One thing about being pregnant is that you learn a lot about how your body works.
A little over a month ago, at a routine eye exam, my doctor found a spot of blood on my retina. Knowing that I was pregnant, and had never had any blood pressure or blood sugar problems before, she suggested I call my OB and have them go ahead and do a glucose test to see if I had Gestational Diabetes.
I did. The numbers came back “abnormal”. So I came back for the three-hour glucose test. The first test and the second test are very much the same. I had the same super sweet drink, which tasted like a flat orange soda (it really didn’t taste terrible), the only difference with the first test they drew blood one time and the for the second test they drew blood 4 times; once before I drank the glucose mixture, and each hour for three hours after. For either test, I could not eat anything after midnight the night before. My numbers were very high (above 200) for all the blood draws after I drank that solution.
I was sent to a maternal/fetal medicine doctor, he was very nice. He did a sonogram to check on the baby and make sure the gestational diabetes wasn’t harming my little Jelly Bean. The baby was fine, and he was estimated to weigh about 1.5 pounds, which is about normal for that gestational age. This doctor sent me to the Center for Lifestyle Enhancement, for diabetes education. I had bought a glucose meter and had my OB write a prescription for the testing strips and lancets. I had been monitoring my blood sugar for a month without any diet suggestions and with very little modification. Before my education class last week, my levels were high, but not as high as my glucose tolerance test.
At the education class last week, we went over what foods were good, how glucose and insulin work (what diabetes is) , my target ranges, and what I can eat. My fasting glucose levels should be between 60 and 95. This level I check when I wake up for the day, before eating breakfast. The other levels I check 2 hours after I take the first bite of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, these should be between 95 and 125.
My husband and I made this Excel worksheet. Using Office 365, I have this workbook with me at all times on my iPad, phone, or any computer I have access to. I can record my blood glucose levels, what I’ve eaten, the carb and fiber contained in what i have eaten. Here though, I am only sharing my levels and daily total carbohydrate intake. I started my diet on April 17th. You can see where my levels greatly improved. I still have some work to do with measuring my portions and what to eat when. I am definitely doing better, and I feel like with some vigilance and determination I take care of this.
I am counting carbohydrates because sugars are carbohydrates.
At today’s education appointment, they told me that I should be able to control my gestational diabetes with diet, but as I get farther along in my pregnancy and my hormones increase, it’s possible that my blood sugar will go up and could be difficult to control.
Between six and twelve weeks after the baby is born, I should do another glucose tolerance test to see if my blood sugar is doing ok. To see if I have diabetes or not. It is possible that I had diabetes prior to this pregnancy or was borderline. Hopefully everything goes to normal, I will continue to watch what and how much I eat either way.
I will start the third trimester on Thursday.
I am starting to get stuff for the “go bag” bought and put together. James and I are starting to get very excited.
Does anyone have any Gestational Diabetes Advice, insight, or experiences they want to share?