#HIMYM Finale: Now We See the Betrayal Inherent in a True “Twist” Ending

We’ve passed the statute of limitations on spoilers for the finale of How I Met Your Mother, right? I mean it was over a week ago – surely if you were planning to watch it, by now you have. I’m going to assume so, anyway, and spoil the crap out of the ending without bothering to point out my spoilers other than to say: if you don’t want to know how it ended, just stop reading this post.

Or, What the Hell Did I Just Watch?

Perhaps I really mean “What the hell did I watch nine seasons for?”

I was NOT pleased and delighted by the ending of my favorite sitcom. I can’t even say that I was narratively satisfied, because the way the ending came about, for me, did not draw on what had come before but felt like an ending that had been decided on a long time ago and tacked onto the story stubbornly despite the fact that it no longer fit.

See, I always assumed the actual meeting of the mother would be anti-climactic…either that we would literally get nothing beyond Ted walking up to her at the bus stop and saying “Hi, I’m Ted,” or that it would be totally lame in the sense of love at first sight perfectness. I was not going to be let down by that sort of ending, because, by the time the 9 seasons had played out, for me the real story was Robin and Barney. Therefore as long as their wedding was epic and touching and romantic, then Ted’s meeting the mother being an afterthought wasn’t going to matter. It never occurred to me that the show might actually back off Robin and Barney being happy together. Not once. They always made sense to me. They made sense to me from the second or third episode I watched (which was somewhere around episode 8 or 10 in the first season) and continued to make sense through everything that happened after. I believed in the two of them together; I believed in the changes they underwent in order to be/as a result of being together. So for the ending to tear that down in order for Ted to finally, after 25 years of trying, get Robin, was just…infuriating.

The infuriating came from several different angles. First, the logic of it was flawed. Robin *always* matched better with Barney than with Ted – more naturally and more convincingly and more touchingly. I BELIEVED it when they had moments, near misses and changing minds and then finally the decision to actually commit to one another. Ted’s obsession with her never felt like real love; it felt like obsession. Additionally, if the reason Robin & Barney didn’t work was her career and the two of them not choosing to recommit to their relationship, what evidence can we find in the narrative that she and Ted would work ANY better? The entire reason she and Ted didn’t work was wanting different things…even at the end what Robin wanted was closer to what Barney did than what Ted did.

Also, on that whole divorce front…obviously we weren’t given the whole discussion between Robin and Barney, but it seems to me that how the conversation went was “Right now, yes, I would take an exit ramp,” and that led to “Then just take it” rather than the two of them facing and choosing to fix the problems. Call me old-fashioned, but that was a petty and stupid reason for them to divorce. It boiled down to them taking the easy way out rather than putting their relationship first. It was letting fear of failure and being hurt make the decision for them, not an actual failure of the relationship. Aside from whether I think they were still in such emotionally stunted places they could not see that, it would actually make more sense, narratively speaking, to see Robin re-marry Barney when he is all settled down and being a dad and her career is no longer pulling her anywhere but New York than for her to go back to Ted.

I keep bringing up the narrative and implying that it led us to Barney and Robin, not Ted and Robin. This is, for the sake of my writing blog, the heart of the problem. The show created an expectation in the audience that it then betrayed when it changed the ending from the logical conclusion of what had come before to…something else.

Exhibit: the time spent on each narrative (Ted and Robin vs. Barney and Robin) was 3 seasons to 6. No matter how many tidbits the show tossed in about Ted or Robin still maybe having feelings for each other or how many last-second “warning signs” they tried to throw in about her and Barney, the fact is that to spend so much longer building up the red herring story creates a false expectation in the viewer and sets up a betrayal of trust. This ending (the mother dying and Ted going back to Robin for one last try) would have worked and been poignant and heartfelt if it happened at the end of season 1, 2, or 3. Possibly even season 4. Not this far in, when the bulk of the story built a different inevitability.

