The Gang's All Here!

The Gang's All Here!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

(UN)Endless Summer

Hey there! It's been awhile (a long while, actually) but I promise ALL IS WELL! We had (note that I used the word HAD, because Stella started Kindergarten yesterday!!! GAH!) a fantastic summer and I'm truly sad to see it go. Not that you'd really know it, because it's still 4,000 degrees here every day. But yes, we really enjoyed this summer. We had lots of playdates at the pool which was nice for all of us. I somehow managed to keep all three kids alive during said pool playdates, so that's a serious accomplishment in my book. We enjoyed a fantastic week in Virginia visiting friends and family along with a very cool pirate pool. We also spent the 4th of July at the Hinman family compound in South Carolina which is always a blast.

Steve bought a new keyboard for our computer and I'm struggling with it. First world problems, I know. I was just re-reading what I've typed and at least 50% of it is horribly misspelled. The keys are different, I'm sure it's not my brain... So, sorry if this reads like Stella typed it. Speaking of Stella, yesterday was her first day of Kindergarten! I cannot believe it's time for her to be old enough to do all of these "big kid" things. She's riding the bus (she loves the cheesewagon!) to and from school. I was slightly nervous (re: terrified) for this process, but her bus driver is a certified rock star. She laid down the law immediately, the K's have assigned seats in the front of the bus, and the whole safe rider program is just wonderful. Stella also made sure to go over all of the rules again with me last night to make sure I understood them. Stella has decided to retire from her soccer career (it really wasn't her jam) and has joined the school cheerleading team. Yes, you read that correctly. I swallowed my pride and will be embracing giant hair bows and short skirts on my daughter...

Simon starts preschool in two more weeks (a much more reasonable start, in my humble opinion). He'll be going three days a week, attending St. Catherine's again this year. We love it there and are looking forward to him having a great year! Simon continues to be OBSESSED with golf. He refers to himself as "Jordan Speith" and practices every chance he gets. He's renamed all of us with pro golfer names. For example: Steve is Rory McIlroy (but pronounced: Rony Macoroni because well, Simon is 3 I guess), I am Ricky Fowler (but pronounced: Rikky Fouled) and the list goes on. God help us if we don't address one another as such when golf is on TV or he is in "golf mode". The has a dynamite swing, so maybe we're onto something here?!?!

Emmaline continues to grow like a weed! At her 4 month check-up she was an entire 2 inches than Stella was at that age. She has chunked up quite nicely and is still a super happy baby. She thinks the sun rises and sets with her big brother and sister. They can make her smile and laugh like no one else. The doctor suggested we start her on solids before six months, given her size (she's 100% in height, 60% in weight, preemie my ass!), so she's loving most of her first foods. Rolling over is her favorite activity and it wouldn't surprise us if she's crawling before too much longer!

As for me, I had my three month check-up with the oncologist last week. All is well in that department, I am happy to report!! My blood work came back perfect, tumor markers are right where they should be.  I am feeling fantastic these days- a feeling that I now cherish.

That's just a quick summary of things in the Hinman House. I'm hoping to be able to update the blog more often now that Stella is in school and Simon is headed there shortly!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yay Summer!

We have an official kindergartener in our house! Stella graduated from St. Catherine's Preschool on May 15. How is she old enough for kindergarten?!?! My parents came down to help us celebrate and we had a great time. In other news, somehow Emma is now three months old? It seems like time just keeps speeding up the more kids we have. She's full of smiles and baby chatter these days, which we are all loving. She's also sleeping between 10 and 12 hours at night which is glorious!

