So, the last couple weeks haven’t been the most fun.
I still feel ripping fantastic for being almost 30 weeks preggers with twins. No real complications, the kiddos seem to be aligned in a nice way to prevent pregnancy waddle and promote overall mobility and Kristin happiness. I think the one that needs to be head down for a vaginal birth is no longer like that, but there’s so many factors that lead to me having a C-Section that I’m pretty sure I’m giving up on trying. Which is a bummer, because I think I’d be pretty good at it. Plus, I’d like to not have major surgery to recover from while now also having twins to figure out.
Anyway . . . let’s talk about the complications going on right now and why I feel deeply unsettled by the whole thing.
At 24 weeks, I saw a different doctor in the practice who asked me to take the 1 hour glucose test soon so they could handle any issues that came up faster than not. So, okay. I go down on Monday at 10, only to find out my office is closed 11-1, so I go home. I fasted just to be sure it was pretty accurate, but I wasn’t going to keep doing that so I had some lunch and delicious golden milk latte and waited for them to open. And then I took the test. And then I went home.
And then I didn’t hear from them for two weeks. When I did the nuchal test for congenital stuff, I didn’t hear either and they told me that they don’t call unless there’s a problem. I figured, hey, they didn’t call again and I know it takes only a day or two to get results, all good.
Two weeks later, at 5 pm when the office is closed, that sub doctor leaves a message, says I failed, and says I need to go take the 3 hour glucose test. Which, because of how my lab is set up, means I have to get up at 6 am and waste my whole morning, because I was off by 10 points from passing. I felt like this was fishy, and I was super mad.
Finally got her to call me the next day and flat out asked why it took so long to get back to me since she was in a hurry – no apologies, excuses like it going into the wrong inbox and what not, but no worries, we’re still in a good screening window. Uh huh. I told her that I felt like at this point, doing that test wasn’t going to fly and she should hook me up with the home monitor and I’ll do that. She agrees.
And for a week, I do. I do some experiments – turns out testing 45 minutes after cake will give you high glucose levels. Oopsie. I see my regular doctor and he asks me how my numbers are and I tell him kind of high, but like . . . the little monitors can be off by 10 points so pretty borderline.
He prescribes me a pill to take at night. By 6 am each morning I take it, I wake up disoriented, shaky, sweaty, etc and no one warned me what that would be like – so I thank my lucky stars I know what a glucose crash looks like. Sure enough, test blood sugar, glucose crash. Eat stuff to get it up, test, going down still. Lie in bed, crash again . . . it was not cool. I called my doctor, no return for hours. I remember that my maternal-fetal specialist had strong feelings (WHY WOULD THEY PRESCRIBE THAT??) when I told her what was going on and was the one that warned me about the crashes, so I called her and she was like, “Nuts, and stop taking that.” So now I have doctors at odds. Later, when I see a specialist about this, she is also like, “HOW DARE THEY PRESCRIBE THAT – THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS!”
When this happens, honestly, I lose my shit. I go from control to total lack of control and having people tell me what to do, but when no one agrees, it’s not a good time anymore. You want to feel safe, you want to feel protected – plus, like, if I mess this up, the kids in my womb may have to pay the consequences their entire life (and so will I). It’s a lot of pressure. And I do not feel safe or protected.
So I stop taking the drugs and keep testing. My doctor gets me a reference to an endocrinologist a week and a half later (so much for that one doctor being in a hurry to treat this if it’s a problem, RIGHT?).
I see her, and suddenly now I’m really confused. We go through my results and I’m like, “Look, I’m not even sold I have gestational diabetes.” “Oh, you do,” she says. Well, she’s the expert, right? But let me show you this:
From Diabetes.org on Gestational Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes.
- Before a meal (preprandial plasma glucose): 80–130 mg/dl
- 1-2 hours after beginning of the meal (Postprandial plasma glucose)*: Less than 180 mg/dl
Guys, not once have I measured outside this range. Not on drugs, not off drugs. But she’s the expert, right?
And here’s the goals for pregnant adults with diabetes:
If you’re testing your blood glucose, the American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy:
- Before a meal (preprandial): 95 mg/dl or less
- 1-hour after a meal (postprandial): 140 mg/dl or less
- 2-hours after a meal (postprandial): 120 mg/dl or less
Again, fasting is a bit higher than this, but eating? Very rarely. On or off drugs.
The handbook they game me says that my goals are this:
- 74-89 fasting
- <130 mg 1 hour after the start of a meal
And she tells me some things I’m doing wrong: I’m supposed to glucose test one hour after STARTING to eat. Sometimes a meal takes me a half hour to eat!!! The goal here is 1-2 hours and I have to test exactly at an hour and I get ranges from 90-154 and I have diabetes? And yes, my fasting glucose can be high (100-110), but it’s well within Diabetes.org’s goals . . . so what the hell? I guarantee you that off drugs, I could eat cake and test an hour later and still be less. Because I was.
And now, btw, she’s also telling me I need to EAT MORE CARBS. Like, English muffins and tortillas. I don’t have an appetite as it is, and I’m supposed to be eating like NOTHING but protein according to my maternal-fetal specialist, so what do I do now? Do I eat carbs, which I would think drive my glucose levels up, or do I eat protein, which is what my one doctor says is keeping growth on track for the kids? If I do the protein diet, the endocrinologist says I’ll also have to test for ketones, so let’s add that to the list.
Why is this so complicated?
And now I’m on yet another pill at night that doesn’t appear to do anything differently.
Three doctors, three opinions, no one working together. It’s making me not want to eat anymore because EVERYTHING COULD KILL ME OR THE BABY OR SOMETHING.
And what do you do? It doesn’t seem like they are putting their heads together on this . . .
All the while, the glucose crashes caused my immune system to fail and now I have the death cold, so I can’t sleep or breathe or really exercise anymore . . . and isn’t this fun? I think I’m at the end of it, but my ears are plugged up, nose is stuffed, and I can’t get through a workout without trying to cough out a lung. This all doesn’t seem right. Everything was totally fine, I felt fine, kids were fine, and this is just messing everything up.