Gestational Diabetes| Pregnancy Diaries

In 15 minutes I’ll have pricked my finger with a needle in the attempt to squeeze out some blood to test my blood sugars.  I’m counting down the time, as I have to do it within an hour of eating my breakfast.

Yes, I’ve got gestational diabetes.

Possibly the worst diagnosis for a person with a needle phobia.

And also the worst diagnosis for a cake lover.

Pregnancy is fraught with things you can no longer consume.  They’ve taken away my wine, all the good cheese, my caffeine and some seafood along with all the other bits you have to be cautious over.

The only thing they couldn’t take away was my delight in demolishing chocolate and cake.

Until now.

Yesterday I had my first appointment with the diabetes clinic who’ll be monitoring me for the rest of this pregnancy and beyond.

I misheard the lady on the phone when she booked in my appointment (joys of having a chatting toddler the other side of me) and thought I had borderline gestational diabetes.

But looking at my blood test results once in the room my specialist diabetes midwife, she confirmed that it certainly wasn’t pre diabetes.  It was full on gestational diabetes and because of the way my readings were it may require me to go onto insulin injections unless I happen to get it under control, which will supposedly be hard because it’s less about what I eat and just the hormone changes affecting my sugar levels overnight.  (Once the placenta is out after birth I should return to normal, but the hormones produced by the placenta resist insulin naturally produced by my body).

In fact the results of my gestational diabetes blood tests done a few days ago, showed that my sugar levels were really high after a night of fasting.  And in fact my levels came down to a normal level after I’d drunk the sweet orange drink I had to down after my first blood test.  It was that first result of high sugar levels when I had no food in me that has caused me to be led down this path.

I can’t undo the original blood tests or not test my blood 4 times a day at home anymore.  But I can try my hardest to get my levels to try to stabilise overnight so I can avoid insulin injections.  I have to at least try even though I’ve been told it isn’t as easy as food control- but it’s a starting point.

So out with the old diet (which actually wasn’t all that bad) and in with the new.  Which is bland, bland, bland.  In fact I’ve never sympathised with a diabetic quite so much in my life.  What on earth do they eat? And for many this is a lifetime thing.

There is a whole lack of anything tasty that stays within the recommended sugar levels or carbohydrate levels at the supermarket- even foods that are considered healthy really aren’t when you start pouring over labels.

Refined white has been replaced with brown, sweet potatoes and sour dough bread (thank god there’s a white bread that isn’t considered ‘bad’).  Breakfast has been replaced with porridge. Snacks have become plain yoghurt and cinnamon powder sprinkled in my decaf coffee.  My craving for fruit has to be curbed and eaten without any other food if I really crave it and everything has to be cooked up from scratch so I can monitor what goes in and out of my meals.  At least marmite and peanut butter are still allowed!

And I can wave good-bye to a roast dinner unless I’m just eating the meat and vegetables.  No potatoes, no yorkshire puddings, no stuffing, no gravy- in fact none of the good stuff.

And don’t get me started on portion control sizes.

I’m not a big girl, and my BMI is 20 so I’m in the healthy range.  So the one thing I don’t want to do is lose weight and not eat enough.  Especially at this time when the baby is relying on my energy reserves to grow and prepare itself for life outside the womb.  But I also don’t want to cause any damage to my unborn child which includes the increased risk of perinatal death (baby dying around the time of birth- obviously worst case scenario) or having neonatal hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars post birth).  All very much a reality for a person with gestational diabetes.  So I feel like I’m having to tread a very fine line.

Being diagnosed now at 25 weeks means that I have at most another 15 weeks of testing my blood sugars four times a day and constant reviews with my diabetes team with some extra growth scans thrown in to keep an eye not he baby.  They’ll be assessing my blood readings and making a plan for me to follow and it’s great to know I’ll be monitored closely, but now my pregnancy is classified as high risk.

My birth was always classified as high risk because of my previous caesarean so having another high risk string added to my bow isn’t exactly the greatest.

It does worry me in terms of the birth because I know that if I want a natural birth an induction is probably quite high.  If baby gets too big (another possible side effect of gestational diabetes) they’ll want it out before it’s full term.  Having endured an induction with my first (a pain that is truly unbearable and led to an emergency caesarean) it’s something I want to stay away from.  And the idea of having a nice smooth natural delivery goes out of the window with that.  And the other option will be another caesarean section which comes with its own risks.

So I’m doing what I can for these final 15 weeks to get both baby and I to the end safely and within normal limits.

