Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

On December 18, 2012, I took the one-hour Glucose Test.  I was worried, because about a year or so ago, I took the same test and the results came back as being borderline diabetic.  It wasn’t high enough for me to go on any type of medicine.  It wasn’t high enough to call me diabetic.  But that was a year ago and before I was pregnant.

I read enough about gestational diabetes to know that the pregnancy hormones can change how a woman’s body processes sugar.  Even a woman who has never been diabetic and doesn’t have a family history of diabetes, she can get GD.

At the same day of taking the one-hour glucose test, my fundal measurement came in large.  I was 29 weeks at the time and the measurement came in at 32.  The measurement was supposed to be between 27-31.  The doctor told me, “When a measurement comes out larger, we schedule to check for Gestational Diabetes.  (which I did the one hour that morning) and also schedule for an ultra sound (which I had one with the pregnancy specialist within 2 days).”  So, if I had to have a large fundal measurement, at least it was good timing for the test and the scan.

The doctor also explained that the fundal measurement is only a screening test.  It’s not a diagnostic test.

I failed the one-hour test and was so upset!  I did read up on this and found some hope with a lot of women failing the one-hour, but then passing the three-hour.    My doctor wanted me to come back within 2 days to do the three-hour test, which I did. 

The three hour tests consist of 4 blood works drawn – one when you first come in, having fasted for 12 hours ahead of time.  Then, for every hour after you take that nasty tasting drink, blood is drawn.  I felt like a human pincushion.

That same day in the late afternoon, I had the ultrasound done with the specialist and she said, “The baby weighs 3 pounds and is right on schedule.”  I figured, “Well, if I have GD, then at least I’m catching it early on before bad effects hurt the baby.”

While I did the 3-hour test, I read a book online about GD.  It was informative, stating that the main change would be having smaller, more frequent meals.  That although sugar intake has to be monitored, the baby still needs carbs to continue to develop, so it’s a balancing act.  Hence, the need to see a dietician if a woman has GD.

I also read that if a woman has diabetes before getting pregnant and that she’s taking pills to control diabetes, once she’s pregnant, the doctors will automatically take her off of pills and put her on insulin shots.  Because the pills can cross the placenta to the baby, but the insulin shots don’t cross the placenta.  So, if I had GD and diet changes alone couldn’t control it, I would have insulin shots.  It was good to read this, as I tried to mentally prepare myself.

It seemed to take forever to get the results in, but finally, a week after Christmas, I was told that I not only passed the 3-hour glucose test, I passed each blood work drawn “with flying colors.”  RELIEF.  I was so happy!

I’m still glad I read the book during the 3-hour test, because it was interesting and it gave me a peace of mind so that I wouldn’t be surprised if the test results came out differently.  That said…. WHEW…. It was a relief!!


Cheryl said...

I am so glad to hear that it came back that you don't have GD. I would hate for you to deal with that. (with that being said..I am sure that you would have handled it and all would go well.

Whew is right.

Natalie said...

So glad you passed with flying colors! One less thing to worry about :)

Candice said...

What great news, Aleta! Gad to hear that you and the baby are doing well.

Megan said...

That's so interesting - I didn't know anything about GD. But congrats on passing the 3 hour - what a relief!

Glynis Jolly said...

I read up on gestational diabetes before commenting here because, to tell you the truth, my vocabulary stinks. It explained something about me, which was kind of nice to know. I was born big, maybe even huge. I weighed 1 ounce under 9lb. I did have some liver problems too when I was an infant. My mother almost died when I was delivered. This, in itself may not seem like the cause of gestational diabetes except that when my little brother was born, he weighed 7 and 1/2lb. and was perfectly health. Moreover, my mom felt so good right after the delivery, she wanted to go home.

I am so glad that everything is alright with you.

Lilly said...

Phew that would have been a relief. I love your posts by the way. And I agree that they will be very helpful to other women in your position too.