Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It isn't my fault. But it kind of is.

For anyone reading this post because you've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I'm going to tell you now, it ISN'T YOUR FAULT. This happens to pregnant women who are perfectly fit and eating right. Sometimes the placenta just gets in the way of your body absorbing insulin. It's a disease, girls. A manageable, temporary one, but a disease nonetheless. It happens to the best of us.

Wish I could say I was the best of us.
So, yeah, it wasn't my fault. I ate horribly with all my pregnancies and never had a GD diagnosis before. But this time, coming off the holidays, eating carbs without restraint, and pounding the M&M's several times a day, I hadn't done myself any favors.

Don't beat yourself up, even if you did pound the M&M's. Oh gosh, I miss M&M's.

After being diagnosed, I hit up Dr. Google. Which is, of course, not always the best idea. I got some ideas on what to eat and what not to eat but my information was fragmented, skewed, and frustrating.
No sugar, no carbs. Lots of protein, lots of veggies, fruit sparingly.

Okay. Fine. Let's get this started. I quit eating sugar (duh) and bread, loaded up on vegetables (go me!) and made sure my carbs stayed low, low, low.

I was miserable. I was moody, tired, and after about two days of eating this way, I started getting symptoms of dizziness and confusion. I couldn't think straight.

Then I did the best thing I have ever done for myself and my unborn daughter: I went to a gestational diabetes training class. Best two hours and $100 I have ever spent on my health. At least until I can start drinking Shakeology and running again. But I digress.

This class was so enlightening. I learned that I COULD eat carbs. My body and my baby NEEDED carbs. No, that doesn't mean I could go back to pizza, Cheerios, or even a huge fruit salad. I just needed to know what I could eat, WHEN to eat it, and how much I could have.

I also learned how to check my blood sugar, which is seriously NOT a big deal! I received a glucometer for free from the instructor of my class. It came with a sample of lancets and test strips. Poking my finger really didn't hurt. I could barely feel it. And it's fascinating! I get results in five seconds.

I also learned that exercise, even just a twenty-minute walk, doing some brisk housework, or dancing in the family room with my kids, was a great way to keep my blood sugar regulated.

After only twenty-four hours on this new regiment, I am feeling 100% better. I have more energy, I have ZERO heartburn, I'm sleeping better, and I am just a nicer person to my children. And with my new diet (which allows me a little whole wheat toast in the morning if I want!), my blood sugar levels are right on point. If I can keep this up, I won't need to do insulin, which will be so great (even though the insulin demonstration at my class was really cool and having to take insulin would so not be the end of the world).

In six weeks I can have this baby. And all of this will go away. I can have a milkshake and a sub sandwich. But you know what? I don't want to lose these new good habits. I want to see what will happen:

1. I get preeclampsia after having my babies. It's happened after every single one of them. Even after baby #3, where I was in better shape. It will probably happen again because doctors don't really know what causes it, but I'm curious about what this strict diet and a little extra exercise will do.

2. I'm 34 years old. Losing the baby weight is sure to be tougher than when I was 28 or even 30. What about this time? How's it going to go?

Time will tell.
Six weeks.
It feels. like. forever.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Failed glucose test and sugar fasts

Here is the start of my experience with gestational diabetes:
Went in for my one-hour glucose test. I tried to eat well and drink enough water beforehand but it wasn't really a huge effort. I failed, but only by a few points, according to my doctor. So it's back to Sonora Quest for the dreaded three-hour glucose test.
In the week beforehand, I went on a sugar fast. I tried to eat lots of protein and drink lots of water to, ahem, "trick" my way through the test.

Ladies, if you're reading this because you're facing a similar situation, please don't fall for that.

Either you have gestational diabetes or you don't. You can't cheat the test. And even if you could, why would you want to?? To avoid having to eat right and exercise? Pregnancy isn't an excuse to eat whatever the crap you want! (Believe me, I thought it was). To avoid the treatment? You guys, seriously, it's NOT worth it. Take the test, get your results, and continue on with your life.

I had the three-hour test done on a Friday. That next Monday, which was Monday January 23, my doctor called me personally.

Oh no. This is bad.

"You have gestational diabetes," he said. I was DEVASTATED. A few minutes into the phone call, I started sobbing. Why can't I just have a normal pregnancy?? No joke. I've never had a "textbook" or "normal" pregnancy. There's always been something.

I had an appointment to meet with my doctor the next morning. So after a whirlwind of google searches trying to figure out what I could and couldn't eat, crying in my kitchen the next morning because I couldn't have my bowl of cereal (I'm not kidding. Cereal is my life), I went in to the doctor.

He's incredibly sweet, comforting, calm, and understanding.

I am incredibly neurotic, emotional, and feeling so alone. We've been having problems with insurance so I was stuck in a terrible place, needing treatment for a disease that could potentially harm my baby or me, and I couldn't pay for it.

My doctor and his staff were, as I said, amazing. They worked out the details of what I COULD start with, helped calm me down, and reassured me that everything was going to be okay.

Deep breath. Okay.

Next post: This isn't my fault. But it sort-of is.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Been a few years

My last post was in August of 2013. My mom died later that year and I just didn't have the desire to blog anymore. Add school and another baby in 2015, and I didn't have the time, energy, OR desire to blog. So here's a little update on my life, in case you're curious, even after three and a half years of silence:

My husband graduated from dental school in May of 2014. He's working full time as a general dentist now and he loves it. He's great at what he does too. I look at him and wonder how I got so lucky.

We had another little boy in May of 2015. Born via c-section and almost three pounds lighter than his big brother. He's 20 months old now and seriously the sweetest little boy ever. His big brother is now four, in preschool, and is equal parts sweet and horrible.

I graduated from BYU-Idaho with honors this last December, with a degree in University Studies. Though I minored in English, I discovered I actually hated analyzing literature (at least, the kind they were making me analyze) and decided to focus more on graphic design, which I LOVE. I'm now, very slowly, starting my own freelance design business.

And in about six weeks, we are expecting the final member of our family: a little girl!! We can't wait to meet her and are so filled with gratitude that our boys and our angel Ella will get a little sister.

Another reason I've decided to start blogging again is because I want to document a little journey I'm on. Five days ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and it's my hope that the struggle and discovery I've experienced will help to encourage and comfort other moms out there who face the same annoying little complication.

Next post: Failed glucose tests and sugar fasts.