Food

Just in Time For Christmas — Gestational Diabetes (No Sugar, Sugar)

Getting the diagnosis of gestational diabetes is scary — I had no idea what it meant, and my fear went first to my unborn baby. Along they way, after meeting with a nutritionist, testing my blood several times a day and reading about the subject, I learned it’s not that bad or dangerous — if it’s controlled.

I had gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy. It was hard. This second time around I was hoping to not get it, but alas have it I do.

Here’s what I’ll miss:

  • Christmas cookies
  • Cake
  • Pumpkin bread
  • White bread
  • Potatoes (especially mashed pots and potato chips)
  • Fruit (yes, some fruit contains too much sugar)
  • Rice
  • Pizza
  • SUSHI ROLLS!
  • Milk at night. Milk in the morning. Milk.

It’s not to say that diabetics can’t have any of the things on this list, but it’s about not having sugar or things that turn into sugar. And limiting it if you do. I’m sure my list will grow as I remember more of what I will miss.

485478_blood_glucose_measure_diabetes_check_.jpgHere’s what I’m not looking forward to:

  • Having to test my blood sugar four times a day.
  • Possibility of having to check for keytones in my urine.
  • Exercising more if my sugar levels get too high.
  • Having to politely say “no thank you” at the next dinner party or pot luck I go to. Then having to explain the reason why.
  • Having to take that glucose test AGAIN, 6 weeks after I have the baby to make sure it’s gone away.

OK, so enough of the negative, let’s focus on the positive:

  • I won’t gain much weight. Last pregnancy I came out of the hospital weighing less than I did before I got pregnant.
  • It’s a great, healthy diet.
  • I’ll be more aware of what I eat, not putting things into my mouth without thinking.
  • There have been a lot of advances in sugar-free foods in the four years since I had this disease.
  • It (most likely) will go away as soon as the baby is born. That means I only have about 11 weeks of this.

For those of you who have any form of diabetes there is an online community just for you: Tudiabetes.com. It’s a social networking site where you can openly talk about anything from your meter, your diet, your frustrations or your fears. I think it’s a wonderful tool to connect people who share in this disease. Maybe one day there will be a cure. For now, working together can only help. Check out the site here:

tudiabetes.com

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Susan December 11, 2008, 4:34 pm

    Alicia,

    Just found your blog on AllTop! Like you I am in my second PG w/GD (week 27, actually) – but unlike you, we are getting another boy. So yes, I know how to do “boy” again, which is somewhat of a relief, but it is also a little sad realizing (since we agreed to stop at two kids… unless we adopt) that I won’t have an excuse to buy/receive cute little dresses and outfits. Fortunately I’ve never been a girly-girl, so I’m not TOO broken up over it!

    Regarding the GD, yes it sucks to be dealing with it through the holidays, but I have resolved to be more relaxed about it this time around and not freak out about occasionally taking insulin if that’s what it takes to enjoy a nice holiday meal (e.g. Thanksgiving) with friends and family. Last time, I was a stress basket for the first month after being diagnosed, lost weight (doctors were not happy) and ended up on insulin anyway (3x a day by the end!) But as you noted, there were a lot of positives: I didn’t gain much weight (only 15 pounds total), lost it all within a few weeks, and with breastfeeding lost even more before my son was a year old. (So none of these horror stories I hear from friends who gained 70 lbs. and struggled to shed it….) Also, it forced me to stay active and continue exercising, which I’m sure helped with my overall comfort and post-partum recovery.

    Anyway, just want to sympathize, and thank you for the site link – last PG I spent a lot of time on the boards at babycenter.com (the Pregnant with Diabetes forum) and that was an enormous resource for dealing with the challenges of GD.

    Good luck!
    Susan

  • Alicia December 11, 2008, 4:38 pm

    Thanks Susan for the response. Tonight I’m trying a sugar-free cookie recipe that should help keep me in the spirit of the holidays, w/o having to go off the diabetic diet. I’ll try the babycenter board too — thanks for the link!

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