Thursday, January 2, 2014

If you have diabetes

Anyone know that commercial? If so, that is how we say diabetes in our household.

I ended up having gestational diabetes in my pregnancy. Great. See, I have this annoying metabolic/endocrine condition/syndrome/thing called PCOS. It can predispose one to getting gestational diabetes ("GD") in pregnancy as well as type II diabetes. Swell. Of course, I had to be one of the women that gets gestational diabetes. What did that entail for me? I had the pleasure of going on a low-carb diet. Hear that? Low-carb in pregnancy! That meant no more donut indulgences for me! That really wasn't a huge deal since I should be eating like that anyways for PCOS. But, I also had the pleasure of checking my sugar 1 hour after each meal I ate. It doesn't sound like such a big deal but it was hard to remember! All the incessant pricking of my fingers with lancets wasn't that great either.

How was I diagnosed? The dang glucose tolerance test. That means that you get to drink a 50g pure sugar drink and get your glucose level checked one hour after drinking it. If you fail, then you have the privilege of fasting then drinking 100g pure sugar drink. You get your glucose level checked before the test (fasting) 1 hour post, 2 hours post, and then 3 hours post drink. If you fail two of the levels then you have GD. Well, I failed the first 50g test, barely. So, then I had to do the 3-hour test. I drank that nasty 100g drink. Seriously, it is awful. No joke, imagine drinking a cup full of syrup. The 50g is nasty but the 100g is awful. Especially on an empty stomach! So, I drank and drank. Then, I went out into the waiting room to wait for the next blood draw. About 15 minutes after I drank the awful stuff I got really nauseated. I mean, whoa! I ran into the phlebotomy lab and said I was going to puke. They handed me a bucket and I barfed it all up. Yep, it was seriously terrible. Ok, the throwing up was nasty but really the most terrible part was not that. In pregnancy, I developed what one might call occasional "incontinence". When I sneezed or coughed I would pee a little bit. So what?! Don't judge! Ok, not such a big deal, right? Not so. I threw up so hard I practically peed my pants! Yep! I freakin' peed my pants! Think that is the worst part? Nope. I called the midwife and told her what happened and asked if there was another option and she said that doing the glucose drink is really the most accurate. You guessed it. I had to do it again! I had to drink that glucose again!! This time I was smart and took a lovely zofran (nausea pill) before I went in for the test. It worked and I was able to keep the drink down. Yay for me! Nay for me actually because I failed two of the tests. I officially had GD. 

To be honest, all of that seriously wasn't a big deal though in the grand scheme of things. I will tell you what was a big deal to me though. Because of the stupid diabetes, I was automatically put in the category of induction which I didn't not know was the case until a few weeks before I was due. I found out about my GD around 24 weeks and if they mentioned it to me about the possibility of being induced then I was not listening. Apparently, if you have GD controlled by medication then you are induced at 39 or 40 weeks at the latest. If you have diet-controlled GD then you are induced at 40 to 41 weeks. I ended up in the lovely category of the "grey zone." They weren't sure. Due to my dang PCOS I was already on a diabetic medication when they tested me for the gestational diabetes. After I found out I adhered to a strict diabetic diet. But,  because I was already on the medication when the GD was confirmed they weren't sure which category I was in. So, they erred on the side of caution. I was put in the medication category of needing to be induced at 39 to 40 weeks. Oh, and because of the GD I also had to get non-stress tests and ultrasounds for 2 weeks before my due date. Yes, I love more medical bills. Please, give me more! One of the risks of GD is a having a large baby. So, they prefer to have the baby out around your due date. Going over is pretty much not allowed.

This is all very important because it was very important for me to have a natural labor. I always said since nursing school the one thing I did not want to have happen when I had a baby was to be induced with pitocin. Pitocin is wicked. It is so painful. The contractions are one on top of the other. No breaks. (I can attest that this is true!) Also, since nursing school I had always planned for a natural delivery. That plan continued and Mitch and I prepared for a natural delivery. We went to classes, read, and did a video kit. We practiced for several weeks before the delivery. We were prepared! Doing it natural (for me that meant no pitocin and no epidural) was going to happen! Oh wait, nope. If I didn't go on my own before 40 weeks then I was to be induced. Obviously, I didn't go before my due date even after much effort. Ok, I thought I will *try* to do without an epidural while getting pitocin. I told the midwife I was going to try all while knowing full well I would most likely get an epidural. Well, I was right all along. Pitocin sucks!!!! I tried all the positions and techniques we learned as we prepared for a natural birth. They were no good in this situation. The pitocin seriously never gave me a break. It felt like my uterus was in a constant, awful contraction. Not only do contractions suck but pitocin contractions are the worst! I finally threw in the towel. I caved! I got the epidural!

 Ahhhhh. It was divine :)

(I honestly thought about not getting an epidural because I didn't want to pay the anesthesiology fee :)

What did I learn? Probably that I should have asked what having GD meant for delivery but I don't know how I would have known to do that. Well, maybe I probably should have known that since I had a semester of labor and delivery in nursing school. But, to be honest I paid attention the least in that semester. Oops.

What did I also learn? I learned that my baby was delivered successfully and healthy and so it was all okay!

Here I am before I knew what was about to happen in the next 24 hours! I was so excited!

There you go! Gestational diabetes in all it's glory!

Don't go too far. Breastfeeding is next!


Rachel Murray said...

Okay, so I am commenting so you know you are not alone in the incontinence thing. When I was pregnant I peed my pants whenever I sneezed, coughed, or vomited. My husband loved to tease me when I'd be walking along and all of the sudden I'd stop and cross my legs before a sneeze would come. I also had to stop running with each of my pregnancies around 20 weeks because I would pee my pants as I ran. Ahhh the joys of motherhood. The good news is as soon as the baby was born I resumed full continence again :) Congrats on your beautiful baby girl!

Julia M. said...

I was just diagnosed with PCOS this past summer. It's kind of a weird journey. I love your honesty about everything you went through--labor and delivery are no joke!!! Her lips are unbelievable--just like you said! I'm glad she is hear and healthy. I hope you are surviving the transition. I just finished an amazing book--called Brain Rules for Baby--that talks about how brutal the transition to parenthood is. And how to have a smart kid. I would totally recommend it!