The gestational diabetes test is a shame – not because it’s a bullshit test that requires a pregnant woman to needlessly suffer – but because it comes during this magical time in your pregnancy. This time when, all of a sudden, the stars begin to align. The nausea has (almost totally) dissipated. You’re back to waking only once or twice a night to pee, rather than the 9-12 times of yore. You’ve begun to feel much more like a human being (albeit rounder), rather than the emotional-sexless-ravenous-nauseated-train-wreck of trimesters pasts. You’re even starting to appear pregnant in a way that says glowing! rather than in a way that says I-just-ate-several-burritos-and-need-to-
What I mean to say is that, at least for me, starting around five months,
things started to feel pretty good. Sure, there was the occasional nighttime
leg cramp – oh, the shrillness of my screams! – and my first Braxton-Hicks
experience – must-stop-moving-and-stand-VERY-VERY-STILL
– and heartburn, obviously and always. But overall, I was feeling good. Like, almost really good.
That is, until <drums!> the test to end all tests: THE. GREAT. GLUCOSE. CHALLENGE.
Simply put, the gestational diabetes test boils down to this:
one part 12 hour fast + one part 2 hour test + one horrendous bottle of orange-fizzy-cough-syrup-that-a-well-meaning-phlebotomist-will-assure-you-tastes-just-like-gatorade! + a million needle sticks + one seriously overdramatic, dizzy and nauseated pregnant lady – I’m creating a human life here, people! = an entire morning of unfettered joy/shiny happy people dancing/bliss!
[Spoiler alert: here’s where I make it seem so-unsimple and so-very-overdramatic].
When I arrived at the office, the woman at the front desk, searching for the right word and at first not realizing the depths of her well-placed irony, asked me “did you starve?” before correcting herself and confirming that I fasted. I probably laughed too hard/too long/too maniacally at the accuracy of her initial inquiry. Because yeah. I starved. Because I am six months pregnant and not eating for AN ENTIRE TWELVE HOURS is basically state sanctioned torture. Now checked in, it was time for my first blood letting.
I have to admit, at this point in my life, I thought I was an old pro. Yeah, I have a history of blood-draw-induced-fainting but I really thought that the infertility rollercoaster had shed me of my bad habit. That the incredibly efficient resident blood-letter in the infertility clinic had restored in me a confidence, trust and ease. I mean, shucks, by the end of my infertility clinic tenure, I wasn’t even lying down anymore. I was sitting! Like a person! (With my eyes closed, tightly wringing my hands and in great terror).
All of this is to say that my backslide into blood-drawing-mediocrity was that much harder to swallow. But let me not be the only one to blame: this blood-drawer was not exactly a match made in heaven. When I warned her that I had fainted in the past, she grew immediately wary – of both me and her own ability. Points for instilling confidence? Check! During the first blood draw, she announced that “blood is going back in your arm and under your skin, hmmm”. To round things out, she removed the needle and confirmed what I was already feeling “there’s a lot of blood still coming out!” Super. Let’s all just close our eyes and go to our happy place…
Luckily, blood draw number one was followed by my first refreshment of the morning. A Sunny D size bottle of NOTHING-BUT-ORANGE-SUGAR. After dry heaving/gulping it down, I wandered aimlessly into the waiting room where, in a fit of nausea and sudden post-fasting-sugar-rush, it’s possible that I may have taken a brief nap.
An hour later, blood draw number two and an entire hour after that, the hat trick: blood draw number three. Let’s just cut to the chase. Blood draw number three was a bust: I fainted <takes bow> and the tech only managed to eek out half a tube. She assured me that it would suffice. And I, even in my delirious state, nodded in agreement, though DEEPLY TERRIFIED of having to repeat this whole affair again if we were wrong.
The rest of the day is something of a blur. I stumbled in to work where I proceeded to try to eat like a ravenous-but-still-nauseated human being, while alternately dazed in debilitating a kind of head-on-desk-sugar-stupor. It was all very dramatic – and TOTALLY NOT A BIG DEAL IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS. But I’m never one to downplay a good bloodletting. Plus, I am again reminded how charming it is to have the forearms of a heroin addict. Thankfully this particular shade of purple-blue compliments many of my outfits.
*Fingers crossed that I don’t actually have gestational diabetes.* Because that might actually be kind of a bummer.
 Totally not licensed to play a doctor. Not even on the internet. So let me be clear: the gestational diabetes test is REALLY IMPORTANT. Now I will ceaselessly complain about it.
 I am nothing if not overdramatic.
 A funny thing happens when you Google image search “pregnancy magic.” No, seriously, watch that. I’ll wait. <patiently waiting>.
 This just felt… right?
 Mistake number one.
 This woman knows what’s up.