When I was 35 years old, my husband and I decided we were not going to have kids. Four years later I was suddenly expecting triplets, and not at a time when I was in the best shape to receive them (it was completely unexpected). Early that year I had to close my restaurant, was incredibly stressed and fell into depression.
Yes, we were scared, but there was no option other than to accept it. After a regular follow-up my OB/Gyn told me that spontaneously, one of the embryos was reabsorbed, (vanishing fetus). So, I continued my twin pregnancy with normal fetal growth…
My husband grew up in a family that embraced healthy-eating: lean protein sources, big salads, low in saturated fat and low sugary meals. I, by contrast, grew up in a family with different tastes and traditions: our eating patterns where high in carbohydrates. My family loved sweets, chocolate and, arepas (Venezuelan typical dish)… and I loved it too. Rafa and I have been together since we were 15 years old, and with the passing of the years I made subtle changes in order to eat more like him.
On the other hand, I am a Diabetic type 1 patient, and engaging healthier patterns in my life would be greatly appreciated by my body (I keep my diabetes under control but still enjoy sweets and breads). When I was 35, I decided to take out of my life, radically, all types of sugar-free drinks: no soda for me anymore. I then leaned towards drinking more water, something I wouldn't do at all.
On January 2015, I found out I was pregnant. Being almost in my 40s, diabetic, stressed out, carrying what were in the beginning triplets, completely unplanned and unprepared… all of this was surely reason enough to suffer a panic attack. I decided I had to take complete control of my diet and my A1c. The first thing I did when I got home after getting the news was to gather all the sugar I had around, and banned it from my house (and my life). If I was going to be a mother, I had to do it well. I kept my sugar levels (A1c 5.4) in place, slept 8 hours a day, exercised and ate plenty of fruits and veggies.
Everything was fine… until the 6th month of pregnancy, when a disorder called Sixth Nerve Palsy affected my left eye’s movement, probably triggered by stress. This left me sad and with constant dizziness because I could not move my eye.
As if it were not enough, a few weeks later, at 34 weeks of pregnancy, I got Pre-Eclampsia (PE). PE is a condition that increases blood pressure, and is characterized by the swelling of feet and hands and proteinuria (protein in urine). Due to the high risk, the babies had to born early, despite the fact I really wanted to keep them in the womb for as long as possible (but sadly this was not an option).
Not everything went great right after they were born, but I will talk about that in my next blog. What did go well was my change in habits. It felt great to kick unhealthy foods out of my life, and it was not as difficult as you might think. Keep up healthy habits and follow your gut. No matter how old you are, it is never late to start your journey towards a healthy lifestyle.