and I just found out that I have gestational diabetes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 32 weeks, due on May 8th and I just found out that I have gestational diabetes.  Tried to control it through diet but my fasting numbers just wouldn't come down so I'm now on insulin (at night, before bed).  They're hoping  that I can keep the other numbers down by keeping to the diet that the dietician created for me.  I'm stressed out because I didn't go through this with my first child.  It's all new and scary to me.  I'm doing the AFI once a week and the NST twice a week to make sure baby's doing okay.  This week, doctor told me that I'm polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) and that there's a chance that I may go into labor earlyyyyyy.  It seems like it's one thing after another lately.  My first trimester was kinda tough because I had to get IV hydration therapy for 2.5 weeks for 11 hrs per day.  I thought everything else would go fairly smoothly...what was I thinking?!  Doctor just told me to keep an eye out for contractions and to keep my sugars down/watch my diet.  And thank you very much, my mother told me today that it's my fault that I have gestational diabetes.  *sigh*  Trying not to worry too much because that doesn't help with the blood sugar levels but it's hard....any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 

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#2 of 16 Old 03-17-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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mguris- hugs to you.  This is not your fault!  It sounds like this pregnancy has been a doozy, take one day at a time and don't feel guilty about doing what needs to be done for you to feel healthy and whole.  

 

I had the same appt schedule with the NST and I know it's a pain in the a$$.  Maybe you'll come to place where you can enjoy the extra visits to get peeks at the baby.  Forget about all the ways this was supposed to go, this is the best course for the two of you and your doing your part to make sure you have the healthiest little you can.  It's alot of work to stay on the food plan, take the meds, make the extra appts. I don't know that ppl recognize how exhausting and scary it can be.  You are already a super mom to this new little, remember that.

 

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#3 of 16 Old 03-17-2012, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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faithsstuff- Thank you so much for your support and kind words.  It IS tough and scary!  Your words made me teary... :)  in a good way.

Thanks again.

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#4 of 16 Old 03-19-2012, 11:37 AM
 
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I'm so sorry. I have GD this time around, too. I didn't bother with the screening - just started to take my own blood sugar at home, and yep, if I don't eat right...it's not good. I can keep my daytime numbers 100% fine with diet, and I was having problems with my fasting numbers until I figured out that for me, it works to eat about 90 minutes before going to bed, then do about 10 minutes on the elliptical (the lowest resistance, slowly, but not at a snail's pace or anything). As long as I do that, I get numbers from the high 60s to low 80s. Can you take a brisk walk right before bed? That might help some, if you aren't doing it already. Before I started doing that, I was having to wake up in the middle of the night to eat something, and it was still in the 90's. I was afraid it would keep me up at night to exercise right before sleep, but it's for such a short time and I'm so tired from being pregnant that I find it doesn't hurt my sleep at all. And if you have already had more advice than you wanted about what you should or shouldn't do from other people in other places, sorry to add more.

 

I'm sorry your mother blamed you. That just stinks. It's definitely not your fault. These things just happen sometimes. Actually, it's more likely to be your MOTHER'S fault, if you want to look at it like that. :) There's a strong genetic link. So...that's not really her fault, but it feels better, doesn't it? lol Just because she's not being nice about it.

 

Editing because I wanted to add that it might be a good thing you did the test this late, if you wanted to know whether or not you had it. I monitored my bg for several weeks at home, and it was fine until AFTER 28 weeks, pretty much no matter what I ate. Prior to 28 weeks (actually, prior to a few days ago), the only problem I had was fasting bg, which would not have been detected by the one hour screen. My OB had wanted me to take the test at 27 weeks. They would've told me I was fine at that point, but now at 30 weeks, I'm not.

