I realize that probably 95% of you really don't care that much about Gestational Diabetes. BUT, I figure somewhere along the way there will be another 5% that encounter it somehow in their lives, and I hope to speak some truth about it based on my own experiences. (Disclaimer: I realize that my experience will be different from others; I'm not saying everyone's will look like this. Also, this will probably be another long post, so feel free to skip around - or skip it all together - if you are in the 95%.)
First, if you want a little background, click here.
Ok, here goes...
It has been exactly two weeks since I attended my diabetes education class, received my meter, and started watching my diet/ pricking my finger four times a day for a blood glucose readings. My feelings and emotions have been ALL over the spectrum in those 14 days. When I have a really good day with low numbers and can easily stick to my "diet," I feel positive about the changes I am making, confident about the health of my baby, and sometimes even a little excited to see "how good" I can do on my next reading. Then, there are other days where I feel like I'm doing everything right, and I still get numbers higher than I'd like (the goal for me is stay below 95 in the morning - before eating anything; and below 120 two hours after every meal). On these days, I am frustrated, anxious, and disappointed. Still, there are other days, when my self-control is weak and I eat three cookies or a slice of cake only to see the numbers (not surprisingly) sky rocket. I feel the worst after those kinds of days. I am angry at myself for not doing better for my little boy, and I am angry at God/my body/my doctor/whoever for making me get GD and stick to any kind of eating plan. I HATE that I can't have a donut in the teacher's lounge, eat icecream whenever I want, or cheetos with my lunch - Afterall, I'm pregnant. I should be able to eat whatever I want.
So that's the basic roller coaster this has been so far... Along with it, here are a few of the pros and cons I've discovered in my journey so far:
- The diet really isn't that bad. I CAN still eat carbs. In fact, I can eat kind-of a lot of carbs (30 for breakfast and three snacks, 45 - 60 for lunch and dinner). I am NOT on the Atkins Diet, thank goodness!
- Every time I eat a healthy meal or forgo dessert, I feel better about myself and know that I am already caring selflessly for my little boy. This is the best feeling.
- Weight. As you know, I've gained a good bit of weight throughout this pregnancy so far. In fact, up to this point, I had gained about a pound a week consistently. Well, at today's appointment I had gained only 1/2 a pound in the last TWO weeks. This is a small victory, but it was good news to me!
- I truly believe that I am developing and changing some eating habits that I NEEDED to adjust anyway in my life - diabetes or not. In the last two weeks, I have exercised more, drank more water, and practiced more self-control with my eating than I probably ever have in my life. (This is a little sad to be honest.) I also have become genuinely more educated about the eating choices I make every day - some times I am amazed to think of what I would be eating if I wasn't paying such careful attention.
- I just want to eat icecream, cookies, cake, bagels, thick bread, etc. etc. etc. (And sometimes, truth be told, I feel like I deserve it because I'm eight months pregnant.)
- The eating plan that I am following (which is basically just sticking to the specific number of carbs I am allowed per meal/snack & obeying a few other "rules) requires A LOT of planning. It takes me twice (maybe three) times as long to pack my "lunch" in the morning, because I have to count carbs, write everything down, and pack all my snacks for the day too. Sometimes dinner is even harder, especially when I am busy. I can't just run in a sandwich shop or pick up something quick - I need to either make something healthy at home or take the time before hand to research online nutritional facts at restaurants etc.
- The plan really doesn't allow for spontaneity AT ALL. When it is Teacher Appreciation Week and there are chocolate desserts EVERYWHERE in the teacher's lounge, I can't just decide to forgo my regularly scheduled snack for a piece of oreo pie. Likewise, I can't munch endlessly on chips and salsa with friends (and you KNOW how much I love chips and salsa) or randomly decide that I am more in the mood for a chicken sandwich than a salad at lunch time. I hate this. (As a side note: I am learning that drinking water and exercising will make up for a lot of "cheats." This is a good lesson because it gives me some freedom; but it is dangerous too.)
- I can't eat fruit until after noon, and I really miss my morning banana. (This is one of those weird rules. Apparently, women with GD have a hard time processing sugars from fruit early in the morning. ??)
- I'm really not supposed to eat "sweets" EVER. Even if they fit into my carb count. I wish I could say I had done perfectly with this, but I have not.
- Sometimes I do everything right and still have a high reading; or everything wrong and turn out ok.
- I have to prick my finger four times a day.
- Despite constant little kicks and wiggles, I still worry about my baby a lot. When this is all said and done, I just want to know that I've done everything I possibly can for him to be healthy and happy. I am so envious of my friends that have already had their babies.
Ok, that about sums things up so far... I do want to report that my doctor said that I am doing very well. He has no extra concerns about me at this point. I will just keep doing what I'm doing and try to reduce the number of "mistakes." I WILL make it eight more weeks. :) Thanks for your support and for taking the time to read all of this if you've made it this far.