35 Weeks

Well, since it’s 1 a.m. and I can’t sleep, I guess it’s really 35w,1d at this point.

My legs are restless. I’m sitting in my third bath of the night hoping to remedy that, although it hasn’t worked thus far so I’m less than hopeful. My only shot is that I become so exhausted here shortly that my body passes out in bed before I have to pee again or before that creeping feeling comes back to my legs.

Had my OB appointment today, and my sugars are looking much better. Only three spikes last week, mostly at dinner. I think the lower numbers are due to increased Metformin. I’m now taking 2/day, 500mg each. My diet hasn’t been so great. I’m not eating horribly, but I’ve found a bunch of protein snacks that I’ve been filling my days with unintentionally instead of more balanced veggies and fruit. It’s just what’s easiest – but next week I’ve got to do better.

I miss regular food. During the day I’m not as desperate and I joke about eating a cake the moment I deliver, but at night when I can’t sleep and I’m hungry is when the cravings hit the worst. I’ve been indulging in 2 Chips Ahoy cookies when they come on. They’re small and hopefully don’t spike me too bad – they should be under my carb allowance. Plus, my fastings have been good so I’m not putting too much thought into it.

Measuring 36 weeks, so a week ahead. Doc estimates baby’s weight at 5.5-6lbs, and boy, am I feeling it. My stomach is tight and hurts. She’s balled up on my right side and there is no comfortable way to lie down, even with a body pillow.

A recent ultrasound for my low fluid came back improved, so he’s not worried about that anymore. Overall, he seemed pleased with the checkup. Baby’s heart rate was 134 today, which is holding pretty steady from previous appointments. Trace protein in urine, but beautiful blood pressure, so no sign of preeclampsia. (Tonight, I retook it at home and it’s even lower!)

I still don’t know a lot about induction, or how that will work. Like almost anyone, I’d prefer to go into labor naturally, preferably between 38-39 weeks like last time. But all I know is he likes to induce by 39 weeks for moms who are being treated with medicine for GD. I’ll be 37 weeks at my next appointment, at which point I start going in weekly – so if it’s not automatically covered, I’ll be mentioning it.

Weekly non-stress tests (NSTs) started last week. She passed with flying colors. I need to go in tomorrow to get one, but I’ve been advised that a lot of women went into labor today and that I might want to call and make sure they’re not totally swamped before I go and get stuck there forever. The tests give me decent peace of mind that she’s doing well, and that if she’s not, it can be caught and dealt with in a timely manner.

Someone posted in one of the GD Support groups on Facebook this week about her daughter, who was stillborn back in March – which she said was the result of under-treated GD. I read her story, which was heartbreaking. She was a woman of color, living in a new city with a new OB that didn’t take her history with GD seriously. They ignored her pleas and communications from her previous medical practice, and they did not respond appropriately when this poor momma asked for meds, based on her previous experience. Sadly, women of color experience higher rates of infant and maternal mortality, an unforgivable result of systematic racism, if you ask me. When I’m not on my phone, I’ll try to come back and cite that source, which escapes the top of my head.

Anyway, as godawful as I feel for this woman and her baby, my mind selfishly goes to a place of fear for myself and my baby. I’m pregnant and can’t help it, even though I’m not being ignored, and feel like I’m in good hands with my medical team. It’s only that stillbirth can happen to anyone, even when there’s no discernible reason, and it terrifies me to the core of my being. I think this fear has been underlying for awhile, especially with everything that has gone wrong, which is why it’s hard to let myself imagine what like with two kids will look like in about a month.

I love Baby Baby Violet already, but I always thought this anxiety would lessen with a second pregnancy. With my first, motherhood was at stake. If I lost her, I don’t know that I could have tried again, or survived a second pregnancy, so the threat of being a forever childless mother loomed large in my mind. This time, I tried to tell myself, at least I have my first, the love of my life. But as I’ve watched her get more and more excited about being a big sister, counting down the days, I realize the stakes are even higher this time. Should something happen, through fault of my own or otherwise, I would not only have to console myself and figure out how to go on, but my beautiful 4-year-old as well, who has only a basic grasp of death and mortality at this point. She can’t even watch the episodes of My Little Pony that feature “bad guys” – even if she knows the outcome is positive. She’s too sweet and delicate for that kind of tragedy.

We are so close to the end, yet not quite close enough. I greet the painful movements and jabs into my right side that remind me she’s OK in there, knowing that could change at any time – yet I also need sleep for my body to keep on going, so I also welcome her naps.

More than anything, I’m just ready to meet her face to face, and to move past this anxiety (on to the next one). I want to see my sweet Amelia in the role of proud big sister and to see my husband cradle a sweet baby in his arms again. I want to hold her tight and smell her newborn baby-ness.

And I want to sleep on my stomach again.

The countdown is on. 4 more weeks to go. Fingers crossed they are good ones.

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