Thursday, May 29, 2014

I've Got The Diabetes

On Tuesday, I got a call from my OB's nurse officially diagnosing me with gestational diabetes.

I failed, and I failed hard

That day, the nurse called in a prescription for a monitor, test strips, needles, Metformin and iron (I'm also anemic.) I picked up everything last night (except my iron which the pharmacy forgot to give me,) and felt pretty overwhelmed.

Thankfully, K was a counselor at a diabetic camp for kids during high school, so he was able to talk me off of my nervous ledge and show me how to use everything. I'll admit that I wasn't brave enough to stick myself the first time, so K took one for the team and tested himself so we could calibrate the monitor.

I don't have an appointment with my OB until next Friday (6/6) so I'm not exactly sure what my dietary restrictions are going to be, but I have a good idea. While we were trying to conceive, my OB at the time suggested I go on a low carb, low sugar diet to try and wrangle my PCOS. I spoke with a dietitian and was given so many servings of carbs per meal and snack. Later on, I also put myself on the low amylose diet which takes the low carb diet even further, so I'm familiar with what I should and should not be eating.

I know that my biggest downfall is protein. I'm not a huge meat eater so I have to get protein in other forms, which is where I fall short. Sure, I could get some protein from peanut butter, but I like to eat it on toast or a bagel which pretty much defeats the low carb thing. I also don't like eating right away in the morning which means I typically take a waffle, muffin, scone, etc. for breakfast to eat at work. Logically, I should get up earlier and make myself eat eggs or something, but let's be honest, when I'm only getting 5ish hours of sleep a night, getting up any earlier doesn't sound that appetizing...and neither do eggs.

I'm hoping that we're able to control my levels with the help of Metformin and some changes to my diet. If that doesn't work, than I'll have to go on insulin.

I go between being ok with everything to feeling very frustrated and guilty. While K and I aren't health freaks, we don't keep sugary things like soda, chips, cakes, cookies, candy, etc. in the house. We only have fruit juice if we have guests that we'll be feeding breakfast to. I love to bake, and I haven't in almost a year so that I'm not tempted with treats in the house. Yes, we do go out for ice cream, and we'll indulge in a dessert after a dinner out once in a while, but I don't think we're excessive. I know that logically, my body just doesn't process sugar in any forms well, but I get frustrated when I see pregnant ladies in the store with a cart full of sugary, carb loaded food when I'm trying hard to do what's right. Then there's the guilt of putting Breadcrumb through all of this. I'm happy that we caught it now and I will do everything I can to make sure he continues to be safe, but I can't get over this guilty feeling that for the last 29 weeks he hasn't been healthy and it's my fault.

I also can't shake the feeling that this is yet another sign that I shouldn't be pregnant. After trying for so long to conceive, I was hoping I would have a healthy, simple pregnancy. The fact that we had to trick my body with medications to conceive and now this, makes me feel like another pregnancy in the future wouldn't be a smart idea. If enough signs point to "no," we should probably take their advice, right?

After some research, I've come up with a list of questions to ask my OB at my next appointment. Please chime in if you think there is anything else I should ask:
  1. Does this make me a high risk pregnancy. If so, 
    • how often will I be making the out of town trip to the high risk doctor? 
    • do you suggest I take off work early / will bed rest be in my future?
  2. Is it strange to have such a small drop between hours 1 and 2 and then a large drop between hours 2 and 3? Is it worth re-doing the test?
  3. Will I have more appointments to make sure that Breadcrumb isn't growing too large?
  4. One of the biggest worries of gestational diabetes is the baby growing too large. What are my chances of needing a c-section? When will that decision be made? Is induction on the table to make sure he doesn't get too big?
  5. Do I have an increased chance of preeclampsia? 
  6. Dealing with infertility and now this, does this make us bad candidates for future pregnancies? 
  7. Will this make me high risk for any future pregnancies? 
  8. Will I need to do a repeat glucose test after delivery to make sure my levels are getting back to normal?
    • if they're not, is taking Metformin safe while breastfeeding?
  9. Knowing that getting enough protein is one of my biggest hurdles, is it safe to make some baked goods for breakfast with added protein powder?  
All I know is after 10ish weeks of a low carb diet, I'm demanding alfredo, a chocolate cupcake and a large Coke in the delivery room. 


  1. Shit girl, this sucks! :( First of all let me just say that Gestational Diabetes is not happening to you because of your's because your placenta is creating more hormones than it should and it's making you insulin resistant. Not your fault! I think all your questions are great! I don't eat meat so protein has been a big issue for me too. Obviously if you eat meat then eat more. I have been making a smoothie with Fage non fat unsweetened plain greek yogurt which has 23 grams of protein per cup! I use a cup in the smoothie. I also add a giant handful of spinach and a teaspoon of Spirulina powder for iron! Kill two birds with one stone!
    Here is the recipe (not that you asked for it):
    6-8 ounces of apple juice,
    1/2 a banana or 1 full banana,
    1 cup fage nonfat plain greek yogurt,
    as much spinach as you want (seriously when it's blended you don't even taste the spinach I swear!),
    a couple pinches of dried unsweetened coconut flakes (high in fat but yummy),
    1 teaspoon of spirulina powder
    throw in a small handful of blueberries if you want variety!
    Blend until the spinach is basically too small to see.
    That's it!

