Saturday, August 2, 2014

It's been a while!

Apparently me posting consistently on this blog is impossible.  I was super excited to get it back up and running back in July and then POOF, the month was over! My mom came to visit right around 13th and she stayed until this past Tuesday.  She needs to come back ASAP - we got so much done while she was here!  The nursery is done, the newborn clothes are washed, and my hospital bags are ALMOST packed. I have a few more things to put inside and then I'll be all set.

JB's bag on the other hand isn't nearly ready. I still need to get outfits together and in plastic ziplock bags (mama finds it necessary to be completely organized).  I have to take her going home outfit this week to get it embroidered with her monogram, because monograms are a necessity, even for a newborn. 

I cannot believe I'm 36 weeks already. Time is just *flying* by, which is perfectly okay with me!  I had my 36 week check-up yesterday and everything is looking good! Mama's belly is measuring right at 36 weeks and baby JB's heartbeat is in the 130s (went up to the 140s when she changed positions), which is perfect.  My GD seems to be under control with the way I've been eating (well DUH, it should be given the limited foods I'm eating) and I asked if I can test my blood glucose twice a day instead of four times and she said that is perfectly fine.  AMEN to that! It's not the pricking that bothers me, it's having to pay attention to the clock to remember to do it 2 hours after eating the first bite.  Yes, that's right - I have to test after first bite, not when I finish.  I did an experiment back in June about the difference in numbers between first bite and last bite and it can be up to 20 points! That is insane! Again, I don't care about pricking. I just don't like having to rush into a public restroom if I'm out and about running errands because it's just so gross in there.  But, I have 27 days left (give or take) and I got this.  God bless the women who have GD at holiday times... Christmas cookies? Pumpkin Spiced Lattes? I wouldn't able to handle not having those holiday treats! 

Having GD has honestly been a nightmare. I spent the majority of June and the beginning part of July completely stressed out over it. I wasn't sleeping, I was a crying mess, and I constantly blamed myself for getting it.  But, something happened, I don't know what, and I just stopped freaking out over it.  I was mostly worried about my fasting numbers (when you first wake up in the morning) because they were getting too high, but luckily whatever clicked in my brain has worked and I've been okay.  I belonged to a GD group on FB and I had to delete myself from it because I found that it was adding to my anxiety and making things worse.  I am fully aware that there are so many other issues that are 100 times worse than GD. BUT, until it happens to you, it's hard for anyone to understand.  As I've said before, it has nothing to do with the foods I can't eat, but it's just the idea that I could be harming baby JB and there wasn't much I could do about it.  

Do I miss certain foods? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.  I'd love a bowl of freshly cut pineapple.  A vanilla bean frapp from Starbucks sounds divine. And I'm still craving a hot fudge sundae. Oh yes, and I'd love to eat some french fries off of my own plate, not steal a few from my mom's plate or from Shaun's plate.  But, in the bigger picture, most of that food is CRAP anyways.  Except the fruit. Gosh, I love fruit but it shoots my numbers up to the sky and that's no bueno. So, if you're going to be visiting me in the hospital after JB arrives, please bring a bowl of freshly cut fruit.  And a sundae.  Just not together because that's gross. Haha! :)

So, with me being 36 weeks, I now have weekly appointments so the doctor can examine me and see how I'm progressing.  Yesterday I found out I'm 1cm dilated and 60% effaced. Woot woot! I know I can be stuck there for a while, but I'm hoping since I'm so active, things progress much more quickly.  That's right - I'm still active. I'm still going to the gym almost every day but now that it's getting to the end, I'll probably start going every day since workouts will be far and few between for a while after JB arrives.  I am proud of myself for continuing working out throughout this pregnancy.  It is my stress reliever for sure and it honestly makes me feel amazing.  I haven't once driven to the gym with the "I-don't-feel-like-working-out" attitude.  I'm like the energizer bunny walking through the doors and I manage to knock out some pretty good walks on the treadmill.  My days of walking 2 miles are over and in fact, I only did a mile today but that was because I only had 20 minutes to work out.  But, exercise is exercise and it makes me feel so happy.  Not to mention I got kudos from two fellow gym goers this week and it seriously made my day.  Too many pregnant women use pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and not be active.  I'll be quite thankful for doing these workouts once JB is here because I'll have less weight to lose for sure! :)

Tonight we're off to dinner with Shaun's mom.  I think we're going to Red Robin which is fine because they do have some healthy options. And YES, no doubt, I will be stealing a few of my husband's french fries. After dinner, I'll be getting started on the thank-you notes from my baby shower last weekend that my friend Brittany threw for me.  In fact, if I can be productive tomorrow, I'll post about it and maybe throw in some pictures of our darling sweet pea's nursery! Stay tuned! :)

Simply Blessed,
Lauren

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Weekend is Here! Woot Woot!!!

