The Big D! Gestational Diabetes and dealing with it!
I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD) when I was six months pregnant. It was no surprise as I worried about it constantly. I was not overweight when I became pregnant, neither was I diabetic so I was quite angry and ashamed. Being angry was understandable but I was ashamed that I had somehow neglected to: exercise earlier in my pregnancy (like I didn't have other things to deal with), pay attention to my diet (after all everyone tells you that you should be eating for two!). It was a lot of going to and fro to point out what could have landed me in this unpleasant situation. The icing on the cake was yet to come!
My doctor referred me to an Endocrinologist and I googled diabetic medications to check if it was harmful. I was all set until...the doctor said " insulin". I think I went deaf for a couple of minutes. Everything after that was a blur and I vaguely remember him showing me how to inject myself. I nodded, no time to even cry. Words I remember include: diet, walking, blood monitoring. That's pretty much my story! That's where it all began.
I am afraid.. correction, I was afraid of needles so I had no idea what I was going to do. But most of all, I was afraid, for my baby. Everything I read talked about the risk of an over grown baby who might have diabetes. I also had no idea of the effect insulin would have on my baby (I had to inject it in my leg vs. stomach).
I cried...out of fear, out of sadness, out of not knowing where to start. But start I did on a diet (a yucky one if I may call it). To make it simple, the key to fighting GD is:
knowing all the facts about it and what part of it is harmful. Talk to your doctor. The Internet will only confuse you.
a diet (it's hard to accept when all you want to do is eat). Trial and error is also expected as some foods will cause high sugar levels.
the strong will to monitor your weight and blood sugar levels. Stick with what your doctor tells you and maintain a log of your diet, weight and sugar levels.
to never give up especially in the initial days when results will be all over the place (blood sugar levels will be high one day and within limit the next day).
Resist temptation and focus on your baby. You might think this is impractical advice. But my colleagues at work will tell you how I closed my eyes when good food was served during office celebrations and how sometimes I was tempted (just as a joke to check how far I'd go). Baby A was my focus, my priority and most importantly my motivation to fight GD. I hope this motivates you if like me your dealing with it.