Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dealing with gestational diabetes

Hi, my name is Hilary and i have gestational diabetes. 

Around 25 weeks i had to take the dreaded 1 hour glucose test.  Honestly, the drink wasn't that bad.  Mine was lemon lime and tasted like flat sprite. When they gave me the drink they said i had 5 minutes to get it down.  I took a sip and told the lady next to me it wasn't too bad.  She said when she did it years ago it was awful.  Just after that someone was calling my name to go back and get an ultrasound, so i chugged the rest in like 10 seconds.  Sugar rush! I felt a little sick for a few minutes, but for the rest of the hour i was fine. Towards the end i did start to get a little jittery.  While i waited to get my blood drawn i saw my doctor and she didn't think I'd have any trouble with passing.  I told her that everyone else said I'd be fine too, but for some reason i always thought that i would end up with it.  

After that appointment i was feeling really good!  I had to get an ultrasound to check if a cyst that had been found a few weeks prior was gone, which it was!!  Finally, i felt like i could relax and enjoy things.  Of course that only lasted until the next day when they called to tell me i failed my 1 hour test.  Pretty badly too.  So i scheduled the 3 hour test a couple days later.  I was pretty upset about not passing.  I was just feeling a little defeated and like i couldn't catch a break.  I know a lot of people fail the 1 hour and go on to pass the 3 hour, but I'm just not that optimistic.  

When i went in for the 3 hour i got to see the lady that had drawn my blood a million times last year, Poppy.  We're old pals now!  This time the drink was a little worse.  Double the sugar, and they just had the orange flavor.  I don't like orange flavored things.  The worst part of it all was the waiting.  When the test was finished i decided i wanted to go pick up some food...thinking it could be my last good/bad meal for awhile.  Well when i got on the interstate there was a couple of bad accidents, semi truck had blown up or something and then 2 other trucks ran into each other because of it.  I was stuck and they had closed the exit i wanted to get on.  My blood sugar was dropping fast from all that sugar and i was getting very shaky and sweaty.  I crammed some cashews i had in my purse down and then some mints.  I felt like i was about to pass out!  I called Jeremy and asked him to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  

The next day i hadn't heard from anyone for awhile.  It was Friday around 4pm so i thought i should call them.  Well the nurse i talked to didn't think i had passed and needed to talk to the doctor.  She called me back and said that no, i did not pass.  She gave me my numbers and a couple were alright, but my doctor was "shocked, shocked, shocked!" and that i didn't fit the bill of someone who normally gets gestational diabetes. Over the weekend i felt sorry for myself and thought about food non stop.  I tried to look stuff up online and start the diet some what before i talked to the nutritionist.  I went in the next week and did a class (it ended up just being me in the class) and talked to a nutritionist about how many grams of carbs i could eat per meal and how to check my blood sugar.  I was feeling slightly overwhelmed with it all.  I've never been someone to really look at carbs or count calories.  

It seems like each time i told someone i was there for the gestational diabetes or that i had it i just got some look and a comment.  Yes.  Gestational diabetes is not usually something anyone has any control over, though.  It's either you get it or you don't.  It's a hormonal imbalance and my body just doesn't break down the sugars like it should.  The diet overall isn't too bad.  It's mostly just annoying pricking my finger 4 times a day and always having to think or plan out when and what I'm going to eat.  My fingertips have little black spots where they've been poked several times, they're sore too.  I have to check first thing in the morning for a fasting number.  Eat breakfast and test an hour later (30grams of carbs). Snack (30g).  Eat lunch and test an hour later (45g).  Snack (15g).  Eat dinner, test an hour later (45g).   Snack (30g).  If you check the labels on things you'll find that there are a lot of carbs in stuff.  Like tonight we had some whole grain rice... a serving (1 cup) is 47 carbs.  I didn't have nearly that much, but if you pair it with a protein and a vegetable you can usually get a good number.  Tonight we had steak, whole grain rice, and green beans.  I usually try and go for a walk after dinner...walking helps with your numbers...I just tested and my number was 108.  One hour after meals needs to be under 140, two hours after meals under 120.  Fasting number under 95.  I've only gone over once!  I'm hoping to continue to stay diet controlled and not go on any medication or insulin, but they said that 50% of people will end up needing help.  The further along you get in your pregnancy the more insulin your body needs and sometimes the diet isn't enough, even if you're doing everything right.  Unfortunately for me, it does mean that I'm more prone to getting it again with future pregnancies and possibly developing type 2 diabetes later in life if I'm not careful with my diet and physical activity.



Gestational diabetes a lot of times means big babies.  At 27 weeks i had my first growth scan.  They measure the head, abdomen and femur to give an estimated weight.  The head and femur were right on track, but the belly was measuring 2 weeks behind.  They said it could be that I'm just going to have a small baby.  They rain a couple tests and checked the blood flow through the cord and fluid.  Apparently there was something going on with the placenta.  Not producing enough nutrients or something.  They kept saying that the baby is fine right now, but if she fell further behind that i would have to deliver.  They were throwing a bunch of information at me and it was hard to take it all in at once and remember it all.  (Of course they end up wanting to check my blood pressure after telling me all this and it was a little high...oh great...sign of preeclampsia...i had to do a 24 hour urine collection to test for it but it all came back clear!  I'll probably have to do another one in a few weeks)  They told me they would keep a close eye on me with weekly ultrasounds and NST (non stress test).  Fast forward to a few weeks later, yesterday, i get my second growth scan hoping to get a better idea of how things are.  I go in thinking i could end up having to deliver really soon or i could make it to full term.  They do all their measurements and tests and while she's still a little on the small side, she's grown!  I think her abdomen was only a week behind, but they weren't concerned and they said everything looks great!  She was estimated at weighing 3 lbs 7 oz.  I'll still go in for weekly ultrasounds/tests and NST and in 3 weeks I'll have another growth scan.  So it seems overall things are better and I'm hoping to make it to full term with no other complications!


This might be how i feel sometimes...a lot of times. 

I wrote this last week, but never finished it up and posted it.  I just wanted to add that last night I had a full on pity party.  Jeremy was having some pizza and i was sad that i couldn't have any.  I wasn't mad that he was eating it front of me...just that i couldn't eat it too.  I pouted for awhile and looked through the fridge and pantry several times.  Nothing was sounding good or i was tired of eating it.  I cried a little, but found something to eat...which ended up giving me my second high number.  I pouted more.  Getting high numbers or fear of getting one is stressful.  I told Jeremy that I want a burger and fries and coke or something like that right after i deliver!  

P.S. My parents are coming in to town tonight for a visit since i couldn't make it to Valdosta. 

1 comment:

  1. Hilary, I found out I had gestational diabetes while pregnant with my second baby. Yes, all my babies were huge! Back then, this condition was treated very differently. First, I had no preliminary test but as soon as the doctor suspected anything (because of the size of my first baby), I had to go straight to the full-blown test. Hours and hours, I'm not sure how many. My sugar crashed before the hours were over. But back then there was no low-carb diet, finger pricking, or threat of medication/insulin. I was simply put on a 2400 calorie diet and told to return for weekly stress tests during the 9th month. They mostly treated it like no big deal. Therefore, I didn't worry about it the way you've had to. My only issue was how to consume 2400 calories daily. The end result was a baby 2 ounces short of ten pounds!
    I really feel for you because worry is so toxic for me. Any suggestion by a doctor, nurse, or even the receptionist that something might not be all right would probably have given me a stroke on the spot. I think you are doing GREAT to keep it together so well and even be able to write about it with humor. You are on my most special prayer list. Hugs, Susan Hancock

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