The first few days were nothing but panic, self-recriminations, and even more panic. Now, with over a month of Gestational Diabetes experience under the ever-widening belt, there is largely a sense of resignation tinging my panic.
I’ve spent weeks attempting to wrangle my diet into an appropriately healthy configuration to satisfy my fickle blood sugars. This has involved quite a lot of trial and error as well as advice from my trusty Gestational Diabetes Facebook group. I’ve not been offered, nor could I ever afford, to visit a nutritionist, so I’m doing the best I can with the knowledge I gain from my four daily readings: a fasting and three post meal pricks at two hours.
I’ve been met with some success, but a few heart-wrenching failures as well.
In the normal diabetic world, I know one must be careful as there are true consequences to your body should the levels not be balanced properly. However, I’m not only struggling to maintain my health right now, but also the well-being of the little one I’m nestling ever so tightly against my bladder.
Failures feel immediately dangerous in a way I don’t think they would if I were struggling with daily diabetic drama. (I do not in any way want to diminish the struggle of diabetes in anyone, pregnant or not; this is a horrible issue and it’s terrible for everyone with it.) But I do feel the timeline of pregnancy puts some pressure on the mother to fix things quickly.
And I have tried.
I’ve discovered that I can do my very best with dieting, but there are many elements that interfere with my efforts. Simple trip hazards include not getting enough sleep, being too stressed out (insert maniacal laughter here), the time of day you eat, of course the number of carbs you eat, how much water you drink, and how much and when you exercise. However, the largest and most uncontrollable factor for the nervous soon-to-be-momma preparing to prick a callused finger for the four-hundredth time, are her hormone levels.
It seems from what I have been told by my OBGYN and via various sources who have gone through this as well, there may come a time when a pregnant woman’s hormones take the wheel and steer everyone over the sugar-high cliffs. At this point, there are more medicines, daily insulin, and the possibility of induction to look forward to. Remember, stress hypes sugars, so try to breathe for a moment before reading on. Breathing is some of my best advice right now.
So, at 28 weeks, my sugars are starting to spike a bit oddly and I find myself afraid to eat food. I’m constantly second guessing my choices. Some things I choose, like cheese and a few magically crunchy crackers, which are literally the only flour substance I can consume without spiking, will work well for a few weeks and then spike my levels for a day. It can sometimes feel like a very hungry, no win scenario.
But it’s not. There is a very big win involved. My little SydneyRose is happily spleen-and-kidney-kicking away in my tummy. If I can just do my best, pray a lot, and trust my doctor, there is such a big win around the corner. I can’t wait to smooch her chubby cheeks.
So, to everyone getting started or slugging on through their efforts, good luck. I know it is hard, but we are mommies and we have to do hard things.