Returning to the Garden

Gosh, it’s been such a long time!  About a year ago, I decided to vacate this space for a new home that just never found its legs, and thinking I’d settle in there (without finding an authentic voice), I kept putting off a return to this blog… until I feel like I just can’t anymore.  I miss writing and having an avenue for our chicken and gardening and family expansion that is coming so very soon.  Two weeks ago, we put in an order for another thirty chickens, hoping to find something we prefer to the Buff Orpingtons for meat.  We’ve ordered a mixture of Bard and Partridge Rocks from Murray McMurray and are eagerly awaiting expanding our flock.  We’ve also put in a seed order for this year’s garden, limiting it to our primary stock vegetables (those we can freeze or can and grow organically): peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, carrots and garlic (already in the ground and hopefully poking through the snow soon!).

But there’s bigger news.  Baby M will be arriving any day now, joining his older sister who has eagerly awaited his arrival for the past few months.  And in anticipation of Baby M and my almost five months at home with the kiddos, we’ve reinvested in a lot of the sustainable baby practices we did for A: preparing to breastfeed, restocking some of the cloth diaper supplies we needed, ensuring we’re ready for all that laundry, and purchasing a new baby carrier.  With A, I used a Moby (sparingly) and Jason got a lot of use out of our Ergo when she was bigger, but I really struggled with the Moby and I’m super-excited to get started with our new Sakura Bloom ring sling in Peacock, which came in the mail two weeks ago.

We’re counting down the days to spring and all of the new arrivals on our increasingly growing homestead, and I hope you’ll join us again for the adventure.

So happy to be back!



Winding down from the GD Diagnosis

I went into Monday and Tuesday’s appointments with the Diabetes Educator and dietician well prepared but very nervous.  The internet is great for some things, but more often than not, medical information on the internet just makes me feel more anxious.  And what I found, even among my own friends is that plenty of people had had GD and just never mentioned it until I brought up my own fears and concerns, which makes me wonder how much of that silence is shame that we’ve somehow done this to ourselves and our babies, even though both the educator & dietician reassured me that it had nothing to do with my previous diet, it was just how my body was reacting to the stress the pregnancy was placing on it.

Now on day three of testing my sugars, I’ve realized that my numbers tend to hang out in the lower side of normal.  I haven’t even come close to hitting the GD two hour post meal max of 120 (it’s different than regular diabetes, for those who might be concerned), and my morning numbers hit right between 70 – 90 (again, GD specific goals).  So having watched my body respond to the sugars I’m feeding it made me feel so much better about how things must have been going prior to my diagnosis since my diet really hasn’t changed that much.

I’m not saying it’s all easy.  For the first day or two, I developed a real fear about my inability to control things, though we had dinner out last night, and my numbers were still fine afterwards, so I’m starting to trust the flexibility of the diet (and moments when I can’t track the exact number of carbs on My Fitness Pal).  In addition to that, the dietician actually has me eating more regularly now than I was before (every 2 – 3 hours), and, if anything, I have been more full and satisfied than I was before the diagnosis.

The best part is that, so far – for me – nothing is off limits. I can have a cupcake (or half of one if it’s a monster), but it means limiting other carbs at that meal and not eating it as my bedtime snack.  And dark chocolate is still totally on the table, especially at lunch where my salad eating habits have me struggling to meet the carb allotment I’ve been given.  Honestly, buying two Green & Black bars to chop into smaller serving sizes was the highlight of my week!

So what has been helpful so far?  I am loving My Fitness Pal, which I’ve always used in the past (pre-pregnancy) for diet management when I’m worried about my eating habits slipping a bit.  I also ordered a kitchen scale from Amazon to help out with tough portions like fruit (when was the last time you tried to measure a 1/2 cup of raspberries?).

In addition to that, I treated myself to two ASOS maternity dresses that are on sale until tomorrow with a great 20% off coupon (HAPPYFOURTH as you’re checking out).  Though I’ve never ordered from them before, the company offers free shipping, and since we’re planning a little getaway next weekend, I saved enough money to upgrade to free, expedited shipping.

So what’s coming in the mail?

This little black dress that I’m hoping will pair well with blazers and sweaters and some different accessories for back to school:

Little Black Dress

And this sweet little dress in navy, that I think will be a bit longer on my frame (I’m not the model’s 5’11’) and be great for running errands or teaching (pending length).

I’ll let you know how the sizing runs.  Since I tend to sit between dress sizes, I ordered the larger size, just because I want them to last through the end of the third trimester (which started yesterday!), as once school starts again, I’m going to have to give up my uniform of athletic shorts and maternity tank tops.

Happy Fourth of July!

Coming to Terms with Gestational Diabetes

When my doctor handed me the lab slip for the one hour Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) two weeks ago, I barely thought about it.  I listened to my nurse’s advice about what to eat the morning before (peanut butter toast – something with a good mix of carbs and protein) and headed out of the office.  My risk factors were minimal: I wasn’t overweight before I got pregnant, I exercise regularly (even after having to take a few weeks off early on because of morning sickness), and I eat a healthy diet, though I am over thirty and both of my grandmothers developed Type 2 Diabetes later in life.

I followed up with the blood screening on a Monday morning, following a meeting at work, and was, perhaps, a bit too surprised when I called the office Wednesday to find out that I’d failed the GTT.  And not a little fail… a big fail (191) that would jump me right past the three hour exam and into the capable hands of the hospital’s diabetes educator and dietician.

I’ll admit that I went through several of the stages of grief… focusing mainly on anger.  I eat healthily.  I can’t tell you the last time I had a soda or much more than a jellybean or two of processed candy, but I did go a little overboard with this year’s birthday cake…  But more than anything, I felt guilty.  I had continued eating whole, natural foods during this pregnancy, but I’d slipped a little, snacking on a few of Jason’s chips as I packed his lunch in the morning and indulging in a handful of chocolate chips occasionally in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.

I go for my appointment with the diabetes educator tomorrow morning, and I think, for a while, at least, I might be talking about gestational diabetes quite a bit here because it’s hard to find an outlet.  I am in no way a doctor or medical professional, but sometimes I think following other people’s experiences can help us work out what we’re going through almost as much as writing about them, so I’m hoping to post some of my experiences and recipes.

I will note that the baby looks great so far, and I’m hopeful that we can manage this with diet and exercise (especially since our garden is finally starting to come in!).  And on a second positive note, my husband and his father finished hanging trim in the nursery this weekend, so I should have an update with photos for you soon!

Thanks for reading!  If you have had experiences with GD, I would love to hear about them!