I’m at the very end of baby-making and am staring down the narrow canal of the birthing process. All this is made just a bit more intimidating and unsure thanks to the gestational diabetes diagnosis I’ve been wrangling with since 21 weeks.
All together, I feel like the last part of my GD journey has been relatively smooth. I now see a high risk doctor once a week and my regular OB once a week, and all the attention is doing my daughter some good. My little acrobat is tumbling in my stomach with the greatest of ease. As she is on the small side (thankfully not too small), she still has room to flip and flop around my spleen with jarring eagerness. The doctors watch bi-weekly with amused smiles.
It’s heartening. And I am so grateful.
The end stages of the GD pregnancy are in some ways easier and in some ways more difficult than in the beginning. For example, I may want to literally steal every doughnut I see, whether partially eaten or not. But, other than a perpetually unsatisfied sweet tooth, I’ve largely gotten used to my GD diet and am doing well at gauging the all-important carb/protein content of my meals. I’m no longer terrified by the idea that this restrictive diet might need to continue after the birth — not very common unless the mothers are prediabetic before their pregnancies like I was.
The worst of my fears and concerns have been greatly eliminated by the wonderful growth and development of the baby and the constant vigilance over her. So, even as things go a bit wonky with my body, I’ve stopped stressing quite so hard and have learned to breathe through it so we can figure out the next steps.
After all, the biggest lesson you learn with GD is that your body will do what your body will do. We are just along for the ride. You can prep meals, be strict and on top of everything, and your numbers can still betray you. This has happened several times, but much more often now that I’m nearing my darling’s birthing day.
After 32 weeks, my sugars went bonkers, which again, is quite common. As a result, my metformin was upped to the max daily. As some of my sugars are still unreliable, the next step will likely be adding insulin. These are certainly steps backward, but I’ve finally realized that, while I am floundering, my doctors have me on a moving sidewalk that is keeping us going steadily forward. Right now, all these wonderful healthcare professionals and I are simply buying time: just a little more precious incubation for my little lady to get herself ready for the world.
Now, I can focus on the things that other moms have been thinking about the whole pregnancy, like how to make sure my darling five-year-old bonds to the new baby. Where exactly are we going to store all the baby stuff? Who the heck is taking me to the hospital? Was that a Braxton Hicks or do I need to fart again? Can one person really pee 600 times in a day? And what exactly is a swaddle again?
Oh well, it’ll come back to me, I’m sure.
So, as I suspect the next time I write will be after delivery, I just want to reach out once more to anyone else struggling with GD in their pregnancy. The most important things you can do, in my opinion, are to find a support network of friends, family, and other GD mommas and not be afraid to be afraid.
It’s ok to have bad days. It’s ok to ask a million questions. It’s also ok to just stop worrying and focus on your daily tasks while keeping your cool. It’s ok to trust those around you to help you when you need it. And, perhaps above all, it’s ok to believe with all your heart in the little one whose fiery soul is giving you the energy to do all this.