I have gestational diabetes

Last week, I took my one-hour glucose test.  Apparently, I failed miserably; not an easy thing for a type-A perfectionist to stomach.  A call from my doctor on Friday revealed that, because my test results were so “off the charts,” taking the dreaded three-hour test was not even an option.  I am to bypass that test and go straight to monitoring for gestational diabetes.

After a good cry, at work, no less (I totally blame the hormones), I’ve come to terms with the diagnosis.  If, by coming to terms I mean being bitter and angry over it all, then, yes, I’m handling this news very well.  I’ve had the weekend to stew it over, needing to wait until today or Tuesday to hear from yet a fresh set of doctors who specialize in this sort of thing.  In the meantime, I’ve been second-guessing every bite of food, wondering if it’s the right thing to eat, and imagining my baby doubling in size after every meal.  I know I’m overreacting, but I just don’t know what to think right now.  I’ll feel some relief after the phone call when I can set up an appointment and talk to a doctor about the next steps.

From what I understand, this diagnosis may mean a diet change, extra doctor appointments for me and Baby G, and possibly pricking my finger after every meal to check my blood sugar.  I’m anxious to hear what the doctors will say.  Even with my bitter, angry moments, I’m committed to doing what is best to ensure a happy, healthy baby, so I’ll do whatever it takes.  It is only 11 more weeks of a lifestyle change after all, a drop in the bucket when you stop to consider it.  I may not like the diagnosis, but I can learn to accept it.

12 thoughts on “I have gestational diabetes

  1. I too am a Type A and was diagnosed with GD at 28 weeks. I will be 36 weeks on Thursday and have been controlling it with diet thus far. It is a pain to think through every meal in advance, pricking your finger four times a day, always making sure you have the right snacks on hand, measuring out the milk you drink….but it is worth it for a healthy baby. I am getting the reassurance now that this is all worth it through weekly non-stress tests and ultrasounds. Baby is measuring in 59th percentile and looking great. Did get scheduled today for an induction on my due date bc at my practice they believe baby is better out than in at 40 weeks bc of the GD. Not thrilled about that but know that the best plan of action is whatever gets her out the healthiest. Good luck!

  2. OH how I understand your emotional suffering over this! My already being overweight at the start of the pregnancy compounded my feeling of failure and self blame and despair when I got the news for the first time during my second pregnancy. And I know this is small comfort coming from someone who is already on the other side (with a sassy, beautiful, healthy as a horse three year old daughter) but: my baby wasn’t the only one that diagnosis saved!

    Here’s the deal: you will be put on a calorie-restricted diet, eating carefully measured meals that balance proteins with carbs and veggies and fruit. You will get to eat snacks — one mid-morning and one before bed. It’s going to be a HUGE pain to plan all of your meals ahead to make sure you have the right balance of everything, but my recommendation is to pick out one or two items from each food group and just eat them all the time. The timing of when you eat (and prick your finger) is probably the biggest inconvenience of the whole effort … but I promise you will get into a rhythm after the first week and it will get easier.

    Pricking your finger is a teensey tiny little pinch, and you will need to do it a couple of hours after each meal to make sure your sugars are staying on track. I filled out a daily record of readings and submitted the sheets to my doctor weekly. The finger pricking thing is portable and easy enough to do wherever – I recall pricking in the car at the grocery store parking lot a few times.

    Also a Type A perfectionist, I pretty much cancelled ALL social engagements (because I might be tempted to eat something delicious) and hunkered down to do the gestational diabetes thing PERFECTLY through the end of the pregnancy. That might have been a little extreme … but it worked for me. Other than running my then two year-old around, I dedicated myself to mastering the D.

    Here’s the thing: I was forced to eat real, whole foods at EVERY meal (which, let’s be honest, you do your best at normally but when you’re pregnant and you want a Big Mac you’re going to eat it, damnit!) I rediscovered how delicious cold Gala apple slices can be as an after-dinner treat while watching TV — if eaten within 30 minutes of finishing the meal, of course. Within 3 days I had unbelievable amounts of energy — I honestly went from feeling half dead entering my third trimester and not knowing HOW I would get through it to feeling energized as if I weren’t pregnant at ALL. It was truly amazing.

    I lost 25 pounds in my third trimester: it fell off me. Went in to have the baby (who ended up weighing 8lbs 11 oz) looking and feeling awesome, and feeling SO PROUD of myself for getting though it.

    I got to go in weekly and see ultrasound pics of my baby girl as she developed — how many moms get to say that?! And the twice-weekly sessions of lying still for 45 minutes to have her heart rate monitored forced me to make time to relax … also a huge feat for moms.

    I’m not going to lie — it was inconvenient, bigtime, but totally manageable. AND, in a final twist of cruel fate: my C-section was planned for 9am November 1st. That’s right: THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN. I did everything I could to try to get her born before that glorious night of chocolate snacking heaven, but no dice. I will NEVER forget that Halloween – for a million reasons, but for SURE because I managed to not eat even ONE mini Snickers bar.

    Big hugs to you — you are going to get through this. I promise!!

  3. Ditto what Ann said – I was borderline and just followed diet and the followup test was right in range. Definitely seek a second opinion, but don’t lose hope. 🙂 You and that beautiful baby of yours will be fine!!!

  4. Hi Gena! I was borderline GD and followed the dietary guidelines that my doctor prescribed and had no problems. Actually, I found the program very easy to follow and felt great!

  5. Gena, as a fellow Type A, I would suggest you look at it as getting the VERY HIGHEST SCORE on the exam!

    Seriously, it is a totally manageable temporary thing, and you and Baby G will be fine, because that’s what my psychic vibes tell me (and they work). My hubs has diabetes and changing his diet made his blood sugar drop so incredibly low that I was afraid he was dead (from over 400 to 70???). He eats lots of protein and almost no carbs. Easy peasy, especially for just 11 weeks!

    By the way, I burst out laughing at the image of your baby doubling in size after every meal. A CTWM trait that I just love is that trademark dark humor even in the midst of angst! Great way to cope.

  6. Sorry Gena! I would be happy to support you. I was also diagnosed in pregnancy and had a 6lb 10oz healthy boy, so your hope and optimism has its place. Let me know if I can help, even with the “eat this, not that” questions! Hang in there!

  7. Gena I am sorry you have to go through this. But you are a strong, fantastic woman and we are here to help you through!

  8. So sorry to hear about this. Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion if you feel your diet and overall lifestyle is healthy and you have no obvious symptoms. I don’t exactly recall, but I remember hearing that the screening test is notoriously inaccurate and can result in false positives, “off the charts” notwithstanding. It’s difficult enough just being pregnant without extra stuff to worry about thrown in. So much medical decisionmaking is made out of an abundance of caution … it’s ok to push back if your gut tells you to.

    1. I absolutely second what Melanie says about getting another opinion, Dear Sister. Absolutely. In any case, much love and support coming your way.

  9. Oh Gena I am so sorry about this. I completely understand why you’d feel angry and upset! Sending you lots of love. I wish I could do something to help you, but just know that this community is here for you and wishing you only the best.

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