As of today, I am 28 weeks pregnant. Some people would divide that by four and say I am seven months. Sounds good to me. I will be full term in 9 weeks but could have baby Bindu as far off as 14 weeks from today.
Last appointment I had to do the 1 hour glucose test and failed, much to my surprise. I thought gestational diabetes was for women having super-sized babies. This kid is teeny, measuring the same size that my daughter measured when she was in-utero. But, in my research, I did find that even women with small babies can be at risk. I had two risk factors working against me–a familial history of diabetes on both my bio mother and bio father’s sides and the very unattractive labeling of *Advanced Maternal Age* on my chart. Not cute.
Friday I took the 3 hour Glucose Tolerance Test, an evil, evil torture for pregnant women. I had to fast 8-10 hours before the test but, due to the time that I finished dinner the night before and the fact that the birth center had forgotten to fax over the order to the lab, I ended up fasting 16 hours before drinking the glucose drink. After a total of 5 blood draws and a huge sugar crash, I drove myself home in a comatose state before completely passing out for the remainder of the day. Would have been nice if someone tipped me off that I should not drive myself.
Today I got the good news! No gestational diabetes. However, this body is not perfect. My first blood draw exceeded the maximum count and the next two were borderline passing. Thankfully my final number put me under and in the clear. If I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes the home birth would have been off, the birth center would not be an option and I would be checking into the hospital when I went into labor. Disaster averted.
But the midwife did say I need to watch my sugar. Basically, we’ve discovered that I am predisposed to diabetes, so better to modify my diet now and avoid any diagnosis in the future. I am glad I have been tipped off but a little bummed out nonetheless. I thought 21 years as a vegetarian would save me from many health crises–especially those that are largely behavioral. Although I like to think I eat a healthy diet since fast food and processed packaged food are not on my menu, I have to admit that I do consume a lot of sugar. A lot of sugar.
Gone are the days of my carefree youth. I welcome in an era of whole grains and scant sweetener. The timing is perfect since the Gaudiya Vaishnava month of Kartik is right around the corner. This month is the mother of devotion and spiritual practitioners performing austerities throughout Kartik are rewarded with the opportunity to gain deeper appreciation and knowledge on their devotional path. Sounds great, right? Only I wasn’t really planning on performing any austerities. You know, other than being a host for this sweet little parasite that is sucking the life out of me taking over my body growing inside me.
For me, eating and cooking are huge pleasures. And, once I really think about it, I put sugar in practically everything! But my eating and my cooking–my main ways of expressing love and spirituality–are in for an overhaul. Cooking will still go on, but my eating must become more ascetic. And my family will be along for the ride.
Let’s tour some recent foods cooked up in the Sabjimata kitchen:
These dishes are not at all austere for me. I tend to repeat the same spicing from bean bowl to bean bowl–salt, pepper, curry leaf, dry roasted cumin, turmeric and ginger. I’m definitely a creature of habit. I will be staying away from my morning cup of fair trade cocoa and all the baked goodies I make my family. Some things, like the pumpkin pie I plan on baking tomorrow, will be modified to include a whole wheat spelt crust and a super huge reduction in sucanat.
If you have any tips, suggestions or encouragement for a happy vegetarian low glycemic diet, please feel free to share!