GD Gestational Diabetes (31 weeks)

GD stands for Gestational Diabetes. (It also stands for goddamn, which I feel is more appropriate!) 

Today I had my gestational diabetes appointment which was delayed a week from last week after they didn’t manage to get the appointment letters to me in time for the actual appointment. There’s something rather annoying about receiving a letter telling you that you didn’t turn up to the last appointment (err, because it arrived two hours after the appointment!) and saying you’re in danger of being discharged from your medical practice, but anyway. I thought I’d better go.

Well, suffice to say that it didn’t put me in a good mood! First of all I felt somewhat ambushed by the fact that I met the nurse and she said, “Did you know it was a group appointment?” – Umm, no I did not. Sounded a bit like they didn’t tell us on purpose!

Secondly I felt frustrated I actually had to ask for my results. Like they didn’t tell me, and once she begrudgingly gave me the numbers she didn’t really explain them at all, other than to say they were over the threshold.

So… my results (drum roll!)…

Fasting: 4.7

Post 120 min glucose tolerance test: 9.7

Apparently the threshold is 5.3 for fasting (so I was within that) and something like 7.9 for GD. At this point I had no idea whether this was good or bad because they didn’t tell me… However in the group session I happened to be sitting by everyone else’s forms that they’d left out (err, data protection anyone?) and mine was by far the highest. (I have to win at something!) 

What this means is that when I am fasting, my blood sugars are okay, but when I drink a sugary drink it takes me too long to metabolise it, or something. I’ve never had high blood sugar before in any of my blood tests, but I guess I’m not good at metabolising sugary drinks!

So the group session. What can I say? I’m probably someone who has the wrong attitude towards these things. But seriously. It annoys me to take the time off work and then be stuck in a class full of people who seem half asleep, one of whom brought twins who were aged about 1 and screamed through the entire thing. So this woman was spending the whole time trying to entertain them by playing something on her phone (distracting) and playing with a toy, or giving the kids something to hold which they would just throw on the floor.

Also with all my worries about pregnancy I really didn’t want to sit in the same room as two screaming kids for ages, but that’s just me being grouchy, I guess. 

First of all we were given our blood sugar test kits. Now, if I didn’t know that there was something else (like dietary changes) associated with them, I’d actually think they were quite cool. (Seriously, the NHS must spend a fortune on these things.) 

The first part they showed us how to take our blood sugar. It was fine, but really I feel like it’s very intuitive and most people with half a brain could work it out by reading the instructions, but anyway. I had hurriedly grabbed 2 chocolate chip brioche for my breakfast to eat on the bus, so had eaten about 10 min before, so this wasn’t a “real” reading as you are meant to take it an hour after your meal…


It was actually fine as it’s meant to be less than 7.5 one hour after eating, so not too bad! That red bit is my blood! I think some people are squeamish about pricking themselves but honestly, I’ve done two rounds of IVF and a load of heparin and IV intralipids and endless blood tests so a tiny finger prick is nothing. (I might feel less like it after a few days.)

The second part was the annoying part, where we had to go through a presentation (very bad PowerPoint… I mean, I do it for a living so bad ppts upset me) about diet.

I’m not saying I didn’t learn anything, because I did. Like… Things I thought were okay for me are apparently off limits, like baked potatoes or rice cakes. (Who knew?) And I’m going to have to cut my hot chocolate habit, which is upsetting. It’s pretty much my life during winter, but Starbucks is probably 90% of why I have GD. (I like to have a warm drink when it’s cold, and I don’t like tea and I’m not allowed coffee so… argh. I guess I’ll have to start drinking peppermint tea. Or decaf.)

No more of these… SOB!


Thing is, during this half hour presentation the twins screamed the house down, ran around, etc. It was so annoying. But obviously I suppose the mother (pregnant with another one! Is she crazy?!) couldn’t leave them at home. Also the nurses offered to take them out and play with them / put a DVD on but noooo she wanted to keep them with her, which was really disruptive to everyone else. I suppose not having any children, I can’t relate to this and maybe I’ll want to keep my screaming kid with me all the time. (I’m thinking I’d probably be glad of a short break if someone offered!)

 

A lot of what was said was quite depressing – it basically seemed to say you have to take everything nice out of your diet and go on this restricted GD diet and also they want you to do it for, like, ever because if you have GD in pregnancy, you’re 50% more likely to get Type 2 in the next few years. I found this somewhat hard to believe as I’m not sure that they’d ever spot it in an otherwise healthy person unless they start screening people for it randomly. 

