My newest pregnancy adventure…

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I’ve known about this for over a month. And it’s taken me that long to be okay enough with things to write about and share. But this is part of my first pregnancy, and something that I’m now fully accepting and most importantly, managing.

I have Gestational Diabetes.

Because I was at risk for GD – weight plus family history of diabetes – my OB wanted me to take an early glucose test at 20 weeks. So I drank the disgusting sugary drink, waited an hour, and had my blood drawn. The next day, my OB called back and said that my number was high — they like to see it under 130, I was 136.

That meant I had to take the 3-hour glucose test. Even more sugary drink, plus 3 blood draws – every hour, on the hour, for 3 hours… I was positive that I was going to ace that test and my doctor was going to feel foolish for even making me take it! But… I didn’t. My 1- and 2-hour blood draws showed elevated glucose levels. Not tremendously elevated, but enough so…

The next week, I had an appointment with a dietician and nurse educator who set me up with a glucose monitor and some great recommendations on how to manage this condition.

Writing about it now, I’m level-headed and accepting. At the time, I was a wreck. I bawled often and honestly saw myself as a failure. I would get into all the reasons why I felt like a failure and why I cried until all my tears had run out… but now, it’s not worth it.

Gestational Diabetes is simply my pregnant body reacting to how it absorbs insulin. It’s nothing that I could have prevented, and honestly, nothing to be ashamed of.

In fact, after meeting with the dietician, she felt pretty certain that if I continued to eat the way I was eating, I would be alright. And for the most part, I have been. I test my blood sugars 4 times a day. First thing in the morning, and then 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In my first 3 weeks of testing, I’ve found some super interesting data. For example, if I skip my morning snack, my after-lunch number will be high — even if I have a low-carb lunch. Also, mashed potatoes aren’t the best carb choice for me… mostly because who can eat only one serving of those delicious spuds??? Not normal me… and definitely not pregnant me…

All in all, with only minimal changes to my diet, plus adding in some extra walks, my glucose levels look fantastic! My nurse and doctor were both super impressed with my dedication to monitoring this diagnosis and my genuine concern for my baby.

Because GD isn’t about ME… it’s about my baby. If my pancreas can’t do it’s job, then baby gets the extra insulin, which makes her produce more urine, which increases amniotic fluid, which isn’t good! Not only that, but if left untreated, it can lead to very large, and sometimes sick, babies.

Will I have to be medicated? It turns out… yes. My fasting levels were slightly elevated for the last few weeks, despite any changes I made in my evening meal or nightly exercise. So, my doctor is starting me out on a very small dose of medication that should help. Because my fasting levels are only borderline high, my new thing to watch out for is my glucose levels tanking. So, I continue to monitor it carefully — knowing that being on medication doesn’t mean that I can indulge in the delicious carby, sugary things I’ve been craving.

Will I sometimes have high levels? Yep.  I test my blood sugar levels religiously, and try my hardest to stick to the carb recommendations from my dietician. But sometimes, I just have to have an extra serving of carbs at a meal. And that’s okay, especially if I make sure to walk afterwards. My doctor has reassured me that having GD doesn’t mean that I have to stop having anything my pregnant body craves, it just means I need to balance it out to make sure I maintain my blood sugar levels so they don’t drop and then spike.

So, I have gestational diabetes. That’s okay. I’m not a failure. It just means that I have to do some extra work to make sure my baby stays healthy. And I’ll do it, because the love I already feel for this little girl is unmeasurable. And from this day until the end of time, I will do what I have to do in order to protect her and keep her healthy.

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26 Week Update

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Another week has gone by. This week, we celebrate an awesome milestone…

LESS THAN 100 DAYS UNTIL BABY!!!

26 weeks cropped

Symptoms: I just feel gloriously pregnant. I am constantly adapting to my growing body. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it will be years before I can sleep through the night… and my body is learning to fall back asleep after late night bathroom trips — which is a relief!!! As I near the beginning of the 3rd trimester, I’m starting to realize that I’m not able to do everything I want to do. Sometimes, I have to slow things down and take some deep breaths. But overall, I’m loving this phase of my pregnancy. 

