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.