Before IVF my BMI was within normal range and I was healthy, so had no reason to go to the doctor and no illnesses, so I can’t think of how they’d decide I had Type 2 diabetes without doing random screenings. Apparently I now have to be tested after the baby’s born and then every year after that. It just seems really intrusive and unnecessary when I am otherwise well. (I get the point of making sure the baby’s healthy, but I’m really loathe to be overdiagnosed when I feel perfectly fine and I’m within normal weight usually. But what do I know.)

Another thing is that I had to get weighed today. I’ve given up weighing myself as it was stressing me out. I have put on 2.8kg at 31+2 weeks, and the recommended range for someone of my (post-IVF obesity) weight range is 5-9kg. So I kind of felt like I was doing okay with that. I honestly thought it would be more. Like I think I put on more than that just doing IVF! Ah well.

Some other side effects to mention: I have been feeling better, less tired, I think, since I started taking the iron tablets for anaemia. And they do turn your **** black! Ha! Also I have noticed that when I need to go, I really need to go (both types! TMI!) which I’m wondering about – it must either be the iron tablets or the pregnancy, or both. I mean like when I feel I need to go and I’m at work, I practically have to run to the bathroom, which is a bit inconvenient. Also even when I was walking to work the other day I had to nip into a restaurant on the way as I thought I was going to have an accident. I guess this is why women stay at home more closer to the birth!

The final thing I have only started noticing in the last week is heartburn. Maybe. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever had heartburn. My digestive system in general is pretty good. T gets horrendous heartburn, so much so he had to go to the specialist about it and have investigations. I am not even sure what it is, but I described it to him and he said it sounded like heartburn. It’s like a sort of funny feeling in my throat. I generally feel much more gassy than usual – by which I mean I rarely feel gassy (either end!) so that’s weird too. It seems that pregnancy has turned me flatulent and burpy! I suppose it’s good practice for the baby…!

So I guess it’s just a new way of life now, for at least a while. We are supposed to start from today, but I told the nurse I would prefer to start from tomorrow, because I need to get my head around it and buy the right foods and stuff. I went back via the supermarket and got some sugar free Alpen (muesli) which I can probably have for breakfast. Or porridge. Both of those are apparently okay. And we have a diet booklet to tell us what to eat, so I’ll have to look at that.

I think the main issue I have is that I don’t want to have to think loads about what I am eating. I have already found I have less of an appetite than normal and feel fuller quickly, and haven’t felt food aversions as such but more food apathy, and it means I have to spend ages wandering around the supermarket trying to decide what I want to eat. I never had a diagnosed eating disorder when I was younger, but I definitely had some weird ways of thinking about food and was probably a bit borderline, and frankly I don’t want to go back there. 

The whole IVF process and the resultant weight (more than the pregnancy weight – side effects of drugs) really messed with my head and body image, especially with the miscarriage last year, so I feel like this is a super unhelpful thing to have to do – to feel like I have to obsess about food for medical reasons. But I will do it because I want B to be healthy. I just need a bit of time to process it.

 

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23 comments

  1. sewingbutterfly

    That is annoying. I also dislike it when people bring children to thise sorts of things. It is a serious medical appointment! I understand people not having a choice but take up the offer of the help so that you aren’t disrupting everyone else!

    Sorry you have GD, that sucks, especially as food was already a bit iffy. Hope it becomes a bit easier once you have your head around it. Only 9 weeks to focus on before due date 😎 You can do it! Sending encouragement and love ❤

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      • sewingbutterfly

        Still pregnant. No dropping, braxton hicks or anything! I am not too worried though, he is nice and wriggly, obviously just needs a bit longer! OB appointment in a few days so we shall see what she wants to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sbach1222

    I definitely didn’t enjoy that they were going to put me into a group session either, so I made sure that I would get a one on one, I don’t like being placed in a box with every other person. Even people with GD are so different!

    And the Starbucks didn’t give you GD, it is nothing that you have done to yourself. Baby’s placenta sends out hormones that screw with our cell’s ability to absorb insulin effectively. I did the tolerance test in the 2nd trimester, passed with amazingly flying colors, low even on one reading. But in the third, failed it miserably. Didn’t change anything that I did between those 2 test, but my body and hormones did. Once those extra hormones are gone, we can expect our bodies to go back to our normal.