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#5 of 16 Old 03-24-2012, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Plummeting", thank you too, for your supportive words!  A co-worker thought it was silly that I joined a forum because of the g.d. but it really does help to hear others share their stories/insights.  I'm hanging in there and so far, so good in regards that I'm able to control sugar levels through diet (besides my fasting count).  I'm just taking it a day at a time and trying not to stress out TOO much because that'll raise my sugar levels!  :p

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#6 of 16 Old 03-25-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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I'm a type 2 diabetic so my situation is a little different, though I wasn't insulin dependent prior to the pregnancy. It is really overwhelming and definitely needs to be taken seriously (this was a surprise pregnancy for us) but it's also not as scary as it seems. My grandfather was a small town doctor and my grandmother was his nurse who also taught obstetric nursing for years and she's always reminding me that my grandfather delivered babies for many diabetics over the years and then without the medications and care available today. I try to look at it as an opportunity- I've had weekly appointments with a perinatologist since I found out I was pregnant and i try to make it 'me' time. I get to hear the heartbeat more often, I get to check in on things more regularly, and it's helped ease some of the pregnancy worries that I had with my last three children. It's also helped me really slow down and enjoy the pregnancy!

I think the thing that was most soothing to me was the reminder that the baby is already protecting herself- producing her own insulin, etc. my baby is already way tougher than me, and so is yours! Hang in there... It's always scary, but it sounds like you're doing everything you can to keep your little one healthy and safe.

ETA: I'm guessing that since you're on mothering, you're likely planning to breastfeed. Just wanted to throw out there that nursing is great for a mother's blood sugar levels (guessing yours will return to normal after delivery, but just FYI) and that studies have shown that breastfed babies are significantly less likely to develop diabetes themselves! Good stuff!

Working mom married to a stay at home/student dad and mama to three loud and happy boys- 18, 13, and 11. After 11 years with no luck, we're expecting a new little girl babe in July!  Surpriiiiiise!  

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#7 of 16 Old 03-27-2012, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yup, you've hit it on the nose, Shinyredstar...I AM planning to breastfeed our 2nd baby too.  I was able to breastfeed my 1st born for 2 years.  (I'm a teacher and was placed in a support teacher position when I returned from leave.  In our office, we had 2 bathrooms and got the o.k. from the principal to make one into a pumping station.)  :)  I do hope that the sugar levels return to normal after the delivery.  Dum dum dummmmm....but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.  Haha.  Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts with me/others....you're right.  Baby IS protecting him/herself already....and it IS great to hear the heartbeat and see the ultrasound every week.  I just have to remember to remind the nurses that we don't want to know the sex of the baby!  Congratulations on your pregnancy!  How exciting!  A baby girl after your boys! 

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#8 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 02:33 AM
 
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Hi everyone

I am 29 weeks pregnant and just found out I have GD.  My fasting blood glucose was 5.7 or 102.  I have to go to a class on wednesday where they teach us about the diet and how to test our blood.  I'm trying not to beat myself up too much, but it's hard.  I'm frightened that I won't be able to stick to the diet given I just crave sweet stuff a lot.  I know it's really important for the baby's health (and mine) to do so though.  Does anyone know if they automatically do a c section for people with GD, or does it just depend?  I really hope not as I'd like to try and deliver my baby naturally.

 

I really hope I can do this

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#9 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 09:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jezsigirl View Post

Hi everyone

I am 29 weeks pregnant and just found out I have GD.  My fasting blood glucose was 5.7 or 102.  I have to go to a class on wednesday where they teach us about the diet and how to test our blood.  I'm trying not to beat myself up too much, but it's hard.  I'm frightened that I won't be able to stick to the diet given I just crave sweet stuff a lot.  I know it's really important for the baby's health (and mine) to do so though.  Does anyone know if they automatically do a c section for people with GD, or does it just depend?  I really hope not as I'd like to try and deliver my baby naturally.

 

I really hope I can do this

 

I am 33 weeks pregnant and I was diagnosed with GD at 28 weeks. I was on glyburide for awhile but about a week ago they put me on insulin and it's much more effective. I too have a huge sweet tooth, and sticking to the diet has been a pain, but it's helped me keep my weight gain under control. Just remember it's for a limited time - I have to keep reminding myself that it's not forever, just 7 more weeks.

