I mentioned in my last post here about the struggles I had with falling pregnant. Pregnancy for some is a walk in the park, for others it is a test of endurance, patience and a lot of pain before the little one even makes an appearance! For me, it was definitely a test of will power and an important lesson, one that would stand me in good stead for the journey of motherhood.
At 11 weeks pregnant, I found out I had gestational diabetes. 3-5 in 100 pregnant women develop gestational diabetes and when they do, it is often during weeks 25 +. Finding out I had such a condition and so very early on, was both frightening and shocking as although I do have a sweet tooth, I always shared desserts, exercised here and there and had a low BMI.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
In my head, all I heard was diabetes, but here’s the facts:
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It occurs if your body cannot produce enough insulin to meet the extra needs in pregnancy. If it’s detected and managed, the chances of it causing problems for mother and child are less.
There were all sorts of words thrown around to shake even more fear into me – insulin, jaundice, pre-eclampsia, diabetes for life, baby having diabetes, baby have a sugar crash when born, all of which made me feel an incredible amount of guilt. I felt like maybe all those desserts I’d always have on date nights with hubby, or the sneaky Ferrerro Rochers here and there had all culminated in me getting this condition and potentially passing on a condition to my then unborn baby.
However, after much research, it turns out that many ethnic races are more likely to develop gestational diabetes and more so if there is a family history of diabetes (in my case there is). After my initial consultant appraisal, I was absolutely adamant I would do everything I could to not have to be on medication for the condition and to do as much as possible via diet and exercise. Having said this, I have to say that this isn’t always possible and it is absolutely in no way YOUR fault, if you are reading this and feeling like how I did, there is no point in putting blame on yourself and the stress of that alone is just as harmful to your baby as any condition. A baby born with love and into love is more important than anything else in my book, so my easiest way to cope with this was to just to do my best and surrender the rest.
Conquering the GD mountain
I am pleased to say that this was possible for me, although it came with a lot of firsts; the first time I ever pricked myself with a needle to check my blood sugar levels, the first time I really understood about sugars and how even things you don’t realise can impact your sugar level really can spike it lower or higher and the first time in my life that I care more about doing this for my baby than it just being about me.
There were a couple of healthy recipes that I made during pregnancy that I found really helped with the condition that I will post in the bid to help anyone going through this just a little easier.
Have you had gestational diabetes or are you going through it now? I’d love to hear from you.