I got the dreaded call. Though this is my third pregnancy, I failed the one-hour glucose test by three points. Three little points. I’d have to return to take the more grueling three-hour version. I wish I could say that I took this news gracefully, but you better believe I called back and begged and pleaded with the nurse to let me retake the one-hour test (yes, I’m that girl). The nurse wouldn’t budge. Ugh. She explained the test, which in a nutshell was that I would have to drink a disgusting drink, wait in the office for three hours (no leaving) and give blood all morning—oh yeah, after fasting for 12 hours while PREGNANT. Not my idea of a good time.
I ate an extra helping at dinner the night before the test, knowing that I’d have to fast all morning. Remembering a Muslim friend of mine who fasted 10 hours a day all month for Ramadan, I felt (slightly) guilty for pathetically complaining that I had to skip one measly meal. After leaving the kids with the sitter, I hopped in my car and prayed I’d pass.
The nurses all gave me sympathetic looks of I’m sorry we had to ask you back here to torture you, as I walked in the door, which I certainly appreciated. The morning started with the first of what would be four blood draws. After that, my friendly nurse handed me an even sweeter drink than I had in the previous test. But she and I chatted and laughed as I choked it down. I gave a rueful thumbs up to the nurses at the station as I lugged my bag out to the waiting area. My stomach started revolting during that first hour, but I managed to keep the drink down. Then every hour for three hours, my sweet, chipper nurse came out, apologized, then jabbed me with yet another needle and I would head back out to the waiting area. Three hours. One nasty drink. Four blood draws.
But here’s what I didn’t account for—three hours TO MYSELF. Oh my sweet Jesus, there was a beauty and silver lining to this pain and inconvenience that I hadn’t taken into account. I sat in silence. I wrote. I read. I had thoughts. It was beautiful. Honestly, by the end of it, I was begging that nurse to take more of my blood if it meant I could sit there guiltlessly for a few more hours.
By the end of the morning, I actually felt refreshed. Like I had spent the morning at a spa instead of chugging down foul sugar water and being stabbed several times over the course of the morning.
Our sitter looked at me dubiously as I bounced back home after allegedly giving blood four times on an empty stomach. “It was rough,” I said.
(Oh, and I passed).
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