I haven't updated the blog much, but I think that's a good thing? I'm not in active treatment anymore and I'll have my three month checkup with my oncologist sometime the end of July or beginning of August. It's still a little hard to believe that I'm not in treatment or stressing about not being in treatment, but I'm making a concentrated effort on living my life. On MY terms. I haven't been able to do that for so long. Who knows what the future holds (for any of us, really) but I'm taking advantage of my good health and getting back to really living. For me, it's not all that glamorous, this "really living" idea. For example, I'm getting serious about getting in shape and eating better. And by eating better, I mean no more excuses, no more eating crap. Can't blame it on the baby anymore! So, stay tuned. I refuse to turn this into a weigh loss blog, but maybe by mentioning it on here I'll stay more accountable! Oh, and I'm also cutting back on the wine, which is slowly killing my soul. But, if cancer didn't kill me, I'm sure I can survive only drinking wine on the weekends. Maybe...

The kids have been out of school for nearly two weeks now and I'm alternating between enjoying having them with me and being ready to send them to a Swiss boarding school until they're 18. We'll see how it goes. They're heading to camp next week (just a fun week that the school does for the kids) and then we start into our vacation mode. I'm so excited to get home to Virginia! We also have a beach trip planned to South Carolina which be a blast. So, all that to say I'll be in touch, although maybe not as often as in the past. Three kids five and under doesn't lend to much computer time!

Monday, May 11, 2015

That Time I Had Cancer

I have exciting news from Cancerland! I am officially still cancer free!! Let's see, where to start...

I had an appointment with my oncologist to check in and come up with a plan, post baby. I met with her on Monday, April 27th (which, ironically, turned into a marathon week of doctors appointments). I went to the appointment armed with Em's birth announcement as a sort of peace offering. I'm sure I mentioned at least once over the past 10 months that she wasn't overly thrilled with me being pregnant. She was thrilled that Emma arrived safely and loved the announcement. And, I'm still alive which I'm sure she appreciated ;). She decided that she wanted to run scans ASAP and decide where what direction we would go as far as treatments. She had her office assistant call the hospital while I was standing there and they were like, can you come in for scans on Friday, May 1? Holy cow, that was fast, but at that point, I was anxious to know what my body had been up to. My blood work was perfect, which eased my mind slightly.

That same week, we also had two dental appointments. I ended up having to drag all three kids with me which seemed like a disaster waiting to happen. Thankfully, the kids were great and the dental staff was extremely tolerant and friendly, so we escaped without causing any trouble or having to purchase any damaged medical equipment ;).

Em also had her two month checkup that week and she's doing fantastic! She measured 24.75 inches in height which is in the 95% percentile! This child is L-O-N-G!! The doctor thinks she is going to be tall. Thankfully she was switched to regular formula from the high octane stuff. My wallet is very appreciative of that!

That Friday I arrived at the hospital knowing that I was having two different scans done. My oncologist decided to scan my brain as well (go ahead, laugh, I did!) because I had been having some dizziness. The brain MRI was first, to be done with contrast. When an MRI is ordered with contrast, they need to put an IV in so that dye can be injected. Let me preface this by saying that I am normally a very easy stick when it comes to IV's. I can only use my left arm because I had lymph nodes removed from my right arm, thank you cancer... Seven (7) sticks later the staff finally found a vein they could use. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Needles don't bother me, but everyone has their limit. Please keep in mind that I was strapped to the MRI table with my head locked in position while all of this was going on. Two different techs tried to get the IV in before they had to call in an IV team (I had no idea such a group existed!). Apparently the IV team wasn't allowed to enter the MRI room, so I was wheeled (while still strapped down like patient ready to run, and trust me, the thought crossed my mind) into another room down the hall so they could find a vein. I think there at least 5 people working on me at that point. Thankfully once the stupid IV was in, the test went smoothly. I had my PET scan after that and they left the IV in, so that was one less stressor to contend with. However, my doctor did NOT tell me she had ordered a CT with contrast along with the PET scan (they are done by the same machine, at the same time) so I had to drink the nasty contrast (on an empty stomach, of the joy!). At this point in the day, I was so frazzled and over it I didn't even care about the stupid tests, I just wanted to go home. The scans finally ended, but it was Friday, so I wouldn't have my results until at least Monday. Talk about torture!

