blood glucose

I had my glucose tolerance test done this morning and going into it, I was a tad nervous. Actually, I’ve been a little nervous about it for the past week, since the midwife tested my urine last Thursday and found glucose in it. She didn’t seem too fazed but I was worried, because I knew I’d been indulging in more sugar than I normally do in the past month. It’s not exactly like I had a sweet tooth (although I generally do). It was just that I got hungry and the things I chose to snack on happened to be sweet. After the appointment with the midwife, I spent the past week being good — that is, cutting down dramatically on my refined sugar intake, for fear of gestational diabetes.

The glucose tolerance test took two hours, which I was surprised about since when I was pregnant with Raspberry, it was only an hour. The other difference was that a baseline measure was taken this time around and the results were obtained immediately rather than being sent to a lab. Also the last time, I drank a fizzy orange pop-like drink that came in a small, refrigerated, medicalesque-looking bottle but this time, I was given a pitcher of Lucozade, which I’ve never had before and I was surprised it wasn’t sweeter. I was instructed to drink it as quickly as possible within ten minutes but I pretty much chugged it down in a minute (hey, I was thirsty, as I’d walked really fast to the hospital because I was running a little behind).

My next two hours were spent in the waiting room. I could’ve left and returned like this other person who was also doing the glucose tolerance test, but really I had no desire too. I’d come armed with two books (Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman’s Why We Broke Up and Marie Mongan’s Hypnobirthing, a book I’ve been putting off reading for quite some time). I tried getting into Why We Broke Up and restarted the book twice but couldn’t quite get into it. Temporarily giving up, I decided to make some notes for an email I had to prepare and that worked a lot better. All around me, there were pregnant women and their partners waiting, most of them checking their phones or flipping through the free pregnancy and parenting magazines available. The TV in the room shuffled through fetal and baby facts and ads for baby products. Occasionally, it’d play some soothing generic pop-rock song, which quite annoyed me as it kept disturbing my thought process (ha!). I kept resisting reading the hypnobirthing book, as it just seemed too cliche (yes, just like everyone else there!) — pregnant person in an antenatal waiting room reading a book about birth. Eventually, I did give in since I was getting nowhere with the Daniel Handler book and I was quite pleasantly surprised by how easy a read it was.

The two hours went by surprisingly quickly and at the end of it, I was relieved to be told that my blood glucose levels were just fine. The phlembotomist was incredibly nice (even though she chose to stick me both times in the same arm, owwww!). In fact, she was the same person who drew my blood following my first ultrasound and she seemed to remember me. She was totally cool with me taking pictures and seemed to relish the fact that I was, even offering to arrange objects like the syringe with my blood in it so I could get a picture (I told her not to worry and to just leave it as it is, as I’m not usually one from rearranging scenes). I grabbed the chance to weigh myself since there was a scale in the room and unlike my first pregnancy, the midwife hasn’t weighed me since the very first appointment at eight weeks. I’ve put on about 4kg in the past month, and while my blood glucose is fine, I’m wondering if such a rapid gain is typical at this point in the pregnancy or if my recent indulgence in treats has anything to do with it. Hmmm. For what it’s worth, I’ve put on about 9kg since the start, which I’m not sure how to take since I don’t know how quickly I ought to be gaining weight at this point.

I’d expected to be hungry since I’d fasted since the night before but I really wasn’t. The energy drink must’ve given me a nice boost (and the baby certainly enjoyed it too — it was kicking up a storm while I was in the waiting room). Of course, once I actually got home and had some lunch I realized how hungry I actually was. For that matter, I was still hungry after dinner too, but obviously this is what happens when you don’t have breakfast (or really, just have Lucozade for breakfast). I expect everything will be normal again tomorrow. I’m just glad my glucose levels are normal and believe me, I’ll definitely be more restrained when it comes to loading up on the sugar from here on in (not that I wasn’t before, but I think I just went a little crazy for a bit there!).

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4 responses

  1. ive heard this test to just be awful. in both of my pregnancies, just a random blood sample was taken. no fasting, no sugary drink. but maybe the previous signs of glucose is what made them book you in for a more elaborate test. i actually like the way its done here/in europe as i think it makes sense to just take a random sample first. all my friends in the states have to chug that sugary soda and really complain about it. i dont know why they make them do a tolerance test first, seems silly.

    November 7, 2013 at 7:30 am

  2. I was actually booked for the test months before they found glucose in my urine last week. And I had it done during the first pregnancy too. I think it seems to be a standard test, if you choose to do it?

    I can see it both ways — the random sample and the chugging of the sugary drink. If you do a random sample, the person may or may not have had anything sweet prior, so it might not be indicative of their body’s ability to handle glucose. But overloading the body with sugar and then seeing how it reacts makes sense to me too. Ah well. I didn’t have a bad experience either time so I wasn’t too bothered.

    November 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

  3. not standard here, and not standard with my very hands off OB in greece either. strange how even within a rather small region of this country (liverpool to birmingham) things are done differently. i have my random blood draw next week and hoping everything is normal as im planning on flying to greece and then zurich for xmas/new years (will be 32-34 weeks pregnant) and dont need any complications getting in my way of that. developed pre-e with Klea at 34 weeks, really hoping to stay clear of that.

    November 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

  4. Oh, I had no idea that it wasn’t standard. Good luck on your blood test! Sounds like you’re going to have a great Christmas and New Year’s :)

    November 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

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