Just When You Think You’re in the Clear…

by Heather on December 19, 2011

Well guys, I went back and forth on whether or not to write about this.  Remember a few days ago when I went in for my 1-hour glucose screening?

Yeah.  I failed.  Big, fat F.

There’s something about that word, ‘failure’, that can completely ruin the rest of the day.  After chatting with the nurse and doing some research I’ve found that it’s not necessarily due to my behaviors, my eating, or really anything other than the way my body is responding to the hormones that come with pregnancy.  I also have never had any signs of sugar in my urine samples or anything else to indicate that I may have a problem.  And yet that failure, that word, has had such a crazy lasting impact on me.

Tuesday morning I went in for the 3 hour glucose test, which basically meant fasting for 12 hours, getting blood drawn 4 different times, and having to drink another sugary drink.  Although I tried to look at the bright side (“Hey!  I get to miss work and I’m not even sick!”), I can’t say that it was the most thrilling experience of my life.  Also, I was hungry.  Real hungry.

Last week I got the call that not only did I fail my first test, but two of the three blood samples they took with the 3-hour glucose test came back with elevated glucose levels.  That, in a nutshell, basically means that I do have gestational diabetes.  I’m now being referred to a endocrinologist and a dietitian to manage it – but all I can think about is that I’m letting our baby down.  I feel like I’ve done everything I know how to do to keep him safe and happy in there, and the fact that my body seems to be revolting against me and putting him in danger for issues later in life – well, it kills me.

I go in today for my first appointment with the endocrinologist to be assessed and start taking steps to manage the problem.  I’ve already been eating pretty well, but have completely cut out all processed sugar from my diet (no cookies, candy, cake, or anything).  I’ve been eating ridiculous amounts of lean meat and veggies, very little fruit, and cutting out bread when I don’t need it.  I’ve also been exercising more and taking measures to control it the best I can that way.  Other than that I’m not sure what I can do (and I suppose that’s why I’m visiting a specialist).  I just hope and pray that he’s doing OK in there, and that it’s not too late to totally eliminate any of the issues that could come along later in his life.

All this to say I’m going to be making some major changes around here on what I cook for myself and Nate…and sure, I’ll still make things that are delightful and sinful from time to time for the blog (even if I’ll have to have Nate be the sole taste-tester), but the priority is our little dude and making sure he’s healthy and strong.  And, well, since you guys know just about everything else about me (and the fact that I don’t need to go through this alone), I wanted to share this part of our journey with you.  Our road to starting a family hasn’t been super smooth and picture-perfect, and this latest issue is yet another example of that.  BUT I believe that we’ll get through it and that our little man will be exactly the man he’s supposed to be.  I’ll be sure to update you guys when I know more, but any thoughts and prayers for the little baby growing in my belly – well, that would be the greatest Christmas gift of all.

Much love,

Heather

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 steve December 19, 2011

Not to say that it is not a big deal – because it is – but you need to pat yourself and the medical staff on the back that you now are aware of the issue, and will soon have the tools to deal with it. All prayers aside, thank goodness for science!

I have no doubt that you will deal with this successfully. And by anecdotal evidence only, I would tell you that most cases of GD do not mean a subsequent life as a diabetic. You will get through this with flying colors, I predict. Enjoy our good thoughts!

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2 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 19, 2011

Sounds like you’re doing the best that you can do! Don’t beat yourself up ANY MORE! Unnecessary stress!!

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3 Therese December 19, 2011

I’m sorry you’re facing this hurdle! But I’m a baby nurse and I see so many moms (patients and co-workers alike) who control their gestational diabetes with diet alone and are very responsible and the remainder of their pregnancy is problem-free. You’re doing all the right things right now. The sliver lining (I know it’s hard to see one, but it’s there) is that now your baby will be getting even more nutrients and you will know how to continue to manage your health to prevent diabetes in yourself later in life!

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4 Urban Wife December 19, 2011

This kind of news is certainly tough to hear – I’m sorry you have to go through this. Keep your positive attitude about it and don’t forget that God will continue at your side! You and the baby will continue to be in my prayers. Hugs!

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5 Ky G December 19, 2011

Sending prayers your way. I’m 30 weeks myself and am battling a daily struggle hoping day by day I’m doing what’s best for our little one (our 1st).

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6 Heather @ Bake, Run, Live December 19, 2011

You are doing all the right things to keep you, and your baby, healthy. Don’t beat yourself up over this. Be kind to yourself and know that God is with you.

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7 Emily December 19, 2011

I totally understand how you feel. I have some (non-pregnancy) related struggles, and I often feel like I’m letting myself & my husband down by not being able to “overcome” them. But you are NOT letting your baby down. You are doing a great job, and it sounds like you are doing great steps to deal with the gestational diabetes. Like the nurse said, this is not your doing…this is your body’s response to pregnancy hormones. I’m thinking of you!

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8 Jesi December 19, 2011

Please know that you are NOT letting your baby down!! I also had gestational diabetes (diet controlled) and I am now a mommy to a beautiful, perfectly healthy one year old baby boy. Not that it isn’t hard work or that it makes the situation any better right now, but it sure is worth it when you and baby are healthier as a result. And as a bonus, you don’t have all that extra weight to lose after the baby is born! ;-)

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9 stacy December 19, 2011

Awww, man! I’m sorry to hear this. Do not beat yourself up! One thing that helped me when I had pregnancy complications was to think, “Thank God that I live in a time and a place where there is treatment and support for this so my baby and I can come out of this on the other end healthy and happy.”

