Archives for: September 2013
DD texts me this week that Baby Cakes can smile and frown. Is that not fascinating!?! There in the womb at 14 weeks BC can express pleasure and pain.
I've got blogs half written in my head about exercise in pregnancy, plus what BC likes DD to eat, but something funny happened last night, and I'm going to do a silly; tongue in cheek blog.
I have several friends whose young adult children have been trapped by prescription upper and downer drugs. What I am told is that someone in college will get a prescription for one of the medications that makes you more alert and gives you more energy. Someone else will get a prescription for one of the medications that calms you down and lets you sleep.
They see their friends having trouble focusing or sleeping and they share their medications. (This is, of course illegal) Why doctors give unlimited refills on these things is beyond my understanding, but evidently they do. The students become dependent on uppers in the day to help them focus in class and downers at night to calm themselves down so they can sleep. By they time they are young adults and have jobs, some of them are seriously addicted.
I have heard horror stories about depression, suicidal thoughts, and inability to function when the supply of the drugs are cut off.
None of that is funny, silly, or tongue in cheek. It is a serious problem.
However, this is how a 60 year old health nut who wouldn't dream of polluting her body with that kind of prescription drugs experienced the same thing - - - naturally.
Yesterday afternoon I fixed myself a big glass of green tea. I got distracted by many things and about 9:30 I noticed the tea still sitting on its coaster beside the computer. I was thirsty, and I didn't give it a second thought; I just drank it down. The caffeine hit a few minutes later, and all of my creative brain cells were firing. I was energetic and enthusiastic.
To get 8 hours of sleep, I've got to be in bed by 11:00. At 10:45 I was still on a caffeine high. I had no interest in relaxing to go to sleep. If I didn't think of something, it was going to be a short night. What relaxes me? What sends me to sleep in 20 minutes? Chewable Calcium Magnesium (favorite brand is Country Life). I crunched up two tablets; climbed in bed; closed my eyes; and had a great night's sleep.
I am not recommending this as a lifestyle. Stay away from prescription uppers and downers, no matter what. Enjoy your green tea early in the day. Take cal/mag in the right doses for nutritional purposes.
But I do have to laugh at myself for one day of "natural" uppers and downers.
When I was pregnant with our first child I was working as a commission sales person for a radio station. I would schedule my morning appointments close to home so I could sleep late except for the mornings we had sales meetings. If I was wiped out in the afternoon, I would go home and take a nap. I was not cheating my employer because I continued to meet my sales quota. I was, however, able to listen to my body, and in the first trimester my body wanted lots of rest.
Before the end of the first trimester, my Honorable Husband said I could quit my job if I wanted to. We had saved enough money to pay for the baby. I was planning to be an at home Mom. If I continued working there would be extra expenses of a professional maternity wardrobe. I had a head full of ideas for making all of the nursery decorations. I thought about his offer for a minute or two and said, "Yes!"
Between high doses of Vitamin B6 and lots of sleep, I didn't have morning sickness, just occasionally a queasy feeling.
DD did not have that luxury in her first trimester. She works in advertising and marketing. She must be at work on time. She has a one hour commute from home to office. This meant she got up early - about 5:30 and got home late - about 7:00. There was no way she could get eight hours of sleep, much less the amount of sleep that BC wanted.
One day I got a text that said, "I cannot get enough sleep. All I want to do is curl up and sleep for the next 2-3 months." On Saturday afternoon I got another text: "Sleeping until 11 makes us feel so good."
She came up with several creative ideas that let her get a little extra rest. Some mornings she would leave for work extra early to avoid the traffic. Then she would sleep in her car until time for work. Her office has a fitness center for employees. Every day at lunch she would curl up on the mats and sleep for an hour. Often in the afternoon, she would go to sleep on the mats giving the traffic time to thin out. It meant she got home late, but she spent less time sitting in the car and got extra sleep.
Friends warned her about sleeping on either her stomach or her back. Those, of course are her favorite sleep positions. Last week I got this text: "I have a new pregnancy problem. Sleeping on my sides is making my hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows hurt. Not my joints, but pressure points on my skin. I tried pillows. No luck."
The next day she said, "I went to sleep sitting up. At some point in the night I went to my side. It was better, but now my neck hurts." Obviously sitting up was not going to solve the problem.
HH and I went to see her last weekend. We took an egg crate from our camping equipment. That worked great on the pressure points. No more sore spots in the mornings. I showed her how to put pillows behind her back when she was on her side. She can lean back on them so that she is technically on her side, but she feels support on her back. That seemed to help as well.
