Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gestational Diabetes - A Day in the Life

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY PARENTS!  42 years never looked so good!  And they were high school sweethearts...awwwww...awww!!!

My friend Hey Hawleywood did a post about her day in the life of gestational diabetes and while I never thought I'd have to read it again after she posted it, it was my go-to post to read the second I found out I had gestational diabetes.  She helped me get through those first couple of weeks and I'm so thankful...I sent her a gazillion questions and she replied with the sweetest emails and lots of answers.  And that's when I realized my world was not going to end and that this was just a temporary problem.  Kevin also put it into perspective for me.  I'm happy to be married to the voice of reason!

First, I don't think a lot of people understand the ins and outs gestational diabetes.  Here are a few things you may not know:
1.  They test you between 24-28 weeks pregnant.  If you fail the one hour test, they make you do the three hour test (it's all about how your body reacts to the sugar).  Mom was in Charlotte and sat with me the whole time I did that three hour test.  Basically you drink the same amount as you did the first time but it has double the sugar.  They test your blood before you drink then each hour for three times after you drink the drink.  And I'll be honest - the drink is not that bad.  I had lemon lime the first time and orange the second.  The drink is minor in the grand scheme, trust me!

2.  You can't control whether or not you pass the test.  Yeah you can not eat carbs the whole day before your test but there is a hormone that is in your body that you cannot change.  And to be honest, you need to know if you have the gest diabetes for the health of your baby so don't fudge the test.

3.  The diet and how you deal with it is different from regular diabetes.

4.  You can control it by the way you eat and not have to take insulin.  You can take the two diabetes pill medicines but they aren't FDA approved for pregnant women so that leaves insulin.

5.  The whole gestational diabetes diet is centered around counting carbs.  Basically they want you to have carbs but limited and in conjunction with high protein.


So here is a day in the life for me...

6am - wake up and take Mills out.  Prick myself to test my fasting blood sugar and hope for 60-90 (I have been between 84-92 usually).  This has been the hardest one for me because it's not exactly about what you ate - it's about how much of that hormone is in your body (it peaks from 4-8am), how well you slept, how much stress you have, how long you fasted for.  Basically this is not a consistent number so I've really battled with this number.  Thankfully I've been able to keep it in check.  But this number has driven my engineering mind nuts because it's not concrete.  I can eat the same thing the night before, sleep the same amount of time and my number is different from one morning to the next.

6:30am - eat something for breakfast - you only get 15g of carbs for breakfast.  I've been living off the 9g carb yogurts lately and then I'll add nuts for protein.  I also ate breakfast tacos on a 6" whole wheat wrap (egg, avocado, sausage and sout cream).  An omelet is a good option if you're forced to out for breakfast.  When I was traveling, I'd get the egg and cheese mcmuffin from McDonalds and only eat half the muffin with the egg and cheese.  Breakfast has been the hardest meal for me because I have not been into eggs while pregnant and if you knew how obsessed with eggs I was before that, you wouldn't believe this ha!  I've also gotten into the habit of having a little chocolate milk.  The Tru Moo kind works with the amount of carbs versus protein so I have to get this at Target or Trader Joes. 

7:30am - test my blood sugar and hope for between 90-120!  I'm usually fine on this.

9:30am - must eat a high protein snack - I got a lot of different bars from Target that are high protein and low carb.  Must be less than 15g carbs.  I also eat nuts or three peanut butter crackers.

Noon - lunch.  Lunch is also hard because you can't eat lunch meat while pregnant.  You can't eat a sandwich because usually it's too many carbs.  My go-to lunch has been chicken salad, kale salad and tomato salad.  It's a meat and two option from Harris Teeter for $6.  The chicken salad has bits of apples which gives me some carb.  Technically I should probably have some crackers with this to meet my carb amount.

1pm - test blood sugar.

2:30pm - feeding time again.  I have never eaten so many times in my life til this diet.  I felt the feeling of hunger for the first time last week, ha!  This time I'll have a small apple with peanut butter or a small fruit cup.  You can have fruit in the afternoon snack times.  String cheese is also good.  I was really limited when I was traveling and basically only ate bars and peanut butter crackers.  Now I can bring stuff to my office and put it in the fridge.

4:30pm - eat again if I remember.  I'll just do a scoop of peanut butter or 10 scoops depending on the day. Haha!  I have been eating peanut butter by the gallon trying to gain weight...something I've never had to do in my life!

