Yesterday I had my 27 week check-up—the one that includes the glucose test after drinking a bottle of very sweet juice. This juice is so sweet that it makes the back of my throat burn. It’s 50g of carbs, which is about what a meal should be. A 12oz Coca-Cola is 45g (and I’d much rather have a coke than that juice, but it’s not my choice).
So I drank the juice over ice about 45 minutes prior to my appointment. Glucose levels have to be tested within an hour after drinking the juice, so I wanted to make sure I was at the doctor’s office in plenty of time to have the test taken.
The nurse didn’t tell me if I passed. I know they told me when I didn’t pass with Noah, but the doctor was the old who told me that I passed with Michael (and I’m pretty sure I had a stellar day that day and just avoided a diagnosis of gestational, although I actually had it based on Michael’s birth weight and inability to regulate his own blood sugar as a newborn). (PS for all inquiring minds, this has no relation to Michael’s Type One Diabetes now. Type One is an autoimmune disorder that can happen to anyone at any time the brain chooses to send a mixed signal to the body. Type One is not caused by eating too much sugar, or from a mother who had gestational diabetes).
The doctor did tell me at my first OB appointment back in January that I would not have to undergo the three-hour fasting glucose test if I didn’t pass the finger prick test at 27 weeks. Since I had to do the three hour test after failing the finger prick with Noah, and risks for having gestational diabetes are higher with future pregnancies if you’ve been diagnosed once, the doctor said he’d just assume that I had it and would have me go ahead and adjust my diet and check my blood sugars again.
I kept my blood sugar meter from when I had gestational with Noah. And I obviously have an entire closet full of diabetes supplies now, (since Type One has come to reside in our home from August 2014 and onward). I’m more adept at counting carbs and measuring (with measuring cups or eye-balling it) portions. I have more resources available to me now (like the Calorie King books that show carb counts of everything like fresh fruit, which is one of the most difficult things for which to estimate carbs).
I had checked my blood sugar at different intervals during a week in May just to get an idea if I thought I might pass the test this time around. Based on the numbers I was showing on the meter, things were not looking good.
And lo and behold, the doctor came in the exam room and told me I flunked. Bad.
All of the “in range” numbers are a fluent second language to me now because of Type One. So at the end of the appointment, I asked him what my number was and it was ridiculously high. I was disappointed because of the number. I honestly didn’t expect to pass the test, but I didn’t expect to fail so horribly. Especially since I have been working out 4-5 times a week—(like alternating days of doing a 5 mile brisk walk and doing weight training), and being very conscious of my carb intake.
So in my mind this felt like I gave it my best and it was still bad. My best was bad. My efforts in trying weren’t good enough. If this was a real test, I would have studied for weeks and still gotten a 45.
It was disheartening.
The doctor told me to check my blood sugar every morning before eating (a fasting blood sugar), and two hours after every meal for the next two weeks. What made this more disheartening was when he told me if I don’t have my numbers in a specific range at the end of these two weeks, I’ll have to go on medication—not insulin since that’s not medication (it’s a hormone and I won’t have to add insulin to this regimen unless the pill medication doesn’t work). The medication would come in pill form and it would aid in my body with helping the insulin get to the cells to convert the sugar into energy. Medication like this is reserved for those with Type Two Diabetes- of which gestational diabetes is a form. Pill medication does not work for people with Type One—if your body doesn’t produce insulin anyway, having a pill to help the insulin find the cells won’t make a difference.
I wore my God is Greater than the Highs and Lows shirt yesterday that I bought at a craft fair in March as a symbol to myself to trust God through Michael’s diabetes. I purposely got a size that would enable me to wear the shirt through pregnancy and in the “getting back to pre-pregnancy size” phase of Post partum. The shirt is teal with gold symbols and letters. The symbols are very big and it kind of looks like this: “G > ^ v” and underneath that in much smaller gold letters it says “God is greater than the highs and lows.” So after the doctor checked Avery’s heartbeat with the Doppler, he asked “What does your shirt mean?” (because he could only see the symbols, not the letters). The nurse peeked over to look at the shirt and when I told them what it meant and how I bought it with my son in mind, they both went “Awwww, that’s so sweet!” I said “I wore it today hoping that the result of my test would be different.” The nurse looks at me and said “He still is.” Meaning that even though I didn’t get the result I wanted, God is still in control. He knew the outcome before I ever walked in the doctor’s office. He’ll lead me through this just as He did during Noah’s pregnancy. I’m praying and banking on a healthy baby girl this August, and if I have to prick my fingers and count my carbs to do so, then so be it.
The doctor asked me if I had enough test strips, to which OF COURSE I said “Oh yes, I have a whole closet full of diabetes supplies.” The meter I used during gestational D with Noah, is actually the same brand of meter now that Michael has to use (last September, our insurance changed what meter was approved, so now he uses the same kind that I used). This means that I have boo-koo test strips available. I am going to use up any remaining strips I had already in my meter bag before “borrowing” a container of strips from my hoard for Michael. I did rifle through my big box of spare supplies at the bottom of the closet last night and found a brand new lancet device that is identical to the one Michael uses. The one that comes with the meters we use is so painful, but the one that came with Michael’s previous meter hardly hurts, and fortunately our insurance is still covering the lancets (things that prick your finger). I was SO GLAD to find that spare device.
Michael is not disappointed to have a blood-sugar-checking buddy! And for that reason, I can put up with anything. My heart does break a bit when realizing that I can put away my meter in August while he will still have to carry his indefinitely. But, I’m trusting God to handle that as well.
So, in the next few weeks I’ll blog some about the low carb snack options and meal planning that I’ll be doing. We don’t go overboard on carbs in our house anyways, but I’ll be more intent on making super low carb meals for myself (especially for lunchtime and stuff when I don’t eat what the boys eat—ie, they eat lunchables sometimes and I have a sandwich, etc).
I’m still going to continue my workout regimen of alternating days of cardio and weight training. I use pregnancy fitness DVDs for the weight training to make sure I’m not overdoing it. I use walking DVDs for my cardio training—and walk a minimum of 4 miles, but mostly 5 miles.
Water is still my beverage of choice these days. Sometimes I’ll squirt a little Crystal Light flavoring into a glass of water, but other times I prefer it totally plain. If I have coffee in the morning, it’s decaf. (I didn’t have any caffeine yesterday prior to the glucose test, because those are the rules).
I know we’ll make it through just fine, but it was a bruise on my emotions yesterday since I was already trying to avoid it and the results made it seem like I had done nothing.
Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba