My Experience with Gestational Diabetes (so far)

My Experience with Gestational Diabetes (so far)

I’m a little over one week in to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

I can’t say it came as a complete shock. I have three “risk factors” for it- over 25, overweight at conception, and a family history of diabetes.

However, I was hoping my history of being active and eating (somewhat) healthy would override that.

I had my one hour glucose test at 28 weeks. It wasn’t terrible. I was given the bottle of sugar water and was supposed to drink it before I got there.  A friend told me to freeze it partially so it was like a slushie- which worked GREAT. It wasn’t bad at all.  One blood draw and I was on my way. I was told I would be called the following day if there were issues…and I didn’t hear anything for several days, so I thought I was clear.

However, 4 days later, I got the call to come in Monday morning for a 3 hour test. That wasn’t fun. The liquid was TWICE as sweet- and was syrupy and icky. I had to stay at the hospital for 3 hours and get 4 blood draws. The third and fourth ones hurt pretty badly since they were the second in each arm.

Since the other test took several days to get results called to me, I sort of pestered the office. I was told they would have results the following day, so I called twice to check in. But never heard anything.

So I left work on that Tuesday thinking it was fine.

Well, I was at Hobby Lobby in line to check out when the nurse called. It was a short phone call. I’m sure she meant well doling out instructions- “I’m faxing you a glucometer to the pharmacy. Check your sugar 4 times a day. Once before eating in the morning and two hours after every meal.”

I had to stop her because I had nothing to write with on me. I literally grabbed and opened a pack of markers in line at Hobby Lobby to write on a scrap paper in my purse to take notes. (Don’t worry. I bought the markers).

“Your 2 hour numbers should be under 120. Just eat a typical diabetic diet and we’ll see you in August for your next appointment.”

WHAT? I had SO many questions. What does this mean for my baby? What does this mean for me? What is a diabetic diet like? How do you use the glucometer?

I finished up at Hobby Lobby (embarassingly checking out through tears), drove to the pharmacy where I was given a glucose monitor, test strips and lancets. I asked the pharmacist to show me how it works, but was told “The directions inside are easy. You can do it.”  WHAT? No. I need help. I can’t do this. But I left and mom came to the rescue.

I ate my dinner and then two hours later mom showed up to help. She let me practice on her finger, pricking it with the lancets several times. My grandfather was a diabetic, so this isn’t entirely new to us. However, he didn’t use his monitor very often. He was very well diet-controlled.

So I started logging. What I’ve eaten. What my numbers were 2 hours later. The date and time. I’m googling like a mad woman (which isn’t the best idea). I am learning things that sound scary- placental failure. Risk for diabetes in the future. Insulin shots. Huge babies having to be born early via c-section. I want none of those things.

I was also LOST in the food instructions. I would eat, but I was scared to. I was scared what everything I put in my mouth would do to my numbers. I was worried what a bad number would mean for me- if I did the wrong thing, would I end up on insulin simply because I don’t know better?  I mean, I’ll do whatever I need to. But what do I need to do?

The following Monday rolled around and in desperation, I called the clinic. I knew my doctor was out of town, but his nurse was also out of office. I was told she would call me back in a few days, since it wasn’t an emergency. Well, agreed. It wasn’t an emergency, but I needed help.  I called and spoke with the office manager. Asked her if anyone could refer me to a nutritionist or something. Answer some questions. I just couldn’t wait. The anxiety that came with every meal was too much.

She sent me to another doctor, whose nurse- get this-is diabetic! She said “No wonder you’re so confused! There’s a lot to take in! Why don’t you come see us at lunch and we’ll get you set up for a diabetes education class.”

Sigh of relief. That doctor answered a TON of questions. I went yesterday to the 3-hour education class (and bless Tyler, he went with me to make sure we got it all) and learned a lot. I got a mealplan and am excited to see how it works. I hope to stay diet-controlled, but we will do whatever necessary to all stay healthy.

I know there are MUCH worse things to be dealing with. I have friends who have gotten terrible diagnoses about their babies and themselves during pregnancy. If I work hard (and my hormones play nice), we should all be ok.

Yes, it sucks. It sucks to have to prick my finger 4 times a day. To have to set reminders after I eat to check my sugar. To be pregnant and not give into any cravings. To have to watch my carb intake meticulously. But there are worse things. I know that.

I do have worries. But I’m trying to give those over to God.

I was also beating myself up before I saw the doctor. Is there something I could have done differently? Was I eating poorly while pregnant? She assured me that gestational diabetes, while there are some factors that make it more common in certain populations (overweight women, for example), that it’s only a hormonal issue where hormones the placenta is creating make me insulin resistant. I didn’t eat too much sugar or too many burgers. I didn’t “cause” this. It’s a reaction my body is having to the pregnancy hormones.

I couldn’t have prevented it. She said women of all sizes, health levels, ages get gestational diabetes. It just happens.

