Category Archives: Planning

After a C-section: What to know

13592283_10154335268254596_2359390357578475755_nJust over two weeks ago I had my baby boy by c-section. It was planned, but wasn’t the first preference. My boy was breech and due to gestational diabetes, my doctors thought he was going to be far larger than he was. So, we opted for surgery, and for the most part, everything went well.

What I was surprised about is how unprepared I was for the week following the birth. I had stocked up on all the things I thought we’d need for a new baby, but somehow I felt so lost when I came home. I had my dear sister here (she had a c-section 16 years ago), and she was the glue that held us all together. So I’m super thankful for that. But here are a few ideas of things I wish I’d known ahead of time:

  1. There is going to be pain — It may not be the worst pain you’ve ever had, but it will come. My pain was a pulling, almost tearing pain, mostly at the edges of my incision. My nurses told me that’s common, but it was hard to lie down, stand up, twist, turn and walk. It’s a good idea to take the pain meds they give you as long as they don’t make you sick.
  2. Stock up — on maxi pads, both for bleeding and to use to help soak up any drainage from the incision.
  3. You might have something called a PICO line left inside your incision. It’s basically a drain to make sure your incision heals well. There is a thin tube on the outside of your body connected to a small battery pack. You can tuck it into your hospital wrap, but it is irritating, especially when the battery gets accidentally turned off and it makes a highly annoying sound until you fix it. The drain should come out very soon after you leave the hospital.
  4. Showering can be challenging also. The drain needs to be sealed off so you don’t get water into it. I used a Ziploc baggie and tied it off with a hair tie. Make sure your towel is right by the shower and that you have something dry to step out onto so you don’t slip.
  5. Have someone come help take care of the baby. If possible, have a friend or family member stay with you to help with late night feedings and to be a moral support. C-section surgery is a major surgery, and it comes with all the same warnings to heed as other surgeries.

Gestational diabetes

I’ve started taking glyburide, an oral medicine that helps keep my blood sugar levels down. So far it seems to be working, as my morning numbers are low and within range. That’s the most important thing right now for me to focus on.

I don’t do well with anti-diabetic drugs. Metformin caused me to crash so badly that I ended up with blurred vision, dizziness, nausea and a relentless need for sleep. Glyburide seems to be having the same effect on me, causing a lot of nausea. I’ve puked about 5 times in the past two days.

To help stave off the pukes, I’m again taking promethazine early in the morning. I do feel better stomach-wise, but I’m so exhausted I can’t see straight. That’s one of the effects of promethazine that I experienced before. After several days that seemed to subside, but so did the positive effects of the drug.

Diabetes in general is a terrible, terrible disease. Having it while pregnant, with all the hormone surges, stomach unrest, acid reflux and exhaustion is nearly unfair. I’m no good around the house, and going out anywhere is just plain stupid. I sleep more than my dog and I still have so much to do before Austin gets here.

All of this will so be worth it when he arrives!

Being a North Texas mom

The weather is picking up today and we’re under a tornado watch here in Dallas. I don’t like living in tornado alley, not a bit. Especially in spring. Now that I’m pregnant, it’s extra scary to me because I have another life to protect along with mine, my husband’s, our dog’s and cat’s lives. We have a small closet in the baby’s room, and that’s where I plan to hunker down if the sirens start to blow.

Days like this take all my energy and toss it to the wind, so to speak. I have had the Weather Channel on for the past couple hours and I’m probably thinking about it too much. The sky outside is filled with white, fluffy clouds and blue, but it’s 84 degrees and the humidity is high. Usually, when storms are about to hit, the sky here turns a strange color — a grayish green that is probably more frightening than any other part of the impending conditions.

Although tornadoes happen all year round here, the springtime and fall seem to be the nastiest seasons. Spring brings rain (sometimes), and wild thunderstorms. I’ve seen blue, yellow, pink and purple lightening, been directly below thunderclaps (which caused me to drive off the road) and seen hail the size of softballs. The next moment, it could all be gone. Sun gives way to storms, and vice versa. There is no way to predict for sure, and that scares me.

Last spring we awoke to our phones screaming at us about a tornado threat. I heard sirens … this Yankee knows her tornado sirens … and realized the outdoor siren up the street from us was blaring its warning. I headed for the closet; my husband headed for the TV (He’s from Texas so he doesn’t freak out) and put on the news. They said we had a tornado on the ground near us in Irving. I was freaking out and telling him to get into the closet with me and the pets. He was cool as a cucumber and even as we found out that it was about a mile from us, he was ready to head back to bed.

