Battle with Sugar

We went on a little babymoon last week….to Houston and New Orleans. I know, it’s not what most think of when you think of a babymoon, but we’ve always wanted to see the deep South and there’s a next to no chance of us bringing kids to the French Quarter. It was also a great way to see and catch up with my dear friend Dahn (miss you!)….thank you for housing us and doing all the driving!!

Blackened and Fried alligator

Blackened and Fried alligator

I had a list of things I wanted to eat when we were in New Orleans:

  • catfish
  • crawfish
  • alligator
  • beniet
  • gumbo
  • fried green tomatoes
  • fried pickles

And tried them all we did. My favorites are blackened alligator and cajun-seasoned boiled crawfish. (My Mom is reading this and is probably tisk-tisking me for eating exotic meats and shellfish

Cajun seasoned crawfish

Cajun seasoned crawfish

while pregnant. The Chinese have a very long list of forbidden foods during pregnancy…but just a “little bit” can’t hurt can it?? For the record, I restrained from eating any oysters though they were really cheap and I totally wanted to.)

The biggest battle was with managing my blood sugar in gestational diabetes. All the breads were made with refined white flour. (No sprouted or whole grain products anywhere.) I kept to my restricted carb servings per meal and we were walking daily but still my blood sugar was really high. It was so discouraging each time I checked my sugars. Around day two of the trip I started to connect corn products to particularly high readings. If I ate corn chips…or cornmeal battered fried stuff…my sugar would take FOREVER to come back down. While I could avoid corn chips, the battered stuff was harder to avoid. Finding a decent salad was difficult too. Many vegetarian options were loaded with sugary carbs (i.e. white rice, breads) so that wasn’t a viable option either. I ended up increasing my insulin doses…which helped…but it was hard to be surrounded by all the food I wanted to try and had to hold myself back to just a couple bites. And I

Icing sugar coated beniets

Icing sugar coated beniets

skipped all desserts entirely. Man! For someone who really likes to eat….this was a tough battle. I felt I tried really hard with minimal results. And then I would worry for Baby thinking about all that sugar passing to him/her.

Skywalker reminded me that we really can only control so much. Trust is still in God and not in all the things I try to do…though doing them is still a good and wise thing. Three days in New Orleans compared to the three months left in pregnancy isn’t going to make massive impacts…but I should probably pick up the exercise now that I’m back home. I’m also SO happy to be eating green vegetables again!

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5 loaves 2 fish

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said…taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves….they all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

Here’s another gem from BSF…from the passage in Matt 14:13-20 about Jesus feeding the crowd of 5000. Firstly, the 5000 count refers only to the men. So if most of them have wives, and a couple kids, then the number is really more like 15,000+. Secondly, how is it that out of maybe 10,000 adults, no one thought to bring extra food? I bet that many did have extra provisions. But when Jesus asked the disciples to see how much food they could round up, most people thought it better to save what they had for themselves. I’d probably do the same thing really. And so, my thoughts wander to the person or persons who gave up their loaves and fish. They had no idea Jesus was going to turn their little snack offering into a massive miracle. The crowd ate until they were “satisfied”…and there were still TWELVE basketfuls of leftovers. Can you imagine being part of that??? “Jesus took my little snack and miraculously fed 15,000+ people with it!! Incredible!!

So I’m wondering with the little I have…if Jesus asked for it…would I give it up or hang onto it for myself? How often have I held onto the bit that was “mine” for fear of losing it and refused to offer it to God. What blessing have I missed out on because of it? Not that I should be giving to God in hopes of getting something in return. But what does my actions (or non-action) say about my heart attitude? Or about my trust in Jesus’ provision? Hmm. Convicting.

Crumbs are enough

Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
(Matt 15:26-27)

In BSF recently we looked at the faith of a Canaanite woman who sought Jesus’ healing for her demon possessed daughter. Now, I’m no scholar and haven’t looked very deeply into the original Hebrew text or cultural context etc, but my understanding of Jesus’ reply is that He wasn’t being rude or demeaning. The “dogs” He refers to would be like a little household pet, not the big, mean, scavenging, rabies and flea infested dogs of the street. So He’s kind of saying, “It’s not right to feed the pets before the kids, even if both are loved.” I’m going to leave the contexting at that…because what impressed me the most was the woman’s witty and humble response, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall…

What blew me away was that she had faith even fallen CRUMBS from Jesus’ table would be enough to bring healing to her daughter. Do I have that kind of courage? That kind of faith? What do my prayers tell me about how I see Jesus? Do I believe He is who He says He is? Am I really just asking things within the bounds of what *I* think is probable or do I really believe He can do more than I ask or imagine?

Lately, I don’t. But I’m trying to.

Week 27: End of 2nd Tri!!

