Gestational Diabetes saved my life. It’s true! I didn’t realize it at the time, but it did. Babies don’t come easily for my husband and I. We’ve struggled to get pregnant, we’ve lost two babies along the way, and we’ve been blessed to have two beautiful and healthy babies to enter this world even though those two pregnancies were vastly different.
It took two years to conceive my son. During that time we were on several medicines and after finally getting pregnant, it was mostly uneventful. I didn’t fail my glucose test, most likely because I was already on Metformin. I only gained 10 lbs when I was pregnant with him, but that was ok because I was overweight to start with and my doctor didn’t want me to gain a lot. But after he was born, I ultimately ended up losing 30 pounds throughout the pregnancy. I thought it was odd, but I honestly couldn’t figure it out. My doctor didn’t really have an answer for me either. I was kind of excited about it, but just went on with my life not knowing what I did and enjoying my son that I’d waited so long for.
Three years later we were ready to try again, and we lost two babies. One at 6 weeks and a daughter stillborn at 25 weeks. It was a dark time in our lives. But eventually we were ready.
With my 4th pregnancy, I was determined to do it all right – not that I had done anything wrong before. I wasn’t on Metformin this time, and failed my glucose test, then failed the 3 hour test as well. I was devestated. My mind immediately went to what it meant for the baby I was carrying. I knew the risks to the baby, I knew the lifelong implications it could endure, and I also knew what it meant for myself and what my future may hold.
I was put on Metformin and monitored my glucose levels 4 times a day. I did fairly well. I managed with diet, exercise and a lower dose of Metformin than my doctor prescribed…too much made me sick. I only had four readings that were extremely high…pancakes & syrup are not kind to blood sugar. Shocking right??
The weeks went by and I was very careful about what I ate, checking my blood sugar, and praying multiple times a day that everything would be ok. My baby girl was born healthy and although she required a few more glucose sticks during our stay she was perfect. We took her home and a few weeks later I weighed and had lost 30 pounds again.
What was going on? You are not supposed to lose that much weight being pregnant. I had only gained 10 pounds this time too. It was a puzzle.
What was I doing, unintentionally, that would cause that?
My hormones? I honestly asked my doctor if high progesterone during pregnancy would be a reason. I’m not surprised now that she laughed at me.
My exercise? I walked a lot with my son, up to 3 miles a day, But not as often or as far with my daughter, really only in the last month. That couldn’t be it.
What I was eating? Hmm. I do tend to eat better when pregnant. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had to be very careful with blood sugars so I limited anything white – flour, sugar, rice & potatoes. When I ate those foods or foods with those ingredients, then my blood sugar sky rocketed. I learned to cut them out quickly. But I still didn’t believe it was completely responsible for all of it.
I continued to eat as I had when I was pregnant because I was breastfeeding Little Miss. It would be almost a year before I put it all together. (Remember my Fit Living Moment?? That played into it.) But when I did, it was like a light bulb! Drum roll please…. My body does not tolerate sugar well. It doesn’t tolerate foods that turn into sugar well either for that matter.
So I started a new plan…I started eating like I did when I was pregnant with my daughter, and surprise! It’s working!
I wish I had figured this out years ago. I feel better, have more energy, not as sluggish and cranky. I can’t imagine going back to the way I lived before. If I can help even one momma out there with what I learned or teach one woman how to make the changes I did, it would be so worth everything I went through.