Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Where can I start, I’m absolutely devastated which is a strong word I know. See the thing about me is, I’m a planner, I like to look ahead, I don’t have unrealistic expectations of anything, I’m very much a realist but a planner none the less and the two don’t intertwine well when it comes to pregnancy and birth.
During my first pregnancy with Daisy who’s 2.5 I was low risk until 28 weeks when the midwife measured my bump and said the bump was measuring small. This hit me like a tone of bricks, I remember being due to work a night shift that evening and I called work, hysterically crying saying I couldn’t make it due to an urgent scan required as the baby could be too small. Looking back it’s ridiculous, it wasn’t ‘urgent’ but this is the wording they used and how they made me feel when I sat in that midwifes room. A week later once I’d had the scan, they realised the baby was actually measuring big. And this is where my story begins.
I was sent for a Gestational Diabetes test which involves fasting for 12 hours, having a blood test and then drinking a bottle of sugary drink similar to Lucozade. You’re then required to sit still for 2 hours, no walking around or moving as this can help your body burn off the sugar and end in a false reading. After 2 long hours you have another blood test and then you’re notified a few days later of the result. Mine came back positive.
Gestational Diabetes Drink
Overnight it seemed I’d gone from low risk to high risk and my dreams of a midwife led birth in a pool were washed away. It’s good to point out that I live in Buckinghamshire and my local hospital don’t allow women with Gestational Diabetes to have water births or to birth in a midwife led unit and nor do the county’s surrounding us either. My options were quite clearly given to me from the beginning. Consultant led pregnancy and birth from here on and I was to be induced if I didn’t go into Labour naturally.
I managed my GD through diet which I have to admit was not easy at all. This is where my personality traits come into play again. I’m extremely stubborn sometimes, usually with myself and once I make a decision that’s usually what I follow. I decided I was not going on medication. Medication for me meant I was to be induced one or two weeks prior to my due date and this made me feel like I had been robbed. Robbed of my pregnancy which I was really enjoying and I had to take back some control. So instead I decided to almost punish myself everyday and diet as hard as I could to ensure my glucose levels stayed within the allowed limit. At the time I worked full time working 12 hour days and nights. It was fairly high pressured and when I was working, due to the tiredness and stress, I was only able to eat salad and absolutely no carbs what so ever whereas at home when I was resting I was able to manage a slice of peanut butter on toast or some wholemeal pasta. Even at my own Baby Shower I had a plain grilled chicken salad and everyone else had burgers and brownies, it honestly never bothered me as I had a goal in mind and that goal meant far more to me than food.
Diabetes Test Kit.
Sometimes this new healthy lifestyle made me miserable and stressed but I decided to bully myself into sticking to it to ensure I made it to my due date without being induced early. This to me was a big deal. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I was fine with being induced but I really saw my due date as a huge goal for me and a big reward. Don’t get me wrong I’d have loved it if she came naturally and safely before but I just needed to gain some control.
At the time I didn’t realise that some women aren’t even as lucky as I am to be able to control their diabetes with diet no matter how hard and strict they try so I really don’t wish to offend anyone. This is just how I felt.
After a stressful time at work with my GD readings I just couldn’t manage. The long hours and 4:30am wake ups were dragging me down so I left work early to start my maternity leave. It was honestly the best decision I made. I felt so much more calm and relaxed at home. Able to sleep as much as I wanted and I noticed I could eat a lot more. I was so happy. External factors effect blood sugar so much more than I ever knew. Sleep, stress and night shifts were all an issue for me.
My due date was approaching and the night before we went to our favourite restaurant where I had steak and green vegetables. The next day I was induced and I honestly think of it as such a positive experience despite not going exactly how I’d have hoped. The induction process took two days however I was active and walking around the hospital. My waters broke naturally and this was something I was very pleased with. (Let me know if you want a birth blog)
The day before I was induced. 39+6 weeks.
So I guess this takes me to present day. Where I get diagnosed for the second time with Gestational Diabetes. As I write this I’m on day 1 of my new healthy lifestyle. I feel positive about the future however I’m well aware it’s going to be a hard journey for me. You’d think I’d have learnt but I pretty certain I’ll be as strict as I was with the first pregnancy. My hopes are to be as open as possible, something which is tough for me. I’m not scared of induction far from it. I know I have choices which I’ll discuss with my consultant and as long as this babies healthy and happy growing inside my stomach then I’ll be happy too.
I would still very much love a natural birth but as many of you know, there’s only so much planning you can do when it comes to the arrival of your baby. I’ve found a dreamy essential oil blend, I’m going to purchase some calming lights and download some soothing music. I absolutely will claw back as much control as I can. It’s just who I am.
I’d love to hear your stories and experiences.
I shouldn’t have to put a disclaimer on this but I’m well aware there are more important things in pregnancy than Gestational Diabetes.