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28 Weeks Pregnant+ Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis


Hey there, third trimester! I can't believe that we are already at the 28-week mark. 

Yesterday my pregnancy took a little bit of a wonky turn as I received a gestational diabetes diagnosis. I am going to just stream-of-conscious write about this for a little bit if you don't mind. Here goes...

So, I went to the doctor a little bit apprehensive of the glucose test (typically done 26-28 weeks from what I've read, and you fast for 2 hours, then drink a very sugary drink that contains 50 grams of glucose, then wait for one hour to see how your body processes it, and then get a finger prick to validate those results). The reason I was apprehensive was because I did not pass it the first go-round with Camille and I had to go back for the repeat 3-hour test. The three hour test consists of four blood draws (if I'm remembering correctly) and it had me waiting there at the lab for about 3.5 hours -- of course I left my book at home that day, too. So, basically it was a big pain in the neck (and crook of my arm -- OUCH!) just to find out that I did not, in fact, have GD.

Yesterday I'm sitting there thinking, oh gosh, if I don't pass this first test, then I have to do that stupid repeat test, and now with a toddler! Have to plan it for a day when my mom can come into town to help me out or hire a babysitter. (At this point, I truly was dreading the repeat test more due to the time it would take ... didn't even cross my mind that my results from that repeat test would be anything different than a negative diagnosis, as they were with Camille.)

I last ate at 11:00 yesterday for my 1:40 appointment. I had a few cheese cubes and two tablespoons of peanut butter -- a protein-filled snack that I was hoping would hold me over for lunch, and then I'd eat a super late lunch when I was home. I started drinking the sugary drink around 2:15, so my fingerstick was at 3:15. 

The tech walked over to the machine to glance at the read-out and made a weird sound. 

She walked over to me and said, "Honey, what did you eat today?"

I told her about my morning cereal and mid-morning high-protein snack. She said, "Something must be wrong with the machine. Let me see if your finger is still bleeding. Your glucose level was 234."

In my previous line of work, I did a TON of health screenings for company employees, so I'm pretty well-versed in glucose levels. This number was sky-high. Mine typically is in the 80-90 range, never above about a 96. We repeated the test on another finger and that reading was 220.

The good news? I don't have to do the repeat 3-hour test because my levels were SO HIGH that it is abundantly clear that I have Gestational Diabetes. The not-so-good news is pretty apparent, I think.

This is not the end of the world and I CAN DO ANYTHING FOR THREE MONTHS (that is my mantra). But this will mean that my diet will have to change a fair amount once I start pricking my finger four times daily to see how my body is reacting to certain foods. 

Interestingly enough, I have more best friends than not who have also had GD -- and who I immediately texted. I've already been given sample meal plans, insider tips, empathy, and lots of reassurance from them that this is totally manageable. 

From a non-selfish side ... I, of course, am thinking about this sweet baby. The last thing I want to do is to create a non-healthy environment for this little one in the last three months of my pregnancy. This pregnancy has been so wonderful and almost a complete repeat of how I felt with Camille. No nausea. No crazy aversions or cravings. A little bit of tiredness but no out-of-control exhaustion. Healthy weight gain. Pretty darn good sleep. Sort of the dream pregnancy!

I was hoping that this pregnancy update would be all "Wedding rings off or on? ON! Mood? Feeling HAPPY!!!" but yesterday's news definitely put a different spin on things. Again, this is a three-month deal (trying not to think about the approximate 360 times I will be pricking my own finger over that time) and I have girlfriends with type 1 diabetes who live under much harsher restrictions every single day of their lives. Perspective. 

With that said, we are looking forward to a nice long holiday weekend together and I will be doing lots more research online. If you have experience with GD, I'd love to hear from you via comment below or email (alizadventures@ymail.com). 

And, just for fun, here I am at 28 weeks with Camille (gosh, that was a good hair day) and a link to my 28-week pregnancy journal with her.


