How I Went From Having Gestational Diabetes to Type 2 Diabetes
One of the greatest moments of my life was finding out I was going to be a mom! Unfortunately, my joy was overshadowed when I took the prenatal glucose test and learned that I had gestational diabetes. It was a condition that affected pregnant women who had never been diagnosed with diabetes before. According to my doctor, my body wasn't producing enough insulin to ensure the health of my baby, and as a result, I would have to take daily insulin injections. It was devastating news.
Initially, my emotions ranged from shame to embarrassment to feeling inadequate. I couldn't help but blame myself for not being able to have a healthy pregnancy. However, through my research, I discovered that I was not alone. Many women who had never had diabetes were also diagnosed with gestational diabetes. In fact, the CDC reported that 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by this condition each year. I knew that if I wanted to meet my son, I had to listen to my doctor's advice and diligently take my insulin, eat balanced meals, and exercise regularly to maintain stable glucose levels during my pregnancy. It was a daunting task, as I had to be constantly conscious of everything I did and ate. I had to learn how to give myself injections, which was a fear I had to overcome. But I knew I had to do it for my son's sake.
After a few weeks, giving myself injections became easier and a part of my routine. It was my first real test as a mom, as I realized that I would do whatever it took to ensure the health of my child. I was determined to overcome any obstacle. The next challenge was learning to eat healthy and incorporate exercise into my daily life. Before my pregnancy, I never paid attention to food labels or made conscious choices about my diet. Exercise, to me, was simply walking from the car to the mall entrance. But I had to change my approach.
I started with a 15-minute walk every day, gradually increasing to 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and eventually a full hour. It was a process, but I felt proud of myself for improving my health and preparing for my son's arrival. Alongside managing my gestational diabetes, I had to go for weekly doctor's appointments since my pregnancy was deemed high-risk. Seeing my doctor's pride in my progress was reassuring.
On March 10, 2007, I finally gave birth to my beautiful son, Darius. He weighed 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces, and he was perfect. The sacrifices I had made during my pregnancy felt worth it for this precious gift. Little did I know, my journey wasn't over yet. Normally, gestational diabetes disappears after giving birth, but mine didn't. Due to my family history of type 2 diabetes and my genetic makeup, my gestational diabetes turned into type 2 diabetes. It felt like another blow to my life, and I didn't know what to do.
Living with type 2 diabetes was not what I had envisioned for my life after my son's birth. It was a harsh reality that I had to accept. My name is Robin Dorsey, and I'm a type 2 diabetic. But I want to tell you that you're not alone in this fight. There are more than 34.2 million Americans with diabetes, and together, we can stand strong, fight for awareness, and work towards finding a cure.