Thank goodness the weekend is here! I survived the week with The Husband out of town ALL WEEK LONG.  Luckily, he came home late Wednesday but was out the door not long after 5am on Thursday to catch a flight for a business trip.  I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend with him - we have some stuff to do in the nursery for baby jelly bean and on Sunday we have our last parents-to-be class, which is on breastfeeding.  My ultimate goal as a new mommy is to be able to successfully breastfeed, so I'm very excited about this class so I can learn more information.  I'm also happy my husband will be there too! :) Mama may have the "liquid gold", but I'm sure I'll need his help and support! 

Today was a fun day - I went to a pottery place & then lunch with a friend of mine who is also expecting a baby at the end of August! We're due 2 days apart! :) She's having a baby boy.  Our babies will grow up to be best friends! My painting isn't all that great, but perhaps with time, I will improve. I painted a bowl for my dresser to store my jewelry after I take it off at night.  These days I'm pretty much only wearing my wedding band and E-ring as well as my Pandora charm bracelet.  I'm not very impressive looking these days, so why wear all sorts of jewelry! Ha! 







Can't wait to see it once it's all shiny! :)

Well, I'm off to lay out the paint swatches so when my husband gets home, he can tell me I'm nuts for the colors I picked out! LOL! 

By the way... mama is 33 weeks today! 7 weeks to go! That's nuts! Here's a not-so-flattering pic, but like I said earlier, I'm not dressing to impress anyone these days! :)

 
Funny, I don't think I look all that big in this pic- baby JB must be curled up tight in there since she's a chunky monkey already!

Simply Blessed,
Lauren
 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Keep Calm...

Keep Calm.... Easier said than done these days!  But really, the past two days have been GOOD days.  I find that keeping busy keeps my mind off of my worries and focused on getting things accomplished.  I even went to work yesterday to help unpack about 200 boxes of materials from our new reading series.  Oye vey.  Don't believe me? Here's a visual from the day...

 I didn't do heavy lifting.  No worries! :)
Mama was safe!

 Yikes!

 I was in get-er-done mode. This was after about 
45 minutes! BAM! Mama's on a roll!!!

 This is JUST for 5th grade. Good grief! LOL! 

 And we're done right? Nope! Now it's time 
to barcode EVERYTHING.

A co-worker and I worked on this for about 3 hours before we called it quits.  We got so much done! I'm going back next week to help out again because that is so not fair to make one person do that! LOL!  I can't lift boxes but I can open boxes, unpack, and barcode! 

My husband told me on Tuesday to get a hobby.  He thinks I'm going to drive myself nuts if I just sit around and Google everything that I think is wrong with baby and I. I don't have the patience to start a new hobby because once baby girl arrives, she'll be the most important thing.  He suggested knitting.  Maybe later. He suggested scrapbooking.  Nah, it's overwhelming to scrapbook. I should start a baby book though.  

While he was at work this morning, I called him and told him to give me a list of things to do around the house.  That will be my hobby.  Nesting.  Surely I'll be good at it.  I mean, I actually don't mind cleaning (probably because our house is so small and we're pretty neat and organized).  So this morning I hung up a few wedding pics - which is awesome because our 2-year wedding anniversary is quickly approaching!!! Gosh, our wedding was just blissfully amazing. I wish I could relive it every day.  The church, the dress, the reception, family, friends, oh I could go on forever!  I was hanging these pictures at 7:30 this morning! But I did a good job getting them to be straight - which is hard because both frames had TWO hooks which means lining up nails.  Success!




For the rest of the day, I've been running errands which include picking out paint colors!  Since I'm in full nesting mode, I asked if we could paint a few rooms. And by we, I mean HIM. LOL.  Mama can't paint! But I can surely assist in the selection of colors.  I went to Lowe's and Home Depot to look at some colors for the bathroom, kitchen, and office.  My husband and I will have to discuss, along with getting input from my mom when she comes to visit next week! :)

Now it's time to deep-clean the kitchen! I told you, keep me busy and all is good! :)

I'll leave you with my mantra for today...



