So…I Have Gestational Diabetes

If you’ve ever had a baby, then you that around week 24 you go through a right of passage known as the glucose test. You have the fun opportunity to sometimes fast (super awesome when you’re pregnant and starving all the time), and then drink nothing but liquid sugar first thing in the morning.

But wait! There’s more!

After you drink the sugar you get to sit there and contemplate how your body is metabolizing all of that glucose for a whole hour since they don’t allow you to get up and walk around. Once your hour is up—and you’ve been keeping an eye on the clock, trust me—they get to poke you with a needle and draw your blood. Then comes the hard part. You wait, and wait, and wait for your results. (I’ve heard some people get them right then and there, and that makes me green with envy.)

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Some doctors will call you with results, and others will leave you hanging…thinking that “no news is good news,” so you’ll end up calling and waiting on the line with all your air sucked in, waiting to hear if you passed.

I’m no stranger to the glucose test. I’ve had to take it very early on in my pregnancies because of pre-existing risk factors, but for my previous two babies, I’ve never been diagnosed with GD. I did have to do the god-awful 3-hour test last time, but I ended up passing it.

My Results Were Off The Charts (but not in a good way)

This time, I passed the first one they gave me (a blood test around 8 weeks to see if I was already pre-diabetic—I’m NOT), but unfortunately I didn’t pass my one-hour test a couple weeks ago. In fact, I “failed” so bad that they said I don’t even have to take the 3-hour horrible test (HOORAY), because they’re skipping that part, and jumping to diagnose me with gestational diabetes (booooo.) The cut-off with my practice, by the way, was that my number had to be under 180; I rang in at 181.

So. I found out I had GD the day before Christmas Eve. Great timing, right? On top of that, the nutritionist/dietician office was closed until the Tuesday after Christmas, so I couldn’t even make an appointment. Now, because of the holidays, I’m finally going to my first appointment later today. I’ve joined some FB groups, and I’ve done some research, so hopefully I’m at least on the right track to changing what needs to be changed, but it certainly is frustrating to not have answers right this very minute. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely nervous for how it’s going to go, and what they’re going to tell me.

On Not Freaking Out…Yet

I know a lot of people get upset with a GD diagnosis, and while I am absolutely not looking forward to pricking myself with a needle four times a day, I know this wasn’t my fault. Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes means that the placenta and the hormones are causing it. It’s not because I’m fat. It’s not because I’ve had it in the past (everyone always thinks so since my babies were 9lb+), or because my family has a history with diabetes, and it’s not because I’m already on the older spectrum for having kids.

YES, those are risk factors, but it all comes down to the hormones and the pregnancy. Did you know that super skinny, extremely healthy, no family history of diabetes, pregnant mamas can have GD? True story, and I keep reminding myself of that.

Let’s Do This!

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So where am I now? I’m 26 weeks, and I’m at the anxious/acceptance/ready to move on with this thing stage. I want more information and guidance, so I can make the right choices. I very, very badly want a plan. We love to meal plan, and already make most of our meals here at home, so I want to know what to do, and what needs to change to keep this baby healthy.

I know there’s a lot of info out there, and I’m reading up on it, and making changes, but it all comes down to what my doctors/dietician/nutritionist want from me and for the baby, so hopefully I’ll get answers today.

I think a lot of women are embarrassed when they get a GD diagnosis, and to a point, I am embarrassed; the word diabetes alone is scary, and there’s definitely an underlying presumption behind it. But this is life, this is where I’m at, and I know that yes, it can continue after pregnancy, 9 times out of 10, it can be controlled with diet and exercise during pregnancy. You better believe I’ll be writing and sharing my journey along with this, because I know I’m not the only pregnant woman out there with GD.

Do you have, or have you had gestational diabetes? What were your first thoughts when you were diagnosed? ***Please refrain from giving me any advice on what to eat/what to do. I will be seeing a specialist, along with my OB, and I value their expertise. I know what works for one person may not work for someone else, especially with GD.***

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18 Comments

  1. *hugs* mama.

    That feeling of bracing for judgement is never a fun one. Babies can do the strangest things to our bodies. You already have all the tools you need to successfully handle this. <3

  2. I was diagnosed with GD with my 3rd as well. First 2, no problem (although I tested *high in the first hour of the 3 hour test with both). With my 3rd, my 8 week test was normal, my 24 week test was high. HOWEVER, they no longer do a 3 hour test. They now only do a 2 hour test and if either reading is higher than it should be, you’re. Which is Total crap since they already know im SLOW to break down sugar the first hour and then I’m fine. So I was scheduled for all these extra appointments, given a metor, shown how to use it, given a meal plan etc. And you know what? I decided to do my own little experiment. I didn’t change anything. I didn’t change my eating habits. I didn’t do any extra exercising. NOTHING. I did my metor readings like I was supposed to. And you know what? I NEVER HAD A HIGH READING. (HIGH is over 120). The closest I ever got was 118 and that was after being in the hospital for 3 days with kidney stones and living on nothing but jello and 7up. When I told all this to my doctor and requested a retest, I was told no, if you have a high reading, then you are GD, we don’t retest. SO, MY ADVICE is to go to your appointments, listen to what they say, but pay attention to your metor and your body. If you have high readings, fallow their recommendations to the best of your ability. But if your readings are fine, don’t feel pressured to eat things you don’t like because it’s “healthy” or feel like you HAVE to exercise when you have no energy. I’m 7 weeks along with number 4 now and I have this terrible feeling they’re going to try to tell me I’m GD and I’ll have to poke myself for nothing again. Fingers crossed they’ll listen to me this time!

