At the diabetes clinic

We went to the gestational diabetes clinic yesterday. This involved seeing an obstetrician who specialises in gestational diabetes, then a midwife, then a dietitian.

The obstetrician just talked us through what having gestational diabetes could mean in terms of my health and the health of the baby. Often, babies whose mothers have gestational diabetes (GD) can be quite large (apparently this is the most common problem caused by GD), but, conversely, it can also cause babies to be smaller than average. They’re not sure whether BabyMouse’s smallness is caused by GD, but from what the obstetrician said, I got the feeling they don’t think this is the case, as she has grown steadily throughout – just not grown as much as the average baby. Personally, I think it’s more likely that it’s my anatomy that has caused her to be small. But anyway. The obstetrician also said what the plan would be for the next week or two – I have to test my blood glucose levels before/after every meal and make some changes to my diet, then go back to the clinic to see if I need to have any medication.

The midwife talked me through how to use the blood glucose testing machine. It’s not very complicated and I feel OK about doing it now I’ve done a few tests. Obviously having to prick your finger on a regular basis is not great, but it’s not too bad – I think it’s better sticking a very small needle into your own finger than having someone else do it! Also it helps that you can’t really see the needle as it’s mainly hidden inside the little plastic thing (not sure what this is called!). I’m trying to use a different finger every time, although obviously I will run out of fingers quite soon – but then the first one should be OK to use again.

Blood glucose testing machine
Blood glucose testing machine. The testing strips are in the pot and the needles are in the coloured plastic things.  (Sorry for bad quality of photo)

We’d been warned that the diabetes dietitians could be a bit strict and scary, but the one we spoke to was very nice, and she was pleased with the changes we’d already tried to make to my diet (cutting out sugary foods, reducing the amount of carbs with each meal). She actually said I could be a bit less strict than I was thinking I would need to be. I was pleased to learn that I’m allowed to eat a small amount of chocolate – dark chocolate is best so we’ve bought a couple of bars of that in case I need any ‘emergency’ chocolate! I think I’ll try not to eat it on a regular basis, just in case.

I was supposed to go back to see the diabetes team next week, but there were no appointments left, so we’ve made one for the week after and we can ring on Friday to see if there have been cancellations for next week.

We also went to see the midwives at the local hospital on Monday, and the midwives at the London hospital on Tuesday, for the usual obstetric cholestasis-related liver function tests and baby monitoring (the same tests are done at both hospitals because they can’t see each other’s notes on the computer, which is just silly but what can you do? Roll on care.data?) Unfortunately, my ALT levels have gone up again, and so have my bile acid levels. I don’t really understand why they fluctuate (hormonal changes?) – I probably need to look that up or ask someone at our next appointment.

5 thoughts on “At the diabetes clinic

  1. Sounds like you are being very well looked after and monitored closely. Not long to go now, only a few weeks and then your body can start getting back to normal. And it’s good that BM is growing steadily.

    It must be quite interesting checking your blood sugar results (in a weird sort of way) even though not pleasant having to prick your finger each time. I think you are coping really well.

  2. I can’t understand why they make you use your finger for pricking, which has so many sensitive nerve endings, rather than just part of your arm or something. You are braver than me! I’m sure it will all be worth it when you get to hold Baby Mouse in your arms :)

  3. Good news. I’m sure they gave you lots of good information about the diabetes. If there isn’t something about the glycemic index in all that, go on line and look it up. Most of those sites have printable lists with the index associated with a food. Basically, the higher the glycemic index the faster your blood sugar will shoot up if you eat it. Since what your goal is is to keep your blood sugar fairly level, you want to choose foods that don’t spike it, in other words foods with a lower glycemic index. A printout of the list on your fridge will help you choose. Ironically, rice is one of the things with the highest glycemic index, which makes rice cakes a poor choice as a snack for people who are trying to diet. (blood sugar has a lot to do with dieting success as well as diabetes)

    It sounds like you are surrounded by professionals who are caring and well informed. Good to hear that.

    Don’t worry, be happy….

  4. The things I have missed by hibernating with my depression.
    Wonderful news — not about the GD but about the baby.

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