 I will try my best to follow it today, tomorrow, and the next! 

Simply Blessed,
Lauren

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Support Systems

I've had a fairly easy pregnancy, that is up until week 29 with the whole GD debacle.  I think that's part of the reason why my emotions are running so high and I'm constantly seeking consolation and reassurance from loved ones.  Being the OCD person that I am, I like to control the situation and I expect the desired outcome that I want.  But I'm realizing that pregnancy is different because I have no control over any part of it.  I can't make everything perfect like it was for the first 28 weeks.  I can't make the GD go away (new doctor confirmed I have a slight case of it).  I can't make jelly bean kick me more so I feel calm and reassured that she's okay.  I can't make her the perfect size so I have an easy delivery.  I can't be sure that I will be able to deliver naturally (but with an epidural. Oh yes, give me the epidural) and not need a c-section.  And it's killing me.  

My husband said it perfectly on the phone last night. He said "you have to LET IT GO.  These are all things completely out of your control and you just have to relax."  Even the sonogram technician yesterday told me to stop worrying and to enjoy the last 7 weeks of pregnancy because it's going to go fast.  (This was after I found out our jelly bean seems to have a rather large head - measuring 35w even though I'm only 32 1/2 weeks). A few friends I spoke to on social media said these measurements may not even be accurate and that if something was wrong, they would have told me.  My mom mentioned that as a child she had a big head.  And two of my cousins told me that their sons each have large heads.  I guess big heads run on my side of the family.  Guess it means we're full of brains! :)

But anyways, these conversations got me thinking about the importance of support systems and how without them, I'd be absolutely lost.  Even when my husband is miles and miles away on business trips, he finds the moments to stop his work to call me and try his best to get me to relax.  He had to do this a few times yesterday and each time, his reassuring voice helped me to stay focused on the idea that baby girl will be fine and that in 7 weeks we will be holding her in our arms.  God bless my husband for dealing with me these days.  My pregnancy emotions were fine up until around 4 weeks ago and every since then, he has the patience of a saint and the ability to just say the right things.  I cry at the drop of a hat these days and he just seems to roll with it.  (I often wonder if he's happy when he gets sent out of town because he get's a break from his over-emotional wife, LOL.)

Even just talking to friends and family via text message or through social media helps me feel better about what's been going on lately.  It's amazing how a simple message from a loved one can help me see the bigger, more important picture in all of this - we are having a baby.  Not everyone gets to have a baby.  Not everyone is lucky to be in a committed relationship and have an abundant amount of love.  Not everyone gets the chance to go through the miracle that pregnancy is.  But we do.  We are one of the lucky ones. We may have struggled with trying at first, but God gave us the miracle we had been praying for and it's up to us to be strong enough to make it through anything.

What do people do without a support system like this? I couldn't imagine going through this without the never ending love of my husband and family and friends.  My mom is coming next week and she couldn't be coming at a better time.  Family and friends are what keep me focused on the important things and help me to remind myself that everything will be okay.  My cousin is constantly telling me "Hakuna Matata" and I think I need to start chanting it every morning.  And afternoon.  And evening.  

I do believe it's time I have a reality check and count my blessings instead of worrying.  This is a big challenge for me since I am such a worry wart, but for the next 7 weeks, I have to be strong.  Strong for baby jelly bean.  Strong for myself so I can manage to not have any meltdowns.  Strong enough to know that everything is going to be just fine.  I need to have faith.  Faith in God.  Faith in myself.  Faith in the medical care I'm receiving (new doctor is amazing and I'm so thankful I switched practices).  Faith in our little jelly bean that she's doing just fine in there.  Faith than in 7 weeks, we will be holding a happy and healthy baby girl. 

Amazing how I can get these words out.  It would be even more amazing if I can follow them and just enjoy these last 7 weeks!  I will try.  I will give it a valid effort.  It may not be easy, but that's why I have a support system.  

Simply Blessed,
Lauren   

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Could it be? Summer is finally here?

I am oh-so-close to officially being on summer vacation and I can't help but get giddy about it.  My graduation portfolio is now in the hands of a second professor to score.  My advisor scored it first and I received high marks, so I'm hoping I have this one in the bag! :)  I should know by next week if I can be officially finished with grad school.  It was a wonderful program, but oh gosh, I'm ready to have my life back!  I need to enjoy the next 9-ish weeks before baby jelly bean comes.  

