Thursday, April 23, 2015

Prego Pancreas Probs

So you know those words you love to hear when you are prego... "you scanned high on your one hour glucose test, we want you to come back for the three hour test..." I heard it with my first pregnancy and now with my second. So like a good little patient I went back for the three hour test with my first pregnancy and they said I was fine... but I had a rough birth and postpartum recovery and have lost a lot of trust with medical care providers since then. Not that I think they are bad because believe me I am THANKFUL for the medical options we have here! So Thankful! But what I mean by that is that I question things now. I don't just do what they do tell me to do, because that is why I had so many issues with my first birth. I just want to be informed, I want to know my options, I want to know if what I am doing to my body is necessary or the best for my health. 

With my second pregnancy, I heard the same thing from the nurse over the phone but I asked if I had other options besides the drink. The drink makes me feel horrible, I feel bad the rest of the day, and my baby goes NUTS inside my belly for that hour or three hours I'm waiting, so it really made me question if this was the best route to take. She was annoyed with me and said she would talk to my doctor and call me back. My doctor said I could get a meter and check my blood for a couple of weeks, because I scanned just two points outside of the cut off. So guess what... HEB has cheap meters, lancets and strips. I spent like $30 and took my blood 4 times a day for a little over a week. Here's why I liked this approach... this is me on a normal daily basis and what I normally eat. I don't normally go drink a glucose packed drink and sit for an hour. I could see at each meal how what I ate effected my blood sugar, and at first things were great, but then we hit the weekend and ate out a couple of times and my blood sugars were soaring! So my doctor had me go to a nutrition class and my insurance provided the meter you see below. So I have just continued to monitor what I eat and it hasn't been that bad! 

The thing with the drink test, is that sometimes it can miss people. The nutritionist I talked with told me this! And personally I think I was missed on my first pregnancy. I normally have very low blood sugar and have to eat often, so my "high sugars" might have been in the normal range for other people if that makes sense.  I gained more weight during my first pregnancy and was much more swollen at the end. This pregnancy I have gained 10 lbs less and have not been swollen at all, and I am telling you that it is because my new doctor "caught" me this time! 

You can also scan high on part of the three hour but not all of it and still not be labeled as having gestational diabetes, per nutritionist referenced earlier. Also, I read some online posts about what is in the drink and it kind of freaks me out that it is U.S. practice to have every pregnant woman drink something that has chemicals in it that other countries have banned and use for flame retardants, chemicals that build up in our bodies and can get into our breastmilk. And we wonder why so many of us have cancer? Sorry if I sound cynical, but I am a realist, and I don't understand why we don't have options as patients that are healthier for us in the long run. I have friends who have used midwives and they have other more natural methods, eating certain kind of meals and checking blood sugar afterwards. Check out this link about the drink itself. The nutritionist also told me that there has been a lot of talk about going to a 2 hour test like they do in Europe, because it is more accurate, but it is very controversial because then more women will be labeled as having gestational diabetes, therefore more it will be more expensive for insurance companies in the long run. See, they really do have our best interest at heart, right?? Eeek!

So, I don't know about you but I have the most horrible cravings for anything baked or sweet during the last part of my pregnancy. Ice cream is my best friend... but not this time around. When I first found out that I had GD, I was a concerned and like great, what can I eat?! But thankfully, I can tolerate some carbs, I just have to count them. The nutritionist class helped show us options for meals and snacks, and basically how many carbs to have at each meal or snack to keep your blood sugars in check. It's really amazing how many carbs we consume without even realizing it! 

I like this diagram from the Texas Children's Hospital Education, it shows you your insulin requirements as your pregnancy goes on. So the farther along you are, the more careful you should be because your body has a harder time processing carbohydrates and sugar since it isn't producing enough insulin. 
The way that TCH advised me to handle my diet, was to allow a certain number of carbs per meal and snack...
  • Breakfast: 15-30 grams of carbs
  • Morning Snack: 15-30 grams 
  • Lunch: 45-60 grams
  • Afternoon Snack: 15-30 grams
  • Dinner: 45-60 grams
  • Bedtime Snack: 15-30 grams
As my pregnancy has progressed, I have tried to cut back a little more just because my blood sugar numbers have been creeping up a little bit. I feel like the name of this game is to just make sure you are spreading out your carbohydrates appropriately throughout the day. Obviously a Paleo diet would probably be most ideal for gestational diabetes, and I tried that kind of diet after having Jackson, but for whatever reason, it has been so much harder pregnant to stick to that! Chalk it up to hormonal cravings I guess! So I thought I would list out some of the meals and snacks I eat just in case anyone else is in the same boat!

Some breakfast ideas...

