Monday, June 29, 2009

Never Say Diabetes

Boy, it's just been one of those days for our old friend Rachel. We all know the type; First the dog wakes you up about ten minutes before the alarm. Then, while out shopping, you realize you've forgotten that valuable coupon that led you to shop at some suburban money trap like Bed Bath and Beyond in the first place. After you get home, you decide to help make dinner and you spill a cup of olive oil on the floor, which is now a pain to clean up and as slick as eel snot. No matter how many times you mop, the kitchen floor still shines like the sun and it's clearly the olive oil and not the Pine Sol making it gleam. Your stomach hurts, the laundry needs folding, it's raining outside and still hot as an oven. At some point you've got to accept the fact that this day is just the pits.

Flashback a couple of days, and things were going fine for Rachel Klug. She was in good spirits despite the fact that she had to get her blood drawn and had not eaten nor drank anything since the night before. I came to give her moral support and documentation as she chugged the ten ounces of a drink she described as, "sugary syrupy gross-ness." The liquid Rach had to drink, labelled "Zero Five Zero," was to test whether or not she has gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition where pregnant women, who have never before shown signs of diabetes, suddenly have high blood sugar. This elevated glucose level can lead to hypertension for the mother. (By the way, is it just me or does "Hypertension" sound like a ride at a state fair? It looks scary, but is lame and smells like cotton candy and vomit.) Anyway, the babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes have some health risks as well, such as a higher rate for childhood obesity and several other polysyllabic, dangerous sounding conditions that no parent would want their child to acquire. I volunteered to chug a Zero Five Zero alongside of Rachel, but apparently I have zero chance of having gestational diabetes, and thus the nurse wouldn't let me have a bottle.

Rachel chose to get the bottle of Lemon-Lime flavored Zero Five Zero, which was a terrible choice. I mean, who in their right mind, when given a choice between Orange, Lemon-Lime, and Cherry flavor, goes with Lemon-Lime? Seriously, Lemon-Lime is the worst flavor Kool-Aid ever. In fact, it's not even a real flavor; it's a combination of two other failed flavors. It should just be called Citrus, or something like that. Anyway, Rachel got her comeuppance when she tasted the stuff. It didn't taste like lemons or limes, it just tasted gross. I got my comeuppance when the nurse gave me a dirty look for chanting "Chug, Chug, Chug" at 8:30 a.m. in a crowded laboratory room. After waiting an hour, the nurse drew some of Rachel's blood to test the glucose level.

After the chugfest, Rachel and I got to see the doctor. She said the babies are growing fine, have strong hearts, and are plenty active. Rachel's stomach measured at 34 weeks, meaning her stomach is the same size as a singleton pregnancy at 8 and a half months.

So anyway, remember that bad day I was talking about earlier? It didn't get any better for Rach when she got the call from the doctor telling her that she failed the test for gestational diabetes. According to the results of the test, Rachel's blood sugar tested at 136, and the cutoff for the test is 130. Now, Rachel must fast, go in again for more Zero Five Zero, wait three hours and then give another blood sample. I guarantee this time she doesn't choose Lemon Lime.

For our family and friends out there that may be worried about Rach, Red and Lellow, we assure you it's too early to be concerned. Gestational diabetes affects less than ten percent of all pregnant women, yet just about every friend we have that has had a child failed the one-hour test. Plus, Rachel is convinced her failure is more a result of the giant Shakey's Frozen Custard she ate 18 hours before the test than a result of her blood sugar levels. I'm convinced the Lemon-Lime flavor messed up the test. Nevertheless, the failure makes a bad day just plain awful.

But, the sun will come up tomorrow and again the next day. Rachel and I will head back in for the three hour test, and I will again ask the nurse if I can have a Zero Five Zero to drink with her. I will again chant "Chug." And I will again urge Rach not to choose Lemon Lime. It's not even a real flavor.

In honor of all of our bad days, here are some names that we will not name our kids: Sonny, Sunny, Raine or Misty.