    1. Interesting!! A few days ago I did a good ol’ google search with my first hour result number and found that A LOT of practices still had them take the 3-hour…and then they came back fine. Obviously, maybe if i did the 3-hour, maybe I would’ve failed it, too, but I’ll never know now. I’m just so eager to start testing and actually figuring this and my body out. Two weeks with zero guidance or information is a REALLY long time with something like this!

  3. Wish I could give you a big hug because I KNOW how you feel! I had gestational diabetes with my first child and cried when the doctor called me! Ha! I put a lot of blame on myself at first (despite being a nurse) and felt like I played a part in it…when like you said it has nothing to do with what we eat or don’t. Here’s the good news: I had to see a specialist, which meant I got to see my baby SO MANY more times than I normally would. I actually looked forward to those appointments because they did an ultrasound every time! Also, I didn’t gain nearly as much weight as I probably would’ve, and I learned to eat better…for the long run. I learned a lot about nutrition, good carbs vs. bad carbs, etc. I pray the same for you…I promise you you’ll get through it, and in the end you’ll be holding a beautiful baby. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions! 🙂 Good luck!!

    1. Thanks for the comment and encouragement! I’m both excited and nervous for the extra appointments—they’re great to look forward to, but a little added stress when you have to find childcare for the other kids!

  4. Awww, hang in there mama! I failed my 1 hour test when I was pregnant with my first. The bright side is you don’t have to go through that awful 3 hour test! I hope you get your information soon. Good luck! xo

  5. Sorry you have to go through this! I was diagnosed with GD in my pregnancy as well and it was so hard to accept, but getting the advice that it wasn’t my fault really made things better for me. As women, we’re all too hard on ourselves so it was so hard for me to accept that and move on. I kept mine managed with diet and exercise and thankfully gave birth to a super healthy and beautiful baby girl. She’s going to be one month old on Friday. So hang tough and be strong and know you’re doing all the right things you can! If you ever need someone to chat with, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 🙂

    1. thank you so much for your comment! GD is such a bummer since you’re right, we’re already too hard on ourselves, so this just adds an extra layer of stress. Luckily, I think I’m handling it pretty well!

  6. Ugh! I am sorry you have this. I had no idea you have to poke yourself with gestational diabetes too. That stinks! Thankfully it won’t last forever. Wishing you the best during the rest of your pregnancy!

  7. I have never had gestational diabetes and never had to do the long test (knock on wood). Whew. My older sister has type one diabetes and I know her pregnancies have been really hard. I don’t know if it’s a whole different ball game than GD and I don’t say that to scare you, I’m just saying I’m glad you’re taking it so seriously, getting expert help, and know that lots of people are praying for you and sending lots of well wishes.

    1. Thank you so much, Justine! Yeah, GD and type 1/type 2 are all totally different (GD 9 times out of 10 goes away almost immediately after you give birth), but there’s a greater risk that I could develop type 2 in the future. I appreciate the prayers—I’m just happy I have a good team here (so far at least) watching out for me and the baby!

  8. Oh man 🙁 sucky. I just did my test, but my midwife just had me eat a certain breakfast an hour before testing my blood. It was way better than the drink! And I scored below average. But I’ve never been close with the other two.

    1. TOTALLY JEALOUS that you didn’t have to do the drink. I see my dietician for the first time today, but I’ve been testing my numbers (haven’t changed my diet at all), and they’ve all been within normal (or a little below), so I’m really curious what she’ll say. From the very beginning I always think it’s stupid to shock your body with a sugary drink—ESPECIALLY because I don’t eat a lot of sugar. I only drink water and with the exception of the occasional sweet treat (like once a month), I don’t have sweet things..not even cereal. It’s just annoying. And I know sugar is in other things, but for the most part, we eat a pretty clean diet. Ugh. I could go on and on (clearly); I’m just anxious to hear from the lady today…and hopefully she’s good and not a jerk 🙂

  9. Obviously, I’m not pregnant, nor have I ever been pregnant. But diabetes runs in my family on my dad’s side. My super-skinny grandmother had it. My great-aunt has it, and she really changed her diet/exercise around with her diagnosis. She’s just average old lady overweight now, much thinner than before. My uncle also has it, and he’s never had more than just a bit of a middle-aged stomach.

    There’s so much misinformation and stigma attached to so many health conditions that are perfectly normal and not caused by Terrible Life Decisions. Brava for talking openly about GD.

  10. I was mistakenly put on a diet for gestational diabetes during my second pregnancy, even though I was actually diabetic type 2. It worked out for me though, I ended up losing 70 lbs. The diet wasn’t bad at all-a balanced plate of protein and veggies and a diet drink. Also counting carbs for every meal and snack. Also had to do the finger pricks about 5 times a day. It can be really hard to find childcare at times for your appointments, so just take your kids in the double stroller. I took my two year old to every appointment in her stroller during my third pregnancy( we are retired army so still got medical care on base). It’ll be okay, hang in there!

    1. Thanks! I’ve been on the GD diet/regime for about a month now (I have a new post going up about it next week!), and so far it’s very manageable. And thank goodness my dietician is an angel; we do most of our “visits” over the phone, so I don’t have to go in, which is very nice!!

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