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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy Health’ Category

med_picI am extremely tired and exhausted. And it’s not from nesting. It’s from carrying my gigantic belly, keeping my glucose levels down, and from not sleeping. I’m SO done with this pregnancy that I can’t stand it. I don’t want to sleep because it’s uncomfortable, and I get carpal tunnel. I wake up with numb, painful fingers. Plus, I have to pee at least twice a night.

As for the gestational diabetes diet, I’m SO done with it! I don’t want to take my medication and wait an hour before eating. I don’t want to think about what I’m eating. I don’t want to schedule my eating and schedule everything around my eating. I’m tired of checking my glucose levels an hour after I eat. AND, I’m tired of going to the hospital twice a week for non-stress tests. I’m tired of seeing my nutritionist every couple of weeks to prove to her that I’m not cheating on my diet. I just want to live blissfully, eat heartily, and be happy. (Is that too much to ask? Give a pregnant woman a break!)

I have, at the most, two more weeks left and that doesn’t seem to be passing quickly enough. Ughh… I need to stop complaining. Most likely, I’ll be complaining about something new after the baby arrives. 🙂

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Sara at 36 weeks

Sara at 36 weeks, healthy and happy!

We recently had a “Dear le•top” question about weight gain during pregnancy. One of our readers (and my good friend), Sara, wrote an insightful comment about her experience. Sara is now 36 weeks into her pregnancy with her first baby — a girl! (though no names have been discussed, I am rooting for my name! LOL!). Sara has not gained a lot of weight with her pregnancy despite her very healthy appetite, so she’s had to deal with a fair amount of other people’s anxieties and opinions about her weight gain (or lack thereof). I’ve read about how, once a woman becomes pregnant, she becomes everyone’s “friend”– as if there’s an invisible sign inviting everyone (even strangers) to talk about pregnancy stories, birthing and labor stories (especially the horrific ones), opinions, too-personal questions and belly pats! It seems to come with the territory of being pregnant.

Sara’s had a great pregnancy by all acounts, and even though her baby is playing games and doing cartwheels and flips, Sara’s taking it all in stride and just enjoying her pregnancy. I can’t wait to meet my namesake! 😉

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Who would be comfortable with a belly this size?!

Who would be comfortable with a belly this size?!

About two months ago I was complaining about my last trimester. Well, I should have been enjoying it back then instead of complaining about it, because the last MONTH of pregnancy is even worse!

This weekend I realized that I’m SO DONE with this pregnancy! All because I can’t find a comfortable position to sleep in. I’m supposed to lie on my left side for better circulation. But when I do, I wake up in the middle of the night with all my right fingers numb! I can’t even form a fist. (My doctor said that this is absolutely normal. It happens.) So I turn over and lie on my right side, only to wake up  an hour later with my right leg in pain. (My doctor said that this is absolutely normal, too. Cripes!) So, I roll over to my left side again and, once again, my fingers are numb. I do this so much throughout the night that I feel like a rotisserie chicken!

But the pregnancy blues don’t stop there. Every time I roll over, I have to get up and pee. Or if I do finally fall asleep, I get woken up by a massive leg cramp! To top it off, I’m swelling everywhere! I can’t wear my wedding ring, I can’t wear my watch, and my left foot is bigger than my right. (This better go away after pregnancy because there is no way I’m going to buy two pairs of shoes in different sizes.)

I’m counting the weeks left. I have five more but I’d be happy to deliver at 37 weeks. Oh, to be comfortable again.

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expectant_couple“This is my first pregnancy. In my first trimester, I really had an awful bout of morning sickness. Now I’m 17 weeks and things are starting to feel back to normal, and my appetite has returned. The problem is, my husband is worried that I am not gaining any weight. In fact, I am the same weight as before I got pregnant. He goes to all my doctor’s appointments, he reads more pregnancy books than I do, and makes sure that all the food that I eat is healthful. I appreciate all the attention but it’s driving me crazy? What should I do?”
— Patricia (Irvine, CA)

The joys of the first pregnancy: such a special time, yet enough to drive you bananas because there is so much information to know and learn. AND, everyone seems to have an opinion about what’s best for you. It is wonderful to have such a caring and attentive husband. Not everyone shares those circumstances. He wants to be part of the pregnancy as much as possible. On the other hand, I can see how his behavior could make you go crazy. He is smothering you and not trusting your own judgement. You’re new to this as much as he is, and his actions can cause undue stress. The best advice I could give is to make sure you are both keeping the lines of communication open. Talk to him and tell him how you are feeling. If he is as caring as you say, he should be able to understand that you need some space. And if he is reading more pregnancy books than you, then he should know that women experience pregnancy in different ways. And, the same woman can experience each pregnancy differently. If he still isn’t giving you enough space, I would suggest that you talk, together, with your obstetrician to address his concerns and consider asking for a third opinion. Good luck with your pregnancy!

