Snowy Sunday

We’ve had a return of the cold, wintery weather after the first round melted. Saturday as it snowed we went separate ways as I went to a baby shower and Jameson and dad went to Jonathan’s 2nd birthday party.

While I was disappointed that I had to choose one to go to, it was nice to see old friends. I’m looking forward to going on maternity leave the same time as Teresa and having play dates. Or sleep dates, as the case may be for newborns. Our due dates are just days apart!


Jameson meanwhile loved the party and played nonstop with Jonathan, Vivienne, and Jonathan’s cousin Adela.


On Sunday, we spent a little time outside after Jameson insisted on going out to “help daddy shovel”.

As usual, he didn’t want to come inside! My sweet boys both love to be outside. Upon trying to get Jameson back in from outdoors, we told him, “Mommy’s cold, she forgot a hat and needs to go inside!” Jameson took his hat off to give to me. It’s not just pregnancy hormones that make me tear up at that. I would at any time. He already seems to have his daddy’s loving and generous personality.

Later, Brian’s parents came over for a visit since they had been away all week on vacation.

We have regular jokes that grandma is going to catch all of Jameson’s colds. It used to be because she couldn’t help kissing baby fingers, and now as a toddler it’s because she keeps playing with the toys like whistles and the harmonica they got him for Christmas. Jameson loved the whistled she brought back from Gatlinburg, as well as a cute “fish truck” which we’ve already run the batteries down on!

She rolled up a little new stuffed black bear for him in his blanket a couple times like a baby as well which we was fascinated with. It won’t be long before we are doing that with a real baby!

We are 34 weeks and had what would typically be a final ultrasound, though we will have one more in a couple weeks to check fluid levels one more time since Jameson had low fluid levels. Out little girl (and I had her check, one more time, just in case) is estimated at 5 pounds, 4 ounces right now which is near half a pound to what Jameson was at birth Right now, our estimate at birth weight is around 7 pounds, which is average sized and makes me happy.

I was a little concerned that the doctor seemed to think that if I got over 2 pounds what Jameson was at birth that we are at risk of c-section, but I am confident that we can have a natural (but epidural-ized) birth for an average sized baby. Jameson was undersized due to my gestational diabetes diet and was a week early.

We are otherwise very healthy and everything looks great! I am having Braxton Hicks contractions which are reasonably painful. A series of 3 just a couple nights ago woke me up, concerned, but they are not with any regularity and typically come on during exertion, so we’re not worried at them, just painful.

5-1/2 more weeks to go!

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Third Trimester

I’m at 32 weeks as of last Friday, and let me tell you, I am feeling every inch of those 32 weeks.

Last week, all of a sudden, everything became exponentially harder, like my body had reached it’s natural limits and everything else now is stretching poor, already worn muscles. Laying on the floor next to the fireplace feels amazing, until I have to get up. Then I have to crawl for a little before finding support to lift myself back to my feet.

Heartburn is back, as is the pillow between my legs keeping my spine a little straighter. New stretchmarks started arriving two days ago. I am constantly sore and often uncomfortable.

And I have two more months to go!

Overall, I do feel healthy. I am happy I don’t have gestational diabetes and can eat what I want. I am happy that means I’ll probably have a larger baby this time around (which hopefully means average sized, rather than undersized!). I’m also pretty happy to know this is my last baby, because I don’t particularly enjoy the discomforts of pregnancy.

(For the record, I am again borderline as I was with Jameson, but just on the opposite side, so they have told me to watch my diet, but honestly speaking, I haven’t done much of that)

Little girl is pretty active, mostly in the evenings and of course, after meals and sugar. I have been overthinking names for her, since the one we had picked out through our last pregnancy with Jameson (since we didn’t find out the gender with him) doesn’t ring as nice to my ears as another I have picked out. Brian is of the wait and see what she looks like mindset, and I have three names in my head and want to use all of them.

In a couple more weeks, we have our potential final ultrasound, though I think I will push for one more closer to the due date for reassurance regarding her fluid levels, since Jameson required induction at 39 weeks due to the low fluid levels around him. Time is flying with this second pregnancy, and we have finally ordered baby girl’s dresser for her room, and I even had a baby shower this past weekend!

