Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blood Glucose Test - Check!

A few hours ago, I crossed an important item off my prenatal checklist: the blood glucose test. This is the test that checks for gestational diabetes. You have to drink a sugary concoction and then, after waiting for an hour or two or four, your blood is drawn. The lab then checks to see how well your body handled the sugar.

For the sugar drink, the phlebotomist offered me a choice between "Orange" and "Fruit Punch" flavors. I chose Orange. The phlebotomist gave me a horrified look, so I asked which flavor is better. "Fruit punch!" she declared, so I switched my request. She brought me a plastic container filled with clear liquid. It had a funny tang. The phlebotomist told me I had five minutes to drink the entire thing. I gulped it down in less than a minute. The phlebotomist was not impressed.

Now, if you search online, you will find no shortage of complaints about the blood glucose test. People write about the sugar drink as if it is some foul funk concocted in the depths of hell. It's not. In college, at parties, the fraternities served "beer" and that shit tasted like some foul funk brewed in the depths of hell. But did people whine? Well, yes, but we still chugged that shit as if it might bestow immortality, fame and wealth on the drinker. I have a point I'm trying to make here, but my pregnant brain lost it. 

Pregnant ladies sometimes have to wait two or four hours before having their blood drawn. I just had to wait for one hour, which I happily spent reading.  They also sometimes need to fast before the test. My doctor just asked me to avoid sugary foods before the test and to brush my teeth without toothpaste. During the one hour between imbibing the sugar drink and having my blood drawn, I could not eat or drink. Big deal. One lousy hour. After the test, I rewarded myself with  a bagel. It was delicious. 

A lot of pregnant women complain that the sugar drink makes them feel dizzy and nauseous. I have suffered from plenty of nausea during this pregnancy, but I did not feel a twinge of nausea during the test. Maybe my stomach is weird. After all, I still puke almost every day. Maybe my body was trying to be nice: I experience excessive puking throughout pregnancy, but hey, at least I feel fine during the blood glucose test!

Now that I've checked this item off my To Do list, I feel as if I am in the pregnancy home stretch. The third trimester is just two weeks and two days away (not that I'm counting or anything). I can do this!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

14.5 Weeks To Go!

I am 25 weeks pregnant, and my due date is just 14.5 weeks away - HURRAH! My body is not very good at this whole pregnancy thing, so it will be a relief to be done and have the baby in my arms. I cannot wait to eat food! For the past four and a half months, I have been living off of bread, cheese, apples and scrambled eggs. I dream about salads and vegetables and pretty much all of the rest of the food in the world. But my body cannot handle flavor. Two weeks ago, I ate a half dozen strawberries. The puking was epic. I might as well have drunk a couple of bottles of wine.

At this point, I am used to my bland boring diet and all my other fun symptoms: my superhuman sense of smell; the constant congestion; the dry eyes (I miss my contacts); and even the back pain. Yes, I am even used to the back pain. Every night, I fire up my super deluxe heating pad and then I schedule as many massages and physical therapy appointments as possible.

Earlier this month, I did have one unacceptable symptom: Insomnia. I know that the closer I get to the due date, the more I will struggle to sleep. But I am still relatively comfortable when I lie down in bed (after setting up a very elaborate pillow fort - two pillows for my feet, three for my head/back, and one on either side of my stomach). I was not cool with the second trimester insomnia, so I paid attention to what was happening, realized I was feeling physical symptoms of anxiety, and decided to cut caffeine cold turkey. You can drink up to 150 mg of caffeine each day when pregnant (and I've seen some books/websites that allow more), but I have always been ultra sensitive to caffeine. It's my Kryptonite. So I quit, dealt with a few days of withdrawal symptoms (mainly extreme fatigue), and now I feel much better and sleep fine. Sure, I get up when the baby starts playing a soccer match in my uterus, or when my bladder gets fussy, but if I go to bed at 9, I manage to get enough sleep.

I do hate how many times I have to tell Pippa "No."  "No, we can't go to the zoo."  "No, mommy can't sit on the floor."  "No, mommy can't run after you."  "No, mommy can't go outside, it's too hot." But it's all for a good cause - she's getting a baby brother - and she will not remember all of the No's and all of the afternoons spent watching The Cat in the Hat and Frozen. Besides, Child Services is not going to take her away if I let her have a popsicle for dinner. Which may or may not have happened last night.