I was 13 weeks into my second pregnancy when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Though Type II does run in my family, I’ve never had any indication of problems with my sugar levels, even during my first pregnancy, so I was pretty surprised by the diagnosis.
And, honestly, I was pissed. Everything had been going so well. We had, literally, been “trying” for about 5 seconds before I got pregnant — it was so fast (compared to the nine months we spent trying for our first pregnancy) that I didn’t even think it could be real at first. Sure, the nausea was considerably worse this time around, but I was seeing my family practitioner for prenatal care and she actually called me “an easy one.”
I’m lucky that my healthcare system provides a class for gestational diabetes. Taught by a dietician and a nurse, the class is an afternoon with no more than four students, all women recently diagnosed with GD. We talked about our feelings about the diagnosis (I was not alone in being less than thrilled), our approach to managing the disease, the biology of the situation, and the nutrition and exercise plans that would help us along the way.
I’m still not thrilled. After all, most GD diagnoses come in the third trimester, not at the end of the first, so I have a long road ahead. And the idea of getting through not just pregnancy (did I mention I gained about 50 pounds last time around), but also the entire holiday season, on a strict, low-carb/low-sugar diet does not sound fun, any more than pricking my finger four times a day.
But I’m also trying to look at it as an opportunity: an opportunity to get in shape during pregnancy instead of trying to drop pounds afterward, an opportunity to learn to take better care of myself and my family, an opportunity to learn how my body works and develop better habits for the future.
That’s not to say there won’t be pissy days — I guarantee there will. But I’m going to go into this with the best attitude possible and determined to do my best for myself and my kiddo.