Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Belly Cravings

I learned I was pregnant, right before New Year’s Eve. So while most people are planning to go on a diet, I had good excuse to continue being on feasting mode. Consequently, my OB GYN supports this. I was expecting she will give me a list of foods to avoid, but instead, she told me that I could eat anything I want. This got me a little worried. For one, they might think I'm already on my due date even before the end of my first trimester.  And second, I assumed that pregnant women have a special diet of some sort.  I thought coffee, chocolates, soda, sweets, chips even salmon were taboo. 

I decided not to take my doctor's advice too literally. I tried to avoid coffee, soda and junk food.  I tried to include fruits and vegetables in my meals.  As it turns out, I'm glad, my doctor allowed me to eat what I liked. Being pregnant has made me crave foods which I don't necessarily crave for.  Unfortunately for me, my husband thinks these cravings are "all in the mind." If only men have any idea...
There was one  morning that I was craving so bad for Yang Chow Fried Rice.  I called up North Park at 8:30 am only to find that their delivery service is still at 11 am.  And like a crazy woman, I rummaged our fridge for anything to cook up my own version of Yang Chow.  Luckily, I had eggs, spam and frozen peas.  That night, hubby can home with 2 boxes of Chinese take-out. 

Unlike most pregnant women who craved for sweets and desserts, I craved for filling foods, mostly carbs. There was an entire week that I specifically craved  for Cibo’s Il Magnifico Pasta (Penne pasta with Gorgonzola, Porcini Mushroom and Cream).  The week after that, I craved for anything with cheese - cheese pizza, grilled cheese sandwich, ham and cheese croissant and cheeseburger. I normally would not be able to finish a hamburger by myself, but I found myself competing with my husband. I was eating like a man! As it turned out, we were having a baby boy. I wish I can say that explains my cravings. Maybe there it was the increase of testosterone, I don't know. What I did find out later on in my is that my high carb diet had taken its toll. I had developed gestational diabetes. It was then when I realized that giving in to my every whim will not be beneficial after all. I then had to cut down my portions, avoid simple carbs and monitor my blood sugar every meal. I learned that pregnancy does not give you the license to go on an all you can eat feast. It's ok to give in to cravings, but the rule "eat in moderation" still applies.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Fitness Motivation

I’ve always been conscious about my weight. Not that I am trying to maintain a supermodel figure, but it was mainly because I have already struggled with my body image as the chubby girl.  It is only when I learned to embrace the value of fitness that I was able to reach and manage my weight.  I've tried all sorts of diet from fruit diet, juice cleansing, nothing after 6 pm and going low-carb.  I managed to lose some pounds but all these diets only left me feeling deprived. As a result, I end up gaining back all the pounds I lost. It was a frustrating, pathetic vicious cycle. It was only when I learned to focus on getting fit rather than losing weight that I was able to overcome this incessant problem. I realized diets only give you temporary results. I learned that successful weight management entails a lot more that just dieting. A total lifestyle change is necessary to achieve real and lasting results.  I revamped my eating habits and combined it with regular exercise. It took a great deal of discipline and sacrifice at first. But when I was able to reach my desired weight, I gave myself opportunities to indulge a little. Yes, there were times when I did indulge a little bit more. By applying the principle "garbage in, garbage out," I managed to get back on track. 

At work, I usually packed my own lunch, consisting mainly of salad and homemade dressing, a hefty sandwich or brown rice and fish or chicken. There were days when I would crave for pasta or fried chicken, so I would put aside healthy eating for a while, but made sure I compensate with working out the following day. Working up a sweat pretty soon became second nature to me. When I got bored of doing dance aerobics or running the treadmill, I tried out popular sports like badminton, boxing, running and even surfing. Having developed an active lifestyle helped me not only to stay fit, but also improved my well being.

When I got married, my husband, who also love sports got me a much better gym membership. We would attend spinning classes and boxing workouts together and occasionally treat ourselves to a good massage afterwards. When I got pregnant, I continued going to the gym, but lied low on the strenuous exercises I was normally doing. I did Gentle Flow Yoga, Body Balance (a combination of yoga, Tai chi and Pilates) and Body Vive (a low impact total body workout that that made use of ball and tubes) During my first trimester, I was often nauseous, dizzy and exhausted. Getting my heart pumped-up helped relieve those discomforts so I pushed myself to workout even though I’d rather doze off a few more hours.  Since I am attending regular classes, I make it a point to inform the instructor I’m pregnant. Even though I was the only pregnant woman in the gym, they were always willing to show me easy options. 

It didn’t bother me if I was doing different exercises from the rest of the class. Some of my classmates would even come up to me and say they are happy to see a pregnant women religiously exercising. At the beginning of my 2nd trimester, morning sickness was gone and I felt as energetic like before I got pregnant.  The only thing I had to deal with is my growing belly and the fact that I could not fit anymore to my regular workout clothes.  Despite the discomforts, I continued to push myself because my motivation was to be healthy and fit. I know that after I give birth, I will have lesser time to spend to exercise. It might take a while before I go back to my desired weight, but I will hold on to what kept me going all throughout these years.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Answered Prayer

One of the things I find most ironic is the fact that while there seems to be a growing number of unwanted or teenage pregnancies, there are a lot of happily married women who find it difficult to bear a child. I knew I developed this sudden fear when I only had married at age 32. Even though no one in my family had this problem, I have friends who have exhausted all possible options to conceive.
Around 8 months after we got married, I went to the OB-GYN to have myself checked and was relieved to find out that my ovaries are perfectly healthy. I then asked her if I should already start “preparing” to become more fertile, though I honestly don’t know what that meant. I expected her to give me tried and tested "tips," but was surprised to hear her tell me to just  patiently wait, as having a child is a gift from God. I walked out of the clinic feeling relieved, because at that point, I entrusted my desire to bear a child to the Lord.

Why did I ever think that I would be the one responsible for “making” this baby? Why did I even think it was my job? Do I even know how to find the perfect, fast-swimming sperm out of the millions in the semen that can traverse the 12-48 hour journey to my fallopian tube and finally meet my egg cell? Do I even know how exactly the intricate genetic process takes place inside my reproductive system? How about those 9 months when the baby develops into a complete human being that only begins from a yolk sac?  This is definitely something I can not control. That is why I need to submit to God's sovereignty and let Him do His work.  I surrendered my desire to giver of life Himself and found comfort in the truth that it He is the only one who will make this possible. And so, I did what is within my control – Pray.  My husband and I decided to put having a baby on top of our prayer list.  We shared our desire to every person we know so they can also pray for us.  Even though we made other plans, our hearts were set in favor  of having a child. 
On Christmas, we came home from our family reunion tired from lack of sleep and too much eating.  After I got out of the shower, I felt unusually tired, hot and nauseous. I was due to have my regular 28-day period. Thinking I was just a "little delayed," I waited a few more days before finally deciding to get a home pregnancy kit.  

On the 4th day, woke up quite early to use the kit.  I was a few minutes away from an answered prayer. When I saw two purple lines on the stick, I felt a little shortness of breath. I am going to be a mom!  I was in awe of how God heard our prayers. I snuggled back to bed and whispered to Randy that he is going to be a dad. Perhaps thinking he was just dreaming, he did not react to what I just said. I went back to bed and embraced him and cherished in my heart the fact that our lives will never be the same again.
2 Lines means POSITIVE!

First ultrasound equivalent to 5 weeks and 6 days