i've got a bad case of the diabetes

I have diabetes.
Gestational diabetes, but still. Diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is like a temporary type 2 that comes with pregnancy. Has to do with an imbalance of hormones and the fact that the placenta doesn't filter sugar properly....and stuff. Yay. 2-10% of all pregnant ladies get this. Way to be part of the minority, Rachel.

Usually when you are about 28 weeks pregnant you'll go get screened to make sure your blood sugar is normal, but since I moved out of Idaho and then spent a month partying it up in Utah I didn't get tested until 31 weeks. They brought me in and plopped down a cloyingly sweet sugary drink that I was to guzzle, and then an hour later they drew my blood and high-fived me on my way out. Not a big deal, unless you fail. Which they immediately called and told me that I did. My blood glucose was at 144 and the cut off was 129, so they had me go in for more testing two weeks later. I had to fast for 12 hours before this appointment (gah! so hard for my pregnantness). They tested my fasting blood sugar, plopped down an even nastier version of the cloyingly sweet drink and then continued to stab me over 7 times for the next 3 hours (I just have ridiculously hard-to-find veins. My body is too cushy. It's a real problem.) It actually wasn't that bad. I finally finished Mindy Kaling's book, got started on The Fault in Our Stars, and watched all the weird old ladies at the Ob-gyn office. Seriously, what a crowd. Time flew.

But I failed miserably. All of my scores were offensively high. When a doctor tells you that you've failed a blood glucose test, doesn't that just sound like you've failed your pregnancy midterm or something? All the nurses were very solemn, and I was extremely upset. I didn't know anything gestational diabetes. The only thing I thought I knew was that you get it when you've gained too much weight, and gaining weight has been a huge problem for me. It's an extreme sore spot. I've been so disgusted over the fact that I've gained so much that hearing that I now had a version of type 2 diabetes? The absolute worst. I felt like it was all my fault and that my baby was going to have complications and then all those complications were going to be my fault too--despite what my doctor kept saying about how I could have gained only 20 pounds and I would still have some level of gestational diabetes and that this can be controlled through diet and medication. Andy dropped me off at home after my appointment and I immediately put on my running shoes and went out and walked for over an hour. I just couldn't take my fatness any more and I felt completely horrible (btw walking for so long is HARD right now. My hips and pelvis are so sore and I feel like my uterus might just fall right through me. So. Heavy.) I feel bad that I totally didn't believe my doctor. Is it strange that I felt like he was just saying what I wanted to hear? I left that appointment feeling completely responsible and like this pregnancy was just a complete failure. Like someone stamped a black mark on my forehead that read FAT LOSER WHO ALREADY RUINED HER FIRST BABY.

My older sister Becca is a type 1 diabetic and has been for almost 13 years, but she's on an LDS mission and I couldn't exactly call her up and talk to her about this. So I called my mom, who was there when 11 year old Becca was diagnosed, there to absorb all the information she could from the doctor about her situation, there to help Becca with this huge lifestyle change. She was the perfect person to talk to in my extremely brittle emotional state. We talked about how for reals this wasn't my fault--the doctor wouldn't just go about saying that, you dummy. We made a list of all the great low-carb foods I'll be able to eat. We talked through how simple this would be and how C'MON Rachel this is not a death sentence. It sucks that this happened, but I can make it 6 weeks on a low carb diet. That's all it's going to take. I felt great after this conversation. A lot more optimistic. Though I still kept googling things like "gestational diabetes and big babies" and "late diagnosis of gestational diabetes".

Since I wasn't diagnosed until 33 weeks, my biggest worry is how much harm has already been done. Diabetics are known for their huge babies and I'm terrified of having an unhealthy monster baby with complications and low blood sugar who will have to be monitored for a long time. I'm trying to assure myself that the fact that my uterus is measuring exactly right means he's not ginormous yet and he will stay a healthy weight if I can keep my diet under control, but I don't know if that's necessarily true. I have an ultrasound in about a week and I guess that might be the only way to really tell. I do not want to be induced early or have to get a C-section just because he's a big baby. He needs to cook for as long as he can. That's the only thing that has me super nervous.

Andy's family is the best about all of this btw. They totally give me a hard time about it but they all are so health conscious (Andy excluded) that they know 100% what gestational diabetes is and how to best eat low carb. Andy's brother Paul is always saying I've got a bad case of the diabeetus and a few days ago we grilled and ate an entire pack of bacon together (yeah I know, all fat...but NO CARBS). I'm so glad to be up here with them where there is absolutely no judgement and just tons of support. Except that Andy has no idea what a carb is and keeps asking me if I can eat pasta or chocolate. Dummy. I need to make him a chart or something.

I met with my dietician yesterday. Best news ever was that I don't have to be put on medication unless I'm unable to control this with a low carb diet. Also, this whole deal will immediately stop once I give birth. They'll be more watchful of the baby's blood sugar to make sure that he's balancing out correctly, but as for me--I can eat a cinnamon roll the minute after I push him out of my lady parts. YAYYYY! My doctor got me all set up with my finger pricker thingy and blood tester gadget and a whole bunch of testing strips. Watching my sister Becca prick herself for 13 years has me feeling a lot more confident about using this stuff. For the last 24 hours I've been poking and testing and eating and feeling--trying to get the hang of this. So far all my readings have been really great. Success!

Sorry for the novel. Thankfully you all only have to hear about this for 6 more weeks.
Wait.... 6 MORE WEEKS?!? Holy freaking A. This shiz is really happening.

1 comment:

  1. BEBE. i'll love the baby even if it's fat! and i'll love you! looks like you get to be just another vegan vidmar eh??


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