OMG…it’s the end of my second trimester already. Can’t say I’m ready. At all. Except for having a car seat and stroller purchased. And having a bassinet and crib lined up from generous ladies in my community. But that’s it. We don’t even know where we might be living in three months because we’re trying to sell our current place and buy a new home right now. Timing’s a little tight. I know. Maybe even a little crazy…but I’ve heard it’s been done. And everyone survived.

The exciting part is that when the situation looks crazy or almost impossible…it’s a greater opportunity to see God at work. So that’s where I’m hanging my hope. Or trying to.

So, some updates…
I’m getting used to the finger poking four times daily and the insulin three times daily. But I’m still not as good with getting my prescribed snacks ingested on time. Sometimes I just don’t feel like snacking! And then I get bored of my choices…but we’re working on expanding the healthy snack repository in the kitchen. With any food restriction, I find myself thinking about the things I can’t or shouldn’t eat: chips, fruit yogurt, cereal, dessert, etc. I’m also reading how many grams of sugar per serving is in everything I buy. Unbelievable how much sugar is in so many products out there!

Thyroid is steady on normal. Praise God!

I FINALLY have a prenatal doctor. I was seeing a GP up til now and she was trying to get me into an OB GYN group to deliver in Vancouver since that’s where we plan to move…and because that particular hospital is fully set up for any potential complications. Considering my thyroid issue, gestational diabetes…AND marginal placenta previa…I’m not exactly low risk. But hospital politics man. I didn’t have a Vcr address and was shut out. Thankfully my GP was able to connect me with a family doctor in Vcr who does obstetrics and she could take out of city patients for Vcr delivery. OB GYN’s can’t.

At my latest appointment, the Dr said the fundal height was measuring a little on the big side. (This is probably why Skywalker thinks I’m already huge. “If you’re this huge now, what are you going to be like in three months?” he asks. “A manatee,” I say.) So the size could be account the gestational diabetes…though once sugars are controlled, baby growth should normalize. I really hope I don’t have a big baby….like six pounds at birth would be perfect. There are complications with big babies and it’s a little scary. I’m also thinking about the pain/tearing because I also hope to do a natural birth. But, can’t hold onto these preferences….things are often not in my control so best to manage my expectations early. Still though, I’m a little nervous.

So…here we go…next week starts the THIRD TRIMESTER!

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Week 26: Poke poke poke

(Image not mine)

It’s official…I have gestational diabetes…and it’s bad enough that I need insulin. =(

Some background info: Gestational Diabetes occurs when the placenta produces some hormones/chemicals that end up causing the mother’s body to become resistant to her own insulin. As blood sugars start to rise, her pancreas tries to make MORE insulin to break down the sugars. As the baby and placenta grows into the third trimester, more hormones/chemicals are produced, making her body even more resistant to insulin. They don’t know why it happens to some women and not to others; about 18% of pregnant women are affected. Of that, 7% can’t keep up with natural insulin production so extra insulin from outside sources is needed. That’s my case.

It was nearing the end of 2013 when sugar started showing up in my urine tests. That lead to me taking the glucose test at Week 23 and soundly failing it. I received the diagnosis Jan 2 and was referred to the gestational diabetes clinic right away. Diet restrictions were given at Week 24, and I was happy to note my regular diet already met the guidelines I was told to follow. Thankfully, I’m also not a big carb or sweets eater. But, I do have to watch out for those big bowls of noodle soups I like. Added to my regiment was the daily finger pokes to test blood sugar. Before meals, blood sugar should be under 5.0 and after meals, it should be under 7.0.

I hate getting my fingers poked. (Reminds me of when I stapled my fingers in younger years. Twice.) For the first week, my heart sank a little more every time my before-meal sugar level was over 5.0. Even after sleeping all night my blood sugar was too high. Actually…it was too high before every meal. All my after-meal levels were normal. My pancreas couldn’t make enough insulin for the minimum carb diet I was on. At Week 25, the endocrinologist, nurses and dietitian all told me it doesn’t look like diet or exercise will make much difference in my case…I will need insulin.

I was pretty bummed.

But they all reassured me that it’s nothing I did wrong and there isn’t anything I could’ve done differently to prevent this. Thankfully this is a very well manageable condition and I can totally have a healthy pregnancy. So, even if I have to jab needles at myself through the day, Baby will be healthy. That’s the main thing.

The scary statistic is that 50% of women who get gestational diabetes will become Type-2 diabetic in about ten years. I do NOT want that to be my life…..50% chance is a very big number. I’m reminded and am grasping onto God in this….He is bigger than any statistic. He is Healer and Restorer. He was faithful as I wrestled with Graves Disease (over one year medication free now!) and He will be faithful in this too. Walking with Him is about learning to surrender and trust in HIM and not in anything of the world. As counter intuitive as that journey is sometimes, I’m determined to do this. Trust. So help me God.