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Thoughts at 38.5 weeks

I'm only 38.5 weeks pregnant, but I already feel overdue. I think because of the gestational diabetes I got it in my head that he was coming early, and so now, even though it is still plenty early, it seems like it's late. The other thing is that I've become a little frightened about the possibility of being induced. I'm trying to keep an open mind so that I don't feel disappointed or terrified if it has to happen, but as the possibilty draws nearer, I realize I really prefer to avoid that. I've heard and read stories about induction that really make me uncomfortable. Others that sound just fine, but the uncomfortable ones stand out.

If the baby doesn't come on his own by my due date, they will want to induce me on or near that date, so it feels like there's this countdown, this ticking clock. He has a week and a half to come on his own, and every day he doesn't feels like a missed opportunity.

I don't want to be impatient. With Mo, I didn't feel rushed and I was content to be pregnant as long as I needed to be. I don't want to wish this pregnancy away, and I do want to enjoy the last days of being a family of three. And I actually feel pretty good, so it's not a discomfort thing (although just recently my ribs started hurting like they did with Mo, like baby's butt is pushing them out of place, and it hurts!). So basically, I don't want to be in a rush, but I feel impatient!

In other news, I'm kind of scared. Of labor. They say you forget the pain of child birth, but I have not forgotten. I don't remember it as clearly as I did in the months immediately following, but it was a pretty terrible experience for me and I am scared to go there again. I've already said that I'm much more open to an epidural this time, so I know there is the option for pain relief if things get unmanageable. But it's not just the pain. It's the endurance that is required - emotionally, mentally, physically. It's the possibilty of so many things going wrong. 

I have such conflicting emtions: I'm eager to have this baby. But I'm scared too. 

This is a terrible selfie-in-a-dirty mirror moment, but it's the most recent pregnant picture I have available. Taken the day before 38 weeks.




A new mindset for birthing this baby

This pregnancy has been different from my pregnancy with Mo in so many ways, and the way I've prepared for labor and delivery has been different, as well. Recently someone told me that with her first pregnancy she wasn't very informed and just went along for the ride, and the second time she worked with a midwife and felt a lot more empowered and aware of the process. I think I'm the opposite. Last time I read everything I could get my hands on, I had a doula, I was incredibly informed and prepared and absoluetly empowered.

But this time? It's not that I don't care how things go down, but I have a different mindset. I didn't fully realize it last time, but I really did have certain expectations for how things would go. And then my labor was crazy and nothing like I expected, and so much of what I had done to prepare myself didn't matter. This time I have a much more open mind and I'm trying to have as few expectations as possible. That's not to say I'm letting go of my power, but I am accepting that there are things I can't control. If I set myself up with all kinds of expectations and they don't play out, I may feel disappointed and guilty. Those are not feelings I care to feel at the birth of my child. Instead, I'm focusing on the fact that at the end of this, if I get a baby, little else matters.

Mike and I still talked through some things and wrote out some "birth preferences." This is not one of those "My birth plan is to have a baby!" things. I'm not naive enough to think that just because you're pregnant, you get a baby, and I'm not uninvolved enough to not consider certain possibilities and what I might prefer in certain situations. But ultimately, I'm focusing on the end goal: a healthy baby and a healthy me. How we get there doesn't seem to matter as much as it did the first time around.

There are three things that happened that probably contributed to this new mindset:

1. I've already had a baby, and it went nothing like I thought it would. 

2. I watched my sister give birth in April. This is the same sister that had her first child the same day (well technically the day before, but just by two hours) as I had Mo. We started labor at the same time, and she had a completely unmedicated birth while I ended up getting an epidural after 12 hours. I knew it was the right decision for me, but I couldn't help but compare our experiences. A small part of me felt ashamed that she was stronger than me.

Over time (and related to number 2 below), I came to realize that it doesn't matter how you get your baby. If you get a living baby at the end, you're way ahead of a lot of people. And watching my sister give birth earlier this year really drove home for me that every labor and delivery is different, and it's unfair to compare.

