Friday, June 27, 2008

My Prison Diet

I have, as my readers know, a horrible case of gestational diabetes. I am allowed only nine servings of carboydrates a day. For those who don't know, one serving is between twelve and nineteen grams of carbs, ideally fifteen. So I basically can't eat shit all day, although I have to eat somethng every two hours. It breaks down like this:
Breakfast - 1 serving
Snack - 1 serving
Lunch - 2 servings
Snack - 1 serving
Dinner - 2 servings
Snack - 1 serving
Bedtime Snack - 1 serving

Now, this is a hard diet to live with since almost nothing has fifteen grams of carbs. For instance, one slice of bread is one serving, so I can't have a sandwich unless it's meal time. And although my obstetrician did send me to a dietitian, the problem was that she was a dietitian. She kept talking about protein and low-fat and organic food, things that had nothing to do with GD! I listened to her advice at first; I even spent the big bucks on the all natural organic peanut butter. Have you ever had all natural organic peanut butter? Same carbs as regular, but it's gritty and oily and tastes awful! So I quickly learned that I was on my own. However, in the last month I have managed to find some snacks that aren't half bad, and some that actually kick ass, that fit with my diet. I figured I would post them hear in case anyone else who reads this get put on a similar diet as I am. And keep in mind that if you're allowed more than one serving at a time, you can double up o the snacks. Yum!

  • Sunbelt Golden Almond chewy granola bars. One bar (and not the tiny little ones either like those hard ones you get from your grandma)= 17 g carbs
  • Blue Bunny Light No Sugar Added key lime pie yogurt cup. 1 cup = 11 g carbs
  • The Skinny Cow Minis Frozen Fudge Bars. One bar (the same size as half of a twin pop popsicle)=10 g carbs!
  • Edy's Fruit Bars No Sugar Added. One bar = 8 g carbs (I recommend having one fudge bar and one fruit bar, but then I'm pregnant in the summer too.)
  • Quaker Granola Bites Chocolate Flavor 90 calorie packs. One pack (not too small but not huge)= 14 g carbs
  • Hunt's Snack Pack Sugar Free chocolate pudding cups. One cup = 15 g carbs
  • Breyers All Natural Pure Premium coffee ice cream. 1/2 cup = 15 g carbs
  • Medallion Bite Size white corn tortilla chips. 24 chips = 15 g carbs (and salsa has no carbs so you can load up the chips!)
  • Sara Lee 45 Calorie & Delightful Bread, 100% Whole Wheat With Honey. TWO slices = 18 g carbs. (Peanut butter and sugar free jelly make it a pretty filling snack. And an egg and some vanilla make for a great French toast breakfast.)
If you learn to bulk up your snacks with peanut butter, dips, and sugar-free jelly, you can stay reasonably full throughout the day and still keep your blood glucose numbers low. As for meal ides, that's been harder for me to come up with. But Tom's cooking tomorrow night so I'm thinking baked tilapia with lemon butter and Parmesan and some rice on the side. Yum. But damn, do I miss mac and cheese!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Why motherhood is more lonely now.

I remember when we'd been married maybe a year and Tom was still on the road all the time, he told me about a show he'd seen (Dateline or 20/20 or something like that) about how girl bullies in junior high. He was shocked! With boys a bully will hit you or pants you in the hall or something, he said, but these girls were ruthless. One case was a non-stop campaign of about ten girls to make one girl feel fat and ugly and worthless! I just nodded and thought, "how cute, my husband's naive." Any girl who survives public school knows how catty the female of the species can be. It's why it's not really a big deal if your best friend tells you that you look great when your skirt is tucked up in the back of your underwear. It's a natural instinct; she has to thin the competition.

All of this was brought back to mind today as I waited for an hour an fifteen minutes to see my obstetrician. (Why does he take appointments on his on-call days?) The waiting room had the usual line-up: menopausal woman fanning herself with a magazine, teenage girl casting desperate looks at her mother and wondering why she has to see THAT KIND of doctor anyway, twenty-something young mother telling her five year old to "Just sit down and shut up, God I hate how you act when you come back from your father's!" (the mother of the teen was of course trying to discretely point out that THIS is why she has to see THAT KIND of doctor), and the two requisite pregnant women. I would have loved to strike up a conversation with the other pregnant lady, but of course I didn't. And why? Because women are catty!

At some point during the last few years, pregnancy and childbirth became even more of a contest of strength than it had been. Hospitals started letting mothers make more decisions and more options opened up. In addition, birthing centers popped up, midwives stopped being quaint village characters from old Europe, and the word doula stopped sounding strange. Women decided to give birth at home in kiddie pools, modern pain management went from blessing to option, and it became perfectly acceptable to post photos of yourself online giving birth in a sports bra and crystals, bouncing on a giant kickball. Now, while I'm grateful that I'm not going to be strapped to the table like my mother was, that hospital staff is actually supportive of breastfeeding now, and that the whole "shave and enema" thing has gone out the window, I'm not too sure how I feel about being put in a position to make so many decisions while in constant hormonal flux. Everyone, from Ricki Lake to the ghost of Dr Spock seems to have an opinion and to present it as being the only viable choice if you care at all about your child. Somehow the thought of an epidural has become, to some, the equivalent of thalidomide. Women who smoke throughout their entire pregnancy will tell you how bad epidurals are and how if you really wanted what was best for your baby, you'd do it "naturally".

