The Glucose Problem

Where have I been this past week? Among other things, I've been meticulously tracking the grams of carbohydrates I eat per meal and testing my blood four times a day. If you've ever failed your glucose test for gestational diabetes, you know what I'm talking about. I was borderline gestational diabetic (carbohydrate intolerant) with Number 2, passed the one-hour test with Number 3, and failed the one-hour test a few weeks ago with, now, Number 4. Here's my conclusion: Unless you are avidly health conscious or exercise-friendly, don't spend the majority of your pregnancy in the desert during the summer.

Summer in the desert represents countless feastings on watermelon, popsicles, slushies, ice cream, and other sweet treats. While I crave green chile stew in the winter month, summer is about pizza picnics and ice cream sandwiches. Summer here also makes it unreasonably uncomfortable to go for a walk anytime between 10 AM and 9 PM. For a mom of toddlers, that is just not a time frame I can easily work around. So, consequently, I have spent much of my summer sucking down watermelon and NOT walking, except up and down the stairs (which really ought to count for something!) Needless to say, I was dismayed at my glucose test result, and immediately took charge of my diet, for starters, in hopes of avoiding gestational diabetes.

For anyone's who's ever had to count carbohydrates, you know it is beyond difficult in our everyday diet. Everything seems to have carbs! A slice of bread, an apple, a glass of juice, corn, bowl of cereal, ketchup, yogurt--not to mention all the sweets and treats that are loaded with sugar. The ADA diet allows for 30 carbs for breakfast, 60 for lunch, 60 for dinner, and two 30 carb snacks. Let's just say, that's not much in way of taste, variety, or quantity. Thai cuisine, for example, would clearly shoot my carbs through the roof, as it is full of starch, sugar, and rice/pasta. The same could be said of Chinese, Italian, and Vietnamese. As much as I love fun and fine dining, my health and the health of baby boy number 4 is of far greater importance.

So...after a week of strict carb adherence and blood testing, I approached my midwife today with my numbers and a plan to forgo the three-hour test with continued self-regimented diet and exercise. To my relief, my midwife was satisfied and encouraged by my home test results and declared that I am not gestational diabetic but merely carbohydrate intolerant. I had gained no weight in the last month, and actually lost half a pound. She encouraged me to watch my carb intake and to continue taking my fasting glucose level daily. I am more than pleased, and am thankful for the bit of a wake-up call I received in my original glucose test result. As with many other areas of my life, I often fail to recognize the importance of discipline and proactivity until I feel the consequences. Praise the Lord for the good report and the healthier direction forward.