I knew creating life would involve somewhat regular doctor visits, but what they don’t warn you about is how many times you actually go for blood draws! Now into the third trimester can say they have already tested my blood 5-10 times now. The first two happen pretty early on to test HcG levels (to be honest still don’t fully understand what this means),in summary think it is to make sure the body is nearly doubling in this measurement to show that baby is in it for the ride…later for progesterone, antibody screening, hemoglobin electrophoresis, hepatitis, AIDS, rubella, you name it… I’ve probably been tested for it at this point.
Also for those that are scared of needles and faint at the sight of blood, I feel you. I share with them that if I see the needle or blood I’ll faint and the last couple times they gave me a smaller needle (they said, still don’t look) and they go quicker? Or at least it seems that way. Also drinking lots of water beforehand evidently speeds up the blood draw process.
If you’ve read my earlier posts you probably remember that earlier on my HcG levels weren’t necessarily doubling as fast as they would like that posed a concern, but after week 13, have cruising through these tests, thankfully! That was… until my glucose test.
Again, I’m not a doctor so please please do your own research. What I understand about the point of the glucose test.. in Jackie terms… is to test how your body digests and converts sugars. If your body doesn’t convert sugars the way it should you could be considered for gestational diabetes… which is diabetes you get while pregnant that can cause two big risks in my opinion (1) your baby can grow faster than normal in the third trimester causing an early pregnancy and could result in a C-section (for those wanting lots of babies, generally natural births are preferred) and (2) higher risk of still birth.
How the test works… an hour before your test you are not supposed to eat or drink, the “fasting period.” At your appointment they will give a high sugar drink ; it’s about 8 ounces and totals about 100 grams of sugar. Some say this tastes nasty.. honestly mine was lemon-lime flavor and since I haven’t had soda in a very long time it was reallyyyyy good haha, was like an extra sugary Sprite. You’re given 5-minutes to drink the drink. An hour later they draw blood. Waiting period for test results range between 1-3 days. According to my doctor the levels should be been between 70-135 (mg/dL), my test came in at 154 (mg/dL). This was the first test that I’ve taken thus far and failed and it quite honestly put me in panic mode.
If you fail the test… you’re asked to come back to take a 3-hour glucose test. In preparation for this one (which I am in now) they ask that you have a min of a 250g carbohydrate diet for 3 days leading up to your test, and then they do the steps above every three hours. From these tests they can see the trend line of how the body is converting the sugars with a high (in my opinion) carb diet.
My exam is on Tuesday morning… I will keep you posted on how the results have come in…
I appreciate all the well wishes, prayers, and suggestions that some of you have already shared with me. Of course, the goal is to carry a full term healthy baby and my initial response to my results put me in panic mode. After talking to some mommas who had the same results and to some people close who have diabetes have been able to ease my mind.