Come on! No, an epidural or an IV of Stadol isn't exactly the natural way of doing things, but neither are weekly urine tests, group B strep testing, gestational diabetes management, gender ultrasounds, or even the giant kickball to bounce your mid-labor ass on. I'm not saying it should be all or nothing. I'm just saying that these people shouldn't be acting like they do it all while we do nothing. If you want your polyvinyl ball then let me have my modern conveniences too, and don't judge me for them!

Back in the days of mandatory enemas, strapped down mothers, and nurses who doled out bottles of formula without any questions, mothers were part of an exclusive club. They could compare notes and reassure each other and form a real support system. I guess I kind of wish we still had that kind of camaraderie. Now it's either you didn't nurse long enough or you nursed too long or you're raping the Earth with disposable diapers or your epidural makes you less of a woman or you're the hippy-freak who gave birth in a fisher-price baby pool. I don't want to go back to enemas and bed straps, but I wish the progress toward options didn't have to mean a march toward superiority either.

Monday, June 09, 2008

On doctors and diamonds. . .

I had my thirty week appointment today, the first one since I've been tracking my blood sugar. I was sure the doctor would send me straight to the diabetes expert for insulin shots but he said my numbers looked okay. I guess I'm doing pretty well on the yogurt and granola bar diet, despite what my colon may think of it. The doctor also gave me the go-ahead to leave on vacation with my mom on Thursday.

I have been alternately dreading and looking forward to this vacation since Mom thought it up last fall. It sounds like a fun trip, but then again it also sounds like the worst vacation possible for a woman deep into her 7th month of pregnancy. Plus, there's the guilt of having my mommy pay for me to go on vacation with her, but since it was her idea I try not to feel too bad about it. She and Ryan (I'm just tagging along to watch Mom's dog from what it sounds like so far) are going to dig for diamonds in Arkansas. I dread the long car ride and the heat, but it sounds fun and I think Ryan will get a kick out of it. I might even wield a shovel for a couple hours in the mornings too. Maybe I can find a rock big enough to put Ryan through college. Oh well. My main concern is the bathroom facilities. Our cabin is supposed to have a toilet installed before we get there, and I'm hoping there's some drink stand with bathrooms near the dig site. The last thing I need is to be doctor-hunting with a bladder infection in Arkansas from holding it for too long. Also, infections aren't good for us diabetics, or so I hear. I really hope Mom means it when she says she expects to make a lot of bathroom stops during the drive. Just going to Omaha and back last month with Tom was bad. I would try to wait at least 2 hours between breaks but sometimes it wasn't in the cards. This baby thinks my bladder is a trampoline.

Not sure how the wi-fi will be at a cabin in Arkansas, so I'm not sure I'll be able to post anything until we get back. So until then, wish me luck. And wish me big old honking diamonds, too.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ryan joins in the fun.

Not one to be left out of anything artistic, Ryan took her turn at painting my belly tonight. If I felt worldly yesterday, I feel absolutely stellar tonight!

And of course, I didn't want to be the only one not painting people, so here's my handiwork:

All "pregnant" fathers should have to see this.

I recently found a website that shows, un-airbrushed, un-photoshopped, completely honest pictures of women after childbirth. The saggy tummies, the deflated balloon look of stretch marks without the stretch, the pointing down boobs trying to hide in armpits, all of it. For all the men out there who think pregnancy changes only the size, and who then get disgusted by the texture and shape, this website is for you! And for all the women who think that Demi Moore magazine cover was real, and who think that every woman can birth twins and then wear an evening gown to the Oscars a week later in her pre-pregnancy size, this site is for you!

But most of all, for those of us who pray against all hope that this time we'll bounce back like Angelina or Katie Holmes, this site is for us.

*EDIT: also, add to the list of people who should be strapped to a desk chair with their eyelids glued open and these photos on the screen in front of them, sixteen year olds who want to have babies. Imagine stuffing that belly into a prom dress you fetal-minded imbeciles!

Monday, June 02, 2008

One half cup of YUM!

One serving of carbohydrates is 15 grams. I am allowed 2 servings per snack. I just looked and discovered, much to my surprise, that half a cup of coffee ice cream has exactly 15 grams of carbs. I am now eating ice cream out of a measuring cup. Yum! I thought I had to forsake ice cream, but now I don't have to. Happy time!

My husband, the artist

I feel so worldly now.

The Cure's As Bad As The Disease!

I'm starting to think I've had diabetes for a while. The main symptoms are frequent urination and excessive thirst, which I've known. But I've always been a drinker. It was Mountain Dew all day up until a couple years ago, then water, then OJ early in the pregnancy, and now iced tea. And I've been peeing too much for just as long, but I never felt any different so I didn't worry about it, other than to wonder occasionally if my kidneys were malfunctioning. See, I've always had periods of low blood sugar, and I've voluntarily taken the yucky-orange-soda-test multiple times as well, all with negative results. But now, after a couple days on my carb-counting diet, I'm drinking less. I noticed this the other day and took it to be a good sign, proof that the diet was working. But when I awoke this morning with my calf muscle locked up in a horrible spasm of pain, it occurred to me through my screams that an absolute lack of thirst might have its downside. Dehydration causes leg cramps in pregnant women,. Ugh, now I not only have to force feed myself every 2 hours, but I also have to remember to drink water when I'm not thirsty.
I swear, it would be so much easier to just hook up an IV and surrender control.