Exhibit: the narrative structure itself. It makes sense that the story wasn’t really about Ted meeting the mother but about Ted overcoming his obsession with Robin. The whole reason the story of how he met the mother started with him meeting Robin was that he was hung up on Robin for 8 years and therefore couldn’t actually fall in love with someone else until he let go of her – the same way the mother was hung up on the guy who died and couldn’t really fall in love with someone else until she let go of him. The show built that dynamic perfectly, including layering in how Ted’s letting go of Robin was what moved her relationship with Barney forward. Including that part of Barney’s “final play” was telling only Ted of his (fake) intention to propose to someone else, knowing that if Ted told Robin it was tantamount to permission to win her permanently. One of the best moments in the last few episodes was Ted letting Robin go and her floating away from him like his red balloon had. That was the moment. That was the point when he became available to truly love.

Exhibit: the implication of Ted going back to Robin after losing his wife is that the mother and their two children were, as Marshall accused Lily of in their last big fight, “just a consolation prize” when Ted’s first dream (Robin) became impossible. The level of insult to his relationship with the mother was on par with Jacob’s creepy imprinting on Bella’s baby and the implication that his interest in her had always been her ovaries and not her. And if your story is reaching Breaking Dawn levels of dubious sincerity, you’ve pretty much failed as a storyteller.

The “twist” ending the show gave its fans was a betrayal of viewer trust. It felt to me like the creators were clinging to an original ending in defiance of the fact that the characters grew and changed in a way they had not anticipated when they came up with that ending – one of the worst sins new writers commit. Sometimes the characters take you for a ride and you end up in a different place than where you thought you would. And that’s okay. A worse explanation (worse in the sense of more insulting) is that the ending was an intentional “switcheroo.” The reason I find that an even more insulting possibility is because a switch that poorly executed is a parlor trick, a truly juvenile piece of showmanship that fails to hold up against scrutiny. See, a real twist ending isn’t really a twist at all – when you go back and revisit the narrative, the signs and hints are all there. The illusion is that the inevitable ending appeared to be a twist when it really wasn’t. In this case, the anticipated ending had been built too well for the twist to feel natural or inevitable. No, it felt plotted and forced, shoehorned onto a story whose natural outcome was something different, not the sort of twist you walk away delighted by, because in retrospect it seems so clear that you want to kick yourself for not seeing it. That is what the creators missed, that a twist ending has to be built into the fabric of the story. Ted’s obsession was, but the failure of Barney and Robin was not.

So…if they needed to go semi-dark rather than a totally happy ending, the mother still could have died by the time Ted is telling the children the story, and that casts the whole of it into a bittersweet shade of nostalgia. If they wanted to go darker yet, then the wife left Ted and his children pick up on the fact that he is still and always has been in love with Robin (which implies that’s why his wife left him)…and he takes a walk and sadly stares into a window where Barney and Robin are celebrating their 20th anniversary or something.

The consolation of Ted getting Robin in the end did not make up for the tragedy of either the mother dying or Robin and Barney not working, as the Ted/Robin pairing is the lesser for both of them, so to pretend that it’s some happiest ending we should all clap for is ridiculous. All I can say, if this was supposed to be the real narrative, is that when Ted says the second-greatest love story ever was about Maggie, the ultimate girl next door, and her window that closed for the last time with her childhood sweetheart, then first greatest was Marshall and Lily, AKA the only demonstration of actual love in the show.

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Associative Memory

I woke up this morning thinking about the night my godmother died. Her passing was the first of two events for which I have spent significant time in a hospital (not as a patient in either case), and my subconscious dredged up memories of that time probably because I am nearing the clinical definition of full-term with my pregnancy and could thus be making my own hospital stay at any point in the next 5 or so weeks.

The power of a single moment, or series of moments, to echo with what feels like near-perfect reverberation years to decades later is amazing. It unleashes the same feelings, if a muted version of what you felt in that moment.

