Living with Gestational Diabetes

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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It has taken me a lot longer than usual to write this post. At first, I felt a little ashamed but now, as I approach the finish line I feel different about it.  Yes, I am pregnant and yes, I have gestational diabetes. It's not my fault. I did nothing wrong. It's just the way it is. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 25 weeks.  Like most moms, I cried when the doctor told me the news.  I knew nothing about gestational diabetes.  I'm petite, of average weight, fairly healthy- I just did not understand. 

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Your body cannot produce enough insulin to handle the effects of a growing baby and changing hormone levels. Insulin helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. If your body cannot produce enough insulin, your blood glucose (sugar) levels will rise.  - See more at:
What does this mean to baby? 
If left undiagnosed or untreated, gestational diabetes can hurt your baby.  This can lead to macrosomia, or a "fat" baby. Babies with macrosomia face health problems of their own, including damage to their shoulders during birth. Because of the extra insulin made by the baby's pancreas, newborns may have very low blood glucose levels at birth and are also at higher risk for breathing problems. Babies with excess insulin become children who are at risk for obesity and adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes- See more at:
The good news is gestational diabetes can be managed and that is what i have been doing. I'm not going to lie, some days are tougher than others but you find inner strength and self control to move past it all. Meals are usually pre-planned as i have to carb count. I have a generous portion of protein & vegetable with each meal but I need to monitor those carbs!  Arrrgg!  Why carbs eh?  I have maximum of 30 grams of carbs for breakfast, 40 grams of carbs for lunch and dinner.  The most important piece of each day is smart snacking.  I need to snack 3-4 times a day. Each snack consists of a carbohydrate & a protein with the carb count not exceeding 15 grams.  
The first few weeks were the toughest. It was all trial and error.  I quickly learned what carbs i could tolerate and what i needed to pass on. White rice, was one of the hardest things to give up but no matter how little i had it affected my blood sugar. I even tried walking for 40 minutes after to help but no luck!  The other challenge for me - the fasting test.  For weeks, i struggled to control my blood sugar overnight.  Every morning, I tested high and the more i stressed about it, the higher the reading. So at last week's check up, the dietitian suggested that i switch my bed time snack.  Instead of having my usual greek yogurt & blueberries or apple slices & cheese, i swapped these out for triscuits & cheese,  Wow! It's amazing what a complex carb does.  It regulates my blood sugar.   
My fellow GD moms, I know it may seem daunting.  The carb counting, the callous on your fingers from testing, the extra long walks after an exhausting day even when your feet are swollen but there is a pot of gold at the end.  Ice cream cones and chocolate cakes still taunt me everyday but I remind myself to not stress & stay strong! It's a journey not a punishment.

Me, Myself and the Mr