    I've forced myself to eat eggs...and it's hard. I sometimes have to choke them down. If you like egg salad sandwiches it's easier.

    When I was freaked out about my GD test my midwives told me I wouldn't automatically be high risk....If you can't control with diet and have to go on insulin that might change but just take it one step at a time! Hang in there!

  2. ps. I also started taking nettles in the form of capsules to boost my iron and help me absorb it. This is on top of doubling my iron supplements! I literally take a giant handful of pills every night!

  3. Ugh, I'm so sorry to hear this. How frustrating. I asked my OB if GD automatically makes you high risk (I asked bc my SIL is getting married across the country in Sept) and she said no. I wouldn't have thought this would impact your ability to carry future pregnancies. Even if you ended up permanently diabetic, why shouldn't you be able to have another baby?

    Breadcrumb is doing just fine, mama. I mean. You've got him this far and nothing is wrong with him. You're still early enough in third tri that any weight gain on his part will be closely monitored. I know it's stressful, but you're in good hands. And he has a wonderful mom and dad (kudos to K for self-stabbing!) looking after him xoxo

  4. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. But as Not Pregnant and Pissed commented, it's not your fault! And it seems like it is completely controllable with some lifestyle changes, which I know aren't always easy. I have several friends that have had GD and their babies were absolutely perfect - they just had a bit more monitoring throughout the last trimester I think. One of them is the fittest, most nutritionally balanced person I've ever known, so if she can get GD it's clearly nothing the mama is doing or not doing.

    Good luck with finding the right balance in your diet and using the monitoring stuff. I hope you get all your questions answered at your next appointment!

  5. Bummer. You raise some very good questions, especially about maybe repeating the test. You said you failed hard, and I'm certainly no medical expert, but your numbers don't look that bad and you passed the 3rd draw. The fun thing about GD is that it doesn't matter how healthy, fit, or thin you are - anyone can get it. I know some women who had it during one pregnancy, but not the next. I definitely don't want you thinking this is a sign you shouldn't be pregnant. GD is something that just happens, and even though I'm worried about it myself, it's really not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things (I'm saying this for my benefit, as well as yours :) ).

  6. Aw I'm sorry :( Hang in there, some people are just sensitive to it! It doesn't mean you weren't meant to have a baby!! You'll get through this!

  7. Oh Aislinn. So sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed. It is not your fault you have to struggle with PCOS, infertility or GDM. Be gentle with yourself, go ahead and be angry but not at yourself. The low amylose diet is super restrictive and nothing like the GDM diet. Hopefully you get a dietitian that is encouraging with lots of great tips for proteins and not one that is an old school food police type. There is another blogger I follow that has GDM in multiple pregnancies that she controlled with diet and exercise (she is a fertile, so that's annoying, but she's also a birth educator and really down to earth and funny). Her blog is called In Pink Ink and there is a link to it on my blog. Also, I'm so glad K has the diabetes camp experience and is able to be a good support to you right now!

  8. It's definitely not your fault! Every woman I've known to have GD had no issues with their babies. One was induced early because they were worried about the baby's size, and she was in the 6 pound range.
    I struggled with getting enough protein during pregnancy too (and was anemic)-- I used to be vegetarian but started eating meat on occasion while TTC. I had a greek yogurt almost every day, which added a good amount of protein.
    For breakfasts for a while, I made some delicious "egg cups" in muffin tins. I found the recipe on pinterest. It had eggs, spinach, feta, sausage (OK, not healthy, but delicious), green onions, and maybe some other things. But that was something quick & easy with protein (I froze them and took one out when I wanted it).
    Sorry you have to deal with this, but your babe will be here before you know it! And you may not even have GD during your next pregnancy, if you decide to try again.

  9. These are EXCELLENT questions and you are a good mom. You are doing everything you can, and WAY more than most! Just because our bodies are reluctant to behave as we wish doesn't make us unfit to be pregnant. If I asked you, after trying so hard and having a miscarriage, would you tell me I'm just not meant to carry a child? Breathe. Forgive your body. You are doing all you can and it is enough, I promise.

  10. You are so covering all your bases, and are already being a great mom! Yes, it sucks, but it is not uncommon at all. Hang in there and Breadcrumb will come to the world a champ!

    I don't know about the relationship between GD and preeclampsia, but Audrey's birth mom had preeclampsia. Her prenatal care was fairly shitty, I think, and they didn't even figure it out until they day they did the emergency c-section. In retrospect, they told her that her blood pressure was high in prior appointments, but didn't investigate it any further. So, you are so far ahead of the game that you know what to question and when to question. Breadcrumb will be here before you know it!