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10 Amy @loveAmyx December 20, 2011

Hey,

I’ve been putting off having this test because they made me do it at 16 wks already {PCOS} and it was *that* bad. The drink wasn’t flavoured, was v thick and syrup like and made me gag like nothing in the world ever has or possibly ever will. So I’ve been considering declining the 28 wks test, they only do it in the UK if you have a risk factor. The only one I have at the moment is my BMI pre-pregnancy, I’m measuring spot on etc etc. Just wondered if you had any other signs before the result? Measuring ahead or behind, diabetes in the family etc etc.

Amy x

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11 Heather December 20, 2011

honestly that’s the hardest part…i didn’t have ANY signs and still don’t! i’m feeling great, all of my measurements and weight gain are right on track, the baby’s measuring perfectly as well. i would recommend doing it, even though it’s hard, because even though it’s not fun i’d rather make sure the baby is getting the help he needs to grow well!

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12 Katy Widrick December 20, 2011

I’m glad you got the information, so you can continue to make the best choices for yourself and for baby. But stressing out over it will make it worse, so try and find comfort in the fact that you are already such a caring, responsible mom. This happens to so many women!

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13 Anna @ On Anna's Plate December 20, 2011

I’m sorry girl :-( I have my test in a few weeks, and I’m nervous about it. You’ll overcome this hurdle, and baby boy will be just fine!!

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14 Jacqui December 20, 2011

Heather I failed my first test too and went through the same emotions. My second test actually showed that I am just a slow to process sugar. My doctor said I might always be like that and just don’t know because who takes a test when they are not pregnant. Keep your head up I am sure your baby boy will be healthy and know that you are doing the best for him.

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15 Tina @ Best Body Fitness December 20, 2011

This is the first I’m able to comment on this post, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and so sorry to hear this. It’s nothing you did and i know you will continue to do all you can to make your belly the safest home for your baby. Hugs and you know where to find me if you need anything!

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16 Jenn's Adventures December 20, 2011

A LOT of my friends have had gestational diabetes during their pregnancies. One of my most recent preggy girlfriends has it and blogs over at: http://islestyleliving.blogspot.com/ you might want to check out:)

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17 Kate December 20, 2011

Praying for you!

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18 Lauren Z. December 20, 2011

You don’t have that much longer to go in your pregnancy – this time will just fly by, and all of the sudden you’re going to have your sweet baby in your arms…it’s all worth it!!!

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19 Kayla December 21, 2011

Heather,
I saw what MamaPea posted on Peasandthankyou and I just had to let you know as a mother of 2 gestional diabetic babies that it is manageable. The first time around I did not follow the doctor’s advice. I did not exercise as much as I should have, I didn’t do portion control, I didn’t even try to eat healthy. As a consequence I was pretty sick. The diabetes made me very fatigued and sluggish. I had to be induced because my son was so big and fat on all that sugar. When he was born, he had to have a sugar water IV because of the imbalance of being born and being disconnected from my nonstop sugar line. I gained at least 80 pounds from that pregnancy but probably more. I was a young newlywed who was leaning on my new mother in law who is definitely one of those ladies that believe pregnant ladies should be eating! I also didn’t understand diabetes in that what will make you feel better is the opposite of what you feel like you should do. Feel fatigued? WALK. It will do many small miracles by helping you to displace those extra sugars.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I did the exact opposite of what I did with my son. I did everything the doctor told me to do and I walked at least 9,000 steps a day thanks to my handy pedometer. This made a huge difference. My daughter was born at a very normal 7 lbs as opposed to my son who was 10 lbs 11 oz. I also gained zero weight. After I had her I was back to my prepregnancy weight within a month.
My bigger point is that this diagnosis can be managed. I saw that very clearly with my two pregnancies. The walking and portion control are so important. There has been no lasting effects on me or either of my two children.
Congrats on the baby and best of luck with the pregnancy!

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20 Delishhh December 21, 2011

Sorry to hear but it is not that bad and not hard to change this. I know first it can be hard to think about it but think of it that you are changing your diet for the better. A diabetic diet is really good. My husband is diabetic so i deal with this 24/7, and he is not overweight, just genetics. It’s all a balancing act, it’s not all about sugar it’s about carbs!!! So you want to keep away from carbs since those turn into sugar unless you exercise it off. So if you work out the more carbs/sugar you can have but if you are not working out then no carbs and sugar. Protein and vegetables are most of our dinners, all my dessert i give away to neighbors or bring to work. We do taste them but that is it – just a taste. And trust me you will feel so much better when you cut out carbs and sugar – i bet you will get much more energy. Feel free to contact me offline :)

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21 Sarah January 23, 2012

Hi heather! I am currently in the middle of blood draws doing the 3hr test and a commenter on my blog directed me to yours. Thank you for sharing your experiences — and for making me feel less alone! Like you I have remained active through the pregnancy and have not gained too much weight– the only concerning sign to me is that I have been measuring big despite being petite with no history of big babies in the family! Anyway, just wanted to say thanks! It sounds like it all worked out beautifully for you in the end!

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22 Heather January 23, 2012

Hey Sarah! It’s definitely not something to celebrate but it’s nice knowing you’re not alone. Please let me know if you have any questions at all! I’m clearly not a doctor but would be happy to share my experience :)

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