Thankfully, my doctor called me Monday evening to tell me that the scan results were in and they looked great!! I was genuinely surprised, given how much my body has been through in the past year. She decided that I don't need to be on active treatment right now and she will just monitor my bloodwork every three months. I am so excited to not have to do Herceptin anymore!! So yeah, remember that time I had cancer? This girl is cancer free and I hope to stay that way!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Scattered Thoughts

It's finally stopped raining here in Georgia! Eight straight days of rain is enough to make even the sanest person crazy. My house is breathing a sigh of relief today because the kids AND dogs can be outside. We had golf ball sized hail here yesterday - that was interesting. I was mouthing a semi-silent prayer that it wouldn't shatter our skylights. Damn it was loud!

I've had a lot of people ask me what's next (health-wise) now that Emma has arrived. The truth is: I honestly have no idea. I have an appointment with my oncologist next week at which point I'm assuming we'll come up with a plan. At the very least, I know I'll have blood work done and most likely scans (in the next few weeks). I haven't had any scans since December of 2013, so I'm more than a little anxious to see what my body's been up to. As far as whether or not Ill be going back on Herceptin, I just don't know. When I last saw my oncologist she said she was leaning towards NOT going back on it. The results of my scans will most likely drive any decisions made at this point.

How am I feeling? I feel fine, I think. I have no aches or pains to speak of really (other than being a climbing post for 3 kids). I had forgotten how much the stupid infant carrier car seat thing weighs - holy moly! I am not working with a full set of muscles in my back which up until this point hadn't really bothered me. But, now that I'm doing tons of lifting between lugging the infant seat around and carrying Emma in strange position because she NEVER HOLDS STILL. Lawd have mercy that child is on the go. Even in my belly she was in constant motion. Is it too early to be thinking scholarships for sports with that one?!?! Anyway, I'm feeling great, all things considered. Yes, my anxiety is definitely kicking up a notch, mostly because I have been living in this nice little bubble, free from cancerland and all things related. Now that Emma's here, it's back to my "real world". So, fingers crossed all continues to be well with me!

Emma has her two month check-up next week as well. WHAT?!?! How is she two months old already? Time is just flying. It seems to move faster and faster with each kid too. Stella is officially registered for kindergarten (again, how is that possible?!) and her preschool graduation is less than a month away. Simon knows the alphabet by site and some site words. Sorry kid, I had NO IDEA he knew so much! He's always loved reading books with us, I guess I just never really thought to ask if he knew the letters?!?! Mommy fail...

So, lots going on at Casa de Hinman these days. I have to run as all three children are now screaming and we've escalated to Code Red status. That means mommy needs her medicine: Wine Time!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Closing the Circle

My free time (LOL - free time, what's free time?!?! that's hilarious...) is severely limited these days. This is the first time I've touched our computer since the last time I updated the blog. A little part of me is dying (maybe has already died, IDK), but Stella and Simon are no longer napping. Stella is really too old for naps these days but I was REALLY hoping Simon wouldn't drop his nap yet. No such luck. So, that hour or two I used to have to myself in the afternoons to eat lunch, watch a show or update the blog is now gone. Sad face :(

Emma had her one month (what? already?!?!) checkup last week. She's growing like a weed! She gained almost two pounds and grew an inch and a half! The doctor thinks she's going to be tall and keep her blue eyes - fingers crossed!!

I mentioned in my last post that the medical staff working with me during Emma's birth was incredible. It's hard to express how important that was too me. Stella's birth experience was great, Simon's - not so much. Unfortunately, I remember more details from Simon's birth (probably because it was 100 times longer than Stella's. Anyway, after having had cancer and a gazillion surgeries, you can imagine it takes me quite a bit more time to get through my medical history with the staff. I have to give my first nurse credit, because she didn't bat an eye and rolled with everything I said. She was professional, but also caring and wanted to know how I was doing, etc. I will say that I was made to feel somewhat like a VIP given my frequent flyer status at my hospital. Hearing that Emma is/ was sort of a real life miracle from literally almost every person I encountered in the hospital was such an uplifting, "go team Hinman" rally cry. Any doubts I had about getting through the birth (given how I was feeling physically at that point) were put at ease. Of course, you all know that my OB is simply an amazing person and she was beyond excited to deliver Emma! It was the closing of a circle for both my OB and me. We started this crazy journey together when I was first diagnosed (99% of the credit goes to her), she got me through an incredibly high risk pregnancy and we reached the finish line having learned much more than either of us expected. So much of me being pregnant was an unknown in the medical field, thankfully this had a happy outcome!

