Jan 19, 2016

A Pregnancy Story: A Glucose Story

When I was pregnant with Addison, I had gestational diabetes. It came as a complete surprise. Now it makes more sense considering I have PCOS which increases your chance of gestational diabetes. So I knew that there was a 90% of having it again. Of course I was hopeful I was a small odds girl and I wouldn't have it this time.

Because of my past history, I had my first one-hour glucose test during my second trimester at about 21 weeks. At that point my glucose came back in the normal range so I was good for another few weeks before I had to take another glucose tolerance test in my third trimester. For a second time at 27 weeks I took my second glucose test. This time I didn't pass. Although not completely surprising, I was still bummed. 

That meant I was moving on to a three-hour glucose tolerance test. I was dreading this test. For one it was a boring test to sit at the doctor's office for three hours. For another, it's a fasting test and suddenly drinking a sugary drink is tough on the system. But I didn't have a choice so I was ready to get it over with as soon as possible.

The morning of my three-hour glucose test started innocently enough. I slept horrible the night before so I was definitely tired but mostly I was just looking forward to getting the test over with. And getting to that nap I was already dreaming of.

We decided that I should take the anti-nausea medicine that morning because we couldn't afford for me to do this test twice. With Addison it was just me taking time off but now it was Rob taking time. But that meant I wasn't going to be driving so they would be dropping me off and picking me up because that medicine makes me sleepy.

I took my medicine and about five-ten minutes later I was already throwing up which wasn't a good start. I had forgotten that on that medicine I often got sick when I took it on an empty stomach. But I started feeling okay and with a bag of things to do including a new movie on my iPad and my earphones we headed off.

I got my fasting blood work then was handed my drink, I picked orange. Truthfully just thinking about it gives me shivers now. But I got it down and the timer was started. I started sipping water and read. But not even an hour into it I started getting sleepy and dizzy. I didn't really want to fall asleep because I knew it wouldn't be comfortable and I didn't like the idea of falling asleep in a such a public place. So I did the best I could to stay awake but I was losing the battle. Not to mention the fact that I wasn't feeling so good at this point. I decided to just close my eyes and I dozed briefly. I knew if I could make it through the first hour then I was golden and I wasn't going to get sick but time was barely ticking by and I was already ready to be done.

Finally I had my second blood draw (first with the glucose drink in my system). Moving around definitely helped but I was still pretty sleepy and not even halfway done. I pulled out my iPad and decided it was movie time, hoping it would pass the time quicker. The three-hour glucose tolerance test was definitely my least favorite thing about being pregnant and that was saying something since I hate being pregnant.

I was definitely relieved that the drink was staying down. Not sure if it was the medicine or that it was a different pregnancy or sheer will, but I was grateful. The only problem other than sleepiness that I was having at just pass the hour mark was burps which took everything I had to keep the drink down.

Then I made it through the second hour with one to go. I knew I was in the home stretch. I was less tired but definitely bored despite watching my movie. Plus who likes to be stuck so many times with a needle but I was almost done at this point and definitely ready for some food. It was also by this time that Connor started bouncing off the walls. He kicked here and there up to this point but it wasn't until the last hour that he really started moving, making me pretty uncomfortable.

Then finally my three hours were up. I got all four blood draws and I could finally eat. The rest of the day was a bust because my system was all out of whack. I felt sick. I felt exhausted. I just didn't feel great so the day was spent doing a little eating, napping and unexpectedly still lots of burping.

I then had to wait for a couple days to hear my results. I dreaded the phone call to come but was fully prepared to deal with what was coming. I had a 90% chance of having gestational diabetes again after all. Finally three days after taking my three-hour test I got the call. The nurse informed me that my doctor had reviewed my results and at this point they were normal. Honestly I had no idea what to say. It was not what I was expecting. She informed me that we may test again later but at this point I don't have to change my diet or do anything. I hung up the phone and had no idea what had just happened.

Rob and I then discussed how I'm a small odds girl. If there is a small percentage than I'm probably going to fall into that category. I joked with him that I was going to extra-enjoy the pizza we were going to order the next night for dinner with this recent news.

Despite being told the good news, I didn't really believe it. It was weird not going on a special diet. It was weird not setting an induction date. It was weird not having to prick my finger four times a days. It was weird that I didn't have to give up my cereal or orange juice.

At my next OB appointment following getting my results my doctor and I talked about the results. I mentioned how surprised I was. She expressed that she too was surprised. My one hour results were well over the 140 max somewhere in the 170s. But all of my three-hour results came back right in the middle, not even on the higher end of the scale. She then informed me that the only reason we would test again would be if I suddenly put on a ton of weight at once or if protein shows up in my urine. But otherwise I am free and clear.

It definitely wasn't something I was ready for. But it was definitely a nice surprise. I had spent months preparing myself for the coming gestational diabetes and never in my wildest dreams did I think I wouldn't have it. I guess that just goes to show how different every pregnancy is. 

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