Monday, May 9, 2011

16-week midwife appointment and my thoughts on gestational diabetes testing

This morning, we had our 16-week appointment with my midwife (Christine). She is just so, so nice and I am SO happy we found her.

The appointment was short, in part because we didn't really have any questions (everything is going very smoothly). Carl did ask her whether I needed to scale back my workouts at all, and she said no (as long a I am still feeling good, which I am). But she was in total agreement that I should probably hold off on trying to climb ropes at Sweat360, which is totally fine because I have no intention of attempting a rope climb until after the baby is born.

We also listened to the baby's heartbeat again, and it is beating strong -- between 150 and 160.

Otherwise, the main topic of conversation at the appointment was the gestational diabetes test, which typically takes place between sometime 24 and 28 weeks. I have no intention of drinking that sugary concoction. I just won't do it. Because my diet is so low in sugar I think the chances of a false positive are pretty high. And even if I didn't get a false positive result, I would probably get sick from the test anyway. Plus, I've been reading an incredibly detailed medical textbook that my chiropractor loaned to me called Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year: A Holistic Guide to Evaluating the Health of Mother and Baby by Anne Frye and Rhonda Wheeler. The book says the following:

"If the diet is good and there are no classic diabetic symptoms, tests are not needed and are best avoided."

Nonetheless, I do see at least some value in screening for gestational diabetes (given my age, 38, and the fact that I do have a family history of diabetes), so I asked Christine whether there is an alternative. She said yes -- hurray! I cannot remember the exact name of the test (serum glucose, maybe?), but this is how it works: I will fast for eight hours, then they'll draw blood. After the blood draw, I'll eat some carbs and then they'll draw my blood again. This will tell them everything they need to know (and I won't be poisoning my body with a nasty, sugary drink). BTW, this is not the same as the A1C test -- Christine said the A1C measures glucose levels over a 4-month period, so it doesn't provide an accurate read on a pregnant woman's current situation.

Christine did ask me why I didn't want to take the standard test, but she was completely supportive of my choice to skip it in favor of the alternative.

At the end of our appointment, we scheduled our next appointment and the 20-week ultrasound! That is when we'll be able to find out the answer to the question: boy or girl? I'm so excited to find out!

After I got home, I tried to take some photos of my 16-week belly. It is near-impossible to do this on my own, but I did my best ...

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