In addition to my 28-week checkup this week, I had to go in for a two-hour blood sugar test. Rather than drink the sweet orange drink, they test my fasting sugar, then I eat breakfast, and then they test my blood sugar two hours after I eat. To be honest, I went into this appointment with a bit of an attitude problem, since this is essentially what I do to myself at home several times a week. My blood sugar levels depend on what I eat: high protein/low carb = good numbers, high carb = numbers in the danger zone. It’s that simple. So when I ate an Egg McMuffin and coffee with sugar-free creamer, I knew there wouldn’t be any issues. Too bad I had to give up the better part of a morning and arrange childcare for three kids to find out what I could have told them…oh well.
I know I can benefit from the doctor’s advice, and I know I need to go for the checkups, but it’s getting to that point in the pregnancy where there’s not a lot going on that concerns me, and the visits amount to five minutes with the doctor, and at least 20-30 minutes of waiting around. Each time, I get asked, “Any questions?” but by 28 weeks into my fourth pregnancy, I should probably have most things figured out.
There was one question that I felt the need to ask during my short visit. I’ve been having Braxton-Hicks contractions on a pretty regular basis for the past few weeks, and at times they’re pretty strong. My question was: When this happens, do I need to lie down and rest, or can I just keep going as long as they’re not too bad?
My doctor just looked at me like, “Seriously?!” I know, for someone with such a chip-on-my-shoulder, know-it-all attitude, I shouldn’t have had to ask. I guess deep down (or probably not so deep) I did know, but I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised by an, “Oh, don’t worry about it, unless the kid’s crowning,” or something like that. No such luck.
I had to ask, though, because summer is ticking away, and I’ve crammed a month’s worth of fun into our last days before school starts. Playdates, swimming, camping, story time at the library, two county fairs, one last trip to the zoo…okay, maybe I can see why I’ve been having contractions. So not only was I reminded to take it easy, I was also reminded that the contractions can be brought on by dehydration, so I have to drink a lot. Of course, my contractions are also brought on by a full bladder, so it seems to be a lose-lose situation for me, but I’m doing my best to strike a reasonable balance!
On the bright side, we’ve had a fantastic week, and the kids have loved doing all their favorite summer things one last time. They’ve become so comfortable at the zoo (where we have a membership) that they literally sprinted with their friends from one exhibit to the next. Of course, Jack had to run with the big kids, so that left me chasing after them, pushing an empty stroller. It’s a debate almost every time I go somewhere with all three kids whether or not to bother with the stroller, and inevitably I choose wrong. If I take it, Jack walks the whole time, but if I leave it in the truck, he has a meltdown five minutes into the outing and wants me to carry his 35-pound, tantrum-flailing self. At least it was a place to put the diaper bag and the lunches while I chased after them. And yes, I came home and had wicked contractions for most of the evening. Oops.
The other big hit of the week for all three kids, but especially Jack, was the county fair. I knew that he was becoming pretty proficient with his knowledge of farm animals and their respective noises, but I didn’t quite anticipate the glee with which he’d announce each species, then proceed to converse with them in their native language. Apparently, he thinks cows are aggressive, because his “MOO!” comes out with a mixture of anger and enthusiastic delight. He also bonded with a goat, as they screamed at each other through a fence. I’m sure some kind of four-legged 4-H creature is somewhere in our future, but for now I’m glad we can just visit them. Hopefully we can wait till all the humans in the family are potty-trained before we start on livestock.
It’s especially challenging to hit the fair being both pregnant and a gestational diabetic. The pregnant thing makes you want to eat anything deep-fried and nutritionally horrible, and makes you feel like you deserve it. The diabetic thing, unfortunately, puts most things off limits to me, or at least in very limited quantities. So as my family of ravenous wildebeests devoured an elephant ear, funnel cake, and a few special, fresh-from-the-hot-oil fair donuts, I was a good girl and just ate a bite or two of each. When I checked my blood sugar two hours later and found that it was fine, I should have been happy that my indulgence in some once-a-year treats hadn’t had an adverse result. My real reaction? “Aww, crap! I should’ve eaten more funnel cake!” Just because I know the rules doesn’t mean I like following them!