So for now, I try to figure this thing out. I carry this notebook and this monitor with me EVERYWHERE. I watch every bite. I pray that our baby will grow and thrive, but not get too big. I deal with it.

I’m just sharing this because I literally knew no one who had gestational diabetes. I felt really lost and alone. I had found a friend or two who had it, but I felt pretty lost and alone. I am by no means an expert, but if I can help anyone diagnosed know that you’ll get the hang of pricking your finger and drawing your blood….that you’ll find ways to eat without too many carbs. That you will cry when you want cake REALLY bad and can’t have it. That you’ll dread eating because that means you’ll have to stick yourself later. That it’s tough to be on Facebook because of all the food how-to videos. That it’s going to be ok. That’s why I’m sharing all of this.


30 Week Update

30 Week Update

How did we get here?! Like 10 weeks at the beginning of pregnancy seemed to FLY by. To think we just have August and September to get through, then we’ll have a baby! WHAT?

How far along? 30 weeks!

Baby is the size of: a platypus, a motorcycle helmet, a cantelope, and a zucchini (which seems small compared to the others!)

Maternity clothes? All the time.

Sleep: I’m counting myself lucky to just have to wake up and pee once during the night. SO many people told me they stopped sleeping well around 30 weeks.  Aside from a potty break, I’m doing great.

Best moment this week: Seeing her at our last ultrasound!

Miss anything? At this point, sweets since I can’t have them anymore.

Movement: Yes. More movement. Always on my right side.

Food cravings: Fruit and salty meats. Bacon? Yes please.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Symptoms: Aside from some swelling, I’m doing pretty great.

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? I’m not wearing them most of the time so I don’t swell up.

Happy or moody most of the time: Pretty good this week. Had a rough moment where I felt so lost with the gestational diabetes diagnosis…but I’m going today for a class so that should help!

Looking forward to: Our next appointment next week (with ultrasound) and our baby shower next week!


Weekend Recap: Lots of Tyler Time and Puppy Snuggles

Weekend Recap: Lots of Tyler Time and Puppy Snuggles

This weekend was great. Just what I needed, especially after the shake-up last week of finding out I have gestational diabetes (more on that later).

Friday evening, Tyler and I did dinner and hung out at home. He was able to stay up a little later than normal because he took a few hours of overtime Saturday morning so he got to sleep in!

It was awesome to get to spend morningtime with him Saturday morning! We NEVER get to do that.

At some point Friday evening, Pippin and I were snuggling SO sweet. He’s the cuddliest pup.

Saturday, we had a great day. Mom and I just planned to do the farmer’s market and run around. It turned out that we ended up spending SO much time with Tyler as he worked.

We did the farmer’s market where I got a ton of produce. It’s all so fresh and cheap this time of year!

Then we had breakfast, got pedicures (hallelujah!) and headed to Brick City to shop. Tyler was in the neighborhood and came in for a minute to use their air conditioning and refill his water. Love spending time with my man in uniform!

We did a couple more errands and then met Tyler on his lunch break, then went a couple more places.

We ran home to drop off groceries, stopped and saw dad, then met Tyler for dinner in between his job and overtime job.

He was working overtime at the mall, so mom and I went to the mall after dinner to walk around with him (walking is great for my gestational diabetes, but it can be hot out…so the mall was the perfect solution!).

I got home in time to watch the gorgeous sunset!

We’ve been making Pippin sleep in the floor (before, he was on our bed every night) but it’s getting tougher to sleep through the night…so I kicked him out. I didn’t need HIM and ME waking me up all night.

We’ve been experimenting with beds for the dogs in our room to make sure they are comfy, and they decided to have a sleepover together Saturday night. ha!

Sunday was church time (worked in the nursery), then lunch and hanging out. We ended up at mom’s for dinner and some TV time. But not before Pippin snuggled with baby Remi!

How was your weekend, friends?


5 on Friday: Ultrasound and Other Fun

5 on Friday: Ultrasound and Other Fun

Here are 5 awesome things we did this week:

  1. We saw these tiny little feet wiggling at our 4D ultrasound.

LEE, BRIT_6

2. We saw this sweet smile and sweet cheeks.LEE, BRIT_9LEE, BRIT_14LEE, BRIT_28LEE, BRIT_30

3. We watched Remi be an acrobat. Feet right by the hands next to the face. Sister likes being squished up.

LEE, BRIT_19

4. We went to a NWA Naturals game last night with the moms. It was a fun evening. Ran a couple errands, ate way too much at PF Changs and then saw several home runs!

5. I stopped by to hug the necks of some of my Zumba girls. I love these 4. Ava (the one in the middle) is moving to the East Coast, so they had a little going away dinner for her. I was so glad they invited me so I could say hello and see you later. I don’t miss teaching, per se. I like my evenings and have enjoyed the slower pace. However, I miss the people. 

 

So that was my week! How was your week?