What I woke up thinking about what the last time she woke up. She had been in a comatose state on and off for about a day and a half; her initial admission to the hospital allowed some hope that the end was not imminent but that disappeared when she slipped into the sleeping state. Her cancer was too aggressive, and she was too tired to fight. My godmother was my mother’s best friend – they had been best friends since childhood. I had my own friendship with her, and in a lot of ways at the time of her death I was closer with her than my mom was. My godmother’s husband had called my mom to drive him to and from the hospital because he was, at that point, pretty foxed. My godmother woke up the last time while my mom was in transit one way or the other (at this point I don’t remember which). It left me and here brother and nephew in the room with her. She woke up, or at least her eyes opened enough to see that she was not alone, and she simply said “I’m dying. I’m dying.” And the three of us said, in our various ways, that we know, and it’s okay, and we love you. She said “See you sometime, somewhere” and slipped back under the waves for a few more hours before passing in her sleep.

What I have never known and will never know is if, in that last moment of waking, she saw me or my mother. (I have been told my whole life that I look like my mom, and when I see pictures of us together now that I am an adult I understand why people say it.) I don’t care which of us she saw standing there; I hope it was whichever of us would have been more of a comfort to her in that moment.

It’s been a long time since I thought about that night in much detail. Probably part of what brings it up now is my impending transition to motherhood with all its tangled connections (such as the above me/my mom thing, although with my son it is more likely to be a him/my husband thing) and also just that I haven’t seen much of hospitals and that was if not my very first memory of one certainly my most formative memory of one.

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Current Cover Design Trend Grievance

I pay attention to the covers of the romance novels I read (or look at) in part because, as a self-publisher, I should be aware of trends, but in all honesty mostly because I am the sort of reader who is sensitive to covers and always has been.

For example, I have always found it difficult to even examine, much less purchase, the romances that had shirtless men all over the covers. To me that cover treatment just screamed “illogical sex-fest aimed at lowest common denominator reader” AKA not the droid book I’m looking for. Even now, with ebooks that I don’t have to carry to the register, I still tend to not look at books with that cover style unless the title or author was specifically recommended to me.

The thing that is bothering me lately is women in modern formal dresses against some generic background that may or may not actually be historical on the covers of historical romances. The covers themselves aren’t explicitly an issue; it’s covers like that combined with a description that does not make clear whether the book is set in a different era or modern times. See, you can get away with a cover that doesn’t talk about what year it is or what war is looming/just finished, etc., if you have, you know, ACTUAL historical dress on the cover model. But if you are going to use a prom dress as your “mistorical fiction” denominator, then your back copy had damn well better be clear about when and where your story is set.

I’ve lost track of the number of books I’ve seen lately that have this dynamic. It’s annoying. I don’t want to sound like I am the sort of person who will ONLY read in my little niche, but at the same time–I want to know what I’m buying. I want to be sure it’s the kind of book I’m actually in the mood for. Part of branding and marketing your book correctly (by which I mean, giving it every chance to catch the eye of the right kind of reader, should they stumble across it) is to make unambiguously clear what your book actually is.

What’s even more disheartening to me is that the actual trend seems to be reserving accurate historical dress for the Amish and Christian romances – though at least most of them do a good job of self-identifying by talking about God or faith in the back copy, so I can avoid them. No offense to religion intended; I don’t mind having faith play a part in the story if it is a part of a character’s life, but I am not looking for the stories that specifically include it as a plot point, nor am I looking for all the other trappings that go along with religiously-oriented romance. I just also find it annoying that 90% of the time I click on a description because I like the cover and its actual historicalness, the book turns out to be in a subgenre I don’t want to read. And the more historical dress on the cover comes to be equated with stodgy ole religious romances, the more entrenched the stupid modern Cinderella prom dress as analog to “any period from the Enlightenment to the Edwardian” will become.

I am officially filing a pet peeve on this one.

