Gestational diabetes – a serious condition – a true life story of gestational diabetes and shoulder dystocia
Following a Glucose Tolerance Test at 29 weeks I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes at 31 weeks into my pregnancy.
I just heard “diabetes” and “no sugar” I was devastated. I felt like I’d failed at being a parent already and not looking after my baby properly and the doctors did nothing to comfort me at all.
On my first appointment at clinic I was shown how to take and record my results. As well as testing before and after meals I was given the “dietary advice” of: cut out sugar, eat more fruit and veg and change white carbs to brown carbs.
After a week I went back to clinic. I’d lost 6lb! But my levels were too high to stay diet controlled so I was given Metformin to help stabilise my levels. I went home deflated but knew it was the best thing for both of us.
After doing a bit of research I came across this wonderful group [Gestational Diabetes UK Mums Facebook group]. It was quite clear that I had been given some quite basic and poor advice regarding my diet. After a few days experimenting it came to light that in order to keep my levels down I was unable to eat any cereal or fruit for the remainder of my pregnancy as these sent my levels through the roof, and I was also only able to eat one slice of toast in the mornings. Turns out I became really good friends with scrambled egg on toast!
At 34 weeks I’d managed to get my levels under control and rarely went higher than my set targets. I was given an induction date, April 17th and was told that I would no longer need to come to clinic every week and the next time I needed to come in was for my induction. I also had extra scans to check on Freddie’s growth: at 32 weeks he was estimated at 6lb 6oz, 36 weeks at 8lb 4oz
Freddie had other ideas and my waters broke on April 8th. Labour itself was great, 4cm dilated 4hrs after waters breaking, no pain relief as of yet.
By the time I was 6cm it was clear things weren’t going quite to plan. My cervix was thinning at one end but not the other so I wasn’t dilating properly. By now my contractions were well and truly kicking in but the gas and air was doing its job and we were both doing good.
Once Freddie’s head was born, that’s were the good stuff ended. He got stuck on my pelvis due to his size and the cord was wrapped around his neck. Freddie was losing oxygen very quickly and before I knew it we had gone from me, my mum, my partner and midwife to about 10 more doctors in the room. It all happened very quickly. I had one doctor each side holding my legs up, one doctor pushing on my tummy and one doctor who had to make a cut to make room, who then swapped over with a doctor who was pulling Freddie. As traumatic as it sounds it was a million times worse.
As a first time parent I wanted nothing more than to hear my baby cry and be placed on my chest and for my other half to cut the cord. What I got was the complete opposite. Silence. My mum whispered to me “he’s out”
I was then told that Freddie was born “flat” which to you and me is dead. My son who I’d waited not just 9 months for, but years for had no heartbeat and was currently being given CPR.
After 4 minutes he was stable and taken straight down to intensive care. I’d barely seen him yet I had to wait even longer than I ever thought possible. Freddie’s birth weight at 37+3 weeks was 9lb 8oz.
Freddie spent the next 13 days going through the special care units and we took him home on April 22nd, the day before he turned 2 weeks old.
Due to a very bad Shoulder Dystocia, Freddie was in special care for a total of 13 days (5 in ICU, 2 in HDU and 6 in LDU) in this picture [below] which looks scarier than it is, he is laying on a cooling mat and received Therapeutic Hyperthermia for 3 days, the belly button IV was for fluids as we couldn’t feed him ourselves as he was on Morphine and antibiotics, he had an oxygen tube on his nose, heart rate and blood pressure monitors on his chest, and probes on his head to measure his brain activity……all removed within 4 days!
After the traumatic events we went through we were all expecting Freddie to have some difficulties but we were told to expect nothing more than a weaker left arm that will get stronger in time.
I wanted to share my story with you all because GD although temporary, it is a serious condition and can have devastating results. There is nowhere near enough information for ladies and medical professionals don’t seem to know enough about it to advise correctly. The Facebook group is full of ladies who have or are struggling every day to keep their levels down yet every day they advise, support and give comfort to every single member of the group. The files that have been put together are so helpful and informative. I have no idea how I would have got through it without the group but I’m glad I don’t even have to think about it. And as I sit here with Freddie in my arms I know that every needle I shoved into my fingers, and every time I skipped the chocolate aisle or said no to a takeaway it was absolutely worth it.