Saturday, March 23, 2013


I knew I spoke too soon! My miraculously amazing pregnancy has hit a couple of snags as of late. I'm still counting myself lucky, since I've been going for nearly 30 weeks with uninterrupted bliss, but the first bump in the ... bump came in the form of DIABETES. [er, "the diabeetus," as the kids say] After failing my one and three hour glucose challenges which every pregnant woman has to go through, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I have never cried like I did that day. Those of you who know me know that I never cry! I always make the joke that the last time I cried was when I watched Fox and the Hound when I was eight years old. It isn't quite that bad, but pretty damn close. My poor husband never knows what to do because it happens so seldom. Luckily, he wasn't here for this initial breakdown in the car, but the breakdown lasted all day ... so he got to experience the really awful, stopped up, puffed face, I've-been-crying-all-day-and-can't-properly-enunciate session of tears. I feel bad for getting so upset now, but at the time I figured it was because maybe I was a genuine, rascal-cruising fat ass or because I ate too much fruit [my only pregnancy craving] during the first two trimesters. I thought I did this to my baby and that she was going to have complications because I didn't know how to NOT eat an entire bag of Lay's [betcha can't eat just one is a cruel slogan, by the way] which is a problem I had before pregnancy. 

So after some preliminary research, I found out that being a member of the Chub Club isn't a guaranteed diagnosis for GD GD. [this is what I'm calling it, you can figure that one out, surely] You also don't have to have someone in your family with diabetes. Basically, hormones effect everyone differently during pregnancy; some women go bat-shit-bananas crazy and others get really weepy ... my hormones just decided to take it out on my blood instead. Essentially Gestational Diabetes is similar to Type II Diabetes, in which the body is unable to appropriately and efficiently create insulin to turn carbohydrates into energy for the body. I'm paraphrasing, but you can Google it! 

After my diagnosis, I attended a 4-hour diabetes introduction course which was really informative and only mildly painful, mostly due to the blithering idiots who attended the class with me. That sounds mean, but here are some out takes ... "Can I put white? I don't know how to spell Caucasian," "Um, no one told me I was supposed to bring an ID or my Insurance Card!" "Who is my next of kin? My brother?" "Oh, so I can still have fried green tomatoes, just not fried chicken?" "How come The Diabeetus got me?" .... I thought I was going to die! These people are making other people; I couldn't stop worrying about my daughter running into their sons. Anyway, the class was great and I was set up with a fancy-pants monitor for checking my blood glucose levels. I was also set up with a dietitian to help me with my introduction to my new diet, which is pretty strict! I have to check my blood sugar four times a day and write down everything I eat and when I eat. This is the first time I've ever immediately changed my eating habits ... I think the fact that I'm doing it for someone else has a lot to do with that! But I'm having such success that I'm hoping I can continue to eat this way after baby is born. 

My diet is written out for me very specifically, right down to the grams of carbohydrates, fats and sugars that I am to ingest. There isn't anything I'm not supposed to eat, I just have to choose carefully and watch my portions. I really feel like everyone should eat this way. Having the instant gratification [or judgement] of the monitor after eating allows you to better understand how your body uses food. As of now, I don't have to take insulin, but if the diet does not work or if I have some spikes that scare them, I may have to. Luckily, since this is Gestational Diabetes, it will go away after I give birth. As far as complications, when you don't produce enough insulin, the baby can try and make up for things by creating insulin which can cause her to get too big to fit through the birth canal. I'm not high-risk, but I may end up delivering a little earlier than my original due date. Trying not to panic about this, so I'll keep you posted!

I've taken a few colorful pictures of my new 4x-daily routine in hopes that if someone sees this blog and has been diagnosed, they won't freak out and worry until their diabetes class!

Ouchie! ♥

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Killer Cacti

I am not kidding ... I watched Hey, Dude [Amazon Prime!] on Sunday and then made cactus for dinner and didn't even realize it until just now. Love it.

So, handsome and I are walking through the produce section at Gucci Brookshires looking for all kinds-a peppers when I spot a big ass cactus leaf. Naturally, I pick it up and start waving it around saying, "oh, look! How weird!" This display of grace is quickly interrupted with a few cuss words when I realize I'm stabbing myself and getting cactus splinters [splinters?] all in my hands. So lets start with the number one rule of cactus cookin' ... don't be dumb about it.

Cactus leaf, also known as Nopales is used most often in Mexican cuisine, is excellent for lowering blood glucose, and has a taste similar to string beans. So, it's really cheap ... about $1/lb and we just got one leaf, which was plenty for the two of us in a dish with other ingredients.