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Heroes Vs. Mentors

Just a random thought while catching up on The Voice about the established creators whom younger artists choose as mentors. Some of the time the young singers will pick their hero – I notice most of the time this happens it’s a young girl who idolizes either Shakira or Christina – but generally the people who walk in acknowledging being a huge fan of one of the coaches end up picking someone else to be their coach…often to their own surprise.

I have thought about this for a couple seasons now, and I have a theory: when you’re actually faced with your hero, do you really want them to see you in all your flaws?

This is actually something that has crossed my mind before. There is a SFF book conference that takes place in the town I went to college, which one of my all-time favorite writers – perhaps my very all-time favorite – attends almost every year and regularly participates in the writing mentor section for as one of the judges/mentors for the sessions. I attended the conference once right after I graduated and moved away, specifically to meet her (it was awesome) and considered going back the next for the writing portion. I even emailed the coordinator to ask if I could request placement in a particular mentor’s group, thinking of course I would want to be in hers. And then I thought about it some more. Did I really want my hero to be the one to tell me my work was awful? Did I want to be placed under the microscope by one of the writers I was, at the time, essentially trying to emulate, who might just think me a milquetoast impersonator? Did I really want to blur the lines between being a fan and being a colleague like that?

For me the answer was no – no, I didn’t want any of those things with my hero. I wanted her to remain my hero, and I would find a mentor elsewhere, if I needed one. (And in the end I decided not to go back and do the writing portion, because my absolute fear of writing groups was not going to be overcome by anything less compelling than a desire to form a mentoring relationship with a writer I have looked up to since I was 13.)

I think a lot of the singers who audition end up in that place. It’s gratifying to have your hero say “I want you on my team,” but in the end you can probably learn more from someone whom you can regard as a more experienced artist but immediately as a colleague/peer, because you have never put them on a pedestal, than someone you idolize.

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“What’s the Medical Indication?”

Or, Lily’s Continuing Misadventures in Gestating

I now have about two full weeks of watching my blood sugar numbers behind me. My fasting level stays consistently higher than the target, while my post-meal numbers stay consistently within target as long as I don’t have a lot of grain-based carbohydrates. Rather than following the diabetes center guidelines of whole grain carbs at every meal and snack (totaling more than I would normally eat in a day), I am basically on what high school Lily referred to as the “cave man” diet – not to be confused with the formal paleo diet, which cuts out all fruits, along with dairy milk, because paleo is a no-carbs-at-all diet. No, my caveman diet is more “Is it refined or grain-based? If so put it down.” The caveman food pyramid puts veggies and fruits on the bottom, then protein, then dairy and fats, then grain at the top. With a general avoidance of added sugars along the way, within reason, because total abstention is just not realistic every single day. So far I am keeping my numbers in line and hoping I don’t end up needing to go full paleo before this pregnancy is over.

That said, my doctor threw an unexpected loop at me when I finally had a visit with her post-test/diagnosis of GD. She looked over my numbers, said she wasn’t at all worried about them, and went on with the appointment. At the very end she added, “oh, and you know how I said I’d let you go to 42 weeks without pushing to induce? Yeah, with GD I can’t let you go past your due date because of the increased risk of stillbirth if you go over.”

Say…what?

I had by the time of my appointment read probably two dozen articles about GD, how to keep it in check, what the theories behind it are, what risks it presents to mother and baby both, and none of them mentioned any risk of stillbirth or had a discussion about induction at due date if spontaneous labor didn’t occur on its own (either as a true medical indication or even just SOP for doctors/hospitals). So her comment came as a surprise, even when I thought I was up on my information about the condition. I didn’t argue the point then, both because the appointment was essentially finished when she said that and because I wanted the chance to do my own research and have an assessment of my own before discussing it with her in more depth.

I used different search terms and found a lot of forums where women said their OB’s gave them that line and they agreed to induce (many of them at like 38 weeks instead of the full 40, many of them happily, because, of course, a healthy baby is not just an important thing, not just the most important thing, but the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS in obstetrical care right now, and us ignorant breeding cows should be GRATEFUL that the medical overlords can safely deliver us a child regardless of the harm to ourselves). What I didn’t find? Was an abundance of articles discussing the true risks of going overdue with mild/diet-controlled GD and the actual medical indication for induction either at or before the 40 week mark.

