Did you know that in pregnancy around 28 weeks they test you for gestational diabetes? You drink some vile sugar concoction then you wait an hour and some nurses take your blood, it’s gross but if you throw up they just make you drink the poison water again so you might as well just keep it down. If you fail that test you then have to do a 3-hour blood glucose test which means this time the nurses will take blood, then you drink the disgusting sugar drink, then you wait for 3 hours and they test your blood every hour on the hour – it’s the least fun you can have while taking a test. And if you fail again, lucky you, you have gestational diabetes (which I do because I failed).
When you find out that you have GD, your doctor will tell you that most people (or a lot of people) can control GD with diet and exercise, stay away from white bread, rice, and refined sugars and make sure you’re exercising and you should be fine. You should be fine, I was not. After seeing my OB I was assigned another doctor to watch over me (I’ve lost count of how many there are now) this one an Endocrinologist, which is a fancy doctor name for person who specializes in diabetes, they prescribed me a blood glucose monitor and now I stab myself 6x a day to see if my sugars are performing. This is the part where most women (or some) can control it, if you’re eating well which means enough carbs but not no carbs, you should be able to keep your sugars under control.
Sidebar: I feel like GD has completely legitimized my hate for the Keto Diet, I pee on a stick every morning to make sure I don’t have too many ketones (again you have to eat carbs) because ketones are acidic and can harm the baby. Keto Diet, giving you keto crotch and potentially hurting babies, since idiots everywhere decided carbs were evil.
Unfortunately, my problem wasn’t ever with my post meal sugars (as long as I avoid rice noodles and don’t eat sweets) my problem was/is with my fasting sugars, I wake up in the morning and my sugars are well above the 5.0 or below my doctor wants them to be and since I can’t exercise or eat at night the problem really can’t be controlled with anything but… insulin. So, now I’m on insulin, which is fun because it adds another needle to my day (yay!). The first night I had to stick myself with the dreaded thing, I cried on a hotel bed in Tofino for 30-minutes before I was able to actually do it and then I had to ask my poor, supportive partner a question he probably hoped he’d never hear, “Is it in?” Because truth be told, giving myself the insulin freaked me out more than it hurt, the 6x daily blood checks actually hurt a lot more than my nightly stab.
At the end of the day, my endo, my OB, and my therapist have all told me that the GD isn’t my fault but I can’t help feeling like I did something to cause this. I was craving McFlurrys a lot in my second trimester, did my love of McDonald’s soft serve make this happen? Hell, if you offered me a McFlurry right now I’d probably scarf it down and go walk for an hour to burn off the sugars just so I could enjoy something that feels normal. I’ve been majorly stressed out lately between work, the baby’s cleft lip, our attempt (and multiple failures) to find a new place to live, and my deep desire to move back home and at least be a little closer to the friends and family I love; maybe all of that stress raised my blood sugar too much and that is why we’re in this situation? Maybe. Also, did you know that stress raises your blood sugar? So the nurses at the diabetes clinic will tell you not to get stressed… like that’s a thing, not only did I fail my sugar test I’m definitely failing the stress test that is currently my life.
Sometimes it’s OK to not be OK and right now, I do not feel OK. I feel like I’m failing my kid, I feel like I’m failing at being pregnant, I just feel like I’m failing…