health

In All Circumstances

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Our little family has had quite a wild week of sickness. The craziness started on Tuesday, when Sadie came down with a cold. She was in good spirits, but was super clingy and had a runny nose.

Baby with runny nose

Jimmy has been having some stomach issues on and off for the past few months and things came to a head on Wednesday. He was in so much pain, feverish, and feeling really nauseous. Sadie and I dropped him off at med express, which felt awful. I wanted to be with him, but we also didn’t want Sadie around any extra germs at med express.

After being looked at and getting some medication, the doctor sent him straight to the emergency room. Sadie and I picked him up from med express and drove him over to the ER. Watching Jimmy walk into the emergency room alone was not a fun experience.

He had all sorts of tests run while doctors worked on trying to figure out what was going on with his stomach and they decided to admit him to the hospital overnight. Then, poor Sadie girl woke up from her afternoon nap with a fever of 101.

Once I put her to sleep for the night, my in-laws so kindly came to our house for a bit so I could visit Jimmy in the hospital. The poor guy was throwing up, still in pain, uncomfortable, and so bummed to have to stay at the hospital overnight. I felt so helpless and just wished I could take away the pain for him.

Guy in hospital bed

I hated leaving him and knowing that things were unresolved. It was a long night for both of us. On Thursday morning, I got Sadie ready and my mom graciously took her to her house to spend the night so I could be with Jimmy since we weren’t sure how long he would be in the hospital.

Jimmy was put under anesthesia and had an endoscopy on Thursday afternoon. It turned out that he had severe gastritis with bleeding and erosions. Jimmy mentioned to the doctor that I had H. pylori a few years back, so the doctor took a biopsy to test for H. pylori to see if that’s what caused the gastritis (we’re waiting on those results at the moment).

Seeing Jimmy just moments after the endoscopy had me ready to burst into tears. He was still under anesthesia and had all sorts of wires and tubes attached to him. I’m just not used to seeing him like that, and it was just so tough.

We hung out in the recovery area, and then went back to his room where he tried to eat a bit, but wasn’t feeling too great. We FaceTimed with Sadie and my parents, and she was still struggling with her cold and kept getting fevers. Jimmy immediately started a medication to help heal his stomach and was thankfully released to go home that night!

We picked up his prescription on the way home and he went to bed at 7:00pm. The next morning, my parents were pretty worried about Sadie. She had a fever and was so lethargic that she was falling asleep on the floor.

Baby sleeping on floor

We called our pediatrician and got her an appointment asap. We picked Sadie up from my parents’ house and by the time we got to the pediatrician she was so out of it and feverish.

I felt horrible for her. It’s just awful seeing your child sick. I knew Jimmy wasn’t feeling good, either. Everyone was a mess, basically! Sadie was tested for the flu but thankfully didn’t have it! She just has a bad cold and a double ear infection. The pediatrician told us to really watch her breathing, too, because she was breathing kind of quickly while we were there.

Mom and baby at doctor's office

We got Sadie home and settled into a nap while I ran out to pick up her prescription for her ear infection. Whew. It was a long evening seeing her in pain, worrying about her breathing, and trying to help Jimmy rest and feel comfortable. Jimmy and I picked up Sadie’s cold, but overall we’re doing just fine.

I woke up this morning (Saturday) praying today would be the first day since Wednesday I wouldn’t be at med express, the ER, hospital, pharmacy, or pediatrician’s office! So far, I haven’t had to go to any of those places and I’m so thankful.

I was reading my Bible this morning and immediately thought about the verse at the beginning of this post, and how we are to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. It makes all the difference in situations like we had this week.

We had a tough week, but I’m so thankful for doctors and medicine and family and friends and prayer. We are so incredibly blessed. I will always, always do my best to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances ❤

A Pregnancy Update

I think the last time I did a proper pregnancy update was when we found out Baby Z’s gender in May when I was 20 weeks along. I’m now in the third trimester, almost 30 weeks now. What a blessing that God has brought us this far.

29 weeks pregnant baby bump

29 Weeks

Baby girl is doing great! She measured right on track at my last midwife appointment and had a steady heart rate in the 140s. She moves a lot and Jimmy and I can usually feel and see what we think is her feet/head/legs/etc.! I kind of feel like she’s laying sideways (transverse) a lot of the time, but she has some time to get into the head down position if she actually is transverse.

