I’ve been fasting since 7:00pm. It’s now 8:50am. Twice I dreamt I was eating and would be in trouble with the doctor’s office, but no, nothing by mouth since before bed. It always takes me a while to get hungry in the morning, so I don’t care about the no-food, but I swear I would lick. the dew. off the grass. at the dog park. right about now. Sho firshty.
My fasting blood draw goes fine, though I have to say, the nurses never acknowledge how goddamn brave I’m being, and I’m being so brave.
Hello again, Glucola, you wretched… Bleah, it’s so gross, and this time I have to drink the whole bottle. The internet tells me that 28 jelly beans have the same amount of glucose as a bottle of Glucola, but no, big pharma would never stand for letting a nice pregnant lady have an early Halloween.
I settle in the waiting alcove next to the lab and rip the band-aid off the inside of my left elbow. I’m already sporting a little bruise.
The sugar is coating my insides, and my head starts to ache almost immediately. I am not Tolerating the Glucose very well. Bodes poorly for the results of the Glucose Tolerance Test. I sit and watch people for an hour:
-A woman who weighs at least 400 pounds. (I send up a little prayer of gratitude for the nature and severity of my eating disorder.)
-A man who puts his hand lovingly on his partner’s swollen belly and leans his head on her shoulder. (I look away quickly, blinking.)
-A gaggle of gynecologists. (I resist the urge to shout, “DR. KINDERGARTEN TEACHER, IT’S ME, AMY. WILL YOU PLEASE DELIVER MY BABIES BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, K THANKS.)
Second blood draw, other arm. So brave. Back to the alcove. I try to read my book, but I can’t seem to concentrate. Too groggy. I’m not even allowed to rinse my mouth with water. Fascists.
Third blood draw (more bravery). I say, “Yes! Only one more.”
The nurse says, “You hungry?”
I tell her no but I want some water so bad. She says she can give me some after the fourth draw. “I have juice too,” she says.
"Noooooo thank you." I don’t ever want sugar again.
Fourth draw, she tries my right arm again and gets nothing so has to pull a third vial from the left—that’s FIVE POKES for those of you keeping track at home (World’s Bravest)—then hands me a bottle of water. I guzzle the whole thing, just standing there, then head to Whole Foods and get a big salad with egg and fish. Even afterward, my brain is still wheezing, and the underside of my skin feels… just wrong. I stagger home and pass out for 2 1/2 hours.
When I wake up, my stomach is so blargy, and I mope so hard. I’m reminded of how depressed I was during my first trimester. Gut-mood connection: I’m telling you, it’s a for-real thing.
I’m sure I’ve failed the test. First, there’s the grossness. The only way I can explain it is, when I eat sugar, I feel like I’ve been poisoned.
Second, there’s the excess amniotic fluid, a telltale sign.
And then of course, I’m having twins. A nurse from my insurance company calls me to check in. I tell her I took the GTT the day before and I’m awaiting results. “The placenta blocks insulin,” she explains. “That’s why people get gestational diabetes.”
"So, since I have two placentas…?" I say.
"Exactly," she says, "more insulin is blocked."
I spend the weekend coming to terms with my very likely diagnosis.
Probably not a good time, emotionally, to read 20 pages of medical problems common in babies with Down syndrome, but I do it, and cry.
Monday morning, I don’t want to wait for the clinic to call, so I get online and check my results. My fasting and 3-hour numbers are fine, but my 1- and 2-hours are over. Two strikes, I’m out.
I have gestational goddamn diabetes.
What, did you think something would go well, gestationally-speaking, for Mama Happy Pants? Silly reader.
I would say motherfuckers better watch out, but I’m real scared about pricking my own finger, so I’m just gonna sit here and rock myself for awhile. Call me William Wallace.
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