I have PCOS. Because of this, my midwives always order extra panels to track my blood sugar along with the regular pregnancy panels. I think this is good, especially because many woman with PCOS do have a higher blood sugar and it should be tracked. I’m in the higher-androgen crowd in the world of PCOS–so these are usually just extra needles for me. Oh well! Good thing I lov–HATE needles.
When you’ve been pricked so many times in one sitting (without success, mind you) that you finally pass out and they wait for you to revive and then let another technician try their hand at your veins, you might hate needles too.
Your blood work looks delicious.
Normally, there is a 1-hour, non-fasting glucose tolerance test (e.g. 2 needles/blood draws). Many websites call it the “initial screening” and there is some debate over whether or not a non-fasting glucose test has much value. From my peer group of already-minted-moms, many ended up having to do the 3-hour test (e.g. 4 needles/blood draws) anyways, even though none of them ended up diagnosed with gestational diabetes after the 3-hour fasting glucose tolerance test.
Our prenatal group’s midwives all agreed that the 1-hour screening has a high rate of people who then need to then go on to take the 3-hour fasting test and assured the group not to worry if they ended up doing both tests. (e.g. 6 total needles/blood draws over the course of the two tests).
However, this is the first time having PCOS has benefited me when it comes to blood draws. Myself (PCOS) and another lady in our group (family history of diabetes and gestational diabetes) were strongly encouraged to take the fast-track 2-hour glucose test (e.g. 3 needles/blood draws…max). It is an all-or-nothing test–no “initial screening,” no needing to come back to take a longer test to confirm. Just a single, fasting, 2-hour glucose tolerance test.
We both eagerly took the offer. I mused over whether or not she has passed out from blood draws too, or if she just got the cold sweat dizziness.
On the Friday I was going in for my glucose tolerance test, I ate my breakfast and began my 8-10 hour fast prior to the test. Nothing like working and fasting…how do people who celebrate religious fasts do it? I hate it! My stomach kept complaining, “Hey… you put me on a frequent meal plan… Hey… where is my food? Hey… you’re pregnant…let me think about slow cooking turkey for the next hour.”
Like any fasting blood draw, you can only have water prior to the test. So I drank a lot of hot water. I packed a hard-boiled egg and chunks of cheese for a post-test snack (as it seemed universally recommended to bring a high-protein, low sugar snack afterwards).
By the time I made it into the hospital lab it was about 9 hours of fasting, which was in the “8-10 hours, but don’t exceed 10” instructions my midwife had given me. They drew the first vial of blood, then handed me the glucose drink.
I liked it. I thought it tasted like a non-carbonated orange soda, and the ingredients implied that this was effectively true: glucose, water, natural flavors, and food coloring (keep that in mind next time you drink a soda–it’s like drinking a medical fluid geared to flush out the diabetics within a two-hour window).
I paced myself, and finished the drink within the requisite 5 minutes. I was happy to have something in my stomach that wasn’t water, even if it was a sugar syrup. Then I had to go sit in the lobby with instructions to not eat or drink anything–even water.
Oh my… baby D was on a complete sugar high. I don’t eat or drink many sweets, so he was having all sorts practice at gymnastics, dance, soccer, yoga, jogging in place, practicing martial arts with his buddy, my bladder– everything! I spent the first hour until my next blood draw trying to record my bouncing stomach with my phone.
They drew blood from my only other arm, and sent me back to the lobby for the final hour prior to the last draw.
Baby D was less jazzed, so I read a book and texted my husband about being hungry who reassured me with, “oooh, baby…I will make you some food.” ❤
The final draw was in my first arm, and was the easiest draw of my life–I didn’t even feel it! Major kudos to the Sutter Health for hiring consistently awesome lab technicians–my pregnancy has been a breeze in terms of blood work! Considering how many times I’ve either passed out or broke out in a pasty-white cold sweat from blood draws, and considering I was existing with three holes in my arm and watered-down syrup…this is saying something!!!
My cheese didn’t make it to the car, and I’m just glad I didn’t choke on my egg. I went home and gorged on the food my husband had laid out for me. Yum!
I got some bruises from the test, but none of the nausea, shakiness, dizziness, or headaches some people were reporting online. Bruising is normal, but still made me wonder about my iron intake (what’s the point of being pregnant for the first time if you don’t worry about random things?). I got my results over the health portal on the following Monday…and…
I passed! Woohoo! 🙂
I think this may be my last blood draw during the pregnancy. Oh please, oh please, oh please!
Per Mayo Clinic, A normal fasting blood glucose target range for an individual without diabetes is 70-100 mg/dL (3.9-5.6 mmol/L). For my hospital, they wanted me under 92 mg/dL. I was really at the bottom of the range; however, per the US Dept. of Health, a fasting hypoglycemia diagnosis is from a blood sample that shows a blood glucose level below 50 mg/dL–so then I felt good about my results again. 🙂
My husband said, “I knew I picked a good breeding partner.”
Thanks, love. What a romantic…
|Component||Standard Range||Your Value|
|Glucose, Fasting||<92 mg/dL||71|
|Glucose 1 Hr||<180 mg/dL||167|
|Glucose 2 Hr||<153 mg/dL||134|
The diagnosis of GDM, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is made when any of the following plasma glucose values are exceeded:
fasting >/= 92 mg/dL,
1 hr >/= 180 mg/dL
or 2 hr >/= 153 mg/dL.
Note that a fasting plasma glucose level of >/= 126 mg/dL, a
random plasma glucose >/= 200 mg/dL, or a HbA1C >/= 6.5% meet the threshold for the diagnosis of overt diabetes.
Sweet Success/ADPSG Consensus 2010 Diabetes Care 33(3): 676-682, 2010.