Today I had to do the infamous glucose tolerance test, which tests pregnant women between 26-28 weeks of pregnancy for gestational diabetes.
I knew from other friends that it would be a pretty nasty experience — and it wasn’t yummy by any means — but it also wasn’t the nastiest thing I’ve ever drank (that would probably be a 32 oz. saline solution I had to down when living in El Salvador after a nasty bout of amoebas!).
It was a non-fasting test, but I’d been given mixed responses about fasting (some friends swore by fasting to make it bearable; others yakked because they hadn’t fasted and it was gross). So knowing that, I had fasted til the morning and just had a little TJ’s all-natural peanut butter (i.e., no sugar) to tide me over since you need to wait an hour after you drink it before they can do the blood-work.
[I should also note here I'm afraid of blood. Hospitals. IVs. And throughout this pregnancy I've been pricked beyond belief for all kinds of lab tests and am only at the cusp of an imminent hospital experience (I've never stayed in one before, or had surgery -- knock on wood!!). Lord give me strength!]
But I digress. Back to this morning.
I had the choice between the lemon-lime and orange-flavored drink. Hoping it’d resemble a sugared-down Sprite, I went with the lemon-lime. I took a tiny sip and gagged a little. It did not taste like Sprite. And I love me some sugar but holy smokes was this sweet!!
Still, I only had 5 minutes to gulp it down, and so I took small sips and stared at it and swirled it around and finally, the cup was empty. Then I sat and played on my iPhone and read some baby magazines while Baby Girl kicked around like crazy in my belly (the sugar water does that!) until the hour was up and they could draw a vial of my blood.
The test results should come back in a few days and I’m really hoping they come back negative and not inconclusive because if they DO come back positive or inconclusive, I’ll need to do the 3-hour test which is also like twice the amount of scary Kool-Aid … eeks! And if I do test positive, there’s a modified diet involved which would mean limited sugar, including fruit … which would kill me!
The thing about gestational diabetes is there’s no telling who will get it and who won’t … and there’s really nothing you can do to prevent it anyway. So it’s a wait-and-see game.<<Sigh>>. I’ll keep you posted!
Something else happened in the lab that I’d like to share from a body image standpoint, since this seems to be a recurring theme for me: the evil comparison.
I was seated with three other pregnant women, all around the same general stage of pregnancy … and we all looked really different. I’ve said here before that I’ve been really self-conscious that I don’t have a huge bump (yet!) … and seeing two of these women in particular with huge basketballs under their shirts really made me feel (I’m ashamed to say this) uncomfortable.
I realize I’m carrying small (for now) and low (for now) … I don’t have a huge bump (yet!) and I haven’t really widened (yet!) … but I couldn’t help but feel funny around them.
I know from my doctor visits that I’m doing just fine and Baby Girl is growing as she should; I also know that genetics play into it (as I’ve said before, my mom carried low and small and never gained a lot with any of her pregnancies), and that even though I am eating a little more, I’ve remained physically active throughout my pregnancy — and that surely helps keep extra (i.e., beyond what is necessary for a healthy baby) weight gain at bay.
I know it’s my own hang-up, and rationally I know every single woman’s body — and every single pregnancy — is different … but it’s SO hard not to compare.
I guess it just surprises me that, after all this time, I am reverting back to comparing my body to someone else’s … and this time, instead of feeling like I’m much bigger than others and being self-conscious about that, I am almost feeling the opposite — self-conscious because I’m not as big and worry about it. (Watch, in my second pregnancy I’ll be huge immediately and wishing for this tamer experience!)
Anyway, I don’t have the answers but I share this because it’s part of my experience. As my mom keeps reinforcing to me, “As long as __ is growing and you’re healthy, that’s all that matters.” And my husband and friends keep telling me not to compare, either … Rationally, I know this; know they’re right.
It’s just hard to put into practice.
The irony is if I gained a ton of weight in pregnancy, I’d probably be self-conscious about that, too … just call me Goldilocks, as I’m searching to feel “juuuuust right!” I think I just need to change my mindset about everything and have faith that I’m providing everything I need for my daughter, and not worry about what others look like or say.
How about you? How do you refrain from body comparisons?