I remember the day I got the news. I "failed" the glucose tolerance test. My fasting blood sugars were 0.1 over the cutoff.
I cried and cried. The news was devasting, the biggest reason being I was booted off the midwife program at my hospital as I was now in the "high risk" box. I wouldn't have the midwife that had delivered my first born. I wouldn't have a water birth. I would have to visit random Doctors at the hospital, go for extra ultrasounds and be treated like my pregnancy was a medical condition.
Not to mention, having to stress about everything that I ate, worrying about how it would affect my blood sugars.
Then there comes the pressure from Doctors to take medication. Medication that some hospitals refuse to use due to lack of research, but for some reason my hospital choses to prescribe to me. I refused to take it, and I am so thankful I did. A week later my fasting blood levels came back under the "recommended" level, without any medication.
I spent hours upon hours researching, it consumed me. Finding the actual risks of gestational diabetes, not just the risks they tell you (and the risks they fail to mention). I was terrified, mostly terrified about the birth. Wondering how the diagnosis would affect my chances of birthing naturally, especially as I wouldn't have the support of my midwife. I had dreamt about having a beautiful, calm, empowering waterbirth at the birth centre, similar to my first birth experience. But the gestational diabetes diagnosis ruined any chance of that.
At my 32 week ultrasound they mentioned my son would be huge, on the 80th percentile. They fail to tell you that ultrasound gestimates are notoriously innaccurate during the third trimester.
Luckily, I had come accross Evidence Based Birth, which was extremely reassuring. Their article regarding "big babies" put my mind at ease slightly.
Because of the research I had done, I trusted my body to be able to deliver a larger baby, and refused to be induced to avoid a "big baby".
Ultimately, I ended up having a stretch and sweep one day after my due date. That night my waters broke and I gave birth naturally 4 hours later to Corbin, who weighed 8 pound 9 ounces, or 3.8kg.
My birth experience was really quite traumatic for me, but that's another story.
In hind sight, I really question the impact that a gestational diabetes diagnosis has on a pregnant mum. Whether there is a better way of going about it. I understand in alot of cases, a mother may require insulin, and there can be placental issues and blood sugar problems in the newborn.
I really urge mothers with this diagnosis to speak to a trusted health professional and do your research! As with anything, knowledge is power.
Some great resources:
Evidence for Induction for Baby Baby
Evidence for Gestational Diabetes testing
Gestation Diabetes evidence for Induction and Big Baby
Dr Sarah Buckley- Gestational Diabetes Information