Cravings: Water. The other day, I drank 7 bottles of water! … and then was up even more in the middle of the night… 

Also, chocolate. And cheese. And peanut butter. (But not all together!)

Our Baby: We got to see our little lady last weekend. She is 1 lb, 11 oz. At our last high-risk OB appointment, they weren’t able to get clear images of her heart and spine. Luckily, this time she was not hiding behind my bellybutton and the tech was able to get great pictures of what she needed to see. Our little girl’s heart and spine are looking great! (Oh, and she confirmed again that this baby is a little girl… so that’s good!)

Baby is moving so much more now. The movements are getting stronger and stronger. I love feeling her wiggling around.

Next Appointment: We are officially into biweekly appointments with my OB. On Friday, we’ll get another chance to listen to baby’s heartbeat and an opportunity to discuss what information we found out from the high-risk OB. Basically, some of the concerns my OB had about my intracranial hypertension, the high-risk OB wasn’t concerned about… which is a relief for everyone!

Best part of the week: It’s been awhile since Brian was able to feel some really good movement. But on Sunday, he got to feel about three really good kicks. I love seeing how excited he gets about her…

Then the other day, I was working after school, and Brian walked in and started talking. I swear that as soon as she heard him, she started kicking.

I seriously can not wait for him to officially meet her in about 14 weeks!

25 week update

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I can not believe that we are already past 6 months. The in-laws gave me a precious sign for my birthday that helps us count down the days until baby. Get this: only 106 days… and 4 of those are major holidays! Everyone knows that from the beginning of November until after the first of the year time just FLIES by!

IMG_20131028_071248_519Here’s my 24 week bump picture.

Symptoms: This has been one of the most pregnant-feeling weeks of my pregnancy so far. My skin feels tight, I’m starting to feel some swelling in my hands/feet by the end of the day, my back and hips ache, and sleeping is uncomfortable. And ya know what??? I LOVE IT! Because in addition to those rather unfortunate symptoms, I also have some awesome ones… Baby is moving like crazy and I can literally feel a change in my bump when she’s in different positions. Sometimes she’s up really, really high and other times she’s low. It’s so cool to feel the changes.

Cravings: I can’t get enough peanut butter – I put it on my toast in the morning, on celery at lunch or for a snack… YUM! Also, Hershey miniatures – ya know, the fall assortment. Sure, it’s the same as it is all year round, but they just taste better. 

Our Baby: The craziest fact I read about baby this week is that she is developing her primitive memory – so she is starting to be able to recognize voices and sounds that she hears often. Since learning this fact, I’ve had Disney movies playing in the background whenever I can. Hopefully this little girl will come out of the womb recognizing my voice, Brian’s voice, probably some of our speech kiddos’ voices, Stripey and Rollie’s crows, and Little Mermaid and Lion King. 🙂

Next Appointment: We had our 24 week appointment on Halloween — and it went really well. Baby was finally willing to cooperate with the doctor’s doppler and we heard her steady heartbeat — 150 bpm. 

Our next appointment is on Saturday with the high-risk OB. She will do another ultrasound to look at baby’s spine and heart again. We’ll also discuss what she thinks about my intracranial hypertension.

Best part of the week:  The weekend before last, I had a complete meltdown about how unprepared we are for this little girl to show up. We don’t have anything for her besides a few outfits and a lot of love. Brian and I don’t make big purchases before first researching the product we’re looking to get. Since we will need some important safety items for baby, we new it was even more important to put in our research.

So after hours of researching, we have finally decided which car seat to register for and what our dream stroller would be! What a relief!

Now we can begin researching cribs — as we want to purchase a crib that will function as a crib all the way through to a toddler bed. And all in all, we are feeling like 106 days may actually be enough time to prepare for this baby.

 

I have a few posts in the works right now, so hopefully it won’t be so long between posts. 🙂

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