TWO POSITIVE LINES – I’M PREGNANT!
The very thought of becoming a mother elicits a torrent of emotions within a woman’s mind. It is something that cannot be expressed in words. And so when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child I experienced the most amazing set of emotions that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I took the home pregnancy test when I missed a period and when it came positive, I contacted the doctor who confirmed that I was 4 weeks pregnant with another test. I started preparing my body and mind for the eventual birth of my child.
23 WEEKS LATER, NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR…
As I entered the 24th week of my pregnancy, my doctor asked me to get a routine blood sugar test done. I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, a type of diabetes that is commonly seen in pregnant women. For a moment, I didn’t know how to react. My head was buzzing many questions and I was concerned for the safety of my unborn child. I decided to know more about this condition and chart a strategy to beat it.
While my blood sugar levels were normal before I conceived, they shot up in the second half of my pregnancy. Since GD does not have any apparent or unique symptoms, we came to know about it only from my blood report. I did not experience constant thirst, hunger, or the urge to urinate frequently, so, we thought there was nothing to worry about.
I was very worried about the effects of this on my baby and whether there would be complications during and after delivery. My doctor said that as a woman with gestational diabetes, there are risks to the child but she assured me that she would do everything to get me a healthy baby. That was very comforting.
I learned from my doctor that high blood sugars can cause the baby to grow bigger because the sugars cross the placenta and cause the baby’s pancreas to produce insulin due to which it grows in size. GD can also result in preterm delivery, respiratory distress syndrome, or hypoglycemia in such babies once they are born. I was shocked to hear all this, but my doctor assured me that with proper exercise, diet for gestational diabetes, and regular monitoring, I can deliver a healthy baby, with minimum or no complications.
My blood glucose level was above 130 mg/dL and so, I had to keep a constant check on them. My doctor teamed me up with a nutritionist and together we charted a daily routine with a strict list of foods to eat with gestational diabetes and pregnancy in mind for me to follow. She pointed out that making a few changes in my diet and exercise routine can help control my sugar levels. A diet plan that included a balanced mixture of complex carbs that were rich in fiber, foodstuffs that were high protein sources, and healthy fat foods were created for me.
DIET FOR GESTATIONAL DIABETES
Over the last weeks of my pregnancy, I followed a GDM diet consisting of wholegrain bread instead of white bread and cereals, non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, and protein-rich foods. Since I am a vegetarian, the protein sources consisted of legumes, tofu, different types of nuts, beans, all cooked in olive oil, or ghee. I also avoided white rice, pasta, and bread even though my baby and I craved for it. My gestational diabetes food list also included small amounts of brown rice and healthy fats that could keep my glycemic load at an optimum which gave me a little comfort during the diet. All this, along with the exercise routines, did help me to manage my sugar levels effectively.
AGHHHHH, MY WATER BROKE!
A couple of days later than the date given to me, my water broke at half-past two in the night. My husband rushed me to the hospital. I was overwhelmed with myriads of emotions. After around an hour of labor, I delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl. I cannot find the right words to describe my feelings. All those tense months of combating GD through diet and exercise seemed worthwhile when I held my bundle of joy in my arms.
You can read about another experience related to diabetes below: How my Diabetes almost snuffed the light out of my eyes