Gestational diabetes happens when your body cannot produce enough insulin during pregnancy. I had it for two out of my three pregnancies and was frightened the first time I heard those words. Confused, not knowing what will happen and concern for my baby were all a part of finding out I had gestational diabetes.
The first time I was pregnant, I was only twenty years old. I may have been a little overweight, but not considered obese. I thought it was no big deal going for my routine tests and thought everything was going to be fine. Around my seventh month, I was given a fasting blood glucose test. This involved fasting, having my blood drawn for a baseline and drinking a special sugary drink. Then they proceeded to draw my blood once an hour for the next three hours. The worst part for me was not being able to eat when I had already been fasting all night. After I was diagnosed, I had to get stress-tests throughout the rest of my pregnancy and count the baby’s kicks I felt and how often. I was referred to a dietician who gave me a meal plan and I stuck to it for the most part. I ended up with an 8 pound 2 1/2 ounce baby girl and my blood sugar returned to normal.
In my thirties I got pregnant twice more. The first of these, I had gestational diabetes again. I had the fasting blood glucose test, the stress-tests, counted kicks, saw a dietician, but this time I also had to use a glucose monitor. I had to prick my finger at various times during the day to get a blood sample and test it. I had to keep a record of all my levels. I thankfully never had to give myself insulin shots. Toward the end of this pregnancy, it was the holidays and well, I did not stick to my diet so good. This time, my baby was 9 pounds 2 1/2 ounces. Healthy, but pretty big. I am still not convinced I did not have gestational diabetes with my third and final pregnancy. I did the fasting glucose test again, and was told it was negative. I thought what luck, I can eat what I want; I did just that. Although the doctor said my test was negative, I still ended up with a 9 pound 13 ounce baby.
Taking care of yourself, even before pregnancy is so important. Just as with regular diabetes, a healthy diet and exercise help prevent so many diseases. I learned that getting regular check ups and tests are vital to the well being of me and my baby. If you know you want to become pregnant, that is the best time to start eating healthy and moving your body. It may just be what will stop someone from even getting gestational diabetes in the first place and will keep it from turning in to Type 2 diabetes in the future.