There was no part of Em's labor that I recognized because it was so different from mine. That doesn't mean it was easier, and she's still a rock star for having two unmedicated births, but it was so different that there is really no comparing. And in the end, guess what. She had a baby. Just like I had. We got to that conclusion in two completely different ways, but the end result was the same.

That was a real eye opening experience for me. It seems so obvious, I know, but it was somehow earth shattering for me. Her labor and delivery were like this, mine were like that, yet we both had a baby at the end. And now we both have almost-three-year-olds, and how they came into the world is such a teeny tiny part of who they are and what they mean to us.

3. The other thing that happened to change my perspective is I had a second miscarriage. And got gestational diabetes. 

I've already written a couple times about how the miscarriage affected me. It shattered any last shred of innocence I had left. I guess in a way I feel like having the kind of birth I want is a luxury when the real goal is to have a living baby. I still fully believe women should be informed and be active participants in their birth experiences, and if you have a birth plan and intend to have the birth you desire, I support you! But for me, everything else kind of fell away when I lost a second pregnancy. A baby, that's what I want. Not everyone who wants that gets it.

I hope my birth experience is wonderful and that I feel strong and empowered no matter what happens. But no matter what happens, if I get a living baby at the end, that's all I need.

The gestational diabetes also brought a new perspective. That and other complications that have set this pregnancy apart from mine with Mo have shifted my focus. I've had to expend so much energy on managing GD and all the added efforts and added appointments that go along with it, and I've used the remainder of my energy to stay on top of my job and the mothering of a 2.5 year old when I'm so utterly exhausted, that there isn't a lot left to worry about what I want in a birth experience.

With Mo, I had the luxury of learning everything I could and figuring out what mattered most to me, and I think this birth experience will automatically reap the benefits of that. But I have a pretty open mind about what might happen. I might have to be induced - rather than be frustrated by that, I'm open to it. I might end up needing a c-section - rather than be devestated by the prospect, I'm ready to accept that. I may very well get an epidural again - rather than feel disappointed or guilty, I'm prepared to make that decision with pride if it's the best thing for me.

I'm 37 weeks and 1 day today. I could have this baby any day now. I just want him to get here safely, that's all that matters in the end.

36 weeks

36 Weeks


My gestational diabetes diet

When I was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I did a ton of googling to find food inspiration. So just in case it helps anyone, here's what I've been eating. First, I should say that everyone has varying degrees of GD, or so it seems, and what I can eat might not be what others can eat, and vice versa.


I'm "allowed" up to 45 carbs at breakfast. This is the hardest meal of the day for me. First because for some reason my glucose numbers are higher after breakfast than other meals no matter what I eat, and second because I don't like savory foods in the morning. We eventually found a recipe for low carb blueberry pancakes, and I mostly eat one of those with butter and a few drops of no-sugar-added syrup. And then I spend a couple hours being hungry until snacktime.

Other things I occasionally eat: Jimmy Dean's egg, sausage & cheese biscuits, peanut butter toast (one piece) with a small amount of "sugar free" jam, a piece of toast with a hard boiled egg, one frozen waffle with butter and a few drops of the no-sugar-added syrup.

We found some Sara Lee bread that only has 9.5 carbs per slice, so that helps with all the toast, though I still limit myself to just one in the morning. And don't be fooled: the syrup and the jam still have a decent amount of carbs, just not as many. Like I said, breakfast is a struggle and leaves me hungry every morning. But I just can't choke down a fried egg or bacon most days.


I'm "allowed" 75 carbs at lunch. This one is easier because I usually eat leftovers from dinner throughout the week. The hard part is planning it all. Mike and I spend Sundays meal planning for the week, coming up with dinners I can eat and coordinating them with what our evening plans are and how long they take to prepare, and also coordinating with what my days at work look like and how much time I'll have for lunch and whether I'll have access to a fridge right away, etc. It's a pain in the ass. 

See Dinner below to see what I eat for lunch most days. When I don't have leftovers, I often eat a tuna or egg salad sandwich, or maybe salami and cheese with fruit. I almost never eat lunch out right now because there are hidden carbs everywhere!