Last night my brother and I took my niece Ava to the Katy Perry concert.  It was fantastic!  A long wait for her to finally come on stage, but it was great!  Shaun and I went a few years ago to her California Dream tour, so we know we were in for a good one!  I actually think the concert a few years ago was better, but she is really creative and puts on an awesome show!

Here's a few pictures from the evening.  Should have brought my regular camera - pics of the performance aren't all that stellar!






Not sure what adventures Ava and I are up to today. It's so hot outside, so I'm going to try to avoid any outdoor activities, but that's hard with a 7-year old who wants to go swimming and go to the park every day! :)  I already have a movie night planned tonight - popcorn, Netflix, and girls' night in! Oh yes, and some manicures as well!

I had an appointment last Friday with my OB office and they again gave me the "A-Okay" to proceed with regular eating and confirmed that I don't have GD. But now that I know the amount of carbs and sugar in food, I'm forever ruined.  This reminds me of a few years ago when I learned too much information about calories and fat in food when I was losing all that weight.  Sigh, such a struggle.  

I actually ended up switching providers and have an appointment next Thursday.  I plan on bringing my results and asking their opinion.  I have a feeling they are going to know what I should be doing.  Either way, I learned that I probably shouldn't be eating ice cream even if I truly don't have GD - baby doesn't need that crap, nor do I.  Not that I was excessively eating unhealthy food, I was just so misinformed about carbs and sugar.  I'm still watching what I'm eating, because I've learned the importance of a good carb-protein ratio that I should be sticking with.  I don't think I have pancakes and syrup in my future for a while, and I'm okay with that.  

This whole ordeal actually got me thinking about those women who pass the glucose test and don't monitor their eating.  Realistically, their bodies could have been having a "good" day during the test and that actually scares me, or they just lucked out.  What's to say that their bodies don't do a good job in breaking down the carbs and sugar they intake on any given day? Scary, isn't it? I agree with checking for GD - but I think it needs to be done in a realistic manner, like having us track our blood sugar for 3-4 days rather than forcing 50mg or 100mg of glucose down our throats.  For all I know, I could have failed because my body isn't used to REAL glucose/sugar and in that disgustingly large amount all at once.  Most of the time, I use splenda (BAD I KNOW but I don't have it THAT often).  It's all so interesting, and totally eye-opening.  I still say that if they had permitted me to go do a workout, I would have passed both tests.  I never just eat and then sit around.  Sigh.  

Regardless, I've learned a lot through this process and I just look at it as a way to make sure baby is getting HEALTHY food for the remainder of my pregnancy (but you can bet I will be making some exceptions the day of my baby shower!!!).  Even my husband is starting to notice the carbs in food.  Funny how I was given the green light to proceed with a normal eating routine, but I'm LESS than interested in doing that now.  Blessing in disguise? God watching out for baby and I? All I know is everything happens for a reason! :) I may not have to prick my fingers, but I think being cautious will be a good thing for baby jelly bean and I! 

Now it's time to figure out what we're going to do today!

Simply Blessed,
Lauren

 
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You passed, no wait you failed, no wait you're fine.

Yep. The title says it all.  On Monday morning I anxiously and nervously called my OB's office to get my results.  I knew I'd have wait wait for a nurse to call me back, but I wanted to put a call in as soon as possible.  Of course, they quickly called back to my surprise and I missed the call but they had left a voice-mail.  Hands shaking, I checked my voice-mail and to my shock, I received the news that I passed.  I was relieved.  I wanted to cheer.  I wanted to scream.  I immediately told my husband, my mom, and a few friends.  Although I was excited that I passed, I wanted to know my numbers.  I HAD to know them.  

THANK GOD I called the doctor back.

When I called, the nurse pulled up the chart and the phone got quiet.  And then said said "Wait, actually it looks like you didn't pass".  Your numbers were high for the last two blood draws.

WHAT?

That was my first word.  The nurse seemed confused. I started to cry.  (How does one person have this many tears?)  I asked her to contact the nurse practitioner that I'd been seeing my last few visits and to call me back with a course of action.  I wasn't about to wait until my check-up on Friday to get the information I needed.  

My phone rang not soon after and it was the nurse again saying that they discussed my results and that according to a second scale (yeah, I know what you're thinking. There is no second scale) I only failed one part.  She told me that I was good to go and that I didn't have gestational diabetes.  In my mind I was thinking two things: #1, you're a complete moron who doesn't know how to read results and #2, no, I'm not good to go.  Failing two, according to the scale that I had googled the entire week before, made me realize that I did indeed have GD.  She told me the nurse practitioner would call me shortly.

