Dec 10, 2011

Gestational Diabetes

Not long after becoming pregnant I started worrying about developing Gestational Diabetes. I really didn’t know much about it other than it sounded scary, had to do with my body’s ability to produce insulin and caused a massive baby. (Yeah, I know I am super smart.) I can tell you one thing for sure, for me, taking the test for GD was just as nerve wracking as taking the actual pregnancy test. One more thing… it was so not worth the worry…

If you are looking for sound medical advice stop reading and go back to your Google search! Best of luck to you….

For those of you brave souls still reading… here goes!

First of all, we all know I am about as far from being a doctor as possible, and cannot give any sound medical advice. Also, please do not ever forget that my advice and opinion are not worth a hill of Jack’s Magic Beans! That being said… here is my 3 part take on Gestational Diabetes. 1. What it is. 2. Cheat Sheet from my test. 3. My opinion!

1. What is Gestational Diabetes—According to The American Diabetes Association.

We don't know what causes gestational diabetes, but we have some clues. The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother's insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother's body to use insulin. She may need up to three times as much insulin.
Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy.

Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes affects 18% of pregnancies. 
So… “We don't know what causes gestational diabetes, but we have some clues…” Gosh! That is so incredibly comforting... If the ADA is clueless then there really is no way to know how to prevent it! That is where I am going to stop and let your doctor pick up. There is so much conflicting evidence and research available, your best bet is to talk to your doctor about your questions and concerns. 

Moving on….

2. The Cheat Sheet!

I was certainly dreading taking my test. I had read about the symptoms for gestational diabetes and learned that they were similar to normal pregnancy symptoms. I was completely confused and eventually scared myself into thinking I had GD. 

According to The Library of Medicine

Symptoms may include:

My 24th week check-up finally came around, I stayed up all night worrying about the test and reading all about what to expect once I tested positive for Gestational Diabetes.

This is how the talk about the test went with the nurse…

Nurse: “Are you prepared to take your gestational Diabetes test today?”
Me: “I guess, should I have done something to prepare?”
Nurse: “Have you had anything to eat or drink today?”
Me: “Yes, an everything bagel with plain cream cheese and an iced Mocha half caffeinated, half decaffeinated.”
Nurse: “Ok, you will not be able to take the test today. I am going to give you the drink and instructions to take home. You will need to complete the test by 28 weeks. Would you like the orange flavor or fruit punch?”
Me: “ I don’t care you pick.” I got the orange flavored drink with instructions (both shown below)

I was told to put the drink in the refrigerator when I got home, and follow the instructions I was given, and that is really all the direction I was provided with at the office.

Here is a photo I took of both the instructions the nurse gave me, and the instructions off of the actual bottle of the tasty orange sugar beverage. (You can click directly on the image to enlarge in a new window.)

Instructions I was given at the doctors office.

Instructions off the bottle's label.
So, I did what I was told, drank the drink an hour before my 28th week appointment, walked into the doctors office, signed in and told them I need my blood drawn. I was sent right back to the lab, had my blood drawn and went right on the see my doctor. It was fast, easy and one of the quickest doctor appointments I have ever had. After three days of not hearing from the nurse I figured I was in the clear. A week later they called to let me know my sugar levels were good and all other tests taken that day looked good to. And that’s the end of it. 28 weeks of worry for nothing… Thankfully.

3. My Opinion-

  1. The orange drink tastes like flat orange flavored soda. Not bad, and easy to drink in the 5 minutes allotted.

  1. The test is a simple blood test, and not worth the worry. Don’t let it freak you out too much.

  1. I am pregnant with 5 other girlfriends, none of us tested positive for GD.  However, one of us got called back for the three-hour test--Which is nothing more than another round of the tasty orange beverage, and your blood drawn every hour over the three-hour period. Again, none of us tested positive for Gestational Diabetes. Between us all, we are over 25 years, a few have a history of diabetes in our families, two have obesity in their family, four are on their second child, two have prior miscarriages…you see, there is no rhyme or reason.

  1. If you do test positive--after the three hour test, because my girlfriend is personal proof that you can get called back for the three-hour test and still not have Gestational Diabetes—Don’t worry, I do have one girl friend who ended up getting Gestational Diabetes with her pregnancy last year. Which I should mention, she is super skinny,  does yoga like it is her second job, is a health food nut and someone I have always looked up to and envied. Her son came into this world large and cuddly, healthy and beautiful. She recovered from delivery and her bout with diabetes quickly. Today both are happy, healthy, diabetes free and fabulous!

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit

1 comment:

  1. Gestational diabetes is a fairly common complication of pregnancy, affecting approximately almost every tenth lady.
    Gestational diabetes is a very tough disease to care for. You have to make huge changes in your diet and also carefully monitor and maintain your disease.

    Gestational diabetes