Saturday, February 4, 2012

THE Gestational Diabetes

I don't have it.

I really, REALLY don't have it!

I had gotten myself ALL worked up. I mean, I was thinking, How could I have done this to myself? What's wrong with me? Don't I know how to eat better? Don't I KNOW that a grain-free, whole-foods diet is best? Haven't I spent months sitting up on That High Horse, being all: 'I'm going to eat strictly whole foods and an all-natural diet if I can get pregnant!'? And then I go all Kraft-mac-and-cheese and Kit-Kats because I can't stomach anything healthy and of COURSE this was going to happen and HOW could I have done this not to MY body but to my poor baby?! Who is NOW going to come out on a sugar high with Mrs. Butterworth's for blood!?

DISCLAIMER: I know that you can't 'give yourself' gestational diabetes. I know that it is perfectly manageable. I know that my baby would be fine and healthy. But who can think rationally when flaming hot Cheetos their baby's health is at stake?

Lately, I have been intensely thirsty... like drinking 2 gallons of water a day. I cannot get enough water. So last Sunday morning, after my second trip to the bathroom in an hour, Brian asked, "Have you asked one of the midwives about that? I think that's a symptom of diabetes."

Silly Brian! I replied. That's only if you're thirsty for grape juice. "No," he said. "It's when  you're 'deathly' thirsty for anything." OH.

So I asked my friend at church, who had had GD with both of her pregnancies, if I should be concerned. She grimaced and said, "Yeah, that's how I was. I HAD to have water right away, and when it hit, I couldn't get it down fast enough."

Cue panic. That's how I feel ALL THE TIME!

She asked me how far along I was. I told her, 24 weeks. I asked, "Should I request the test at my next appointment? Should I do the three-hour, just to be safe? Should I stop at the drugstore on the way home and get a blood sugar test kit?"

She advised me to definitely ask for the test at my next appointment, four days later. She very helpfully wrote down the diet she'd followed when she was diagnosed. "Don't worry about testing your blood at home, because you don't know what to look for. Just follow a good diet and get the test done as soon as you can."

This was Sunday. Right after my little cup of grape juice and my little communion wafer, I swore off white flour, sugar, and anything delicious. That evening, when I served Brian chicken and pasta with sundried tomatoes and tomato-basil cream sauce, I looked longingly at his plate while I ate a salad with hardboiled egg and cold chicken. The next few days, I drank coffee with no sugar, ate lots of eggs, measured little piles of almonds and gazed wistfully at the grapefruit in the bowl on the dining room table.

On Wednesday morning, I ate leftover chicken from the night before and I arrived a prompt half an hour early for my appointment. I drank the glucose drink.

(Incidentally, I don't know why people make it out to be so gross. After foregoing sugar for a few days, I was all yeah, baby! This stuff rocks!)

The midwife told me that I wouldn't get a phone call if my results were good. "No news is good news," she said. If - as I suspected - the news was in fact bad news, I would get a call in a few days.

When the next few days went by without a phone call, I thought I was home free.

Until Friday night, when I saw I had a voicemail. And when it began, "Hi Maegan, this is Jenny, one of the midwives at the birth center. Your glucose test results came back in and....."

My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach. I felt the thud. Crap.

"... results came back in and they were actually on the low side. Normal can be as high as 140, but yours was at 56, which is closer to hypoglycemic. So we really want you to make sure you carry a snack with you and eat every one to two hours so that you don't get dizzy or shaky. Give us a call if you have any questions. Have a good night!"

I coughed/choked out a "HA!" I replayed the message. It was so weird to be fully expecting one thing and then to hear the opposite. I ran into the bathroom and played it for Brian in the shower. I called my mom. I called my friends. I wrote a blog post. I danced.

I spent the rest of the night dancing around the house, saying, "I don't have the DIABETES!" and "I need to eat MORE sugar!" and "The midwife says I'm TOO skinny!" and "Now I can have chili-cheese fries!"

Disclaimer: I "know" that hypoglycemia isn't good. And I "know" that my reading doesn't mean I need more SUGAR. And I DEFINITELY know what the midwife thinks about my considerable weight gain. 

But forget that! TONIGHT, we are having pasta carbonara!

P.S. That's a great recipe. But if you make it, add an extra couple eggs and a splash of cream.