When the nurse practitioner called me back, I was in tears.  She asked how I was and my first word was "STRESSED" and I'm pretty sure I screamed it at her.  She again, assured me that I was fine and that I did only fail one section.  LIAR.  As much as I didn't want to be diagnosed with GD, I knew that if they didn't tell me I was, I already knew.  

I go through moments completely fine with it and then moments where I'm outraged that someone as healthy as me now has to watch every morsel of food that goes into my mouth.  Then I go into crying fits where literally, my entire body shakes.  HOT MESS.  This mama is a HOT MESS.

I spoke with a few friends who admitted to being diagnosed with it when they were pregnant and they gave me some tips. I'm all fine and dandy eating healthy, but really, I'm eating LESS now than I was when I was trying to lose weight.  I've already dropped two pounds according to my bathroom scale (I was weighed at the doctor's office on 6/13 and when I weighed myself yesterday I was 2 pounds lighter). Now if I wasn't pregnant this would be awesomesauce.  But I'm almost 31 weeks pregnant. I don't need to be losing one OUNCE at this point.  My little jelly bean needs me to be healthy so she can be healthy.

Since I really don't know if I have GD, my husband and I talked and we decided to be proactive and go out and purchase a blood glucose monitor machine.  So, I have been pricking my finger since last night.  I did it last night for the first time an hour after I ate and my numbers were good.  Well, duh. I had chicken, veggies, and a sweet potato.  

This morning my "resting" glucose was almost at the limit which shocked me because last week at the doctor, my fasting was like 65, which is well below the cutoff.  I think it's because of the almond butter and sweet potato crackers I ate RIGHT before I went to bed.  

After breakfast, I waited two hours (I'm not sure if I should be waiting one hour or two hours after eat, I'll have to ask my doctor who says that I don't even have it, while I'm there on Friday), and my numbers were good.  

DUH, again. I had an egg & cheese sandwich on whole grain bread.  

Needless to say, I'm still a mess over this.  It's hard.  Unless you've had it, it's hard to relate.  It's nothing that you've ever experienced before.  I appreciate everyone telling me that I'll be okay, but when you're almost 8 months pregnant and you're told something like this, your heart sinks.  Guilt fills it up.  You feel knocked down.  Defeated.  A failure.  

Will I eventually learn to deal with this? Sure thing, you bet.  But there is always a thought in the back of my mind that I did this.  That three years from now, I'll develop type-2 diabetes.  That 10 years from now, my little jelly bean will be diagnosed with it too.  Fear.  And when you're pregnant and full of hormones, the fear is magnified by tears.  And what sucks is that I have NO control over what will happen.  

The only thing I have control over is watching what I eat, which I know I can do.  However, when you're almost 31 weeks pregnant, all you want to do is eat and I can't do that.  

Luckily I haven't cried today.  It's a good day when that happens.  Hopefully I can maintain my composure and stick through this. 

I'll make it.  God never gives you what you can't handle right? :)

OH - and for those of you thinking my OB practice is full of whack-jobs. You're right.  After my little jelly bean is born, I'm staying FAR, FAR away from that place.  For sure. 

Simply Blessed,
Lauren

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Summer!

Happy Summer!!!

I'm so excited summer is officially here! Summertime for me always means one thing and it involves this little princess...


Yep, that's right - my darling niece Ava is back in town for the summer!  We had a blast last year so I'm so pumped to have another adventure-filled summer planned!  Somehow I'm determined to spend time outside with her - starting with the Lowry Park Zoo sometime next week! (Teachers get in for free, woot woot!!!)

We kicked off summer today by having a little birthday party for Ava, poolside! :) This seems to be a early tradition because it's always so much fun!  I was a tad late to the party because I had grad class, but it was officially my last class and I'm almost done! Just a few more papers to write for my portfolio, but I will be done in a week! Woot woot! 

Okay - back to the party! It was a blast! Here's some pics to show the fun times we had! 

 Auntie Lauren made the cake 
and although I need to watch my sugar intake,
I totally had a small piece. (Scraped off the frosting).
So. freaking. good.

Love this picture! 

 Reading her birthday card from us!

 Sunbathing beauty!

She sure is getting tall!  I'm guessing in a few years, she'll be taller than me! Zoikes! 