In my mind, the most memorable and meaningful part of this story was my nurse that I had the morning and for the birth of Emma. I do have a powerful belief in that things DO happen for a reason. My nurse's mom had breast cancer, specifically: inflammatory breast cancer.  Y'all - this is so incredibly major because I have yet to meet ANYONE that's had IBC in person. I've been on this road for 3+ years and not once met anyone that's experienced IBC, either themselves or a caregiver. My nurse was so excited for me and to hear that we were delivering a healthy baby! Her mom is a 13 year survivor of IBC!!! How amazingly awesome is that? What are the chances of me meeting someone like her on the day I'm giving birth to my miracle baby? If that's not a sign of hope and fate working their magic, I don't what is. Hence, you have part of the reason for Emmaline's middle name. Of course, we also chose the middle name Hope for as a symbol for everything we've been through to get to this point. The journey has been long and not without fear and uncertainty, but here we are today, standing in the sunlight, enjoying this amazing life we've created.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but in this case, I can still look back with no regrets. Everything about this pregnancy felt as though it was meant to be. I've just accepted the fact that sometimes the universe has other plans, despite our best efforts to control life. I've come full circle and I feel blessed beyond measure to have this sweet baby girl to remind me that while I can't predict the future, I sure can enjoy the hell out of the present!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hope Arrives

I can't believe Miss Emmaline is already three weeks old! Time sure does fly, faster and faster with each child. In case you were curious, we are pronouncing her name Emma-LEEN but it can also be pronounced Emma-LINE (which I like as well, but prefer the LEEN). I promised you her birth story and here it is...

My parents came down the week of February 18th to help us out with the kids and to be here in case my doctor decided to go ahead and induce me. That Friday I felt somewhat foolish having "rung the alarm bell" maybe too early. I was feeling pretty good and was able to run some errands, which I hadn't really felt up to the past few weeks. However, my spurt of energy was short lived and by Saturday my headache had returned along with the nausea and just general malaise. We went to dinner that evening and by the time we left, I literally thought my head was either going to explode or roll off of my neck. I took some Percocet that night with the hopes that it would help, along with an early bedtime. I should also mention that my OB had made me swear up and down to call her if I started not feeling well. As most of you know (and if you've spent any amount of time reading this silly blog), I HATE to cause a fuss, especially if it seems like it should be no big deal. My OB had told me that she was the one on call that weekend and to not hesitate to call...

Sunday morning I woke up feeling the same, which was SO frustrating. Honestly, my patience at this point was waning, mostly because I really hated feeling like half of a person. We decided to go to breakfast and I went because I needed to eat and I wanted to get out of the house. After breakfast, I decided that I HAD to lay back down and that it was going to be a long day. At that point, I was on the verge of calling my doctor to see if there was anything else I could take to kick the stupid headache. Steve came up to check on me and made the decision for me - I was calling the doctor. So, since it was Sunday, I had to use the answering service and wait for the doctor to call me back. I figured it would be awhile, so I settled in to try and sleep for a bit. My doctor called me back in less than a minute!! She said she'd been worried about me, knew that if I had called things were taking a turn for the worse, and wanted to go ahead and deliver. Another birth plan out the window!! Although, I felt so terrible at that point, I just wanted whatever was going to help me feel better. I grabbed a quick shower, threw a few last minute things in my bag and off we went to meet our baby!

