Thursday, January 28, 2010

Look at My New Toy!

I spent all morning at the hospital learning about gestational diabetes and I have to say, the science behind all of this is fascinating! I learned how to count my carbs and plan my meals, and I learned how to jab myself in the finger hard enough to DRAW BLOOD four times a day. I get to use this little baby...

Oooooh, shiny!

The big blue "pen" has a tiny drum inside with six tiny needles (and those babies aren't cheap), then the little canister has the strips that soak up the blood (again, it gets pricey when you do it four times a day - good thing this will only last for ten more weeks). The giant video game-like gadget beeps a bunch and then pops up a number when it's done doing...whatever the heck it does inside there.

I'll try to explain this meal plan and blood sucking schedule as succinctly as possible, so bear with me:

Before Breakfast - check blood sugar (lovingly referred to around our house as "BS.") It has to be between 60 and 90 mg/dl - I don't know what dl stands for. If it's low, I have to start getting up in the middle of the night to eat something. I'm fairly certain I'll never be too low.

Breakfast - 2 carbohydrates (15 g of carbs = 1 serving, so 30 g at breakfast). These carbs have to come from a starch (most likely toast) and a milk. I also need 1-2 servings of meat or protein, which I can get from an egg or peanut butter, and 1 serving of fat, which comes in peanut butter or margarine. Looks like my only two choices for breakfast are: an egg with toast and milk, or a slice of toast with peanut butter and milk. Notice how neither of those opitons include cereal (no matter how high fiber) or orange juice (this is where I drop to the floor, kicking and screaming and throwing a major hissy fit). *Hefty sigh*

2 hours after breakfast - check bs, it has to be lower than 120 mg/dl.

AM Snack - 1 carb (15 g), 1 meat/protein. Luckily, I have South Beach Diet granola bars that will be perfect for snacks. Exactly 15 g of carbs and lots of protein. Hoorah!!

Lunch - 3 -4 carbs, and now they have to come from 2 starches, 1 fruit, and 1 milk. I also need 2 servings of meat/protein and 1 fat. I guess I'll be packing lots of sandwiches, salads and soups for lunch. Lean Cuisines are OUT - they have way too many carbs and prepackaged stuff doesn't digest well.

2 hours after lunch - check bs, it has to be lower than 120 mg/dl. This will be the tricky one, since I'm usually in the middle of teaching writing at this time. I might just make my students stop everything they're doing and WATCH ME! The boys will think it's cool.

PM Snack - 1 carb (15 g) and 1 meat/protein. Cheese, peanut butter crackers, granola bar - snacks will NOT be a problem!

Dinner - 3-4 carbs, including THREE starches (this was hard to do tonight) and 1 milk, plus some non-starchy vegetables. I also need 3 servings of meat/protein and 1 fat. Our usual dinners include meat, veggies and starch, but we don't eat nearly enough starches - usually just cous cous or homemade garlic bread. This will be a good place for me to start loving lentils.

2 hours after dinner - check bs, it has to be lower than 120.

Bedtime snack - 2 carbs (30 g) and 1 meat/protein. I have no idea what I'm going to do here other than more peanut butter. I refuse to eat half of a ham sandwich before I go to bed! Tonight I'm having yogurt. I have lots of popcorn, but those aren't nearly enough to cover 2 carbs and a meat/protein. Sheesh! I'll have to wait and see what my morning bs tells me. As long as I'm in the 60 - 90 range, I'm not going to worry about what I eat at night.

So there you have it, folks. And now....for the SHOW!

Jabbing myself in the fleshy part of the finger.
It really doesn't hurt at all. In fact, learning how to do it was not unlike learning how to put your contacts in for the first time. You flinch for a second because you think it's going to be terrible, then you hear a click, and you're all, "That was it? That was so wuss. I'm about to give birth, I can handle this crap."

If you're into vampires, I guess this might be sexy. I'm not, I think blood's gross and should stay inside our bodies at all time. Alas, it is pretty fun to squeeze out a little drop.

The vampire machine soaks up the blood and...wham, bam, thank you ma'am! It flashes a giant number at you that you hope is less that 120. Tonight I was 102! Hip Hip Hooray!

So far today, all of my levels have been just fine. It looks like this is going to be one big diet and blood sucking party for ten whole weeks. "Invite your friends! Rachael's gonna stab herself again!" The good news is, I'll learn how to eat better, and who doesn't want to do that? Oh, and the better news is...
I'll have a healthy baby!

And I can just hear myself saying, "Young lady! Do you have ANY IDEA what I had to GO THROUGH to GET YOU HERE?" And she'll be all, "Yeah, mom, you had to poke yourself in the finger four times a day. I KNOW, you TELL ME ALL THE TIME!" Ahhhh....that'll be the day.


Tate said...

I'm sorry but the combination of this post and the picture at the top of your blog just makes me laugh! I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this. Mostly just from the mental exhaustion you will go through trying to figure out what to eat and get a diet under control only in time to deliver! You are so close I am very excited for you!
(p.s. mg/dl = milligrams per deciliter:o)

Meredith said...

Oh my goodness! Talk about a strict diet! I imagine you will not gain much extra weight (other than the baby and what she needs), so look at another bright side: You won't have to work off a bunch of extra orange juice and sweets weight. Is the diet over as soon as the baby arrives? I hope your man has a big glass of OJ waiting for you right after you push her out!

Pocket said...

Katie, I thought about changing that picture, but then I decided it's just too cute to take down. As much as I love making and looking at cupcakes, they are not something I really crave. Although once this is all over I would like to have one waiting for me!

Meredith, gestational diabetes has something to do with the placenta, so once it's gone, the GD usually goes with it, thank goodness. It's very rare that a mother will still have it after the birth, although now I'm at risk for developing diabetes later in life. Awesome.

Sharon said...

Hi there, lady. Just want to wish you good luck--and keep up the good work. If I ever get GD, I'll just print off your very detailed but easily understandible explanation of what to do. Actually, I'm a little freaked about my own diet now. Yipes! I thought I ate well, too, but that fudge brownie swirl ice cream gets the better of me every time. It has calcium, right? And I just balance it out with some spinach later. So maybe I need to change my way of thinking. Anyway, you are a very, very good mommy already, so don't you dare let yourself think otherwise.

lilysmom said...

Rachael, you are cracking me up here! "I'm about to give birth! I can handle with this crap!" LOL

I remember sobbing myself silly the day I found out I had GD with Lily. Then you get over it and realize it's more of a pain in the rear than anything. I feel for ya! Oh - one PM snack I found VERY satisfying was CarbSmart ice cream. I think Breyer's makes it.

Good Luck!
Amanda :)