As I mentioned, in April we welcomed our second daughter Zoe into the world. She’s a beautiful little girl and we’re so happy and thankful we have her as part of our family.
Toward the end of my pregnancy with Zoe, things started to decline a little bit more rapidly than they had before. I’d pretty much held my breathe the entire time and when I got to 32 weeks, I actually celebrated. I was the most pregnant I’d ever been and even if Zoe was born early, she wouldn’t be as early as Elle was. That was a huge sigh of relief for us.
Around the 32 week mark I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. Cue me feeling like a complete and utter failure. I could hear people in the back of my mind THINKING that this was somehow going to be attributed to my fault. I remember when I was diagnosed with pre-e no one said a word, but then later down the road someone was like “well didn’t you have high blood pressure because all you ate was fast food when you were pregnant with her?”
First of all, I could barely stomach anything, so the ability to stomach McDonalds would have been a great feat for me. Second of all, that’s a dense, mom-shaming comment. It implied that I was responsible for my daughter’s premature birth and my near death. I remember it to this day. Very literally. In fact, I think about it probably more than I should and I am very, very sensitive to this fact. I already blame myself for Elle being born early, for everything she had to endure her first 32 days of life and I really don’t need someone else laying it on thick.
But here I was, experiencing similar feelings of guilt. I did so much research trying to control GD. I read about what generally causes it. I read that it heightened my risk of getting pre-e again, much to my chagrin. I realized that it was not something I could control initially and I tried not to beat myself up about it, but I did. Internally. Every time I poked my finger and the reading came back high (which was all the time, by the way), I blamed myself. I tried not to let it affect me too much but I also had a lot of extraneous stress in my life and it was affecting me pretty bad.
Things were getting worse so we decided to take Zoe out at 38 weeks. I am thankful every day we made it that far because I was pretty sure we weren’t going to do that. Everything went perfectly at the hospital and we had our first and only full-size, nearly full-term baby – little Zoe Caroline (7 pounds 9oz).
I tested just fine after delivery so my GD resolved itself upon that and Zoe never had a single blood sugar out of line as they tested her in the hospital.
Recovery was a little rough. I didn’t experience the whole “have a C section and take the baby home three day later” thing with my first child so it was a new ball game and we had stairs I had to contend with and an almost 3 year old who didn’t understand why I couldn’t hold her. It was harder than I anticipated and I am not ashamed to admit it, but we all lived through it.
Now we managed to get through her birth and we had to focus on moving to Arizona. Around the 6 week mark Zoe just cried and cried. All day long. She was impossible to settle. She would cry for 7-9 hours a day. I could feel myself starting to lose it a little bit and I didn’t know what to do. She would cry. I would cry. Elle would cry. I felt like I couldn’t parent Elle because I had to spend all my time parenting Zoe. I felt guilty for not being able to parent Elle. I felt guilty for not being able to fix and help Zoe. The doctor first said she just had colic, but I wasn’t convinced. Fast forward a little bit and the poor kid has MSPI. She was allergic to milk protein and soy protein and she had silent reflux. Instead of focusing on an elimination diet, we opted to put Zoe on hypoallergenic formula.
Don’t worry, I cried and felt like a failure about that one also. I’m a major fed is best person and I am just happy that people are parents that love their kids. I don’t care how they feed them. But again, the stigma and my own insecurities and fear that people would judge me got the best of me time and again. We didn’t really have time as a luxury for us. We had to move in 2 weeks and we needed her to feel better. The thought of flying with an infant who cried constantly on a 4 hour flight was one that almost made us cancel our tickets and drive.
It smoothed out. Within 3 days she was happy and feeling so much better and I was happy and knew I made the right decision for myself, my family and Zoe. It was impossibly hard. Harder than it should’ve been, but I am glad we got through the transition and we’re so much happier on the other side.