“No one talks about gestational diabetes.”
In 2015, Amberlee Fay was pregnant with her first child when she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes—a type of diabetes found in pregnant women who did not have diabetes before their pregnancy. It also increases the chance for both mother and baby to have diabetes later on in life. For Amberlee and her family, the news came as a devastating surprise.
As the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center had yet to be opened, Amberlee immediately went to the Don and Cathy Jacobs Health Education Center at UK HealthCare to begin her research. Through diet and exercise, Amberlee was able to maintain her blood sugar in a normal range to keep herself and her growing son healthy.
Amberlee delivered her son Jacob nearly six weeks early, and it remains undetermined whether gestational diabetes was a factor in her early delivery. She had been told that if you had gestational diabetes during your first pregnancy, it was more than likely to happen again in future pregnancies. In 2018, Amberlee became pregnant with her second child, a daughter, and was once again diagnosed with gestational diabetes. But this time, she wasn’t alone.
Despite closely watching her diet and exercise, Amberlee’s blood glucose began to abnormally spike throughout the night. She called the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center for help on how to maintain the irregularity, which started the conversation about insulin being necessary. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I can't do this. I've never given myself a shot. I can't do this every day,’ but I proved myself wrong. They had complete faith in me.”
Through the support and education of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, Amberlee is now a mother to two healthy children as well as an active step-mom and wife. She’s not only even more health conscious after her experience—she’s also an advocate for diabetes awareness.