Chapter 4: Health Crisis Prompts Minor Changes
We knew we wanted to have more babies, and why space them too far apart?
"Honey, you want to have another baby?"
"How about a June baby? Then we'll both be off for the whole summer together so we don't have to worry about unpaid leave?"
"Oh... what a great idea. Oh, ohhhhh, OHHHHH!"
"Well, I guess it's going to be a February baby."
Yeah, we're just AWESOME planners.
I was really floundering and miserable as a teacher at this point. I was chronically cranky and stressed. I didn't think of myself as a classic stress eater, but I really was. I was always exhausted and crabby. I had frequent bouts of flu and colds and often missed work because I was "sick" but really just because I hated my job so much and felt powerless and unhappy and worthless as a person.
A February baby gave me an excuse to take the rest of the year off.
It was a miserable pregnancy. I had horrible morning sickness--nausea, mostly, not too much vomiting--during the entire hot sticky summer. I laid on the couch practically naked, so fatigued I could hardly move, while my 2 year-old son played on the floor nearby.
That summer was the summer that my husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
We had taken a trip to visit his parents, who lived about 2 hours away (another source of stress, constantly having to take long car trips to do family things). On the way home, he had to pull over because his vision was so cloudy he couldn't see the road. The next day, I forced him to go see his doctor. Like an idiot, I let him drive himself. About 2 hours later, he called me from the ER. His blood sugar was over 600 (normal is 60-80). They wanted to admit him, but he convinced his doctor to allow him to go home after his sugar came down. They gave him i.v. fluids and insulin and after about 12 hours, they released him.
He got one basic consultation with a dietician (how to count carbs) , a prescription for Glucophage and a lesson on how to inject himself with insulin.
My husband, who had heretofore ignored his body as much as possible, suddenly became supermotivated to get healthier. He switched to diet soda (ugh, I know!), and we joined the YMCA. He rigorously counted carbs and we went to the gym together three times a week. Over the course of my pregnancy, he lost 35 pounds and was able to come off of insulin.
I benefited from the exercise, too. I stayed vegetarian this pregnancy and decided 100 grams of protein was probably a bit much. I still ate eggs and cheese and some ice cream (less at least), although I had stopped drinking milk. I only gained 35 pounds (and my prepregnancy weight was 10 pounds less). Still, I failed my initial glucose tolerance test, again.
And I suffered horribly from back pain, heart burn, and constipation (for the first time in my life!) throughout the entire pregnancy.
My darling daughter came 2 weeks early--I think she knew how much I wanted to get out of working--but weighed almost 8 pounds. We had a lovely homebirth and an easy delivery.
Since I was home for her first 6 months of life and money was tight, we ate out even less and I redoubled my interest and efforts in creating healthy meals that would help my husband with his weight loss.
At 18 months postpartum, I weighed about 150 pounds.