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink that night.

Up Close
Up Close

Little things — thankful

We are a little bit further down the road now, at 23 weeks tomorrow. That’s the official week that babies are viable outside of the womb. Whew, what a relief to have gotten this far! Thank you Lord, for keeping our precious Austin safe.

When you’re a high-risk pregnancy, you tend to take note of every little glory that comes along. HCG levels doubled? Exhale. First sonogram heartbeat? Perfect. Out of the precarious first trimester? Thank God. Every time we go to the doctor, I panic a little bit prior to the visit, worried that we won’t hear a heartbeat. I guess that’s the human part of me that worries over everything.

Richly, God has blessed us with a healthy heartbeat each time we see or hear our little love. He’s getting pretty busy now too, kicking and (I imagine) flipping inside my belly when I settle down to sleep. I love those moments — when I get to feel my son playing happily as he grows — and can’t wait ’til they come more often.

At this point, I’m ready for him to be here. Sometimes, it’s like I can feel him in my arms. I can’t wait to feed him, care for him, love him, snuggle him, sing to him, dance with him, take him everywhere to explore life and get to know his perfect little personality. He is truly already a great baby.

We go back to see the doctor in 1.5 weeks, when I will have my glucose test for gestational diabetes. The illness runs in my family, so it’s very important to me to make sure all is well in the sugar department. Though the sweet little one inside of me might be all I need to up my A1C 😉

Going up stairs

We recently moved into a bigger apartment so we’d have a room for little Austin. They told us it would be on the first floor, but failed to mention the stairs we would have to take to get down the our level.

Then of course, back up to our car, and all other ways out of the complex means a trip up those same 19 stairs.

They aren’t the biggest stairs I’ve ever seen, but they are just enough to leave me breathless when I reach the top.

I take another 10 steps or so … and have to stop to catch my breath again.

And again …

Stairs and being pregnant don’t go well together. My huge belly sags all the way to the top of the flight. Then I have to hold it up with my hands to walk the rest of the way to the car.

How will I ever do this with a baby in my arms, a diaper bag and a mom-size purse?


His name is Austin

12828349_10153992315264596_5746199997966722527_oHis name is Austin Denver. His daddy named him, and he’s such a good baby. Our 20-week sonogram was about a week ago, and he was really kicking and waving at us. He’s the most precious thing I’ve ever seen.

At 16 weeks I started feeling better. Morning sickness subsided and I have been feeling a lot happier. About a week ago I quit my job, as the stress has elevated my blood pressure to the point where I needed to take a baby aspirin each evening. I also began having pain from the muscles in my uterine wall and outside of it stretching. You never really think about having muscles there until they ache 😉

I can’t wait to start feeling him kick and punch! My doctor says that should start happening anytime now. He needs to start practicing those perfect spirals!

Anyhow, we just moved into a bigger apartment with a bedroom for Austin and his daddy is clearing it out and getting it ready for Austin’s baby furniture. We have some Dr. Seuss baby books and stuffed animals for him. We can’t wait to get his little room all set up.



Getting bigger

I’m just out of my 1st trimester and I’m so happy about that! I’m feeling a bit better, but I think that might be mostly due to a new anti-nausea medicine I’m on. I still get queasy when I don’t have the pills, but mints and smelling citrus lotion/etc. really helps keep it at bay.

We saw our little one a few days ago, kicking and waving and really moving around. I was surprised at how much bigger he/she has gotten. My husband has come to call the baby “him,” so perhaps he has some insider Daddy scoop on the gender ;0) I just can’t wait to have the baby here so I can hold him/her. We should know that for sure in about 5-6 weeks.

I think I’m really starting to bond with this baby more than I have been. I was worried it wouldn’t happen, and was feeling really guilty. But the sickness easing has really helped me be more happy all around.


Sugar Plum is growing fast

At first, being pregnant felt a lot like I swallowed something and a little alien started growing in my belly. We watch YouTube videos each week to see what our little one looks like in utero, and some of the alien thoughts were confimed 🙂

I’m just about to hit 10 weeks pregnant and we had a sonogram the other day. Our Sugar Plum is getting so big! We even got to see him/her wiggle around in there. The baby sure looks a lot more “human” than it did before!

I can’t believe how quickly this kid is growing up! Every week it’s something new. We’ve had several sonograms because of my higher-risk pregnancy — about one on average since week 6. I guess we’re a bit spoiled now because we want to see the little wiggle worm as often as we can. Sadly, we now have to wait at least a month until we get the chance to see our babe again.

