Friday, June 10, 2016

7QT: Gestational Diabetes Version

Woo-wee, how has another week passed by so quickly?  Here we go again with Kelly's 7QT:

1)

Let's get the bad news out of the way first.  I failed the Gestational Diabetes Test.  I got off the phone with the doctor on Monday morning and bawled my eyes out to an unsuspecting coworker who happened to be walking by.  Poor lady!  I was so sad and angry to receive this diagnosis, mostly because it means a LOT of extra appointments and testing and ain't nobody got time for that.



2)


After a couple hours, I calmed down and accepted it.  I have gestational diabetes.  That means it's only a temporary problem that should be fixed as soon as baby is born.  It does increase my chances of having Type 2 diabetes at some point in my life, but hopefully through diet and exercise, I can avoid that.  There are so many worse things in life, and so many terrible permanent medical situations, that this is really small potatoes.  Make those sweet potatoes as they are healthier.

3)

So what does it mean to get this diagnosis?  Well, it's pretty common, 1 in 10 pregnant women have it.  The biggest risk seems to be a big baby, so they will be doing a lot more ultrasounds to keep an eye on the baby's growth.  I also have to go twice a week for non-stress tests, a 20 minute appointment where they hook the baby up to a monitor and make sure he's not in distress.  I also had to meet with the endocrinologist and a nutritionist, and I have to prick my finger and test my blood sugar four times a day (once in morning, then an hour or two after each meal).  If my numbers look good then I just keep on keeping on until they decided to induce, which is usually done at 39 weeks, latest.  If I can't seem to get my blood sugar numbers in check with diet and exercise alone, then I'll need to add insulin.


4)

So what's a healthy diet and exercise plan look like?  Well I meet with the nutritionist later today, but from what I've been told by the endocrinologist and my research online, breakfast can have 15 grams of carbs, and lunch & dinner can have 30 grams of carbs.  My snacks should be around 15 grams of carbs.  I normally eat 30 grams of carbs for breakfast (protein shake with half a banana, peanut butter and spinach) and about 35 grams for lunch (half bagged salad mix and greek yogurt) so I have to adjust my protein shake ingredients (just leave out the half banana).  My snacks are simple - small apple with string cheese, protein bar, cottage cheese.  I need to be more cautious about dinner, as that is when I usually up my carbs because it's my big meal of the day, so I'm just relying on proteins and veggies with a small side of carbs.  I never drink juice or soda, and I love water so that's been fine.  I'm walking at least an hour a day, 6 times per week. I know eventually I'll crave a bowl of ice cream or handfuls of fritos and then it's gonna get tough.



5)

I was talking with Phil last night when it dawned on me that I've been so nervous about having a quick labor again, and not having time for drugs again, that I have been praying to convince my doctor to induce me at 39 weeks.  And then I go ahead and get this diagnosis which means I'll be induced around 39 weeks.  Phil said "So you basically got exactly what you prayed for?" ummmm yeah, how can I complain anymore?  God is good, focus on the positives!

6)

The endocrinologist weighed me, and at 29 weeks, I had gained exactly 20 pounds.  Great, thought I, I am right on track to gain 30 pounds like normal.  But then do you know what he said?  Do you?  He said 20 pounds was the MAX amount of weight I should gain with gestational diabetes.  What?

Oh no you di-int!

The nerve.

7)

All in all, I am glad I actually took the test (as opposed to the last pregnancy where I refused it) because it looks like I do have issues with controlling my blood sugar no matter how healthy I think I am.  I know a lot of times doctors get a bad rap, but sometimes they actually know what they're doing ;)  If you have any good tips for me, success stories, blogs or Instagram accounts I should follow to get more advice, leave a comment.  Knowledge is power!  

Have a great sugar-free, low-carb kind of weekend everybody!  Oh wait, that's just me...eat all the treats y'all!

26 comments:

  1. Oh boo! But it's not terrible and there is an end in sight! I had GD with my first baby and my tip is this....if you have a hard time keeping you fasting bs in check first thing in the am (I always did!) try eating a high protein snack right before bed. I found Greek yogurt to be the best for me that didn't give me raging heartburn as soon as my head hit the pillow. Also I am a chocolate lover and my glorious dietician told me that dark choc was easier on my bs so I got a bag of dark chocolate chips and put maybe 1/4 of a bag in a tiny Tupperware and when I was really feeling a need for a treat I'd eat a few--and it helped immensely!! Best of luck to you and don't be discouraged if you have a meal or two where you throw your numbers out of whack....just know that you can fix it for the next!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your sweet tips! I am eating a Greek frozen yogurt dessert at night that tastes great and has kept the blood sugar level in check.

