Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gestational Diabetes Check In: Week 1

Each week I have to call in my numbers to the diabetic counseling office, so they can make sure that my levels are where the need to be and help me to make any changes if needed.

I thought that each week on this day I might journal/blog a little about the previous week and how I am feeling...because if this last week is any indication it's likely going to be a roller coaster, and sometimes just writing things down really help me to clear my head. Plus...if there is anyone out there like me...scouring the internet for more info on GD and they are desperate for information that isn't all gloom and doom...and worst case scenario then hopefully they can find some comfort in my words.

First I thought I would start out with the changes I have had to make since the diagnoses...sorry if this is scattered...that is kind of how my brain has been lately. #ItsNormal #PregnancyBrain

Diet

Last Tuesday I met with a dietician and she came up with some numbers/guidelines for me to follow...and while they are nowhere near as strict as I anticipated, getting used to my new normal this week was a struggle at times.

The biggest change for me has been eating at perfectly spaced intervals throughout the day. She recommended that I eat 6x per day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. This sounds ideal right? Well...I suppose, but I haven't had much of an appetite, so often I am forcing myself to eat. Also, not only do I have to eat 6x per day I have to do so in perfectly spaced intervals. I have to wait 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner before eating anything so that I can get an accurate reading when I check my blood sugars. This isn't a huge deal, I just have to be really diligent about checking the time when I start eating and setting a timer to make sure I am testing at the right time. I have been doing really well with this so far...so let's hope I can keep it together :) 

Also, with my diet I have to be really diligent about counting my carbs.

Breakfast- 30g of carbs + protein (no fruit/cereal)
Snack- 15g of carbs + protein
Lunch- 45-60g of carbs +protein
Snack- 15g of carbs + protein
Dinner- 45-60g of carbs + protein
Snack- 15g carbs + protein

I would say I have done a decent job following this plan thus far...my biggest issue has been getting enough carbs and figuring out the best ones. My blood sugar levels have been on the lower end each time I test so I'm trying to find a good balance to where I am eating the right carbs and in the right amount so that my levels aren't too high, but also not too low...I'm slowly letting go of my fear of the carbs as I continue to see good numbers.

Checking my Levels 

I have to say this isn't as big of a deal as I had anticipated. I was terrified that the tips of my fingers would constantly be sore and that the whole process would be painful and tricky...but it's quite the opposite.

I have to check my levels 4x per day. The first time is right when I get up so I can get my fasting glucose levels. They want this to be under 90 and I have been averaging around 80-85. I'm messing around with my nighttime snack and this high protein, no sugar added, Greek yogurt seems to be the best  to help keep my fasting glucose levels on the lower end, but without letting my body go into starvation mode at night...because you see, each morning I also have to check my ketones, which is basically protein in your urine...

 
so yes, I have to pee on a stick every morning #ILiveTheGlamorousLife If I test positive for ketones it means my body isn't getting enough glucose/carbs and my body is burning fat for energy instead of carbs. It's a balancing act for sure. I have had some mornings where I test positive for ketones...so I am working hard to make sure I get enough calories/carbs to get this under control.

This has been my go-to breakfast all week...it gives me lots of protein, plenty of carbs, and it still pretty delicious!
 I then eat breakfast and wait 2 hours and check again...well this is where it gets tricky. I'm teaching at this time...I mean, smack dab in the middle of science...so it's been a juggling act for sure, but I am getting it done.

This is one of my favorite snacks...I only eat half of the fiber bar because the carbs/sugars are more than 15g, but I save the other half for my afternoon snack. The protein shake has been a life-saver because since I am still running/working out and I am supposed to be eating an extra 250-300 calories per day because I am pregnant it gives me a big chunk of calories without making me feel too full.
Then comes snack...and while oftentimes I am not all that hungry yet, I still make sure to eat.

Next comes lunch! This meal is usually my leftovers from dinner the night before since we have made sure the carb/protein ratio works.We also made a stop at Costco this weekend for some high protein lunches.

I then check my levels again 2 hours after lunch...and you guessed it...smack dab in the middle of teaching. Again, it's a bit of a juggling act, but I am so lucky to have such a wonderful class I haven't run into any issues yet.

Next...you guessed it...snack...AGAIN! This one isn't as bad because I can space it out a little farther from lunch than my morning snack so usually I am a little more hungry.

Thank you Pinterest for new low carb meals! Fajita roll-ups are definitely one of our favorites!
Then there is dinner...and all I have to say is thank goodness my husband loves scouring Pinterest for new meals. Finding new meals for our dinners seemed over-whelming at first (because we are creatures of habit and have been on a rotation of about 15 meals for the last 2 years! lol!) He has found some killer new meals...and honestly, I don't feel at all like I am making sacrifices and eating healthier with this meal at all. We have already found 3 new meals that will be taking a permanent spot in our meal rotations. 

I check my levels again 2 hours after dinner...this is the easiest logistically, but for some reason it's the one that gives me the most anxiety. We have found several great low-carb/high protein meals...but it's all about trial and error and while they told me there would be times my numbers would be out of range while I worked at figuring this out...seeing a number higher than 120 is not something my sanity can handle. The night I had a Lean Cuisine it came back as a 121 (even though it was within my carb allowance) and I was devastated (and dramatic) The good numbers keep my spirits up and thankfully I have only had one "high" reading ;)

I don't quite have the diet perfected just yet...but my blood sugar numbers were enough to impress my diabetic counselor when I called today, so I call that a win! I believe her exact words were "You'regetting these numbers with just a change in your diet and exercise?" Yes ma'am!! Words of affirmation just might be my love language :)

Exercise

Speaking of exercise...I wouldn't say much has changed on this front. I was already working out 4-5 times per week. I run every other day and try to make it to Jazzercise at least 2x per week. The only thing that has changed really is my motivation to run/workout...I would say I am even more motivated now to keep going and do at least something. There was a day I couldn't make it to Jazzercise and had run the day prior (I have found my body isn't crazy about running two days in a row) so I took the pup out for a nice long walk. Knowing that the exercise helps my body break down the extra glucose better is a huge motivator!

Week 1 Recap
 
Okay...so now that that is all out there...it seems like a lot of changes and a little over-whelming, but I assure you it has been much easier than I anticipated. Yes, the thought of no cookies or ice cream for the next 9 weeks makes me a little sad...but the end result will be worth it.

I also don't really feel like I am depriving myself. ...the hardest part is the rigidity of when I eat and having to count my carbs to make sure that I don't get too many or too little.

Also...after going back and forth for a few days I decided to share my 30 week pregnancy update. This wasn't my most positive update and I couldn't decide if I wanted to keep it private (I mean...how private is it if it's on my blog for the world to see if that want? But not very many people read it if I don't share it on FB) but then I decided why not? I have nothing to be embarrassed about...and in turn I had several people reach out to me sharing they they too had GD during their pregnancy and that their babies are just fine...and they had other pregnancy where they didn't have it. This was seriously the best thing for me this week...When I got the diagnoses I felt very alone and like the only person I knew that had gone through this...which is so far from true! It has been so nice to have people to talk to and offer me reassurance that me and my baby will be just fine!

All in all this last week was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions. However, I have to say I am feeling really good about things now. I am feeling motivated, confident, and much less anxious about the health of my baby. Something that seemed like such a big deal one week ago is feeling very manageable and like a small blip on the radar of my otherwise easy pregnancy. I have been able to put things in perspective...and realize that if this is the biggest hurdle I face during these nine months I am pretty lucky.

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