Pregnant women are routinely screened for diabetes sometime between their 24 and 28 week of pregnancy, though this can vary patient to patient and doctor to doctor.
Given that I have a family history of gestational and Type 2 diabetes, my doctor had me do the glucose tolerance test when I went for my 24 week checkup.
Probably the most awful test of my pregnancy so far, I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that I pass and don’t have to repeat with the more intense three hour version of the test.
When you go in, you’re given an unassuming bottle of orange-coloured liquid – which you must finish within 5 minutes of your first sip. After examining the ingredients list on the side (sugar, chemicals, more chemicals and some artificial colouring) I was a little less enamoured with modern medicine.
Everyone had told me how awful the drink was, so I was expecting something really bad. But when I took my first sip I though, “I don’t know what all the fuss was about, this isn’t so bad, really.”
I didn’t make it halfway through the bottle before I was all “shut up, stupid” to myself.
Those first sips were like a concentrated version of Tang, but after a few mouthfuls, it became increasingly difficult to drink such a sickly sweet beverage – especially given that I’d never had much of an inclination towards sweets in the past.
As soon as I was finished, I could feel a massive burning swelling up in my chest – was this heartburn? That burning didn’t subside for several days after the test. I was suddenly aware that I was buzzing, if you will, from the massive amount of glucose I’d just partaken. Not only was I rip roarin’ and ready to go, I could feel little one inside me doing some Riverdancing. In fact, my doctor had a bit of a chuckle when checking baby’s heartbeat because little one wouldn’t sit still to check.
You’re supposed to have blood drawn exactly one hour after drinking this devil juice, and let me tell you – this was probably one of the longest hours of my life. From buzzing and heartburn, I went to sweaty and shaky – finally ending with 10 minutes of non-stop yawning and being barely able to keep my eyes open. As soon as my blood was drawn I got myself a milk and a muffin to help counter the effects of the Glucodex.
I am so sorry to all the mamas whose glucose test horror stories I ever doubted – I now understand and I feel the pain. I can only hope I pass with flying colours.
Mamas: What did you think of the glucose tolerance test?