Gestational Glucose Test

So, today, I went for my 3 hour fasting gestational glucose test.  Oh, what fun.  I spent about four fun-filled hours at the Reston Hospital Center.  I got 7 needle pricks in my arms, and I am so very tired.

Overall, other than being really bored, it wasn’t too terribly bad.  I had to refrain from eating anything after midnight last night (not so hard, considering I was sleeping most of that time) and then be at the hospital before 8:00 this morning.  After a strangely long time spent waiting to sign in, we got the process started.  I had to give a urine sample (something which, as a pregnant woman, I’ve gotten very used to) and then give a fasting glucose blood sample.  (As a side note, I’ve always found it strange that they call it “giving” a blood sample — I’d say they “take” it).  Then, it was time for the glucose drink.  The 50 mg drink that I had last week for my first test was ok.  It tasted pretty much like orange Hi-C.  This stuff was much worse.  Still, not awful, but not good.  It was lemon lime flavor, and much, much sweeter than the orange drink from last week.  This had the sweetness and consistency of maple syrup, but with a flat soda taste.  Lovely.  As advice for anyone anticipating their test, you have a full 5 minutes to complete your drink.  I was under the impression I had to down it as quickly as possible, and although that got the experience over more quickly, I don’t think it did anything for my enjoyment of the drink.

Once I finished my tasty drink, the clock started.  I had to go back at 30 min, 1 hour, 2 hour and 3 hour intervals.  Each time, I had to give another urine sample, and another blood sample.  When I was younger, I didn’t mind having blood drawn.  Until when in college, I once donated blood and passed out during the donation.  Ever since that experience, I have disliked the feeling of having my blood drawn.  I don’t like getting stuck with the needle, and I don’t like the feeling of the blood being drawn.  I don’t mind getting stuck for a shot, because psychologically it’s different.  I usueally fare well during a blood draw, but I’ve learned I do better when I don’t watch.  To make matters worse, I’ve had several recent bad experiences having blood drawn.  The nurse at my doctor’s office has a hard time getting a good draw from me.  She says my veins are hard to find.  I’ve never heard that from anyone else, but maybe it’s yet another side effect of pregnancy?  I don’t know, but again today, it was tough.  There were two technicians drawing my blood (not at the same time).  One had no trouble at all.  He had a very efficient and professional manner.  I suspect he doesn’t have trouble drawing blood from anyone.  The other was a young woman, and she had a bit of trouble drawing my blood.  All in all, I got stuck 7 times for 5 blood samples.  Ugh.  That’s not fun for anyone, but it’s worse for someone who already dislikes the experience.  In addition, my arm got taped up after each draw (medical tape over a piece of gauze) and after pulling the tape off that many times, my skin started to tear, as well.  Ow.  My arms hurt.  By the time I left, I could barely bend either arm at the elbow.

Really, though, that was the worst part.  The drink made me a little sleepy, it made me burp a lot, and the taste was a bit nauseating.  I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the boredom.  It’s not really that boring, just tedious.  I brought a book, and a travel pillow.  I read a good bit, but couldn’t get comfortable enough to nap.  I thought of brining my laptop, but I was worried I wouldn’t find a wireless signal.  If I had it do over again, I would have skipped the pillow.  Every time I had to go get my blood drawn, I had to collect up all of my things and carry them with me.  Less is more in this situation (at the very least, I would bring a tote bag or backpack that everything fit easily into).  I also found the waiting are to have a very inconsistent temperature.  I switched between being much too warm and being a bit chilly.  Although, being a pregant woman, it might just be me!

At this point, I’m waiting to hear the results.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the results are negative, but they are whatever they are.  As with so many aspects of pregnancy, I’ve really let go of trying to control or even wish my way to the outcome I’d like.  Whatever the reality is, I will handle it.  I just want to be a good mom to Baby Fang.  I want him to turn out happy and healthy, and if I have to eat nothing but broccoli between now & July to help that happen, I’ll do it.  I sincerely hope I never have to do this test again.  But, if I do, I’ll be better prepared next time.

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