If you have been following along with my pregnancy you know that it has been relatively uneventful, thank goodness. I thought the child bearing gods had blessed me with yet another smooth sailing pregnancy. That is until we arrived to the third trimester. We had an unexpected trip to Labor and Delivery at 28 weeks due to bleeding and pressure, but I have saved that story for my month 7 pregnancy update. Today I am sharing the start of my experience with Gestational Diabetes.
If you’ve ever been pregnant you are familiar with the glucose test that you endure sometime between weeks 26-28. You’re asked to guzzle down a syrupy sugar drink (which to me just tastes like flat soda) in five minutes or less and then you wait in the office to get your blood drawn several times over the course of a few hours. I passed with flying colors during my first pregnancy, and while I always get nervous before tests (hello, worry wart) I assumed all would be well this time around. After all, I have been gaining the right amount of weight, Dawson is measuring on track, my blood pressure is deemed perfect, and my doctor has had nothing but good things to report about my health at each appointment.
But I received my lab results on New Year’s Day stating one of my numbers was over the standard range during the three hour glucose test and that I had mild Gestational Diabetes. Happy New Year, right?
Okay, I know I may have overindulged during these holiday months (and this pregnancy had me wanting all of the chocolate) but I like to consider myself a healthy person. I started a weight loss journey / lifestyle change in 2012. That is when I learned about counting macros and started lifting weights in addition to a cardio and yoga routine. I lost 40lbs and continued the lifestyle ever since. I feel like I’m pretty familiar with the ins and outs of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. I know how to read nutrition labels. But upon researching I learned that the healthiest, thinnest, most athletic and most active person can develop GD because it all comes down to your body not being able to make enough insulin to regulate your blood sugar during your pregnancy. I still have to keep reminding myself this was not my fault.
I admit, the inital diagnosis made me incredibly emotional and tears were shed. I had 1,001 thoughts running through my head all at once and it was definitely a hard pill to swallow. Reading about the potential side affects can be pretty darn scary to an already hormonally and emotionally charged pregnant woman if GD if not controlled and maintained. My first and biggest fear about having gestational diabetes was how it could affect Dawson. How will this impact the birth? Will he be big? Will his blood sugar be low? Will he be okay?
Even though I felt I had experience with nutrition and macronutrients I felt very overwhelmed with the thought of this particular diet change. I began researching all about managing glucose levels, how many grams of carbs to have per meal and snack, and other tips and tricks to control your levels, etc. By checking my blood sugar, eating right at the right times and exercising I have hopes that this will be controlled with diet alone. This is temporary but I plan on doing everything I can to make sure we are both healthy.
I am sharing this in hopes that another Mom who gets diagnosed with GD (and is mildly panicking while multi-tasking a Google search) stumbles upon this post and feels that she’s not alone. I also hope to document this as just another part in our pregnancy journey – one that I can look back on this after I have a beautiful baby boy in my arms and know that everything was okay.