Published on March 21, 2016

My Gestational Diabetes Journey

I blogged awhile back about finding out I had been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (G.D.). The journey has continued and it’s been an interesting experience! There’s been good and not so good days.

I did end up getting insulin to use before bed. My fasting numbers had been high. These little buggers are the hardest to control. It’s not what anyone wants. Insulin = needles, and needles = pain, right? Giving myself insulin turned out to not be the massive needle I imagined, nor does it hurt. The insulin is in what looks like a pen, and the needle is very short and fine. You inject it into your side, leg, or arm. It hurts less than poking your finger to check your blood. However, it’s still not something I’d want to do daily. 

I continued to meet with my Diabetes Educator about once a month. She’s been a great resource for questions, especially after I’ve been reading the GD Support Group comments online. People will post many theories, and I’ve appreciated having her available to spread light on the rumors and ease my mind. I have also met with an Endocrinologist. I didn’t know what to really expect. Dr. Almokayyad, or Dr. A for short, was a very nice, pleasant Physician who reviewed my blood sugar history. He said I was doing very well, and gave me instructions as to when I should increase my insulin if necessary. As I had already suspected, having Gestational Diabetes means I have the genetic factor for Type II diabetes. After the babies are born, I’ll check my sugars a couple times, unless I want to continue and have the supplies at home, and then have a follow up appointment about two months after they are born.

Food Woes
peanut-butter-toastMy bedtime routine consists of checking my blood sugar level, giving myself insulin, and having a bedtime snack.  Finding a snack to help keep my blood sugar low through the night without going to low is a ridiculous, never-ending, mindboggling puzzle.  I was given many suggestions. Eat a high carb snack. Eat a high protein snack. Eat a balanced carb/protein snack. Eat high fat ice cream. Drink apple cider vinegar in your water before bed. Eat a piece of bread with peanut butter. I have tried every one of these, including taking a shot of apple cider vinegar, chased by water, before bed. (Yes, it is as bad as you’re imagining!) It seems like when I find something that helps me have a good fasting number in the morning, it only lasts a few days, and then my number increases. After two high fasting numbers, I increase my insulin by two units. I’m happy to report that my fasting number has been controlled for the last two and half weeks. Here’s to hoping I didn’t just curse it. 

The G.D. diet has been easy to follow for the most part. I definitely haven’t packed on the baby weight I did with my first pregnancy. Depending on the scale I use, I’ve only gained about 2-5 pounds. I have ate a lot of eggs and peanut butter (not together, that’s gross). They both are safe foods, but it’s easy to get tired of them. I quickly found out what makes my blood sugar spike higher. Everyone is different. For me it’s French fries and tortilla flour shells. Yet mashed or baked potatoes do not affect me. There are times where I just want to eat what I want. For example, I want a donut. I don’t even like donuts. My husband was up with a hurt foot about 4 a.m. one morning. I looked at him and said, “I’m so hungry. I want a donut.” I even checked to see if Dutch Oven Bakery in town was open. But apparently it wasn’t time to make the donuts. Or at least sell them. I’ve stayed good though. I haven’t had the dumb donut. 

Working at a hospital makes breakfast and lunch during the week much easier.  I eat the same breakfast every day.  Scrambled eggs and low carb toast.  Again, this gets boring, but breakfast has become more about fueling my body and the babies for the morning than indulging in treats such as bacon and little sausages…oh, and donuts. 

At lunch I check the entrees nutritional values for the number of carbs and sodium in each meal, and make my decision what to eat based on these numbers. We have a great salad bar always available. Sodium isn’t something I have to follow for Gestational Diabetes, but rather something I started doing on my own. Too much sodium raises your blood pressure, something important to watch when pregnant. I’ve read that it’s recommended to aim for 1500 - 2400 milligrams of sodium a day. It’s been an eye opener to see that one entrée can have over 2000 milligrams of sodium! This is over my daily allowance. I removed a lot of foods from my diet with high sodium. I use to eat a serving of cottage cheese every day at lunch. I stopped, and about a week later had just a few bites of it and was amazed how salty it tasted. 

This experience has caused me to say, while eating, “Do you know how many carbs are in that!?!”  Which gets the response from Ryan, “Stop ruining food!” I’ll give him that one.  I’m not trying to ruin food for everyone else, but this really has been an eye opening experience! I’m excited to be able to use what I’ve learned through this experience to better the lifestyle of my family.

About the Author

Mindy WendtMindy Wendt is a mom with twins on the way! She also works in the Human Resources Department at Mary Greeley Medical Center. She and her husband Ryan currently have two daughters, Taylor (14) and Tessa (3).

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