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Treading the Gestational Diabetes Journey

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Getting pregnant at age 34, after several years of nourishing my body and soul to allow this to happen naturally, was a sweet, sweet victory. I was feeling calm and empowered and insanely proud of my body for pulling through the poor treatment of my early years.

Then pregnancy week 28 hit, and I failed the gestational diabetes test. Whaaat? Then I failed the second three-hour test...I was officially diabetic. I cycled through denial, rebellion, crying, then settled on opportunity. Seeing this as an opportunity to learn more about my body, how food affects it, and how to keep my sugars stable.

Fortunately, once my blood sugar monitor arrived, I discovered that I my eating habits were already fairly on point for stability;

  • Small portions more frequently (breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between each)

  • Nutrition-density is key (yes, I already knew this, but throughout pregnancy, as my stomach is progressively getting less space, the importance of cramming nutrition into every bite for baby and I to share iI have s top of mind)

  • Greens are great -- always have been, always will be

  • Cheese is low in carbs (choose minimally processed, organic)!

  • Fruit isn't an enemy, just pair it with side of protein (I have to be careful with bananas)

I had a reoccurring epiphany when I saw the GD doctor for the first time: doctors don't have all the answers. First of all, in the two weeks between diagnosis and seeing the doctor, I wasn't given any guidance on how to look after myself beyond testing my sugars. When I did see the doctor, he glanced over the phone application that I'd been using to track my sugars and food, looked harshly at me, asked how stressed out I was, and told me I should see a nutritionist.

What? Dude, you didn't even look at what I've been eating; you didn't really look at my sugars; you haven't actually given me any beneficial information, just tried to scare me into being worried!

Am I overreacting? Setting my expectations too high for my doctors? But why is there a theme of going to doctors and leaving with more questions than when I arrived?

We have to take doctors off the pedestal and see them as part of our wellness team, of which we are the leader, project manager, badass director! We are the ones living in these bodies. We are the ones who can feel, hear, smell, see, taste when our body isn't on board with something we've consumed. We are the ones who know our values, history, triggers, activity habits, etc. Luckily information is more available than ever to empower and teach ourselves about everything!

I left the first appointment one week ago, after making weekly appointments for then until the due date in late August. Apparently they'll rotate between monitoring baby's stress and ultrasounds to make sure everything is going well. (I should say that I am also measuring small, so that adds a whole other level of "stress" to the situation - for another time).

More to come on how GD affects mine and baby's life in the future. I was diagnosed without any of the common symptom factors and usually GD babies are large, not small, so the story won't be common. I've never liked following the trodden path, though :).


Gemma xo

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