      Delete
  2. 20 pounds total??? That's crazy! I gained 30 pounds total with Gus and I was so proud because I worked so hard to have self control and discipline with that pregnancy. I can't imagine what I'd have to do to only gain 20 pounds!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently, if I follow this diet, I just won't gain any more weight?!?! Crazy.

      Delete
  3. Hi! So you don't know me, but i love your blog and i always tell my husband, look we can have a bunch of kids and still be cool and normal. Kinda a creepy, but i'm gonna guess you're ok with that! anyway, i just had my first baby and i had GD. I was able to control it by just changing my diet and i actually lost 20 pounds (this in conjunction with having horrible morning/all day sickness for the 1st half of my pregnancy). So that is something to strive for. if you are able to be diet controlled, you should try eating a, sadly, very reasonable amount of ice cream right before bed! I drank a huge glass of milk or had about 20 grams of carbs worth of TJ's Chocolate ice cream! I always woke up to perfect numbers!! Good luck :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I'm craving some ice cream :)

      Delete
  4. I'm sorry you have this. I had it with my last pregnancy, and after the initial shock, I got mad. (I failed by like 4 points!) That helped me stay on task with the diet and fingersticks. I ate a lot of peanut butter toast for snacks. I did lose 5 pounds while on it, though I hadn't gained that much. They didn't have me take so many NST (and I was much more maternally aged than you are) - well, come to think of it, I decided I just wasn't going to do that many. It seems some doctors don't realize that these "just in case" tests are costly in terms of money and time.
    So I hope all goes well for you and that the diet isn't too hard to follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The diet has been ok so far. I do wish I could cut down on the extra appointments, but maybe if I can prove that I'm doing well, they will?

      Delete
  5. No advice here, but an offer to pray that all is well. And a rant that anyone who walks six hours a week and avoids juice and soda oughtta get a pass on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Thanks for the sympathy :)

      Delete
  6. I can't believe 20 pounds is the max!!! So crazy and I'm so sorry you have to be so regimented with eating the last few months... it seems so strange because you are the healthiest person I know! But like you said, there are positives, too! :) I should be on your diabetes diet while not pregnant haha! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking, this is a great diet if anybody wants to lose weight and something I'll keep in mind after the baby is born!

      Delete
  7. That's so crazy you got what you prayed for in a way you weren't expecting. It's amazing. Will be praying for you! You totally can do it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. that sucks about the 20 pounds, seems kind of impossible to me. I hope everything goes well over the next few weeks as you make your way to the finish line.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Emotionally, I'm sorry. I followed the Paleo diet during my last pregnancy and it made the situation so manageble for me emotionally. I gained 20 lbs and our son was born 4 oz shy of the weight for screening him for diabetes at birth! The best advice I have is eat the fat and keep walking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, what is the weight baby should be under? Nine pounds?

      Delete
  10. Sorry about the gestational diabetes. I lived in mortal fear of it every time I was pregnant. Failed the glucose test once and had to go in for the longer test once, but I passed that one. I'm glad you're keeping perspective (or trying to, at least) but really... it sucks. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A GD diagnosis doesn't necessarily increase your risk of developing type 2. There's ample research that suggests American obstetrics too aggressively detects elevated blood sugars in pregnant women, and there is a subset of women who actually need the slightly elevated blood sugar levels to have a healthy pregnancy. No one in my family has any form of diabetes (with 33 first cousins!!!); I had no risk factors my first pregnancy. My fasting during the three hour test was excellent; it wasn't until I drank the glucose that my levels were raised. Then I kept track and never had an even slightly high number. I've done a lot of research since then and am married to a physician, and we both decided to opt out of testing for subsequent pregnancies. I believe in real evidence-based medicine, and I'm not convinced the current testing standards are based on irrefutable evidence that the current testing only "catches" women whose blood sugar levels truly will pose a risk to their baby and/or to themselves.

