31 weeks and going strong

Another 5 week gap between posts, whoops. I’ll bring you up to speed, shall I?

In my last post it was the day before the gestational diabetes test and I wasn’t looking forward to having to stomach that horrible sugary drink. I ended up feeling quite sick after it and it took about 24 hours for me to start to feel better again. Then at my OB appointment a few days later, I was told that I had failed the test (like really failed apparently ) and that I had gestational diabetes.

I can’t even begin to explain how ripped off I felt at being given that news. I already have my fair share of pregnancy worry to deal with, why do I now get this too? I was sent home with some dietary advice (goodbye white carbs) and to start testing my blood sugar 4 times a day – first thing when I wake up (fasting level), and then an hour after breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of my post meal levels have been perfect this whole time but my fasting levels have been consistently high. It’s been a bit stressful to see a high number flash on the screen every morning. I’ve had a whole heap of suggestions from people to eat a low GI snack right before bed and so far have tried at different times; an apple, a slice of multigrain bread, a glass of milk with milo, low GI crackers with cheese – none have worked. My OB explained that it’s not my fault and that my placenta is just making too much hormone that leads to a build up of glucose in the blood and my pancreas can’t deal with it.

She started me on Metformin (3 x 500mg) tablets each night for the diabetes. After more than a week of taking them and seeing no change at all, it was decided that I would also require insulin injections. I had to see an endocrinologist who started me on 14 units of insulin in addition to the 3 x Metformin tablets, all to be taken at night. Fast forward another week and I was still failing my fasting levels so as of yesterday I am now trialling 4 x Metformin tablets and 18 units of insulin. This morning my fasting level was 4.7 which is under so I’m hoping that this will be the turning point and that I can stay consistently under 5 from now on. If I have 3 fasting levels fail in a week then my dose will have to be upped again so fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

In between all this, I had a brief hospital stay due to a change in amniotic fluid loss. As mentioned previously, I’ve been losing an increasing amount of fluid but was told that as long as it continued to be clear and I had no pain then it was ok. Well, I woke up to dark pink fluid on the morning of our 5 year wedding anniversary. I called the pregnancy assessment unit to check with them what I should do. They said to come straight in but not to panic so we organised for my Mum to come and stay with Oscar for a few hours while Candice and I headed into the hospital.

Once there, a midwife tried to find the baby’s heartbeat using a CTG monitor but was initially having trouble. She didn’t really say too much to us but then announced that she was going to “call in some friends” and pressed a buzzer on wall. All of a sudden things got real hectic. We went from having 1 midwife with us to about 7 people crowding around the bed, all seemingly with a job to do. The midwife explained to a doctor that she was having trouble finding the heartbeat and when she could, it kept dropping really low and then she would lose it again. There was a nurse putting an IV line into my hand and another nurse taking blood samples from the other arm. Another 2 were standing over my belly with dopplers, trying to locate the heartbeat while a doctor was setting up an ultrasound instrument to see the baby. Then the OB came in and she was the one that was finally able to find the heartbeat and show us the baby on the screen. I don’t know how Candice felt at that point but I could feel my own heartbeat thundering in my chest. It was a really intense moment and I actually thought at one point, am I about to be taken into surgery to have this baby now?

After I had been monitored for about 30 minutes, I was started on antibiotics and was given a steroid injection in my leg. The monitor was showing regular small contractions but I honestly couldn’t feel them at the time. We were told that I would have to be admitted and would be there for a few days. I was moved up to the pregnancy and maternity ward and given a room. By this time I could feel the tightening contractions which were happening every 10 minutes on the dot. I continued to time them but after an hour they started to become irregular and also hadn’t become painful. The last thing I wanted was to be going into labour so it was a relief to know they were false contractions. The nurses continued with the antibiotics every 6 hours and also gave me the second steroid injection the next day. On the Monday, I was expecting to be discharged so when my OB came to see me on Monday morning and told me that I would have to stay at least one more night, I begged and pleaded to be able to go home. The only reason she wanted me to stay was due to the huge spike in my blood glucose levels. She didn’t want me to go home until they had settled (the steroid injection was directly responsible for the increase). We made a deal that as long as I saw an endocrinologist that day and was shown how to start injecting insulin, my OB would allow me to go home.

I really feel for all the women who need to be on hospital bed rest as opposed to home bed rest. I have a lot to say about bed rest in general but will save that for another post as this one is already incredible long-winded. I’m back at home and taking it very easy, grateful to be back under the same roof as my family. There’s only 9 weeks until this baby is due and it feel like an eternity but also no time at all. Fingers crossed for an uneventful couple of months ahead.

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