As I am rounding the bend to the end of this pregnancy and my experience with gestational diabetes (and hopefully diabetes all together – unless I should ever become pregnant again), I find myself wanting a cookie more than ever. Both literally and metaphorically.
I have worked very hard to maintain my blood glucose levels, and so far my readings have been well managed with diet and exercise. I can’t speak to the experience of insulin-controlled diabetes or how that changes things, but my experience with diet-controlled GD has produced an obsession with food and eating, although hopefully it’s improved my relationship to see food more as simply fuel. But I’ll be honest, I still have carb and sweets cravings and know it would be a slippery slope to falling back into the food-as-comfort attitude I’ve had most of my life.
So I want a cookie. In the last couple weeks I’ve actually started to let myself work some sweet treats into my diet – not many, always small and only right after testing so it doesn’t impact the next reading. My numbers have actually been slightly better, which might just be a coincidence, but I feel better with the boost of sugar when I’m so hungry and don’t feel AS deprived. I guess I can see how other GD patients might be counseled/allowed to include sweets in their diets, but since I started out so overweight that may have been why all sweet things were crossed off my meal plan document? In any case, my sweet tooth hasn’t gone away!
I also want a cookie in the sense that I want some recognition for my hard work – perhaps a gold star? I haven’t told many people about my gestational diabetes diagnosis (despite writing about it in a pretty public venue!) and I’m not even “Facebook official” about being pregnant even at 36 weeks. But I find a way to work in the fact that I haven’t gained any weight as often as I can when I see people in person who tell me I look great. The closest I’ve come to true accolades or an atta-girl is “I’m happy with these numbers” from my doctor. HA! I guess I’ll take what I can get.
My experience is just that – my experience. And in talking with a couple other moms who dealt with GD in their pregnancies not everyone obsesses like I do, and someone told me it didn’t impact her eating at all since she didn’t eat many carbs to begin with. I nearly fell out of my chair, since a lot of my brain power goes toward thinking about what to eat next and how to keep my numbers in range. And the whole experience has very much been a struggle for me.
After birthing my daughter I’m looking forward not only to establishing that relationship on this side of my womb but also the re-establishment of more regular eating with greater flexibility. And I will be super glad to get to put some milk in my (decaf!) coffee in the mornings again, as that’s another crazy “you can’t have that” rule for me on the GD diet!