And just because I'm giving this one final proofread and I really don't want to end on a negative note, I can't say enough how excited I am to meet this sweet baby. I am proud of us for holding strong on not finding out the gender -- I am sort of thinking boy, strangers think I am carrying like it's a boy (although they said that about Camille), but Ian thinks we have another girl on the way. The nursery is about 10% done, if that, and we can't really agree upon names just yet. But laying in bed at night, feeling this baby move around and give me those reassuring little thumps, well -- it's just about the best thing ever. I am so excited to see Camille in her new role as big sister, and I just can't wait for Ian to announce to me whether we have a son or daughter!

40 comments:

  1. I'm sorry that the test came back the way that it did. But, I'm glad that you're choosing to look on the bright side and move forward. That sweet baby is the important thing here and you absolutely CAN do anything for 3 months!! Sending you hugs!

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  2. I'm sorry about your diagnosis! Like you said, it is only for three months, you can do this. I was also had GD for my second pregnancy. I wrote about it in a post: http://thiswomancooks.blogspot.com/2015/01/baby-2-update-31-and-32-weeks.html

    And here's another about my meal plan: http://thiswomancooks.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-skinny-on-gestational-diabetes.html

    It was definitely not fun having to prick my finger four times a day, but like anything else, you get used to it and make it a part of your day. Write the numbers down. Figure out what makes you score higher than you would like. Play around with what you can eat. Reading nutrition labels was key to see how many carbs you could get away with, I spent lots of time at the grocery store in the beginning figuring out what I could snack on safely. Lots of veggies and protein! Cheese was safe too. If you'd like to talk more feel free to email me! Good luck, you're going to do great.

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  3. That sure stinks - I'm sorry! My mom had GD with my brother. Honestly, I think it's more age than anything (and I'm older than you:)). My mom was very healthy and they told her it was more being in your thirties than anything, but who knows. Everyone has to modify their diet, but it wasn't tooooo restrictive. I do know when my mom gave birth she immediately asked for chocolate lol! 28 weeks down for you and 12 to go:) You'll do great and baby will be healthy.

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  4. I had my first baby 8 months ago, and I also had gestational diabetes. My doctor sent me to a nutritionist, and after meeting with her, I was fully educated on how to manage my gestational diabetes. It does get easier, and the finger pricks didn't bother me as much as I anticipated they would. I was so used to eating for my gestational diabetes (and constant testing), that it was weird not to continue to eat that way once my baby was born! Please blog about what you find to eat (if you're comfortable with that) because not enough bloggers out there have blogged about their meal plans, and I loved researching via blogs for new things to eat. You never know what mommas you might inspire down the road! Also, my husband and I waited to find out the gender of our baby, and it was the best decision we could have made. Having my husband tell me we had a baby girl was magical. We plan to do it again for our future children. :)

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  5. Awww! You poor thing! I was never able to even finish the glucose test- I got sick and through up during the drink every time. So I had to go weekly and get pricked to test my levels and just keep on eye on things. Like you said- you can do anything for 3 months! AND you look AMAZING and glowing :) xo

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  6. Aw I'm so sorry you have GD!! I feel like you eat amazingly healthy, too! Hope it ends up not being as bad as it seems and the last 3 months go quickly

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  7. I am so sorry about your diagnosis, but at least they caught it and you will keep it under control. I had to take the three hour test for my first pregnancy and I was terrified of the results. But, like you say, it is only for three months. Take good care of yourself and sending positive thoughts your way.

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  8. April, I'm so sorry to hear this! Pregnancy is tough enough on its own without complications--praying you're (somewhat) easily able to control this through diet alone. Best of luck to you!

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  9. So sorry, sweet girl! I know getting that diagnosis was not the best news in the world, but honestly, you are so right: you CAN do anything for three months. I don't have a lot of experience with this personally, but do know a lot of fellow bloggers who have had GD (including Christina above!) and they did great and their babies were perfectly healthy. Wishing you luck, mama!

