Boy oh boy BABY is here! When your birth plan goes amiss…

Here we are in the midst of the holiday season and I NEVER posted an official baby announcement.! Yikes, I’m behind. I took a 3 month maternity leave from any online work, but it is good to be back.

ZADEN PAUL CARLTON was born August 31 at 5:05pm. He was 5lb 8oz. We are so in love with our little man!


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I wrote a blog post about my gestational diabetes and how perfectly normal/healthy people can get it. Having diabetes while pregnant definitely was not in my “pregnancy plans” but it was the first step in God teaching me to become more trusting of HIS plans for me. Motherhood has already taught me so much — to let go of my perfect plans and my anxiety about the future and to place my trust in my all-knowing, sovereign God! I know I will probably be taught this lesson again and again through the years.

And Gestational Diabetes was only the first deviation from my plans…

My goal was to have my baby at a birth center as naturally as possible! I have always been interested in having a home birth, but my husband and I decided it would be better to have my first at a birth center in Sacramento in case anything went wrong *rolls eyes* I was pretty darn certain nothing would, my mom had 7 healthy pregnancies and births and her last one was in her 40’s! So, pshh I mean…come on, I’m only 24. What could go wrong? Surely I was in for a smooth natural pregnancy and delivery! I was so excited for a quiet, intimate birth with just the midwife, my husband, and mom. :)

So, first the news came that I had gestational diabetes… I was shocked! Honestly, I had never even heard of it. Thankfully, I was able to control it with dietary changes and so the midwife still felt comfortable with me having my baby there. That was util around 36 weeks when I was at a checkup and the midwife gave me a funny look after taking my blood pressure. She proceeded to take my blood pressure multiple times. She told me my blood pressure was elevated – but not to the point that I would need to be hospitalized. However, it continued to go up no matter how much I tried to “take it easy.” I was taken to the hospital and was there most of the night being tested and monitored and was finally sent home — conclusion = I didn’t have preeclampsia but I did have gestational hypertension. The next day I was sent in again (this time to a different hospital) and they concluded that the best thing for my baby and I was to get him out pf there. They also concluded that I did have preeclampsia (I was told so many different things, I’m not sure if I really did have it or not haha).

They were going to induce me.

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And that’s when I had to fully surrender my plans to the Lord. Here I was surrounded by strange doctors and med students, hooked up to a blood pressure monitor and IV, getting prepped for my induction… They laughed at the idea that I didn’t want an epidural and told me I needed magnesium or I my blood pressure would spike too high from the petocin and I could have a seizure…. after discussing (more like arguing) with all the different doctors, I was left with multiple stressful decisions that I wasn’t prepared to make. I am just so thankful I had my faithful husband by my side, supporting me and taking the lead with communicating with the doctors. I could not have gone through the birth without him, my labor delivery nurse friend, and my mom. They were an awesome team!

The labor was VERY painful, as the baby was face up, and being induced is no fun. But 13 hours later my tiny little boy was born!

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So that’s my story. Thankfully, nothing major did go wrong and I was still able to have a natural birth (besides the petocin). I was able to give birth to a beautiful, healthy son! And I know many people have scarier, more devastating birth stories than I do… Oh how my heart aches for them! And…oh my goodness did I learn why some people choose to get an epidural…OUCH 😉 there is absolutely no judgement on my part if you chose to get one haha. I felt led to share my story to encourage women to always hold their plans and desires with open hands. YES – it is still good to plan and dream. And yes, I still think natural birth is the best option. HOWEVER, things don’t always go as we plan and we have to be ok with that. We must have more trust and faith in God’s plan than our own.

What do I want you to take away from this?

  1. Hold onto your plans  and desires with open hands
  2. Trust your heavenly Father
  3. Don’t judge other. Everyone has a story and we don’t know it. So, before we proceed to inform someone that natural birth is best, listen to their story – be understanding – be loving.  

 

There is a time and place to gently encourage and help one another understand the benefits of a natural birth, but this must be done in a such a gentle way. As sister’s in Christ, our first priority should be to listen to each other and encourage one another as we all learn to trust the Lord with the future and live out our role as mothers – with all the crazy plan changes and stressful decision making that entails.

Thank you for listening. I’d love to hear your birth story!

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Sienna

Gestational diabetes…yikes!

