Week 26: Checkup++

Week 26 was a big one for both Elliott and me. Our monthly doctor’s visit included not only routine testing and “howre you doing?” chat with the doc, but a sonogram and a standard 1 hour glucose tolerance test. How’d we do? Elliott passed with flying colors. Me? Not so much.

First up was the glucose test. Basically an hour before your appointment you drink this bottle of orange-flavored sugar water (think mc donalds orange drink that’s been sitting out so long that too much water has evaporated) and then nothing else. Whether or not you fast ahead of time (and how long) is subject of some debate. Making pregnant women fast isn’t something people like to do unless it’s necessary. My doc’s office says nothing when you wake up in the morning, but it ended up being more than 12 hours for me since i didn’t have a pre-bed snack or anything. When you arrive, they draw your blood and test how well your body handled the sugar rush. At my doctor’s office, the magic number is 130 (sometimes its 140). A couple days later I learned that my number was 144.

More on that in a minute. You want to know about Elliott, right?

He’s doing great! The bonus sonogram was to check on my placenta, which was in the “low but not too low” range during the big 18 week sonogram. It turns out that my placenta has moved so far up and out of the way that the technician found it hard to believe it was ever an issue. Hurrah! She also checked everything else out again, and he’s developing just fine. He’s a bit big for his gestational age, but not by more than a few days, so nobody’s concerned there. He’s also a long fellow. During most of the exam he was in a pike position, with his feet extending up over his head even though his knees were bent! Crazy-long kid! However, if he’s going to be pushing the 9-pound mark (I’m hoping he’ll stay under 8.5, but I’m not sure he will) I’d much rather have that weight taken up with height than girth. Although neither my husband nor I are particularly tall (I’m 5′6″ and he’s 6′), we both have some uncles with some serious height on them, so it’s not unprecedented.

See? He’s fine. Now back to me!

Elliott and I took a rather harsh tumble the day before the sonogram, too. He was never in any danger (there was no trauma to my mid-section, no spotting, and no abnormal cramping), and somehow I managed to escape doing any serious damage. Had the fall gone differently (I tripped over a power cord while carrying a dirty fish tank filter and crashed into our TV console) I might have ended up with some broken parts, specifically my left shoulder, left hand, and right knee. Also, there was a moment where it looked like our TV was going to topple over more or less onto me as well. As it was, the TV is fine and I only walked away with some serious bruises and a hearty dose of shock. It was reassuring to have the appointment scheduled for the next day and the sonogram tech paid extra attention while she was looking around to confirm the lack of trauma. I slept much better that night, or I would have without the bruised shoulder. :)

On Monday I returned for the 3 hour test. It’s pretty much the same, only “more.” I had to fast for 12 hours and since it also involves measuring the fasting level, I drank the solution (2x as thick – like when the orange soda doesn’t squirt out any carbonated water) after my blood was drawn the first time. Then I waited an hour for another blood draw. Rinse, repeat, repeat again for a total of 4 draws over the course of 3 hours with nothing to eat or drink to disrupt the test.

Know what else disrupts the test? Throwing up because drinking a super sugar solution after a 12 hour fast and then nothing else makes your belly feel super gross. Thankfully, I managed to fight the waves of nausea that hit after the first hour, but it wasn’t easy. Elliott decided that this sugar rush was great fun so he started doing somersaults right when the nausea was at it’s peak and all I wanted to do was sit perfectly still until it faded. When it was over, I slammed a banana and headed out for roast beef. I felt “off” the rest of the day. Like when you do that day after you’re done being sick. You’re technically symptom-free, but your body is still dragging and dazed and needs a bit of extra time to recover.

The great news (and why I waited until midway through week 27 to post) is that I passed the 3 hour test, so no gestational diabetes for me! Yippee! I celebrated with frozen custard and girl scout cookies!! (not really. okay, maybe.)

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