She gave me a scare on the Fourth of July and wasn’t very active at all that day. I was about to call the midwife when finally, late at night, she moved in her “normal” way. The worry and anxiety of parenthood starts way before baby is out of the womb, and it has taught me a lot about how God is truly the One in control.

She has been so spoiled by friends and family with clothes, a crib, and other sweet gifts. She also has a name! I’m not sure if we will share it or not. This is actually something we’re conflicted on: what we will/won’t share about our daughter. Any parents out there have advice or guidelines that you follow? Is it just intuitive?

Black cat laying on baby clothes

Malcolm likes to nestle on top of her clothes!

At my 28 week appointment, I took my one hour glucose test and had a routine blood draw along with it. The glucose test was pretty awful. The drink was gross, but the worst part was how terrible I felt afterwards.

First, I thought I was going to throw up. That was followed by a headache and then feeling crazy tired. I took a long nap and was nauseous the whole day. A few days later, I got a call that I failed the glucose test and my blood work revealed I have anemia. Eek!

The midwife told me that if my levels of hemoglobin drop any more, I’ll need to give birth in the hospital (we’re planning a birth center birth, Lord Willing). Where my hemoglobin levels are now, I can deliver at the birth center, but have to have a hep-lock IV in during labor due to the risk of extra bleeding.

I am working on getting those levels up over the next few weeks and have another blood draw later this month to check on everything. The anemia diagnosis totally explains why I have been out of breath walking up hills during dog walks and feeling extra tired.

The glucose test results were interesting. My levels were supposed to be less than 135 and I was at 153. I was asked to take the three hour glucose test but asked if there was an alternative since I had felt so sick after the one hour test and know that the three hour test is even more intense.

The alternative? Be diagnosed with and treated for gestational diabetes. It was a tough few days of figuring out what we would choose. I knew the three hour glucose test would be awful. What if I failed it and had to be treated for gestational diabetes anyways?

Blood suagr testing for gestational diabetes

Choosing to accept the gestational diabetes diagnosis would require some extra monitoring and possible intervention, which was a lot to think about as well. The monitoring meant checking my blood sugar levels four times a day, meeting with a high risk doctor, having some extra ultrasounds to check on baby’s size, and a possible induction if she grew too large too soon.

We prayed and talked and decided to accept the gestational diabetes diagnosis without going through the three hour glucose test. We felt peace about the extra monitoring and possible interventions. High risk doctors and hospitals are there to help us, and we’re thankful for that.

Blood sugar monitor for gestational diabetes

So, that’s how I found myself diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I had to take a class to learn to control my blood sugar with diet and exercise and now take my blood sugar four times a day. The plan is to meet with a high risk doctor after a week of testing my blood sugar levels and decide on a plan of care based off of the results.

I have had a few high readings, which is nerve-wracking. I don’t want to take insulin or medication unless it’s 100% necessary. Taking oral medication would also risk me out of delivering at the birth center. I know if we have to deliver in the hospital and need a higher level of care with insulin or medication because diet and exercise isn’t cutting it, then that’s just part of God’s plan and we’ll do anything to make sure our baby girl is healthy.

I’ve learned the high levels generally correlate with eating too many carbohydrates during a meal, so I’ve had to learn to cut down on carbohydrates and up my other nutrient intake so I’m not too hungry. It’s definitely a learning experience and such a tricky balance with eating the right things to have good blood sugar levels. I don’t know how people who have diabetes do it day in and day out.

I’m definitely taking comfort in the fact that gestational diabetes is a condition that only occurs during pregnancy (so if I need medication or have to continue monitoring my blood sugar levels, it’s only for a few more months) and that so far, our daughter has been healthy and doing great!

My next appointment with the maternal fetal medicine doctor is this week, so we’re praying for insight and good health as we move forward! I know God is going to be with us every step of the way and has everything in His capable hands.

Other baby-related things: we created our registry, have our baby shower coming up this month, and have started working on the nursery! I’ll share more about the nursery in another post since this one is pretty long already. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, love, and support as we journey through this exciting time! It means so much to us 🙂