Don’t eat borscht before the glucose tolerance test

First of all, I need to thank everyone who commented on my last post Is a Diaper Bag Really Necessary?  You all gave such great tips and I appreciate that so many of you took the time to help me out! Your responses were truly helpful and I will do another post about baby gear soon, but for now, there are more pressing issues on my mind that I need to write about. Well, one issue specifically – my diet. I consider myself to be a very healthy person. I can limit myself to one or two (homemade) treats if I’m craving something sweet. I make well balanced meals every day that are high in fiber and vitamins. We don’t eat processed food of any kind or food that is high in unhealthy fats. I drink the recommended 3-4 litres of water a day and exercise regularly. Sure, I splurge a little when I go to a restaurant, but overall we eat very healthy. So when I got the call from my midwife that the results of the blood and urine samples I gave on Monday “concerned” her, I was surprised and of course a little worried.

On Monday, I went for lunch at a Russian restaurant with my best friend. After lunch, I did my glucose screening test. It was a bad idea to do lunch and the test in that order…

At the restaurant, I ate a huge bowl of borscht (a soup made mostly from beets) which have a moderately high glycemic index, followed by crepes filled with mashed potatoes (!) which also have a high glycemic index.  The crepes weren’t even that good but the reviews I read online said they were the best so I had to try them. I may or may not have also had a few bites of cake as well… I was stuffed far beyond comfort when I waddled into the lab to do my glucose tolerance test. If you aren’t familiar with the glucose tests done in pregnancy, here’s a bit of info:

  • A glucose screening test is a routine test during pregnancy that checks a pregnant woman’s blood glucose (sugar) level.
  • A glucose tolerance test is done if a glucose screening test result is higher than normal. It is used to diagnose gestational diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (diabetes) that starts or is found during pregnancy.

I’m sure by now you can guess where this is going – I failed the screening test. 😦

I have to go back to the lab for a glucose tolerance test tomorrow morning. I feel pretty confident that my huge lunch was the reason I failed the screening test, but I’d feel a lot better if I didn’t have any of the symptoms of Gestational Diabetes. Unfortunately, according to Baby Centre – “Gestational diabetes often doesn’t have any symptoms, but you may experience the following:

  • tiredness
  • excessive thirst
  • passing a lot of urine
  • blurred vision

ummm… doesn’t every pregnant woman experience these symptoms? I haven’t had any blurred vision, although it is a common pregnancy symptom even in non-diabetic women. I’m seeing my midwife in 10 days and I’m really hoping that she’ll tell me I passed the glucose tolerance test.

But that’s not all the midwife called to tell me. She also said I had a”very low” level of iron. I should have known because lately I’ve been feeling exhausted no matter how much sleep I get (and thankfully I am still sleeping soundly) and iron deficiency is associated with fatigue.  I think it’s because I don’t eat much meat. However, I do try to eat other foods high in iron, but apparently not enough. So I’m back on the liquid iron supplements and I swear I can already feel a difference in 3 days! Andino is taking the iron supplement too because he has the same diet as me and he says he notices a big difference in his energy levels too.

I have been a vegetarian on and off since I was 10 years old. I’m not a vegetarian now but I don’t like meat very much. I like most seafood though (sustainably harvested of course). I’d say we eat fish about once a week and chicken or beef about twice a week. On the days we are eating chicken or beef I take a teeny tiny portion and even then hardly ever finish it. Since I eat a semi vegetarian diet, I’m concerned about getting enough protein. Are there any other Veg Mamas out there who care to send me some healthy eating tips?