Thursday, November 06, 2008


I found out this afternoon (right after biting into a delicious apple muffin) that I flunked my one-hour glucose test. I had pretty much expected to do so, given my size and the fact that I flunked my one-hour when I was pregnant with M. And I must admit that I took the news much better this time than I did with M. Back then, there was a festival of sobbing and hand-wringing and obsessive googling. This time, I merely threw out my (delicious!) muffin with regret and went ahead and scheduled my 3-hour test.

Looking back on my pregnancy with M, I can see how truly naive I was. I felt terribly guilty for being fat and for failing to get to a healthy weight before I got pregnant. I also thought I had some control over the outcome of my pregnancy. As a result, from day 1, I was obsessive about controlling my diet. The first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant was call a dietician, and for at least my first trimester, I followed a healthy diet with almost religious fervor, with the exception of one donut-fest. (I should point out here that by "controlling my diet," I don't mean I was restricting calories or trying to lose weight. I was just keeping track of what I ate, and doing my best to make sure I was getting the full complement of nutrients while avoiding junk food).

I calmed down significantly in my second trimester, but I was still eating pretty well. So, when I flunked my glucose test (and subsequently barely passed the three-hour test), I was floored and scared and horribly, horribly guilty. I thought I'd personally done something terrible to this little person I'd worked so hard to grow, and the regret was crushing. Plus, back then I was still deathly afraid of needles, so the thought of having to draw my own blood 5 or 6 times a day was unbearable. Combining needles with the prospect of a restricted diet, and I thought the sky was falling. Seriously, I cried for days.

As it happened, I didn't end up with a diagnosis of GD. Although the fat-phobic doctor in my OB's office was dying to treat me as a gestational diabetic based on my near-failure of the 3-hour test (this is the same doctor who, at my 20-week appointment congratulated me for not having gained any weight), one of the other doctors was much more sensible. There are test cutoffs for a reason, she figured, and if I didn't actually exceed any of those cutoffs, then I didn't have GD. The comprimise between the two doctors is that I followed the GD diet but had only intermittant blood sugar monitoring (this worked out to be one finger-stick in the entire last 10 weeks of my pregnancy). M was born at a whopping 6 pounds, 4 ounces, and all was right with the world.

This time around, I have been blessed with at least a little perspective. I know now that I have precious little control over any pregnancy, and that there are far, far worse things than avoiding stuffing at Thanksgiving. Moreover, months of IVF injections have (almost) cured me of my fear of needles. I happen to know that finger sticks hurt like a bitch, much worse than any PIO injection, but I also know that if I need to perform several a day for the next three months, the world won't end. My fingers will heal and in six months, I'll have forgotten all about them.

Still, and surprisingly, I find myself feeling guilty again. This time around, it's because I haven't been at all careful with my diet. In fact, if truth be told, I've spent this pregnancy largely eating like crap. In the beginning, it seemed like following a pregnancy diet would be inviting trouble, as if the acknowledgement of the pregnancy would signal its end. And then came the months of nausea, where there were entire days when I didn't want to eat anything at all, and other days when all I could stand to contemplate were the simplest of carbs. I think I lived on pasta for almost three months. Add in a serious aversion to chicken and safety-based restrictions on lunch meat and tuna fish, and it's a miracle I ate any protein at all. As I've gone through my second trimester, my habits have not, unfortunately, gotten that much better. I still find chicken repulsive, and healthy protein sources are difficult to find. There are only so many eggs a girl can eat, and beans just don't seem to fit easily into most meals. So I've been carbing it up to an alarming degree recently, even though I knew my glucose test was looming and what the result was likely to be.

So, yeah, guilty. I really need to get on the ball. I start my third trimester on Saturday, and this baby is definitely coming. It's time to start acting like it.


Rachel said...

Long time lurker. I really hope you pass your 3-hour GTT again, but I was wondering if anyone showed you where to prick your finger for blood sugar monitoring? I did it a few times myself in the center of my fingers and -it hurt- but then a very nice nurse pointed out that you can get plenty enough blood without touching any nerve endings by using the sides of your finger (about halfway between the nail and the fingertip) and it really doesn't hurt that much. Much, much less than IF shots. Of course, that might just be my experience but it's definitely worth asking about if they want you to monitor.

The Girl Next Door said...

Good for you for not beating yourself up (too) badly over this. You have gone through so much to get to this point - being pregnant is HARD, particularly when you're vomiting. And I cannot imagine that AND taking care of a 3 YO. Makes me so tired just thinking of it. So give yourself way more credit and do the best you can!