How I survived the Gestational Diabetes Test

It certainly wasn’t much fun, but I did manage to survive yesterday’s gestational diabetes test.

There were a couple of things that had me feeling incredibly anxious.  The needle stick is kind of an obvious stressor considering my anxiety from all the IVs I had to endure, but the test itself had me afraid for a couple of reasons.

First of all, I didn’t want to fast.  Not eating right now is really, really bad.  The reality of what I’m dealing with means that skipping a meal could land me on the couch for a couple of days.  I’m not okay with that.  Then there’s the sugar drink itself.  It’s bad.  It’s like flat orange Fanta.  It’s tough for a lot of non-HGers to choke down.  Then there’s the sugar rush, followed by the inevitable sugar crash after drinking something like that glucola.  All-in-all, not fun at all.

The midwives were kind enough to let me off the hook for fasting.  There was a risk that this would give a false positive on the test, but I’m just so afraid of doing any fasting that it was worth the risk.  So I started yesterday morning off like I do every morning: with a bagel and cream cheese at 6 AM.

At 7:50 AM, I started drinking the glucola.  I managed to finish it up by 8:10 AM, so the timing was perfect for my appointment.  We would do the blood draw at 8:50 AM.  Really, though, I was hoping I could just keep the glucola in that long.  I told myself, “You can’t throw it up until after the blood draw, but after the blood draw, if you need to get rid of you you can.”  HG is not a mind-over-matter thing, but somehow giving myself “permission” to throw up later helped me to deal with the wave of glucola induced nausea.

We started our appointment like we always do.  I peed in the cup and checked my levels.  This time, though, the dip stick did not give me happy numbers.  I was spilling protein and sugar in my urine.  Not a great sign.  This meant that my pancreas wasn’t processing the sugar the way it needed to, and my kidneys were having to pick up the slack.  No wonder I felt like hell.

Then came the weigh.  166 lbs.  I checked it a couple of times to make sure it was right.  The midwife said this was quite a major weight gain for 4 weeks, and it was the largest she’d ever seen.  Aaaaand… I lost it.

I just broke down and cried.  Spilling glucose in my urine, big weight gain… This all points to gestational diabetes.  This is the last thing I need right now.  I already have food issues from the hyperemesis gravidarum.  Having to follow an even more special diet is just too much to handle.

At any rate, feeling defeated and huge (although my midwife assured me that huge is one thing I’m NOT), we went in for the measurements and the blood draw.

This went surprisingly well.  I used my Hypnobabies finger drop technique and I closed my eyes and just breathed.  I stayed very relaxed.  She hit the vein immediately with no issues at all.  And it was done.  No pain!

This was a really important moment for me.  It was almost like a test.  I got the chance to test myself and see how I could handle a needle stick, and I was pleased that I managed to do so in such a relaxed fashion.  It was also a test for her.  How easily could she hit my vein?  Apparently, it was effortless!  She did a fantastic job.  Sure, it wasn’t comfortable, but there was no painful digging or rolling or veins blowing or any of that.  The lack of drama surrounding the whole thing went a long way toward helping me feel more confident for the future.

Really, though, with the urine thing and the weight gain, I’ve been walking around wanting to cry for the last 24 hours.  Also, we’re having a heat wave and we don’t have AC, so my feet are swollen.

But in order to help me refocus myself, here are the positives that came out of the appointment:

  • I’m measuring right where I should be for 28 weeks.  So the next person that tells me I’m huge really and truly will get smacked.
  • The baby’s heartbeat is great.  We heard it beating along as she kicked and rolled, and then it slowed down as she relaxed.
  • I did great with the needle.
  • My midwife did great with the needle.
  • I got to meet the third midwife in the group.
  • Mr. Grasshopper got to meet the second and third midwives.
  • I did not throw up!

So there were positives to balance out the negatives, so that helps, I guess.  We should know in the next day or so what my diabetes test results are, so for now I can enjoy blissful ignorance.

I also got some general pregnancy tips that I thought I’d pass along:

  • The aches, pains, and that horrible charlie horse from Friday night that still hurts?  It’s my body telling me it needs more calcium.  She suggested adding in a supplement to make sure I’m getting 1200-2000 mg per day.  She also said this would help me sleep better at night.
  • That washed out feeling I’ve been having where the stars appear at the edge of my vision and I feel like fainting? Iron.  Apparently there is an iron supplement called Floradix that is supposed to be incredibly gentle.  I’ll be picking some of that up I guess.

Both of these issues are due to changes in my blood volume which deplete my body’s stores of iron and calcium.  Apparently, beginning at 28 weeks, your body doubles its blood volume.  This happens over the next 4 weeks.  Shoring up those calcium and iron levels can help ease some of the big pregnancy discomforts.  And I’m all for that!

So please wish me luck.  I’ll update here once I hear back on the diabetes testing.  Hopefully this will be one pregnancy issue that I won’t have to do any research on!

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12 thoughts on “How I survived the Gestational Diabetes Test

  1. I have always refused the GD test, so I haven’t had to experience that yet – sounds scary; good job!! Hoping to hear good results on it.

    I have taken Floradix with both pregnancies – good stuff!! (Doesn’t taste that great, but it’s not hideous.) I usually mix it with apple juice.

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    1. Hi Diana! I’m so glad to hear from you about the Floradix! I’ve been really worried about it upsetting my stomach. The added iron is why I purposefully don’t take prenatals. Did the Floradix sit okay for you? Or did it increase your nausea? Was it constipating? I didn’t take anything but Flintstone vitamins last time, so I have no idea.

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      1. Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question with any degree of accuracy, because both times I was taking Floradix were at the very end of pregnancy and/or postpartum, when I was no longer on Zofran and didn’t have major nausea issues. I know that it is a plant-based natural form of iron, so I don’t think that it contributes to the constipation issue (so with you on that!!), and I can’t remember it causing any nausea. I would definitely say it’s one of the best iron resources out there, and I definitely would recommend it.

        Glad to see your update – hope whatever is going on can be cleared up quickly!!! Sounds like you have awesome midwives.

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      2. Yes, totally, LOL!!!

        I’m sorry I didn’t think to post this before (too late now), but the GD test can be done with multiple things rather than that yucky drink. I have heard of mamas using jelly beans, fruit juice, or even a high-sugar meal (usually pancakes from McDonald’s or IHOP) – anything in which the sugars equal what they want you to drink. I know you won’t need that knowledge, but I thought I’d post for anyone else reading. Glad to hear the Floradix went down well!!

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  2. I refused to drink the glucola this last time and instead I found organic jelly beans. Still a lot of sugar and not as bad as drinking that stuff!

    Get the Floradix!! I’ve used this in 2 pregnancies and it works so well. Mixing it with orange juice not only gives you the extra vit C needed for your body to absorb the iron, but also makes it tasteless.
    I just went out and bought myself a bottle today becuase I have been dealing with massive blood loss at every cycle (7-10 ounces each month).

    Also, is there a way to get rid of this black box while typing in the comment? it’s so hard to see what I am typing.

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    1. I’ve heard of the jellybean test, and I know my MW would’ve let me do it, but I just didn’t have the energy to research it enough. It probably would have been a lot easier than the glucola!

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  3. I skipped the glucose this time and opted for a blood test that basically would give a “history” of my blood sugar levels. The orange stuff always made me sick. I cannot imagine having to drink it with HG. I hope the test comes back with good results!!!

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  4. I’m crossing my fingers and toes for you! I had gestational diabetes on top of the HG in both pregnancies :S That meant 4 insulin injections a day and people lecturing me on not eating the right foods, GAH! Good luck xx

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