I too had a miscarriage before my current pregnancy but you can't blame yourself if that happens - they can be caused by any number of reasons and are most often nature's way of dealing with a fetus that wouldn't have lived anyway. Personally, if I was 38 I wouldn't be waiting for the perfect time unless there are obvious health reasons to wait.
However if you haven't already been checked for nutrient deficiencies I would get blood tests to check your folic acid, vitamin b12, iron and vitamin c levels in particular. These are often deficient in people with gluten intolerance and can take some time to restore. I had injections for b12 deficiency (which is important for fertility) and along with folic acid this is also important to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Beware if you are taking a high dose of folic acid when they test your b12 levels this can mask a deficiency. I have just found out I am low in b12 again and it is not recommended to have b12 injections during pregnancy so I recommend you check this out so you can get any injections required before getting pregnant.
By the way, you may find you can have dairy products again. After 6 months on the gluten free diet I found I had healed enough that I no longer had a lactose intolerance. It is good to be able to eat lots of calcium rich dairy products while pregnant, especially when you have cravings for custard....
Yes I am being careful to avoid gluten however I often find that even after a restaurant assures me the dish is gluten free I end up getting glutened. All together safer (and cheaper) to eat at home!
Anyhow, I went to see my midwife today and she advises it will be the iron tablets and to switch to a chelated form of iron which is much more gentle on the system. Yes I am concerned that baby might not be getting proper nutrition because of it. Speaking of which.. have just found out my b12 levels have dropped hugely in the last year (after stopping injections) despite the gluten free diet, which is kind of strange. Now I am borderline deficient with advice to eat more b12 foods which I already eat heaps of! Maybe there is some residual difficulty in absorbing b12 even once on a gluten free diet? Injections aren't recommended during pregnancy so I am going to a dietician to get advice on other supplement options.
Keep in mind Italy is one of the best countries on the planet for celiac awareness. As I said before, I had absolutely no problems with celiac in Italy (other than intense pizza cravings, etc.). Although I showed my servers my restaurant cards they were so well versed that they said they did not need them (but I did request that they show the cards to the chefs). From what they said it was so obvious they knew what they were talking about. Italy is far easier than here in Canada.
This is what my restaurant card says in English,
"I have an illness called Celiac Disease and have to follow a strict gluten-free diet. I may therefore become very ill if I eat food containing flours or anything with wheat, rye, barley and oats. Does this food contain flour or whear, rye, barley or oats? If you are at all uncertain about what the food contains, please tell me. I can eat rice, maize, potatoes, cheese, milk, all kinds of vegetables and fruit, eggs, meat and fish - as long as they are not cooked with flours mentioned above, batter, breadcrumbs or sauce.
Thank you for your help."
"Sono affetto da celiachia (intolleranza al glutine), devo fare una dieta assolutamente priva di glutine. Qualsiasi cibo contenente farina di grano, orzo, segale e avena puo causarmi gravi malori. Mi puo dire se questo cibo contiene farina di grano, segale, orzo o avena?
Se non e sicuro degli ingredienti di questo cibo, la prego di dirmelo. Posso mangiare cibi contenti riso, granturco, patate, qualsiasi verdura e frutta, uova, carne e pesce, purche non siano stati preparati con aggiunta di farina, pane grattugiato o salsa legata con farina o pastella fatta con farina. Grazie per il suo aiuto."
Now that I have eliminated dairy I must change my cards to reflect that.
If you do a search there are many places in Rome that will happily accommodate. We will be in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia in three weeks and I have no fears re celiac stuff whatsoever.
THanks Love2travel. Any experience of Spain? I will be 3 weeks in Spain and 1 in Rome.
So I am getting the impression that in the main centres at least there is good gluten free awareness.
I am MOST worried about getting food poisoning while pregnant (e.g from aoili made from raw egg)and the combined coeliac and pregnancy diet is limiting which is why I thought I should change the card to say a little gluten is ok.
But maybe that will just complicate things further and is unnecessary!!
I think if you are actually trying to avoid these things you do need to tell your servers, not just order carefully off the menu.
I put your english version on facebook and here is what people have said so far:
My friend asked an Italian friend of hers about it and here is what he said (she thought he was idiotic, but you are likely to encounter folks like that wherever you go)
My dad, who is in Naples at the moment also thought people wouldn't get it at all. My cousin offered a straight-up translation - she is not a native speaker but grew up with native speaking relatives and is an Italian studies major:
My grandma said she would send it to me in the mail
Wow Domestic Activist! Thanks for all your work on this! I'm not surpised by the male response and it kind of confirms my fears that people won't automatically know that pregnant women need to avoid eating, let alone get the gluten thing.
I think I will limit my food choices too much if people think I am a true coeliac but I don't want to get sick from having more than tiny amounts either. How to explain that and the pregnancy requirements as simply as possible is the challenge! I agree it is not ideal to just order carefully. For one I will probably have no idea what I am ordering and it would be expensive to turn away dishes that are unsuitable!!
Maybe someone out there can recommend some eating places that at least get the gluten free thing...Meanwhile I would love any suggestions for how to communicate my needs simply on a travel card.
Thanks for all your tips and for establishing my femininity!
I am re-thinking this at present. I do not have full blown coeliac disease but it seemed easier to state that on the card than try to explain that a tiny amount of gluten is probably ok.
I am fully expecting to get glutened on my trip and as long as it is not happening all the time I think I will cope ok. I am more concerned with the dangers of food poisoning while pregnant - which means things like cold ham, mayo and gazpacho will probably be off the menu, along with eggs if not cooked really well.
So now I am wondering if I am restricting myself too much. Maybe I should say I am gluten intolerant...but how to explain what is ok (ie fried food that might be cross contaminated) and what is not (stuff dipped in flour and fried).
Oh..and eating tapas was going to be a highlight of the trip so I fully intend on eating some of them!
Further to above, I think I will just avoid anything obviously gluteny and see how I go. If I get really sick, then I can start using the travel cards.