Now that she has entered the second trimester, she isn't as tired. In fact I would say that last weekend she was a little hyper. It was good to see all of her energy.
Modern women certainly have many advantages in terms of opportunity, creativity, and income. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers worked from home. They contributed to family economics in many ways, but rarely got recognition. The advantage they had was being able to listen to their bodies and accommodate their unborn baby's need for rest.
I have so much I want to share about what DD is eating, how the BTD is benefitting her and her baby, how she is trying to resolve the annoyances of pregnancy, as well as her new exercise and sleep patterns. She is at the end of her first trimester. I got a text yesterday that said, "Just heard my favorite sound in the world - a healthy baby heartbeat."
I'm sure every prospective grandparent is flooded with joy when they hear those words, but I think I have just a little more cause for thanksgiving than most. I've been blogging on the BTD site since 2004. DD was in middle school back then. I wrote about how she liked my new eating plan because I no longer pushed her to drink milk or eat beef. We had never had a lot of junk food in our house, so she adapted easily and became a fan of this Blood Type lifestyle.
However, the summer before she was a senior in high school, she succumbed to an exercise/eating disorder. She was never anorexic - and often reminded me that she only missed one meal. She was never bulimic - she turns her head if someone vomits in a movie. But she exercised too much and lost way too much weight. She stopped having periods in November, 2007. Her thyroid began to malfunction in the fall of 2008 - both a direct result of low BMI. Her circulation was affected.
I blogged many times about DD during those painful days. She overcame the spiritual problems that led to this disorder, and began to gain weight. In the summer of 2010 she met SIL. One of the hardest things she has ever had to do was confess to him what she had done to her body, and tell him she wasn't sure if she could ever have children. They cried together and prayed together. He said that he loved HER, and that if she couldn't have children, they would find a way to adopt.
DD and SIL got engaged in the summer of 2011. In the fall of 2011 she began to have periods again. They gradually became more regular, but there was no way to know how much damage had been done to her reproductive system. They married in June, 2012.
Do you get just a glimpse of the joy and thankfulness we have for this precious baby growing in DD?
However, all of that joy did not make her first trimester any easier. One day we got a call that she was pregnant. The next day I got a text saying, "I am not actually sick-sick. But I am very queasy. I couldn't go to church last night. I felt horrible. This is the weirdest feeling. I am hungry and queasy at the same time. Although I know I need food, it is repulsive. This is going to be a long 2-3 months."
She found an obstetrician who accepted her medical insurance and scheduled an appointment. She told them about her morning sickness. The first question the nurse asked was if she was taking Vitamin B6. Right away I knew I liked this doctor. I believe B6 is very effective at relieving morning sickness symptoms.
However, DD is a working mother-to-be. She has a long commute in the car. She can't lie down and take a nap any time she feels queasy. B6 alone was not enough. The first thing the OB said to add was an over the counter sleeping medication called Unisom. DD was told to take 1/2 a dose once a day. The pills were so small and she felt so bad, that the first day she took a whole pill. The combination of B6 and Unisom worked. She felt good. But then she worried that she had taken a full dose. She worried about the baby on a sleep medication. She worried that she would fall asleep driving to work.
The OB's next suggestion was Zofran. It is a prescription medication that stops nausea and vomiting. It is given to pregnant women, cancer patients, and babies as young as one month. The dosage for pregnant women is one pill three times a day. DD found she could function with one pill every other day. She did not like any taking medication, and felt guilty about it part of the time. But in the long run, it let her eat and drink fluids. That, she decided, was better for BC than risking dehydration.
She quickly learned that one of the best things she could do was get carbs in her stomach at the first sign of queasiness. This has been a source of great amusement to me. DD, raised by a health food fanatic mother, never ate many desserts. During and after her eating disorder, she shunned desserts and breads, eating beneficial fruit, nuts, and vegetables instead.
Her first funny text said, "One of the ladies who knows of my plight brought me two oatmeal raisin cookies. Normally I would not eat them, but I tried a bite - and it tasted good. I'm going to eat one and save one." In less than five minutes I got another text, "Yummy, both in my tummy. My baby will love oatmeal!" A few minutes later my phone went off again, "Now I have my first craving - more oatmeal raisin cookies."
The next morning I got a text, "I am happily nibbling on my last piece of carrot wedding cake. There is something about baked cinnamon that appeals to us." A little later I read, "Goodness BC is hungry today. I go from not eating to wiping out a piece of carrot bread and moving on to cereal. My tummy actually hurts more when I'm not eating. Go figure. "
More pregnancy news next time. Let me close this long blog with one more expression of thanksgiving for health and humor and God's mercies in all things.