    Also, I eat healthy and exercise anyway; the stress of having the GD label during my first pregnancy outweighed any possible small benefit. I'm not sharing all of this to discourage you but just so you know that all the scary stuff they might tell you about your baby and having an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on isn't necessarily true because the test as it is currently set up is far to aggressive in catching elevated blood sugars. My sister in law has type 1 diabetes, and it was amazing because they were less strict with where her numbers should be than where they wanted mine. She's a nurse as well and can't figure out why they are so strict with women who end up with a GD diagnosis. My advice is to eat healthy, check your blood sugar (which I do periodically through my all of my pregnancies), exercise, enjoy your pregnancy, but also don't let the diagnosis scare you at all! I'm sorry I've been on such a rant. I know I'm projecting my own personal experience with it all, and you may have awesome doctors who won't make GD the focus of your pregnancy. Even though I used a midwife when I had the diagnosis, they put way too much emphasis on my weight, etc. I had several extra ultrasounds and tons of non-stress tests, and I was even told that my baby looked big and I likely wouldn't be able to have a natural childbirth. Lo and behold, my first baby was 6 pounds 13 ounces and I was able to have the natural childbirth I desired. I didn't obsessively track my food in subsequent pregnancies, and I've never had a big baby or a difficult labor experience.

    I am not suggesting GD isn't a real diagnosis for some and in fact the test has been shown to catch pre-diabetes in many women; however, the testing is flawed and "diagnoses" far too many women who should not have the label and do not have the potential risk factors.

    Here are a few helpful articles:
    http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jcem.84.6.5714 This article explains why the fasting levels are really the most important numbers. My fasting levels have always been in the healthy range.

    http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/gdhgoer.html. This article delves into the myriad problems with the test for GD.

    Again, sorry for the rant. Prayers for you and your little wonder!

    Why a GD diagnosis is not your fault: http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2013/06/24/the-truth-about-gestational-diabetes-and-why-its-not-your-fault/

    I had a lot of guilt initially when I failed my test, but it's never your fault. :)

    This link has tons of good info: http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/id33.html




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow Kate, thanks for all the great info. I feel the same way you do, and I think if a doctor could really know and trust me, I would be able to just keep eating healthy and be fine. But since not all pregnant women can be trusted to follow a low sugar diet and exercise, they have to enforce all these rules (testing blood sugar, NST, extra ultrasounds) to make sure baby is safely growing. So I can see why there all rules in place for a gestational diabetes "fail" but I wish each plan could be more individualized, ya know?

      Delete
  12. Hi Colleen! You might remember me because I've commented on your blog before and I'm due at the end of August with baby #6 (we didn't find out gender). Anyway, sorry to hear about the gestational diabetes diagnosis. I've actually had it with my last 2 pregnancies (I actually passed my 1 hour this time, but I ate a cheese stick before and took a walk while I waited for my blood to be drawn). And, I really don't think that the diet will be much different for you than Trim Healthy Mama, which I know you were doing for a while. And, I wouldn't worry about weight gain because, as soon as I went on the GD diet with my last 2 pregnancies, I didn't gain any weight! So, the 20-25 pounds I put on before GD diagnosis were all I gained. What I found to be the most difficult was my morning fasting, which had to be under 90. You really find out what works for you and what doesn't. For me, I had to have a little more carbs at night (a bowl of ice cream....measured to exactly 1/2 cup, the serving size) so that my fasting number wasn't too high. You will find what works for you and what doesn't. If you've been following THM, I don't think the diet should be very hard for you ๐Ÿ˜Š. I also had weekly (not twice a week though) non-stress tests. And, with my fourth baby (1st with GD), I was able to go all the way to my due date and actually went into labor that evening and had her the next day. With my 5th, I did have him a week early, but only because he was breech and after a failed attempt to turn him, I ended up with a c-section.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement Bridget! Besides the occasional desire to just eat what I want without calculating carbs, the diet hasn't been that bad. And only gaining 20 pounds in a pregnancy will be so great after I deliver!

      Delete
  13. yes, with the more appointments :(
    I have had GD with the last two. For Malia, I had five appointments a week the last 4 weeks. Ain't nobody got time for that. (I also had lots of other complications that sucked).

    But, alas, praise God good docs find these things out to take care of us best.

    Lots of prayers for you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. No you most definitely do not have time for all that! That stinks Colleen, I'm sorry, and hope time flies the rest of the pregnancy.

    ReplyDelete

Talk to me...