Pour Some Sugar On Me

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings

What does a pregnant teacher do on her last day of freedom over Spring Break? She wakes up and drinks a bottle of sugar water of course!

On Monday, I went to the lab around the corner from Dr. Fiiiiiine’s office and presented them my paperwork ordering me to have the glucose tolerance test. I had no idea what to expect from the routine test that checks for gestational diabetes, except that people said it was horrible and long and disgusting and the worst thing about pregnancy. Awesome.

I wasn’t too concerned about the whole thing as I haven’t gained that much weight in the past 6 months of pregnancy and I’ve never typically had blood sugar problems, so I decided to document the morning.

After waiting for almost 30 minutes just to get to the back room for the control blood draw (I guess the morning after Easter is an exciting day for patients to do lab work), I survived the first prick just fine. I’m actually really easy going when it comes to blood draws. I don’t mind them. And that’s surprising coming from the girl who procrastinated and dreaded the flu shot earlier this year. And don’t ask me about the first time I got my eyebrows waxed and FAINTED in the salon (now you don’t have to, because I just told you everything). So I really am a big baby, but blood draws don’t get me all queasy thank goodness since pregnancy is full of ’em.

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After my first blood draw, I got my orange flavored “cocktail” from the “bartender” in the white lab coat. He couldn’t decide whether to run away or laugh when I leaned on the counter and said, “I’d like 50 grams of your top shelf dextrose beverage! Make it a strong one!”

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So, bottoms up! I drank up and was surprised to find out it wasn’t horrible and disgusting like people said. It was like Diet Sunkist, which, if you know me at all, you know is my favorite beverage. Except this particular varietal of Diet Sunkist had lots of sugar and zero bubbles. That part was disappointing, but really, it was like snow cone syrup! And who doesn’t like Snow Cone syrup?! Call me Buddy the Elf, but that sugary delight is THE reason to get a snow cone and now my insurance was paying for me to drink it. Score.

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I had 5 minutes to drink all 10 ounces and I’m not usually a chugger (I was a lame sorority girl), so the timed consumption was a little difficult for me, but I paced myself appropriately. Toward the end I noticed that the drink is kosher. Not that I keep kosher… bring on the pepperoni pizza… But as a Jewish mother-to-be, I appreciate the effort. Then again, I’m sure the medical supplier of the drink knows what’s good for them, considering the average prescriber. Anyway, I giggled to myself that the drink is kosher, but on the final day of Passover, it was probably NOT kosher for Passover. Oops.

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And before I knew it, I was finished. I drank the whole thing in just under 5 minutes. I brought the empty bottle up to the “bartender” in the white lab coat, presented my trophy, and declared “I’ll have another!” He chuckled politely — probably to amuse me — and then asked me to throw it away and sit for an hour. I brought books with me with every intention to read, but iPhone trumps paperbacks. So between Facebook and Words with Friends, I kept myself busy for most of the time.


About 15 minutes into the waiting game, I felt my baby go absolutely nuts. I asked the phlebotomist if that was normal and she said that just like little kids, fetuses love sugar and get a rush. No kidding. Baby was doing cartwheels and somersaults and jumping jacks in there. I was sure that the crowded waiting room of people could all see my baby’s body parts poking out through my shirt. I was like a human bounce house for our daughter who clearly loves sugar drinks. I think we may name her Buddy the Elf-ette. Either that, or I’m carrying a hummingbird.

At any rate, during my daughter’s first experience getting high on sugar (just say no!), I started to get very sleepy. I had felt fine — no nausea, no dizziness, no vomiting, like the really comforting warning label indicated — but definitely started to crash. All I wanted was to curl up in a ball and go to sleep.

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It was finally noon — sugar high noon — and I had 30 minutes left to wait. My tushie was getting tired of sitting, and I was starting to get hungry. Oh yeah, did I mention I had to fast for 12 hours prior to the initial blood draw? And that there was a giant bowl of chocolate Easter candy on the “bartender’s” counter staring at me? Why couldn’t I just eat a jar of egg-shaped Reese’s or Sees chocolates? Hel-lo? They have sugar, too! I should really have been a doctor.

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Finally, tick tick tick, the clock struck 12:35 and I was called back for my second blood draw. I sloooowwwwwly stood up, felt a little lightheaded, prayed to the pregnancy/self esteem gods to keep me upright in the packed waiting room full of people staring at my belly, and cautiously walked to the back room for the tourniquet/vein routine. The phlebotomist probably thought I had a hobby of drug use thanks to my vast awareness of my vein blueprint and immediate acquisition of the squishy-squeezy ball.

And just like that, I was done. I’d survived and beaten the wimpy pregnant girl odds and thought I deserved a medal. I was pretty impressed with myself when I left the lab.

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So instead of a medal, I rewarded myself with a delicious meal. I was hungry and needed some protein (and French fries and a chocolate malt) so I met my folks for a break-the-diabetes-test-fast meal and enjoyed the sustenance.

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And as happy as I was to mark this to-do off my list, I was even happier to get a call the very next day that everything was fine and I passed the test with flying colors. What sacharine-sweet news.

I’m sure Baby Friedman is a little bummed she won’t get to enjoy the by-products of a retest, but I, on the other hand, am quite pleased to continue the pregnancy with a normal plan of action. And more chocolate malts.

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  1. 5/6/2011 10:12 AM

    dear lord if pregnancy involves many blood tests i am a goner and perhaps should never consider motherhood. i am incredibly fainty/wussy with all needles. in fact just entering the lab my face becomes pale and the lab workers all ask what’s wrong with me! 🙁