In fact, I didn’t find any articles that showed a true medical indication for why a mild GD patient must give birth at 40 weeks.

I found discussions on why insulin-controlled GD heightens the risk of placental failure (insulin apparently speeds up the natural degradation of the organ), and I found the increased risk rates for developing a secondary condition like pre-eclampsia after developing GD. Those were sobering findings, enough to make me take the whole diagnosis a little more seriously than I did at first. Keeping my blood sugar under control is a preventative measure for conditions that would utterly derail my pregnancy philosophy because they would inject *just enough* true risk for me to not ignore them.

I also found the two studies that most of the GD-outcome-assessments seem to be based on. One is a smaller study from 2002 that did seem to indicate an increased risk of stillbirth with GD. Something like 5% of the stillbirths in the study were correlated to GD rather than unrelated pregnancy complications…which ended up being something like 1 out of 500 births had a GD-related stillbirth, if I recall the math right. It was minuscule, statistically speaking, whatever the actual number. Moreover, that study did not differentiate (1) whether the GD was controlled or treated in any way and (2) did not differentiate which, if any, of the stillbirths happened in women who developed a secondary complication like pre-eclampsia. So the risk factor was both narrow and ill-defined in the published results. The second, much larger study (the HAPO study from 2012) found no correlation between diet-controlled GD and increased rates of stillbirth. Infant death was, in fact, so uncommon that it got bundled with several other adverse outcomes that were all on their own too statistically insignificant to mention.

Neither of these findings incline me toward accepting an induction at 40 weeks and 1 day if I’m not in that delivery room on my own.

Why am I so reluctant to induce? First, by current evidence-based definitions, a baby isn’t actually overdue until 42 weeks and 1 day (since full-term is the range from 37-42 weeks). Second, the average gestation for my statistical subgroup (Caucasian first pregnancy) is 41 + 1, not the 40 that is the average of ALL pregnancies. Third, both my mother’s first and my mother-in-law’s first were past the 40-week due date by a week and a half or more, so my little fella has the tendency from both sides of the family. Fourth, induced labors are longer, more painful, and more difficult than spontaneous labors. Fifth, induced labors have something like a 50% higher likelihood of ending in a C-section than a spontaneous labor. Or is it that 50% of inductions “fail” and end in a section? Either way the intervention of medical induction creates a much higher risk of fetal distress that results in a C-section than a spontaneous labor.

Why am I so paranoid about C-sections? First, it is a major surgery, and no matter how common a surgery it is, no such surgery is without risk. I believe the risk of adverse maternal complications in a C-section is significantly higher than that 1 in 500 risk (if that’s even the real risk) of strictly-GD-based-complications in delivery. Second, I do not want to spend my first few weeks with a newborn recovering from a major surgery, especially since I could easily end up functioning as a single mom with no real support network if my husband ends up offshore, since neither of us have family closer than 6 hours away and all of my friends also work full-time. I need to be able to take care of myself and my baby, period. Third, GD tends to happen in every subsequent pregnancy after it happens once, and often gets worse each time. Having a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) is already hard enough – another of those times the medical establishment wants to herd women into their preferred path by playing up the risks that come with VBAC rather than discussing them in comparative terms to normal complications – and with GD in the picture it would be even harder…especially if I were to go “past due” with my second pregnancy. See reason #2 why I do not want a section, compounded now by the fact that it would be caring for both a newborn and my other child(ren).

Beyond all my rational reasons I also have visceral fears of both induction (due to a friend with a pretty horrific worst-case-scenario outcome when hers failed) and section (due to my absolute terror at having no control over the outcome of a situation).

