Friday, October 2, 2009

Gestational Diabetes

It goes to show you...

A person's body definitely changes as it gets older...which is my current problem. This is my THIRD pregnancy. I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes for ALL three of my pregnancies, but this one is BY FAR the worst case scenario.

This pregnancy also happens to be the EASIEST one of all them - until now. I honestly believe that living here in China for a year helped to de-toxify my body of "crap", such as sugars, etc. When I got pregnant last spring, I was surprised at how easy my first trimester...and again my second trimester was in comparison with my first two pregnancies. But, I think it's because of less toxins in my body. Don't know if that's true or not, but I honestly believe that to be the number one reason for the difference this time around.

Well, I'm in the third trimester now and things...well...could be better. I FEEL strong as an ox, healthy as a horse...but, it's been made clear to me, that I'm not. Being GD the first two times, it came as no surprise that I was GD this time around as well. No big deal. Or, at least, that's what I thought. The two previous times I had to contend with this "situation," I was able to easily control my diet to keep my numbers down. Not so now.

MAYBE it's because I had less sugar in my body this time around, that I'm more sensitive to it? And definitely my age is a factor (or at least I'm told). Let's not forget that I'm in the land of rice and noodles! They may put less sugar in their sweets, but the carbs can add up pretty quickly when eating rice, noodles, pasts, and whatever imported foods you throw into the mix! And apparently, I'm JUST as sensitive to all the carbs this time as I am to sugars...which SUCKS.

This was not as hard the last two times. But, then again, while the U.S. may put enough sugar in things to knock out an elephant...they also have TONS of diabetes-conscious choices as well. No sugar jams, no sugar PB, low carb pastas, no sugar cookies, ETC! Before, if I endured these types of sugar free numbers were kept low and there was no problem. I also had availability to tons of soy protein options if meat was unsatisfactory.

Not here. I can find the occasional no sugar, nutra sweet pumped, food items...but not much else. No low carb pastas, no breads without sugars in them, no soy protein meats, except for actual tofu, etc! Let's not forget the other forbidden foods that are now off the list, like ALL fruits, ALL breads, ALL pastas, rice and noodles, no carrots, yams, or beets, definitely no tortillas and SO many other foods as well.

I don't eat meat here in China, and especially during this pregnancy! Since I've been kind of freaked out during this pregnancy as it is, I especially stay away from food items that have a higher percentage of "unknowns" in them, such as, almost all meats. The meat over here is highly unregulated and those that are...well, are they?? You can never be sure over here! Not to mention thinking about unclean processing surfaces or "dirty" handling practices. And let's not forget toxins, steroids or other unknown...variables...used to preserve or pump up the meat. Melamine was found in pork as well as the infant formula. I saw a nasty, horrible video about some of the chicken processed over here. I barely trust beef in the States, seeing how some of them are raised on some of the farms...much less trusting beef over here. Flying over China, I have seen the brown ring that surrounds the coastlines of China and I have definitely never seen (as of yet) a crystal clear stream/river. So, pretty much any local fishing is out of the question for me as well.

Another factor in keeping my numbers down is exercise. No problem! While in Hawaii, I was going up/down 2 flights of stairs each day, many times a day! I was also trekking through LOTS of sandy beaches and swimming in the ocean. Upon returning to China, I went to Huangshan when I was 6.5 months of the highest mountains in the area...and climbed about a thousand steps in two days! Since then, I have been to other cities to just walk around, not to mention all the walking one does right here in Shanghai! My chinese friends are looking at me totally cross eyed because they think I'm doing TOO much exercising. I'm going hiking next week on another mini vacation and then doing a lot of walking around on yet another mini Holiday after that! So...exercise? NOOOO problem!! In fact, I've done more exercise this time around...probably because I feel so much better...than either of my other two pregnancies combined! And I'm NOT gaining the PROVE it! Just like my other two...I've not gained a single pound...with the exception of the intial 6 pounds I gained at the very beginning of this one. NOTHING since then. Each and every time, I've maintained the same weight throughout the entire pregnancy. Go figure!! Although, the first two times I contribute that to me being sick the whole time. This time, I have no doubt it's all this g** d*** exercise!

This is the first pregnancy I have experienced "danger" symptoms in relation to my GD. My belly size increased by 10 whole cm in just 4 weeks! The amniotic fluid around the baby is over 20%, which means he is peeing WAY more often to get rid of excess sugars, etc. His physical dimensions are in the 70th percentile, which means he is "weighing" about 12 days bigger than he should. Yikes! All of this combined...equals NOT GOOD!

While I admit to having the occasional chocolate bar or sweet...that was nothing new. I could cheat just a little bit the other two times and I was still ok. And my numbers over here are not actually HORRIBLE. They are borderline...which they were before as well. But, this time...the baby might be in trouble. :-( I feel horrible. But, I'm glad it was caught earlier rather than later.

ALL OF THIS means that my doctor is putting me on a much stricter diet that pretty much includes MEAT and other protein food items. Hmmm...this is a serious problem for me since I don't eat meat right now over here. I have a gag reflex for it...probably because I'm continuously thinking about all the "crap" that might be in it, which might harm the baby. So, what am I going to do??

Well, I have narrowed down my choices to tofu, nuts, cheese, eggs and meat broths. I'm hoping this will be enough to sustain me through the rest of my pregnancy. But, I can tell you now, that I feel awful...always hungry, headachy, stiff...which means I might not be getting the nutrition I should be getting. This is REALLY, REALLY hard!!!!

No cheating. No sugars. No carbs. No fruits. No breads. No wheat.

What pounds through my head almost constantly is...GOOD THING I'm not waiting to have another baby!!! My body is telling me loud and clear that I'm getting older...breaking down on molecular levels that are complicating this pregnancy. I hope, hope, hope, that this is ONLY true for me and not anyone else I know. I would hate for anyone else to have to figure stuff like this out on their own. I'm sure every body is different and would handle age differently than my own seems to be at the moment...which is good.


  1. Oh Baby! It sounds like you're going through a lot this time. I know that China doesn't want me to ship any meat products over there, but I can try to send some canned tuna, chicken breat, and/or beef and see if it gets through. Has the doc talked about you taking insulin yet? Keep up the good fight honey and remember I love you and am thinking about you every day.

  2. I'm so sorry! I wish you had better and more options over there. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. I am always thinking about all of you!