Tuesday 25 February 2020

Pregnancy Update: 24 Weeks

Week 24 has been all about gestational diabetes for me. I don't have it, or not that I know of anyway, but I had an appointment for the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) coming up so it was on my mind. After having one perfect home birth and one imperfect hospital birth, I'm keen to try and avoid all things medical this time, if I can. 

The only risk factor I have for gestational diabetes is Ember's eye-watering birth weight. Yes, she was massive (the size of a large elephant), but she was also very late (17 days, don't you know). If she'd been born on time (wouldn't that have been nice), she would have been under the weight limit and I wouldn't need the glucose tolerance test at all. It all felt kind of arbitrary, and I've been obsessing over it for weeks.

AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services) have a book about gestational diabetes which I was keen to read before making up my mind. I like to research. The lovely doulas from Greater Manchester Doulas very kindly leant me a copy of the book so I could make an informed choice. I found the book really helpful and it gave me the confidence to discuss the test with my midwife at my 24-week appointment. 

By this point, I'd already decided I was probably going to decline the test (unless my wonderful midwife managed to convince me otherwise). From my research, I'd already figured out that a gestational diabetes diagnosis would make everyone panic that was my baby was going to be huge. [Spoiler: it probably is. I think I just make big babies.] I'd then be offered growth scans and possibly an induction, both of which I would refuse, so really, what was the point in the test? 

At my appointment, I mentioned to the midwife that I was thinking of cancelling the test. She smiled wryly like she had perhaps been expecting me to say this. She said that if glucose showed up in my urine test at my appointments then I should have it, and I was happy to agree to that. 

In the meantime, I've decided to eat a low glycemic diet so that even if I did have gestational diabetes (which I don't), my blood sugars would be regulated. So, for the rest of the pregnancy, I'll be eating a vegan low glycemic diet. This means no sugar, no white bread, no pasta, no white rice. Basically, all of the best foods are off-limits. I'm ok with this though. Even on Pancake Day which I truly feel shows my commitment to the cause. 

My 24-week appointment fell in half-term so I took the kids with me. Ember told the midwife all about the giant pond in our garden (it was a lawn, it's now a puddle) and how she'd just finished her last piece of Christmas chocolate. And she suggested that maybe the baby would come out that day and then seemed disappointed when the midwife said not. It took the midwife a while to find the heartbeat (always terrifying) and Ember suggested that perhaps that was because the baby didn't really like the midwife. 

I spent most of my 24th week of pregnancy in a bad mood in the bath. It's possible I am hormonal, or hungry. I couldn't go walking all week because of half-term and I don't think this helped. When I did finally get to go after a week off, my pelvis was not happy. I think the key is to never stop walking and then it's ok. I will be making this my mantra for the rest of the pregnancy. 

If you missed last week's update, find it at Pregnancy Update: 23 Weeks.

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