Once at the hospital, I was admitted quickly and an assessment was done to see whether I needed to be induced immediately or wait until the morning. Bloodwork was done (I was surprised I had much blood left to give considering how much they'd taken from me). We had absolutely amazing care from the staff - so wonderful, in fact, I'll save that for it's own post - totally worth it! Anyway, my head was hurting so bad I couldn't fill out the paperwork, so Steve ended up writing for me while I narrated. By the way, once you've had cancer + complicated pregnancies + plus surgeries, filling out paperwork is a LENGTHY process...

My doctor came in to check on me shortly after that and thanked me for calling her - she was relieved that I was in the hospital and under her watch :). We went over the birth plan - it was decided that we would induce in the morning. She encouraged me to take the morphine she had prescribed as we just couldn't seem to manage the pain with the headache. So, with her encouragement and reassurance, I said YES! to the drugs. The morphine was a lovely shot in the ass, but oh my lord, SOOOOO worth it. It also had my old pal Phenergan in it, so within five minutes, I felt like a new person. One of my best friends was visiting at the time and both she and Steve remarked at how quickly my personality changed, back to my delightful, cheerful self (LOL! kidding, my normal, sarcastic highly entertaining pregnant self is more like it). Anyway, it was such an incredible relief to have the pain under control.

As for the induction, it was the easiest of the three! Everything went mostly according to plan. The Pitocin was started at 6am and my OB broke my water around 9:30. My nurses were monitoring me VERY closely and were insistent that I not be in any pain (fine by me!). I was ready for the epidural by 11am and things progressed very quickly after that. In fact, Emma arrived so quickly (one push and out she came!) that the staff wasn't ready and had to be paged! It was amazingly quick, NOTHING like Simon's birth which was an exercise in frustration and pain. Steve had said he wanted to announce whether it was a boy or a girl at the birth, but it happened so fast he didn't have a chance to see! So, the nurse ended up spilling the beans, which was funny.

Emmaline Hope was 7lbs, 8oz and 20 inches long. She was also 5 weeks early, so she would have been HUGE had she gone full term. She is absolutely the sweetest, cuddliest and most wonderful addition to our family. It's funny how we didn't realize our family wasn't complete until she arrived. I feel like we have been given the most precious gift and such a challenging few years. Emmaline is the true embodiment of what HOPE represents for our family. I'm so excited to share her with all of you!!


Monday, March 2, 2015

So Much Baby Mama Drama

I'll start this post with a giant apology! I know that I have been absent and not good about updating the blog, and well, a lot has happened since my last post. I am so sorry for the delay, but hopefully once I share the details you can forgive me? And the best part, our sweet, sweet baby GIRL has arrived!! Emmaline Hope Hinman arrived via induction on February 23 at 1:29pm weighing in at a whopping 7lbs, 8oz and 20in long. And yes, she was early, born at 35 weeks, 2 days.

The biggest reason for me not updating the blog was my declining health. At the beginning of February, I started to have headaches. They started off mild enough, but gradually increased to pounding, relentless pain everyday. My blood pressure was also on the rise, but not alarmingly high at that point. My nausea returned with a vengeance and along with that came feeling just "blah" which is the best way I can describe it. I was having a particularly bad day on February 10th. I had been awake most of the night before with what I thought were contractions, but wasn't 100% sure. My head was pounding and I was just plain miserable. I had an appointment scheduled with my OB for the morning of the 10th, so I decided not to call, and just go in at my regular time. Thankfully, Steve decided to work from home since we also had a house full of contractors working on our master bath reno (again, never a dull moment...). My OB took one look at me, decided I needed to head over to the hospital for 24 hours of observation and "rest". Once admitted (which is wonderfully quick in labor and delivery!), the doctors started a battery of tests to rule out preeclampsia (I had this with both Stella and Simon) and HELLP syndrome, which is a much more serious complication from preeclampsia. I also had an emergency ultrasound to determine baby's size, in case they felt delivery was immanent. I had really mixed feelings on being delivered at that point. While I was 33 weeks and change, my goal all along had been to make it to 35 weeks (to hopefully avoid another stint in the NICU) and ideally to 37 weeks. I desperately didn't want to have my third baby in the NICU for any mount of time. The baby weighed (an estimated) 7lbs, 3oz on the ultrasound, which is GIGANTIC for 33 weeks. I spoke with not only my OB, but perinatologist as well.  We determined a "wait and see" approach would be best along with a 24 hour urine collection ( to determine where I was on the preeclampsia scale. Oh, and I was also contracting every 5 minutes, so an IV was started to hydrate me. They couldn't control the headache (which was unbearable by that point), so I ended up on two Percocet every 4 hours with Phenergan. That combo finally kicked the headache by the next afternoon.

