Regardless of the number of pregnancies experienced, a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes can be devastating to even the most level-headed mother. Every woman experiences the impact of the news and intervention differently, but all emotions are valid and reasonable. Gestational Diabetes is serious business, and it can take several weeks to accept, and even more time to feel relatively comfortable with the entire process. Below are some tips I accrued so far through my process, and may you read them and be saved some of the heartache I experienced:
1. Utilize people's support effectively.
Immediately upon informing friends and loved ones about your diagnosis, plan to be bombarded with unsolicited advice and commentary ranging from, "It isn't so bad," to "It is temporary/will be over soon." After minimizing the diagnosis, your support will expect you to listen attentively as they provide dietary insight or the experience of random people with the diagnosis of Type II Diabetes. All information obviously useful and helpful, so as you soak in all minutiae offered, sit in front of your computer and shop online for the hottest maternity trends you can find to fit you in the sunset of your pregnancy. It's best to open another window for mortgage applications because a maternity shirt does not come cheap.
2. Be well informed before your first appointment.
Blood glucose monitoring is paramount in helping you manage your diabetes. If any needle gives you a greenish hue, spend a few moments before your first appointment online researching medical ailments that will provide a reasonable alternative to anxiety as rationale for you vomiting in the nurse's trashcan before you are about to puncture yourself for the first time. The same ailment could prove helpful if you will need to inject insulin for unruly levels not managed by diet.
3. Try new foods.
Be prepared to eat copious amounts of nuts and cheese, and what better time to throw caution to the wind than during pregnancy. Peruse your grocery nut collection for your preferred assortment or choose something you're not sure exists in the natural world. The same can be said for store cheese selections. At this point you likely lost track of the last time you had a successful bowel movement, so the increase of cheese array shouldn't make much of a difference.
4. Focus on the positive.
Some may view the Gestational Diabetes diet as restrictive, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. What better time is there to creepily stalk all grocery bakeries and candy aisles, looking lovingly at your favorite treats? But, pregnancy is the time for indulgence, so go ahead and enter the expensive candy store and hover close enough to lick and drool over the case or fancy chocolate packages. All of these actions are preparation for planning the first meal on which you will gorge yourself once your system returns to normal after birth. After all, don't they tell you to ready food for the initial overwhelming and exhausting first days of parenthood? The more thorough your meal plans in the beginning, the more relaxed you can be adjusting to your new normal.
5. Occupy young children.
Invariably your toddler or small child will act like a clown only when you are attempting to check your sugar level. Hand the precious darling a full box of tissues for the child to destroy; with that you bought yourself a good five minutes or so to puncture yourself seven times because the process evidently is more complicated than the clinic nurse indicated.
6. Learn a new language.
Many women require insulin to manage their Gestational Diabetes, which is always a pleasant addition to glucose monitoring four times a day. Small children are sponges, and every profane word that escapes your lips as you muster the strength to stab your appendages guarantees that your children will repeat everything with remarkable accuracy. With all of your free time and energy, generate a list of obscure curse words from languages you've never heard of. The likelihood of running into someone in public familiar with the language is miniscule, and you will look like a cultured mother fully committed to your children's enrichment.
As a final thought, I am full-term in a little over a month, and I've concluded that my placenta is a complete tool, and I absolutely despise it for pushing me into this situation. Like my glucose levels, my emotions are all over the place. Sometimes I am not sure how I will make it through until the end, but I'm too exhausted to think beyond that hopeless rut much of the time until the wave passes. I don't have a solution; I only am able to manage moment to moment until random relief is offered. I feel alone between managing my diabetes and balancing the tail end of my pregnancy, staying home with my toddler, and my other obligations. The only helpful aspect of this situation is having a friend who recently experienced this with both children. The entirety of this experience is still draining and frustrating, but hearing tales from someone else means that there is the remote possibility that I am not overreacting, and perhaps the end will eventually come.
Please, read more of my parenting trials and tribulations on my blog.