20 September 2006

on my mind

Things on my mind lately:
  • This excellent post from skwigg.
  • How much spinach I ate early last week.
  • Labor.
  • This 4lb 5oz baby squirming in my belly.
  • The end of summer.
  • Peaches.
  • Anne Lamott.
  • Tom Cuthbertson, a former colleague who, I just learned from my alumni newsletter, died last year. He will be missed.

I seem to have crossed over a line and now everyone is noticing and commenting on my pregnancy. Almost everyone tells me that it's noticable only in my belly, that my face and the rest of my body seems unchanged. Perhaps its all the excercise. I've been weighing regularly and I'm now up about 22lbs from pre-pregnancy.

Week 31, 9 more weeks to go.

07 September 2006

pilates of the caribbean

loud sigh of relief

Last Wednesday, I went for my 28-week checkup. As you may (or may not) know, that's (usually) the week where they screen for gestational diabetes (not to mention testing for anemia). Basically, they give you this super-sweet glucose liquid and then test your blood an hour later. If your glucose comes in at under 140, you're fine. If not, you get to take the three-hour glucose tolerance test (complete with a 12-hour fast beforehand). I asked my doctor if it made sense to take the three-hour test if you failed the 1-hour test (I had consulted with Dr. Google on this beforehand and read that perhaps you should just adopt the lifestyle changes if you fail the 1-hour) and her response was definitely. I guess the screening is really imprecise, designed to catch everyone at risk, including lots of false positives. She also tried to convince me that you have no control over whether you develop gestational diabetes or not, that it a genetic luck-of-the-draw whether your pancreas plays well with the pregnancy hormones and inevitable weight gain. Convinced? Me? Naaaw.

Before the screening, I was freaked, convinced that I'd fail. And guess what? I did. My glucose came in at 147. (I did pass the "you're not anemic" test, so that's some small consolation.)

Diabetes, even "temporary" gestational diabetes, really freaks me out. My paternal grandmother (a slender tiny woman) had type 2, but no one else in my family does/did, not even the person who I most resemble, my plump maternal grandmother. Dr. Google kept telling me stuff about how some people continue having diabetes even after giving birth (and I've read the blog of someone for whom this is true) and having gestational diabetes puts you (and your child) at risk for developing type 2 later in life. Not to mention the risk of gestational diabetes on the fetus and pregnancy complications and on and on. And, I freak myself out even more, reading stuff like this.

So yesterday, back to the lab I trudged, having fasted since 8am. The phlebotomist drew the first vial, tested a drop on one of those machines like you see with diabetics, and said (I think) 105. That's what I heard, anyway. In retrospect, I really should have asked him point blank. But, I didn't. And, since I had googled normal glucose levels, I was pretty sure I came in high (95 is the cutoff for normal). I downed my second glucose drink of the week and settled in for a three-hour wait (in a very crowded waiting room) and three more punctures. I had pretty much worked myself into a frenzy, thinking that, if I failed the first, why bother continuing.

So convinced that I bombed the test, I had a cinnamon roll for my breakfast this morning, thinking it would be the last of the bad carbs for the next 11 weeks. So convinced that I didn't tell anyone (except the Mr) about the test, not even the pregnant ladies at water ex last night, not even my long-lost pal that I called to talk babies with yesterday, not even you all.

So convinced that when Nurse Carol called, I braced myself for the bad news.

The first thing she said was "You must have nearly passed out by the third hour, your glucose level was so low". (Still, I was convinced I failed.) Then, she said my hour 3 level was 56 and they like to see it "below 140". Big sigh. My results:

1 Hour137180
2 Hour108155
3 Hour56140

So, yeah. The morale of the story? Don't count your glucose before it's attacked? I don't know. I wish I could set aside my health anxieties and wait for the definitive news, but I just can't seem to do it. Any tips for me?