A year ago I had gestational diabetes… I still remember getting the call in the car on the way to a birthday party. I had taken the 3hr glucose test and I had failed two of the time points, so that meant that I had gestational diabetes. At the time I was so upset. I remember being embarrassed and feeling like my world was collapsing.
This was my 4th pregnancy, my 3rd time taking the 3hr glucose test and my only time failing it. I was devastated. I had no idea what it meant, I had no idea how I was going to test my blood 4 times a day while taking care of 3 other kids. So, I did the only thing I could at the time, I cried (a lot).
I felt betrayed by my body. I had fully embraced with “fit pregnancy” mantra. I wasn’t letting being pregnant stop me from anything! I ran a 1/2 marathon when I was 12 weeks pregnant, I did a sprint triathlon went I was 18 weeks pregnant. I was active. So, to get diagnosed with gestational diabetes felt like a kick in the teeth.
When I was able to calm down a bit, I googled. I found out that they (the health insurance people) have lowered the guidelines for gestational diabetes. Which is why my first two pregnancies I was fine and with my 3rd I passed the 1 hr test. Now all of a sudden the numbers are lower and I didn’t met them.
Then I met with a nutritionist, we talked about sugars and carbohydrates and how they affect your blood. They showed my how to test my blood and outfitted me with a meter. I cried some more. Then they told me if I went over my numbers more than 2 times I would have to go on insulin. That got me pissed! I was like are you kidding me. 4 times a day for 12 weeks = 336 times I have to test my blood (this was if I went on my due date) and I can’t be over more than twice. Challenge accepted! I was not going on insulin and changing doctors and give the health insurance companies any more money.
So, I made up my own diet. I cut out all processed sugars and reduce my carbohydrate intake to no more than 15grams per meal. I made sure to have protein whenever I had carbohydrates. I ate cheese and crackers, apples with peanut butter, and chicken salad. It was a pretty boring diet, but I never went over my numbers and I lost 13 pounds. If I was unsure about something I ate, I went for a walk. It was by far the hardest thing I had done. I was grumpy, I was hungry and at times I was mean to the people I loved.
There is nothing sadder than having your 2 year old hand you her ice cream to lick the drips and you can’t, because of fear your blood sugar will go to high. But, I made it through it and 3 days late my healthy baby boy was born at 8lbs 3oz, all natural, no pitocin and for the first time my water broke on its own. It was worth it to not have to go on insulin and today I am completely fine.
I wanted to put this out there because there isn’t a lot of talk about gestational diabetes and once you have the baby most of the time you are fine. What is out there is scary about how if you don’t take care of yourself you could hurt the baby. Do your research and do what makes sense to you!