Curveball #47: I “failed” the first test for Gestational Diabetes

Because life and this pregnancy have not mounted enough hurdles in my path yet, today I found out that I “failed” the GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) test I took last week as requisitioned by my MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist). The cut-off for “normal” is 7.7 mmol/l. Anything equal to or greater than 11.0 results in an automatic diagnosis of GDM. Mine was 10.7. Not great.

I was uncharacteristically upset about this all morning. I have taken the previa and even the risk of placenta accreta diagnoses more-or-less in stride, but this GDM news had me throwing a pity party and angry with the Universe and God (why me? why now? why this? can’t you cut me a break for a few weeks here?). Things may not be as bad as I feel right now, apparently. I asked Dr. Braverman if he thinks there is any chance this could change (assuming I fail the second test, the fasting 2-hour test, this Thursday, which my Ob considered somewhat likely given I’m still on 40 mg of Prednisone until at least next week) assuming I can get off the steroids or remain stable immunologically on a lower dose (say 20 mg). He said that he’s not a fan of testing and treating GDM before 24 weeks as a firm diagnosis because many patients no longer have blood sugar metabolism issues after they stop Prednisone (which he aims for by 24 weeks if possible).

We saw my ObGyn for the first time this pregnancy this morning. He was awesome at its finest, being supportive of the work we’ve done with Dr. Braverman, explaining what the MFM wrote in her report on last Wednesday’s ultrasound, and generally discussing in a calm, non-alarmist fashion the pros and cons of everything we are doing to keep this pregnancy going and my health risks and those to baby as low as possible. He is always non-alarmist and never condescends to the LP and I, which I appreciate. Today was no exception. He said he will be doing his job and is comfortable letting Braverman call the shots on the immune meds front and to work with the MFM in any further recommendations she may have as she monitors baby and me going forward.

Do you hear that, Azulito/a? We have a team in place for you!

Even though my GP has not yet transferred my care so my OB’s nurse had to look up some of my test results and reports, I decided immediately after our appointment this morning to cancel my last scheduled appointment with my GP and say so long to the stress that is having to wrestle with her disbelief and exasperating “not medically necessary” nonsensical comments at each appointment. Hasta luego o casi nunca, doctora! There is a headache I can live without.

It is such a relief to have a team of doctors taking us seriously and all aiming for a common goal – to support me and this baby to be as safe and healthy as possible until the optimal time for Azulito/a to make her/his entrance into the world outside my womb.

In closing out this wee update, I want to give the Miracle Toddler and the LP a big shout-out.

The LP has been very loving and kind and trying hard to parent as a team with the novel challenges the Miracle Toddler has been mounting of late. Despite having four trials (one lasting over two months) scheduled in March through June and a crazy busy practice generally, he has come with me to all of the scary appointments lately. For this I am deeply grateful. Even if he says almost nothing, his presence lends me strength and a calm I dearly need (the irony of this is lost on most of you but given that the LP is one of the most highly-strung humans I have ever met, trust me when I say there is some irony in this).

The Miracle Toddler has made generous and heartfelt offerings of his own. He has moved me to tears (only rarely of frustration). His newest thing is to tell me multiple times every day that (a) he loves me (and his daddy); and (b) he loves this baby. When I talked to him on the phone from New York yesterday he said “is baby still in your tummy?” and “I love your baby” when I confirmed that baby was still there. I think he likes it when I tell him that I believe he will be the best big brother ever (in case anyone wants to challenge me for using hierarchical language, please note that as the MT’s mother I own without shame or reservation that I will – without hesitation – award him first place even if your kid is a more capable or equally loving sibling. In case you’re wondering, I would expect no less of you.). It melts my heart every time he says “I love your baby” and “I love you, Mom.”

And that, my friends, is enough to keep me going, potential GDM diagnosis and all of the other hiccups and messy stuff being what they may.

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43 thoughts on “Curveball #47: I “failed” the first test for Gestational Diabetes

  1. I cannot believe you are now facing GDM!! Seriously, the universe owes you a break at this point!
    That said, I am thrilled that your local OB was so awesome!! And I love that the LP and your little one are doing so well with supporting you!! Honestly, I’m just so excited that something good is happening in your life!!

    • Thank you. Seriously, do I need to hang a horseshoe around my neck or perform some rite of passage to release me from the bad luck bug? Hopefully Dr. B is right and this may resolve itself. If not, let’s hope I develop some more grace about it should I end up with a GDM diagnosis that sticks around. Thank you for being so happy about the great stuff – the great stuff really matters so much more than these obstacles and hiccups. I need to keep that in perspective (i.e., I need more grace!).

      • With your levels being a touch below their diagnosable range, and being on such high doses of prednisone, I am hopeful that you’ll be fine after that 24 week mark. It’s amazing how we can overcome our own tendencies, as LP did, to support our spouses. The MT sounds like a sweet sweet child.