While things at work are in major upheaval, and I am trying to focus on this time with Jameson and getting settled at home, it’s harder this time around to focus on the pregnancy and progress and the tiny excitements of baby kicking and flipping. Instead, I’m much more focused on her impending arrival and excited to take photos of a precious newborn again. We can’t wait!

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Sugar Baby

It’s been a roller coaster couple weeks! Due to insurance changes, I pushed one of my doctor’s appointments into December, and so I felt like I missed a lot of work due to that appointment, the one I had the very next week AND the one I had the week after that!

I had appointments 3 weeks in a row for a) a check up; b) 1 hr glucose test; c) 3 hr glucose test.

The check up went well. My blood pressure, for the first time ever, was a little high at 130/72. No one seemed concerned at that point, and luckily at the next appointment everything was back to normal. I have a feeling it was from other upcoming events and work stress!

I’m currently measuring about a week behind bellywise, but that’s nothing to worry over.

The glucose test was pretty miserable as I was by myself sitting in the room for an hour. I surfed on my phone. Sadly, though not unexpectedly, my results came back elevated so we had to go in for the 3 hour test.

The 3 hour test is even more miserable: I have done this before, since I had gestational diabetes with my pregnancy with Jameson. I knew what I was in for! 4 blood draws in 3 hours; 1 for fasting and the rest for after you down that sickeningly sweet orange gatorade glucose bottle. Each wrist was drawn from once, and my right arm was drawn from (1 failed attempt) 3 times.

I was entirely confident that I had gestational diabetes again. I can tell when I consume too much sugar since my heart starts racing and I breathe a little quicker. In fact, I thought I had it worse this time.

As it turns out, I am gestational diabetes free!! They called me the same day as the test this week to let me know. I had just 1 elevated blood level, and I know from my previous experience that last time I had 2 elevated levels, so I feel like I just slipped by.

Which also means I’m sure I should still eat more healthy and consume less sugar voluntarily.

Which I’m totally committed to. After Christmas 😉

P.S. The only bummers about this is that a) I get less ultrasounds and check ups; and b) I will certainly gain more weight this time! Advantages are a chubbier baby and less appointments. Oh, and no restricted diet.

However, as we approach the end I will be asking about ultrasounds since last time we were induced due to low fluid levels around Jameson. I would definitely want to catch something like that happening again, and without the extra testing, I am not sure that we would notice it otherwise.

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A Tale of Two Babies, Part 2 of 2

Yesterday, I began the pregnancy story about myself and my friend and former co-worker, Danielle, in A Tale of Two Mothers. We ended with high risk pregnancy diagnoses, myself with gestational diabetes and Danielle with high blood pressure.


Interestingly, neither high blood pressure nor gestational diabetes actually caused our labors or otherwise complicated our pregnancy.


As we neared the end of our pregnancies, Danielle’s baby continued to measure larger than normal and ultrasound revealed him to be in a breach position. The combination led to a scheduled Cesarean. For herself, she was excited to have a date known (before Christmas! our due date was the 23rd which was obviously not the first choice).


Again, I struggled with feelings of jealousy (she’s going to have her baby before Christmas; and she gets 8 weeks instead of 6 short term disability pay) and the complicated feelings relating to my own labor. Our friend Megan had labored for hours before requiring a C-section; our neighbor had as well. And I felt that if C-sections were inevitable, I would love to have one scheduled for myself! However, it wasn’t meant to be.


As Danielle ended her time at work calmly, allowing herself time to wrap things up and have a couple days before baby’s arrival, I myself went into the doctor and had an ultrasound revealing low fluid levels. My level, they explained, was not dangerously low (yet), but definitely something to watch. Danielle told me that hers had always been high; in comparing numbers I was concerned. The doctor recommended I stay home for a day before another follow up appointment to see if it continued. We were two weeks away from our due date.


It’s at this time that my turning point occurred at my old company where I determined I no longer wanted to work there. When I requested to work from home for a day, I was given a “let me check” response and no feedback until the end of the day. At the end of the day that I had worked from home, I was told that I would need to take paid time off, that it wasn’t allowed. Aside from discussion over company policy, I was enraged that no one had bothered to get back to me until the end of the day.


You would think that my fluid levels would have continued to drop in this stress; Instead, they improved! Another follow up was scheduled for after the weekend. I wished Danielle good luck on her final work day. The next day, I arrived at the doctor’s and ultrasound revealed lower fluid levels than before, with very little around baby’s head. And we heard the words “Let’s get this baby out”.


