The last time I was pregnant was almost thirteen years ago, so needless to say, this pregnancy has been a little different because I'm a lot older. I get tired more easily. I don't remember being so uncomfortable this early. And this time around I am dealing with gestational diabetes.
Well, I call it gestational diabetes, but it's a little different for me than most women who are diagnosed with the disease because I didn't all of a sudden sprout problems midway through the pregnancy. I have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic for several years now. I have been proud of myself for keeping the "pre" firmly attached and not converting to a full-blown diabetic. I thought I had things under pretty good control, but then I got pregnant and found out that the blood sugar levels they want to see in pregnant women are a lot lower than the general population.
So I was labeled "diabetic" right out of the starting gate. I have been religiously counting carbs and doing everything I could to keep my blood sugar under control. It can be tough staring down pregnancy cravings while knowing I can't succumb to most of them, but the diabetic diet has helped me to only gain 3 lbs. in the first 22 weeks, so at least there is a plus side.
Still, it seems that no matter how hard I try, my blood sugar readings start to climb again every few weeks. From what I understand, this is somewhat expected. It has something to do with the placenta pumping out an increasing amount of hormones that make me even more insulin-resistant than I was to begin with.
I test my sugar four times each day, and whenever I do, I feel like I'm having a showdown with a playground bully who suffers from mood swings. You see, my glucose meter doesn't just display numbers like other meters. It speaks in code through those numbers. Sometimes, when my sugar is good, the meter is kind and says, "Good job, momma!" If my reading is only a little out of range, the meter just shakes its head and clucks it tongue at me. When it gets a little higher, the meter starts to say mean things like "You're a bad mother." And if my sugar skyrockets, which has only happened two or three times since mid-July, the meter goes for the jugular with "Are you sure you should be allowed to procreate?"
After having my self-esteem battered by insults both morning and night from my meter for the last three weeks (my mid-day readings have actually stayed within range), my doctor finally said what I've been expecting but dreading. It's time to go on insulin.
We could have upped my oral medication again, but honestly, I have awful lows when the dosage is high enough to control my sugars well, and those lows make me feel horrible. And I figure if I'm going to end up on insulin anyway, why not get the ball rolling? I'm hoping it will actually give me better control, and maybe my glucose meter can stop with all the insults. So tomorrow I get to learn how to give myself shots. Wish me luck.