Any woman who has been pregnant knows about the dreaded glucose test.
They make you drink this nasty, super sweet orange liquid and then, 1 hour later, they draw your blood. If you don't "pass" that test, they make you do a 3 hour test. First, you fast for 8 hours, then they draw your blood. You drink that same nasty liquid, and they test your blood again, every hour, 3 more times. It's honestly brutal and kind of torture but it's necessary for your and the baby's health so we all put up with it.
When you have PCOS, like I do, they test you at 18 weeks and if you pass (I did!) then you get to do it again at 28 weeks, like the rest of the preggos.
I unfortunately did not pass my 28 week test. So, at 30 weeks, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.
I was absolutely devasated!
I thought, "Seriously?! I've been VERY careful with gaining weight, haven't been ridiculous with my cravings, and didn't we already have a hard enough time getting pregnant?! Shouldn't the rest of this be easy?"
Ya, I threw myself a little pity party and then, I decided to make the best of it.
I purchased all of the stupid supplies (meter, lancets, testing strips) and began reading and doing as much research as possible.
I learned that there is a higher chance for a larger baby when the mother has gestational diabetes and that can often lead to a higher risk of a C-section because the baby is simply too large to make it through the canal. Since I am determined to have as close to a natural birth as possible, this upset me greatly.
I decided that I HAD to find the positives and make the most of it so... I did.
Here are my tips for getting through those last several weeks of your pregnancy, with Gestational Diabetes...
1. Purchasing your testing supplies kind of sucks. They're expensive and when you're wanting to spend all of your extra money on the baby, it's really annoying to spend that extra money on testing supplies. But... do it. And do it as soon as you're diagnosed. The earlier you get your blood sugars under control, the better the chances for a positive outcome are.
2. Keep all of your appointments. You'll immediately start seeing your OB weekly. Normally, that doesn't begin until 35-36 weeks but they like to keep a close eye on you so you'll see her more often now. Don't miss any of your appointments because if your sugar numbers seem off, the earlier your doctor can start you on medication, the better.
3. Take your medicine, if you are prescribed any. After 1 week of my sugars being strange and not really making sense, with what I was eating, my doctor put me on medicine to help. And... it helped! Remember that being put on that medicine is not a punishment, it's just a way to help you make it through. In most women, after you deliver that placenta, your diabetes symptoms will disappear, so it isn't your fault. Blame it on the placenta.
4. Keep track of your sugars and be honest with your doctor. This is really important! Your doctor can't help you if you're not honest. It's okay if 1 or 2 of your draws throughout the week are a little off. You can discuss what may have caused that, with your doctor, and she'll help you adjust what needs adjusting. It may just be a matter of, "Oh well, you ate that. One cheat meal is completely acceptable." (My doctor said this to me, just last week. I ate French Toast and it was delicious and totally worth my sugar being slightly high! haha)
5. Adjust your diet but you don't have to go crazy and get some exercise. Both are good for you and the baby. Needing to watch what I ate was actually really beneficial for multiple reasons so I found a silver lining in that. Also, you'll get to see a certified nutritionist! What woman hasn't wanted some advice from a nutritionist at some point in her life? I even cheated and got advice on losing the baby weight (and then some)! I'm going to get to see her after Emma is born and make a plan for being healthy, post pregnancy. And insurance covers it! Silver lining!
6. Don't beat yourself up if your blood sugars don't immediately start going down with change in diet, or even with medicine. It's different for everyone, and it takes time for your body to adjust to the changes you're trying to make. And if you have some sporadic high tests, even ones you can't explain, don't beat yourself up over those either. The important thing is that you're doing everything you can to keep your blood sugar at the right level, and sometimes it's just beyond your control. Just don't stop trying.
Need another silver lining?
In addition to seeing your doctor weekly, you'll also have weekly ultrasounds where they check to see that baby is developing properly. You'll get extra pictures and the peace of mind that your baby is healthy and almost ready to be in your arms.
So, the diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes is not fun and it's definitely not one that any woman wants to get but you can survive and make the most of it.
|Emma at 35 weeks. The best silver lining ever!!|