Every pregnancy is different. As I snuggle our sweet baby boy, now three weeks old, I debate already if I could do this all over again or do I really miss sleep that much more. For me personally one thing that would be a guarantee in another pregnancy is Gestational Diabetes.

I “failed” my glucose tolerance test. I mentally prepared for the three hour glucose test by having “one last bowl” of ice cream a few days before. The cruel irony was that I craved sweets in my pregnancy. I wanted cake. I usually hate cake.

My test results were uploaded to the patient portal before my doctor could call me. I read them on a Friday night and knew immediately the diagnosis. I do not recommend this. I spent the next few days googling and waiting for the doctor to call. When I did get the call they walked me through the health risks if blood sugar was not controlled which included delivery complications or the baby having blood sugar regulation issues among others that sounded awful.

I was then told a dietician would call me and I was to report to class. I felt very insecure and guilty. Why me? Could I have done anything different? How am I supposed to survive selfishly Thanksgiving and Christmas with no carbs while pregnant? I can’t believe I have to go to a class- are they saying I don’t know how to take care of myself?

I will now admit one of the best things that could have happened to me was this diagnosis. I did have something to learn and now will tell anyone who will listen to help remove the stigmas associated.

First, Gestational Diabetes is NOT your fault. Avoiding dessert during pregnancy won’t prevent it. It is again something to blame your hormones for. I was worried people would judge me for already being a bad mom because I “got diabetes”. Gestational Diabetes is a form of high blood sugar and for most goes away the moment you give birth, especially the placenta.

I measured my blood sugar through a finger prick (very annoying but you get used to it) four times a day – when I woke up and two hours after each meal. I am intrinsically motivated and I was very proud when I could send in a log with good numbers. I was able to control my sugar with diet and fitness. Some may need additional help with medicine and again, that is beyond your control and not your fault.

Last, you can still have dessert and carbs. GD does not mean eat low carb! In fact going into ketosis and having low blood sugar is VERY bad for your baby. If you are dining out with someone that has GD and they want to split a dessert. Do not judge. They can have dessert in moderation.  The class provided a meal plan for me complete with a daily menu, how many carbs to eat at each meal and when to eat. I’ve been told my whole life to not eat before bed but a balanced snack of protein, carbs and fat really helps maintain your blood sugar. They never want you to miss a bedtime snack!

After class I was eating more and making healthier choices. It wasn’t easy but I’m proud of myself. I survived the holidays, let go of my guilt and accepted the challenge to take care of myself. However, if anyone would like to do a post Christmas cookie exchange count me in!