I'd say the party was a success because she spent the entire time the water.  She cared less about the presents - she opened them and then jumped right back into the water! :) Just keep swimmin'! 

So, today was a great day! Well, for the most part. Still having a few moments where all I can think about is waiting to hear the test results (fingers crossed I can bug the doctor's office Monday morning about my test), but I guess I'm going to have those moments now and again.  Last night we went out to dinner with friends and I had a complete meltdown when we got home.  Thank God I have such a wonderful husband who assures me that none of this is my fault and that we'll just keep on praying about it. God must be getting sick of hearing me because trust me, it's all I've been doing the past 5 days.  He'll get a few more prayers tomorrow morning in church! :)

Well, I'm off to make myself presentable so Shaun can take my 30 week picture! Gosh, how in the world are we only 10 weeks away from the arrival of our little jelly bean?!?! Can't wait to meet her! 

Talk to you sometime during the week!

Simply Blessed, 
Lauren 




Thursday, June 19, 2014

Labels

What's with America's obsession with labeling people. It starts with little things like "short" or "fat" and grows into other things like "middle class" and "upper class".  Or it can be something seen in schools - the "jocks", the "punk" kids, the "popular" ones.  It can be something as small as calling someone "crunchy" for being into eating naturally and not using products that contain harmful GMOs or for products tested on animals.  

Is seems to me that we are getting out of control with being too much into other people's business.  Too much into their private lives.  Blame Facebook. Blame Instagram.  Blame society in general.  But life is becoming far too complicated because we are all too worried what others will think of us after we share a photo on social networking or when we post a status on Facebook that leaves people scratching their heads.  

So why this post? Well, as all pregnant women do at the start of their third trimester, take the "dreaded" glucose test.  Yes, that delicious beverage that we are forced to chug in 5 minutes and then wait around for an hour to have our blood drawn.  The end result? Either hearing "you're fine" or "you'll need to come in for the three hour test, after you've fasted for 12 hours".  I recently took my one hour test and I was convinced that I was fine. I have such healthy eating habits, I work out almost every day, and my pregnancy weight gain has been totally acceptable (per guidelines of my doctor. To me, 18.5 lbs is a lot, but there is a human growing inside of me).  So when I called my doctor on Tuesday morning and the nurse told me that I failed, I was shocked.  No, shocked isn't even the word. I can't even think of the word to describe how I felt.  After she explained that I would need to come in for the three hours, my voice got shaky and luckily I was able to finish the conversation with her.

My next step?  Texting my husband two words.  I failed.  

Immediately my phone rang (it was my husband) and I was able to maintain composure until the end of the conversation.  I sobbed.  I asked why.  I asked what did I do.  I asked how could this have happened.  I met up with my husband for lunch and I cried the second he got to my car.  And I cried. And cried. And cried.  (Pregnancy hormones much!?!?!)

Me? Gestational Diabetes? No way.  No way in the world could healthy me have "THAT" disease.  

Over the next two days I cried more than I've ever cried in my life.  I sat on the couch, googling "glucose test", "gestational diabetes", and probably a million other things.  After I got done googling, I cried some more.  I laid in bed trying to nap.  But I cried.  My husband came home from work and guess what?  CRYING again. 

I continually asked myself why this was happening to me.  How it could be possible that after eating healthy and working out for the first 28 weeks of this pregnancy, how could I possibly be one of "those" people with "gestational diabetes".  Sure, I have a pretty good sweet tooth thanks for my precious baby jelly bean (my love for chocolate has grown exponentially since becoming pregnant), but really? Could this cause it?

I was convinced that I was a "bad" mom and that I had already had my first FAIL as a new mom.  How could I do this to my baby? What kind of mother am I? What will happen to my baby if I don't get this under control? What will my friends think of me?

My thoughts were driving me crazy.  I was asking every person I know who recently had a baby about this test.  And I cried.  I continued to google things.  All while asking more and more people about their experiences.  Oh, and I cried some more. 

Tuesday night, I cried myself to sleep.  And when I woke up Wednesday morning, guess what?  CRYING! Finally I dragged myself out of bed and tried to put on a happy, chipper, "Lauren" smile.  

I made a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs and a small bowl of fruit.  I nervously ate, thinking "should I be eating this"? Then I sat there thinking, will eating this fruit mess up my three hour test on Thursday morning? 

