In light of my recent blood work I thought I'd give an update on my journey. With that said, please keep in mind that everyone's journey is different and you can beat the odds.
I'll mention factors that I think were important to the journey.
Before Getting Pregnant
In 2011 I changed my eating habits in an effort to lose weight. I made changes that were easy so they would stick. This included eating dessert less, eating fried food only once a week, almost completely avoiding pork and avoiding ketchup.
As a result, the weight came off and stayed off and I didn't crave sugary sweets. However, I still wasn't eating healthy. Pasta and pizza were/are my favorites.
My Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis
Five years later, in 2016, I became pregnant for the first time. I was also in culinary school and had just started baking class. (Are you crying for me right now?) Just a few weeks after baking class started I tested for GD. No surprise here: I failed.
Even though GD can happen even if you're doing everything right, my mind doesn't rest until it finds answers. With that said, I attribute my diagnosis to a few things.
I had only two risk factors: I was over 25 (29 yrs old) and of non-White ethnicity. There was no family history of any diabetes. What I believe really put me over the top was the stress I was under and my eating habits.
If you didn't know, stress directly affects your blood sugar. At the time of my diagnosis I was in a severe depression. I was majorly stressed and it also affected the way I ate - once or twice a day and straight crap. I was eating tons of sugar, Chick-fil-A and pizza; basically, all carbs.
See how to eat Chick-fil-A with gestational diabetes here.
Now that I know what I know about GD and testing, I think I may have been either misdiagnosed, or it wasn't as severe as we thought.
The day of my one-hour test I woke up just in time to get dressed and run out the door. I got in the car and saw the drink, then remembered I was supposed to eat before drinking it.
I didn't have time to grab anything to eat so I just chugged the drink as I drove to the appointment.
I didn't think to mention that to the doctor, but I should have! I should've been retested under the proper circumstance.
Visit Test & Alternatives to understand the criteria when taking the one hour test as opposed to the three hour test.
So, I delivered a healthy baby girl by induction at 41 weeks and 3 days. She was 8lbs even, which was just under what her growth rate was estimated to be. There were no complications during labor, but she did have low sugars directly after birth. That's likely because I wasn't following the diet as I should've been. Thankfully, after feedings and supplements, her sugars normalized within 24 hours.
That was scary! I thought I failed her and it tore me up to hear her cry each time they had to prick her heel to test her sugars.
My Next Pregnancy
When my daughter was just 4 months, we got pregnant again! This time, my diet had changed some - more take out and a little less sugar. The big change was my stress level. I was still depressed but it was a significant difference from the year before.
I got tested for GD about 13 months after the last time and I failed the one hour test, but not as bad as I did in the first pregnancy. I had to take the three hour test and I passed!
I delivered a baby boy (SUPER crazy birth story) at 41 weeks and 4 days. He weighed 8lbs 4oz. The two are 13 months apart.
Still to this day I wish I would've waited that extra day to see if I'd go into labor naturally in my first pregnancy.
It's reported that up to 70% of women with GD will go on to have type 2 within 5 years of the GD diagnosis, especially if fasting sugars are problematic. Some develop type 2 within 10 years, but the stats drop drastically after 10 years.
Well, I know I wasn't prediabetic because I had recently had blood work before the GD diagnosis. Now, two and a half years after GD, I am free and clear! My recent fasting blood work was a 102, and the doc said that 100 is normal so he's not worried about two points.
I was elated to hear that, especially since my diet hasn't changed much and I ate ice cream late that night because I forgot I was testing the next morning! I will continue to have my blood work done annually, just because that's what I do. It's recommended to get tested every three years if you're not showing prediabetes.
I'm working on a better diet but it's a struggle! With two toddlers and everything else (I have a very unique situation), I barely eat, but when I do I look for something quick! The biggest improvements I've made are using banana, almond flour and coconut flour instead of sugar and white flour. And when it comes to pasta I get veggie/lentil or 100% whole wheat.
As for my daughter, she is 2 and a half now. I am always conscious of the amount of sugar and quality of carbs she eats because I know that she is predisposed to adolescent diabetes.
She doesn't have any symptoms of diabetes so her pediatrician suggested waiting to test her.
That is such great news! Your lifestyle and food choices had an positive impact on your health as well as your daughters. Thank God for the variety of choices we have today to choose from. There are so many alternatives on the market now but I still like to focus on natural or doing it myself. Way to go!
The Gestational Diabetic Chef
Thank you! I was super relieved. Now my struggle is getting Daddy to understand good carbs, bad carbs and glycemia.