So with all of that said, I am obviously not going to let my OB railroad me into “SOP for that condition” without her being able to prove to me why it is medically indicated. Those are the magic words. SOP is not good enough – I am not a statistic, I am a human being, and the circular argument of “we need to treat you this way because that is just how we treat that condition you have” essentially tries to wipe out my own agency and individual circumstances/beliefs. The associative argument of “But don’t you want a healthy baby?” is not compelling enough for me to surrender every piece of my own agency and ability to draw my own risk assessments, rather than letting a doctor decide that the 1/500 chance of an adverse fetal outcome trumps the 1/50 chance that the surgery will injure me.

No, at my next appointment we are going to talk about why, exactly, she feels compelled to get that baby out right at 40 weeks, and if she can point me to the study or medical journal listing the actual statistical risks then I will be more than happy to take them into consideration, along with her medical opinion. But from everything I’ve been able to find for myself on the public web, I don’t expect her to be able to conjure an actual medical indication for treating my pregnancy any differently than we initially planned on.

And I am pissed off all over again that I am having to go to such lengths to protect myself and my baby from what I view as unnecessary and unjustified medical interventions. What the fuck is wrong with prenatal care in this country?!

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Who Called It? Oh, That’s Right: ME

A couple years ago I ran a post speculating that as authors got the rights back to books they had sold to publishers, we would start seeing “author’s cut” editions self-published. I hadn’t really seen anything like that come across my reading/writing-blog spheres, and I completely forgot about the question. Until this week. On Friday I saw a post on The Passive Voice about how a fantasy author was finally releasing a sequel to his first book because he and his publisher dissolved their contract.

Turns out John D. Brown got his work freed from his contract with Tor over creative differences – not just books two and three in the trilogy, but the first book, as well. Not only that, but he went back and re-edited the reverted book to his original vision of the story. The changes weren’t major – shuffling opening chapters the publisher had asked him to move and adding a bit of denouement to the end that sets up his version of book two better – but yet those changes ARE major in the sense that they represent a re-exertion of artistic control over the story. Making the changes to the text in the first place was a compromise that represented getting the work published/not getting it published and were not major enough for him to walk away over. Unlike, apparently, the changes the editor wanted for the second book. Now he has the confidence in his own storytelling, and a viable alternative to a large publisher, to be able to actually publish his story…not a compromised second draft re-written to a publisher’s aesthetic or perceived market imperative.

This story makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. One of the biggest drawbacks, to me, of working with a publishing house is fear of this sort of artistic tinkering. My thought on it is that a novel should be treated like a boyfriend (or girlfriend) – you take it the way it is, not on condition of “if you change x, y, and z.”

I don’t want it to sound like I don’t believe in editing or that a macro-editor (story editor, content editor, etc. – basically I just mean not a line/copy editor or proofreader) can never be of value to a writer. But the writer should have the final say in what the story is. An editor can point out where something doesn’t work or is a miscue or a hundred other problems, but the writer is the one who should then be left to work out a solution to that problem. It might not actually be in that scene, but an earlier scene where a character’s action/thought/etc. wasn’t emphasized properly, or a later scene where what was supposedly set up for the character in the “problem” scene isn’t drawn on. And editors are humans; they can fall prey to the same mindset as readers, of expecting one genre/subgenre/trope/mood only to be dissatisfied with a story that turns out to be something else. Maybe the miscue was because of something the writer did early on, or maybe it was just the editor’s own expectation of how the story should play out. In any case, in my opinion, a good editor will point out the issues and offer possible suggestions but ultimately leave it up to the writer how they want to handle addressing that problem. (I know for me, with my beta readers, 80% the time they find a problem and offer a suggestion, I address the problem in a different way that feels more in line with my vision for the story. When their suggestion is exactly what I would do had I seen the problem on my own, then I take it.)