Knowing what I know now, and without the rush of hormones and excitement about finally seeing my baby, I am not sure that I would’ve immediately gone with the doctor’s recommendation. Or maybe I would’ve. I guess there is no knowing. But I was only 1cm dilated, and the hormone they inserted overnight only had me progress by about 1 more before I was started on pitocin.


I don’t know anyone else who successfully gave birth vaginally, with no issues, with induction. But I did, after somewhat over 12 hours of induced contractions, doctor-induced water-breaking, an epidural and 1-1/2 hours of pushing. It was December 16, and Danielle had given birth via C-section earlier that day.


At a later appointment with the doctor, he impressed upon a co-worker that it was my first baby, I was induced and I didn’t require a C-section. There seemed like there was some surprise in his voice.


Danielle and I were both satisfied with our babies, our labors, and our recovery. Neither of us had any problems post-partum, beyond the usual adjustments a life change like that brings. We both delivered at exactly 39 weeks without complication, which we are both thankful for. I opted to breastfeed while Danielle opted for formula. Both our babies are happy, healthy, and growing really well with relatively few illnesses or other concerns (Jameson had a tongue-tie which we had clipped; Carson had a hernia which required surgery).


I for one am happy that we were able to experience our first pregnancies together, to share those gross details which I haven’t even shared here (you know the grossness, if you’ve given birth before).


It was almost like experiencing two pregnancies in one, and I’m able to reflect better on how lucky I feel like I was, and not get caught up in a lot of the arguments I see online about C-section versus natural versus super natural (you know, without epidural ;)) and also about formula versus breastfeeding. Happy healthy babies = happy healthy parents.

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A Tale of Two Mothers, Part 1 of 2

This is the story of me and my friend and former co-worker, Danielle. With her permission, I’m sharing our sometimes tumultuous pregnancy story. Due to length (and maybe for a little suspense), I’m splitting into two parts. The second, A Tale of Two Babies, will post tomorrow.


Danielle and I found out we were pregnant on the same day. We weren’t very typical in that we were sharing our personal efforts early – perhaps because another mutual friend and co-worker Megan had just had her own bouncing baby boy. The two of us shared our hopes for a future family over lunch hours and then during the day around our cubicles. In retrospect, we weren’t very quiet about it, which thankfully never caused us any problems. Brian and I tried for 3 months before success, Danielle and her husband were pregnant after just 1.


We arrived on that day with little smiles of success written all over our faces. We knew immediately that it was useless trying to keep it to ourselves. It wasn’t long before there were questions and advice requested of our friend Megan for details on her own pregnancy (of hers I hadn’t paid as much attention to while it was occurring! Unlike Danielle and myself, she was quieter about her pregnancy). We already guessed at that point that we had the same due date, but it wasn’t confirmed until I had my first doctors appointment at 8 weeks gestation. Danielle went in to see the doctor immediately for confirmation.


We shared stories and compared our baby sizes to fruit. I was relieved to be able to share my story of scary blood loss after the standard PAP smear they performed. I had sympathy and complete understanding, which was wonderful.


Then Danielle found out that she had placenta previa and for a little while there was a weird dynamic between us. We of course enjoyed each others’ moments: like hearing heart beats and looking at ultrasound pictures. Danielle chose to find out her baby’s gender, and when she came in the next day announcing it was a boy after months of believing completely that it was a girl, I didn’t jab at her.


But there were fits of jealousy on my part because suddenly Danielle’s higher risk pregnancy seemed to get more attention (it’s also important to note that I had switched departments, and already felt a bit of an outsider to Danielle, Megan and the rest of my former team); because she got to get more ultrasounds and appointments; and also because she knew her baby’s gender.


Additionally there was annoyance (oh my goodness, will she shut up), which I’m sure was probably mutual. We were both in the midst of important changes in our lives and wanted to be the centers of attention. Do I sound shallow? It’s okay if I do: the feelings that happen during pregnancy run the gamut of possible emotions, and I’m not afraid to admit to some of those baser ones.


