Mistakes I've Made With Gestational Diabetes

Mistakes I’ve made with Gestational Diabetes 

Gestational Diabetes is a learning process.  It takes time to adjust to the schedule and dietary requirements.   I’m going to share some of the mistakes that I’ve made with Gestational Diabetes.  Hopefully, it will be something you can empathize with and hopefully avoid a few of these mistakes.  

Food Related Mistakes

I’m sure it is no surprise that I have quite a few food-related mistakes.  Gestational Diabetes revolves around food and what you eat and when you eat it.   I think the one that most people can relate to is not calculating carbs in something before you eat it and ending up with a high reading.  I was trying to find a quick and easy lunch the other day and decided on a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I knew that two slices of bread fit into my meal servings so I thought I would be fine.  Did you know that a medium banana has about 27g of carbs in it? I discovered that after my blood glucose level was much higher than expected and I was figuring out why.  Oops, Well now I know to make sure to count my fruit.  The other side of that is just not calculating at all.  Hiking burns a lot of your blood glucose and the effect remains for a bit after hiking so when we went through a KFC drive-through on the way home from hiking I decided to have a burger.  I was hungry and tired and decided it would probably be ok. While it was a wonderful burger, that was the highest spike I’ve ever had! Exercise does not give free rein to eat all the things.  

On the other side of that coin, not eating enough carbs is another mistake I’ve made.  As I said, exercise uses up a lot of the glucose in your blood so you do need to consume carbs BEFORE you exercise.  Well, remembering the previous week’s problem with KFC, when we got lunch before our hike I got just chicken nuggets to eat before the hike.  Turns out chicken nuggets do not have nearly enough carbs to sustain strenuous exercise.  When I tested at my normal two-hour mark I was hypoglycemic.  Really another mistake was not testing sooner, both my husband and I could tell something was off.  I did handle the hypoglycemic event correctly.  We sat down and I had some glucose jellybeans.  After 15 minutes I tested my blood glucose levels again and while it was still low, it was increasing so I ate a balanced snack and tested again after an hour.  

That was an extreme case and the only time I’ve noticed I’ve been hypoglycemic, however, I have had other meals when I’ve realized after eating that I did not consume enough carbs at the meal.  Some of our favorite meals really don’t have any carbs besides vegetables and I’ve been told not to count those towards my carb counts.  What I normally do it grab something like popcorn and have that for my dinner carbs.  Whatever works right? 

I’ve always been a big fan of following hunger cues and eating when I am hungry and not eating when I am not, as opposed to eating on a set schedule.  This has caused several mistakes where I am not consuming carbs as regularly as I should be, which can be bad for me and baby since we are not getting that regular flow of energy.  Between breakfast and lunch in particular I often don’t want to eat.  So I have found some light snacks to consume that still offer the carbs I need without being too full.  One serving of popcorn or a mug of hot chocolate are my favorite I’m not hungry but I need carbs snacks.  

My other problem is while I’m not hungry in the mornings, I get very hungry in the afternoons.  Before this diagnosis, I would have a snack maybe an hour after lunch and then every hour or two after that until dinner.  But now since I can’t snack until 2 hours after lunch I have found myself constantly grazing between after lunch testing and dinner.  This has been hard for me to fix, I was trying to have more protein snacks, but there are only so many walnuts I can consume at once!  I find getting ahead of my hunger helps.  If I eat before I reach the extreme hunger stage then I eat less than I would once I get to the extreme hunger signs.  So I’ve been eating my nuts and biltong and soft boiled eggs before the time is up for testing and that has really helped.  

Speaking of snacks, something we did at the beginning of this Gestational Diabetes journey was completely blow our grocery budget.  When you first hear of the things that you can and cannot eat a lot of the alternatives are more expensive than the normal versions.  We definitely way exceeded our normal spending for a few weeks until we figured out a better way to handle it.  I talked more about this in my post about Gestational Diabetes on a Budget

Probably my mistake that worried me the most was messing up my insulin injections.  Using an injectable medication is something that was new to me and something that I still worry about.  I haven’t had any issues with the injections themselves, but after about a week of being on nighttime insulin, I realized I had forgotten to do it when I was going to bed.  I quickly got up and did my injection, but it was about an hour later than normal! I emailed my team first thing in the morning and was told that it is ok if it happens occasionally because we are all human. That was a relief because I felt awful about it at the time.  

Those are the mistakes I’ve made so far with my Gestational Diabetes journey.  Maybe you recognize a few that you have made. I hope it will help prevent you from making the same mistakes.  I still have about 8 weeks to go, so I’m sure I’ll have a few more by the end of this journey. 


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