6:30/7pm - dinner.  Low carb but still have carbs.  Taco salads have been good...I'll add a couple whole wheat chips.  If you have a low carb meal then I sometimes add a glass of milk to get some carbs.  

7:30/8pm - test blood sugar

9/10pm - go to bed but first, have a bedtime snack which always makes me feel like I'm being bad!  I have some greek yogurt popsicles that Maran told me about or the snickers ice cream bar is what the dietitian told me to have.  Baffling, I know!  Or a glass of milk.  This basically holds you over until you wake up so you want to be sure it has protein in it.  They say they don't want you to fast for more than 6-8 hours.  This is tough because I want to sleep more than 8 hours, especially on the weekend.  Eh I'm getting by.


So the day time numbers are pretty easy to deal with because it's all in what you eat.  I'm disciplined enough that I can change what I eat so I make the numbers and the baby stays healthy.  They say that 70% of ladies that are diagnosed with gestational diabetes end up having to go on some insulin.  I've been INCREDIBLY thankful that I haven't had to do that.  When you go on insulin, that's when you have to worry about the baby getting big quickly and they end up possibly inducing labor early. 

I don't wish gestational diabetes on anyone but I will say after the last 8.5 weeks of dealing with it - it's manageable!  As long as you follow the diet and do what you're supposed to do, you and the baby will be perfectly healthy.  It's not the end of the world!

Long post, I know but this is my diary and I may need this post again for round two! ;)


  1. I did not have a detailed understanding of gestational diabetes so despite being nowhere near pregnant I actually found this post very interesting! I'm sure you will be glad to be back to you normal schedule in a few weeks.

  2. I know I have said this before, but today is my parents anniversary too! They are celebrating 43 years, high school sweetheart and have known each other since they were 5! Yayee for amazing role models!

    I am sure getting diagnosed with GD is such a blow, but it seems like you have it under control and you are almost done!!!!

  3. I have my glucose test tomorrow and I am so nervous that I will have to take the 3 hour one, and even more nervous that I may have GD! At least I will have a few good blog posts to reference in case I do :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. im so glad you've been able to control it without resorting to insulin . I didn't really know much about GD, so I think this has been a really great post and I'm sure will help a lot of people . That finish line is just around the corner :)

  5. This was a really fascinating post! I'm very impressed with you that you've been able to manage it on diet alone. And you're almost there! Have you already planned what your first post baby meal is going to be?

  6. Thanks so much for sharing. I have my test in the middle of July and I am pretty terrified about it. Having more information and seeing a "day in the life" is really helpful! Congratulations on doing such a great job managing it, and soon it will be over!

  7. my mom had it while pregnant with my brother and I remember all the SNACKING:) almost there - excited for you.

  8. Really interesting! You've handled this so well, I can't imagine it's fun. I'm not looking forward to the test but trying to take the stress away from the whole situation - and this post helped that a lot.

  9. aww you are too sweet. I had never known anyone with gest diabetes so when I was diagnosed I was left to research and go to classes. So glad I could help you. We Mamas need to stick together. You are almost there! But I am sad to report that you have to do a 2 hour glucose test after you have the baby too to make sure you still don't have it. I am getting mine in a few weeks, so don't worry, it's not right away.

  10. I am so impressed with you and your discipline!!! You are almost done!! :)

  11. This was a great post because although I'm an RN I know tons about normal diabetes but GD is very different in how it works. I'm really worried for my test coming up but reading this I now know that if I do get diagnosed it isn't the end of the world. And thank goodness it doesn't last for too long either! You're finally getting to the end of this yay!
    Ally - Life as I know it

  12. I tested so high with my first pregnancy that I had to skip the three hour test. I remember being so anxious-it would be 4 days before someone could talk to me about how to properly manage it and I felt like I was going to hurt the baby jn the mean time. With my second, I was supposed to take the three hour test, but felt really gross after the first and figured I might as we'll accept fate and just start the diet and pricking. A good friend reminded me that of all the things that could go wrong, this was minor. And in the end, I think it helped me lose the baby weight faster and not gain as much. I will say, I had a small laundry list of items I wanted to have brought to me at the hospital-between the pregnancy no nos and the GD no nos, I had some serious cravings!