So after three frustrating days of carb loading, four blood draws, and 27 hours of waiting, it was determined that I do indeed have gestational diabetes. What is gestational diabetes? Basically it means that my body, due to the changes of pregnancy, no longer produces and/or processes insulin like it should. This is not uncommon, I believe the American Diabetes Association says 18% of pregnant women are affected. It normally goes away along with the other side effects of pregnancy at about six weeks postpartum.
For most pregnant women, this is only a nuisance. For me, it’s step 2 on the road to actually being diabetic. There was a time about ten years ago that I was hypoglycemic – prone to strange drops in blood glucose levels. This leveled out and disappeared, but I was warned that this could be an issue in the future, especially since my mother is diabetic (and started with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my younger brother). Now there’s a bump in the road with the label of gestational diabetes.
While no one asks for this and it’s very easy to make the modifications to live a life where no one would know you were diabetic unless you told them, my issue, as it is with many things, is that it’s something that was forced on me through genetics. Despite my attempts to eat a relatively healthy diet (because of my own family history, my husband’s family history, and his high cholesterol), I am STILL going to carry a label that I’ve worked to avoid.
Now that I’ve received the diagnosis and accepted it (really, I have, I just don’t like it), where do I go from here? I’m not sure yet, my records have been sent to a specialist who will be calling me to set up a consultation and education session. I know for a fact this will involve learning how to use a blood glucose meter, making dietary changes and getting more exercise. What else? I haven’t a clue. My biggest concern is the effect that this is having on my unborn child and what we can expect at her birth. Extra testing? Observation in the NICU? I guess we’ll find out when my consultation is scheduled.