I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my third pregnancy through the normal sugar test performed on expectant mothers. Though I suspected that my risk for diabetes was elevated due to family history, any preparation done before learning the test results wasn't enough to soften the impact of the diagnosis. The risks to both mother and fetus are devastating. Meeting with the endocrinologist, receiving my meter and testing supplies, and being briefed on the testing process was a bit overwhelming. Initially it was thought that my diabetes could be controlled through diet only, but my sugar levels remained too high. After faxing my blood sugar results weekly for a full calendar month, I was put on insulin. I gave myself injections four times a day, and was testing my blood sugar level eight times daily. Along with the blood sugar spikes came the crashes, which left me feeling clammy, shaky, and physically unstable. Both the endocrinologist and my obstetrician explained that the likelihood of me developing Type II diabetes in the future was higher since I’d been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Happily, my diabetes did “go into hiding” after I delivered my son, though it took a week or so for it to happen. I certainly thought that when the doctors said the diabetes would go away after delivery, they meant IMMEDIATELY after delivery, but that wasn’t the case. I continued to monitor my sugar levels after discharge from the hospital and found them slightly elevated. I followed up with my endocrinologist six weeks after delivery, and my levels are now normal. By following a reasonable diet and exercise regimen, I should be able to stave off Type II for who knows how long. The frequent testing and injections were a nuisance, but worth every drop of blood. Not only has my diabetes retreated, but more importantly, my son’s blood sugar was normal at birth and his weight was a healthy 8 ½ pounds.
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