Gestational Diabetes

When I had my initial booking appointment with the midwife and had to answer that incredibly long family history questionnaire, which seems to ask you every question under the sun, I answered ‘yes’ to a close family member having diabetes and then thought very little more about it. I knew that as a precaution I would probably have a Glucose Tolerance Test at around 28 weeks, just to be sure, but it seemed very unlikely that I would have any problem. I’m healthy, have a low BMI and my dad has Type 2 diabetes due to his size and lifestyle. I really didn’t think there was much chance I would get it.

At 30 weeks, I went for my GTT – which was horrible, I might add, as it made me feel awful and really sick – and the results came back the following week at my midwife appointment and were fine. As I expected. But at that same appointment, the trainee midwife, who was assisting in the appointment, found sugar in my urine test. That was odd – I’d never had that before. My midwife wasn’t worried – I was measuring fine and my GTT was fine, so she said it was probably just a blip. But to be on the safe side, she said she’d send a community midwife round to my house the next day, an hour after I’d eaten, to do a finger pin-prick blood test. She was very confident it would be fine.

The midwife came the next day and did the test. And it was high. Anything about 7.8 is considered too high, and this was 8.6. I was gobsmacked. She told me that this probably meant I have gestational diabetes and that she’d book me in for another GTT and get the local specialist diabetes midwife to call me. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t help it – I burst into tears and sobbed on the midwife. I didn’t know much about gestational diabetes, but I knew that it meant my baby could grow too big, and I knew it meant I would have to be consultant led. And probably be induced. I didn’t want any of these things.

Through my tears, I read up on what I should eat and duly panicked – no sugar, including very little fruit and as few carbohydrates as possible. I just didn’t know how I was going to do it. I had my first NCT class that evening too and was really not in the mood, but at least on the way home we went to Tesco and bought some snacks for me to take to school with me – that was what I was most worried about.

My GTT was booked for Friday, so I missed a day of school, and by then I was pretty certain I did have it. So on Monday, when I had another midwife appointment, she phoned up and found that the result was positive. My fasting levels were fine, but after the sugary drink, my body hadn’t got rid of all the sugar. I cried again. I don’t really know why – I had come to terms with it by then; I think I was just hoping they would say it had just been a funny couple of days. But no, I have gestational diabetes.

I got an appointment to see the diabetes specialist midwife on the Wednesday (another day off school) and was given a blood testing kit so that I can check my own levels. I have to do this first thing in the morning, where the score has to be below 6, and an hour after each meal, where the score has to be below 7.8. So far, I have managed to keep them in the required zones, but it is taking some considerable effort. I seem to think about food all day and it totally occupies my mind – what I can and can’t eat; when I need to eat so that I can be free to check my blood sugar (in the middle of a lesson is not ideal!). The biggest challenge is at school, where I eat three meals a day in the school canteen on the days that I’m there. I find that I get quite hungry, as I have to cut out anything with carbohydrates in, as at school it’s all quite stodgy white carbs.

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{my blood-testing kit}

But there are positives. We caught it very early, as there were only two weeks between my two GTTs and this means that we caught it pretty much as soon as I got it. This should hopefully mean the baby hasn’t grown too big. Additionally, I have lost somewhere close to 1kg in weight in the last two weeks by cutting out sugar. And I get to have another scan tomorrow morning which I absolutely can’t wait for. They are scanning to measure him and make sure he hasn’t grown too big. I’m just excited to see him again. I won’t be able to have quite the birth I had hoped – a water birth is pretty much out of the question, as I will need to be monitored a lot. And I will probably have to be induced unless I can persuade the little one to come a bit early. But at least I know I will get amazing care and no stone will be left unturned. I’m trying to look on the bright side.

And there’s only 7 weeks to go!

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{a gorgeous sunny walk on Sunday morning (apologies for the lack of make up and unbrushed hair – it was early! But look at that gorgeous blue sky!}

When you spend ages writing something and then…

Wrote a great big long post and WordPress seems to have lost it somewhere – it is nowhere to be found. Great.

In short form – some abnormal results have led to midwife thinking I might well have gestational diabetes. Got another Glucose Tolerance Test tomorrow and in the meantime I’ve given up sugar. Which, I might add, really really sucks.

But baby seems perfectly happy and is growing nicely. I’ll post more about my thoughts on diabetes tomorrow, when I can be bothered to write the whole thing again!

In the meantime, here’s my bump at 31+3 weeks 🙂

 

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