“I need to see you.” Those were the first words the midwife said when I saw her 2 weeks ago. I knew I had taken the glucose test 2 days prior but I didn’t think anything of it and to be honest it didn’t even cross my mind that I had tested positive for something I had never heard of. The midwife went on to tell me that my 1 hour test had come back as over the limit so I was diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. I was truly overcome with emotion- I felt like I had failed as a mum (before our little one had even gotten here). The midwife took me through the process of the high-risk pregnancy clinic, and a gestational diabetes clinic I had to attend the following week. She gave me brochures and cancelled all my existing appointments with the out-patient midwives. I was truly devastated seeing her throw that little white card of appointments in the bin.
Walking back to the car I called my mum who offered to come and sit with me for the high-risk appointments (it could take upwards of 3 hours to see a doctor even with an appointment time). Greg got home from running some errands and I had another big cry.
After reading through what we could find online we were re-assured that it wasn’t due to my eating patterns but rather hereditary- Middle Eastern people are pre-disposed to type 2 diabetes (my mother is from Iraq) and my grandfather also had type 2 diabetes. This didn’t make the facts any less devastating but it was at least providing an explanation.
Fast forward to the diabetes clinic- we sat in a room with 6 to 7 other women. All walks of life, all at different stages in our pregnancies watching a video from the 90’s about gestational diabetes. A doctor came in and gave us the worst case scenario of what could happen if we didn’t manage our glucose levels. Greg leant over and re-assured me that he was simply trying to use shock tactics (I love that man). After some discussion they passed around bright yellow bags with a little butterfly on the outside- I’m sure it’s some marketing ploy to make you feel happy while handing you what feels like a death sentence. As I sat there pulling out the contents I cried (dang pregnancy hormones).. I looked at my husband and through tears told him I felt like a drug addict. In a little black zippered case were needles, test strips and a little tester. Did I mention I also have a biohazard container?!
I don’t think I could clearly verbalize the mixture of feelings I was experiencing- something between wanting our baby to be perfect and healthy and how I would do anything for her to have the best possible start of life, and feeling like my life was over. That’s a great big chasm I know.
They taught us how to prick our fingers and take a reading- of which I do four times a day. Four times a day.
It’s been 10 days since I first got my reader, I have gone through 40 test strips and 11 needles. The countdown for my next finger prick ticks down precariously on my lock screen as I type this.
Every time I pull the needle out to prick myself I sense myself tensing up, hoping it won’t bruise my finger tips- you see, I’m a pianist. Sometimes my fingertips bruise for a day or two, sometimes I can’t get the bleeding to stop fast enough and I get it on my clothes, and sometimes it doesn’t hurt as much as I am expecting and I feel like it’s all manageable.
I’m sure there are many women who have gone through much worse to have children- by no means am I trying to belittle what they have experienced but in my little world this has been life shaking.
A beautiful quote I read said “being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.”
My beloved Ava, you are more precious than rubies.
(on a side note- after having to write down what I eat and record readings for a week they moved me over to just writing down the readings- if you have recently being diagnosed with GD, the app mySugr has been a life saver! It’s a free app which seamlessly records your readings)