Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 23 Weeks

Hi! Here's my weekly pregnancy update. I would like to remember this special time, so I'm documenting it! I turn a new week every Friday, so I'm trying to do these posts during the middle of the week. Here's the first ever pregnancy update, and you can find all the pregnancy updates in this tag.

23 weeks!

Current Facts

Baby Size
Ear of corn or grapefruit (11.3 inches, 1.10 pounds)

From the Glow Nurture, What to Expect, and The Bump apps

How I'm Feeling
This update is late because I've been feeling overwhelmed and tired this week. Today's my last day at 23 weeks, and I'm only getting to it now because I've been focusing on the many lifestyle changes the hubby and I have had to make this week. Why? I'll get to that in a bit. 

Physically, I'm okay. I feel some round ligament pain pokes every now and then but nothing too bothersome. The fatigue is still here, I still have to recover after a lot of activity, but my endurance is better. I was able to go grocery-shopping with the hubby for the first time in months! It was tough (we tried hard to finish shopping in such a small amount of time so I wouldn't feel terrible afterwards), but I was able to do it.  

I've been wanting all the same things I mentioned in my last pregnancy update but I've had to ignore those cravings this week (I'll why explain later in the post). I was finally able to get a picture of the Dunkin Donuts chicken croissant I've been loving though. (Thanks to my cousin Sheila for bringing me one!) 

Baby Activity
Baby has been really active. I feel him all the time now. There are times when he's super active and I feel tugs and pokes and waves all over my belly, and there are times when he's just chill, just giving me a light nudge here and there.

Last Wednesday, hubby finally felt him kick for the first time. I felt baby moving around a lot, so I called Aleq over. He put his hand on my belly and said, "Sige nga pakitang gilas ka kay Daddy," and baby actually kicked in response! Aleq asked for one more and baby kicked again. It was too cute!

Checkup/Test Update
This week was stressful and a half. We had our 6th month OB checkup last Saturday. Our doctor took one look at my OGTT results and -- just as we thought -- I was officially diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). It's really making me sad, coming from having hyperemesis gravidarum where I had nausea and couldn't eat for months to this, where I have to diet and watch my sugar just when I was finally able to eat. I lost weight when I had hyperemesis and have only just started gaining it back. As of this week, I've only gained four pounds so far on top of my pre-pregnancy weight. 

Gestational diabetes develops when you're pregnant. It simply means that your body can't handle glucose all that well which may have an impact on your baby. Initial treatment involves a strict diet and testing your blood sugar levels several times a day. I was told that if you have a parent or family member who is diabetic, you're more susceptible to it. My mom had it, so I was bound to get it. Also, a lot of women get it who have been eating healthy and keeping fit all their lives, while some women who eat cake all throughout their pregnancy never get it. It all just comes down to genetics, and your body's reaction to the pregnancy hormones. and we already know that my body clearly doesn't like the hormones because I had hyperemesis. Thankfully, for most women, it goes away after the pregnancy.   

Anyway, we had to go back to the hospital so see an endocrinologist and nutritionist the Monday after. Medical City's Diabetes Center is pretty great. They do checkups by appointment, and you don't have to wait in line for a long time. That day there were only four patients, including myself. (My OB does checkups by appointment as well, but the number of patients can go up to 20+ and it's on a first come first served basis.) My checkup was a breeze, I felt like the endo explained everything to us really well. She put me on a low sugar, low sodium, high fiber diet and told me to test my blood for two weeks, after which I'll have another checkup with her. After that, I had a meeting with the nutritionist. She gave me my diet kit, and told me I could have a cheat day a week as long as I don't go too crazy, which was a relief! The nurses then explained the blood glucose monitoring kit to me, and taught me how to use everything. I got the glucometer for free, and only had to pay for the initial packs of test strips and lancets, which I thought was a good deal. Overall, it was a surprisingly pleasant experience and Aleq and I felt so much better afterwards. 

  My blood glucose monitoring and diet kit

I started the diet and monitoring last Tuesday, and I'm now on my third day. I had an easy time of it pricking myself for the first time because I used to do it for my mom, but I didn't know that it hurt so much! I'm still not over it and I kind of dread it. The diet has been a lot harder because it involves a lot of time and planning. Aleq is doing the diet with me when he's at home so that makes it a lot easier, but we're still adjusting to this whole new way of eating. Our pantry and fridge are a lot healthier now, but the downside is that now we're spending twice our usual budget on groceries because healthy food is pricey. Assembling each meal feels like a puzzle too. I need carbs, protein, veggies, and fruits every meal, plus dairy once a day. Everything has to be measured exactly and it takes so much effort. We've been cooking day and night. I think we're doing great even if we're exhausted. I only failed one test so far, and that was the first one because I miscalculated how much wheat bread I could eat for breakfast.

Dealing with GDM is a complete lifestyle change. Thankfully, I have friends who know what I'm going through. My former housemate Sheva of All Beauty by Berrymix is pregnant too, about 1.5 months ahead of me and she has GDM as well so I've gotten a lot of advice from her. My Lj friend Diana who has diabetes has also been a huge help. Thanks friends!

I have to eat every 2-3 hours now, which means I eat 6 times a day. I test my blood sugar twice a day. I turned the Papayat Ka Rin at Dudurugin Sila 2016 Planner into my food journal to track everything. After every big meal, I have to walk. I walked for 30 minutes thrice a day the first two days, but my sugar has been testing low so I'm trying walking just 15 minutes after every meal today. I'll see how that goes.


I've been kind of documenting my GDM days on Snapchat. I'm liatenshi there. 

Pregnancy Favorite
Because of this GDM diet, I've been turning to an old kitchen friend lately, Mrs. Dash. It's salt-free seasoning that's perfect for my low sodium diet. It comes in a ton of flavors, but my favorite is Fiesta Lime. It's a staple in our pantry -- we've been using it for years, but it's especially helpful now. I just sprinkle/rub it on fish or chicken, maybe add a squeeze of lemon, bake it, and I'm done. I forgot to take a picture of it, but here are old Instagram pics of it.

Coming Up
As part of my GDM treatment, I need to do some tests before my next endo checkup in two weeks -- fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, and complete blood count. I also need to do my TSH and FT4 tests again even though I already did them at the start of my pregnancy because the endo wants my thyroid checked again since I had hyperemesis. I'm trying very hard not to stress out about everything, but it's hard. 

That's about it. This week was tough, but I'm hoping next week's better. Thanks for reading!

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