I haven’t provided an update of sorts specifically regarding my Gestational Diabetes progress for a bit, so perhaps now is a good time while my son tinkers at my feet in his fleece dinosaur jammies with a badly brutalized old USB cable, mouse, and an eclectic assortment of random toy bric-a-brac. I figure I can launch into a few sentences until he decides to duel with the diaper bin; my son’s last call announcement to his ability to sustain play independently.
My fasting levels had been borderline almost from the get-go, but given that almost all of my after meal levels have been golden…and I vomited in the nurse’s trashcan over a miniscule needle the first visit…the clinic personnel were willing to let it ride as long as possible before I start injecting insulin before bed. I made it longer than I thought, a whole two weeks before altering my bedtime routine to include this newest pleasure.
Last week was my first week taking insulin. I developed a certain process with the various sticks, having the nurse do it first in the office a couple of times before I venture on my own. Mind you, I’m well aware my needle phobia has nothing to do with the acknowledgment of actual pain; it’s completely irrational, but that doesn’t matter.
Fast forward to my first night thirty minutes before going to sleep as directed. I begin the process of situating everything. I have the trusty injection pen, which I had been assuming would be a blunt end that I hold to my leg, and simply push a button to receive my insulin dose. It isn’t, as I’m attempting to control a wave of panic examining the device, I realize that I will be, in fact, injecting myself…sans blunt end…sans magical button… But, I did it…incorrectly…but, I did it nonetheless. It bled…a lot. I forgot to count, needle still imbedded in my thigh when adrenaline set-in and my hands began to shake. The needle bent, but the full insulin amount managed to make its journey. It didn’t hurt. I began sobbing, laying on the bed, violently shaking.
I was fine; I told my husband as much. It was just adrenaline, and the remaining week had little drama to the general festivities. Sure, there was the night that I didn’t check the gage to see if the full insulin amount was through…It wasn’t. I had to stick myself again. And, there was last night with a perfect stick that had no feeling whatsoever to only realize I forgot to actually turn the dial for the proper insulin amount. Had to stick myself a second time once again. Oddly, the insulin is a more pleasant experience than the glucose monitoring.
Then there are the other pieces of this diagnosis that I’ve had to come to terms with throughout this, surprisingly, short time span. With insulin means more appointments…many more. Appointments I cannot bring my son as chaperone. My husband and I worked it out as I knew from the moment I was told, but it’s all so overwhelming and I am very pregnant, so any difficult news becomes absurdly catastrophic.
My diet is draining, and contrary to what the internet consistently indicates, maintaining a “healthy diet” is maybe ten percent of managing my food intake and glucose levels. It continues to be more thought than I’d like incorporated into every eating experience, and I’m tired of eating nuts four times a day, and with all the cheese I eat as a safe, virtually carb free protein, I may never poop again. It isn’t about forgoing my precious chocolate, which I have. There are surprising, healthy things I cannot eat or have to limit significantly. The amount of food I can eat is greatly reduced from any other point in my life, so I’m almost always hungry with little I can do about it. Now I’m at the peak of my insulin resistance, which restricts my food variety and amount all the more. Sometimes it bothers me more than others. To reframe the situation into a slight glimmer that I will appreciate after my daughter is born, I am on track to only gain twenty-five pounds from this pregnancy. Six weeks ago the likely target was thirty-five. I’m told this is what happens with Gestational Diabetes.
Sunday night, however, I completely failed at this diet thing for the first time since this whole business started, and I loved every minute of it…when I wasn’t torturing myself with guilt for my weakness. It was a two-year-old’s birthday party, and, I have to say, I don’t know the last time I had such exquisite gluten free, organic chicken nuggets…Yes, there is such a thing. I don’t know what was in them. I didn’t care, as they complimented the two (albeit small) slices of pizza and sliver of cake I scarfed just before…It took every part of me not to weep in the process…Oddly, my glucose level was twenty points lower than when I ate a can of chickpeas…
So, I’m thirty-four weeks pregnant today, and another week closer to my tenet vacating the premises. I have my first ultrasound in ten weeks in a matter of days. This practice gives me 3D images, so I’ve actually been able to see my beautiful baby girl all along; I’m told from here the pictures will accurately reflect her appearance at birth. Moving forward this will be the first of many, many ultrasounds and non stress tests I’ll have until she is born. But, I have a feeling there will be tears this first time even if I see her and don’t feel this experience is worth it just yet.