Ceira’s story – undiagnosed v’s diagnosed gestational diabetes
Ceira’s story shows her two very different pregnancies, her first where gestational diabetes was not screened or diagnosed, compared to her second pregnancy where gestational diabetes was diagnosed, monitored and controlled.
I went into hospital on Friday the 7th of February for an induction as my blood pressure was creeping up and had been put on Labetalol at 38 weeks, so I had midwives coming to the house every other day.
I was induced at 40+8 days. I was given the pessary in the afternoon. Started contracting about four hours later but they weren’t consistent. Hardly any sleep that night with the pains getting closer and stronger they decided to take me over to the labour ward that morning and I had to wait for a bed.
As soon as I went there, around 11am they popped my waters and put me on a drip straight away. Contractions were really close now and everything was all a kind of a blur. At around 6pm I was fully dilated and was allowed to push. I was pushing so hard but no sign of baby although the midwives said they could see the baby. After two hours they said I would need some help as I was getting tired now. I had to sign to go to theatre and the doctor would decide if I was to have forceps, ventouse, or a caesarean section. I went in, had a spinal block and got examined by the doctor and he decided that the forceps was the best option.
I had lots of people around me and my husband at the side, my legs were in stirrups. The midwife was telling me when to push as I had no feeling. Then the midwives started putting pressure on my belly. I had no idea what was going on. The room started to fill with people. No one would tell me what was going on I could tell by their faces something was wrong. The registrar came to talk to me with tears in her eyes… I asked her “is my baby dead” but she couldn’t answer me.
Maddox head was delivered at 21.40pm and he was finally fully delivered at 21.59pm. My baby was rushed away to be resuscitated at the other end of the room. I couldn’t see what was going on. My husband could just see all the doctors crowded around the baby as they worked on him. I was still unaware what was going on. I thought when your baby was born you would hear them cry. I just didn’t know what to think. I laid there being stitched back up, didn’t understand what had just happened, I thought I’d have my baby in my arms.
After they had stabilised baby he was sent to the SCBU while they looked for a cooling bed for him in a different hospital. When I went back to the delivery room the midwife explained that the baby had shoulder dystocia. He was 10lb 5oz and that’s why it took so long to get him out. They told me he would be going to a different hospital for brain cooling. None of this was registering to me… I had no emotions.
Before taking Maddox at 3am they let me see him in his special incubator ready to go in the ambulances, covered in tubes and only wearing a nappy. All I could do was look at him from the bed. The Neonatologist explained he was going to the different hospital for the brain cooling to slow down the brain damage. I wasn’t allowed to go until the morning. Before I left, the registrar came to see me and said I could of had gestational diabetes. With the size of the baby being Macrosomic, saying the baby often has no neck if they have it and Maddox definitely fitted the description.
As soon as I could I went to see him laying there lifeless full of wires, machines and different medication. They kept telling me he was having no brain activity which was not very good. The Sunday evening he started having fits. We needed to leave so they could stabilise him and it was horrible to see.
On the Monday, day 3 of his life, they told us he didn’t have enough urine output and if he did survive he would be severely disabled. We just wanted our baby to be alive, we would of looked after him whatever.
Tuesday, day 4 of his life, we were called into a meeting saying we should call all the family to say their goodbyes. They recommended we turned his machines off as he was deteriorating. Me and my husband decided that we wanted to give him the best chance and wanted to give him the full 72 hours of cooling and he would be warmed up on the Wednesday morning.
Nervously we waited for him to be warmed back up on the Wednesday to see how he responded to it. By the Wednesday evening they asked me would I like my first hold of him. This was very hard with all the tubes and wires but was the most amazing feeling.
On the Thursday he was breathing for himself and the following morning he would be leaving the NICU and going back to the hospital when he was born to go to the SCBU to get better and learn to feed. He lost all his reflexes.
That week was such a world wind, so many ups and downs. Maddox spent a total of 5 days in NICU And 24 days in the SCBU. Maddox was unable to feed for ages as he would aspirate the milk and they didn’t want it fill in his lungs so he had speech and language and learnt to feed again – it took a while but he got there in the end.
Maddox has been monitored closely over the last two years. When he was two months old it was found that he has severe hearing loss that likely happened when his brain got starved of oxygen. But other than his speech and hearing, he’s hitting all his other milestones and he is a healthy toddler.
I was never offered to have the GTT as I had no warning signs for gestational diabetes. They said if I was pregnant again I would need a GTT.
At 26 weeks of my next pregnancy I had a GTT and if the result was positive they said they would contact me but I had no call. I was adamant I had it but they said if they didn’t call I was safe. Two weeks later I was phoned saying they had cancelled my consultants appointment about my blood pressure and I was under a new consultant instead who’d I’d see in another weeks time. My husband phoned the hospital and asked why I had changed. They hold him “hasn’t anyone told your wife she has gestational diabetes and needs to see a new consultant”, but they had failed to let me know about it.
I searched on Facebook and found the Gestational Diabetes UK Mums group which helped me so much with ideas of what to eat. Previously I didn’t realise how dangerous gestational diabetes can be uncontrolled like with Maddox and I feel so lucky to have him alive. So I stuck to the GD diet in my second pregnancy, as I wanted a healthy baby to be born and I was so scared after last time. My levels were all pretty good bar my fasting one, so after a few weeks I was given 4 units of Humulin over night.
I was monitored weekly and it was decided after the ordeal of my first delivery it was best to have a caesarean section. I had a healthy baby girl born at 39 weeks, Mila, weighing 8lb 1oz and she passed all her bloods sugar levels without any problems. A big difference from my undiagnosed gestational diabetes with Maddox.