As you know, I am into healthy living – which includes a healthy diet and exercise. So when I went into the doctor to find out the results to my blood test I really wasn’t worried. However I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes…yikes! I really had no idea what that meant…I just knew diabetes seems serious and I would need to be on a strict diet if I didn’t want insulin shots. I was baffled by the fact that I at 23, on my first pregnancy was diagnosed with it! Was I actually not as healthy as I thought? I felt pretty terrible….and went straight home to dig into some serious research!

So if you are like me and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or know someone who has, or are simply interested in learning more about the subject this post is for you! I will discuss what I have learned about the cause and ways it can be treated. If you happen to know a lot more than I do about the subject, please leave a comment! I am always interested in learning more from other people’s research and experience.

So at 28 weeks pregnant I found out I have gestational diabetes. The first thing I wanted to know was…

WHY?

Did I cause it!? The answer is NO. Although there are things that can make people more likely candidate’s for it – obesity, having diabetes before pregnancy, having had gestational diabetes during a different pregnancy etc. Nevertheless, there are many cases that seem unexplainable and are simply genetic. You can be in great shape and eat a fantastic diet and still get gestational diabetes because you are simply wired to get it. So if you have been diagnosed and feel terrible about yourself – don’t. You didn’t necessarily cause it!

Second, I wanted to understand what gestational diabetes really was.

WHAT IS IT?

Gestational diabetes is heightened blood sugar in a woman who is pregnant and did not have diabetes before pregnancy. The placenta can create hormones that heighten the amount of sugar in your blood and if your pancreas cannot handle the amount of sugar you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Ok, so now we know what it is and why it is caused but the most important things I wanted to know were – what effect does this have on my baby and what can I do about it.

RISK?

If my body isn’t able to process all that heightened sugar in my blood then it can go to my baby, causing his poor little pancreas to work extra hard to create insulin to process it. After he is born his body will be used to producing more insulin than it needs. All of this can cause your baby to be more likely to develop diabetes in his/her lifetime. Also, doctors worry about the baby being too big and possibly getting stuck in the birth canal. Obviously, this causes trauma for both the mother and baby! So…those are a few of the major risks involved with gestational diabetes. What can you do to avoid this!? MANY mothers with gestational diabetes have given birth to happy, healthy babies. So please don’t let the risk overwhelm you as I did at first!

TREATMENT:

Since I am careful about remaining as natural in my healthcare as I can (especially while pregnant) I was hoping there was something that could be done besides insulin shots to help me control my blood sugar during this pregnancy. Thankfully, I have a very naturally minded and supportive midwife who has lots of experience with helping women control their gestational diabetes through diet and exercise!

  1. 20160709_161055So I picked up a glucometer at my local pharmacy and began taking a home blood sugar test 4 times a day – once when I first woke up (fasting level), and 1 hour after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I recorded everything I ate for each meal and wrote down my blood sugar numbers. This helped me figure out what foods could be triggering my blood sugar to spike, and which foods were safe. Obviously simple carbohydrates and sugars are what is going to trigger elevated blood sugar. By using the glucometer, I figured out what grains or carbs were safe for me to eat (sourdough bread is very low in sugar, so as long as I ate it with protein my sugar levels were fine!). Every person’s body is different, so take some time to experiment with different foods! I found it best to always eat some sort of protein with any carb or fruit that I ate. Doing this, as well as cutting out almost all processed carbs and sugars, I was able to keep my blood sugar levels in a healthy range! I was told a healthy range is considered under 95 for fasting and under 130 1 hour after a meal.
  2. Exercise! This helps your body process the sugar better and is of course great for keeping your lungs and heart in shape during the pregnancy! I love going on walks!
  3. Don’t stress if you cannot get your blood sugar levels down even after changing o=your diet and exercise. There have been many VERY healthy people I know (and I mean marathon runner, never eat processed sugar types) who simply had bad cases of the gestational diabetes and needed to be on insulin shots. Ultimately, if this is what is best for your baby then you need to do it. God is in control of the outcome! :) Do not blame yourself for not being “healthy” enough!! PLEASE!

I hope my experience and tips will help you stay calm, trust the Lord, and help you better understand and manage your gestational diabetes. Please feel free to leave comments. I’d love to hear about what has helped you or answer any questions. God bless <3