Thankfully, Danielle’s placenta previa did resolve itself as another issue came up: elevated blood pressure. She was put on blood pressure medication and shortly thereafter began going to the doctor twice a week. Around this time, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which as unfortunate to my diet that it was, in an odd way made me feel better. Now we were on level ground again, as I was going once a week. We were both being given NSTs (non-stress tests) and shared stories about our babies who didn’t want to move around enough or had to be prodded into kicking around for a measure of their heart rate.


The problems that can occur related to high blood pressure and gestational diabetes made us both high risk pregnancies. Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!


Danielle and I are both prepared to answer any questions you may have about our diagnoses or pregnancies. However, remember everyone is different, every pregnancy is different.

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I <3 Eating

I was thinking, I am not sure whether its the act of eating (sitting down at a meal, chatting with friends), or if it’s the food I love. But seriously, food is one of my favorite things. I can never turn down a meal out, and those who know me know that I am always game for doing just about anything that involves food.

Ironically, I don’t often make food myself… Brian’s birthday is tomorrow (he’s turning the big 3-2), and I don’t have any meal planned. Usually I manage about 5 meals a year, usually special occasions (NOTE: I do bake more than that. Cookies are my specialty). Birthdays would be one time I usually make dinner, but with everything that’s been going on that particular plan has fallen by the wayside. Sorry hun. I do however have some quick and easy things saved in my pinterest I could perhaps try this weekend though… we’ll just make it a week-long birthday!

But this whole eating thing has me concerned about stopping breastfeeding. I am a believer in the “breastfeeding diet”. I mean, I can pretty much eat anything. I am not losing weight anymore, but I’m not really gaining either. I’ve been hovering in the same 5 pound range for the past two to three months. All while eating super unhealthy. Really. I have had enormous grilled cheese sandwiches (both Brian-made and restaurant-made), cheesecake, fried macaroni and cheese balls… (seems to be a theme there…). I really like this right now.

Brian-made: 16 types of cheese!

All the more because I had gestational diabetes (all diet controlled) and I think I’m still not over it. I swear, I went carb crazy after Jameson was born. I had no idea before all that went down that I had to watch CARBS. I thought diabetes was all about SUGAR. It is, of course, because carbs are converted into “sugar”. I had to go to a nutritionist who set me straight and keeping to that diet was very difficult for me. Anyway, since then, any thought of a diet went out the window. I am not supposed to be dieting while nursing anyway, but I know there’s probably articles out there about how I should be eating better because that all gets transferred into my milk… In that case, I know I’m just passing down my love for cheese to Jameson.

Before Jameson, Brian and I tried various diets. The one that actually worked best for me was calorie counting. Reporting it to a website made me more accountable. That was also a time when I was able to go home for lunch everyday because I lived so close to work. It’s a lot harder when things aren’t convenient. Does that make me lazy? Brian also tried the Atkins a couple times (pseudo healthy version with lots of turkey, chicken, pork rather than beef). Atkins worked for him really well the first time, not as well the second… so where to from here? Luckily, this is a good time, because summer is approaching, which means more activity in general and

The farmers market that we go to is opening up this weekend! This is my favorite time of year. I adore fresh vegetables (and I am pretty sure that I can eat as much of those that I want), and I’m planning on buying extra now to make some baby food for Jameson. So far, he has had oatmeal, brown rice, peaches, squash, and carrots (all pre packaged, not homemade). I finally purchased my baby food equipment yesterday (we already own a food processor, so I just needed a convenient freezing tray), so in the next week or two if the farmers market has some early vegetables we will be attempting to make Jameson’s first homemade baby food.

So many things to look forward to, and food is just one of them.

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Nursery and Baby Shower

This past weekend was my baby shower, and we go lots of great gifts. I feel almost prepared now! Just a couple more classes (like the Baby Care class this evening) and a few more items (like the baby monitor) and we will be set!

Here’s a few pictures of our Peapod’s nursery:

The baby shower was great; Brian’s mom did such a great job. It was catered by the same company that did our wedding food, so everything was excellent (I’m still eating the leftovers!). We had crescent sandwiches, vegetarian wraps, cheese and crackers, fruit, pasta salad, swedish meatballs and of course punch, cookies and a cake! I had a lot more people come than I expected. A good friend who I haven’t seen in over two years, Sasha, came to visit. Also some of my old Centerville friends and a lot of new friends! Most of Brian’s family came as well, and my aunt Carol and cousin Stacey.  Sadly my mom couldn’t make it, but she did give me a gift to make me cry in front of everyone (a bonnet made from a handkerchief when I was baptized). See some pictures from the baby shower.

