About six weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The only known risk factor was that my great grandmother had diabetes, and the only other possible problem is that I have celiac and don't know it. (Apparently I had a bonehead doctor who didn't think to test me for celiac once she determined I was allergic to gluten, and undiagnosed celiac can lead to severe problems like cancer and, you guessed it, diabetes. Needless to say, I am no longer seeing that doctor.)
Along with this diagnosis, I was given a hefty dose of information about risks involved in my pregnancy, all of which completely terrified me. I understand it's the job of the nurses to inform me of everything that could possibly go wrong, but to tell an already anxious pregnant woman that all the things she worries about are now much more likely to happen is just mean. The worst was being told I needed to perform "kick counts" to make sure my baby was still moving around enough, because gestational diabetes increases the risk of "fetal demise". Great. Thanks, nurse. Now every time I don't feel my baby move for more than ten minutes I freak out. I guess the bright side is that I'm getting a great lesson in trusting God with my baby's well-being, because at this point there's not much else I can do.
So now I am a crazy, worried, hormonal pregnant woman. And what usually helps this crazy woman calm down? Comfort food. And guess what she can no longer eat? Comfort food. I've gotten used to not eating gluten, but I've never craved scones, cinnamon rolls, and donuts more than I do now. Along with gluten, sugar is also forbidden. I can have very few carbs without my sugar levels skyrocketing, so I'm only allowed small amounts fruit after lunch. I'm eating only meat (which is not appetizing in the least), vegetables, cheese, and cottage cheese. There is no longer any pleasure derived from food; it is only a means of nutrition at this point.
A few people have asked if I'll maintain these eating habits after pregnancy, and the answer is absolutely not. To think that anyone would choose to go on a low-carb, high protein diet is beyond my comprehension. Restrictive diets like that have never worked for me and usually lead to binging, so I tend to value everything in moderation.
As much as I'm complaining, I have been trying to focus on positive aspects of this whole situation. First of all, once I have the baby, the diabetes should go away. Praise God. I can't imagine having to deal with this forever, and I have an incredible respect for those that do. Second of all, it has helped me kick any sugar addiction I had. I'm back to drinking my coffee with just some cream in it, and fruit tastes super sweet, just like dessert. I've been more focused on my health, which hopefully makes the baby healthier. If it weren't for this diagnosis, I wouldn't have known I needed to follow up to find out if I have celiac or not. Having gestational diabetes also means that my midwife won't let me go past my due date, so I'm pretty excited to know that she'll definitely be here by May 25th, or May 26th at the very latest. Sam and I are getting really impatient waiting to meet this little girl!
Speaking of Sam, I think every woman should be lucky enough to have a partner like him during pregnancy. He's been incredibly helpful and supportive, never complaining about the fact that we have salad and chicken for dinner every night because of my stupid diet. He encourages me and makes me feel like I'm doing this great thing for our daughter by taking care of myself. As I get more and more uncomfortable, I'm often pretty irritable and not super fun to be around. I get in really bad moods when my sugar levels are too high because I feel like my body is poisoning our daughter, and like I can't even take care of her while she's in the womb. He's very patient with me and helps me calm down, even when I'm being a brat. He works incredibly hard to provide for us, and on his days off he's painting furniture for the baby, or hanging up pictures in her nursery, or installing her car seat. I can't wait to see him as a daddy, because as amazing as he is as a husband, I feel like he'll be in his prime as a father. I'm definitely a blessed wife and Ellery is a lucky little girl.
And for those who care to see my 34 week belly, here you go: