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!