I was released from the hospital the following night and placed on modified bed rest. A completely practical solution when you already have two kids and two dogs. Thankfully, I had stabilized and the contractions were back to random. We decided that perhaps it was time to bring in some reinforcements and asked my parents to come down and help us out the following week.

Stay tuned - my computer time is short lived these days - I'll update with Emmaline's birth story soon - it's a good one!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Bitch Factor

It's been an interesting week. But, let me start by sharing some of my "favorite" comments I've received in the past couple of weeks. While returning something at Macys last week, the cashier asked me if she was going to have deliver a baby that day. She actually shocked me speechless for a few seconds. I gave her my best withering glare and said "hopefully not". The men seem to be into making remarks as well. I mean, I cannot possibly be the first visibly pregnant person they've ever seen, right?!?! I constantly get the comment, "are you sure it's just one in there?". Yup, damn sure, in fact. Or the other old reliable, "is your due date right?". Um, yeah, but thanks for your professional medical opinion. I'm seriously considering not going out in public until this baby arrives because it's more and more difficult to hold my tongue. Plus, if you've spent any amount of time with me, you know that sarcasm and swear words come quite naturally to me. Consider yourselves warned, the bitch factor is in full effect!!

This has been a marathon week for doctors appointments. I met with my breast surgeon on Monday for a check-up. I'm happy to report all is well in that arena. She was more than shocked that I was 8 months pregnant, but she was excited and demanded a baby announcement. I saw my OB on Tuesday to start my two week appointments. While I'm doing okay, I'm definitely not feeling great. The exhaustion alone would be enough to send anyone screaming. Add to that, I'm uncomfortable (who isn't at 8 months pregnant, I'd like to know?!?!), achy, contraction-y and just blah feeling. My OB is convinced that my recent medical history is not helping my cause. I left with her orders to "take it even easier" than I'm already doing and let them know if I start having more contractions etc.

Yesterday I had my monthly ultrasound to check on baby's growth and my fluid levels. Boy oh boy was I in for a shock. At my last ultrasound, 4 weeks ago, baby weighed in at 2lbs, 12oz. Yesterday, at 32 weeks, baby weighed in at 6lbs!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. 8 weeks to go and Porker is already 6 lbs. The tech did the measurement three different times because she was sure it had to be a mistake. Never fear, no mistake, we have one VERY healthy baby. No wonder I'm uncomfortable! And yes, the thought of baby's size at birth is the stuff my nightmares are made of. While we had great news involving baby's health, mine has started the downhill slide. For whatever reason, 32 weeks seems to be my nemesis. My BP was up yesterday. Thankfully not high enough to earn me a direct ticket to Labor and Delivery for observation, but high enough to for them to draw labs and start being concerned. Given my pregnancy history, this is not at all shocking. I also landed myself on the weekly doctor visit with the maternal fetal specialist (where I have my ultrasounds). So...fingers and toes crossed that baby keeps cooking for at least a few more weeks. The first goal is 35 weeks, but ideally 37 if we can manage it. I'll keep you posted and hopefully Chunk doesn't gain another pound this week!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

A quick update...

