Sunday, 25 November 2012

Annoyed, chocolate-free and rather like a sieve

So... who got the right answer in the sweepstake? It turns out I was borderline on the glucose tolerance test, which makes me "query gestational diabetic". And I mean borderline - I was 10.6 on a value that should have been under 10. And I can't help thinking that it might be down to the fact that it took me 25 minutes to get the Lucozade down!

I was referred to the diabetes clinic at the main hospital, had a rather brief chat about what I should be eating and given a kit for stabbing my own fingertips six times a day to test my blood glucose levels. I came away thinking that it was certainly an inconvenience but not the end of the world.

Over the next few days I became more frustrated. The pamphlet I was given gave me very little information about what I could eat and in what combination (which apparently matters). Food that I was worried about gave no sugar spike, and food that I felt should be fine did. It seemed that the easiest way to get the right numbers on the meter was to eat nothing but meat, cheese and eggs, and surely that's not healthy?!

On Tuesday it got worse. I spoke to my midwife to set up an appointment and asked if she had been kept up to date - she hadn't even been told that I had been referred. I found out that because I had been referred to the diabetes clinic I was officially out of midwifery care for the birth and that she had to advise me not to plan for a home birth or one at the local midwife-led unit.

To some mums that wouldn't be an issue. To others, that might be disappointing. Quite frankly, it's sent me into a bit of a panic. Baby Badger was born in record time, and its expected that Badger Cub could come out even quicker - perhaps as little as 30 minutes from first contraction to pushing. The hospital is 45 minutes away from my house on a good day, and that's without traffic, waiting for someone to drive me there and someone else to take Baby Badger.

I've now reached the point of annoyance. I've done lots of reading around gestational diabetes. I've talked to an acquaintance who is an independent midwife. Everything is pointing to there being nothing wrong with me: my readings are within normal parameters for third trimester. I'm guessing the hospital are covering their backs with the referral - they're better off monitoring someone who is healthy that not monitoring someone who later turns out to have related issues.

The problem is that in doing this they are preventing me from planning the birth that is almost inevitable, and as a result my stress levels are up and I can't concentrate on anything else. Add to that, I feel as though my diet is worse because of the monitoring.

Definitely annoyed.

Image courtesy of pakorn /

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Sweepstake: less cake or more spinach?

As a result of my referral to the consultant because of Baby Badger's early and precipitous delivery, I was booked in for a fasting glucose tolerance test and told that otherwise they were releasing me to midwife care and weren't interested in seeing me again. That was absolutely fine with me - it's a pain to travel to the main county hospital.

Wednesday was the day I became the human pin cushion. I fasted from after dinner the previous night and arrived at the surgery for my first blood test at 8:20 - absolutely starving, as I get up at 6am and don't do well without breakfast! The nurse seemed to take pity on me and said she would use a fine needle since she'd be doing it three times. Three vials came from the first needle, then I was packed off into the waiting room to drink half a litre of Lucozade.

I'd like to point out that I hate Lucozade. I also don't really drink fizzy drinks, so the result was that not only did I have to taste the Lucozade on the way down but also every few minutes as I burped over the next half hour.

9:15 and back in for another needle and another vial, the same at 10:20. Three holes in two arms, and five vials taken. Finally after this I got to eat the banana in my bag, ridding myself of the awful taste of Lucozade and making me feel slightly less light-headed and grumpy.

Twenty minutes later and I had my midwife appointment. The first thing they asked me? Did the nurse take the bloods we need? A quick check and the answer was no, so in went needle number four and two more vials. No fine needle this time either, but a whopping great needle poked in by the student midwife. Let's just say the bruise has developed to a nice black and purple medley.

As for the sweepstake? I returned from work on Friday to an answerphone message from the doctor: "it's nothing to be too worried about, but please call me about your blood test results...". Obviously, I got the message too late to call, so I'll have to wait until Monday to find out!

So, do you think I need to eat less cake (gestational diabetes), more spinach (anaemia) or both? Or something more exotic, but mentally I'm ruling that out. I'm doing what any self-respecting mum to be would do and eating as much chocolate as possible this weekend in case it goes on the banned list on Monday.

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /
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