If you are looking for a new show to binge, I highly recommend Sex Education on Netflix. There are 3 seasons and it’s delightful and honest and of course, has Gillian Anderson in it. She’s excellent in everything she does. In this particular show she plays a sex therapist and writer raising a teenage son on her own. SPOILER ALERT…….!!!!!!
….in one season she finds out she’s pregnant. She’s 48 and feeling “off” and goes to her doctor to find out about menopause when SURPRISE. That’s all I will say, so no more spoilers.
However, I bring this up because in third season when she’s an OLD PREGNANT LADY (eye roll) I could not relate to it more. Yes, 48 is a bit different than 41 (like me) but the comments and condescension she gets from multiple people was so relatable to me. In one particular scene she’s at the doctor having an ultrasound done and it’s this crotchety old white man saying wildly rude and inappropriate things about her age. One of my favorite scenes in the third season is her flipping out on him, demanding to see his supervisor and ripping into EVERY OTHER man at the hospital she encounters. I could SO relate!
I definitely felt the snide comments, veiled and backhanded, when I was pregnant with Logan. Being called “geriatric” and “advanced maternal age” at every visit. I WAS 35 YEARS OLD. So yeah. Women get it from all sides, and ridiculously early.
Now, 41, pregnant with my second and last bundle of joy, I’ve encountered similar. Being told from the get-go that I was “high risk” just because of my age and my BMI (an entirely other topic I could rage about). Even though everything seems to be going well…
When I entered the third trimester I had to go get my glucose test done again. If you remember, I had to do it at around 14 weeks “BECAUSE OF MY BMI” and my test was perfect–like 98 I think? When it is supposed to be 130 or less.
This time I was a few points over the 130. My doctor told me I had to take the 3 hour test. I was pretty upset and frustrated but I did it. Fasting for 12+ hours, they draw your blood, then you drink this absolutely disgusting drink (it’s 10x worse than the 1 hour one) and get your blood redrawn 3 more times over the next 3 hours. That first hour is pretty awful. I felt nauseated and had a headache. I just felt yucky and it got slightly better with each hour that passed. When it was all done, I drove home feeling sick. Michael made me an omelet for an early lunch and I had some tea and took Tylenol and then crawled into bed with Bella and Stevie.
I took an hour long nap and then got up and laid on the couch for a bit. I started to feel a little better. Then I got the test results. I’d “failed” two out of the four blood draws so apparently that meant I had Gestational Diabetes.
I was given a bag of stuff–testing equipment, strips, etc. I was signed up for a 90 minute zoom lessons about GD, how to do the test and nutrition. The class was not great. Like, no bedside manner. No introduction. It would have been nice for the nurse to start with “Welcome. I know Gestational Diabetes sounds scary, I just want you to know it’s NOT YOUR FAULT.” But nope…90 minutes of a slideshow about all the side effects to mom and baby, how to test your blood (which wasn’t helpful and I ended up just watching a youtube video and figuring it out for myself) and then a nutrition run down.
I cried. A lot. I was angry, I was sad, I felt like a failure. Then I started to do research. It didn’t make sense to me. I was fine with Logan. I passed the first test. I exercise 5 days a week. I found some medical journals that talked about things that can contribute to Gestational Diabetes. The big one was age. Yay. Another was one I wasn’t expecting: medications. A medication I take has been linked to an increase in Gestational Diabetes.
Anyways, I got the testing stuff set up and started doing it. I am supposed to test my blood sugar first thing in the morning, and then 2 hours after each meal. It’s not the greatest, the machine is kind of touchy. My fingers hurt. My numbers are consistently fine (they had a spike after I had the covid shot and apparently illness can affect blood sugar a lot).
I had an appointment with a dietitian. And I lucked out, I got a good one. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know I’ve had not great luck talking to them in the past (where they tell me I should become vegetarian, or “just add some brown rice to your diet” and then of course, the one that told me to do keto). But this one I talked to was excellent and actually specializes in Eating Disorders and nutrition.
I briefly told her my history and how triggering this has all been–going right back to the mindspace of really restricting, cutting out all carbs, etc. She was like “NO!” GD doesn’t mean you need to cut out carbs. She also explained that Gestational Diabetes is from the placenta and rarely based on anything the mother is doing (food or exercise wise), just a weird hormonal thing the placenta is doing.
I felt better after talking to her. She was sensitive and understanding and reassured me that my numbers are all fine and my diet and exercise is fine. Basically, keep doing what I’ve been doing. I had a follow-up appointment with my OB and she said that if my numbers remain good for a few weeks I can reduce the testing to fasting in the AM and one other meal a day.
This is a long post to say, man it’s been a rough month. But the end is in sight.