After I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 17 weeks I assumed I’d be following a low carbohydrate diet. I have experience with that from the South Beach diet that I used before my first pregnancy and smart carb dieting recommended by the staff of the Metabolic Clinic while I successfully managed my insulin resistance and tried to get pregnant a second time.
The GD diet (can stand for gestational diabetes or the other words, in my opinion) is not low carb. It’s very specific about how many carbs you eat at what time and in combination with protein-rich foods to help your body better process the carbs and keep your blood glucose in range. It’s restrictive but mostly manageable. I’m hungry almost all the time, but I eat every few hours so at least I’m not STARVING all the time.
I was diagnosed in October, so right in time for the holidays. I refrained from eating any Halloween candy, which was difficult and depressing. And then for Thanksgiving, which happened to be my birthday this year, I limited myself to smaller portions but still tried everything I cooked, as instructed by the Woman’s Diabetes Center dietitian. I only made one full-sugar pumpkin pie but also made two mostly sugar-free dessert options (pumpkin pie and a birthday pie). Sugar free doesn’t mean free food though, since there are still carbs in pumpkin and the other ingredients. It was mostly OK, but I definitely didn’t feel indulgent or very celebratory. I did walk for a full hour after our big lunch meal, but I didn’t factor in leftovers and ate too many carbs so my numbers were higher that evening. It was a temporary, food-related spike and not a trend, so there was nothing to worry about (but you know I did!).
I still have Christmas to face, and so far I’ve turned down Christmas cookies and desserts, and I don’t know how I’ll manage the Christmas dinner. Probably very similar to Thanksgiving – eat a bit of everything and walk a long time after. Also I’ll do better on the leftovers, maybe just forget the starchy sides after the first meal.
I’m trying to keep things in perspective, knowing that the end goal – a healthy baby girl – will be worth it. But knowing I’m not even halfway through dealing with GD is sad (I’ve been testing my blood for about nine weeks and still have about 13 to go).