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Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Survive Gestational Diabetes...

Any woman who has been pregnant knows about the dreaded glucose test. 
They make you drink this nasty, super sweet orange liquid and then, 1 hour later, they draw your blood. If you don't "pass" that test, they make you do a 3 hour test. First, you fast for 8 hours, then they draw your blood. You drink that same nasty liquid, and they test your blood again, every hour, 3 more times. It's honestly brutal and kind of torture but it's necessary for your and the baby's health so we all put up with it. 
When you have PCOS, like I do, they test you at 18 weeks and if you pass (I did!) then you get to do it again at 28 weeks, like the rest of the preggos. 
I unfortunately did not pass my 28 week test. So, at 30 weeks, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. 
I was absolutely devasated!
I thought, "Seriously?! I've been VERY careful with gaining weight, haven't been ridiculous with my cravings, and didn't we already have a hard enough time getting pregnant?! Shouldn't the rest of this be easy?"
Ya, I threw myself a little pity party and then, I decided to make the best of it. 
I purchased all of the stupid supplies (meter, lancets, testing strips) and began reading and doing as much research as possible. 
I learned that there is a higher chance for a larger baby when the mother has gestational diabetes and that can often lead to a higher risk of a C-section because the baby is simply too large to make it through the canal. Since I am determined to have as close to a natural birth as possible, this upset me greatly. 

I decided that I HAD to find the positives and make the most of it so... I did.

Here are my tips for getting through those last several weeks of your pregnancy, with Gestational Diabetes...

1. Purchasing your testing supplies kind of sucks. They're expensive and when you're wanting to spend all of your extra money on the baby, it's really annoying to spend that extra money on testing supplies. But... do it. And do it as soon as you're diagnosed. The earlier you get your blood sugars under control, the better the chances for a positive outcome are. 

2. Keep all of your appointments. You'll immediately start seeing your OB weekly. Normally, that doesn't begin until 35-36 weeks but they like to keep a close eye on you so you'll see her more often now. Don't miss any of your appointments because if your sugar numbers seem off, the earlier your doctor can start you on medication, the better. 

3. Take your medicine, if you are prescribed any. After 1 week of my sugars being strange and not really making sense, with what I was eating, my doctor put me on medicine to help. And... it helped! Remember that being put on that medicine is not a punishment, it's just a way to help you make it through. In most women, after you deliver that placenta, your diabetes symptoms will disappear, so it isn't your fault. Blame it on the placenta. 

4. Keep track of your sugars and be honest with your doctor. This is really important! Your doctor can't help you if you're not honest. It's okay if 1 or 2 of your draws throughout the week are a little off. You can discuss what may have caused that, with your doctor, and she'll help you adjust what needs adjusting. It may just be a matter of, "Oh well, you ate that. One cheat meal is completely acceptable." (My doctor said this to me, just last week. I ate French Toast and it was delicious and totally worth my sugar being slightly high! haha)

5. Adjust your diet but you don't have to go crazy and get some exercise. Both are good for you and the baby. Needing to watch what I ate was actually really beneficial for multiple reasons so I found a silver lining in that. Also, you'll get to see a certified nutritionist! What woman hasn't wanted some advice from a nutritionist at some point in her life? I even cheated and got advice on losing the baby weight (and then some)! I'm going to get to see her after Emma is born and make a plan for being healthy, post pregnancy. And insurance covers it! Silver lining!

6. Don't beat yourself up if your blood sugars don't immediately start going down with change in diet, or even with medicine. It's different for everyone, and it takes time for your body to adjust to the changes you're trying to make. And if you have some sporadic high tests, even ones you can't explain, don't beat yourself up over those either. The important thing is that you're doing everything you can to keep your blood sugar at the right level, and sometimes it's just beyond your control. Just don't stop trying.

Need another silver lining?

In addition to seeing your doctor weekly, you'll also have weekly ultrasounds where they check to see that baby is developing properly. You'll get extra pictures and the peace of mind that your baby is healthy and almost ready to be in your arms. 

So, the diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes is not fun and it's definitely not one that any woman wants to get but you can survive and make the most of it.

Good luck!

Emma at 35 weeks. The best silver lining ever!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Emma's Nursery...

Hey all!
We are finally finished with Emma's room!
It's taken us awhile but it's perfect (in my humble opinion) and I can't wait to bring her home and watch her grow up in this room!
As you may remember, we had a couple of pieces from my nursery, purchased items at thrift stores and really only kept the new purchases to her bookshelf and the rug.
We used a LOT of spray paint and several cans of regular paint but everything matches and it all looks like we bought it together. Thomas and I are quite proud!

