Last week was a difficult week for me and the pregnancy. Up until last Tuesday things had been going smoothly with no major hiccups along the road. Then we were hit with some bad news and then some more bad news and all of sudden everything shifted and stress levels skyrocketed.
This pregnancy was always considered high risk due to a couple of big factors — my age and our multiple miscarriages. I was fully aware that I would have to undergo many tests and be monitored very closely through the course of the 9+ months. I passed all tests with flying colors including additional blood tests I took to help determine the causes of my past losses (in case you were wondering, all those came back normal so we still don’t have an explanation).
I had one last test to take at 28 weeks which was the 1 hour glucose test. For those who don’t know what this is, you drink this liquid that tastes like really sweet flat soda and an hour later they draw your blood to determine whether you have gestational diabetes. If you fail this test, you take and even more comprehensive one that lasts 3 hours.
I failed my 1 hour glucose test.
I returned to my OB office a couple of days later to do the 3 hours glucose test and failed that one, as well.
I have gestational diabetes.
(By the way, I hate that they say you “failed” the test. Way to kick someone while they’re down.)
To say I was crushed would be an understatement. I was pretty devastated. Of course I immediately did what any person would do.
I Googled the shit out of gestational diabetes (GD).
And then things got darker. The words inducement, c-section, type 2 diabetes, macrosomia, birth defects were staring back at me until I could no longer see them through my tears.
(Another by the way, just stay away from Google. It is not your friend in times of need.)
Dr. K finally called me the next day. He seemed just as surprised as I was that I had GD. During our last appointment he even advised me to try and gain more weight. He explained what GD was and also explained that it wasn’t my fault and GD can affect anyone no matter how healthy they are. I would need to start coming in more often for fetal NST and to monitor the baby’s growth. And then he saved the best (worst) news for last.
“We’re going to have to induce you at 39 weeks and if there are other complications you may need a c-section.”
My heart sank and suddenly I felt like I was drowning in a pool of disappointment.
(Note: Two common reasons for early induction due to GD is the baby being large and placental calcification.)
I saw my natural birth plan fly out the window. Baby Boy’s estimated due date went from New Year’s Day to Christmas Day. Suddenly this became a whole new pregnancy. Not only did I have to do a complete overhaul of my diet (no more french fries!) and prick my fingers 4 times day to measure my blood sugar level, but I now had to wrap my head around an induction, perhaps a c-section, and Baby Boy arriving a week early.
I blamed myself for this. For all of it. I should have monitored my diet more closely. I shouldn’t have eaten so much carbs and starch. I didn’t need all those french fries (oh but I did). I was so angry at myself and I couldn’t even blame pregnancy hormones on this one. Self pity was my bff last week.
But I couldn’t wallow in it for too long. The most important thing is the health of Baby Boy and now for the next 9.5 weeks I have to make sure he’s doing well. I immediately changed my diet and pretty much my lifestyle. I am now required to eat 3 small meals, 2 snacks, and a high protein snack right before bed. I have to cut down on my carb intake drastically (only 15g per meal allowed). I also discovered that I have dangerously low blood sugar levels in the morning when I skipped my bed time snack once. Besides that one scare, my levels have actually been really good. I also have to walk at least 20 minutes after each meal which isn’t anything new I have to incorporate since I walk Miles 3 times a day. But I am working out more often in the mornings by doing prenatal yoga. I’ll find out this Friday whether I’ll need insulin shots or pills but I’m hoping since my levels have been great, I’ll be fine with just diet and exercise.
You know what, though? It’s only been a week and I already feel really good. I’ve been mindful of what I consume instead of giving in to every craving. I’ve been less tired, less swollen and bloated, and feeling less heavier. Overall I do feel much better and as crazy as it sounds, I’m thankful for this wake up call to get back into a healthier lifestyle and be better for the baby.
As for my birth plan, if things go well I’m hoping Dr. K will let Baby Boy decide when he wants to come out instead of being induced. However, since there’s a high chance things won’t go as I like them to, I’m beginning to accept this and make peace with it. As I’ve said before, in the end all I care about is that our baby enters this world in a safe and healthy manner regardless of how that happens.
And one good thing about being induced at 39 weeks? We’ll get to meet Baby Boy a week early. If this is our consolation prize, I’ll happily take it.