Beyond the fact that editors should be pointing out problem areas but not demanding (or even urging) specific fixes, editors at publishing houses are working for businesses who want to maximize the market appeal of their products. They have a vested interest in either providing what the market wants (or seems to want) or avoiding what the market seems not to want. Often, in my observed experience as a reader, publishers rush  to produce “more of the same” and in doing so pander to the audience that wants that sameness while snubbing the audience that wants something different. Therefore, the changes requested by a publishing house editor are not necessarily to bring the writer’s intention with the story into sharper focus – sometimes they are to blunt it or change it entirely.

All of that is long-winded way of saying, the only person who should have dominion over the tone and execution of a story is the author, and I am very happy that Brown had a strong enough sense of vision not to compromise his story and that he was able to negotiate a return of all his rights in order to give his readers the real story.

If you care to read John’s account, here are the relevant posts:

http://johndbrown.com/2013/05/news-curse-of-a-dark-god-has-a-release-date/

http://johndbrown.com/2013/10/what-changed-in-the-authors-cut-of-servant/

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No One Knows You Like You Know You

Another pregnancy post, just because I need to rant about it.

Got a call earlier this week from the diabetes center at the hospital my OB uses – not from my doctor – saying that she’d sent orders for me to go in for a consultation. So…I guess I failed the 3-hour glucose test? Doctor never called me to discuss the results. I spent the day I got that call alternating between freaking out and being royally pissed off. A pretty perfunctory Google search of “GTT false positive” turned up at least one piece of advice she gave me wrong – the WORST thing you can do to avoid a glucose meltdown in testing is avoid carbs beforehand, which she advised. Sigh. Basically at this point I feel like everything she tells me is just a guess and I should just look the condition up when I get home. As one of my friends put it, “Well, you wanted an alternative care model that would really let you own this pregnancy….”

Anyway, I assumed the diabetes center would have my results so I could at least know if we were looking at true GD or a testing conditions issue. Ha! They didn’t have my labs, either. I had to request they call my doctor and get them so we had some idea what my baseline was to begin with. I had two high marks, one at the one-hour and one at the fasting draw (only by like 5 points each time, but still). The fasting number being high tells me maybe I do have some issues. Good to know. Let’s deal with them.

The center has me doing blood tests 4x per day – first thing in the morning and 2 hours after each of my major meals. So far every reading has been within the acceptable range, even when I ate more carbs than I was supposed to for that meal. My fasting blood sugar is still a little high, though not as high as it was last weekend and now back within the “target” range – just at the upper end of it – and I don’t know whether the lab blood draw was high because of being a little sick, very tired, and completely stressed out, or if changing my eating patterns even the little bit I have has already started correcting the problem.

At the very least, now I have the means to actually experiment and see if particular foods crash my results, and if I really need to follow their guidelines or if I can modify them to better suit my lifestyle and body-driven eating habits. (The main issue I have with their plan is low carbs in the morning. I have never been the sort who can face a full breakfast until I’ve been up for 3-4 hours; the only things I want in the morning are starchy fruit and milk or cereal and milk, either of which are more than my carb allotment for breakfast. So the real-world scenarios I am looking at are skipping breakfast or having more carbs than I am “supposed” to in that time slot even if I then have fewer at my next snack and meal. Personally, I think the less detrimental option for a pregnant woman is the latter, especially since – so far, at least  - my body seems to be processing those particular carbs just fine.)

I do know that if anyone wants to do a late ultrasound to see if my baby is “big” that I will refuse it, because I am not going to be induced or bullied into a C-section for fear of a 9+ pound baby, especially given the ultrasound gets it right about 30% of the time – so statistically speaking, no better than flat out guessing. Even if my little guy grows big…fat squeezes. His head isn’t getting bigger even if he is, and the primary risk of vaginally delivering a large baby (shoulders getting stuck) is mitigated by my refusal to be strapped to a bed and forced to deliver on my back.

Right now I will confess myself annoyed at the amount of work I am having to do to feel educated about my specific pregger issues, even working with a doctor in general philosophical alignment with me, but that seems to be status quo in patient-provider relations these days. Hear the doc’s advice and then do your own research and mythbusting, because not all of their advice is going to really be suited to your unique situation.

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