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med_picIt’s been about six weeks since I last wrote about my gestational diabetes. That’s because things have been smooth sailing. Everything was under control with diet, exercise, and medication. However in the last couple of weeks, my glucose levels have been out of whack. (I was cautioned that it would get worse later in my pregnancy.) I would wake up in the morning and my glucose levels (fasting) would already be high! My nutritionist and perinatologist are both confused as to why. (They call me… “The Anomaly.”) I thought that, perhaps, because every night I would dream of eating a cupcake or a banana split, it would seem so real that my brain would send messages to my body that increased my sugar levels! Ha! If that were the case, then I think I should just eat a cupcake or a banana split so that the high glucose level in the morning would be worth it.

So it was suggested that I take a dose of my medication (Glyburide) the night before with my evening snack and see if that would bring down my fasting levels the next morning. Success! After a couple of days, though, I discovered that my glucose levels were high an hour after breakfast. So I started cutting down on my carbohydrate intake. No luck! I could eat two servings or one serving of bread, and would still get the same results… high glucose levels. So my nutritionist has suggested I take another dose when I wake up in the mornings, then eat breakfast an hour after. That worked for a couple of days, but then it stopped. More confusion! We even upped my medication to two doses, and still my glucose levels were high.
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thumbnail1Here’s another quickie, no sugar added recipe from my good friend Sharon. I just made it today and I love, love, LOVE it!!!  The best part of this delicious frozen treat is that it barely made a dent in my glucose levels. How “sweet” is that?

All you need are a few frozen fresh pineapple pieces and 1/2 cup of coconut milk. The coconut milk has only 1 gram of carbs! (Pineapples, coconuts, bananas? Hmm… I see a theme here. I think I’m having a tropical monkey baby.)

Blend all the ingredients together until slushy, and BAM… Another sugar-free treat! If the mixture isn’t slushy enough, you can put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. You can also add a bit of sugar-substitute is you prefer it to be a little sweeter.

I had this sorbet for a snack this afternoon, and it was yummy! I also had some for dessert after dinner. I was so pleasantly surprised (both times!) that my glucose levels stayed low. Now I have two fruity, no sugar snacks to choose from: this one and the banana with cocoa powder.

You’re the best, Sharon! Keep sending me more recipes.

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Hmm... what should I eat?

Hmm... what should I eat?

I wake up, and I want a bowl of cereal with fruit. But nooooo(!), I can’t have any of those things for breakfast. So I have to muster all my willpower to eat eggs and a hotdog despite the fact that my mouth is really craving a deliciously cool, refreshing, invigorating, sweet glass of OJ to wash down all that protein.

Come snack time (with my hotdog breath – even though I brushed my teeth!), I feel a false sense of liberation – like I can eat ANYTHING (but not really)! It’s just that I can eat fruit or have a glass of milk if I so desire. So I grab a little tub of baby yogurt, but realize I also want a banana, but I can only have either dairy or fruit. So I stand in the kitchen contemplating what I REALLY want for a treat, and have to remember that I need to also follow it with a handful of nuts or a hard boiled egg (Mmm… not!). Can you picture this? I stand there almost walking around in circles… ARGHH. (more…)

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thumbnail1Since my announcement (okay, whining) that I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and banned from sugar, I have been missing my No. 1 pregnancy craving: banana splits!! A good friend of mine passed on an excellent substitute, which I love!

Take a frozen banana, add a tsp. of unsweetened organic cocoa powder, and either mash it all together or run through a food processor. Voilà…it’s a sugar-free dessert! The banana makes this a nutritious treat while the added cocoa powder makes this a guilty pleasure.

It may not be a banana split, but it sure does hit the spot!

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med_picI’ve been on my new nutritional plan for my gestational diabetes for five days now. And guess what? My glucose levels are still a bit high. The diet alone isn’t working, so my nutritionist and perinatologist want to see me NOW – as in, before Christmas – because they see this as an “urgent matter!” This doctor’s appointment is a total bummer and has added more stress to my already stressful holiday week (running around in circles, anyone?). (more…)

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cupcakesGoodbye, cupcakes! Goodbye, hot chocolate! Goodbye, sugar! I’ll miss you all and will hope to see you after I give birth… Hello, Gestational Diabetes! You weren’t invited. I wish you would go away.

After failing the 1-hour AND the 3-hour glucose tests, I must now face the reality that I have GD. I suppose it could be worse. I could have Type 2 Diabetes and would have to deal with this forever. But for now, it’s gestational diabetes and I need to focus on my diet.

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