My Journey with Gestational Diabetes

gestational diabetes
©️ fezailc from pixabay via

There I was sitting in the clinic laboratory waiting area, waiting for the next blood draw to see if I had gestational diabetes.

Thankfully I took a book with me to read. I was in the midst of the three-hour glucose intolerance test. The one where you have to drink a sugary beverage and then have blood work taken every hour for up to three hours.

I was on edge, I was worried, and I was only nine weeks pregnant.

Normally these tests aren’t done until later in the pregnancy but my initial blood work was off, flagging my OB to have me do the one-hour glucose intolerance test — which I failed.

So, here I was back at the lab to complete the three-hour test.

Gestational Diabetes

The nurse from the OB office called me later that day. My worst fear was confirmed — I did indeed have gestational diabetes.

I was in shock. I didn’t know what to react, all I could think about was, why me?

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens only during pregnancy. Changes within the body while pregnant cause blood sugar to be too high and about 6-9 % of women will develop gestational diabetes.

 Risk Factors:

  • Being overweight
  • Being older than 25 years of age
  • Having gestational diabetes in the past
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Having a baby who weighed more than nine pounds at birth
  • Being of Latina, African American, Native American, South or East Asian, or Pacific Islander descent

After I read all the risk factors and realized I have three of them, the diagnosis didn’t seem so illogical. My doctors thought that I even had diabetes before I got pregnant.

In the beginning it was a lot to process, and I had a lot to learn.

Living with Gestational Diabetes

Checking My Blood Sugar

I have to remember to check my blood sugar four times each day.

I set alarms on my phone to keep track of it all. When going out, I have to remember to bring my glucometer (the machine that tests blood sugar) with me. It’s an added step that brings a little more stress to my life.

So Many Appointments

Besides my regular OB I also see maternal fetal medicine, and the diabetes educator and dietician check up on me every so often.

Eating Healthier Foods

I have been learning to say “no.” I am a very social eater. And I like to think that I am on a weight loss journey, instead of being a diabetic.

It’s not easy for me to say no to sweets or fun foods. I do get off-track sometimes, but the majority of the time I remember my “why.”

I remember that I am doing this because I have another human growing inside of me who is completely reliant upon everything I do.

Trying to Exercise

I admit it, I never really liked exercise. I do love walking and biking though.

Mostly, it is recommended to walk after meals and I have attended some prenatal exercise classes.

I am doing my best to stay healthy and every day I pray that everything is ok with baby and that in the end I will have a healthy, crying child in my arms. I also hope that I will be able to cure myself from diabetes.

Gestational Diabestes Resources:

The best resource is your doctor and diabetes educator team. However, another resource I found helpful was Home – Lily Nichols RDN and her book, Real Food for Pregnancy.

I’m also on a diabetes recipe Facebook group and Diabetes Food Hub is another great website that my dietician recommended.

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Jessica Nix
Jessica is an American Muslim convert who became a first time mom in the middle of quarantine. She loves to spend her time reading, going out for walks and bike rides in the summer, and loves trying all the new restaurants within Fargo-Moorhead. She is currently working on her Islamic teacher certificate for Ribaat institute. She lives with her Ghanaian husband and daughter in Moorhead.


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