This post is about: (1) a follow-up re: prenatal tests; (2) relief at the understanding of my midwives, and a bit of fist-shaking at the rigidity of the medical establishment here in the US; and (3) eating pasta at a party.
Friday morning was the dreaded 3-hour Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). I arrived at 9AM, had blood drawn, and then drank the nasty sugar drink (a whopping 100g of glucose this time). Then I had my blood drawn 3 more times, once each hour. It was boring, and bruised up my veins a bit, but ultimately the test itself was not too bad. Having increased my carbohydrates in the days preceding the test (oatmeal, rice, and tapioca bread), I did not break out in a sweat and instantly start shaking like I did when I drank the 50g of sugar for the Glucose Challenge Screening. Test results should be back Tuesday……………..
Interestingly, the adverse effects from the test came only after I got home from the test at 12:30PM (very hungry at this point) and had lunch. Only at that point, as I began digesting, did I suddenly feel weak, shaky, and had to go lie down. I intended to rest for a few minutes, but instead I zonked out for a good 2 hours of drooling sleep. I wonder why? Maybe all my energy was going toward digestion. Maybe it was a blood sugar thing induced by morning of fasting and drinking sugar water. Maybe giving up all those vials of blood left me weak. All I know is my plans to go in to work in the afternoon did not come to fruition. I was useless until the evening.
The good news is that while I had prepared a letter to document my file, and to request a re-test and/or alternative testing protocol prior to being referred out to an OB, I was immediately reassured by the midwife on duty that morning that “don’t worry, you can’t get rid of us that easy.” She said she’d take my letter, but she really didn’t need it. It turns out they WILL re-test, and/or give me the alternative testing to make absolutely sure that I did have a condition, before labeling me “high risk” and disqualifying me from birthing at the birth center. Whew. At first I wasn’t 100% sure about going with the midwives, but the more time I spend with them, and the more research and reading I do, the happier I am with my choice.
I explained to the midwife that my worries were especially heightened, since a friend with a low-carb lifestyle had a baby a few weeks before, and the entire birth was impacted because she had failed the GCS and GTT, twice. Even though she had gained a normal/healthy amount of weight, and even though the thrice daily testing strips showed her blood sugar to be totally normal when she ate her regular diet, her caregivers insisted on prescribing insulin (which had no impact on her blood sugar, so she stopped taking it). They also required an insulin drip during labor and delivery, required artificial induction of labor prior to her due date, and ultimately she had a c-section after 24 hours of fruitless, drug-induced labor. Their main fear (that the baby was too large) was totally unfounded. He was regular-sized. Thankfully both mom and baby are healthy and happy now, but it seems like a lot of intervention (and major abdominal surgery) could have been avoided, had the caregivers taken into consideration how the mother’s diet (healthy, but non-mainstream) skewed the test results. They were totally unwilling to consider that despite the test results, the mother and baby were healthy, just on a different food program than most of America. Here is where I shake my fist at the medical establishment on behalf of my friend.
Finally, in other high-carbohydrate news, I went to a birthday party yesterday where the dinner offerings included pasta, or pasta (baked ziti, and beef lasagna). Well, rather than subsist on the veggie tray, I just ate the pasta. Thankfully, since I am not a celiac, it wasn’t a major issue, and I didn’t even get horrible acid reflux like I might ordinarily when eating that meal. Whew. While I will not be eating more pasta (unless faced with other limited-menu party), I DO have a theory that the baby naturally suppresses a gestating mother’s food sensitivities to allow the mother to obtain calories from more food sources. But my theory may be total crap. I am a lawyer, not a scientist!
I am back to my regular plan with a “high in folate” okra & kale 4-egg frittata for breakfast, with sliced tomatoes and a dollop of sour cream, and iced tea on the side. Mmm…
Happy Labor Day Weekend, everybody!