Friday, October 16th, 2009 • 2 Comments on Gestational Diabetes Update (32w2d)
I failed my one-hour glucose tolerance test the week before Jay deployed. I was hoping I’d pass, but I wasn’t that shocked about failing. I went through the arduous three-hour glucose test last Monday, after putting it off for almost a week so I wouldn’t have to prep for it while Jay was still home. The three hour test involves a three-day carb-heavy diet, 12 hours of fasting prior to the test, a blood draw followed by 100 grams of Glucola (super sugary beverage and twice the amount as the 1 hour test) and then three additional blood draws at 1 hour intervals. If you fail two of the blood draws, you fail the three hour test. I failed three of the four. I have gestational diabetes.
Rubbing salt in the wound was the fact that I didn’t find out I failed the three hour test for a week. The results of the one hour test came back in 24 hours and I had been told “No news is good news.” So when they didn’t call the day after my three hour test, I thought I passed. But no, it just took longer to get the test results.
I was pissed off when I found out. Through this whole pregnancy, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop—meaning, I was waiting for it to be over. The pregnancy itself has been going well, but it feels like a whole shoe store has been dropped on my head in the past couple of months (with Jay’s deployment being the equivalent of a steel-toed boot to the head) and this diagnosis of gestational diabetes was One More Thing to Deal With. Ugh.
Of course, part of me feels like a failure. I thought I knew my body and I really didn’t think I had gestational diabetes. I wasn’t surprised when I found out I was anemic (the day I took the one-hour glucose tolerance test), but I argued with my doctor over my blood pressure—I knew it was spiking because of stress and I was right (though I still had to indulge him and go through the tests to prove it). But I was wrong about the GD and it’s a lousy feeling, all the more so because it doesn’t just affect me, it affects baby. And I feel rather protective of baby, you know?
Gestational diabetes supposedly goes away once the baby is born, which means I only have to deal with it for the next few weeks (although I am at greater risk of developing diabetes later in life). In the meantime, I have to do something I haven’t done since I was 19 years old—follow a diet. Never mind that it seems absolutely cruel to put a pregnant woman on a diet, I have spent my entire adult life resisting restrictions and limits of any kind, and developing a fairly healthy body image in the process. And now, when I’ve happily embraced this beach ball belly I’m carrying around, I have to follow a diet. Ironic, huh?
It’s been a couple of days since I got the test results and I’m okay with it now. Only 3-5% of women develop GD, but it doesn’t have to be a serious issue as long as it’s controlled (the side effects of uncontrolled GD range from a big baby to stillbirth). Hopefully diet will be enough to control it and I can avoid insulin (oral wouldn’t be so bad, but I can’t even imagine giving myself injections). So I will embrace the diet! It’s not a weight loss diet (but I will probably lose a few pounds), but a diet for health. And even though I have to give up dessert and chocolate and—gasp!—Halloween candy, it’s really not so bad. I don’t meet with the diabetic counselor until next Friday (which seems ridiculous since there is such a big deal made about uncontrolled gestational diabetes), so I’m trying to preemptively adjust my diet now. Of course, it’s difficult to know if I’m on track since I’m not testing my blood sugar. But I’m doing what I can—and avoiding the bowl of Halloween chocolate and the pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer.
This may be the first time I’ve felt like a failure as a mother, but I suspect it won’t be the last. So, lesson learned: get up, dust myself off, and do the best I can to correct my shortcomings.