Gestational Diabetes

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Deep down I really thought I might avoid it this time around, but you can’t argue with the numbers. It turns out that if you have it once you have a 90% chance of getting it again. Next time I’m pregnant maybe they’ll let me skip the damn glucose test and just assume I’m diabetic, but probably not.

When I first met my husband I’d been on Atkins for two years, so carb counting is nothing new to me. It’s just so boring. That said, you do get a lot more leeway on the diabetic diet. On the induction phase of Atkins you’re allowed 30g of carbs per DAY. Diabetics get 15-30g for breakfast and each snack, and 30-45g for each meal. It’s still rather restrictive. For instance, you can’t have any fried carbs because they spike your blood sugar. I didn’t believe it at first, but after a daring trip to Wienerschnitzel where I ate a corn dog and a small french fry my blood sugar ended up a whopping 180 (max should be 130). Pregnancy is doubly annoying when you have diabetes, as your tastes tend to change, limiting you even further.

Eating so far during this pregnancy has been odd. Last time I had a lot of food aversions (Italian, Mexican, Chinese) but I was constantly hungry. This time I haven’t really been hungry at all. Not only that, but when I have eaten usually a few bites was enough to fill me up. If I continued to eat I’d get nauseous. As soon as I switched to the diabetic diet I became ravenous. It’s no fun been constantly hungry while having to stick to set eating times and specific foods.

In case you’ve never had the displeasure of gestational diabetes, it really changes the way your pregnancy is handled. It’s not all just a diet change and potential insulin shots (which I needed last time and likely will again). You have more appointments. A lot more. You have to meet with a nutritionist or dietician biweekly. Eventually you’re going to need non stress tests twice a week. This is where you go to the hospital and lie on a bed for 30-60 minutes while a monitor records how often your baby is moving. It’s not the kind of thing I can bring my toddler to, so I’ll have to have someone watch her twice a week while I have the tests. You also need more ultrasounds. Normally they do a one in the last trimester to estimate baby size and the amount of amniotic fluid. If I remember correctly, they had to do this biweekly for me. You’re also not allowed to go past your due date by even one day, so you’ll be scheduled for an induction before your due date just in case you don’t go into labor on time.

Diabetes makes things a lot more complicated. Thankfully a lot of women in my playgroup have volunteered to babysit if I need it.

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