A world without sugar

It has been more than five weeks of having to stare sadly through bakery windows, walking past fast food joints where people polish off burgers and fried chicken, feeling angry that I can’t have a proper cup of Coffee, not being able to drink any soft drink I like, hanging my head each time I walk past a Ramen shop, wishing I could have a cup of bubble tea, forlornly looking at the ice-cream carts along the roads, and politely explaining to people why I have to reject their offer of potato chips…the list goes on. I’ve had many emotional moments,  when I asked God, “Why me?”, when I feel like throwing a fit because I don’t have a good answer to “what do you want to eat?” when the reality is to only care about “what CAN I eat?”.

The only part I’m grateful about in this whole episode is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me. I’m hopeful that I’m one of the “most people” who will not be diabetic anymore after giving birth. Compared to the many out there who carry the ailment permanently, some born with it, some diagnosed in mid-life with it, I should still count my blessings.

Having to go through this phase in my life, it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective, and experience what some go through their entire lives.

After enduring three weeks of eating the same food with the diet plan (including attempting to cook for myself food that tastes like cardboard and soups that tastes like plain water) I have scoured the Internet to make the remaining weeks of my 3rd trimester bearable… diabetic patients surely have a way out somehow!

Sadly, I have to say, Singapore seems slow in becoming a diabetic-friendly place. There isn’t a dedicated sugar-free section in our supermarkets. There are no signs either that say “suitable for diabetics”. In fact, most do not carry sugar-free products beyond sweets like Ricola. It is a sad state of affairs.

There are however some who are on a quest like me and had decided to do something about it… bringing in and/or producing foods that will light up a deprived soul’s eyes and warm the heart.
Approaching these shops, I had the feeling of a kid approaching M&Ms land… so over the moon, I wanted to grab everything within reach! (That was probably how Hansel and Gretel felt at the candy house).

To the people behind these shops and brands, thank you for making a difference… and I hope Singapore food importers and producers will finally awaken to this market. It is niche, but don’t neglect this group… since a Report in the Straits Times in 2012 reported that there would likely be 1 million diabetics in Singapore by 2050. That’s not even counting the mummies like me who go through Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy.

This whole experience was a chance for me to be more aware of the feelings of those who can’t eat as they wished. I no longer have to imagine how one felt whenever friends posted photos of their cafe hopping sessions and dining delicacies on Facebook and Instagram, food that are forbidden. I know how they feel now. And let’s just put it simply – it sucks.

Anyway to share the list I’ve found so far, here goes:

SHOPS/BRANDS WITH A HEART FOR DIABETIC PATIENTS

I will try to continue to add on to this list, even after my recovery. Hopefully, it will provide a rainbow of hope to all pregnant ladies in Singapore who are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.

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Another first…. bearing my belly!

We all know what an old skool person I am… plus I always deem myself too “manly” to do girly things.

Still, as we draw nearer to the EDD date, I was starting to feel a little regretful that we didn’t do a proper preggie photoshoot. After all, if Little Foot will be our only baby, then I won’t ever go through this phase again. So when a group of the mummies on the Facebook group organised a photoshoot (I’d missed a few earlier chances), I thought, I might as well be a sport and join in.

Yes, the old me would have said “No way! this is too cheesy!” but cheesy is always ok for mummies, or so I think. Hah, a chance to do whatever rocks my socks.

The girls were really quick to to get this whole gig together – from getting the group together, sourcing for the props to deciding venue – everything was sorted out really quickly, and cheaply (think Daiso Xmas hats and decor and tube tops from Bugis village).

The shoot was on Sunday bright and early. All us preggers gathered in red dresses. Long was really kind to drive me there and brought along our new GX7 and a couple of lenses to try the camera out.

Here’s a few shots from the GX7. Not bad Daddy, for a first timer!

All dressed up like a present, with a tag carrying Little Foot’s EDD date. I loved this concept!

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A heartfelt moment, because I can’t wait to hug her close to me…

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Bearing my bump in public! 

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Positioning ourselves for the “heart” shot, and getting it purrrfect!

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A heart on the tummy… because I love you so…

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Posing before “Noah’s Ark” MBS, mummies can do yoga poses too!

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And a final parting photo before we called it a wrap… exhausting but happy outing

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Made friends with 11 mummies with Dec EDD dates… some were so much younger than me, some were having their 2nd or 3rd kid, and one was carrying a pair of twin boys.

Life can be full of adventures when you step out of your comfort zone and say YOLO!

Welcome to my ever-evolving world of motherhood.

As I write this, I’m 35 weeks and 4 days into the pregnancy. Any time soon, Little Foot will be ready to wave hello. I’m feeling excited, panicky, worried and euphoric all at the same time, and now, I have 11 friends to share these feelings with 🙂

What a blessing!

Prenatal Massage – what a Godsend!

I’ve been having a very bad back since yesterday, and feeling rather unwell (bloated and breathless) the whole week. Last night really got so bad, I was trying to rub my back the whole night whenever the ache woke me up. It felt like I was full of wind everyday.

After half a day offsite for a meeting, was told I need not be there anymore. What a relief… I took cab there and back. Back home, I decided enough was enough. Even if a massage in Singapore really costs a bomb these days, I really needed a break from the pain and bloated feeling. Google threw up a couple of “best prenatal massage” reviews, and I saw that this Babies Bellies was at Novena Square 2 (wow! there’s a pre/post-natal massage so near my office and I didn’t realise?) and the pricing was the most affordable.

Knowing me, I usually don’t got for the cheapest things, but I can’t go far with the backache, and I thought, give it a try. I called and they still had a slot in the late afternoon, so I said ok, let’s do it!

No regrets! I opted for the extended 90-min session (they charge $60 for 60 mins without package) and Sal, the Malay lady who massaged me, really kneaded the knots in my body, and her Javanese style massage really moved the wind that were all clogged up in my lower back and right leg (it felt like rheumatism really). The strength was just nice, gentle yet firm, and there wasn’t a moment that I felt uncomfortable, even at 34 weeks pregnant, she made me comfortable lying down on my side and back for the massage.

Walked out light as a feather, with the ache in the area behind my right knee (my brother calls them the knee-pits) tackled, my neck and shoulders tension loosened, and no more intense ache in my lower back.

Bought a 10-hour package – $550 for 10 hours, that’s how un-gimmicky they are. [ Note: Payment by Nets or Cash only!] and I made my booking for next Friday.More importantly, I made a promise to myself, don’t be so stupid to try to endure the pain again.