Monday, June 22, 2009

MTV Cribs

There used to be a terrible "reality" show on MTV called Cribs that would profile celebrity homes. A camera crew would show up at a singer or actor or sports stars house, and then get a tour around the premises. Inevitably, the celebrity would show off their six cars, a room with some old-school arcade-style video game, and a refrigerator filled with nothing but Sunny Delight, eggs and Red Bull. It was lame. As irritating as it was to wake up after driving 14 hours from St. Louis to Jacksonville and build two cribs, I would gladly do it over again if it meant I could erase my memory of the show MTV Cribs. Unfortunately, that will never happen.

Anyway, I spent my last day of leave constructing two cribs in a room filled with boxes and shower presents. It was a squeeze at first, but after I got one crib put together, it got easier to move. Eventually, all the big boxes and crates in which the furniture came got moved out to the garage, and the fully assembled cribs remained.

I am pretty sure that as soon as I finished turning the last screw on the second crib, Rachel began whirring around the room like a hummingbird. In the time it took me to take a shower, approximately 7 minutes, Rachel had already gone to Babies R Us and bought two mattresses, put linens on them, gone to Target and bought a lamp, and had assembled the monkey mobile.

If there is one thing I have learned from this experience, it is to just allow Rachel to do her thing in that room. There is no talking sense to her, because she doesn't want to hear about how the twins will not be here for two months. No joking here, she already has the monitor out and turned on in the baby room. I think she heard Tyson stirring from a nap and came running this afternoon. If there is two things I have learned from this experience, it is that baby bedding is pretty cool. The monkeys look stylish enough to me. If there is three things I have learned from this experience, it is that absolutely everything we got during the baby shower requires assembly. I know this because Rachel comes to me somewhere between six and twenty-seven times per day holding a package of some baby related thing and a screwdriver and asks for help. I hope she doesn't run out of things to do anytime soon.
In honor of celebrities that have probably appeared on MTV Cribs, here are some names we will not be naming our children: Mariah, LeBron, Hulk and Mylie.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Baby Shower in the Lou

For those of you who think that Rachel and I had a baby shower in a bathroom, you are probably British or a bit too familiar with The Queen's English. Here in America, to those in the know, "The Lou" is short form for Saint Louis... Rachel's hometown. Technically, the shower was in the suburb of Fenton, but since most people don't know where Fenton, Missouri is, I titled the blog post as I did. Plus, Baby Shower in Fenton is not quite as hip or fun to say.

First off, big thanks to all the wonderful people who made the shower happen. Rachel's big sis Christine and buddy Jenna did the lion share of the setup work and deserve a big "Thanks." So, if you live with/near to them, give them their due. Also, we would be remiss if we didn't thank Rachel's parents for hosting the event, and all the fine folks who brought baby goodies our way (cue the orchestra).

OK, now that my Oscar acceptance speech is over, we can make with the shower talk. I have been to one baby shower in my life, and no, it was not this one. During the shower, I was sitting in Hessler's Bar and Grill in South County (shameless family plug) with the group of men exiled from the shower. We had a blast trading stories and watching a baseball game. Tough life, I know. Meanwhile, I guess the group of ladies played games like pin the umbilical cord on the baby, watched Rachel open presents and ate cake. OK, so no gross anatomy games, but I am certain there was cake. It was delicious.

As for the shower itself, the twins got all kinds of cool loot. They really did make out like bandits, receiving their stroller, several blankets and bottles, their monitor and even some St. Louis Cardinals gear that made Rachel grin and me gag. The list of thank yous for the gifts is too long to print here, or I would be typing all night. However, to all our friends and family that did send gifts, your love and support is very much appreciated. Rachel and I are truly in awe of how blessed we are.

Finally tonight, I'd like to alert all of you the hazards of being pregnant in the heat. Rachel and I got back into Jacksonville on Wednesday, and ever since then the town has been scorching. Seriously, I have been to bonfires that put off less heat than the asphalt parking lot at my work this week. It has been brutal. Anyway, poor Rachel has realized that every time she steps out into the 110+ degree heat, her hands and feet swell up to roughly 83 times their normal size. She is a trooper though, and toughs it out despite the fact that she feels comically inflated like a Macy's Day Parade Balloon. I, on the other hand, have learned not to laugh at a pregnant woman who exclaims, "Aargh, my hands!" every time she steps outdoors, because being smacked by someone whose hands are the same size as those hulk gloves is not fun.

