One of the things that I’ve battled with during my third trimester is gestational diabetes. This may come as a shock to some of you. During most of my pregnancy, I feared taking the glucose test to diagnose because my mom and sister both had it. Although I’ve never been diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve always been concerned about it based on my family history.
The Dreaded Glucose Screening
I went in for my 1 hour glucose screening feeling like a failure. Maybe it’s the pessimist in me, but I wanted to prepare myself for the worst. My doctor had found sugar in my urine during a few routine visits which he found concerning. I ended up taking the test around Week 25. Between sugar in my urine and my family history with diabetes I felt like there was no chance that I’d pass the initial test. The drink I had to chug down (fruit punch flavor) wasn’t horrible and it tasted like a flat soda.
That afternoon, the nurse called with news that I failed. I really wasn’t surprised and came in for the 3 hour test the next day. I’m not going to lie, The 3 hour test was ROUGH. I was starving the entire time, I hated all the blood draws, plus sitting around in the doctor’s office for 3 hours wasn’t fun. By the end of the test I was on a sugar high and called my husband crying because I felt so defeated. My nurse allowed me to sip water during the test time frame but I’ve read that some doctor’s won’t let you. You also have to fast so bring a snack that you can enjoy as soon as the test is over.
I can’t remember my exact numbers, but they don’t matter because I failed the test miserably. I broke down when the nurse told me I had gestational diabetes and I felt like such a failure. I felt like I failed my baby and was so concerned about the potential issues that could occur based on my diagnosis. You’re at a higher risk for a stillbirth or bigger baby with GD. It took a few days for me to come to terms, but eventually I accepted that my diagnosis was not my fault. Gestational diabetes occurs based on how your placenta processes sugars so my diet wasn’t the cause of my diagnosis. There are women that eat extremely healthy during their entire pregnancy and still get diagnosed. GD normally goes away as soon as you give birth and the placenta is detached.
Meeting with a Dietitian
I met with a dietitian about a week after my diagnosis. I was so scared for my appointment. My biggest concern was that this lady was going to tell me I’d have to live off vegetables for the rest of my pregnancy and I was already on edge about having to prick my fingers 4 times per day. The appointment went better than anticipated and she was so informative. She showed me how to use my glucometer and we went over how I can count my carbs and what foods to eat.
Managing gestational diabetes really comes down to counting your carbs and being alert to what foods spike your sugars. I found that I could still eat a lot of foods I liked but I needed to make many adjustments.
I check my blood sugar every morning when I wake up and 2 hours after meals. The hardest part of my diet has been adjusting my carbs, but it hasn’t been impossible. I haven’t fully removed bread, but if I’m eating a burger I’ll eat it lettuce wrapped or take off the top bun. I don’t drink sodas, juice, eat fruit, or indulge in sweets, because they spike my numbers too bad. I’m allowed about 15g carbs for snacks, 45 for dinner, and 30 for lunch and breakfast. If you’re diagnosed, your diabetes counselor will let you know how many carbs you’re allotted and will give you some suggestions on things you can eat. Thankfully, my gestational diabetes has been diet controlled so I haven’t been put on insulin or any other meds to control. I also had a growth ultrasound to see how big Skyy was measuring and she was right where she needed to be.
Having gestational diabetes hasn’t been easy but it’s manageable. Initially, I felt so lost and terrified when I was diagnosed. However, please know you’re not alone and you may be surprised by some of the foods you can still eat on the diet. When in doubt, always make sure the amount of protein you’re eating outweighs the amount of carbs. I don’t wanna give to many recommendations on gestational diabetes friendly foods because everyone responds differently but a few foods and drinks I get good numbers with are:
String Cheese (my go-to snack)
Kroger Carbmaster Milk
Halo Top Creamery Vanilla Ice Cream
Chick-fila-A Diet Lemonade
Turkey and Cheese Roll Ups
Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Cheddar Casserole
In and Out Cheeseburgers (Protein Style)
I highly recommend joining these two Facebook groups for gestational diabetes meal ideas and support group. The suggestions from many of these ladies helped me so much! Over time, managing my diet and numbers has gotten easier. Plus, I ended up losing a little bit of weight during my pregnancy due to my diet changes. Did you have gestational diabetes during your pregnancy? If so, how’d you deal with it? Drop a line in the comments and let me know!