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  10. way to put things into perspective. 3 months isn't that long in the big scheme of things (although I'm sure it actually feels like forever!) and you can totally do it! I know so many people who have had the GD diagnosis, so would love to see some more posts about your meal plan, how you're dealing, tips, etc to share with them. Hang in there! xox

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  11. Wow, can't believe you are holding strong to not finding out the gender! I would be dying to know! I am 25 weeks along with a boy. It seems like year of the boy becasue everyone I know is having a boy. How are you preparing for either gender? Do you plan to change or add things when you do find out the gender? Also, keep us updated on the GD. I am dreading my test in a few weeks.....

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  12. I'm sorry about GD- just another thing to deal with, which is so not fun. Side note- one of my best friends had it with her second but not first as well. Her first child- girl, her second was a boy! For what it's worth!?

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  13. Oh gosh, girl, I totally feel for you. I know you can do it though and that Beth will be a big help!! You're not alone!!

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  14. Emotional mama here just teared up thinking about that sweet moment when your hubby announces who has joined your family! And even moreso...girl, I admire your heart, your positivity, and your perspective. You are a role model! xx

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  15. You can do it, Momma! And just think, this will give you more to write about on the blog - meal ideas, snack ideas, and how to manage it all!

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  16. I'm so sorry to hear the news of GD, I think you will do great for the next 3 months in making those small lifestyle changes for the good of your baby! I would totally be itching to find out the gender so go you guys for staying strong and not finding out!!

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  17. Sending prayers and you're attitude is so awesome - you can do anything, especially when it's for your baby!! I have my glucose test in the next few weeks...!!! And okay, I'm crying reading the last part about your hubby announcing who has been in your belly...it is all I can think about lately too. Makes me giddy.

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  18. I'm sorry to hear about the GD diagnosis - it takes me back to my first pregnancy with my daughter (2 years ago) when I was diagnosed. I cried for an hour thinking it was something I did or could have prevented! I was 26, healthy, and had never had blood sugar issues before, but my mom had it with me -- the truth is, sometimes things are genetic and/or our bodies just react differently to things when we're pregnant. Pricking the finger is more inconvenient than anything and after a while it becomes second nature! My GD was diet controlled and I just made sure to pay close attention to labels and how much protein I was getting versus carbs/sugar. If I had a roll at dinner, I didn't have another starch or dessert, and balanced it with a serving of meat, and so on. My daughter was born without any complications and I'm sure your little one will be too. :) I'm now pregnant with my second and sort of expecting the same diagnosis, but who knows!

    You look fantastic and so glad you've been having an otherwise dreamy pregnancy! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions about GD. :)

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  19. Oh my, I'm so sorry to hear about the GD :( I didn't have it with my kids but I can't imagine how tough it is on top of all the other joys ;) of pregnancy. You sound so positive about it and I really admire that! I really hope it's not too much of burden in these last few months of your pregnancy! Hang in there!

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  20. Certainly not a fun twist on things, but you are so right! You can do it for 3 months and be just fine {esp when it comes time to hold that sweet baby!!} And, you look great with Camille and Baby #2!

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  21. OH man, what a damper to the day, but at least it is a finite amount of time and when baby comes you can go back to eating whatever. 3 more months, 3 more months! You got this, although not as much fun as saying, I'm pregnant, I'm going to eat that donut. You'll have to save those all up for when baby comes. :)

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  22. First, I'm sorry about the GD. On the positive, at least it's on this side of the holiday season. My SIL found out right at Thanksgiving with her GD and had a tough Christmas around all those tempting treats!
    Also- you look so cute! I never looked that good pregnant...better with my first. But man the second... 😁😉 good luck!

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  23. So sorry about your results! I am happy that you don't have to go through that horrible long test (I did with my first little guy). My sister in law has had GD with all three of her pregnancies. Although super healthy, apparently having endometriosis (sp?) can put you at a higher rate of having it. She got through it and I know you will too! Hugs and prayers for your pregnancy to continue to be smooth!