Crib pics coming soon... Happy Father's Day to Dad Klug, Dad Finck, Grandpa and all our friends who are baby-daddies.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Most writers I follow have some sort of compilation post every now and again - a myriad of unrelated topics all condensed into one column. When I imagine one of these columns being created, my mind's eye pictures the writer sitting down with a bunch of ideas that are not good enough for a column themselves, but just good enough that they want to get the information out. This column, although titled "Musings" like those of my endeared journalistic comrades, is nothing like that. All topics covered are pregnancy related, and are compiled into one column due to lack of time to otherwise discuss. So, have fun with the tasty stew of baby related stuff that is our life.

* As promised, we got a video DVD of the twins during the last ultrasound. Both babies looked great, with stellar organ activity, plenty of fingers and toes to go around, and beautiful little faces. There was a pretty good kicking contest going on in there as well, as the video can attest. This is Red smacking Lellow across the face with a foot, but I can assure you Lellow was no innocent victim. There was plenty of retribution going on in there. Red is still a porker, up to 2 lbs 1 oz, with Lellow not far behind at 1 lb 12 oz. The doctors told us that weight split is still within the normal range, but if it gets about 8 oz by our next appointment we may have some cause for concern.
UPDATE: OK, technical difficulties have kept me from posting the video... for tonight. It is getting late and I am frustrated, but I will find a way to rip the video and get it onto the site soon. Sorry for the delay - just know my babies are super-awesome.

* So, the sex of the babies is revealed on the DVD. However, Rachel and I did a good job of looking away. I didn't even try to cheat this time. The surprise gets more and more fun as the days go by, but I must say that holding onto the DVD is very tempting. I am fighting urges to peek like a kid that fighting the temptation to scope out Mom and Dad's closet the week before Christmas.
* Rachel is done with school for the next year (at least) and resting up at home. Soon she will be confronted soon with triple digit temperatures, rapidly growing babies and an unwieldy baby bump; but for now she is on cloud nine. She's still shocked at her own appearance, though. Her quote after seeing this picture of herself was, "Oh my God." This, folks, is what two twenty seven week old babies in one belly looks like.

* Speaking of Rachel's belly, last night we had a baby's butt poking out of it. It was very evident that one of the babies was wedging up against the tummy with a hip or something. It made Rachel's stomach completely obtuse and lopsided and cracked us both up.

* This weekend I worked though all day Saturday and installed a closet system in the babies room. It is super high-tech with five drawers, four hanger rods and two doors that don't even bump into the top of the closet opening (anymore). OK, fine, so I did have to saw off the top of the doors to fit it into the closet. However, that was better than the alternative of ripping out the top part of the wall near the closet. Also, if anyone can tell from this picture where the four screws I have remaining go, please let me know.

* I am not one to typically read Rachel's copies of O Magazine. However, in the June edition, one article in the Oprah Winfrey love fest caught my eye. It was an excerpt of Michael Lewis' new book Home Game. Lewis is the man who wrote Moneyball, probably the best baseball tome written in the past few years and one of my favorite books. Anyway, I read the excerpt and nearly dropped the magazine laughing. Lewis is a terrific writer, and the story he tells combines bullies, toddlers, cursing, and pool floaties flawlessly. I tried in vain to find the story online, but with no luck. I did however find this excerpt from some magazine I have never heard of - enjoy. There are probably no viruses on the link. I mean, sounds trustworthy...right? Anyway, if for some reason you find a copy of O Magazine at your local doctors waiting room, check the article out. You will not be disappointed.
* Finally, for those of you who grew up in the 90's like me, you know that Saved By the Bell is regarded as one the greatest TV shows of all time. I'm pretty sure that most twenty-somethings I know would rank Seinfeld, Friends and Saved by the Bell as three of the top five. Ok, so it was pure cheese, but it is iconic nonetheless. Anyway, Jimmy Fallon, who recently took over for Conan on Late Night, is apparently on a quest to reunite the cast of SBTB. I could care less about the reunion, since I thought they already did one and called it the College Years, but I will say that Mark-Paul Gosselar's appearance on the show doing an entire interview as Zack Morris last night was pretty good. Sorry stylistas, but the hair still looks cool. In honor of Zack Morris, here are some names that we will not be naming our children: Lisa Turtle Klug, Screech Klug, Stacey Karrosi-Klug and A.C. Klug.