Ack! Two posts in under a week- what is going on in the universe?!?! Just wanted to let all of you know that I passed the 3 hour glucose test with flying colors! It wasn't even close, which begs the question, what on earth did I do on the fist test? Oh well, no complaints from this chick! I will be 30 weeks tomorrow - historically when the shit hits the fan in my other pregnancies. Yeehaw! We're in the homestretch now, fingers crossed my body continues to cooperate and baby cooks for at least seven more weeks. Thanks for all of your support!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Doctor, Doctor, Doctor

Why, hello there. I know, I know, I have been terrible about updating the blog. In my defense, we have been incredibly busy. We had a lovely holiday and had lots of much needed family time, from both sides of our family. That has, by far, been the toughest part of living in Georgia. We are not remotely close to any of our family, so any time we do get to spend with them is extra special. WE spent Christmas in South Carolina at the Hinman Family Compound. We had gorgeous weather for the most part. My parents came to see us for New Years/ Stella's/ my birthday which was also lots of fun. We went to a Japanese steak house to celebrate our birthdays and the kids had their socks blown off by the fire/ grilling at the table!

For the past week, I have been slammed with multiple doctors appointments. I had my one hour glucose test with my OB which I promptly failed, awesome. More on that in a minute. The next day I had a follow-up ultrasound to check on baby. I'm happy to report that baby looks great! It was a growth measurement day, which are always fun to check out baby's progress. The baby would NOT stop kicking the ultrasound wand, so the poor tech had a helluva time getting measurements. This child is destined to play soccer, I've decided. Baby is measuring right on track and weighed in at 2lbs, 12oz, which, in case you were wondering, is LARGE. The third appointment I had last week was with my oncologist. At this point, I'm seeing her about every three months to check on blood counts and to make sure I'm not having any new problems. Thankfully, all is well from cancerland! I will follow-up with her after the baby is born to schedule scans, etc.

So, I mentioned that I failed my one hour glucose screening test. This is new territory for me, as that was one issue I didn't have when pregnant with Stella and Simon. The glucose screening test determines whether further testing is needed to see if I may have gestational diabetes. Yesterday, which was my birthday, I headed back to the OB office to take the three hour glucose tolerance test. I can't think of a more delightful activity to do on one's birthday... Anyway, the three hour test is a fasting test, so I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight. Pure torture for a pregnant woman. I arrived at the office at 9am and had to have my fasting blood draw immediately. Then, I was given the delightful Glucola drink to chug. The one hour test also has you drink Glucola with 50g of sugar. The three hour test Glucola has 100g of sugar in it. GAG. The fridge in the office was broken, so I had the added bonus of chugging that sucker warm. And it was fruit punch flavored. Double gag. I'm not a fan of sweet beverages to begin with, so this was like drinking a bowl of sugar.

Once I finished the drink, I had three more blood draws, once an hour. My poor arm was over it by the end. One neat side effect from my mastectomy is that since they took lymph nodes from my right arm, I can no longer have any kind of blood draw, needle stick or blood pressure taken on that side. If I were to use my right arm, I am at great risk for lymphedema. So, my poor left arm pulls all of the weight these days. As a side note, yes I do still have my port, which I wish I could use, but unfortunately, the only people allowed to access it are specialized oncology nurses.  I was nervous about how I would feel after chugging pure sugar, and I've many a horror story about the three hour test. The first fifteen minutes were a little rough, but after that my stomach settled and I felt fine. The baby was having quite the party and a few times I wondered if it was going to just jump out of my stomach. Again, this is not a quiet child, we are active both day and all night.

By the end of the test I was ravenous and working on a serious headache. I have a serious caffeine addiction, so not having my coffee in the morning was a doozie. I was happy to grab some lunch, but I was seriously wiped out. I picked the kids up from school and attempted to take a nap. Attempted would be the key word there. Stella basically refuse to nap most days, yesterday being one of them. My headache would NOT go away. I took Tylenol (useless, but all I'm allowed these days), drank coffee but nothing helped. I thought my head might just roll right off of my body. I ended up just going to bed early and thankfully it was gone when I woke up this morning. I'm assuming it was some sort of reaction to all of the sugar, but who knows.

I should have my results in a few days and then we'll come up with a plan if I do indeed have gestational diabetes. I'm really hoping I don't, but I've certainly dealt with much worse when it comes down to it. Until then, I'm off to enjoy a birthday cupcake ;)