One of my friends is due to give birth to her first child in August. She’s a doctor, so she’s very well aware of all the diagnostic tests that are done during the pre-natal period. Unfortunately, she failed one of her tests that screen for gestational diabetes (GDM), and while she is currently waiting for a follow-up test to dig into how severe the condition is for her, she’s had to completely cut out any desserts or candy, sweet drinks (including juice), and reduce her intake of any refined grain or wheat products (so, no white rice, no white bread, only whole grain/whole wheat everything).
It wasn’t my diagnosis, but this just made me so sad. All of my comfort foods are unfortunately…. refined products. Chinese bao. Rice noodles. Pho. ICE CREAM. Chocolate chip cookies. Even the purer products, like grass jelly and doufu fa/tofu pudding, are all SWEETENED by sugar syrups. I realize that gestational diabetes is a temporary diagnosis until you give birth, but during pregnancy, they already give you a whole laundry list of things you aren’t supposed to touch, so it feels even more restrictive and anger-inducing to hear that they’re just going to add even MORE to that long list if you get GDM.
Everyone always loves to talk about the joys and excitement around pregnancy. That’s because it’s easy and comfortable to discuss that; it’s simple. It doesn’t offend or hurt anyone. But no one wants to openly discuss the ugly parts of pregnancy: the high chance of miscarriage due to things completely out of a woman’s control; all the unattractive symptoms, like excessive bloating and gas, breast pain/enlargement, round ligament pain (pain/tension that is ongoing in your lower abdomen), constant urination; all the fear and anxiety around what you will do if you lose your pregnancy; all the fear and anxiety around when you’re even supposed to share when you’re expecting; all the things you’re restricted from doing and eating; all the emotional ups and downs.
As a society, we’ve basically put women in a dog house and forced them into that small box for nine months. We’re told to suffer in silence and keep any of our pains or anxieties to ourselves. I thought we were supposed to be getting more progressive??