I Was Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes At 14 Weeks
For those of you that saw my previous blog post announcing my pregnancy (Yay!), you knew that this would be my follow up. As someone who has built a following over the past 4+ years on indulgent eats without a care in the world, my life was flipped upside down when I found out I had gestational diabetes. Yes, for most women this is a temporary hurdle that disappears after the baby is born. And many women are perfectly fit and healthy and can still be diagnosed with this.
However, I was diagnosed with this very early in my pregnancy. At 14 weeks to be exact. Most women? They don’t receive this diagnosis until around 22 to 24 weeks. I was shocked and sad all at the same time. Why me? Why so early? I thought I was going to enjoy pregnancy eating once my morning sickness went away. But now I’m on a very strict diet and exercise routine that still won’t help my blood sugar levels get to manageable levels without medical intervention.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
It’s a unique form of diabetes that only affects pregnant women. During pregnancy your hormones change all the time and they are meant to keep your blood sugar at normal levels. However, some women reach a point where their body stops processing sugars properly. This can lead to complications for the baby and the pregnant woman. They don’t know with 100% certainty why some women get gestational diabetes and others don’t, but the woman’s age and excess weight can play a factor. I had both of those things working against me since I am 35 and overweight. My age alone places me into the “high risk” pregnancy category.
What does this mean for me and my blog?
Well, I do know that for me to have been given this diagnosis so early in pregnancy it means I could have been prediabetic before getting pregnant. If I don’t continue with these lifestyle changes after pregnancy, I am at high risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes later on. This is something I do not want. That means I have to do better.
With my new child on the way, all I want is for us to be healthy and happy. I can’t do that by continuing to put my health at risk for the sake of decadent looking food photos. So, I will be focusing on low carb (not no carb) recipes moving forward. Many people think I have to cut out carbs all together and that is just not the case! To help you understand what works well for low carb eating, I’ll put together an additional blog post in the coming weeks on what I’ve been eating.
Please keep in mind that this blog is not meant to be a replacement for actual medical advice. I am not a doctor or nutritionist and this is just my experience.
Will You Need Medication?
At this point in my journey yes. Every woman is different when it comes to their gestational diabetes diagnosis. Some are able to keep things under control with diet and exercise modifications. However, I tried that while monitoring my blood sugar. I exercised when I was supposed to and ate only super healthy items my nutritionist recommended. Yet, my fasting numbers in the morning are never where they should be. I should be 95 mg or under first thing in the morning before breakfast. Yet my current average is 114 mg.
Unfortunately that means medication injectable Insulin is my only option to try and control my blood sugar levels. I had an appointment with an endocrinologist this morning to figure out exactly what that will look like. All I know is that I’ve done what I can at this point and insulin will help me and baby be a lot healthier.
How Will This Affect My Pregnancy?
Aside from a new diet, exercise and poking my finger 4 times a day, it’s important to keep my blood sugar in control because it can affect the baby. My baby can end up very large and I might need to have a c-section. It can cause problems during delivery and might mean it will take me longer to recover after the baby is born.
The other problem that I mentioned already is that this might not go away after delivery. Which means, I might end up with type 2 diabetes. I really sincerely hope that it does not come to that but it’s a possibility I have to be prepared for.
Well, I’m going to continue monitoring my blood sugar four times a day, go on medication, exercise and watch what I eat. I want to have a healthy pregnancy and learn to take these new habits with me after the baby is born.
Natasha’s Food Adventures will still be a resource for recipes and reviews, but I’m going to shift my focus to foods that will help everyone feel better! Whether you have gestational diabetes or are just struggling to fix your diet, know you are not alone! I’ve struggled for years before this to manage my weight and love for indulgent foods without much success. This baby is finally teaching me the lessons I’ve needed for years and for that I am extremely grateful. I hope my journey will help motivate or inspire you to make the change you may have been craving but haven’t been able to grasp.
The goal is to incorporate all of my previous food blogging experience and love for food photography into this next evolution. I hope you’ll enjoy following along! My next great foodie adventure has begun. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Instagram @natashasfoodadventures. I always love hearing from my readers.
Stay safe and stay well!