Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Squeezing just one more appointment into 2014, today marks the beginning of my incessant trips up and down I-95 for perinatal appointments. Starting weekly appointments, soon to be bi-weekly appointments, I went into today with my fingers crossed that we'd be able to receive more complete information about Baby #3 than we did just two weeks ago from Doctor Bronsky. It's not that I've been worried - okay, maybe it's more accurate to say that I am no more worried than normal - since we received jack-squat in hard-fact updates, but with how hard I've been working to keep my glucose on target and my weight (and the eggs...) down all while enduring near constant Braxton Hicks contractions leaves me feeling like knowing something - knowing ANYTHING - more than last time would at least give me a context within which to frame my insomnia and compulsive (aka distracting) fiction reading.
Having received a reminder call yesterday about my "appointment with Dr. Bronsky tomorrow at 10:00 AM," I became more anxious for answers as we walked into the, once again, full waiting room. Realizing something must have changed with their scheduling procedures, I said a quick thank you to God that we brought GV along for the day given her compact-sized entertainment value package. While waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and waiting to be called back for my lab work, sonogram or first non-stress test (NST) of this pregnancy, GV took it upon herself to wish everyone in the room an individual "Happy New Year!" in her best Shirley Temple attempting to be Santa Claus voice. Noting the several holiday decorations around the room, she also began a ruckus round of who's on first with me, much to the delight of the other couples and staff witnessing the conversation:
GV: "Look Mama! My found a Christmas tree!"
Me: "No, GV, say 'I found a Christmas tree."
GV: "You found a Christmas tree, Mama?"
Me: "No, I didn't find a Christmas tree. GV found the Christmas tree. Can you say, 'I found a Christmas tree'?"
GV: "My found a Christmas tree!"
Me: "No, say 'I found a Christmas tree.'"
GV: "You found a Christmas Tree?"
You get the gist...
Anyway, eventually I am called back by the quiet Chinese sonographer and we traipse our way back to the exam room (where GV promptly insists we should look at baby via her belly button). Knowing it's now or maybe never that we get our answers about Baby #3 for the day, we promptly start to hound her with questions about my AFI levels, his weight and size. Happy to please, she not only provided us with another set of 3D pictures of the little one, but the cold hard facts I was craving:
Amniotic fluid index: 30.0 (99%)
Fetal weight: 5 lbs 2 oz (74%)
Head circumference: 32.2 CM (84% or 36 wks 3 days)
Abdominal circumference: 30.0 CM (88% or 34 wks)
Femur length: 6.3 CM (38% or 33 wks 4 days) (huh...)
Thanking her profusely for her assistance, I head back out to the waiting room where GV and I inevitably continue our two-year old pronoun reindeer games until I'm called back for my basic biophysical profile check. Finding my weight to be up one pound since my appointment two weeks ago and my blood pressure to be perfectly within my normal range (114/63), the nurse sticks a gigantic pink sticky note to the front of my chart reading "KETONES (++)" before sending me back to wait for Dr. Bronsky's patient que to call my number. Another fifteen or so minutes later, we're finally shown in to his office where we sit down and I automatically tense from nerves and HB puts on his "drill the doctor" face.
"So between his weight and the AFI levels, are we looking at scheduling the induction shortly?" HB asks in a leading manner.
"The hospital won't allow for us to schedule an induction farther than 3 weeks out," Dr. Bronsky responds barely looking away from my electronic chart.
"Even with him measuring several weeks ahead and her amniotic fluid levels so high?"
"Well, his weight and the AFI levels are all high because you're diabetic," he explained. "We won't let you go past 38 weeks anyway."
Feeling stung by this last comment given my stellar HgA1C, I chose this moment to chime in that my glucose is under tight control.
"So why are you spilling ketones?" he asks over his glasses.
Having gone hyperglycemic over night (peaked at 178 mg/dL) due to changing basal requirements and still coming down post morning coffee (sample taken while at 148 mg/dL), I showed him my glucose monitor and the absolutely minimal out of range fluctuations I've had for the past 24 hours. Knowing his threat with GV that "if you don't get your postprandials under control, you're going off the pump and onto injections," I shouldn't have been surprised by his expression of curiosity and confusion upon seeing my CGM monitor but his limited understanding of it spewed forth in his following comments:
"Your glucose still swings dramatically, so these complications are directly relevant to your glucose control."
Even with a HgA1C in the solidly normal, non-diabetic range of 4.1 to 5.9 (currently sitting at 5.5), this comment hit me like a ton of bricks: there is absolutely nothing more I can actively do to protect this baby from my diabetes. Regardless of my locked down diet, my minimalist insulin usage and my target glucose range of 70 to 140 mg/dL, my limited tolerance of glucose is impacting Baby's glucose ranges (aka his macrosomia), urine output (aka my AFI levels) and delivery options (induction or c-section, here I come). It's honestly no wonder that my irritable uterus went into an encore round of Braxton Hicks just in time for my non-stress test to start - gee, thanks doc, for the pep talk. Fortunately, Baby showed the proper accelerations and decelerations of his heart rate so at least I have that one shred of silver lining for the day that his heart, at least, isn't screwed up because of me!
Information wise, the appointment was a major success. Emotionally speaking, however, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel like I've been run over by a bus. I so try to put everything into taking care of this little one (and the older two, of course), but today left me with this feeling of unavoidable inadequacy and, it's knock-on effect, a dreaded sense of hopelessness that I am finding difficult to curtail when faced with yet another omelet dinner... I realize it's only another handful of weeks (GW arrived at 36 wks and GV at 38, so that puts us anywhere from four to six weeks away from show time) until we're at the finish line and fumbling now isn't worth the cost of admission, so I won't, but dang it I'm exhausted and hurt and ...
Until next week, I guess.