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  24. Sorry to hear you have GD, I had to do the three hour test last time and pray I don't need to this round! Looking on the positive side, it is a great way to maintain healthy weight gain ;-) And I adore that pink sweater you are wearing, it's gorgeous!

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  25. You look lovely! And you are getting so close! I'm sure these last weeks will fly by. I am so sad to hear about your GD diagnosis. I have had several friends who have had it and I think once they got the hang of the prepwork, it felt more manageable. I really struggled with hypoglycemia in my early 20's so I feel your pain with needing to test your blood sugar multiple times a day. Soon you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel and this challenge will have passed. It sounds like you have a great attitude about it and are focusing on what's important - a healthy baby. I can't wait to see if it is a both or girl. Also, thank you for the comments you've left on my blog recently - for some reason only comments from you and one other reader aren't pushing through to my email so I missed them completely until I just happened to be checking something on my own page this week.

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  26. Hi! Ironically I came across you blog because someone put an apple cake of yours on Pinterest :). I had GD, and was devestated when I found out (selfishly because I'm afraid of needles). But it really wasn't as bad as I anticipated. I was determined to regulate via diet and not need injections. A friend if mine in the same boat had no elf control and needed insulin. For snacks I lived on apples, cheese, peanut butter, and almonds. Breakfast was usually steel cut oatmeal (make a big pot to get you through the week) with fruit, or hard boiled eggs. For lunch & dinner Lots of turkey chili, chicken Caesar salads, steak & sweet potatoes, and omelettes. I truly avoided sugar at all costs, but still had problems with my first reading of the day. Then I figured out that f I snacked right before bed I did better in the a.m. (Even with an occasional scoop of ice cream). One day I was in a rush and grabbed a Chobani strawberry yogurt. I was super worried because there's quite a bit of sugar, but to my surprise I had my lowest readings ever. I was soooo happy because I LOVE my Chobani! I had the same results time and time again. What I finally determined was that as long as a food had a 2:1 carb: protein ratio I was generally ok (I.e. 30 carbs with 15 protein). On a positive note, I came out of pregnancy 10lbs lighter than I went in because of sugar elimination. I gained literally only baby weight and lost it all immediately. It was a real eye opener for me. However, once I delivered and started nursing I became a legitimate cookie addict, so when I stopped nursing a year later I gained some weight back. My son is now 2 and I'm trying to follow my GD diet again by choice to lose weight, and I'm down almost 20lbs.
    You're gong to be fine! Like you said, 3 months isn't so bad.
    PS: if nobody already tod you, prick on the side of your finger-it won't hurt as bad as if you prick the fingerprint part. Email me if you have any questions jillcapalbo@yahoo.com

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  27. Hey! I have been following your blog for a while. I also had GD in my second pregnancy, and had a fairly similar number to you in my glucose test. Don't panic. You can do this. You get used to the finger pricks, trust me. Cut your carbs, test frequently. You will get extra care through the hospital, and possibly extra ultrasounds (I had my babies in England, that's what happened to me). Use all the resources available to you. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to chat. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 6 years ago. This was when my GD baby was a year old. I have recently cut to a very reduced carb diet. It rocks, but can be difficult to maintain. I have also gone on to have another baby, with type 1. The finger pricks are a pain, but well worth it for decent control. Will you be going on insulin?

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  28. I'm sorry to hear about your GD diagnosis but, your positive attitude & close resources will certainly get you through! You look gorgeous as always!!