 

As I understand it, they don't routinely do a C section for people with GD. From what I've been reading, practitioners will try to induce early (like after 37 weeks). My practitioner is much more "crunchy" but they won't let me go much past 40 weeks, so if I hit my due date they will probably want to induce. Ask your practitioner what they typically do so that there are no surprises.

 

You CAN do this!!

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#10 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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You can definitely do it!  And I don't think it's necessarily that doctors will suggest a c-section for a diabetic, I think it's all the surrounding factors that go into it from what I've seen. I think it's pretty standard practice to induce at 39 weeks and inductions increase your chances of having one, complications could result in emergency c-sections, etc. I think for those with GD, it probably depends on well you're able to control your sugars and how willing your doctor is to work with you. I will say that I've read that there is a much higher risk of late-term stillbirth for diabetics for reasons that they really don't medically understand (not trying to scare you, the odds of that happening are still very low even with the increase) so, as I started to rationalize to myself, the doctor's thinking is probably something along the lines of knowing that a baby is close enough to being mature that they feel like it's safer to just have you deliver at that point. When I look at it from that perspective, it makes me feel a little better about the idea. I think if I had enough time, it might be possible to find an OB or perinatologist who's willing to hold off as long as there are no signs of distress and let nature take it's course but we're kind of working on a tight timeline :)

 

ETA- depending on how you normally eat, there are also a lot of ways that you can work in something sweet from time to time. I'm not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners but will use Stevia now and then and I've either just gotten used to it or it's hard to tell the difference. Cream cheese is low carb so it's easy to do a cheesecake type of thing with a nut crust, etc. You can even get low car cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory! There are a lot of creative ideas out there if you search for low carb desserts.


Working mom married to a stay at home/student dad and mama to three loud and happy boys- 18, 13, and 11. After 11 years with no luck, we're expecting a new little girl babe in July!  Surpriiiiiise!  

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#11 of 16 Old 05-03-2012, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I too was worried that I'd have to get a c-section but they monitored baby's growth closely with the weekly afi-amniotic fluid index (ultrasound) and kept an eye on baby's heart rate/movement via non-stress test (where they place a band around your belly to measure baby's heart rate/mvmnt). If they have you doing an afi and nst, don't worry too much!  It was reassuring to see baby each week via ultrasound.  Although I had to remind the nurses everytime that we wanted to be surprised in regards to the sex of the baby.  The high afi reading that I mentioned in my first post was the only high one.  It went back down to normal range everytime after that.  It fluctuates so don't do what I did and worry about it!  :) 

I delivered my first born, vaginally, and he was 9 lbs.  Doctor reassured me that we'll do everything to deliver vaginally and if needed, we'll do a c-section.  It seems (in Hawaii, anyway) that inducing at 39 weeks is common for G.D. mommies.  The docs don't want baby to be too big because as other moms have mentioned above, complications arise which increases the likelihood of getting a c-section to get that baby out!  I was scheduled to be induced today but baby decided that he'd make that decision and came on April 30th instead!  He was 7 # 14.8 oz.  delivered vaginally.  It took 2 hours.  They checked his blood sugar 30 min. after birth to make sure it wasn't too low.  It was within range.  They only checked my blood sugar when I checked into labor and delivery....after delivery, your blood sugars are supposed to go back to "normal" since you delivered the placenta (which is the reason for the high blood sugar levels).

I love to eat so when I heard that I had to go on a restrictive diet, I was worried and sad about whether I'd be able to do it, cravings, etc.  But you can do it.  It's a pain and difficult at first but you'll get into a routine in no time.  Just keep thinking about yourself and that baby of yours.  I counted carbs and made a list of what I had available so I could create different combinations for snack time...what a nerd, I know.  :p  If I was craving something sweet for a snack, I'd make sure I ate it with protein (so that I'd be full- -like string cheese, which has no carb. count).  Also, if you think you overindulged, like I did sometimes, I went for a walk and it helped to bring my blood sugar level down...Hope this helps! 

