What to expect at the glucose tolerance test
Late in my second trimester, I had to do what every pregnant woman gets to do in the mid-20th weeks – take the glucose tolerance test. Well, I failed the 1-hour test, and I was really trying to be optimistic about having to take the 3-hour test. Unlike the 1 hour, you have to be fasting for the full 3 hours.
So not only do I have to skip breakfast, but I have to have my blood taken 4 times, before, and at each hour after drinking the extremely sweet stuff, and not be able to eat or drink anything until the test is complete. I took a mental health afternoon from work that day since I knew by the time the appointment was over I’d have a massive headache and would be in no condition to drive to work and think anyway. So I scheduled a hair appointment instead.
The test itself was a bit worse than I expected. I felt so nauseous the first hour and was very worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I was in the waiting room with everyone else waiting for some blood work at the lab so it wasn’t like I had a comfortable place to go lie down. I just leaned back in my chair against the wall and tried to relax until it passed. Immediately after my final blood draw, I had my husband meet me and we went and had an awesome lunch at Chili’s, which included their amazing giant cookie skillet dessert! YUM. Oh man, I want one right now.
What first-time moms should know about Gestational Diabetes
Anyway, unfortunately, I flunked the 3-hour test as well (yes, that is what my nurse told me – I “flunked” it). So that meant I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and needed to meet with a dietitian to discuss my results. She told me my first and second hour results were very high, but that by the third hour my body kicked in and processed the stuff ok. My fasting number was fine too.
But the risk with my body taking several hours to process a large number of carbs/sugar is the baby is getting too much food and can grow too quickly. The last thing we want is a huge baby with health problems, so for the remainder of my pregnancy, I need to be on a controlled carb gestational diabetes diet. The dietitian explained to me that I can have 30 grams (aka 2 servings) of carbs for breakfast and for each of my snacks, and 45 grams (3 servings) for lunch and dinner.
So as long as I watch the labels of my foods and try to be careful with the amounts (because servings are tiny ok!) I should be fine. Then she gave me a device to prick my finger and measure my blood sugar and said to measure my blood fasting, and 1 or 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not fun at all, let me tell you. Especially pricking my finger at work. Gross.
Thankfully my OB only wants me to record my fasting blood sugar. He said as long as I follow the diet, I only need to provide him with a trend of my daily fasting numbers to see whether I need insulin. So far my numbers have been fine, hope that continues to be the case.
The first two weeks of being on this diet I actually lost two pounds. I wasn’t expecting to be losing weight while pregnant, but I did have plenty that I recently put on with my “I’m pregnant, I can eat whatever the hell I want” first trimester diet. I’ve also noticed my feet haven’t been swelling up as much, but I don’t know if that is related. I’ve been doing this for almost a month now and I’m finding it not too difficult to stick to the diet unless people try to tempt me with dessert. I haven’t been attending the office monthly birthday parties since it is always cake and ice cream – none of which is on my diet right now.
I know I’ll splurge a little at my own baby shower – yes I have at least one more put on by my Houston friends (and maybe work will throw me one) but that’s it. For now, as long as I eat a good dinner of meat and salad, I can still have the skinny cow ice cream that I enjoy. So I guess it could be worse, right? So not only am I counting down the days till I can have sushi again, but I’m also counting down the days until I can eat a giant cookie dripping in fudge and ice cream.
Just bring those to my delivery room, ok?