    You will learn a lot about yourself in the next couple of weeks. For me I can have a lot more carbs certain times of the day that I can’t others. Like in the morning, it doesn’t take many carbs to get my after breakfast number up, even my after lunch (though my fasting is really low) but dinner? Shoot… I can’t get it up high even if I tried! You will learn your balance and what works for you. Remember, you NEED carbs, don’t cut them out! I pretty much did for the first few weeks before I got my appointment with the nutritionist, and I actually lost a bit of weight because I wasn’t eating enough. You can eat enough and be satisfied with GD. Just keep good track of what you ate, how much, when and what your result was after. It will become second nature to you to stick with the ‘diet’.

    Hope all goes well with your monitoring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Eek! Well you’ll see from my post today that the dieting did not go well for Day 1! I think my lack of carbs (or lower carbs) today contributed to me not having the energy to do ANYTHING other than lie on the sofa. I think I’m going to have to look up some meal plans as I did what they said and I felt soooo tired and couldn’t do anything.

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  3. EmilyMaine

    Oh man, the things we have to do. Coming from a place where I have had a super restrictive diet recently I can tell you that after the initial pain in the A it is actually easier. You know you have a limited list of foods and you just have only those in the house and get creative with what you have. It is just annoying to begin with. That is interesting about needing to retest after baby. Makes sense though. I always thought diabetes was an overweight person’s disease but apparently not (learnt that during pregnancy) so I guess that is why you would need retesting even though you have a healthy BMI. I hope that it isn’t an issue for you post birth though so you can go back to enjoying the fun foods. At least you found out post baby moon! Good luck sorting it out. It will pass sooner than you think x

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    • Nara

      Thanks! Yeah I tried to do it properly today but it didn’t go well at all! I think the lack of carbs just made me feel so tired I couldn’t even function. I just slept on the sofa all day. Not ideal. I need to look up some meal plans I think!

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  4. spiteorflight

    I had GD and I agree with sbach1222, it’s all the placenta’s fault. Nothing you did. The real problem is as the pregnancy continues the hormones, etc get stronger and stronger, and eventually dietary changes might not be enough (my last trimester I had to start taking insulin).

    It’s really important to monitor though, because in addition to possibly giant babies, GD can cause your placenta to age more quickly than others, which is why they won’t usually let GD mommas go past 40 weeks.

    All that to say, I gave birth, and my sugars went right back to normal. Three years later, my sugars are still totally normal. So, just be mindful, do what they tell you to do, and other than that try not to sweat it.

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    • Nara

      Thanks! I am on day 1 and it’s not going too well so far! I think I need to do some targeted shopping and meal plans. I guess most of the time I don’t really think too much about what I’m eating and now I’m trying to do it by the book and I just didn’t have enough energy. And suspected hypo last night – eek. I am going to try and go to the supermarket tomorrow and see if I can figure it out. X

      Liked by 1 person

      • spiteorflight

        I was most successful with high-protein, low/healthy-carbs. Lots of eggs, cheese, lean meats and veggies, salads, and things like burrito bowls with brown rice. Sweets were an issue so I had to really monitor them and limit them to once or twice a week.

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      • Nara

        Thank you! I’ve managed to do better lately. I had chicken goujons for dinner with veg which seemed to be fine. Even with dessert! And this morning I got my lowest post meal score ever as I had scrambled egg on toast instead of Alpen. So I feel a lot better and less hungry!

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  5. Que Milagro

    I had GD. It had its ups and downs but I managed it easily enough with diet. I gained 20 lbs in the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy and 3 in the rest, I think in large part thanks to managing GD. I ended up almost being kind of grateful for it because I really felt fantastic all the way to the day I went in for my c-section. I am sure you’ll do great keeping it in check! It won’t be so bad.

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    • Nara

      Thanks! I’ve put on about 6lb since my booking appointment (10 weeks) and at that point I don’t think I’d put on too much weight. The majority of the weight went on during IVF and the drugs and things. I’m now starting to feel my feet have swollen up and I think my face is bigger, but the majority is bump I think!
      I am trying to do the diet right but not sure it’s working so far! Argh. I’ll have to keep trying and do some strategic shopping!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Que Milagro

        The first couple weeks are trial and error, don’t be too hard on yourself! You’ll figure out what works and doesn’t. For example, I could eat ANYTHING at night without spiking. I could eat a pint of ice cream and be fine. But breakfast? If I even spread jelly on toast my numbers were through the roof! It’s a process.

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      • Nara

        Thanks! I think this is what is happening with me too! I’ve managed to figure out that scrambled egg on toast is much better than muesli so that’s something!

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  6. Arwen

    Sorry about the gd. A bit of a pain in the ass but we do what we must right?!
    Also the old wives tale of heartburn means baby has a nice head of hair 😉😂

    Like

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