Testing for Gestational Diabetes

testing for gestational diabetes

Well, this is rather a spanner in the old works; I’m having to test four times a day for gestational diabetes due to the (apparent) gargantuan size of the baby within. It’s not actually too much of an inconvenience – and at any rate, you do what you have to do when it comes to pregnancy and unborn children and so on – but it wasn’t something I was ever expecting. Though neither was a breech baby last time, so…

I’ve done a chatty little video about my testing kit and some of my blood sugar results – it’s all very interesting, the diet/blood sugar relationship and I have learnt quite a bit about how certain foods affect your levels. It’s quite scary to see in black and white just how much a few slices of white bread and jam (oops) messes with your body, but actually it’s the more mundane, unexpected foods (pasta, white rice) that manage to surprise you when it comes to finger-stabbing-blood-letting time.

By the way, if anyone is reading this and might have to do blood sugar testing then I can tell you that the finger-stabber thing does not hurt. I was (perhaps stupidly) really worried about it, but now look forward to it in an extremely perverse way. The sound of the spring shooting the little needle down into my finger pad is strangely satisfying, I like it a lot. Though I still can’t fathom why anyone would voluntarily have a tattoo – needles over and over and over again on sensitive parts of your body? Nope. No thanks.

I’m waiting to find out what the verdict is on my blood sugar testing and I promise I will let you know as soon as I do with a little update post. For now, here’s my video. It shows a teeny drop of blood on my finger, so if you’re properly phobic then just a warning!

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  1. Ali
    January 20, 2017 / 11:33 am

    Fingers crossed it’s not GDD although to be honest from those readings, if it was you could probably control it via diet and changing the carbs up. Hubbie was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic a couple of years ago (which is unusual) so we became experts!

  2. Holly
    January 20, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    I had gestational diabetes with my baby (found out at 20 weeks) and I was so upset about it at the beginning but it wasn’t too bad by the end and it’s all gone now. The hardest part was defineatly controlling carbs as you automatically think about chocolate and sweets not new potatoes or pasta as affecting your blood sugar. The plus side was I was back in my old clothes the day after I gave birth and pretty much had a flat tummy!

    It was only a year ago and found it so hard finding information about gestational diabetes and there wasn’t many YouTube videos on it

  3. Sigal
    January 20, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    It’s a known fact that with each pregnancy you will have a taller child. They say the first is the shortest of your kids. So since Angelica was a big baby, it’s not really surprising. So I really hope it’s just genetics and not diabetes.

    • Anja
      January 21, 2017 / 8:42 am

      I’m sorry to tell you that that is in no way a “fact”. Yes, second, third or fourth etc. children can be taller/bigger, but by no means is there such thing as a rule of thumb/pattern. Quite often the following children are smaller/lighter at birth. It has a lot to do with the gender, gestational week, weight gain and diseases in the mother etc.

      • Nicole
        January 21, 2017 / 8:12 pm

        My older sister is 3 inches taller than me 🙂

    • January 31, 2017 / 10:54 am

      my first was late and large the second was early and small…25 years later they still are.

  4. Julia
    January 20, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    I had gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy, diagnosed at around 23-24 weeks. It caught me off guard, since I had only gained about 6 pounds up to that point and my bump was relatively small. I had failed the 1 hour glucose test, and then the 3 hour one as well. After meeting with the in-office dietitian I was put on a reduced carb and carb-counting plan for a week and they gave me a glucose meter. What followed was the most frustrating week ever. No matter what I eat, did not eat or how little carbs I ate, my blood sugar was always over the allowable limit. I was close to tears at times. Finally, after a week, my doc put me on insulin. It was one of those pen injectors, so no real big needle, which helped. So the nightly insulin injections, together with carb limiting did the trick. It led to to overall weight gain through the pregnancy of only 12 pounds, because I ended up losing some weight from my body really and all the gain went to the baby. I’m 20 weeks along with the second one and I hope it does not happen again as it does take some of the joy out of the whole experience. Best of luck with everything, you are almost there!

  5. Fiona
    January 20, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    I was diagnosed with GD at 8 weeks and towards the end was on metformin and insulin. It’s educational to say the least! I now have a healthy baby and the GD has gone. At your stage in the game it’ll be interesting to see what they suggest…Coke Zero became my ‘treat’.

  6. Anja
    January 21, 2017 / 8:43 am

    Oh pity I though this would already be the update! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s no GDM, but I’m quite optimistic of the outcome.

  7. Pepita
    January 21, 2017 / 10:06 am

    This video/post is so timely. I was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes at week 34, which is quite late.
    I leave in France and testing here is mandatory around week 24. At the time my results were normal, but seems I’ve been having it from the start of my pregnancy, just the results were a bit misleading. The doctors realised as with you during the last ultra sound (there are 3 mandatory scans here) – the baby’s tummy was far too big, and the baby overall too (my partner and I are not big people).
    I started a no sugar/low carb diet immediately and have to test my sugar levels 6 times a day – before and after each meal.
    It’s not too bad to be honest – I like to cook, so have been quite inventive and have been trying to eat as much veggies as possible. For now I manage to control my sugar levels with the food, only the morning results are usually high and I don’t know what to do about it. It is quite frustrating, though, that they found out so late. I would have payed attention from the start…and not indulge so much, especially during the Christmas holidays. Now I have the prospect of giving a birth to a gigantic baby, and I am quite small. I am still hoping for a natural vaginal birth… Let’s see.
    Good luck with baby number 2!

