At the beginning of the third trimester all woman have to drink the dreaded “orange” drink. It’s like a flat orange soda. Not terrible, but not something I’d choose to drink on my own accord. After drinking this, you have to wait an hour and then have your finger pricked to test your glucose/sugar level. It has to be under a specific number … or else you get to come back and do it again.
Well, I didn’t pass. Like, not even close. I took the test at the end of the day and any sugars that I had eaten throughout the day were taken into account. Supposedly a lot of women fail the 1-hour test. So, I got to come back for the 3-hour test.
You have to fast for the 3-hour test then drink the same flat orange soda, but with twice the sugar in it. Gag. If you know me, I don’t do processed sugars. I don’t drink soda, hate donuts, no store-bought cakes/cookies. If I’m going to eat sugar, it better be good … like homemade goodness. So, this double sugar drink was not the best.
After an hour my blood glucose had to be under 180. It was 188. Dangit!! So, I got to come back an hour later where my number had to be under 150. It was 170. Fail. Big, fat fail. This also meant that I was automatically diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. Say what???!
When the tech told the nurses they were all shocked. I could hear them say, “Seriously?! Are you sure?”. When I saw my doctor he said, “You are the last one of my patients that I thought would have this. I guess you’re just a little sweeter than we thought.”
This also meant that I had to go pick up diabetes testing supplies so I could monitor my blood glucose by pricking my finger four times a day. Uuuuuuugggghhh. When I left the doctor’s office and came home to tell Scott, I cried. I was upset and frustrated. I was like, “Seriously? This isn’t supposed to happen to me. I eat healthy. I exercise. I do everything I’m supposed to do.” I felt like I did something wrong. I felt guilty. I felt like I should have exercised more or eaten even healthier.
That evening I did a lot of reading and researching on GD. Turns out, anyone can get it. I thought it was more for people who were overweight, or had risk factors for being diabetic. Which is kinda partly true, but there’s another way … the placenta.
The placenta produces a hormone that can interfere with the insulin that the pancreas produces. It says, “Hey, don’t make so much insulin, okay?” And the pancreas is a pushover and listens. So, then there’s not enough insulin to take care of all the sugar in your blood. So you get high blood sugar … and gestational diabetes. This doesn’t mean that I have diabetes. Actually, once the baby is born and the placenta comes out, almost all women see their numbers go back to normal. And just because I have GD with this pregnancy doesn’t mean that I’ll have GD with the next one.
I just got lucky this time.
So, what does this mean for Baby G? Nothing as long as I monitor my blood sugar. If I didn’t, I could have a humongous baby. I’ve read in some places that women who have babies that weigh 9+ pounds actually might have had undiagnosed GD. Not monitoring could also lead to the baby being hypoglycemic when it’s born and having a higher chance of being diabetic when it’s older.
I’ve been doing the finger pricks and monitoring for the past 2 weeks. All my numbers are perfectly fine. Nothing out of the ordinary. I really haven’t had to change anything I’ve eaten. I just have to be more conscious of when I have what. I can have ice cream and cookies and sweets, just not a ton. If I do eat those things I usually have to go for a walk afterward … which I would do anyway. Veggies are in, melons are out. RIP watermelon. 😦 Protein is good, breads/carbs I have to be careful.
I just had a follow up with the doctor today and she said to keep doing what I’m doing. However, they do need to monitor the baby, so I get to have an ultrasound every week followed up with monitoring and then later in the week I get to come in for monitoring again. They are making sure that the placenta is functioning the way it’s supposed to, that fluid around the baby is good and also that the baby kicks. That last one won’t be a problem!!
So, the finger pricks suck. Going to the doctor twice a week for the next 8 weeks sucks, but it could be worse!! Scott and I keep telling each other that if this is the worst thing that happens this entire pregnancy, then we’ll take it. We get to see Baby G every week, which is exciting!
Yes, we think that all these visits are a little overkill, but again … not the end of the world. We hope to be the most normal/boring patients. I pray that these next few weeks are super routine and nothing crazy happens. Having GD also means that the doctor will probably not let me go long after my due date, if I don’t have the baby before then. So, more likely than not, we’ll have a munchkin by August 30! Exciting!!!!
Anyway, sorry for the book. Sorry for the lack of photos. I guess I could have thrown a photo of a placenta on here. 🙂 I’ll have a few more exciting posts for you! We were in Washington DC this last week and have lots of photos to share.
Please keep us and Baby G in your prayers. Like I said, we aren’t terribly concerned, but we are cautious. We just want a healthy baby!