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#12 of 16 Old 05-06-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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I had gestational diabetes with my first two kids, 13 and 10 years ago. I don't remember it being so difficult. I just did the diet and had random blood sugar checks during my visits. There were no extra ultrasounds to measure the baby's size and no risk of induction. As long as my weight and weight gain stayed within a reasonable range, they were happy.

My son was 7 lbs 11 oz and my daughter was 8 lbs 11 or so oz, so not too big.

Have the procedures changed that much in ten years?
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#13 of 16 Old 05-06-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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I'm sure I'll have it with this pregnancy too, but the doc seems pretty laid back about it, assuming I'm eating right. I guess I'll find out as I get further into the pregnancy.
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#14 of 16 Old 05-07-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by leafylady View Post

I had gestational diabetes with my first two kids, 13 and 10 years ago. I don't remember it being so difficult. I just did the diet and had random blood sugar checks during my visits. There were no extra ultrasounds to measure the baby's size and no risk of induction. As long as my weight and weight gain stayed within a reasonable range, they were happy.
My son was 7 lbs 11 oz and my daughter was 8 lbs 11 or so oz, so not too big.
Have the procedures changed that much in ten years?

 

Yes, they've changed a LOT, apparently. You really need to monitor your blood sugar a lot more than random checks every couple of weeks. No doctor in their right mind would do that now! The extra u/s and all that are things that I'm not doing, as I don't consider them particularly helpful or relevant. I refuse to consent to an induction based on nothing but a FEAR that the baby will be too big. Plus, research has shown that induction for GD does NOT reduce the incidence of c-section over just letting women go to term, so it's pointless. There are new, better methods for determining whether a baby has a high risk of a shoulder dystocia, but almost no doctors are doing it that way. They mostly just follow the "induce at 39 weeks" protocol, which studies have shown is pointless. But yeah, blood sugar needs to be checked at least 4 times PER DAY. lol

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#15 of 16 Old 05-07-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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That seems like overkill to me, probably because my kids were both normal weights and there were none of the other complications that I read about.  Why do doctors and hospitals want to make everything so complicated?  

 

I've found a very non-interventionist doc, so I think he won't insist on all of that super monitoring or induction, unless he sees some real justified medical reason to do so, like high blood pressure or unreasonable weight gain, or me eating cupcakes before and after my appointments.

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#16 of 16 Old 05-10-2012, 04:51 PM
 
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Yeah, but weight isn't the only problem. High blood sugars in the mother can cause hypoxia in the fetus, which can result in polycythemia after birth, which is a big deal. If you aren't checking your blood sugar, you have no idea how certain foods are affecting you. For instance, I can eat ice cream - regular old, full sugar, full fat ice cream - but I absolutely cannot eat beans. No beans, of any variety, at any time, EVER. They make my blood sugar go through the roof. Who would ever think of that on their own? Pretty much no one. But if I wasn't checking, I'd be merrily eating beans pretty regularly, because I like them and because people say they don't affect your blood sugar much, and every time I ate them, my baby would be getting fatter and fatter, and more and more hypoxic, and more and more likely to die in utero from the stress of all of that, and more and more likely to develop severe polycythemia and/or low blood sugar after birth. Plus, that increases their risk of being overweight and developing diabetes later in life. I think that, in general, OBs due tend to be overly concerned about GD, with too many US and too much induction and all that. However, it IS important for a woman with GD to know what her blood sugar is doing. Having a big baby is not the only risk, or even the most important one, IMO. I'm not doing any extra US, not being induced, not doing kick counts, not obsessing over the baby - I'm measuring normally, my midwife can tell I don't have too much fluid (another complication with uncontrolled GD), my BP is normal, I'm not swelling, etc., etc., etc. However, I am comfortable with those things precisely because I know that I'm taking very good care of myself and my blood sugar is controlled.

 

Your OB may be low intervention, but if you have GD and he or she does not insist on you monitoring your blood sugar at home, that would be irresponsible. Count on them doing it, if you have GD this time. Hopefully you won't, though. :)

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