Pregnancy – I Have Gestational Diabetes

I’ve been keeping a secret now for 20 weeks. I have gestational diabetes. I kept this secret for many reasons, mostly because of the harassment I received during my last pregnancy from someone who doesn’t like me. When I got pregnant this time I refused to allow anyone to take this special time from me and I didn’t want to open myself up to public attack again while pregnant.

I’ve been living with gestational diabetes, it’s a preview of what could be life with Type 2 diabetes a very scary reality for so many Americans.  I eat a healthy diet but must say I love dessert, and pasta. I thought I knew so much about nutrition and eating right and then I took some nutrition classes.

I was shocked to find out how to really actually read a food label. I thought I knew but I really learned about carbs and how your body processes sugar and just how much everything we eat has an over abundant amount of sugar in it. I learned that eating 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day is so important to your overall health and just how hard it is to do every day.

Living with gestational diabetes has been such an eye opening experience, I’ve learned much more about food than I ever knew before. I know that after the baby is born it will disappear but I leave with better knowledge of how and what I should be eating. Since being diagnosed we eliminated all sugar cereal, did you know you’re only supposed to have 3/4 a cup of cereal? I was eating a large bowl and never actually measuring it out. I found that eliminating the cereal from our life has allowed us to explore other options for breakfast.

I also learned how those food affect your body. For Mother’s Day we got Chinese food, I honestly ate my 1/2 cup of rice and some veggie chow mien and an egg roll. My blood sugar spiked to 169 after my meal. I had never seen it that high and was honestly scared so we threw the food in the garbage and decided we’d never eat it again. I’ll make it myself and pack it full of veggies.

I am lucky I controlled my blood sugars with my diet but not everyone is that lucky. I test my blood sugar twice a day but when I first got started I was testing 8 times. I could not imagine going through my life having to test that many times a day. It’s scary, my life was consumed by testing and what I was eating. I was constantly reminded of what I was putting into my body and know I never want to live that way. Let alone having to do insulin every day like millions of others. I know I don’t want to live that way and now know how easily it can happen without you ever realizing it.

Because I stuck to my diet and made it a priority in my life I gained 20 pounds this pregnancy. A far cry from the 60 I gained during my last pregnancy. Plus I am having a healthy baby girl this week.

My gestational diabetes will go away this week and I will be able to enjoy a slice of pizza and cake again. I am however forever changed. I know what life could be like. I know that it’s not about moderation at all, that it’s about eliminating those foods completely and finding things that are healthy to enjoy. I am now dedicated to getting my 5 cups of fruits and veggies a day and making sure I read serving sizes and stick to them.

I want to live a healthy and full life and I want my children to be healthy. I got a peak at what having diabetes is all about and I don’t want to go back there.

Did you have gestational diabetes? How did you cope? What did you learn from having it?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider liking us on Facebook or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments

  1. Tammy says

    I had gestational diabetes with Emily and not with Brad. I learned a lot from it too and took away a great understanding what it means to fuel our body…not just to eat.

    Our neighbors brought me a chocolate cake in the hospital. It was delicious!!!! Best cake I have ever eaten, even to this day. I am sure it was because I went without sugar for so long.

    I still get my Blood sugar tested every 3 years and have always been on the safe side of the numbers.

    I am proud of you…you did great and it will pay off later this week! Congrats! :)

    • Kristin says

      Thanks so much Tammy!

      Hoping I’ll never have to deal with diabetes in any form ever again.

  2. Sandy VanHoey says

    I didn’t realize 5 cups of fruits and veggies a day nor did I know about measuring the cereal. I am not a big cereal eater but my daughter and grandson are so I need to let them know. You really seem to be doing great as far as weight gain and taking care of yourself. Good for you! Thanks for all the valuable information you share and best of luck with your new baby girl. Any day now!

  3. shelly peterson says

    Sorry to hear you went through harassment during your last pregnancy, no one should have to go through that. So I get why you kept this a secret even though you shouldn’t of had to. I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy. Boy what a pain that was. Unfortunately I had to use Insulin but with that and my diet I was able to keep my sugars down to a safe level And ended weighing less after my pregnancy than when I started. I wish I had kept up on my healthier eating habits afterwards. Pretty soon your lil girl will be here and all the blood testing will be over with. YAY!

  4. Denise L says

    Good for you Mama! I think lack of knowledge about nutrition is the biggest contributing factor to our health problems in this country. So glad you took a scarry diagnosis and came away with a positive. Good luck with the baby. Can’t wait to see her :)

  5. Amanda Starr says

    Ugh I remember gestational diabetes, no fun! Mine was almost 9 years ago. I was a little overweight when I got pregnant and gave into to any and all cravings at the beginning (whole cans of black eyed peas, tons of Reese’s and Chinese food every week) so I not only gained 80lbs but had to do Insulin shots everyday and was considered having a high risk pregnancy. Defiantly not fun and wasn’t able to enjoy it. I also took nutrition classes when I started the shots and was so surprised too about reading labels and portion sizes. When my daughter was younger I lost all the weight and was at a healthy BMI but after my dad died in 2007 I gained it all back plus so. I’ve gotten almost all of it off again expect that stubborn last 10lbs.
    I was kind of surprised when I read you had it, I know how focused you are on organic and healthy cooking though I’m glad you didn’t have to do the shots, they were scary to me and made my husband give them which he hated so much. At least you’ve learned even more about healthy eating and can continue after little girl is born. :)

  6. LaVonne says

    I am so glad I didn’t get that. I was impressed when you told me before that you had only gained 20 lbs. That is so great. I was supposed to gain only 20-25 lbs (since I started a bit overweight), and gained 28 lbs. So not too bad. My sister and I are actually going to go on Weight Watchers this summer so I will be measuring my cereal and pasta too ;) It actually is a good way to eat. Portion control (not my best habit that is for sure!)

