Ah. Gestational Diabetes.
This was a big concern for me when I first got pregnant, simply because of the fact that my Dad got diabetes when he was about 18. But gestational diabetes is when your body can’t properly process the sugar that you are consuming and cannot produce enough insulin. Often, it can lead to a bigger, heavier baby at birth. (I do NOT want to birth a 14 lb baby!) It normally goes away as soon as you deliver the placenta, but can increase the risk of developing diabetes later on in life.
Between 24-28 weeks, the doctor/OB/midwife will conduct a 1 hour glucose test. You will drink a small, chubby pop bottle’s worth of this orange glucose drink, wait an hour, and then they take your blood. I was told that it was okay to eat what I normally eat for breakfast, but not try out anything out of the norm (aka, don’t have a slushie for breakfast) because it could throw off the results. So for breakfast I had what I usually eat about 4-5 mornings a week: a mixture of organic cereals with yogurt, berries and milk.
My midwife called me 3 days later, and told me I failed the test and I would have to do the next 2 hour Glucose Test. My results were actually “quite elevated.” Remember the 20 Week anatomy scare I told you about? Well here we go again! I asked her if it might have been because of my breakfast – which I realized was chock full of natural sugars.
“It might be that, but this next test will actually be diagnostic in determining whether or not you actually have gestational diabetes.”
Of course it will. I don’t know why I bothered asking. It’s not like I’d be able to get out of the test. So I sucked it up, went over to their office, got the requisition and at 7:30 pm, started my 12 hour fast. I was determined to get this done before Christmas. At the same time, I was freaked out not because of the diabetes, because I knew it could be easily regulated by diet and exercise, but because I didn’t want to give birth to such a big baby!! I’m a pretty small person to begin with – (well, before I was pregnant, har har) so if I had to expel a child bigger than she needed to be, it was not going to fly, oh no.
This is how the 2 hour test goes:
Drink orange drink. (Some people hate it, I personally didn’t mind it. It wasn’t as sweet as I expected it to be. Just kind of like orange gatorade, or that McDonalds orange drink from ages ago, just not carbonated. It probably would have been better if it was carbonated. Or cold. There’s a tip, Dynacare.
Wait an hour.
Wait an hour.
That’s THREE needles!!! Not to mention the one I got 3 days prior. All of them get taken from the arm at the inside of the elbow. Unfortunately, I only have two arms. Where do you think the third blood sample was taken from? From arm #1. Two hours is not enough time for a little needle pumping to completely heal. I’m not usually put off by needles or getting my blood taken, but the last needle hurt!! It was like drilling into a bruise. Owwie!
My advice to anyone doing the first glucose test – if you can do it in the morning, FAST ANYWAYS! Don’t run the risk of getting a false positive just because of what you ate! It’s been over 2 weeks since my last test, and I have not been contacted by anyone. If it did come back positive, I would have been summoned to the midwives by now. For my next pregnancy, I will not eat breakfast before doing the test! If I’m well and healthy, it’ll save me over 2 hours of my time, three needles, and a buttload of worrying. Not to mention how boring it is listening to lab gossip, or having them tell someone where the bathroom is so they can drop their stool sample. Ugh. I urge you other mommies to do the same!