I Survived Gestational Diabetes

Recently diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes?

I’ve been there friend. I remember it so clearly.

I had just finished my second glucose test and the nurse called. “Unfortunately….” {this was the part when that bubble formed in my throat and I knew I was going to start crying} “…you failed your glucose test.

Girl, I let her finish her sentence and I hung up. Tears burst from my eyes and all these thoughts came to the forefront. Keep in mind it takes a lot for me to cry and with those pregnancy hormones pumping through my body, I was doomed for a good ol’ ugly cry.

What did I do to get this? Is my baby okay? What is going to happen? I’m already a bad mom. I don’t eat THAT terrible. How do I get rid of it? Does this mean I’ll have diabetes when I’m not pregnant? (Do any of these questions sound familiar?)

I am not a medical doctor, a nurse or any of that, but I am a mom and I managed my gestational diabetes with what I ate and some medication, no insulin, thankfully. Check out my advice if you are just starting this journey, are in the midst of it or just because you want to hear from someone that survived gestational diabetes (and I think I’m a good mom. Haha..)

  1. It’s REALLY not your fault!
    • Re-read that if you need to. 🙂 Seriously.
    • After I failed (I hate this word is used) the first glucose test, I told myself that I would eat ZERO carbs or sugar until my 2nd test. That was honestly probably the wrong thing to do now looking back, but that is what I did. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could pass the second test if I didn’t have any sugar to process. By the way, I failed the second test by like .1. Ugh!
      • Later I learned that the type of gestational diabetes I had a milder condition in which a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells. So, the only way to get rid of it is to remove the placenta, but we don’t want to do that because that is how that sweet baby is getting fed and growing, right? Now, don’t freak out, but if you have some of the items on the below list, you may actually have diabetes – it just wasn’t diagnosed until now, but know that you can take steps to help your body out regardless of why you have it.
    • So, remember that you did not do this. It’s simply hormones and your placenta in most cases. Having said that, here are some factors that do increase your chances of having it, but again, it’s not your fault (so stop being so hard on yourself).
      • Over 25 years old
      • Overweight
      • Close relative with Type 2 Diabetes
      • PCOS
      • High Blood Pressure prior to pregnancy
      • Gestational Diabetes in previous pregnancy
      • Non-White ethnic groups
  2. Better food is best for baby
    • In the end, you are growing a little baby and that baby needs to eat real food. Yes, it is a bummer you can’t give them a piece of pizza and a cookie, but is that really best for your babe’s development? Probably not.
    • I ended up cutting out carbohydrates and sugars completely. I basically ate a keto type diet. I will say it was the healthiest Thanksgiving and Christmas ever. Haha..But all kidding aside, I barely gained any extra weight during pregnancy and found that my healthy eating habits made post-partum.
  3. Managing your gestational diabetes.
    1. Download a mobile app to help record your glucose levels and the food you eat. Some folks can get away with carbs, potatoes and other vegetables, but my blood sugar raised with all of these. I used “Glucose Buddy” which was geared towards the diabetic community, but it was very helpful.
    2. Listen to your doctor.
      • This may sound dumb, but my physician was so impressed that I had actually followed instructions. She told me most women diagnosed with GS at her practice don’t record their glucose and eat whatever they want. This could have greater implications on your baby, so just listen to the doc.
    3. Join a support group. I joined a FB group and just found it helpful to see that I wasn’t in this alone. I also had a friend who was also diagnosed. We would text and it was comforting to just know that we were both dealing with the same thing.
      • Check out Facebook groups or ask your OBGYN office if they offer any services for women to connect.
      • Maternal Mental Health therapy may also be an option if you are really struggling.

My prayer for you is that you take this Gestational Diabetes on and do what is best for you and your baby. You can do this! You will make it through and you will be better for it! Hang in there mama!

In Love, Amanda 🙂