Laura & Diabetes

About Me

I am a 34 year old CPA and mother to two beautiful children, Nick and Rio.  My fiancé Ross is an amazing father and the funniest person I know.  We live in Goodyear, Arizona along with our dog Squirt.  I consider myself to be pre-diabetic although I have not been officially diagnosed as such.  I had gestational diabetes with both of my pregnancies and my sugar levels never totally recovered after having my first child.

Gestational Diabetes – Round 1

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant with my first child (my son Nicholas, born in May 2009.) I was diagnosed at approximately 32 weeks, and was able to control it with diet and exercise alone.  At this time I lived in Santa Barbara, California, and my doctor required my fasting blood sugar to be 90 or below, and my one hour blood sugar to be at 120 or below.  I was terrified of being put on insulin, as my doctor would not prescribe oral medications to pregnant women.  Needless to say, I was pretty good about following the recommended diet which allowed 30 grams of carbs for each meal, and 15 grams for each snack.  I did find that I had to drastically reduce or eliminate the carbs at breakfast in order to stay under the 120 mark, however I was able to deliver my son without ever having to take insulin.  Unfortunately, I did not maintain this low carb diet, and I made up for any sweets that I missed out on while pregnant!  :/

Nick and I checking each other out shortly after his birth.

Nick and I checking each other out. Look at that cone head! <3

Pre-Diabetes

A few months after Nick was born, my family moved to Arizona to be closer to my mom.  Before I left I had an A1C test done. I don’t recall what the results were, but I do know that they were a little higher than normal.  My nutritionist mentioned that I was taking the follow up test a little on the early side, so she believed that the A1C would be normal after another month or so.  After moving to Arizona I would periodically check my blood sugar numbers, either fasting or after a meal, and I noticed that they were just as high, if not higher than the results I had while pregnant with my son while I was on the diet.  At one point I had another A1C test performed at Walgreens during their one of their free testing campaigns, and was told that my results were normal. (Again, I don’t recall the actual result.) However, my fasting and post-meal numbers were higher than I knew they should be.  After researching the thresholds for normal, pre-diabetic, and diabetic blood sugar levels, I determined that I was now falling in the pre-diabetic range.

Gestational Diabetes – Round 2

In January 2011 I found out that I was pregnant with my second child (my daughter Rio, born in September 2011.) My nutritionist in California had advised me that if I were to become pregnant again I should immediately begin following the gestational diabetes diet that I was on with my son. So, I began (usually) following the diet of 30 grams of carbs for meals and 15 grams for snacks. I knew that my pre-pregnancy (and pre-diabetic) numbers were already crossing over the thresholds that my doctors would require while pregnant, but my OBGYN did not want me to take the gestational diabetes test earlier than normal.  So, I continued to follow my old 30/15 gram diet and monitored my sugars on my own prior to taking and failing the 3 hour test and being sent to a perinatologist. My perinatologist in Arizona had less strict guidelines for me, requiring fasting numbers under 100, 140 one hour after meals, and 120 two hours after meals.  They also told me to eat more carbs, allowing 30 grams for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, and 45 grams for dinner.  This seemed like carb heaven for me!  I could not consume those amounts of carbs without elevating my blood sugar numbers past the goal numbers, so I was prescribed the oral medication glyburide to keep my sugar levels under control.  I felt great during this pregnancy (other than a couple of low blood sugar scares), and I hardly gained any weight due to following the restricted carb diet for the entire 9 months.  After delivering my sweet healthy Rio, I sadly fell off the wagon again and returned to the pre-pregnancy days of little to no carb counting.

Rio and I in the hospital together shortly after her birth.

My sweet girl. She seemed so small! <3

Preventing Diabetes

So, here I am now…..keeping so busy with my kids, working, attempting (and usually failing) to keep the house in some sort of order, and trying to feed my family decently healthy meals.  My blood sugar issues are always in the back of my mind, but I often feel too overwhelmed to try and deal with it.  I test my sugar levels haphazardly, and when I do it scares me to see how they have changed so much since I first started monitoring them in early 2009.  I know that I have a huge risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and that maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and losing some weight need to be my priority.  This blog is one way I am attempting to provide myself with accountability.  I don’t want to end up permanently on medication or having to take insulin shots.  I want my kids to have a healthy mommy and a good role model.