Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Baby III Week 28: AKA, The Diabetes Week

28 Weeks

Twenty-eight is one of my favorite numbers, my second favorite actually... it's my birthday, Milo's birthday, date we found out we were pregnant with Ash... and it's double my favorite number, 14. But in the context of pregnancy it means one thing... ok two... third trimester (woo!) and diabetes (boo!). This was the diabetes week.

Most women are getting their glucose tolerance test this week, but I decided to opt out of it because honestly, I don't need to bleed off and on into a little tube for 3 hours to know that there's a good chance I'll have gestational diabetes again. Last time I fainted and I've never successfully made it through the test, so I decided to just self monitor.

Monitoring should be simple, this is science right? As a numbers and facts girl... I wish. Medicine is far more of a guessing game... and no one has the answer sheet. If you look up what the blood glucose (sugar) limits are half a dozen sources will give you different answers. Different doctors will also give you different answers. Some say a fasting glucose of 72-125 is normal, some say not over 89, the American Diabetes Association says under 100, the World Health Organization says not over 95. When to test is disagreed upon as well, with some doctors having their patients test one hour after eating and others two hours, and the after meal blood glucose level that is considered high varies widely as well. 

The meters are also inexact, you can test twice back to back and get a reading that is up to 10 points different.

It seems that doctors would recognize these inconsistencies and act accordingly, but that's not the case at all. Each doctor chooses which rules they want their patients to play by and let me tell you from experience.... when you are sitting with a doctor scowling at your chart, highlighting every blood sugar reading that is even 1 point over, and if you get 3 in a week they are going to put you and your baby on insulin, that's a huge problem. Even within the same practice I talked to doctors who disagreed, some thought I was doing fantastic, some treated me like I was shoving doughnuts through syringes into my veins. Doesn't it seem like if they knew how to treat this disease they would be able to at least define it? 

Honestly, I've done exactly what doctors have said twice and it did not positively affect my outcomes. I still had big babies who were born with low blood sugar. Their guessing game is doing nothing but costing me time and money (SO much money, about $500 after insurance each pregnancy) when I could be doing everything they are doing at home. I'm calling bullshit on the way doctors attempt to monitor gestational diabetes and this time around I'm not playing.

The results of my monitoring have been ok. Fasting has been under 95. At first I was going by what my last doctor suggested, not over 89, so my numbers were high according to that, but I've decided if it's under 100 I wont worry. I started testing two hours after eating and all my readings have been well within the range of normal. I'm still going to monitor throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I DO believe gestational diabetes is a real condition with real risks... what I don't believe is that doctors have more than a vague idea of how to treat it. 

Any natural hippie points I earn for sticking it to the medicine man and opting out of formal diabetes care I probably lose in dealing with heartburn. I can't do it guys... I can't be super awesome and eat herbs and drink milk (or not drink milk because it's puss and blood and cow abuse?) and put potatoes in ungodly places (oh, that was the natural hemorrhoid cure)... I got Pepcid... and it is so amazing... seriously, there is no way heroin is better than the feeling you get after popping one chewable Pepcid after weeks of mind altering acid reflux. Sorry hippies... you lose this one.

I'm up somewhere between 27-30lbs. I still weigh exactly the same as I did this week with Ash... and I was like... running still. Silly me. Never let me run when I'm that big again. Bobbing like a dead seal in a pool is ok though.

I think we are about due for another belly compare, yes?

28 weeks with baby three
28 weeks with Ash

A little over 27 weeks with Milo, I don't have a good 28 week one.
Baby is an eggplant. Gross. Hope next week's is better.

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