As I often do, I just "winged" it and started cooking when I got home. I figured I should shave off the demon spines or whathaveyou, so I simply took a bread knife and while rinsing, shaved them off until the leaf was relatively smooth. I later Googled to find out some people are much more paranoid and take the time to cut off each spine individually. Do whatever ...

I then sliced the leaf longways and diced into small strips. I have an issue with soggy vegetables, so I often dice instead of leaving them large. Now, I need to express something now that sounds super gross [and is, really] but after my experiment, I found some recipes online and NO ONE talks about the slime! This is the slimiest thing I've ever cooked, and I cook a lot of fish. I kept thinking maybe I accidentally got an aloe leaf instead of the cactus. So ... after sliming up my [new] cutting board while slicing, I decided to put the diced leaf into a sieve and wash it again to get the goo gone. Result? Still slimy, but a little better. I added some lemon juice and threw them into the pan where I was already sauteing some garlic in olive oil and cauliflower.

I seasoned the veggies with lemon zest and cracked black pepper and served it with roasted chicken breast and it was delicious! Also, I had the lowest glucose reading I've had since I started my blood sugar diet for my Gestational Diabetes. Score! I think I'd really like to try and grill it on kebabs with summer veggies or add it to my homemade salsa or pesto. It is a hearty bean-like filler veggie with several health benefits. I don't think I'd eat it alone since I'm not a huge fan of green beans and that is what it most closely resembles in taste, but I approve and definitely will pass this info on to people!

I still have a splinter, though.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oh, right ... my blog!

So, for the five or so [wonderful, beautiful and intelligent] people that read this blog ... I'd like to apologize for my absence. I've been a bit busy ...

Yay! We're expecting! Baby Hesson will be here in June [due on my birthday which is also our wedding anniversary!] so we've been a little bit busy for the last few months. Totally excited, totally terrified, it's been fun. I plan to write here about our nursery transformation as well as some other mama-centric stuff, but I promise not to turn the blog into a dumping ground for Winnie the Pooh-themed gifs and maternity rants on why EVERYONE should do things EXACTLY the way I did. I find both of these things equally disturbing not to mention rampant on the internet.

Our bundle is what they call a "Rainbow Baby" which sounds so wonderful and sparkly, but has a deeper meaning. In 2011 we suffered a miscarriage which was ... well, terrible. We were about 10 weeks along when the doctor told us there was no heartbeat and the baby had stopped growing. [Thank goodness we hadn't told friends, just family!] To make matters worse, my body hadn't realized this, so I remained "pregnant" for a few weeks after that, waiting each day to see if I would physically miscarry or not. Talk about depressing! Finally, my doctor prescribed me some medicine that was meant to kick-start the process and let my body know that I needed to move on. This was Thanksgiving weekend, mind you, as well as the weekend my parents packed up and moved from Alexandria, La, 1 1/2 hours away to Andalusia, Al, 9 hours away. [As I type this, I don't know how I dealt!] To make things extra shitty, the medicine didn't work and I ended up having to have surgery to complete the miscarriage in December. Such a nightmare! Honestly, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Soon after, I decided I was barren and we should never try again. [Brandon did not feel this way, at all, but he let me have my moment without fuss.] This feeling stuck around for awhile and later in 2012 we just decided not to try, but just not to prevent. [Do with that information what you will.] In late September, I spent an entire week thinking I had some kind of illness due to the metallic taste in my mouth and my inability to function at an acceptable rate in school. Turns out, I was pregnant ... again. Mixed feelings best describes that day. Needless to say, we waited until I was about 22 weeks along to tell anyone. I have to say, it was the best thing ever, having our little secret. It was an incredibly special time for us. We were honest with ourselves about the possibilities of having to go through the miscarriage nightmare again, but remained positive and decided not to stress out.

So here we are ... I'm in my third trimester and having a great time so far. With the exception of a diagnosis of gestational diabetes, a mysterious beast which deserves it's own blog post, I have had the most miraculously easy pregnancy. Barely any weight gain [being plus-sized helped me displace rather than gain], no sickness, no mood swings, no ravenous cravings ... I feel like the mother of all Earth! I feel like I should always be pregnant! This is how it's supposed to be and I'm so completely thankful that I can barely contain myself. Also, that kind of makes me scared to tempt fate and do this again! We shall see ...

Thanks to those of you who keep up with Hesson Haus. I hope baby stuff doesn't nauseate you and I promise to keep posting about shoes and food and Halloween!