I drink enough water. In that I don’t worry about those ‘drink X amount per day’ challenges that pop up on Facebook from time to time, or those tips about putting fruit or cucumber in tubey bits inside water bottles to make it more palatable. I’m a fiend for the stuff, and can easily drink three litres a day no hassle. So I hate fasting with a passion. Not the food bit, that I can manage, but the withholding water feels like torture.
This week I was scheduled to get a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) to test for Gestational Diabetes. I’m not that sure why to be honest. Well, family history because my mum has been diagnosed with Type 2 since my last pregnancy. She’s borderline, and it’s diet controlled but absolutely nothing has changed with me. Decrepit as I feel, I’m not in the age risk category yet, and I’m not overweight so that’s 2 of the other risk factors gone too. My GP seemed surprised I was being asked to go for it. I will pick my battles though, when it comes to consent in pregnancy (#repealthe8th). This is a reasonably benign test and I do have a very sweet tooth. Now, I should at least make this post helpful right?
So what does it involve?
Try your hardest not to eat crisps or salty food the night before. It’s not going to help the thirst battle.
I had to fast, both food and water, from midnight. Hospitals vary though; some require you to abstain from food for 12 hours but you can drink sips of water, so check the fine print if you have a test due.
Arrive on time if you possibly can – they’ll see you in the order you get there, and a lot of women are scheduled each day. The sooner you start the sooner you can eat. Dublin had a bus strike the day of my test so one poor girl was only starting when I was having my 2nd blood test because traffic was so bad.
First, they take a blood sample
Then you’ll be given a measured sugary drink to down in 5 minutes. I was asked to bring Lucozade, but one woman near me hated it, so they made her up a generic glucose drink.
You’re given the exact time, and you have to come back after one hour and two hours to have more blood samples taken. You must continue to fast during this time. I arrived at 7:55, had my blood taken and drink finished by 8:09, so had my second and third blood tests at 9:09 and 10:09.
I felt queasy in the first hour, unsurprisingly. It wasn’t so bad as to make me think I might actually be sick, just that much sugar on an empty stomach is a bit bleugh. I sat in a quiet corner of the hospital cafe and did some work.
In the second hour I felt a good bit better, so by the time I had the last sample taken, I was ready for my tea and toast. In the hospital I’m attending, they give you a voucher. Unfortunately it seemed to coincide with every staff member going on break, and the queue was long so I would advise to bring a snack for yourself – a banana and water kept me going while I waited. Happily, I noted, the default is brown rather than white bread which I was pleased to see in light of how poor the nutritional content of hospital food often is. But I will say this: this is not the best tea and toast you will eat; that accolade is of course taken by the tea and toast that arrive shortly after you give birth. End of.
I am being kicked simultaneously in the bladder and the ribs. My sacroiliac joint has decided it will generate a dull ache for the whole day and seize up entirely around 8pm. Stairs and walking generally are not my friend so off I pedal every day diligently and slowly. We have reach a pinnacle of post holiday/pre back to school anxiety and everything feels so fucking hard. I can’t see how I can keep going at this level of working and parenting for another 16 weeks give or take. There’s a massive disconnect between my body and my mind – I want nothing more than to get loads of fresh air, or walk for miles for my physical and mental health but my body says no way. With that in mind…
…I start pre-natal aqua aerobics and not a moment too soon. I’ve done this class on each of my other pregnancies. People often think of aqua aerobics as something for old people or very unfit people and it’s true that being in the water means very little strain on our joints. Which is why it’s so bloody brilliant! If I can’t live in an inflatable ring on my front, on the sea, then a weekly trip to the pool will do.
The class is run by a physiotherapist who’s a mother of four herself so she knows what she’s talking about. It consists of a good warm up followed by loads of arm work to prep for newborn life. Sitting hunched over feeding a child who only gets heavier and heavier can put quite a strain on your arms, chest and back. Then we do a bunch of cardio, and you feel all light and airy hopping about the pool in a manner you just could not do on dry land. We do a bit of pelvic floor stuff, have a chat to the women around us, and do a great breathing and kicking exercise which prepares you for dealing with contractions. Basically – you can do anything for a minute. This really stood to me in my last labour; I remember really clearly thinking just as I do in the pool: “you can do this, it’s just 12 breaths and then you get a break” in some more difficult moments.
Mental health levels: balanced (probably temporarily)
And lo, at 20 weeks gestation, she suddenly decided that she’d had enough of this sitting around lark. The 2nd trimester energy! It had arrived! Off she set for a walk one evening. Setting off on a familiar route (the former “going for a quick run” one) she realised less than half way round that she had just committed to a five km stroll. Her bump cramped, her hips groaned and she arrived home to Olympic gymnasts on the tv for maximum feelings of inadequacy.
She knelt on the floor, shimmied into a Child’s Pose and wondered if she could eat crisps in this position.
Now that I have returned intact from the holiday mentioned below (where I waddled about attractively fanning myself and sighing heavily a lot) I bring you the the next part of my pregnancy tale. The bit where I start to tell people. Kids included.Continue reading →
That’s me done I said. Two boys now, done and dusted. Hands full and all that jazz. Tidied small clothes and baby equipment into piles; sent them off to friends, charity shops, second hand sites, refugee camps, a women’s refuge. Gone. The lot of it. But I’m not the only one in this equation. Turns out the other half of this partnership was not done at all at all and did a reasonably satisfactory job of persuading me of same. I find myself pregnant. With child. Bun in the oven. Up the duff. Here’s how it’s been going; for what kind of blogger am I if I do not document such things?