Luckily I had things to do on Wednesday to keep me busy, but then lunch time rolled around and I was lost.  Should I have carbs? Should I eat a salad? What about fruit? I decided on a PB sandwich on multi-grain bread and some cucumber slices with ranch dip.  The entire time I ate, I kept thinking "jelly bean needs more than this".  But, I ate what was on my plate and walked away. 

I googled "what to eat" the night before a glucose tolerance test.  I couldn't believe the crap that I saw about people wanting to cheat the system.  Why.  Why on earth would you want to potentially put your baby and yourself in harms way?

LABELS. That's why.  No one wants to be labeled with "gestational diabetes".  Think about it.  One of the first things that may come to your mind is "poor eating habits", "lack of exercise", or "doesn't care about her baby".  

NOT TRUE AT ALL. 

I couldn't be further from that.  I have good eating habits, I exercise almost every day and I care more about my baby than I do anything in my life right now. She is my world.  She is a precious gift from God to my husband and I. We struggled getting pregnant and I'm not about to let something happen to her.

After I walked away from the computer, I went to lay down - jelly bean is a little stinker and only moves sometimes when I'm laying down.  As I laid there, we had a good conversation.  I told her that we needed to be in this together.  I'll be there for me, she'll be there for me.  I told her we're a team. I told her that I'll always be there. Without a doubt.  But I told her that we had an important job to do and that is to be calm and just deal with it. After this little pep talk, I got up, went to the gym, and decided that there can no longer be tears about this.

Why no tears? Well, it's not even definite that I have gestational diabetes.  I won't find out until sometime next week.  I looked up some eating plans for women who have been diagnosed and it seems to me to be totally manageable - watch the carbs and sugar. Exercise.  Get sleep. And don't stress.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy for me. Well, all but that last one.  Don't stress.  For anyone who knows me personally, I don't know how to NOT stress.  I'm a ball of stress.  But just like I told my little jelly bean, we need to just deal with it.  So, I decided to just start limiting carbs even if the test results come back that I'm fine.  It's better for jelly bean and I anyways.  Plus, the diet I would need to follow if the results were positive for GD is very close to what I did to lose over 100lbs a few years ago.  No carbs and limit sugar.  

I know gestational diabetes has a negative connotation as well as a label that equates to the notion that the mom is a slacker who doesn't care about her health.  Not true.  This is something that can't be prevented, sometimes it's genetic.  Other times it's due to the hormones in the mom's body that causes it.  Either way, I've learned to look past the label.  I've learned that I didn't do anything wrong.  I've learned to not be ashamed or feel embarrassed.  

If anything, I'll prevent myself from putting on too much weight these last 10 weeks of my pregnancy and I'll avoid putting crap into my body and into my baby's body.  No one should really be eating too many carbs anyways or that third scoop of ice cream in your bowl.

So, the next time you think of labeling a person.... try to think of how you've felt when you were once labeled.  

No one that I know made me feel bad for possibly having this condition, but I know there are people out there who hear one word and automatically throw a label on it.  Remember, you never know the circumstances behind someone's situation, so choose your thoughts and words wisely.  You just might never know the true story.  

I'll be sure to keep you posted on the results of my test.  It's ridiculous for me to be ashamed if it comes back positive for GD.  So I will be sure to share the next steps I'll be taking.

But let me leave you with one thing... 
This was my dinner tonight. Sauteed shrimp and veggies with a very small amount of whole grain spaghetti (I promise, it's under there somewhere.)  Somehow, if I do have GD, I think I'll manage since this meal doesn't look all that terrible to you, does it?

Simply Blessed,
Lauren

Talk about a blogging hiatus!

Whoa.  

My last post was January? Zoikes!

But really, there's a good reason for that.  My husband and I have a baby girl on the way! :)  Our little jelly bean (we are keeping her name top secret until delivery day) is due August 29th and we couldn't be more excited. Here's a sneak peek at our precious gift from God. 


Between baby girl and grad school, life has been unbelievably hectic lately.  I'm just about to wrap up my masters' program in Educational Leadership, which should free up about 9 weeks until the arrival of our little jelly bean.  

So my friends, stay tuned for updates about baby girl! I will be sure to throw in some healthy recipes too.  Oh, and in case you're wondering - I've managed to maintain my workout schedule at the gym.  Surely I'm not walking at a speed of 4.0 on a 12.0 incline these days, but I strive for 5-6 days of cardio every week! :) It keeps mama and baby healthy and it restores some energy - which for being almost 30 weeks pregnant is pretty good!!! I'm just waiting for my energy level to drop like it did during the first trimester!