Yesterday I had my first Non-Stress Test (NST) and an ultrasound. I am now going to the doctor once every week and getting a NST each week because of the gestational diabetes. Luckily I am managing just fine with diet and so I am type A1 diabetes and only need to go in once a week instead of twice! The diabetes is a pain, but I have only broken the diet a couple times. I haven’t gained any weight the past two weeks since my last appointment, but the doctor says that is good and okay that I have some fat stores that are probably being burned up.

The NST is the same type of monitor they will use when I deliver. It measures baby’s heart rate and contractions. I got to watch the graph change when baby moved — the heart rate would go up. I also had a mild contraction while I was there and baby’s heart rate goes up then too. It takes 20 minutes so that is kind of a pain, and I had to wait to get the monitor since they only had a couple. But otherwise it’s painless and relatively easy!

The ultrasound was great! Fluid around the baby is normal, and Peapod is head down! The tech was nice and told us again when to look away when she was looking at the pelvis area so we still have no idea what the baby is. Brian needs to get working on some baby name ideas!

In other news, recently I got a new china cabinet which I am displaying my grandma’s glassware in! I spent about 5 hours cleaning all the crystal and it just looks fantastic. Grandma would be happy to see her glasses all clean and shining in the beautiful china cabinet, I just wish she was still around to see it.

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Baby is no longer see through

My baby book says that this week, week 32 (I am 31 weeks and 4 days), my baby is no longer see through. I think Brian might’ve been a little disappointed 😉

We recently purchased a china cabinet; it was on our list of long term items we wanted, but with my grandma’s passing I have taken her glass dishes and silverware, and some other cut glass items. I really wanted to display these and even use them this Thanksgiving which we are having at our house with Brian’s family. China cabinets are expensive! But I think we got a great deal and it will nearly match our table and chairs we have right now. It gets delivered next week, in plenty of time to wash and put away the nice dishes for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I will have to be careful about what I eat 🙁 At least pumpkin pie is on the list of things I can eat! Even better if I don’t have the crust!

Life with gestational diabetes is okay. It’s not particularly fun, but I have managed to eat out a few times with no problems. I just have to be careful about what I eat and eliminate a lot of carbs. So no pasta when I eat out. The dietitian taught me carb counting in units of 15g each, and protein counting. At its fundamental, I need a lot more protein and less carbs.

I went back for a follow up on Friday to the dietitian who told me I was a doctor’s dream (because my blood sugar levels never went too far over or under). So when I visit the doctor today, hopefully they’ll say the same thing and I will not need to take medication. I’m excited to find out when I get my next ultrasound, which will hopefully be next time. We haven’t seen the baby for months! Though for sure I can feel it all the time. I also read in the book that the amniotic fluid has about reached its peak, and so there is less cushioning in there, I will feel the kicks more. The baby is very active in the mornings and evenings.

Brian and I looked at mattresses last night, so we’ll be purchasing that soon. The baby shower is the weekend of Nov. 7, so that is coming up very soon! I am so excited to get more baby things and start to really set up for Peapod’s arrival, which is only two short months away.

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A Rough Couple Weeks

It’s been a rough couple weeks for us. The week before last, my Grandma passed away relatively suddenly. I had only just gone to see her the weekend before, which was both good and upsetting that life can change so quickly. She was hospitalized after becoming ill the following evening. Grandma aspirated into her lungs during a procedure and developed pneumonia which ended up being too much for her. We took her off the ventilator and she passed peacefully. I spent most of my weekend then at her house with family, going through pictures, and making the memorial boards for her.

I am disappointed and sad that she will not be around to meet our baby. The weekend prior, we had just been talking about how she needed to be patient with her wrist which she had broken recently and let it heal so that she could hold the baby. She didn’t tell me, but told my aunt and uncle that after she saw me and the way I was carrying, she thought it is a girl. It was hard seeing her the previous weekend, fairly helpless without the use of her wrist, but harder and still somewhat weird to think that she will never be in that house again.

