Saturday, July 28, 2007

Orange and Fizzy: The glucose tolerance test

No gestational diabetes here - woohoo! Yesterday I had yet another pregnancy-related doctor's appointment. At the previous appointment I was given a small bottle of what appeared to be medicinal orange soda - the "medicinal" part of the description comes from the white label with a big 50 typed on the side - along with instructions to drink said bottle right before my next scheduled visit. The test involves the withdrawal of blood an hour after consumption to check your glucose tolerance. Mine is fine, which I am more pleased to know than expected because I started reading up on gestational diabetes and came across the following information that I found quite troubling:
"The major risk for babies of women with gestational diabetes is excessive weight at birth...These large babies are at greater risk of birth injury than are others. This is largely due to shoulder dystocia, which occurs when the head is delivered through the birth canal, but the shoulders are too big to come through, preventing the baby from being born."*
The scale of excessive weight for baby reaches an astounding 14 pounds. 14. Pounds. Dear Zeus, that is the size of a Butterball turkey. I'm guessing that this does not feel good for the baby OR the mom. The book does not address how this situation is rectified but one can only imagine it is not fun, whatever they have to do to deliver the kid. Fortunately, the numbers of women who develop gestational diabetes is relatively small, in the 3 to 5 percent range for women in the U.S.

So, how bad is the fizzy orange drink? Not bad. Über sugary. I was advised that most women preferred the drink chilled so the bottle was immediately placed in the fridge after my last visit, with a warning to Darr not to drink it, where it remained until approximately 9am yesterday morning when I pulled it out of the fridge and commenced consumption, pausing mere seconds to snap a pic to memorialize the event. I found slurping the fizzy orange concoction through a big straw to be a most effective means of transferring the drink from the glass to my insides. Where, I am happy to report, the beverage remained. (One side effect of drinking this stuff is vomiting. As if you aren't already vomiting enough, eh?) On the scale of things to fear about pregnancy, drinking this beverage doesn't even really register, especially not after seeing that damn birthing video...

* Harms, Roger W. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. New York: Harper Collins, 2004.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having 2 almost 10 lb babies--and no Gestational diabetes (they tested me twice) I can assure you it is no small feet. 14 lbs I can't imagine.
You only need to worry (size wise) when the OBGYN starts to say "your baby will be 'above average' size." That's code for BIG.