I had my three-hour glucose tolerance test yesterday and it went about as poorly as you could imagine.
If you’ve never had to endure this test for gestational diabetes, you’re lucky. It’s required if you fail the 1-hour screening for GDM (usually given between weeks 24-28 of pregnancy). You’ll need to fast overnight, so it’s best to schedule the test for early in the morning. Upon arrival to the clinic, the nurse will take a fasting blood sample. Then you’ll need to drink a sickeningly sweet, flat-soda-like drink within five (!) minutes. Blood is then drawn every hour for the next three hours to check your body’s ability to process the glucose.
About 15 minutes after my second blood draw, I started to feel insanely nauseous. I managed to make it to the bathroom before I got sick. I even lost my mask in the toilet for good measure. Luckily, it was mostly water that came back up – if you can’t keep the “Glucola” down, I’ve heard the test becomes null and void. I frantically called my doctor from the waiting room, shamefully reporting what had happened. I expected them to tell me to pack up my things and try again another day. Instead, they instructed me to continue with the test and we’d see how the numbers looked.
Two long hours and two samples later, I was finally allowed to leave. Starving, I stopped at Chick-Fil-A and devoured a grilled chicken sandwich. That always makes things better, right?
Later that day, I received the news through my online chart: even despite the sickness debacle, my sugar was high, and it had stayed high throughout the test. I was officially diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
I felt sort of shocked when I read the words. Had I done something wrong? This didn’t happen with my first pregnancy. What happens now?
It was comforting to read that GDM isn’t caused by something a mother did wrong – it’s a side-effect of the placental hormones and their impact on insulin. I have plenty of questions and I’m meeting with my doctor tomorrow. For now, I’m going to try to relax, drink plenty of water, and watch my sugar and carbohydrate intake. Any other moms with GDM, please feel free to leave any resources/tips in the comments!