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  29. It's definitely a scary diagnosis, especially when you just KNOW there's no way you actually have it. Out of all the pregnancy complications there are, it was definitely the lowest on the list of things I expected to get, so I was absolutely flabbergasted when my test came back abnormal at 28 weeks last February. GDM is temporary -- as soon as that sweet baby is in your arms, you'll be free of finger pricks and know that it was all worth it. It'll teach you even more improved dietary modifications and will, believe it or not, make it easier to make the best choices (because you have to!). You won't gain an excessive amount of weight the rest of your pregnancy because you'll be in check. (And the weight FALLS off immediately afterwards, too!) It incentivizes breastfeeding, because that will cut your risk for developing type 2 later on by 50%. They'll do a follow-up appointment at 6 weeks postpartum to check that your sugar levels are back to normal (this is helpful for early detection of type 2 risks, or discovering adult-onset type 1 -- I unfortunately ended up getting that diagnosis, but I'm so glad we caught it early BECAUSE of the GDM). You're still allowed to have a slice of cake at a baby shower or special occasion, so you're not utterly deprived beyond belief. The biggest risk for the baby at this point is likely just his or her size -- easily managed by strict control of your levels. Tips for managing: Drink lots of water! Things that impact blood sugar positively include physical activity, ample hydration, and managing stress well. My body doesn't respond well to bread, but I had much luck with sandwich thins or bagel thins in lieu of normal bread. Try different things -- sometimes portion control is all you need, and sometimes you respond better to certain things over others (I've heard of some GDM moms not spiking blood sugar with white bread, surprisingly!). Stay away from bananas (they're pure sugar in fruit form -- I didn't realize before!) and definitely any/all juice/liquid sugar. Work out consistently and as strenuously as you can, preferably in the morning hours or wherever you have the most trouble (esp if your morning levels spike -- your placenta sends hormones to block insulin in the early morning so it's normal to see higher fasting sugars for that reason). Meat and cheese and nuts are your BFFs! (Eat as much bacon as you like!) Eat minimal fake sugars, but you can have some if you NEED a diet coke or whatever you feel you're craving the most. If you end up needing to take insulin shots, you don't HAVE to stick them in your belly even if they suggest that -- it made me cringe and my swollen preggo belly bruise; I could much more easily stomach taking shots in my thigh instead! Prick the sides of your finger rather than the prints, and warm up your fingers beforehand (run under hot water, for example) to get the blood to flow more easily. (Otherwise you'll be super frustrated and go through a lot of test strips in the winter... I did this the hard way much too often.) You look beautiful! You're going to be just fine, baby and you will be in great health, and the next three months will surprisingly fly by! Let me know if you need anything!!!

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  30. I think it's great you didn't find out what you are having. We waited to be surprised with our 4. Please take care of yourself, the time will go fast and everything will be fine.

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  31. I am so sorry about the GD diagnosis. I never had that in my 3 pregnancies, but I know many that have...and it's such a weird thing because it does happen to really healthy people, so it's nothing to do with you and not caring for yourself, it's just one of those things. Pregnancy truly takes our bodies on a rollercoaster ride. Just rest easy and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. www.californiatocarolina.com

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  32. you look amazing girl. good luck with the GD diagnosis. xo

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  33. <3!!!! You've got this mama!!!!

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  34. Oh bummer!!! It's so good that you have a support system already in place and several friends who have had it before and they can guide you. I was lucky enough to not have it with my first, but my doctor thought I may get it any future pregnancies because I was skating the line kind of close.

    liz @ j for joiner

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  35. Ugh I had this with Miss Andi and I was devastated! Trust me, after the first week the pricking and testing is like you were born to do it and the new diet actually makes you feel great! You totally got this girl! Have a great weekend! xoxo

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  36. Praying for all to go well!♡ You look amazing...if you ever need to ask me a nursing question, I would love to help!

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  37. Oh so sorry to hear. I was diagnosed with Charlie and it rocked my world. But it is honestly way easier than it sounds. My doctor made me go to a 3 hour GD class that was very informative. It was held downtown near the hospital. I made my blog private but if you want any of my old posts on how to deal or any advice, just let me know! I gave all my wisdom to Beth when she was diagnosed so I know she can help too.

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  38. Such a bummer about the GD diagnosis! At least it was after the holidays. Hang in there and like you said you can do anything for that sweet baby for 3 months.

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