Is the suspense killing you? Ha.
Here it is... Emma's Nursery!
All 3 of those furniture pieces were in my nursery.
We painted all of the furniture to match. The rocking chair, crib, and changing table were all the same style but we didn't want the dark brown in the nursery. Painting them ivory gave them new life!
The gorgeous artwork above her changing table was a gift from my mom. I picked it out at Hobby Lobby but when I went back to purchase it, after finding out we were having a girl, it was gone. I called my mom, completely distraught, and she went right over to the nearest Hobby Lobby, in Kansas City, and purchased it for us. I love my mom!
It says, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."
Proverbs 31:25
I have always loved that verse and want Emma to grow with strength, dignity, and without fear, knowing her God loves her.
It's exactly the perfect piece of artwork for above where I'll get her dressed everyday.
 I made the monogram above her crib.
 My mom purchased the magnetic board for us, as well. We added the ultrasound picture of Emma so there's already a little bit of her in there! The bird picture is also from Hobby Lobby. In fact, all of the artwork, except the monogram that I made, is from Hobby Lobby.
Man, I really need to purchase stock in that store. hahaha
 This little nook will be great for feeding Emma! I put the little end table next to the rocking chair so I have a place to set a drink or snack, while rocking her. It's also a great place for the monitor to hide out.
 I purchased those amazing baskets at Marshall's. I love the little touches of lavender throughout the room. If Baby Myers had been a boy, we were planning on adding navy accents to the yellow and gray.
This beautiful chair was made and given to us by our dear friend, Brenna. She even embroidered "Emma" on the seat!
 We purchased a second bookshelf a few weeks ago when we realized we needed just a bit more storage. She'll have a little extra room to add her own touches when she gets a little older.
Both bookshelves are from Target but I added a personal touch by painting the back panel the same color gray as the chevron wall.
 We made the curtain on the closet so it can either be pulled back, like this or...
 ...left closed like this. I'm not sure which I love more.
Both the curtain rods for the window and closet are from Target and match the chandelier perfectly. Such luck finding those!
Maybe I should buy stock in Target, too...
 We purchased this gorgeous chandelier at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $10!
The clock and flowers were in other places in our house but they work perfectly on top of her bookshelf so they have a new home.  The frame is from Thomas' mom and I can't wait to add one of Emma's newborn photos to it!
Even her Wallflower (currently smells like pumpkins) matches! We purchased the outlet cover & cross from Hobby Lobby. I love how it all ties in together!
Thomas moved the light switch. It was originally where the new outlet is but we didn't like having to reach around the corner to turn on the light. I love that I can plug in a wallflower, where she and the dogs can't reach it. Thomas also installed a dimer so when we go in to get her for late night diaper changes, we don't blind ourselves with the bright light. Love my handy hubby!
We spray painted all of the existing outlet covers and vents. I think it adds a custom touch.
 Of course, we had to add little personal touches, like her initial in little places. I love that this big "E" doubles as a bookend!
 Lots and lots of hair bows, of course! The praying doll was in my room when I was little and Claire made Emma the gorgeous needlepoint. How neat is that?
 That dresser looks so much better after we gave it a little TLC!
  I purchased these two bins, and the two matching, smaller ones that are on the other bookshelf, from Mardel. They're the perfect size for stuffed animals & toys!
Thomas has great plans for a playroom, in our den, but she won't need that for awhile & this works great, for now.
I also love that, since these are on the bottom shelf, when we have tummy time, I can reach over & just pull out a new toy. I won't have to get up and leave her at all!

The room started out bright red, then Brenna & Michael painted in green (it was their room when they lived here). We debated between repainting it and making it the nursery or making our old room the nursery. We decided we liked Emma's room being the opposite corner from ours so we can see her crib from our bed.
The three walls are painted sparkly yellow! You can't really tell it in any of the pictures but the walls actually sparkle. The chevron wall was stenciled and painted by me. It took weeks but I love how it turned out and was much cheaper than purchasing wallpaper.

Months and months of planning went into this room but I am so happy with the results!
In less than 2 weeks, I'll bring home our little princess and then room really will be perfect. :)

I'd love to hear feedback!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bulletin Board Makeover...

Hello everyone!

T-minus 14 days until Emma's due date and with every passing second, I get more excited! I'm not a proponent of wishing away time but I really wish these two weeks would fly on by! I can't wait to meet my baby girl!

While I'm waiting for her, I'm finishing some fun projects around the house. 
Our guest room is up and ready for visitors. We expect that everyone will want to visit when Emma arrives so we've made a comfortable space for them. :)

We've begun painting our bedroom. 
Ya, that one was Thomas' idea...

I've completed all kinds of fun craft projects and am back working on the T-shirt quilt that I started 4 years ago. Not having a good sewing machine put a major damper on the project, and then we moved so the quilt pieces got thrown into a box until we had enough room at our new house and Thomas bought me a new sewing machine. I seriously have the best husband in the world!

One project that I finally finished up recently is my new bulletin board. 
I took my old, plain, brown cork board and made it match my new office
My handsome man, taking it off the wall in our old office.

I dusted it really well, measured it and bought fabric that matched my new office theme.
I had several fun printed fabrics picked out but went with this solid color because I knew it would be easier to match. 

And then, I added thumb tacks. Lots and lots of thumb tacks.
I found this fun flower at Micheal's for $1 so I glued it on as well.

Ta-da! I'm being VERY particular about what goes on this board, so it's still a little bare. I like it that way. Nice and clean!
Putting the thumb tacks on definitely took the longest amount of time out of anything but I love the clean, finished, designer look it gave the old, worn out cork board!