  8. Beccy
    January 22, 2017 / 9:14 am

    I was tested at 28 weeks due to type 2 being in the family and I also found I had GD. The most confusing bit was seeing the dietician who said there wasn’t much I could change and I would end up on medication. It took some trial and error to figure out, but I got there. I found breakfast to be the biggest struggle in terms of spiking my sugars and ended up following ‘lean in 15’ recipes, having bacon or eggs every day, and lots of sweet potato wedges everywhere else. I had regular growth scans but there was never anything to suggest that I was having a huge baby, but if I hadn’t controlled it through diet and ended up on meds they wanted to induce me at 38 weeks. In the end I went to 41 weeks and then was induced.

  9. Charlie's girl
    January 22, 2017 / 9:45 am

    So sorry to hear this Ruth..hope all sorted soon…for anyone out there who is insulin injecting, I just met someone who reversed his diabetes with a vegan diet. I have no idea if there is any research on this but he was injecting for a year previously and it just seemed to self correct with a different diet. Not sure re pregnancy though. I gave up ail sugar earlier this year and then someone gave me Booja Booja truffles for my birthday..slippery slope…but will try again. Good luck with the birth. Sending much love for a smooth everything XXX

  10. Danielle
    January 22, 2017 / 11:31 am

    I know how you feel, you feel like you’ve done something wrong or doing something as natural as eating is potentially causing problems. I cried when I got referred to GD clinic again, although ironically both my babies were sub 6lbs.

    I had fasting sugar blips in both my pregnancies, I was 0.1 over the cut off (which in my area is 0.5 to 1.0 lower than most other trusts in England) in my last pregnancy which led to 11 weeks of observations starting from 6x a day down to 2x twice a week by the end as my scores otherwise were perfect it was just my fasting scores whenever I had a proper test. I was called their A* student, I made some changes – cereal was the nearest I ever got to 7.0 post eating, and I even got away with an experiment of afternoon tea with cake that got a post score of 5.1.
    There is LOADS of support online, Pinterest if you use it has loads of links to blogs and recipes, there are some books but with barely weeks to go I’d just go low sugar, low simple carbs and be warned in hospital before and after birth they will check your sugars too.
    Looking at your scores (if they are yours at the top) plus your c-section history they may well bring your delivery date forward and with Angelica being a big baby (over 9lbs) first time round you may well have had it then too but undiagnosed. It’s a bummer but the important part is knowing. I really feel for you and hope things are feeling better emotionally soon. Xx

  11. Joe
    January 22, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    I’m a reader/viewer from Germany and always find it interesting to notice differences in pregnancy care between Germany and England (and other countries)- one would suppose that there is a “right” way to do things (based on science and stats), and that it’s the same in every country (unless it’s third world or something).

    In this case: In Germany every pregnant woman is routinely checked for gestational diabetes. It’s surprising for me to hear, that that’s apparently not the case in England.

    (Disclaimer: This is not a “Germany is better”-post! It’s just different. I’ve also read things were I immediately preferred “the English way of doing things”.)

    • Anja
      January 23, 2017 / 3:09 am

      Couldn’t agree more re the differences in health care! It always surprises me when something you take for granted is done so differently somewhere else!
      Big wave to you from a fellow German!

    • Tarynkay
      January 24, 2017 / 3:28 am

      Every pregnant woman is routinely tested for gestational diabetes here in America as well. I had my baby with very low intervention midwives and they still did the screening. They do this by having you consume a certain amount of sugar and then testing your blood sugar to see how your body reacts to it.

      Ruth- I know what you mean about not feeling ready. I went to 42 weeks with my son and I still didn’t feel ready. I felt like I could have just carried on with being pregnant for another month or so.

    • Tina
      January 30, 2017 / 10:35 pm

      In Slovenia as well – regular checkups, also for blood pressure, toxoplasma ect.

  12. Tina Tokatly
    January 22, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Hi Ruth, before demonising sugar it is important to understand that diabetes is an inability to manage blood sugar and not a disease caused by sugar. I recommend that you read this article by my colleague who explains which sugars are problematic and which ones are actually beneficial and why we should be more focused on reducing starches and polyunsaturated fatty acids. I hope you find it interesting…


  13. Krista
    January 25, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    I relied heavily on printable meal plans to keep me in line. They also gave me marching orders… things to do while mentally rehearsing for the big day (as if one can possibly do that!). There is a useful link for a week’s worth of meal plans and other bits of helpful GD information at The-Diabetic-Voice. I can’t include the link here because the blog thinks it’s spammy.

    As for Mr. Hardy… There is a nice Facebook which documents this man pretty nicely. A pure guilty pleasure entitled: Taboo FX Fans: Taboo Tribe. I find his voice as equally exquisite as his legs…

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