Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Fat Girl's Pregnancy & Gestational Diabetes: Part 4


{Read This Fat Girl's Pregnancy & Gestational Diabetes: Part 1}
{Read This Fat Girl's Pregnancy & Gestational Diabetes: Part 2}
{Read This Fat Girl's Pregnancy & Gestational Diabetes: Part 3}


As I continued to be persistent in keeping my blood sugar levels well within normal and show up to a lot of appointments I found that I could actually survive this pregnancy.  But more surprising was that the more I asked questions about things I thought they would limit me on, I found that actually I had a lot of freedom.  My doctor even said that I would be asking her to induce me before she would be recommending that, to me that was a great victory.  One of my concerns was the medical interventions that would be pressed upon me because of the gestation diabetes. 

I've been lucky, I suppose.  I managed to escape the craziness of that April 23rd doctor's appointment and come out of this whole thing for the better.  Here I am at 34.5 weeks and I have only gained 7 pounds, total.  But I am also so much more healthier then I was before I started this pregnancy.  The other day I actually managed to wear a pair of pre-pregnant jeans (they were a little uncomfortable on the waist band, but loose even).  I continue to see Dr. Lim (the Osteopath) every other week and I have plans to see the nutritionist Terry once more before baby for help with a breastfeeding meal plan.

In some ways this whole process has made me quite sad for the system.  The system that they put women through.  The way that they set them up for failure.  I certainly felt like the Davis Sutter Group's practice was doing more to create Type 2 diabetics then to actually help women have a healthy pregnancy (Post about the long term effects of diabetic drugs during pregnancy coming soon).  I feel incredibly blessed that I have good health insurance with a lot of options and a supportive spouse.  I have found that it is possible to keep up with high standards for pregnant women and to still thrive.  There will be no failure to thrive here.

I spend most of my days working, a stressful job that doesn't help with my blood sugar, swimming and pretty much eating the same thing.  Good days are often defined by my blood sugar being below 130 after a good meal.  Sure it is "allowed" to be up to 140, but I like to keep things below 135 if possible.  I know that these are just passing days, that there is an end goal, a healthy mom and baby, and that when the hormones decide to finally work themselves out of my system I will be able to not kill myself as much trying to keep my numbers low.  I don't plan on walking away from these habits that I have learned and this healthier me.

It felt daunting and discouraging at the beginning but now I am feeling much better.  I'm excited to find that pre-pregnant jeans fit and that I haven't gained much weight.  I'm lucky.  Very lucky.  We still have a few more weeks to go and I'm crossing my fingers that I can continue to preserve and things continue to go well.

Things that were really important in this journey:
  • Find a health care provider that you trust.  Someone that doesn't make you feel inadequate and terrible.  Someone that isn't going to over react, that will give you a chance to control the gestational diabetes by diet and exercise but that you know if something was endangering you or the baby would be reactive.  
  • Do your research.  Hopefully some of these links through out these posts have been helpful.  But find out for yourself.  Know enough so that you feel comfortable pushing back on a health care provider if your gut is telling you not to believe them. 
  • Research food that works for you.  Yes, I said research.  You're going to find that your body reacts differently to lots of different kinds of food.  Figure out how you react.  I found that I could not eat rice.  I can't eat after 7pm at night.   
  • Do be afraid.  It's your body.  If you aren't being a passive participant in it all, you are more equipped to deal with this then anyone else.  You know when you are hungry (really hungry, not boredom hungry, not emotionally hungry, and not thirsty). 
Things that worked for me:
  • Drink water.  Lots of it.  I aim for 5 Nalgene's a day.  Really.  
  • Identify the time of day that you can be "bad".  I can eat a piece of chocolate after lunch before dinner and be OK.  After dinner, forget it.  Before lunch, forget it.  
  • Protein, protein, protein.  It's all about the protein for me.  I'm not as hungry and my blood sugar is better.  If I'm going to eat anything remotely bad I have to be ready with an equal or greater portion of protein to go along with it.  
  • I found that half a Luna bar and a chocolate organic horizon milk are a great snack and could even be border line comfort food for me.  Make sure you have something that you enjoy eating that can be readily available.

I hope that you find something here helpful.  Something in my story or my tips or resources.  I know that the diagnosis of gestational diabetes wasn't the end of things for me but I do recognize that it is a battle.  And to be honest, at times, I'm weary of the battle.  The battle with my blood sugar, my cravings, my husband's eating habits, my family's eating habits, and doctors.  Please feel free to reach out to me.  I would love to support you on your journey.  And I suppose the cliche ending to this story would be that it's all worth it in the end when you have a healthy baby in your arms...I promise an honest answer if it was all worth it.  For now I remaining optimistically skeptical :)


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