Judah’s Birth Day

This is not a love letter for Judah, although I’ll be sure to drown him in hugs, kisses, balloons and lots of chocolate gelt. You see, I remember when Judah was born — it was one of the happiest moments of my life, and not for the reason you think. When I was 28 weeks pregnant with him I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (or as Craig liked to call it, the Jessie D). You know the glucose juice you have to drink? That’s where it all starts, and those little bottles will forever haunt me.Judah birthday

This is not a love letter for Judah, although I’ll be sure to drown him in hugs, kisses, balloons and lots of chocolate gelt. You see, I remember when Judah was born — it was one of the happiest moments of my life, and not for the reason you think. When I was 28 weeks pregnant with him I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (or as Craig liked to call it, the Jessie D). You know the glucose juice you have to drink? That’s where it all starts, and those little bottles will forever haunt me.

I’ve always been a junk-food girl. Candy was my friend. Plus, I had the most ridiculous chicken legs as a kid and could eat whatever I wanted. Reading nutrition labels had always been foreign. (Alas, that has all changed, but it was fun while it lasted!) Then I went in for the dreaded glucose test. I had passed it with Annie so I assumed I’d pass it again — plus, there’s that common misconception that diabetes is a “fat person problem”. Anyway, I got a voicemail from my OB on the Thursday before Hurricane Irene was supposed to hit. Hi, your numbers were ever so slightly elevated, I doubt you have diabetes but I’d like you to take the three hour test. Ummm, okay. I wasn’t really sure what to make of that, and I didn’t consult with Dr. Google because I just didn’t think it was actually a possibility. I went to the lab on a Tuesday for my theee hour test. It’s kind of like the first test only you get a larger drink and three blood draws instead of one. There was a Judge Judy marathon taking place in the waiting room but, since I was all busy going back and forth giving blood, making multiple bathroom trips and dealing with waves of nausea, I never quite got to see how Judy ruled. It was all very unsettling.

Three days later, I got the call. You failed. Seriously? Seriously. Like, borderline failed, or flunked? Not that it matters but you flunked. Great. What does that even mean?

With the help of my OB, endocrinologist and nutritionist, I figured it out. I had to watch my carbs and check my blood like five times a day. I had to time and record my meals. If I wanted a piece of chocolate I’d have to “budget” accordingly. A typical snack would be something like a handful of almonds, olives or a few baby carrots with hummus. My lattes had to be small and skinny. A piece a cantaloupe was a treat and bagels were my enemy.

Those were possibly the longest twelve weeks of my life.

Then there was the induction (when you’ve got the Jessie D, they don’t like you to deliver late). I was induced on my due date, December 1. I walked into the hospital feeling fine, albeit tired since it was freakin’ early! I leisurely changed into a gown and relaxed in a hospital bed. This was it. This was the day I was finally going to get my bagel with scallion cream cheese, lox and tomatoes. The delivery went as smooth as could be, he came out after a push or two and he was adorable. I was happy. I got to tell Annie she was a big sister. We went from being a couple with a baby to a family of four. It was wild.

Later that evening, I settled into my room. A friend told me she’d be stopping by and wanted to know what she could bring. Without missing a beat I told her chocolate milk. Nesquik. A large bottle of cold, rich chocolate milk. And she came through. That evening, I illustrated the meaning of the word ‘chug’ because damn, I sure chugged down that drink.

And it was good.

Today is exactly four years since I had the best chocolate milk of my life. To this day, every time I eat something a little too carby I think back to the time I had to be careful and abstain from so many of the treats that I loved. It was twelve long weeks but the reward at the end was pretty awesome. And I’m not just talking about the chocolate milk.

Happy birthday Judah!

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