(Maybe I should have titled this post “Revenge of the Monkey” to fit the third Star Wars titles better. Oh well.)
For all intents and purposes, I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy, which I try to remind myself of every now and then. Unlike some of my friends who are a month or two behind me, I haven’t suffered from nausea or vomiting that requires prescription anti-emetics or anemia that needs IV iron. I was fatigued first trimester but not to the point where I couldn’t do everything I absolutely needed to do. I had some heartburn starting in second trimester but once I learned to pace and portion my meals properly, it hasn’t been anything the occasional Tums can’t fix. My lower back pain went away with a few weeks of chiropractor visits and a renewed exercise routine. Until a few weeks ago I could still button my pre-pregnancy pants. (Although once I learned about belly panel pants, there was no going back, fit or no fit.) I was able to hike (slowly) around the Grand Canyon (not the whole thing), travel by plane by myself, and general perform all my essential and nonessential life functions without too much trouble. Sometimes I could even forget, until our budding soccer star would remind me, that I was even pregnant.
The instant the calendar rolled over into third trimester, though, a small piece of hell broke loose. (I really do mean small. I just like being needlessly dramatic for blogging purposes.)
The day after my solo plane trip for a wedding, I got my first monster leg cramp in the middle of the night. I managed to escape the genetic radish-leg cankle curse of my people, and I hadn’t had any swelling, though my feet did grow an annoying quarter shoe size in length so that my 7.5s are sometimes tight and 8 is usually too floppy. So the leg cramp caught me by surprise. And it was bad. Like, wake up screaming from the pain bad. Science Guy helped me stretch it and I walked it off the next day, but the next night it was back and I couldn’t walk it off the day after that. I gobbled bananas and guzzled water like there was no tomorrow but I still felt fossilized. I was beginning to worry that I’d developed a blood clot from flying over the weekend.
Something prompted me to try a prenatal yoga routine one day after school. (Actually, I’m pretty sure the something was the exercise plan I’d written in my Passion Planner, which now officially knows what’s best for me better than I do.) A search on YouTube brought me to Lara Dutta’s prenatal yoga, and her soothing motherly Indian accent along with the stretches finally unkinked my calf muscle. I could have kicked myself for not practicing more yoga earlier in my pregnancy but that wouldn’t be very much in the yoga spirit and I probably would have given myself another cramp anyway.
The day after all this went down, I had my one-hour glucose tolerance test. Again, I didn’t really expect to have any problems…I haven’t gained much weight or craved sugary things throughout my pregnancy (unless you count fruit) and I’m quite a few years younger than my mother was when she developed gestational diabetes. My appointment was after school so I downed the Glucola as I was leaving the parking lot.
Within about ten minutes, I was barreling down the freeway when it hit me. I hadn’t eaten since 10:45 that morning (it was now past 4) and I don’t drink soda to begin with, so the sugary beverage was like a kick in the face. I wasn’t quite shaking but I was definitely wired and felt like I could see noises. I made it safely to my doctor’s office and got my blood drawn, which left me feeling even more like a computer. Not a fun day overall.
The next day my doctor’s office called to tell me the test had come back high and that I’d have to do the three-hour fasting glucose test. I’ll admit that I was pretty bummed. I knew intellectually that my risk was elevated because of heredity, but it didn’t seem fair. I TOTALLY would have eaten more cake before if I had known I’d end up with gestational diabetes. The test also triggered a lot of old food anxiety and for about 24 hours I was terrified to put anything in my mouth even though I knew that the one-hour test was only a screen, not a definitive diagnosis. (Science Guy came to rescue with some research and also segregated the cereal cabinet, much to my displeasure.)
The 3-hour test entailed fasting from midnight the night before and four total blood draws, one before and three after another dose of sugar bullet. This time I didn’t feel buzzed from the sugar, just tired from fasting. Fire Monkey was severely annoyed by the lack of food and expressed his hanger through a variety of kickboxing moves all morning long. By the third draw I was definitely feeling a little lightheaded and all I could think about was the cereal I’d packed for afterward. But I didn’t pass out and felt better even after just a small snack. (A trip to my best friend’s house and the fabric store later that afternoon didn’t hurt.)
This morning my doctor sent me a message through the office portal to indicate that my results were normal and that I didn’t have gestational diabetes. I thought about celebrating with a
gallon pint of ice cream Oikos frozen yogurt but figured that probably wouldn’t make me feel good afterward diabetes or no diabetes, so instead I sewed all morning and made a huge mess in the nursery/craft room. (Only a few more months that I can do that, so I better finish all the major projects!) I might be a tad grumpy that I worried for two weeks (and starved twelve hours yesterday) for nothing, but that’s outweighed by my relief that there’s no problem. And if that’s the worst complication I have in this pregnancy, I’ll be super grateful.
Until next time,