  • Eggs
  • Bacon, Sausage, Turkey Bacon
  • Yogurt
  • Piece of Toast (Buttered or with SunButter)
  • Breakfast Sandwich on English Muffin
  • Fruit 
  • Omlet

Some lunch ideas...
Grilled Sandwich with side of Fruit
(Watch out for bread, different brands have different carb counts in them!)
Salads are my best friend... Add some avocado, Chicken or even Turkey lunchmeat (heated), some boiled eggs and you are good to go!
Cheese and chicken or bacon quesadilla with a side of salad for lunch!
Some snack ideas...
  • yogurt (watch the carbs, these can be crazy!) with some granola
  • cheese
  • nuts
  • I would also heat up lunch meat and roll up some cheese with inside
  • Sunflower butter - great alternative to peanut butter
  • Guacamole and a few Tostito Chips
  • Tuna fish salad and Rice crackers
  • Fruit
  • Humus and Bell pepper
Some dinner ideas...

This Chicken Margarita Soup is such a yummy soup and so easy to make! I even did a side of mexican cornbread with it!
One of my favorite dinners - spaghetti on spaghetti squash! Don't be intimidated by the spaghetti squash, it is so easy to bake! Just cut in half, pour on some olive oil after scooping out the insides, flip the two halves upside down and bake on 400 for 45 minutes!
Another easy meal, have your hubby grill burgers! So easy to just eat the hamburger patty with some sides! 
I don't have a picture for these two, but this BBQ pulled pork was yummy on top of a baked potato! Just make sure your potato isn't HUGE! I also made these Chicken Caeser Wraps and just had it on salad. My hubby had the wrap part, and you could too, just watch your carbs! Also, tacos or nachos are easy to make as well and something you can monitor easily. You'll notice that a lot of these meals are easy, because at this point I am tired and running around after an almost two year old!! Look on Pinterest for more meal ideas, there are a ton out there!

Couple of other tips... become a plant! Hah, just kidding, but drinking liquid chlorophyll each day, twice a day, helps with circulatory and digestive health. I thought it might be weird but I kind of crave the minty flavor now! Got this bad boy off of my favorite Amazon of course. Came right to my door, the kind of service I like! Lasts for a long time because you only drink 1 tsp per glass of water.

Another tip, suggested by my friend who also has GD... I know, what are the odds that both of us had it when it only occurs in 3-9% of pregnancies?!? She told me to drink milk at night. This helps your body regulate your sugars while you are sleeping and help you with your fasting number when you get up in the morning. 

Well, there you have it, my thoughts on gestational diabetes... Good luck to anyone that has it, because it can be trying at times to manage, especially if your body doesn't tolerate carbs at all! And it gets harder as your pregnancy progresses because of the baby's needs for insulin! Hang in there! It will be worth it in the end when you have a healthier pregnancy and a healthy baby!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

San Diego, CA Vaca - Day 8: Coming Home! Traveling from San Diego to Houston

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  ― Terry PratchettA Hat Full of Sky 

This is one of my most favorite travel quotes. I feel this way every time I go somewhere and then come back. You just can't get experiences in other places where you live, you can't experience new people, new food, new things just staying at home. The travel bug bit me a long time ago and I'm not looking for a remedy for that bug bite! ;0)

Even though we had a wonderful trip, it is always good to come home. I missed my house, I missed my bed, I missed my daughter labradoodle... It is good to go and later it is good to return. And then do laundry. Lots and lots of laundry.

Our morning started off well, got our luggage together, checked out of the hotel and went to return our rental car. We got to the airport and checked in and then went for some breakfast. We could have eaten at the hotel but I always get a little nervous about returning rentals and having enough time for security, so we just decided to play it safe today. Once we got through security, we got some breakfast at this little cafe. I had looked online and there was a whole list of places in the airport to eat at, but of course Southwest had their own little private section of gates that had two places to eat haha actually I would say just one and half, because one was a kiosk. But it worked out and was fine, our tummies were full. It just wasn't Einstein's Bagels... yeah I might have been looking forward to that just a little bit! ;0) 

P.S. - I didn't know this but they told me at check in today that if you are pregnant and with a kid, you can preboard the flight, you just have to check in at the gate and tell them. The girl at the gate was a little reluctant but at 33 weeks prego with a feisty toddler, I didn't want to fight the other mass of people trying to get seats on this plane like last time! So I was like uhh yes please! Just in case anyone didn't know that!
Sporting some ninja turtle pjs today! There was a girl in security that asked another guy if he had the same ones haha... he was like of course!
Family selfie plus a BUS!
Waiting for food and spinning the fishie ring
Just enjoying some BACON and doing a little hair twirling.
We finished breakfast and went to our gate, which was packed! Full flight today! So Jackson made some friends, running around like he loves to do and a little bit of floor rolling. You would think that as a parent I might be embarrassed by some of this but you just get to the point where you aren't! At least I have haha... Ain't nobody got time to worry about toddler behavior... He's not screaming, hitting or spitting on anyone so we're good to go.

Grabbed a window seat this time so we could enjoy some of the views taking off. Our third seat partner I dubbed the Candy Man today. As soon as he sat down he whipped out a Snickers bar and gave it to Jackson. Of course he wanted a bite. Who cares if it is 10 a.m.? Then later he gave him a flame bar, which I have never seen before. I was like please stop giving the prego lady with a sad pancreas candy bars! ahhh.....
Corondo Island and San Diego
I love looking at the landscapes from the plane, it's amazing how God has created such a beautiful place for us to live!