      • A horseshoe around your neck might not hurt. And if nothing else it will look weird and provide you with countless conversations that will help you focus on something else?
        Seriously though, I do hope Dr. B is right. I am so happy that you have him in your corner helping you navigate all the landmines you keep unknowingly stepping in.
        Today I am trying to focus on happy things, so I thought I’d project that onto you as well. πŸ™‚

  2. Oh girl. I hope that it turns out to be nothing. You need to catch a break. 😦 Yay for a compassionate OB and for saying good bye to your GP. Keeping fingers crossed for second test. ❀

  3. Seriously I can’t believe another obstacles for you to deal with. Just know your so strong and doing an amazing job baby and your MT is lucky to have a strong mom as yourself.. Happy you also have a team finally behind you makes a difference. Sending prayers for you and baby always…

  4. Three cheers for having a team! GDM is for sure a set back but one you can handle. MT sounds adorable. I’m pretty happy that your baby is still in your tummy too!

  5. I can’t even fathom how you’re being thrown ANOTHER curve ball. This is out of hand. I really don’t know how you can stand it sometimes. You are one hell of a strong woman. I think I’d be permanently crumpled up in bed feeling extra sorry for myself because on top of it all, I can’t have any wine. I am so glad to see that you’ve found a team of doctors who have it together. It’s definitely time to dump the GP. Sometimes you just don’t know what you didn’t have until you suddenly have it, right?

    • That is so true about not knowing what’s missing until there it is and without any teeth-pulling to have it appear. Crumpling in bed sounds like a great idea frankly. Preferrably with a good book and a glass or seven of wine. The LP and I had a pact that he would sneak in an adored (or any decent) bottle of red after I delivered the MT. I missed it so much in that pregnancy. That plan went by the wayside when I developed a complication and had an emergency induction but I did have wine after nursing very early on after we got home. I highly recommend it. I’m sure it sped up my recovery. πŸ˜‰

  6. I have to marvel at your mounting list of obstacles–your pregnancy is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest! And only a handful of people are capable of such a journey, which makes you quite exceptional ❀
    Also I'm happy to hear your boys are supporting you πŸ™‚ XOXO

  7. you really ought to catch a break! So sorry about the GD! And . . .I’m glad to hear you are rid of a shitty doctor and have a great OB! this, plus an adorable toddler, are what you deserve!

  8. So glad to hear that your docs are working in concert with one another. God is giving you test after test to say TRUST ME! No matter what it looks like, no matter what the report, TRUST ME ! Your faith will give you strength. I am so happy for you and LP and MT. MT is THE cutest!! Continue to stay calm and remember ENJOY this blessing !! Xoxo

  9. UGH! Super annoying! However, don’t jump to conclusions yet. I also “failed” my first GD test this pg. I did the 3 hour fasting test and passed with flying colors. So glad you have the MT and LP to balance out the crap! πŸ™‚

    • Were you on high steroid doses then? My doctors and my IV nurse say GDM diagnoses are really common while on prednisone at higher doses (over 10 mg – I’m on 40 but have been on 60 for a month in this pg’y too). I’m assuming I will fail because I am tired of being blind sided this pg’y. If it’s good news instead I will buy myself a gluten free brownie and coconut milk ice cream to celebrate. πŸ˜‰

      • Sounds like a perfect plan! I was not on pred at the time, but I can see how that would be connected to blood sugar levels. I will hope for brownie and ice cream celebration. πŸ™‚

  10. I know GD is a huge obstacle to overcome, but I am so happy that your OB came through (I felt in my bones that would happen). Your team is great. My therapist likes to say that I need a holistic health posse (which includes her, my acupuncturist and one supportive RE). You have your posse. In addition to your beautiful family. Hugs.

  11. SERIOUSLY, UNIVERSE? Just WTF. I am glad that Dr. B thinks it could be from the prednisone, though. I hope that is the case, and that you can lower or stop it altogether soon. Your team of people sounds just wonderful. Life is throwing you curveballs, but at least the experts now have your back. I’m glad you have been having good moments with the LP and MT. It’s those moments that get us through.

  12. Also, this random, but do you have any posts about elevated anticardiolipins/antiphospholipid syndrome? I have no idea if this is something you’re dealing with or have ever dealt with or not, but you do seem to be a wealth of information on the reproductive immunology front! I searched your two immunology categories and didn’t see anything, but maybe I’m just not looking in the right place. My hematologist left a message on my voicemail last night saying that my anticardiolipins were high, which is part of antiphospholipid syndrome. He didn’t go into detail, but I gather that this is some type of immunologic blood clotting thing. He then went on to say that he’s going to recommend to my RE that I go on blood thinners and Lovenox the next pregnancy. His call came several days after the nurse called and said all my tests were normal. So now I am kind of like, huh. He’s not back in his office until Monday, so I’m trying to do research in the meantime and not finding much other than brief overviews.

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