Having just pricked my finger- remind me not to eat tangerines again.  Damn.

thelondonmum

40 Comments

  1. Hi Lovely I’m sorry you’re having to the awful testing I had GD with Jay and you know I had the same BMI I was gutted but it all turned out fine. I controlled my diet and didn’t take any medication so as awful as the testing is ( I now can’t stand needles) you will get through it. I’ve changed my lifestyle because of it. Not a bad thing but yeah not great when you love cake like I do! We sound very similar. Don’t be hard on yourself it’s happening but doesn’t mean it’ll be with you forever. Always here if you want a chat Hun. I felt so sad but now I’m kind of grateful as it’s made a difference to the way I eat and sugar sadly isn’t great as we know. I too love roast dinners. Big hug love Bella xxxx
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    • Yesterday I was so down about it. I’ve been told to use three fingers on each hand for testing and I’m running out of space so I’m pricking the same parts which really hurt and bruise. It just seems so tedious, and there’s no such thing as eating on the go or getting any enjoyment out of meals. I’m sure once I fall into a routine things will get easier but last night I felt like I was wishing away the rest of this pregnancy not so I can meet the baby but so I can stop pricking my fingers. Totally the wrong way to think of things. I’m just hoping they’ve got the diagnosis wrong so they’ll let me off 😉 xx

      • Oh sweetheart honestly you’ll be fine. I have to say though I didn’t enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy because you’re right you constantly have to think about every thing you eat and the fingers get sore. I use xylitol now and still eat chocolate but in some ways you’ll fine you will get into a routine with certain foods and you’ll have the baby in your arms before you know it!
        Xx
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        • Luckily I don’t add sugar to things so I can lay off the sweeteners. I always suspected I had GD with Little London because he was a big baby and I didn’t go through the proper GDD test. My midwife just did the finger prick test on me and I purposefully had nothing bad that morning. So probably not the smartest way to test for it. But because this baby seems so much smaller at this stage then he was I honestly thought I wouldn’t have it this time around. Sods law. Everything else otherwise has been going great and has been easy in comparison to my previous pregnancy (minus the throwing up sessions at one point).

    • It just feels like such a kick in the teeth. I was feeling really good about myself and how this pregnancy was going. I’d relaxed into it and was enjoying it.. arrggghhh. x

  2. It’s hard (had it with my twins). I too was threatened with insulin, but somehow managed to get it under control. Babies were fine too. Try not to worry too much, you may well get it under control and avoid injections still.

    • All those cravings or quick needs for a perk up are out the window now. I’m feeling lethargic from having to more or less go cold turkey on all sugar including maintaining a good carbohydrate level… everything is god damn glucose! Waaahhhhh.

  3. I am so sorry you have gestational diabetes. I am pregnant with my 5th and will be doing the test for it in a few weeks. I have not had it with any of my others, luckily. I have heard it is not fun to have during pregnancy.

  4. Don’t worry you will be fine …pregnancy is such a period where you learn patience which will be very useful once your lil one arrives;) you will forget all your problems once you feel your lil one in your arms

    • Very true. If anything it’s making me feel less apprehensive about the birth because I know there’s cake at the end of it 😉

  5. I lost count of the amount of times I pricked my finger during my last pregnancy. Think I was doing it 8 times a day at one point. Hope you manage to get your levels under control but if you don’t, don’t worry. As I said in BBC it’s more like a pen and I know you’ll be able to do it. xx

    • Thank you. I do actually feel better about the prospect of going onto insulin from talking to you if it comes to it. x

    • I think when food gets disrupted when you’re pregnant it’s just cruel lol. There’s not much excitement going for a pregnant lady and food is the one thing we can enjoy normally.. argghhh!

  6. I didn’t even know it was possible to get diabetes during pregnancy. This must be so tough, I’m sorry you have to go through this and I hope things get better after giving birth x

    • Another joyous effect of pregnancy lol. It should go literally the moment I give birth. I’ll be eating white toast and butter asap! 😉

  7. I have had several friends who suffered from GD and struggled with the finger pricks too. I hope that you find it starts getting easier for.you xx

    • It’s totally mind of matter. But it’s a tough situation to be in. I explained it to my other half like holding an elastic band to your cheek and knowing you have to let it ping. You know it will ‘smart’ and that’s what the fear is.

  8. Sorry to hear that you’re going through this. Things might be bland now but your life will be certainly anything but bland after the baby arrives! Then you can have cake again too..

    • Actually that’s very true. I’ll be needing cake after the birth more so than now as sleep deprivation will no doubt kill me!

  9. I feel for you, it must be really tough. With my last pregnancy at 37 weeks they wanted to do a fasting glucose as I was measuring big but only a a couple of weeks to go, not much was going to change. I ate all the cake when pregnant too, I have no idea how I escaped it x
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    • Right at the end! How could they do that to you? That’s not what you want to hear!

    • Well I’m counting down the weeks, I’m 26 weeks so in theory I have 14 weeks left, and because of the GD they may take the baby out earlier so I’m going for 13 weeks left… 😉

  10. My sister-in-law went through the same thing. It’s so tough! She had her little one 6 weeks ago and she is fine now. It was a mare but they really do help at the hospital if you need it x

    • They’ve been really good at monitoring me actually, so I can’t fault the care they’ve been so good. It is an absolute pain though.

    • I know- that’s the worst bit I think. Changing my diet I can do but the finger pricking is just a bit much!

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