure to include in her prayer, prayers of blessings for all of the moms-to-be. Her family told me she put that part in especially for me. I was touched.

Then we went to eat Mexican food after church... and then came home to take one of the VERY best Sunday afternoon naps EVER. We made a mat on the floor so that Riley the dog could join us in our nap (she's not allowed on the furniture), and she snuggled very happily between the two of us, and slept quite contently for 2 hours. She's such a snuggle-puppy. I just love that sweet face of hers.

And then... Billy's Mother's Day gift to me. New bathroom decor! I've been complaining about my bathroom forever (Billy and I don't actually share a bathroom-- he uses the guest bathroom, and I use the master bath. It works well for us.) Anyway, back to complaining about my bathroom... the shower curtain was ratty and old-fashioned. I didn't have a bathroom rug. My shelf has been sitting on the floor of the bathroom for months, waiting to be hung. My shower curtain rod was beginning to rust. So sweet Billy had gone to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and picked out new bathroom accessories for me. He did a FABULOUS job. The shower curtain is gorgeous. The shower curtain rod-- new and rust-free. New shower curtain rings, which are totally great. And a fabulous new rug that feels so good under my feet. He even hung my bathroom shelf. It already looks great, but we also have plans to paint the bathroom a cool shade of green. It was a GREAT surprise... and lucky for me, thanks to this growing baby girl, it seems I have to go to the bathroom all of the time! Which gives me plenty of excuses to go look at my fabulous new bathroom.

All in all, a great Mother's Day week. Earlier in the week, we were blessed by two incredible gifts-- my parents purchased our stroller and car seat off our baby registry and had it shipped to us. And Billy's parents purchased our crib bedding and sent it to us as my Mother's Day surprise. Our baby girl really IS coming. She really will be joining our family in just 3 short months. Wow. Life is wild.