The Test

About a week ago, I was struggling with a nasty cold and nastier back ache and chugging a 10 ounce bottle of a glucose drink that tasted like a melted orange popsicle in preparation for my glucose tolerance test to assess whether I possibly had gestational diabetes. I didn’t have symptoms, but having PCOS, being overweight and having a pre-pregnancy high-normal A1C increased my risk, so I had to have the test earlier than normal and will have it again around the 24th week or so.

Yesterday I learned that the results of that test were normal. We also learned that the sequencing test we had (an ultrasound followed by 2 rounds of bloodwork, each a month apart) also determined that we have little to no risk of having a baby with chromosomal/genetic abnormalities.

Let me take this moment for a public service announcement:

The sequencing test wasn’t required. It was recommended. It’s less invasive than amniocentesis. I’m fairly certain I’d never do it again. It leads to unnecessary worrying and anxiety and anticipation. We did it because we thought we’d want to know. And that knowing would be helpful. I don’t know that those thoughts were really true/valid.

We’re currently in week 17 and according to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” have a turnip sized baby. 5-ish inches (from head to butt) and 5-ish ounces.

I’m trying to get back to a gym schedule after taking last week off due to illness. I’m keeping it easy: walking, weights. I’m making a couple new recipes and planning healthy meals (Rocco DiSpirito’s healthy versions of General Tso’s Chicken and an asian stir fry with pork and snow peas). I’m resting, relaxing and reading. Evan and I started reading this (out loud to each other so we can discuss as we go along) together. It’s pretty fantastic stuff. And I’m planning. Yesterday I reviewed a week by week calendar of professional development and job related goals and projects. I’m starting a committee to assist me with some of the projects. The calendar is pretty and will soon be translated into hourly work blocked off on my work schedule to limit or discourage distractions.

Essentially, I’m writing my story. And feeling good about it.

This week is kinda back to the routine, except for the fact that I’m working all next weekend and I had to go in for a couple hours tonight. I’ve started plotting out my nights to remember what’s important (a healthy dinner, a good walk, some reading time and time for my favorite shows–not just a mindless perusing of everything on TV).

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3 responses to “The Test

  1. i feel exactly as you do about the genetic testing. we won’t do it for subsequent pregnancies. we had one of those moments where the tech was like, “oh. hang on. i think i see something bad. let me get the doctor.” and then we had to wait in the room TERRIFIED for eons until this doctor came to talk with us. i will never put myself through voluntary testing ever again. nope. no thanks! not worth it. i’m so glad those tests exist, but if we’re having a healthy pregnancy i’ll just skip them next time.

  2. I agree Tina about the “sequencing testing” Tina. With my first pregnancy, 10 years ago, they called it a “triple screen” or “quad screen” test. Being a first pregnancy, I just went along with recommended testing like most people do, I think. We got back results that showed a higher than normal risk for a genetic defect. Of course, we freaked out. I had an amnio a week or so later (as soon as they could do it, then had to wait over a week for results, so it involved over two weeks of freaking out waiting) and it showed everything was fine. So, weeks of freaking out for nothing.

    After that I did more research on those tests and discovered that they have a very high rate of false positives, meaning they often show a higher than normal risk, leading to further testing, then everything turns out fine. They also often show false negatives, meaning they show the risk is low, no further testing is done, then the baby is born with previously unforeseen genetic problems (like Down’s, Turner’s, etc). Basically, all that test can show is the need for further testing or possibly give a false sense of security that further testing is not actually needed.

    With my second pregnancy, I just declined the test and had an amnio as soon as possible (I was 35 by then so it was recommended anyway), and I did want an amnio for reasons like you stated. We wanted to know and be prepared for any issues. Luckily both my babies were born without any issues and are very healthy, although they are not babies anymore 😦

    Anyway, I like your public service announcement.

  3. I had gestational diabetes with my daughter – I thought by now (19 years later!) they would have come up with a better tasting substance to drink, but based on your description, um, not so much!

    Glad things are going well so far and thanks for your virtual hugs!

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