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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Halfway done — 20 week update!

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As of today, I’m 20 weeks, 1 day into this pregnancy. It was an awesome experience to go into my pregnancy app today and see that baby’s gestational age is 20 weeks, 1 day and the countdown to d-day is 19 weeks, 6 days!

I can not believe that I am halfway through this pregnancy. It seems like just yesterday we found out we were expecting. It felt like it took forever to get to the point where we could share our news with family and friends — those were a few weeks that took forever! But now… now I’m halfway there. In about 20 weeks, we’ll have a real-life little baby in our home. Mind blowing!!!

Symptoms: This has been the best week of my pregnancy so far! I’ve felt really good. I’ve had enough energy to get me through an entire day (although then I’m exhausted!) and I’ve been able to eat when I want to! And, I haven’t struggled with my allergies this week!

I still have times where I struggle with sleeping — it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find a comfortable sleeping spot. And that’s even after I made a huge u-shaped body pillow to snuggle up to! (I have a feeling that it’s only going to get worse for the next 20 weeks!) Another thing that’s bothersome — I’m constantly warm. I know it’s a standard pregnancy symptom, but I hate, hate, hate feeling warm! I would much rather be cold and have to warm up with blankets and sweaters.

Cravings: FOOD! On Saturday, I felt like I was going to cry if I didn’t have a donut. But mostly, I just feel hungry all. the. time! It’s a good thing that (besides donuts) I’ve been hungry for watermelon, cheese, yogurt, and garden veggies!

Our Baby: This baby likes to wiggle. I don’t feel hard kicks/jabs yet, but I do feel regular flutters that are getting stronger every day. 

Also, our favorite baby app told us that this week, our baby will be getting eyebrows and eyelashes. (To which Brian said, “Aww… those are going to be the cutest eyebrows and eyelashes ever!)

Until now, baby has been measured from head to rump, but now baby is going to be stretching out more and gets to be measured from head to foot! So when I say that my baby went from 6 inches to 10 inches, it’s not all growth, just a change in how baby gets measured! Baby is now the size of a banana! — a precious, adorable banana!

Next Appointment: Thursday, we go to the OB to have a check-up. I’m so excited to hear the baby’s heartbeat (which by the way is getting strong enough to be heard with just a stethoscope! … if only we had one)! Although people keep reassuring me that the glucose test isn’t horrible it’s still something I’m not really looking forward to.

Last week, we had the BEST appointment with my neurologist. My OB expressed some concern about how to proceed with the rest of my pregnancy and labor and delivery because of my intracranial hypertension. But my neurologist had some great advice and we started to get a game plan of what we can do if I experience more daily headaches. It was also so reassuring to hear him say that he didn’t know much about the labor and delivery process and would work closely WITH my OB to make sure I have the best experience I can. He could have just made up answers, but he admitted that this isn’t something he’s used to and is WILLING to find out so that I’m not miserable.

Best part of the week:  Last Wednesday, our furniture came in! So now we officially have a real kitchen table and a modest living room set for the main floor living room. Okay, so I know this doesn’t SOUND baby related, but it totally is! We’ve been waiting for a year to get our floors finished so we could finish purchasing furniture. When we found out we were expecting, we knew that we wanted to get the floors finished and the furniture moved in before we even started to think about getting the big items for baby. Now that we have everything arranged, we can officially start looking at cribs, rocking chairs, swings, bouncy seats, car seats, and strollers.  — Any advice on what to look for is greatly appreciated!

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