WhenI first found out I was pregnant again, I was thrilled. We’d just been through a loss of a pregnancy in January and I really had no idea what kind of journey lay ahead. But in the back of my mind I’d already started worrying about Gestational Diabetes. I’d had it with MJ and really wanted to be proactive this time around.
So at my first prenatal appointment my OB suggested I start testing my blood sugar right away, and sure enough, at just 10 weeks I was diagnosed again.
Even though I kind of expected it, I was still in shock. I’d lost 55lbs since having MJ, was eating clean 80% of the time, working out 5-6 days a week and was in the best shape of my life! I thought those things would protect me this time around, but that’s the thing with Gestational Diabetes, sometimes those things just don’t matter. And that’s the case with me. Even if I’m exercising and following a strict meal plan, I still wake up in the morning with a high fasting blood sugar. My body just can’t handle the hormonal challenges of pregnancy. This has been hard for me to accept, because I feel like people have misconceptions about GD and make assumptions about my lifestyle or assume I should be able to control it with diet alone, that’s just not the case for me.
Here’s what a day with Gestational Diabetes looks like for me.
7:00 am Test Fasting Sugar and Eat!
First thing in the morning I have to test my blood sugar and my doctors would like it to be below 95. I tried several different “tricks” to get this number down without medication, but nothing worked for me. I just can’t control that number with diet alone. When I was first diagnosed, this time of day was especially hard for me because I had terrible nausea and headaches that would come on early and needed to eat before my feet hit the ground! And you know what worked best for the nausea? A banana! Not exactly the best choice for first thing in the morning. Now I’m able to get up, test my blood sugar, and then eat. I’ve found I eat a lot of the same things now. For me breakfast is usually scrambled eggs, a piece of toast, coffee and then a piece of fruit. Sometime during the morning, I’ll get a workout in. If it’s particularly strenuous, I may have to test early to watch for a low blood sugar number. Low blood sugars make me feel light headed, nauseous, and have a headache. I want to avoid this if possible, since MJ is at his highest energy in the morning and it’s hard to keep up with him feeling that way. I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing when I’m headed there, so I keep snacks with me at all times and I can’t skip meals.
2 Hour Post Meal Tests
Some people with gestational diabetes only test at certain points during the day, but because I’m on insulin, I have to test 4 times a day. First thing in the morning and then 2 hours after every meal. I have to prick my finger and apply a drop of blood to a test strip, not fun but much easier then the insulin! During the day I’m shooting for a low carb, high protein diet and keeping my blood sugar under 120. As long as I stay active and follow the meal plan, this hasn’t been an issue for me. I’m so much more aware of how certain meals impact how I feel, and how important it is for me to keep my levels stable in order to keep my energy up. Meal planning has gotten a little trickier and I can’t give in to every pregnancy craving or eat all day long. I keep track of the foods that spike my sugar and I track my blood sugars all day, every day.
9:00 pm Insulin
My doctors determined that I need insulin to control my overnight blood sugar levels, so every night, I give myself an insulin injection in my thigh or abdomen. People say a lot, “oh I could never do that! I’m afraid of needles!” but you could. I don’t like needles either, but I do it because it’s what I have to do for a healthy pregnancy. It’s not fun by any means, and sometimes I need some encouragement and support from the hubs, but I do it. You would too.
I’m in no way an expert on Gestational Diabetes.This is just a reflection of MY experience! Your situation with GD may be totally different.
Have you had any experience with Gestational Diabetes? What was it like for you?