I hope the first half of 2014 has been as wonderful for you as it has for us! 

Simply Blessed,
Lauren 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Well, I was going to do a Christmas recap, but I'm going to hold off on that until tomorrow because I want to talk about 2013!

 2013 was an exciting year, one I won't ever forget.  Here's a recap!

January - We moved out of the apartment we were renting with my brother and into our very own place in Brandon.  During the move, we found out my husband got the job we both had been praying for! 

February - The Husband made his first business trip (to Chicago) and I survived - barely.  He was gone almost a week and it was quite the challenge.  But, thanks to modern technology - the cell phone and social media, we made it through it!  Little did we know that was just the tip of the iceberg of him traveling.

March - We celebrated our 5 year anniversary (of dating).  Yep, we're married, but we still recognized March 1st as our first date, way back in 2008! We also adopted our pretty little kitty, Mia.

April - I was asked if I wanted to change positions at my school.  I accepted, not realizing the challenges that would face me with the demands of  the job.  Luckily God was watching out for me and another door opened in September!

May - I celebrated my 29th birthday.  I declared that I will be 29 forever. We celebrated my birthday at the Rays game with my brother and a few friends!

June - June was traumatizing.  We discovered fleas on our pretty little kitty and all over our apartment.  It was emotionally draining.  It was physically exhausting.  It was hard on our ATM card. 

July - We celebrated our first anniversary of being married!  We went to Buffalo and had a mini photo shoot at the place where we did our pictures after the reception.  We stayed a fancy schmancy hotel and ate a tasty dinner. It was amazing!

August - I started my 7th year of teaching and began my educational administration practicum.

September  - I was offered my dream job as reading resource teacher.  The opportunity was one that I jumped at and there's not a day that goes by that I'm not excited about going to work! :) I also found out my best friend was pregnant with baby Kestel #2!!!

October - We decided it was time to start looking for a house.  We fell in love with the first house that we looked at! Who knew we'd end up owning it a month later!

November - We closed on our perfect home on the Friday before Thanksgiving! We spent Thanksgiving in Buffalo with my family. 

December - We moved into our new house.  We went to our first Bills game (too bad they lost miserably).  We celebrated my husband's 30th birthday.  We hosted our first Christmas Cheer cocktail party in the new house! We celebrated our first Christmas at the new house! I also redid my blog and decided to change up my topics for posting.

As with anything good, there were also some rough moments.  I had a falling out with some people, my mom experienced some health issues with her back and underwent a surgery (which we aren't sure was all that successful), and my parents house was broken into while she was in the hospital.  There were also a few other "personal" issues that someday, I will write a blog post about! 

With all of that said, 2014 is being welcomed with open arms.  My husband and I are eager to start off the new year in our house, with our pretty little kitty.  We moved in almost a month ago, but there are still so many boxes.  We pretty much stopped unpacking around the holidays because we wanted to spend time with our family and friends.  So January will consist of unpacking, hanging pictures, and making our house a home!

Every night, I say prayers for 2014 to be a blessed year, with lots of love and joy.  With happy times.  Making memories with family and friends.   Remembering the important things in life - the people who surround you with love and support.  I never make a New Year's resolution because I feel like just by stating one, you're setting yourself up for failure.  Last year, I think I wanted to blog more and well, clearly that didn't happen.  I can't pinpoint an exact reason - could be lack of time, uncertainty on what to write about, or insecurities about blogging about healthy living and eating when I had to face the fact that I needed to gain weight because I was way too skinny.  

At any rate, rather than set a resolution, I have some goals for 2014.  Here's some of them!
* Blog at least twice a week
* Cook dinner 6 nights a week - ordering pizza does not count!
* Make one new recipe a week (either from Pinterest or from the cookbooks that I own)
* No screen time after 9pm on work nights - this includes my laptop and my cellphone (unless the phone rings from a call)
* Go to the gym as much as possible, even if it's just a quick cardio workout
* Limit my soda intake drastically
* Maintain a daily/weekly planner to get things done
* Order canvas prints of some of our wedding photos and make a collage on our living room wall
* Do more housework during the week so we aren't spending all weekend cleaning and doing laundry
* Limit my shopping trips to Target

Whew, that's a lot!  But I'm confident that I can do it!  I know 2014 is going to be an amazing year and I'm just hoping God continues to bless us with endless amounts of love and joy!

Happy 2014!

Simply Blessed,
Lauren


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