The bump chronicles #16: The gestational diabetes blues

Week’s pregnant: 27
Baby size in vegetables: cauliflower

I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which is a condition that affects approximately 1 in 20 pregnant women. What happens is that pregnancy hormones interfere with the body’s ability to process insulin which makes your blood glucose level rise too high.There are certain women who are more likely to get it than others – being overweight, being of a particular ethnicity,having a family history and being over 35 being the most common causes. When I went to be tested I thought my chances were pretty low since my only risk factor is my age but it turns out that 1 in 10 older pregnant women get GD and I am one of them.

image

Little O is now cauliflower sized

To say that I was devastated by the news is an understatement. I completely fell apart – not because I now have to follow a sugar free, low carb diet but because I feel like I have put Little O at risk. He is more likely to be a very big baby, suffer distress at birth or even die soon after birth… and in later life he has an increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Apparently there is nothing I could have done to prevent this and the fact that I exercise regularly and mostly eat well count in my favour but it’s hard to absolve myself from responsibility and coming to terms with all of it is a daily struggle. I am especially upset thatΒ the idea of having an all natural water birth when Little O was ready to make his appearance is pretty much out of the window and I am likely to either be induced or have a c-section at 38 weeks. These are the two things I really wanted to avoid. There’s also a good chance I will now develop full diabetes at some point in my life.

Right now I am working on controlling my blood glucose numbers by eating the right foods and also trying to keep myself calm. I test my blood four times a day and measure it against a target my diabetes nurse gave me. The diet appears to be working because I haven’t had any over target figures yet but only time will tell. If itΒ doesn’t work I might have to take medication. In terms of the calmness I am doing a lot less well and poor Mr O has been stuck with an emotional rollercoaster I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. How he still has a smile on his face is anyone’s guess. I am an extremely lucky lady.

44 Comments

  1. Rabia Friend

    Hang in there Abbi.

  2. Oh, you poor thing. I’m so sorry. Here’s where faith comes in handy–letting go of the worry and allowing life to take its course. Obsessing over what could happen wrong is an anxiety creator which is nothing short of torture and masochism.

    Of course you have to handle the news and of course advice to stop worrying is all easier said than done. My body makes blood clots and I completely understand what it’s like to feel like a walking time bomb. Cut yourself some slack and remind yourself you have done nothing wrong and you are doing all you can to keep your situation at bay. What else can one do?

    1. When you say faith do you mean in a religious sense? I’m comfortable with the fact that I’m not a spiritual person. I think some people are and some just aren’t. I am feeling better day by day. For me sometimes I have to consider and measure every worst case before I can move on and I’m in that process now. It’s hard when you feel like your body has betrayed you… especially when it comes to the one thing it is supposed designed to do.

      1. Yes, I sympathize and understand. Since you had excellent motivation and control over your weight loss, I hope that helps you manage the diabetes. Best wishes, Abbi!

      2. Also, I’m not saying you are a masochist. I hope I didn’t come across rude and flippant. If I have, I’m sorry for that. I botch up trying to be supportive–just ask my grown kids.

        1. Not at all. I completely understood what you meant.

  3. My sympathies Abbi. I hope everything turns out well for you because you are one of the nicest bloggers there is and you deserve nothing but happiness.

    1. Thanks, Vin. That’s so sweet of you.

      1. You really are a wonderful person.

  4. Sending lots and lots of love. Little O couldn’t have anyone better πŸ™‚ xxx

    1. Thanks, Dom. Kind of wish he had someone healthier though. Xxx

  5. Sorry to hear that. My mom had GD with all three of us, and we were huge.

    1. I think they’re going to be measuring him regularly and if he gets too chunky they’ll get him out.

  6. Don’t be hard on yourself about this. You worked so hard to lose weight/eat well in the past. You now know that you had GD and you can focus on your health and babies health now. You’ve got this.

    1. We’ll see. I’m just hoping not to end up on medication.

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your gestational diabetes. I’m glad that you’re taking care of yourself. If you need to eat a special treat but keep the sugar low, check out alldayidreamaboutfood.com … The author also had gestational diabetes and posts wonderful low carb recipes (mostly desserts).

    1. Thanks for the tip. I will definitely check it out because I’m already missing baking.

  8. Very sorry to hear about this, Abbi. There’s certainly nothing you could’ve done to prevent it. I know of many friends who had this too while pregnant. Just hang in there! And you know you can always share things with us on here. πŸ™‚

  9. I’m so sorry you are feeling distressed Abbi and I hope you’re feeling better. If it’s any consolation, I’ve had two friends who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and both their babies were born on time and perfectly healthy. They just had to make a couple of changes – the diet changes were probably the most annoying. Please don’t blame yourself or feel guilty. There are risk factors that can predict this stuff but the human body is a bit of a mystery sometimes.

    1. I have good and bad days. The diet doesn’t bother me that much. In a way it’s like a challenging puzzle to solve… which I like. Plus before I got pregnant I was on a strict diet to lose weight so it’s just going back to being more mindful. I think what’s getting to me is that I was starting to enjoy pregnancy and I had an image of how the rest of it was going to go and it feels like that’s been taken from me.

