Monday, March 3, 2008


Last week I submitted my request for maternity leave to HR. Go to the Department of Labor's website and read your employee manual for more info. I believe the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) is for 12 weeks, unpaid. I'm supposed to be grateful that they just don't fire me for getting pregnant- it's almost like a penalty. Sure you can get pregnant, and we'll hold your job for you, but don't expect to get paid, and you should be back in twelve weeks.

Twelve weeks=Three months. So if I want my job back I have to leave my three month old in the care of someone else. For a country that loves to spit out the phrase "family values," this separation of the family unit at a critical time of family development is counterintuitive.

I had my first post-GD midwife appointment. I was feeling pretty crappy about the diagnosis. I thought I was doing all I could to have a healthy pregnancy. I'm Nelly Negative, raised a fundamentalist Christian, so I immediately chalked this up to divine punishment for thinking I would have a natural childbirth. My midwife was much more level-headed. To get this diagnosis with eight weeks to go was, as the head midwife said, a slap in the face. GD happens to one in twelve pregnant women through no fault of their own.

The placenta processes the sugar you eat, but some placentas don't process it as well as others. So the insulin in you acts as a growth hormone in your fetus. This is why it's important to be screened for GD and to maintain your blood sugar levels. Eat often, three meals a day and three snacks. Limit, not eliminate, carbohydrate intake, and drink lots of water.

The monitoring is not so much fun. I have a glucose monitor and I have to prick my finger four times a day until I give birth. I also have to test my ketone levels (make sure there's no protein in my urine). One if four women need insulin shots to help maintain normal levels (around 95 at fasting, and around 120 two hours after eating). I will also have two more ultrasounds to check the size of the baby. If the baby is too large I would have to have a cesarian section. The silver lining in all this is that I do not have Type II diabetes. GD goes away after you give birth.

Midwife says thinks positively. So I will maintain my blood sugar levels, the baby will be a normal weight, and I will write about the waterbirth in April. Everything will be fine.

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