Thursday, August 30, 2012

birthday week

Week 32 was the week of my 30th birthday. It started with some cooking projects on Sunday, some more impromptu than others. The one I requested was a strawberry buttermilk ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. I think Steve actually did the main work for it the day before, though, only leaving the churning part for Sunday. In any case, I had planned to use the ice cream as my picture that day, but he randomly decided to try making pretzels that afternoon too. I figured the ice cream could wait, so I used the pretzels as my photo subject instead. They turned out pretty well for being homemade. The texture on the outside wasn't quite right, but this was probably the closest it was going to get without the use of lye.

218/366 the pretzel project

Monday was the day of my 28-week OB appointment—this time with the nurse practitioner—as well as my 1hr glucose test. I left home a little early, found a parking spot, and walked around the neighborhood again to kill time and find a picture to take. Instead of hydrangeas for this one, I spotted a house with a view of the bay behind it.

With that done, I headed back to the lab to start my glucose test. I had to drink a little bottle of chilled sickly sweet orange glucose liquid in the span of five minutes and then come back for a blood draw an hour later. After hearing all about how terrible it was, I was prepared for the worst, but it wasn't that bad at all. I certainly wouldn't choose to drink that stuff, but it didn't make me sick or anything. I went upstairs for my appointment after consuming my drink, and then I was back to the lab in plenty of time for the blood draw. No sweat. And then I found out the next day that I had failed the test... More on that later.

219/366 with a view

I went out for a walk down Valencia Street on Tuesday afternoon, since I needed to get a few more birthday cards to send to nieces and nephews. I had been thinking about going to Craftsman & Wolves for some sort of snack (and picture), but after hearing around lunch time that I had failed the glucose test, I decided against it. For my picture of the day, I ended up with a shot of some Barbies in a boutique window. The place was closed, but I managed to spot them and get the shot through the bars of the gate. It wasn't until I got home and looked at the shots on my laptop that I realized the dolls were actually Charlie's Angels Barbies. (I did a Google image search to be sure.)

220/366 portable angels

So... Since I had failed the 1hr glucose test, I had to take the 3hr one. I had been a little annoyed to find out when they called on Tuesday that I had fasted for four hours for no reason before the first test, after I had called the doctor's office a few days before to specifically ask if I needed to. Apparently I was told the wrong thing. This time, I did actually have to fast for four hours before the test, so I went to do it right after getting up in the morning on Wednesday. For the 3hr glucose test, they took some blood first, and then I had to drink the same amount of liquid—only this time, it was lemon lime and twice as sweet. It was less pleasant, but I still didn't have a problem getting it down in five minutes. After that, I had to sit in the waiting room and have blood taken after one, two, and three hours. Right around the one hour mark, I started to feel like I was going to pass out. That only last a few minutes, they took my blood, and it was back to the waiting room. Several minutes later, I felt like I was going to pass out again, but like the first time, it went away after a while. Then, I mostly just felt exhausted and icky. One of the lab people took pity on me and let me sit in a more comfortable chair in the back until my two hour blood draw. By the end of the third hour, I was feeling mostly fine and just ready to be done playing human pin cushion so I could go home and eat lunch.

Ironically, on the day that I was being overloaded with sugar to test for gestational diabetes, my picture ended up being of a bowl of ice cream. That was because it was still on my list of picture ideas, and I didn't feel like thinking of something else to shoot. I had Steve help me dish some out when he got home, and then I only ate a small spoonful when I was done shooting it. I covered the rest in plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer. It was good, but I wasn't exactly in the mood for more sugar that day.

221/366 just splendid

On Thursday, I went to Flax to scout out some picture frames for the nursery. I took a few pictures with my phone of some of the options there, but I didn't take any with my camera.

When I got back home, I had a voicemail from the doctor's office about my test results from the previous day. I called them, and I found out that I had failed the 3hr glucose test as well. I was shocked, to say the least. Other than my grandfather developing type 2 diabetes in his late seventies, I have zero risk factors for gestational diabetes. I eat well, I never drink soda, and my weight gain has been great this whole time. Anyway, I had to call the place where I got my ultrasounds done, make an appointment with a nutritional counselor, and schedule another ultrasound and doctor consult to make sure the baby's growth is on track.

Fast forward to three weeks later... I finally saw the nutritional counselor this last Monday. She gave me some general guidelines for food, as well as a kit to test my blood sugar four times a day. For the most part, the dietary stuff goes along with the adjustments Steve and I made after reading up on it ourselves: eating every 2-3 hours, adding more protein to balance carbs, limiting the less ideal carbs, and cutting out unnecessary simple sugars. Pretty easy. It means fewer pasta dishes for us and a little more planning in general, but it's good to branch out a bit more. My blood glucose readings so far have been well under the limits, so I should be fine with just the diet and 30 minutes of walking each day.

As for the ultrasound, that was yesterday. Everything with the baby looks good. He's slightly on the big side at this point, but not enough that they could definitively say he's been affected by the condition. Chances are, it'll even out now that we're watching my blood sugar, but I'll have another ultrasound in a month to see. Meanwhile, the little guy is still moving around like crazy, so he must be in good shape!

But back to that Thursday three weeks ago. After getting the news, I went out for a walk, and I shot some cosmos that I passed.

222/366 curbside cosmos

On Friday afternoon, I had a haircut downtown. Since the salon is near the gate to Chinatown, there's a stereotypical Chinatown antique shop pretty much next door to the building. These types of places usually have sculptures/statues outside, and the one below was an easy choice for a picture.

223/366 no evil

Last, but not least, this post is titled "birthday week"—rather than glucose test week—because my birthday was that Saturday. Most of the day was a pretty low-key. I took my weekly picture after lunch as usual, and I got out for a walk to the paint store that afternoon to pick up some paint samples for the nursery. Meanwhile, Steve went to the Ferry Building to get my birthday cake, which I photographed when we were both home again.

That night, we went to Contigo with Dan, Carmen, Rob, and Traci for dinner. We got to see Elan, the co-owner and chef's wife, who was working that night. She even gave us a Contigo onesie for the baby! I think that was one of the gifts I was most excited to receive that night, and it wasn't even a birthday gift. Dinner itself was great, as usual. We had a nice assortment of tapas; I got some orxata (horchata) to drink, which made up for not getting around to trying it while we were in Spain; and I didn't worry too much about what I was eating. I think the dinner itself was pretty well balanced anyway, and I just had a small piece of cake after all that food. :)

224/366 30th birthday

While it wasn't exactly the week I might have pictured leading up to my 30th birthday, the birthday itself was a good one. And the whole gestational diabetes thing, while kind of obnoxious, isn't turning out to be a big deal. With any luck, it will only mean a couple months of inconvenience until the baby comes.


  1. Emily, I had gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy even though I had none of the risk factors either. It was an inconvenience but the bonus was that I stopped gaining weight, which made losing the weight after pregnancy really easy! And I did NOT have gestational diabetes with my second and third pregnancies! Good luck!

  2. Well, it sounds like quite a week for you. At least you had a balance there...the nasty glucose stuff, and then your wonderful 30th birthday celebration! Thankfully, you are a very healthy'll just have to put up with this minor inconvenience for a couple more months. And then you'll have your reward!!! <3 BSD