Thank you $1 section at Target for keeping us busy for a little while today!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip and seeing our pictures! It may be a while before we go anywhere again haha! Gotta get this baby out and raised a little bit! Happy traveling to everyone!

San Diego, CA Vaca - Day 7: Birch Aquarium in La Jolla and Gaslamp Quarter

 So breakfast was PACKED this morning! Apparently a ton of people arrived here over the weekend and were all standing in the waffle line this morning when we got there! So no waffles for little man this morning, but considering he has had like 3 this week, I think he is ok! He has been very concerned with our coffee this week, he always likes getting a taste from me, so this morning we got him his own (empty) coffee cup and he loved it. Little barista in the making!

On today's agenda was to go up to La Jolla (sounds like La Hoya) and visit the Birch Aquarium. It was about 20 minutes from our hotel. The aquarium had a lot of mixed reviews online again, just because it is a smaller aquarium. We enjoyed our time there though, spent about an hour and a half, which was perfect for the attention span of an almost two year old. I found some coupons online and saved us $6, whoo hoo!!

They had a lot of different sized tanks full of "fishies" to look at, and I loved how they had a step up for little people. Jackson LOVED the fish tanks here, he was so excited to look at everything.

My favorite exhibits here were of the sea horses. They had such a variety!
Serious contemplation going on here!


I thought this gal was so cute! Loved the colors!

Part of the sea horse nursery
So interesting!
Outside on the terrace overlooking the ocean, they had some tidal pools set up to replicate kind of what we saw at Point Loma earlier this week. Jackson liked looking in the water and touching the water. What cracked me up though was how much he loved the fake rock sculpture and the plastic starfish and shells... I'm like of course haha...

He kept sliding them down the side, it's a miracle we got him away from this thing without him kicking and screaming haha! He totally would be ok taking this huge thing home with us!
Views from the terrace

There's a reason why the stroller exit is through the giftshop... because you end up buying a $4 plastic starfish and a $2 "fishie ring." Jacob was so proud that he picked the pink one haha he had a death grip on that thing, there was no changing colors! And he's sleeping with it tonight of course. ;0)
 We left the aquarium and made our way down into La Jolla to find a place to eat lunch. This little city is hoppin'! It was so congested, even on a Monday! The traffic kept moving, but we were a little surprised at just how many cars there were. We finally found a parking place and walked over to George's Outdoor Terrace for lunch.

City pics

We passed "LaRue's" restaurant! It was tempting to go eat there!

So the kids meal came with ice cream... I know, this kid has had so much sugar this week! He loves ice cream so much, and when the rest of it melted, he drank it with a straw haha...
View from the terrace

We were going to go down to the La Jolla cove to get some pictures of all of the sea lions that gather there, but traffic ate into our time so we just decided to head out for Jackson to get a nap. Traffic coming into La Jolla and leaving was pretty congested. We got back to the hotel and got little man to sleep. And he slept... and slept... for two and a half hours! I think I have thoroughly worn my kid out because very rarely does he take two hour plus naps two days in a row! Wat?! So by the time he woke up, it was too late to go to the Railroad museum in Balboa Park, which I had wanted to do earlier this week, so we headed over to Gaslamp Quarter to get some dinner. This is just another part of town that has tons of places to eat and cute little shops to walk in and out of.

When we got to the car, we realized we had a little visitor hehe!
We went to a restaurant called Wereworlf for dinner and it was so good! Sometimes the staff dresses up like super heroes, but they weren't tonight. The food was great though, ended up being one of our favorite meals.

So you know your toddler is done traveling and parents are done with trying to reign him in when you let him tear through a whole pack of gum while waiting on dinner haha... The staff was so nice here, they thought he was great and said he could run around wherever he wanted just not out the door haha. 
Little hand helping mommy out with her carbs! Definitely lost some bread here haha!
Of course Jacob had to do a werewolf call a couple of times while we were here... ;-)

Pictures of Gaslamp Quarter

So I really don't know how we keep ending up at places like this... maybe because they are EVERYWHERE! I have to say, I have done pretty well this week with my prego pancreas blood sugars, especially considering we have eaten out for every meal for a solid week... but these cupcakes did me in tonight! So sad! Even splitting with my sugar baby didn't help! But thankfully it was as bad as Chinese Food weekend when I was trying to figure out if I had gestational diabetes, but it was one of my higher meals. So tomorrow... back to life, back to reality... no more sweets for this mama!

This is his, "NO mom, I don't care if you want to take a picture, I was to eat this NOW!!!" face.

So that concludes our trip to San Diego!!! Tomorrow morning we fly back to Houston and hope and pray our child can get back to his normal schedule as soon as possible! We have loved our time here, there is so much to see and do and EAT. It is a super friendly town and so easy to navigate, with absolutely perfect weather. I really can't say enough good things about this city. It will be fun to come back again when the boys are older and can do more. I feel like we had a good sampling of everything, but there was so much more that we could have done. I'm so glad that we took this trip before becoming a family of four, we made so many fun memories with each other and action Jackson that I will always remember!