  10. So sorry to hear this, Abbi. It’s really not your fault. You did everything you could to prepare for little O. Sending love and hugs.

    1. I appreciate the support. I’m working on being kind to myself. I have good days and bad.

      1. Yes, do be kind to yourself. If you’re like me and sometimes find that difficult, think of how you would treat someone else in your position – with kindness and compassion, I’m sure. x o x

  11. I am really sorry to hear this, Abbi. I wish you all the best for you and Little O.

    I understand the wish to enjoy every moment of your pregnancy and having an image of how the rest would be is very important for you. The feeling of having taken away from you something you’ve been anticipating a lot, like an all-natural water birth for example, is disappointing and frustrating.

    Hang on there, I really believe brighter days are ahead, Little O will be very blessed having you as a parent.

    1. Thanks, Theo. I am trying to stay positive and work on my diet.

  12. Hi Abbi, I just came over to see how you and the little one are doing. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve got gestational diabetes, I don’t know what to say other than, I’m thinking of you and I hope that you stay under your target figures for the rest of your pregnancy xxxx

    1. Thank you. I finally spoke to the diabetes midwife today and that helped a lot. I think if I had been able to speak to her in the first place I would not have panicked anywhere near as much. I am focusing on working hard on my diet and keeping my numbers under control. Little O is wriggling around like crazy as usual so I think he’s doing alright in there… or at least I hope he is. His heartbeat is normal and he is measuring normal size so I am feeling positive. xxx

      1. That’s good that you got to speak to the midwife. It must be such a stressful time, but you really did everything you could to prevent it. I can’t wait to see Little O, the time is going past so quickly! It’s so exciting that he’s wriggling around, he’s probably telling you to stop worrying πŸ™‚ xxx

  13. 😦 I am truly so sorry to hear this Abbi, and I wish you, Mr O and Baby O all the very best. What a shitty piece of news to receive 😦 Glad to see you saw the diabetes midwife (I see that in the comment above) and that she seems to have been quite a help.

    1. I appreciate the good wishes. I actually won’t see her until next week but I did at least manage to speak to her on the phone. Some of my readings have crept up a bit so I’ve been feeling a little anxious over the last couple of days but we’ll see what she says.

      1. I am crossing everything for you, really. I am sure after you see her you will be much more chilled, too, and will know exactly what needs to happen. Hope the readings come right soon!

  14. It’s never easy is it? I don’t know if you saw a documentary about ageing last week, but it basically said that nothing is set in stone because we hold the control through intelligence and good diet – both things you possess. I have no worries for your future or for baby O’s. Re the birth..did it both ways..c-section all the way! Sending big love xxxxxx

    1. Sounds like an interesting documentary. Pregnancy has so far been the most emotionally challenging experience of my life so I have approximately zero confidence in my ability to cope with an actual baby. X

      1. We need to meet up – email me – kateandjohn@hotmail.com xxxx

        1. That’s a nice offer but I’m not really comfortable even seeing close friends at the moment so I’d rather not but thank you. Xx

          1. If you need an anonymous person to speak to check out The Gate Westminster. Keep writing xxxxx

            1. I spoke honestly to the diabetes midwife today and I will be referred for some pre and post natal counselling to help with my anxiety and give me a safe space to discuss some of the negative feelings I’ve been having. Feeling much better. I really appreciate your support. Xxx

              1. I am so so pleased – a burden shared is a burden halved and this sounds like you’re going to find that safe place. You are not alone. Sending big big love xxxxxxxxx

                1. It probably helped that she told me the likelihood of experiencing high anxiety in pregnancy is directly related to high achievement and high intelligence. Lol! I think the image the media portrays of pregnancy being pure bliss and maternal being immediate and infallible can lead to immense pressure and guilt if sometimes you actually just want to get off the fucking merry-go-round for a few days and just be you again. And because we are expected to be reveling in every second the fear of being judged if you say, “I am not enjoying this right now and I am scared and I am not going to enjoy the next bit either” is crippling. Just having the midwife tell me how I felt was normal was already a massive help. Love back to you. XXX

                  1. Hehe!! I’m with her! One of my absolute room 101’s of modern life is the obsession with generalisations. Just because ‘you should’ should not mean ‘you do’. I was crap at every part of pregnancy up until breastfeeding – it was the only bit my body could do well! My mantra…this too will pass xxxxxx

                    1. Apart from the GD I’ve actually had one of those pregnancies that makes other women hate me. I vomited once, I don’t have heartburn or constipation or piles or SPD. I barely have ligament pain. I have no pelvic pain. My bump is large but it’s all front facing. My hair is amazing. My skin has cleared up. I think that’s why it was such an incredible shock. Of course that is just the physical stuff. I’m a complete emotional basket case. And not being able to feed also scares me a lot. Xxx

                    2. I never vomited, did get SPD, but also double notches on umbilical cords, calcium in their hearts, fluid on their kidneys and pre-eclampsia! But my hair was the best it has ever looked! I had to develop a mantra – it’s not what happens, but the way I deal with it – because I kept getting bad news. By the time it came to Charlie and had the same news again we were actually laughing! It helped we had a healthy Bella then though.. Xxxxx

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