Bulletin Board: FREE (Thanks CMU Humanities Department!)
Thumb tacks: 4 boxes at $.97 a piece (Wal-Mart) = approx. $5
Fabric: 1 1/2 yards at $1.88/yard (Wal-Mart) = approx. $3
Pretty flower accent: $1 (Micheal's) 

Total cost for new, beautiful bulletin board = $9

I'll say that's a win!

Happy Wednesday!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Toy Cleaning...

Thomas' mom saves everything! 
Well, not everything but everything that is important for her children. 
She's pretty much awesome!
She saved all of Thomas' nice toys and books and then passed them on to us!
How fun is that?
2 weeks ago, we went to Kansas City and picked all of it up... an entire trunk full!
The books are organized on Emma's bookshelf (we even bought a second because there were so many!) but I didn't know what to do about the toys. 

Cindy (Thomas' mom) keeps an extremely clean house but these toys have been in storage for at least 15 years (Thomas' sister is 18) so I knew they had to be a little icky. 

Pinterest to the rescue!

 I piled as many of the toys in the dishwasher as I could, set it to "normal" wash with the "sanitize" option and let it go. 
The toys literally sparkled when they were finished and I know they're nice and clean.
OCD? Yes. But I definitely feel better knowing Emma can safely put these in her mouth and there aren't 18 year old germs on them. haha

Warning: Do NOT put the plastic books in the dishwasher. Duh! I know.
But I did it. They're fine now but I had to squish the water out of most of them and set them out to dry for a few days. 
Pregnancy brain is real.

So, take your kids' toys and pop them in the dishwasher! Clean those puppies good!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Bassinet Makeover...

Happy Friday! 
Miss Emma's due date is in less than 3 weeks but the doctor says she's safe to come at any time and very well may make her grand entrance at any time. *Fingers crossed*
I'm about to make the full transition to full-time Mommy and I couldn't be more excited!

Speaking of Emma (Which happens a lot now and I would say I'm sorry but... I'm not.), we finally figured out what to do about her bassinet. A couple of years ago (darn infertility), we found a bassinet at a garage sale for $5! It certainly wasn't the prettiest thing but I knew I could take the cover off, clean it once or twice several times, obsessively, and it would work perfectly. So, we bought it, took it apart, put it in our storage closet and forgot about it. Until April when we began thinking about the items we would need for our baby. We pulled it out and began the adventure of taking the cover off to wash it. It wasn't until then that we realized the cover was not easily removable. Whomever designed the thing apparently didn't realize that babies make messes, even in bed, and it would need to be washable. The cover was literally sewn and screwed on to the base. A fabric cover! Thomas and I were completely taken aback. We put it back in the closet because we were so frustrated and vowed to worry about it later.
The next thing we knew, I was 7 months pregnant. Crazy how time flies like that!
So, yet again, we pulled it out and began the adventure of figuring out what to do. 
The cover, at least, needed to be washed but I was also no longer crazy about the color or style of it. Thomas worked his amazing husband magic and managed to get the cover off. 

First idea: Give up and purchase a brand new bassinet.
Problem: I'm frugal and refuse to spend money on something, especially when I know I have a perfectly good item just within reach.

Second idea: Find a pattern and sew a brand new cover.
Problem: It is nearly impossible to find a pattern for a bassinet.

Third idea: Measure the bassinet and design my own pattern to sew a new cover.
Problem: I'm very new at machine sewing and quickly got overwhelmed with this task.

After lots of researching (way too much for something as small as a bassinet), Thomas and I decided to dye the current cover. 
Why on earth did it take us that long to figure out that option?
I don't wanna talk about it. 

We chose gray dye and had every intention of the cover being a gorgeous, elegant, dark gray. 
Alas, even 4 packages of dye couldn't get it gray. 
I have absolutely NO idea why. 
Anyway, we're actually much more pleased with the "accident" color that came out then we would have been with the gray so all is well in the Myers house. 
(I know you were worried.)

 Before the great attempt. We washed it, according to the dying directions so it's wet (and clean) here. 

Thank you Hobby Lobby. haha. We purchased 4 of these... and used them all!

So, then I added a row of white lace. I needed to add a touch of girly and it makes it look new!
Everyone keeps their bassinet in the kitchen, right?

That makes more sense... in our bedroom!

I think this picture really shows it off nicely. The original flowers still show up (which I LOVE) but the whole thing is lavender now, instead of the white with blue flowers. 
It's much more girly!

Don't you just LOVE that addition of the lace?!

So, there we are... one step closer to Baby Emma's arrival! 

Stay tuned! 
I have been in full-on nesting mode so everything is being taken out of cabinets and drawers and finding new homes! It's quite exciting... for me. I think Thomas is feeling like we just moved in again. He keeps asking, "Okay, now where did you put ____?" 
Oops. :)
I'm so lucky he's so understanding!
Emma's room is nearly finished. Every time I think I'm ready to do a post about it though, we find something else to change or fix. 
It will be perfect when... well, there's a baby in the bed! hehe

Have a splendid weekend!