Pregnancy and Diabetes: Maintaining your Daily Life

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • Pregnancy Tracker: 22 weeks, 3 days

    Size of the Baby: Weighs one pound.

    Biggest Obstacle: Having to go to the bathroom so often!

     

    I have always loved inspirational quotations. There's nothing like finding a quotation that helps you better understand your thoughts and feelings. I came across such a quote about two years ago, just as I was beginning the process of getting my blood sugars under control for a future pregnancy.

     

    Years ago, my mom gave me a small book called "Meditations on Diabetes: Strengthening Your Spirit in Every Season," by Catherine Feste. Since I was not moved to make diabetes management a priority in my life at that time, the book sat, unread for several years. Finally, I picked it up when I began to work more diligently on my diabetes.

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    A few pages in, I read a quotation from Julie Andrews that helped to change the way I viewed personal discipline. Andrews said, Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.

     

    At the time, as I focused on my diabetes and health disciplines, this quote meant a lot to me. Now, with my first diabetes pregnancy nearly half over, this quote means everything!

     

    A diabetic pregnancy is hard work and requires a great deal of discipline. However, instead of thinking about the rigid restrictions that this lifestyle demands, I'm choosing to view personal discipline as a source of freedom in my life.

     

    By making the choice to limit the carbohydrates in my meals and snacks, instead of feeling deprived, I feel liberated that I don't have to worry (as much) about high blood sugars that would harm me and my baby.

     

    Choosing to exercise regularly and get enough rest also provide me with rewards. Though it is sometimes hard to drag myself off the couch or make myself jump into a cold swimming pool, I feel energized and rested during the day when I keep up those disciplines.

     

    Testing my blood sugar an average of 18 times per day can be draining, but all of those bits of information also empower me. I have a better idea of what my body is doing, how much insulin I need, and how different foods affect my blood sugar when I test that often.

     

    Waking up at least twice a night to test my blood sugar is a particularly annoying discipline, but the knowledge that I will not go more than a few hours without catching an elevated blood sugar, helps me to sleep more peacefully throughout the night.

     

    The terms freedom and discipline seem opposed, in that freedom means you're able to do whatever you want, and discipline requires limitations to your choices. However, by realizing that we chose the personal disciplines that keep us healthy, we can achieve a freedom from worries, doubts, and hopefully, complications.

     

    Knowing that I am making the best decisions for me and my baby provides me a greater sense of satisfaction than any pancake breakfast ever could. Likewise, the permanent scabs on my fingertips pale in comparison to the peace of mind of tightly controlled blood sugars during pregnancy. Indeed, going to bed an hour earlier and missing Law & Order: SVU makes me feel rested and strong the next day, so that I can continue my healthy choices. (Plus, now we can digitally record it anyway!)

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    Truly, the motivation of having a little baby depending on my good choices is empowering. I am so fulfilled choosing these disciplines and very much looking forward to the rewards!

Published On: September 07, 2007