What's for Breakfast?

A little over two weeks ago I went in for one of my scheduled OB appointments and had my glucose screening test, standard procedure nowadays between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. After the test and ultrasound, we had our normal consultation and Q&A session and I was given the news for the first time in any of my check ups that everything was not normal. My blood iron had dropped too low and my response to the glucose test indicated I had gestational diabetes. I was handed the card of a specialist and a prescription for iron pills and left the office feeling extensively guilty. The doctor was encouraging that with a follow on to a specialist and a controlled diet I would almost certainly be able to get the diabetes under control and limit any impact to Pea. However, I had just returned from Stockholm where the Saffa and I had overindulged in our eating and I was having flashbacks to earlier in the pregnancy where I had eaten a varied diet that also included sweets and wondered if I had brought this on myself. I started the pregnancy at a healthy weight and have gained only within reasonable boundaries but there I was anyway.

The earliest the specialist could see me was yesterday. In those two weeks between, the Saffa and I did a lot of research online (I know, tsk tsk) and made some modifications to our diet. I say 'our' because he has been incredibly supportive throughout the whole pregnancy to the point where he was gaining his own baby bump eating along with me! And now with my changes, he also changed his eating so as not to be tempting me with any naughty foods. Basically the change was not that drastic except to really go to 5-6 small, controlled meals a day and to cut out any sweets, processed foods, and drinks other than water or ginger tea. Basically to switch fully over to a standard recommended pregnancy diet but avoiding high sugar foods and white flour based products.

The first couple of days were tough and then I adjusted and felt fine. So yesterday I went to the specialist with some optimism that maybe there would be a different result when they repeated the glucose tolerance test but it was worse or perhaps just more accurate with their specialized equipment. Rather than feeling guilty I decided I just needed to accept it, move on and do what I need to make sure the baby and I are ok. I met with the doctor regarding the results, he assured me that they weren't bad at all but nevertheless I would need to control my diet and blood sugar levels for the rest of my pregnancy and would need to schedule a follow on with the dietician and himself in the next days. He explained the risks to the baby and me short term and also some longer term risks (we both are at increased risk for developing lasting type II diabetes), which I was not so happy to hear.

The dietician had a cancellation in the afternoon so could see me the same day. She was wonderful. We did the session in German, slowly, and she showed me how to prick my finger with a device and when and how to measure the blood sugar throughout the day. Then we walked through my diet and I was very close to having the right foods and frequency. She modified it a bit more but I was only sad to see ketchup, grapes and bananas crossed off the list. The rest of the bad stuff I already had crossed off myself a couple of weeks ago.

I stopped by the farmer's stand and the grocery store and restocked with the latest advice in mind and started with the monitoring last night. All in all it is not so bad, we will see what the first couple of days results mean tomorrow afternoon.

I guess I knew some bumps in the road were to be expected but am hoping this one is at least manageable. We are in the home stretch now and more than excited to have the little one join us in the next couple of months!

Posted from Munich


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are doing everything that you can. I wish you and Pea all the best. Would you happen to have a link to a food list of what you can eat? Are fruit and bread totally forbidden? Thanks, and good luck!

Michelle said...

Thanks :-)
From what I understand there is no one size fits all diet but you can get an idea by searching Gestational Diabetes and there are menus and ideas of what is ok. All fruits are fine except bananas and grapes and grains are ok if they are dark, whole meal. My favorite breads from germany are on the menu so no big upset there. Even some potatoes, noodles and rice are ok if they are the right kind. Once you know the basic menu you monitor diet and blood sugar as tere may be some foods that trigger a problem more specifically for you (either because of when in the day it is eaten or how your body generally reacts) and this is why the monitoring and support of a specialist is needed until you know your own limits. All this said with a disclaimer - I had my first crash course yesterday and so probably not that qualified to help others ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! I thought it might be as restrictive as Atkins, but fortunately it doesn't sound as extreme!

Juelle-Ann said...

American Diabetes Association website also has excellent dietary information. But each of us are unique and you should follow dr and nutritionist's advice in testing and eating. Another aspect is exercise!