Yesterday morning I had nearly reached the breaking point with all the finger pricks. The lancets they use here at the hospital are deeper and thicker than those most people buy for themselves for their glucometers, and I was told many times how much more painful the hospital lancets are. I definitely believe it! Just when I thought I could take no more, the perinatologist on duty came to my room to inform me I didn’t have to get my finger pricked anymore, my sugars look good, and I do NOT have gestational diabetes! I couldn’t have been more happy!
I had been watching my carbs most days they were checking my glucose, so I will probably continue to do so until the baby is born in case the carb-counting is what made the difference. I’m just happy I don’t need to obsess over it and my fingers no longer have to endure torture.
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29 Weeks & 6 Days
After one day of monitoring my sugar levels, the doctors decided to have a dietician talk to me and give me some dietary guidelines. My sugar levels aren’t terrible: the highest has been 147 and it should be under 140, but they prefer it to stay below 100. The main thing they want me to do is count my carbs for each meal. It’s going to be difficult because carbs are in mostly everything and I’m already somewhat limited in food choices due to a small menu of food. However, I can still have food brought in from elsewhere. I was given a handy guidebook that lists most of the mainstream restaurants plus store-bought foods and most food categories, and next to each item it gives the fat, calorie, and carb breakdown for that item. So they aren’t putting me on a special menu or anything like that, but they are expecting me to take control of the situation and watch how many carbs I eat with each meal. Hopefully doing so will get my post-meal sugar levels down below 100.
I had an ultrasound to check the fluid, blood flow, and growth today. The fluid hasn’t changed much – today they measured .68 cm. My blood flows also looked good. However, my baby is still very small for gestational age. In fact, the baby was having a growth spurt, but it seems to have slowed down. At my 19/20 week ultrasound, the baby was in the 2nd percentile for gestational age. Then, after the growth spurt, the baby was in the 17th percentile, after that the baby was in the 16th percentile. However, today the baby only measured in the 10th percentile. I was told it isn’t anything to get too stressed about, because there isn’t a lot of difference, and the 10th percentile is still better than the 2nd percentile. As of today the baby weighs 2 pounds and 1 ounce. So the baby is growing, just not as much as he/she should be. I’ll have another fluid check in a week and a growth check in 2 weeks.
Today’s ultrasound tech guessed girl, but she said she really didn’t know, it was only a guess. It’s still too difficult to see much. The baby had his/her hands up by his/her face again, but today also had the feet up there too.
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I spoke with the doctor and she said gestational diabetes is generally associated with too MUCH, not too little amniotic fluid. Also, gestational diabetes can result in a very large baby. So it wouldn’t explain any of the other things going on with my pregnancy if I have it. Hopefully I don’t. I’ll start the finger pricks after all meals tomorrow.
The results of my blood count test are in. The numbers looked good and I’m not anemic, so that’s a good thing. I’m not on an iron supplement, so they said I am getting enough of it through my diet. I’m sure it’s due to all the milk I drink, because I don’t eat a lot of meat.
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Today I was screened for gestational diabetes. It involves drinking an extremely high-sugar carbonated drink and then getting a blood draw an hour later. If your blood sugar is over 130ish, they will do an extended 3-hour test to determine if you have gestational diabetes. If your number is over 200, they usually assume you have gestational diabetes and don’t even bother with the 3-hour test. Mine was over 180, which means I failed test #1. I had a feeling I was going to because when they came in to take the blood, I was still feeling VERY shaky from the sugar drink, and they said my system should be back to normal by that time. In fact, 4.5 hours later and after eating a high-protein breakfast, I still don’t feel quite right, but it’s getting better.
They were supposed to withdraw a 2nd vial of blood this morning for a complete blood count, which checks white blood cells for infection and red blood cells to be sure I’m not anemic. They did this when I first checked in, and apparently it’s standard to do checks every once in a while when a person is in the hospital. Unfortunately, they forgot to take the additional vial when they were drawing for the diabetes test, and they had to come back and take more blood.
Anyone who knows me knows my aversion to needles and those bands they use to squeeze the life out of your arm. Even after all this time in the hospital and having blood pressure checks several times a day, getting my blood pressure taken still makes me uneasy. So when they informed me they were back for more blood, it was very upsetting to me. My veins ended up constricting to the point they couldn’t draw any blood from my arm the 2nd time, so they cut my finger and drained blood from it instead.
The 3-hour test involves drinking a drink that is even higher in sugar and getting blood drawn once every 3 hours. Due to how badly I failed the first test, and after seeing my aversion to needles, they decided to give me another option besides the 3-hour test. They said I could get my finger pricked before and after every meal for a few days, and they could also diagnose me that way. They haven’t asked for my answer yet, but I will probably go with the finger pricks.
I also talked to the pediatric cardiologist today. He decided to wait a few more weeks to do a check-in, but he will be in touch with the perinatologists and he will be close by when the baby is born. The perinatologists are planning to let me go full-term unless an emergency occurs.
I thought I read somewhere that gestational diabetes can trigger low amniotic fluid, but I can’t remember for sure where I found that information. I am going to ask the doctors more about it the next time I see one.
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