I overheard this sentence from the MAs at the desk outside my door as I sat on the table at my last OB appointment. “F*ck,” I thought. “Again?”
This is my third time entering the third trimester of pregnancy. This is my third time taking the one hour glucose screening test for gestational diabetes. This is also my third time failing said screening test, and so it will be my third time in the torture chamber that is the three hour “true” gestational diabetes test. I escaped the last two times unscathed…both failed one-hour screenings proved to be false alarms. Let’s hope I have the same experience this time.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, a blood sugar level of 140 mg/dl is considered “normal” on the one hour challenge screener test. 190 mg/dL or higher and you are considered to have gestational diabetes. Mine was 155 mg/dL…higher than normal, but not diabetic. Just enough to send me in for the long screen.
These blood sugar tests…as ALL tests that I have a modicum of control over…have caused me anxiety in every pregnancy. First pregnancy, I ate a normal breakfast, just like they tell you to. (Although I can’t remember exactly, this probably consisted of whole grain toast and peanut butter, because I eat the same thing almost every morning.) I failed. Clearly, food and carbs were the enemy. Duly noted.
Second pregnancy, I fasted, even though they tell you don’t have to. Failed again. I read that fasting for too long can cause your blood sugar to spike unnaturally high when you drink the solution, so maybe I went a little too far.
THIS pregnancy, I ate half an avocado before the screening test, so I wasn’t hungry but I wasn’t carb-loaded. I was *sure* that I had passed the screener time…in part because my weight is so much healthier (25-40 pounds lighter than the last two pregnancies) and yet….I STILL FAILED and had to take the 3 hour test.
Fast forward a few days…the 3 hour test is now over. I survived the event, and, quite frankly, my longest outing in public in ages. In all honesty, I enjoyed chit-chatting with the receptionists, the phlebotomists, and the other patients who stayed at least six feet away and didn’t crowd my space. Clearly, I must be DESPERATE for some social interaction.
My OB kindly texted me at 6pm Saturday night to let me know that, once again, I passed with flying colors, and all of my numbers were normal. So I’m 3 for 3 on failing the screener, 3 for 3 on working myself up to a panic over a silly lab test, and 3 for 3 on passing the REAL thing.
So for any first-timers that fail the one-hour screener…do yourself a favor and DON’T panic. I think the lesson I’ve learned is this: all I can do is all I can do. I eat well, I exercise, I’ve watched my weight. Gestational diabetes and sugar control ARE in part about lifestyle, but there is definitely an element that is totally out of my control…and I can’t stress so much about that part.