    Hope you are having that baby girl today! ;)

  7. Naomi says

    Thanks for sharing this. I didn’t have gestational diabetes but it is certainly a wake-up call for many of us, especially when you think about what we are feeding our kids. We can always do better!

    p.s. you look adorable!

  8. Ivette says

    I have been silently reading along with your story for a couple of months now, and I have to say this post has made me feel better. I too have gd, and am currently 37 weeks, but because im having a repeat csection, my doctor basically told me he didn’t care how large my baby is when he is born, so I’m waiting for the next two weeks to meet him. I have been following the diet and have lost weight and having been able to control my resting BS with glaboryde. Im never over 120 during the day thank goodness. But my doctor treats me like I have brought this on myself. Really uncomfortable, you know, so i can relate to the critacisim you received in your last pregnancy. Im just glad this all will be over with once Our little one comes into the world. I cant wait. :) congrats to you, and a safe healthy delivery!

    • Sheila Foley says

      Your Doctor is a jerk…on many levels. Shame on him. Wishing a good outcome for you and your baby:)

  9. Eileen says

    Kristin this is an exemplary article you wrote and one many will learn from! You are SO right, people think they can cheat their body and come out on top always, but sometimes our body controls us and not the other way around. Eating healthy and eliminating certain foods just becomes a way of life after you have had your eyes opened when something like this happens.
    I had GD only with 1 of my 6 kids. I still dont’ know why it was just one time but luckily I was able to control it by my diet. I also kept my weight under control and still ended up having just short of a 9 lb baby. ( I am only 5 ft 2 so it was quite a shock to have a bigger than normal baby).
    Great job in doing what you needed to do to keep your lil one healthy! It is NOT easy!
    Can’t wait to meet your newest little angel! Everything will be fine and you will get to hold her close to you very soon!

    I cannot believe people who have way too much time on their hands to creep on others only to criticize and be mean. No one deserves this and to take away from such a special time. You’re a smart girl to keep your personal life personal when you wish and not open yourself up to that abuse. grrr…

  10. Betty Baez says

    I had it with my last pregnancy and I have to say it is brutal with all the food craving you have to learn to eat right and watch everything you take in. But as awful as it was it was worth it for my sweet baby boy. The first thing i had was a huge piece of tiramisu :)

  11. Jen-Eighty MPH Mom says

    I didn’t have it, but my dad had adult onset diabetes and it was awful. Luckily he really monitored everything he ate, but others I know have had a worse time. I hope everything goes wonderfully for you tomorrow!

  12. FaithJ says

    I have GD too, it’s my first baby. I haven’t gained a lot of weight, and was a normal weight beforehand. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that PROTEIN must accompany the CARBS I eat for snacks and meals. When I eat eggs, nuts, or meats with each meal, my blood sugars don’t spike. I am sure I will continue this balance even after the baby is born.

    I was eating an all-carb breakfast, and all-carb snacks. Even milk, fruits and veggies are carbs! Now I’ve changed my ways.

    I am looking forward to drinking my normal amount of Coca-Cola and some chocolate after the baby is here!

  13. Allison Griffin says

    I had gestational diabetes too. I already knew a lot about diabetes in general because my husband is a Type 1. I gained a new appreciation for his having to check sugars 8 times a day and give shots 4 times. His cannot be controlled by diet nd will never go away. We started making a lot more healthy choices when I was diagnosed.

    Jillian is 5 months old, and I have to admit that I am enjoying chocolate, cupcakes, and pizza again. However, I still read labels and I still try to eat fruits and veggies. I know that now I’m more at risk for having Type 2 so I still have to be careful. I only gained 18lb during my pregnancy and was back at my pre-preg weight after only a couple of months. I still have some extra that needs to disappear, so I’m trying to stay on my healthy plan.

    I hope all goes well with your recovery and that you enjoy your sweet baby. :-)

  14. Sheila Foley says

    What a shame that you had to hide it…some people can be pretty insensitive, especially when they are not well informed.

    I am a Diabetes Educator and I have the UTMOST respect for my patients with GDM. They have to stay on top of things for themselves and the baby—but as you said, it gives you an awareness of making good food /activity choices and that information will benefit you and your family in maintinaing a healthy lifestyle now and in the future.

  15. Christi says

    Thanks so much for this post! Having just been diagnosed it’s very comforting to hear from someone else who’s had the same experience. I’m sorry to hear you were harassed with your previous pregnancy. Sounds like that person must’ve had some issues!