I'm also "allowed" 75 carbs for dinner. The only reason dinners work is because of my husband. He does all the cooking, always has. If it was just me or if I was the meal preparer in our house, I'd be so screwed. So thanks to him, we eat delicious, low carb meals all week.

Some things that work for us:

  • Tacos - we eat tacos regularly anyway, so this was easy
  • Salads - we've always enjoyed big salads, but now we cut the croutons
  • Burgers - we use the thin buns with fewer carbs, and eat the burgers with a veggie or two on the side
  • Chicken or fish with rice or sweet potatoes, and a vegetable
  • Meatball open face sandwiches on the low carb bread with a veggie side
  • Crock pot meals that involve a protein (usually chicken) and vegetables
  • Chili - beans can have a lot of carbs, but they can also have a lot of protein
  • Sandwiches - the low carb bread with lots of proteins and greens (turkey, bacon, cheese, fried egg, avocado, lettuce, etc.)
  • Chicken sausage saute with vegetables (zucchini, onion, peppers, etc.)

I even eat pizza! I was sad to give up our Friday night pizza tradition, so one Friday we tried it and I ate two pieces, skipping the end crust. And my blood sugar was fine! 


I can eat 15-30 carbs per snack. Mostly I try to combine proteins and carbs, so I eat cheese and berries, cheese and crackers, hummus and pita chips, cottage cheese and fruit (separately, I'm not a cottage cheese and fruit mixer). I don't like peanut butter except with jelly (or baked into delicious things), but peanut butter and an apple are another good choice. Almonds, too. I don't like raw almonds, so that was out for me, but I see that suggestion a lot.

One of my favorite things has been protein shakes. We buy the Atkins brand in mocha latte, and there are 3 net carbs. I usually have a shake as a "first" afternoon snack. I can't make it from lunch to dinner with only one snack, so I down the shake around 3:00, have a small snack when I get home from work, then we eat dinner around 7:00. 

Before bed I eat a Breyer's Carb Smart ice cream bar. They are incredibly satisfying and so far my fasting numbers in the morning have not been negatively impacted by them. 

Wish List

What do I miss the most? Several things, mostly super sugary things. It's a lie that if you cut down on sugar your cravings go away after a few weeks. I still want all the sweets! 

Cupcakes - shortly after my diagnosis someone offered me a cupcake, which I had to turn down, and I have dreamed about that cupcake ever since.

French fries - pizza at least has redeeming qualities like the protein in the cheese, but fries have nothing going for them. I can't wait to eat a huge plateful!

Pop - I'll take a big fountain Pepsi with my fries please!

Cereal - all I want is cereal for breakfast. And in the middle of the night when I can't sleep and I'm hungry. I cannot wait to eat cereal again.

Yummy coffee drinks - I drink a small cup of coffee with a bit of creamer every morning, but I want a Chai or vanilla latte now and then.

I already told everyone that when they come visit me and the baby, they are required to bring treats. I know I can't gorge on trash food forever, but after 10ish weeks on a GD diet and then pushing out a baby, bring on the carbs!


A few thoughts at 35.5 weeks

I'm pretty convinced this baby is coming early. The doctors have said they won't let me go past my due date because of potential complications due to gestational diabetes after 40 weeks, so I already know he's not coming late. But I've been making arrangements to be done with work some time the week of October 25, and mentally preparing for a birth around 39 weeks (my due date is November 4). But then my mom said she thinks he's coming even earlier. Separately my mother-in-law said the same thing, and so did a close friend. I have no reason to think they are any more correct than any other guess, but it gave me pause. Holy crap, what if he comes even sooner? So now I've been scrambling to finish up last minute preparations just in case. 

Except my weekend to do list included packing a hospital bag, but it's now Sunday night and I haven't done it. Maybe subconciously I think that once the bag is packed, I'm giving the universe the go ahead to let this baby come. I'm mostly ready, but ideally I'd like him to hang out in there just a bit longer.

