03 August 2011

30 Weeks

Three-quarters done. Ten more weeks. It's gonna fly by, isn't it?

At my midwife appointment this week I got my results back from my 28 week tests: bloodwork shows I'm anemic and I failed the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT), which theoretically means I have gestational diabetes.

I'm not really all that upset about the anemia thing. I have been more tired in the latter part of this pregnancy than in previous ones, and it's actually kind of reassuring to know it's not just that I'm older. I filled my prescription for iron supplements and will start taking them tonight with dinner. Hopefully it will help my energy level, without too many side effects.

As to the GTT results ... well, that's more complicated. In past pregnancies, I was given a 1-hour, non-fasting test and if I failed that I was sent to take a 3-hour, fasting version. With both Mairi and Nora, I failed the 1-hour and passed the 3-hour. With Dorothy I passed the 1-hour (and there was much rejoicing). The office I'm with now doesn't do the 1-hr—they just have everyone do a 2-hr test.

Here's the thing: with the 3-hr test as long as three of the four blood draws show results in the acceptable range, and any outlier is not too excessive, you pass. With the 2-hr test, if even one of the three blood draws is outside the acceptable range, you fail. In the past, even when passing the 3-hr test my 2-hour result tended to be a little higher than what's considered acceptable. My results from this pregnancy? My baseline and 1 hour out numbers are fine (10+ points under the cut-off for the acceptable range) and my 2 hours out number was just barely outside the normal range (1 or 2 points over).

The results of this? Well, I had a choice: I could take a diet class and start doing self-testing multiple times a day or, since I was pushing back on option one being truly necessary, I could re-test. I'm scheduled to re-test on Friday.

I really do not think I am someone who needs to be treated for gestational diabetes, and it's going to be a real hassle if I have to be (not to mention a financial burden, even with insurance). But because "glucose levels rise linearly throughout pregnancy", there's a reasonable chance I will not be able to pass this second test either. On the other hand, "pregnant women undergo two OGTTs a week or so apart, individual test results disagree twenty to twenty-five percent of the time", so it's worth a shot. (Source: Gestational Diabetes, by Henci Goer, published on iVillage.com)

I am following the GD dietary guidelines my midwife gave me, in hopes that might help: no refined sugar at all (not a big sacrifice for me, really), small breakfast without juice (significant change, I've been liking a bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts plus an 8 oz. glass of calcium-fortified OJ), small meals no more than three hours apart (a hassle but manageable for the two days till I re-test). I'm trying to figure out how to increase my cinnamon intake within these guidelines, since it has a beneficial effect on insulin regulation.

I am just incredibly frustrated by this. If my numbers were all way high, fine, I'd do what needed doing. If I had a family history of diabetes or a personal history of large babies, fine—my girls were 8# 4oz, 8# 5oz and 6# 8oz—none of them big, none hard to birth, and the trend is down. I have no problem with taking a class—knowledge is good, and I'm sure I could improve my diet. I'm just totally unconvinced I need to be doing multiple finger sticks a day to monitor my blood sugar levels. Feh!

Okay, moving on now.

Other than the above, things have been mostly good. I'm sleeping pretty well—when the girls let me, and I when I don't stay up later than I should talking to Chris or some such. As my dearest husband put it, "Isn't it nice to feel well enough to have bad habits again?" I have some back pain but not constant and not a lot, and most of it related to my desk chair at work, I think. (I just can't seem to get it adjusted right for my pregnant body.) I feel quite good on the weekend, albeit a bit more tired than usual.

Oh, I've had a sinus infection for over three weeks. I went and saw my regular doctor on Monday, and he prescribed antibiotics for a likely secondary infection. It's impossible to tell if they're making a huge difference—I was gradually improving before and I'm still gradually improving. Perhaps a bit quicker ... or maybe that's just my imagination.

The heat's been miserable, but I'm hardly alone in dealing with that. At least I have AC at home and at work. Still, I'll be glad when the summer heat and humidity breaks.

Tomorrow is Dorothy's last day of summer school, then we have a two week break before the regular school year starts. The girls have had a good summer, I think. Mairi and Nora did a ceramics class at the local museum and greatly enjoyed that. We were finally able to get those two into the last session of swim lessons, and I can see a real difference in at least Nora's comfort level in the water (Mairi was already pretty comfortable). They had both wanted to do a cooking class, too, which is the only thing wished for but not accomplished this summer vacation. (Well, that and Mairi's desire to go to Scotland...)

We haven't been as busy with bagpiping as last summer. I haven't been well enough to manage the kids during practice nights, and the band hasn't done quite as many events. Mom and I took the girls to one parade that Chris marched in, and he went to another without us. I forget what's yet to come, hopefully there will be some of events still that Chris can get to, with or without the rest of us.

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