Sorry for the blog silence, folks. It’s been a busy few weeks with traveling to Colorado, the holidays, and getting back into the swing of “real life” after being off of work for a week and a half. But the biggest thing that has happened recently is that I’ve been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD).
It was shocking and a bit overwhelming to say the least. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all, but in case you’re not familiar with GD here’s the overview:
Because of all of the hormones in my system I have become resistant to my own insulin. If my blood sugar is not well-regulated then there is the potential for baby to grow too big too quickly before delivery. If that happens, he may either have to be delivered by cesarean section or, if they have to deliver too soon, there can be complications as with any premature baby.
The good news is that I have been referred to a specialty diabetes clinic who is regulating my diet and is monitoring the blood sugar tests that I now have to take four times a day. For a week now I have been following their diet and testing my blood sugar and I have only had one reading be out of range of what they want. I was told at my first follow up appointment today that I get an A+ for my meal plan and blood sugar readings for the last week. Now I just get to keep that up for the next 12 weeks or so…
My food guidelines are that I get 2 servings of carbs at breakfast, 2-3 servings of carbs at lunch and dinner, and 1-2 servings of carbs at my three designated snack times. The idea is to break up my carb consumption throughout the day so that there isn't a huge spike or drop in my levels at any one time. They also encourage me to eat more complex carbs that break down into sugar slowly so that the energy is released over time and my system isn't hit with a ton of sugar all at once. I also have to balance the carb servings with proteins and fats so that things balance out.
Where things get tricky is dealing with what they consider a carb to be and mixing all of my new "carb" rules with the pregnancy rules. For example, they consider both fruit and milk to be a carb. Also, because I'm pregnant, I have to limit the amount of artificial sweeteners I have, which means I can't just have "sugar free" things. The other thing is that if my carbs are limited then I need to make sure that the carbs I am eating are not wasted (for example, in sweets) so that baby is getting the nutrients he needs from the limited number of carbs I can have.
Basically, I have a thick packet of things I can and can't eat and in what amounts. Can you believe that 17 grapes count as one serving of carbs? Not 16, not 18, but 17. Good grief. It's like fitting together a big puzzle when I plan meals and snacks every day. Quite frankly it's a bit frustrating, but I'm beginning to figure it out. I guess I’m doing something right since I got a good review from the dietitian today.
I will be meeting with the dietitian once a week or so to review my blood glucose numbers and adjust my diet as needed to make sure that my glucose levels are where they should be and baby stays healthy. If for some reason my levels are not staying well-regulated with diet and exercise then they will consider using injected insulin to help better control things.
But the better news is that after delivery my system should correct itself and I will be free of diabetes :-)
So that’s the latest scoop in my life. I guess sometimes it takes a little extra hard work to keep your kiddo healthy; and this mama is ready to do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.