The same week, I took a gestational diabetes test. I had failed the hour long screening test at the doctor’s office, and had to go to the hospital to take the three hour test. Brian decided to spend the entire time with me which was very nice to have company. They take your blood after fasting, and then every hour for three hours after drinking the glucose solution. It came out that I do have gestational diabetes. My fasting numbers were normal, the first hour was barely normal, but the following two were undoubtedly abnormal.

So far, this hasn’t affected my diet too much, simply because I haven’t been able to meet with the diabetes counselor yet. They weren’t able to schedule me until nearly two weeks after diagnosis. I am seeing the counselor and taking a class tomorrow morning. The doctor told me that I will be given a meter which I will use to take my blood sugar levels two hours after every meal. At my next appointment two weeks from now, we will look at my levels and determine whether the diabetes can be controlled with diet alone or if medication is needed.

The diabetes is disappointing, because I very much like my carbs and sugar! So hopefully things will be back to normal shortly after baby Peapod is born.

This past weekend I spent at my parents’ and helped my sister get ready for Homecoming dance for her Senior year. Holly had a lovely dress and I straightened her hair and did her make up! It was a lot of fun and she had a blast for her first dance. On Sunday, I went to an old friend’s new house, Katie, who is also pregnant and due two weeks after me. We had a get together with a bunch of us old high school friends, which was great. Katie’s nursery is an antique and monkey theme (Monkeys were her husband’s choice!)

My nursery is just about finished; we have hung up all our photos upstairs finally and included the baby room pictures. So soon we should be able to take photos! All I need is a mattress, so that I can properly show off the bedding.

Recently I have been getting a lot of questions about names! So far, Brian has been willing to tell me what he really doesn’t like, but has not shared his favorite names. So the names I have picked so far haven’t been officially approved. However, we have decided on middle names. If it’s a boy, the middle name will be Charles after his grandfather; if it’s a girl the middle name with either be Rose (my own middle name) or Eleanor (after my grandma on my mom’s side). I did debate briefly about using my recently passed Grandma’s name which is Genevieve, but right now I am leaning away from it, for a couple reasons. 1) She hated her name and always said that and 2) I am not sure I could hear the name without feeling sad about it right now.

That’s all for now! As soon as I hook up my camera I’ll have a few more pictures of Grandma’s memorial boards and her house; I’m also waiting on some nice photos of my sister in her Homecoming dress!

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This weekend has been lonelier for me because Brian is mini-vacationing with his friends. This Thursday-Sunday, he has spent touring distilleries of whiskey in Tennessee and Kentucky. Meanwhile, I have been working and visiting my grandma.

I kept myself busy in Thursday and had dinner with a friend, Teresa, who I haven’t seen in a long time. On Friday, I RedBoxed a couple movies that were on my list (but not Brian’s, haha!). I saw Prince of Persia, and The Backup Plan. I thought both were pretty good, and entertaining. Sasha has been very good with Brian away, though I am sure she misses having him home too!

The weather was hot enough to turn the air on those two days, I was happy to see it cool off today. I went to visit grandma today and was telling her about it, she didn’t realize it was close to 90 on Thursday and Friday because she hasn’t been out of the house since her surgery on her broken wrist from the last fall. The pins in her arm don’t look as bad as expected, because the arm was bandaged up. She certainly isn’t young anymore, but she has two very nice almost-nurse ladies taking good care of her.

Brian should be back tomorrow evening which is good. He will be coming with me to my glucose test Tuesday morning for part of the time. This past Tuesday, I took a glucose level (and anemia) screening test which was to test for gestational diabetes. I failed the screening, so I now I have to take the 3 hours test at the hospital. Doctor said that about 10% of women fail the screening test, and only 10% of that 10% actually have a problem. So odds are in my favor! I read up on the test, and it sounds like they will be drawing my blood four times. I also have to fast for 12 hours in advance, so I will undoubtedly be starving by the time it’s over! Hopefully, there will be no passing out. I’ve taken the morning off work entirely, so since it’s at 7 am I should have some time afterwards to walk around the mall before going to work the afternoon.

Baby is moving a lot more noticeably now, and occasionally uncomfortable. At my last appointment, the doctor said I had only gained 2 pounds, which seems really low! I swear I have grown twice the size I was in the past month! I finally put up my tree wall decal, which is super cute. Next doctor’s appointment is in three weeks, then I will be on the two week appointment schedule!

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