As for this first trimester, I’m ready to kiss it goodbye. I’ve been sick since Week 6 and it feels like that morning sickness has really stolen my enthusiasm about this pregnancy, which is super sad to me. I’m feeling a bit better these past few days and that has made a huge difference. I may even have a bit more energy.

My husband has pulled all the weight around the house, including tending to our pets, cooking, cleaning, running errands, washing laundry and taking care of Mama Bear. He’s the only reason I’m able to let myself “be sick” and get lots of sleep. I’m so thankful for him.

Little tater tot

So, it’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog. I was hesitant to post about our news too early, but it’s time to share.

I am pregnant with our first little one!

Baby Bays should arrive sometime mid-July 2016. We’re praying for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and a happy and healthy baby girl or boy. Everything seems to be going well right now, and we’ll have our first ultrasound in about a week.

I’m finding myself far more attached to this babe than I realized I’d be. I know that sounds odd being that I’m a mother now, but all of my life I never realized just how much I’d care so soon.

Despite being only 6 weeks and 3 days along, we’ve known about our little tater tot now for about half of that time — much longer than most women at this stage. Many ladies don’t even know they’re pregnant until around now. Morning sickness sets in, your body starts acting strangely and then Poof! The home pregnancy test comes up positive. For us, it’s been a bit more complex than that.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve already grown so attached. These first few months of pregnancy are super important and often very precarious, especially for someone my age (35) and with PCOS. So knowing early has been good for that. It’s also meant that I’ve been more paranoid than perhaps most women are during early pregnancy. Every pain, every cramp, every wave of nausea has had me wondering. “Is something going wrong? Is the baby OK?”

And then of course if something’s not happening, there’s the concern that the baby has stopped thriving. Thankfully, I’ve had symptoms on and off, which generally indicates normalcy this early on. So I’m grateful for a bit of comfort in that.

At our two week appointment, my HCG levels indicated pregnancy. A couple days later, that number was elevated, but hadn’t quite doubled, which it should have. The nurse suggested that could mean an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or a chemical pregnancy (those two are similar in early pregnancy). She assured me that I was going in the right direction though, and that we should run another test.

Two days later, another test and another long day waiting for the results. I cried and worried. My husband comforted me and reassured me that everything would be OK. I was heartbroken already, probably over preparing myself for the worst.

Thankfully, we got excellent results. My HCG (pregnancy hormone) numbers had more than doubled since the previous test. My nurse was enthusiastic and said we didn’t need any more blood tests now and could schedule an ultrasound for the 7 week, 3 day mark. I can’t tell you how relieved and grateful her news was. God had been “cooking” our little one in His perfect timing.

We’ve come up with a couple names that we like and my husband is taking great care of me and the baby. He’s already a wonderful father. I don’t think the dog can tell yet, but once he can, I’m not even sure my husband will be able to get within 5 feet of me without growling ensuing 😉 I know the Lab will be very attached too!





What doesn’t change

This is something I wrote about 1.5 years ago. Please go ahead and read the old, unfinished part and then the commentary below it.

It just occurred to me today that in less than 2 months Brent will be a part of my family. No longer will I be part of a nuclear family in terms of “family,” but my immediate family will now be Brent (and Toby and Jeeves). That is an odd reality.

Pretty soon, his dad, who I now call “Mr. Bays” will be my father-in-law. His brothers, my brothers-in-law, and his niece will become my niece. I will also change my name to his.

I won’t be able to just pick up and leave for a trip whenever I want to, nor will I be making life choices on my own.

It’s funny how all of these things seem so petty now that we’re 15 months into our marriage. Most of what I think about as a wife revolves around the details of making it through the day. I’m afraid to think in fast forward mode because I want to be good at what I’m going in the present time.

There have been a few times when I’ve thought about how I can’t just take any old job and move to another state or something. I don’t bug out about it like I first did, while I’m thankful for. Having a teammate to get through the beautiful and tough times is so much better than going it alone.

At first, it was so weird to have a husband. OK, I still get chills when he says to me, “You’re my wife.” That does it every time. But I’m past the novelty of having a new last name. The ring on my left hand is simply part of my daily “uniform.” I forget that we’re still “newly married.”

What I pray never gets old is the absolutely serenity of falling asleep and waking up in the arms of another human — of someone who loves me unconditionally — a completely safe place. I feel God close in those moments. I pray that never changes.