- - - - - - - - - - - 

I'm hoping to use the next 2-3 weeks to clear my head a bit. Life has been so crazy and so exhausting lately that having a newborn actually seems like a lovely break. I know it's not, I mean we still refer to the first few weeks after Mo's birth as "The Dark Days" because of how difficult they were. But I think it really says something about how mentally spent I am that having a newborn sounds kind of like a vacation. I mean, no work for almost three months and fewer than four doctor's appointments a week? Sounds good to me!

- - - - - - - - - - -

Apparently by having a boy, we're creating the perfect family. Nearly every time I tell someone we're having a boy, they make a comment along those lines. Usually it's just "Oh good, you'll have one of each!" but several times people have said "You'll have the perfect family, a girl and a boy."

I never know how to respond. I think all family profiles are pretty perfect. I loved the idea of having two girls, so I can't agree with comments that suggest one of each is ideal. But I'm also not at all disappointed to be having a boy, so I can't negate their enthusiasm either. 

By the way, at a recent ultrasound, we confirmed it's a boy. I saw the goods loud and clear! There is no doubt.

- - - - - - - - - - - 

Speaking of ultrasounds, I've had two in the last couple weeks. The first was a growth ultrasound around 34.5 weeks. Baby Tennis was measuring approximately 6lbs 7oz, only 8 ounces smaller than Mo was at birth four days after her due date. Those ultrasounds aren't entirely accurate, but the point is that he will most definitely be bigger than Mo. Overall he was in the 74th percentile. His head measured in the 95th percentile - big heads are common in GD babies. I'm a little terrified you guys. In fact, I sort of want him to come a little early so he doesn't get too big!

Also, my amniotic fluid at that ultrasound was on the low side of normal, so I went back a week later to check again. Nothing had changed, so they want to keep monitoring it to be sure it doesn't get too low. 

I will likely have a weekly ultrasound until he is born. And I definitely have a weekly OB appointment, two NSTs per week, and a couple more appointments with the diabetes physician before the birth. I'm tired just thinking about it.

But I'm also so glad for it. I can't shake my fear of something going terribly wrong. I'm almost 36 weeks which is a really safe place to be, but I still think about all the terrible things that can go wrong at the end. Or health issues he might have that can't be seen in an ultrasound. I studied a sonogram picture I got last week relentlessly, looking for signs that something is wrong, as if I know what I'm looking for.

So I'll take the reassurance several times a week, even if it means I miss a lot of work and then take work home and then neglect other things so my house is a mess and my to do list is endless. 

- - - - - - - - - - -

My due date is a month from today. I can't believe how amazing that feels.


Family photos 

We don't invest a lot in professional photography, it's just not where we choose to put our money. The photos I display are snaps I take from our every day life, usually just on my phone. I have several friends who make their living with family photography, so I totally respect the profession and art, and I know it takes real skill to take a great photo. But I generally find myself satisfied with the hundreds of pictures I take, even the blurry ones.

That said, we have very few photos of the whole family other than some crappy selfies when we're goofing around. Unless I want to go to the trouble of setting up a photo shoot for ourselves, I have to rely on someone else's help. So in mid-October, we're scheduled for a 20-minute family photo mini-session, just to get a few good pictures of the three of us and the belly. However, there's been some speculation that I may not still be pregnant then, even though it's 2.5 weeks before my due date. I think it's likely I will still be pregnant, but just in case, I asked my sister to take some photos of us this past weekend. She is not a trained photographer and doesn't even own a camera, but she has a naturally artistic eye, and she used our Canon Rebel. 

In fact, I love so many of the "amateur" photos she took, I'm not sure we even need the mini-session anymore!

The focus was to get a few family photos, but she took some of me with Mike, me with Mo, and me solo, too. This pregnancy has been so full of distractions and worries, capturing it fell low on the priority list, so I'm really thankful to have some nice photos by which to remember it.

The Whole Family






Me & Mo




Me & Mike






Me and Baby Tennis 






I'm so happy with how these turned out, and there are many more I love, too! Even the less flattering ones are fun.


What does Amy Schumer call it? At-risk chin? I definitely have that!

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