Hi everyone! I didn’t realize it’s been over a month since my last post. I’ve been thinking about writing for a couple weeks and am only now sitting down to write. I’m pretty sure you’re not dying to read my posts and if you are, I apologize for the delay! Lol.
Well, between 24-28 weeks, the doctor ordered a blood test for me, specifically to test for gestational diabetes. I wasn’t worried about how the test would go because a few of my co-workers explained the process to me. I was a little worried about the results because I have diabetes in my family history.
At 25 weeks, which was mid-April, I went in for the test. I knew I had to be there for an hour, which is not the most exciting thing to do, but it had to be done. Prior to my blood test, I was instructed not to take my thyroid medicine and that I had to be fasting at least 8 hours. So, I did. The phlebotomist gave me 5 oz of a sugary drink of my choice – lemon, lime, or orange. With no particular preference, I went with orange. She told me I had 5 minutes to finish it but instead I drank it as fast as I could. I felt so disgusted afterward. It was as though I drank pure syrup. It was so concentrated, it reminded me of the Malolo or Hawaiian Sun syrups. Yuck! Upon finishing the drink, I was informed that I was allowed to take sips of water while I waited an hour. I was also instructed to remind the phlebotomist 5 minutes before my hour so she could be ready to draw my blood at the exact hour mark.
While waiting, I took sips of water here and there. My poor baby was active. I felt so gross from the drink and so sad for my baby. I also went for a walk to distract myself from feeling so gross. The walk and sips of water helped ease my discomfort and calmed my active baby. When it was time, I notified the phlebotomist, she drew my blood, and I left. Luckily, I had taken the day off so I didn’t have to rush anywhere.
The next morning, early into my work day, the nurse called me about my test results. She told me the results came back high so my doctor wanted me to do the 3 hour test. I hesitantly agreed. At the time, she didn’t tell me what the actual value was and I didn’t ask because I was too overcome with worry that I might have gestational diabetes. I told her I would do the 3 hour test the next day. I adjusted things at work so I could take half day. I later found out that my blood glucose was 165, which was high. The range was 70-140 mg/dL.
I looked up information on gestational diabetes to get more educated about it. Then my husband and I went on a walk to talk about gestational diabetes, how it would affect our baby, what it would require of me, and all the risks involved. I was so overwhelmed with information it was if I assumed I had it. I was definitely worried, in fact, it was my first pregnancy scare. I decided that night that I would take my thyroid medication in the morning before the test. I also made sure to fast for at least 8 hours.
So, the next morning I went early to start the 3 hour test, 7am to be exact. This test was a little different from the first test I did 2 days prior. The phlebotomist took my blood before giving me the glucose drink. I again went with orange flavor and then I was given 10 oz, the entire bottle, to drink. Yuck! After I finished drinking I came back 3 more times (every hour for the next 3 hours) and got my blood drawn. In the meantime, I sipped water and walked. The phlebotomist alternated arms and in the end, I received 4 pokes. My poor arms. I left with both arms wrapped in colored stretchy tape. I was anxious about the results but hoped it would come back normal. I knew I wouldn’t hear back until the next day so I tried not to think about it too much.
The next day, I expected to hear back about the results so I waited a few hours before calling the doctor’s office. I spoke with the nurse, who confirmed that the results came back normal. I asked her for the specific values and wrote them down. I knew I would receive the results in a day or 2 via mail but I wanted to know the break down. Here are the values she gave me: 74, 134, 124, and 116 mg/dL. The 74 was the baseline value, no glucose drink. 134 mg/dL = after 1 hour, 124 mg/dL = after 2 hours, and 116 mg/dL = after 3 hours. Phew! It was such a relief and I was really grateful not to have to worry about that anymore.
I think I now truly understand why pregnant women do not look forward to the gestational diabetes testing. Although I was impressed by the choices of glucose drinks, I was not a bit excited to drink it, twice.
This experience, although briefly stressful, helped me remember that this pregnancy is a gift. It helped remind me to take things slowly and enjoy the experience of being pregnant. Not that I haven’t enjoyed it, but this experience was just a little reminder for me. It was also a reminder to me to exercise more to prepare my body and mind for labor.
My husband found a short video on You Tube for me – on stretching. This meant that I would have to wake up 10-15 minutes earlier each day. Not what I desired to do, but knew that it was important. My husband offered to stretch with me, which helped, until he got sick. Then I needed motivation to stretch on my own. And now, he’s not sick, but I’m still stretching every morning on my own. I tease him that it was a trick. Lol. There have been a few instances when I’ve stretched right after returning home from work, especially if I’ve been sitting a lot and my back is sore. The video has helped me. Just as a side note, it’s about 10 minutes, only instrumental, and calm.
Here’s the video! Check it out if you want.
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