24 Weeks: What’s Up Doc?


[Baby KERF 20 weeks!]

So far I’ve been really luckily that other than that 7 week scare, things in my pregnancy have gone smoothly thus far. My doctor visits occur once a month (for now) and are pretty basic: weight, blood pressure, urine sample, chat with doctor, heartbeat listen (!), and now, fundal height measuring.

At my 24.5 week appointment this week, here were some of my stats:

Weight gain: 11 pounds (from first appt, more like 13 from pre-pregnancy)

Blood pressure: 92/60

Baby’s heartbeat: 150 bpm

Fundal height: 26 weeks

That last one took me by surprise. I have felt that it took me longer to show than others, so I figured I’d be right on track and definitely not ahead. My doctor said at this point the number doesn’t mean too much. I wonder if I just have a high uterus but not a wide one? Pear instead of apple? Although Wikipedia says give or take 1-3 cm of error.

Curious, but I’ll take the number 26 any day!

Doctor says my weight gain is right on track and blood pressure and heartbeat were good.

A Minor Concern

One question I did have for him: I had a couple of cervix twinges last week. Enough to make me wonder if something was changing, but not enough to worry. Luckily, they went away. But when I brought this up to him, he noted that during my 22 week ultrasound, my cervix was on the short end of normal, so next week I go back for an ultrasound to make sure everything is OK. I’m not worried (since the pains were very brief and mild and because I’m still normal) but I’m glad to be checked out. HOPING to peek at the baby from above too, but I don’t want to be too pushy : )

Honey, Suga Suga


Coming up: my glucose test. [Which means I am so close to the third trimester!!!] It’s a walk-in service, so my doctor told me to do it about a week before my next appointment, so 3 weeks from now. I’m really only nervous about the needle part. And just maybe feeling sick from drinking the juicy juice. I talked to my RD friend Caitlin about gestational diabetes because she ended up having GDM during her pregnancy last year, and she said that she hadn’t been too active in her pregnancy. After her diagnosis though, she really stepped up workouts and her blood sugar was so much more under control with regular exercise (more than diet). So I’m hoping that since I’ve been active almost daily over the past 6 months things are OK in the blood department. But we will see!

I didn’t read the paperwork until I got home and it says in two places: THIS IS NOT A FASTING TEST (although …"it is recommended that you go at a time when you have not recently consumed a large meal or sugary snack”). I called my doctor back and asked for a more specific recommendation. Should I go at 8am before breakfast or should I go maybe at 11am, 3 hours after breakfast? And maybe I should have fewer carbs at breakfast that day? I want the test to be accurate and don’t want to cheat or anything for the health of the baby, but I also don’t want to give myself an unnecessary reason to fail the 1 hour.

The nurse said to have something before I go but just not something too carby. I guess there is a concern about too much glucose on the empty stomach making people woozy. I asked her about yogurt and a little bit of fruit and she was wishy-washy about the fruit and recommend eggs and toast instead. I talked to Lynsie about it and she said she had a hard boiled egg (at the recommendation of her midwife) and brought peanut butter crackers to snack on right after the test. I think that’s what I’ll do – and eat more when I get home if I’m still hungry!

I also came across this blog post about alternatives to the fake-orange liquid. Wouldn’t it be so nice if we could just have a measured amount of real food glucose instead? I called my lab first, and they said they had never heard of this request and would need a written note from my doctor. So I called there next and spoke with the nurse and she basically said no. I know I could refuse the test or be more assertive, but it’s really just one bottle of gross soda-like substance, so I don’t really think it’s going to do any harm. I can see why they want to have everything completely standardized for an optimal test result. But still, I would much prefer to eat banana, bread and juice! (Or ice cream or cake with buttercream or anything more palatable!)





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72 thoughts on “24 Weeks: What’s Up Doc?”

  1. Good Luck with the glucose test! I took mine before breakfast and it worked out fine. The sugary drink didn’t make me sick or anything. The drink didn’t taste too bad either, more like a flat orange soda. I just chugged it real quick.

  2. I was really nervous about this test with my first pregnancy and especially drinking that awful drink. Turns out it wasn’t that bad at all. Really no big deal. It tastes like the generic orange drink McDonalds used to serve a long time ago. Just drink it cold over ice and you shouldn’t have any problems. I ate a slice of whole wheat toast with a fried egg and a piece of cheddar cheese, and had a pack of peanut butter crackers in my bag for after the test. I felt completely fine the whole time. Good luck – you’ll do great!!!

  3. Do you not like orange soda? Or is it that it’s not ‘real food’? I didn’t think the glucose drink tasted bad, but I have a huge sweet tooth too!

  4. I had gestational diabetes with my first. I had to follow a special diet throughout the pregnancy and it really kept things in check. I wasn’t that active then, either. My following two pregnancies, however, I made a point to walk a little more and it helped because I didn’t have it with either of those.
    The test is a breeze. I hate needles, too, but once you get through the first one, the rest are simple and fast. I also brought peanut butter crackers to eat as soon as I was finished and that worked fine.
    Make sure you drink the sweet drink cold. It will taste pretty nasty warm. 🙂
    Oh, and that little guy will be flip flopping all over the place after you drink that, too. 🙂
    I also was told I had an incompetent cervix with my first pregnancy. Everything turned out fine and I went on to have two more perfect pregnancies later without any issue. 🙂
    I’m glad that things are going well so far for you. You look great!

  5. Hey Kath! I just did that test a few weeks ago and I was nervous too. But they gave the choice between a lemon lime flavor or orange, I chose the orange and it tasted just like that Hi-C orange drink from McDonalds (if you’re familiar 😉 )

    Good luck!

  6. I assume they want straight glucose without fiber, fat, protein, because those would all affect how your blood glucose goes up/down, and then it’s not a standard comparison to use.

    1. Yep! I am a clinical lab scientist for a living (meaning I’m the one who runs the glucoses they draw from you) & the glucose you’re given has to be exactly the same for everyone for your value to be compared to the normals. 😉

  7. how nice that they let you eat something before the test. For both of my pregnancies the dr. said “fasting”. It is so hard for a pregnant person to go that long without food- I passed out both times in the office and had a horrible experience, all to find out that I did Not have GD.
    I’m sure you will be fine, you’re exercising and eating well, and that’s the best thing you can do!

    1. It depends on the test ordered- the 1 hour test is non-fasting, but the two hour screening test which many folks are getting these days is a fasting test, as is the 3 hour confirmatory test.

  8. Hey! My doctor let me choose between the flavors of orange and fruit punch. I’m not a fan of the sugary drink either, but the fruit punch wasn’t bad at all. Maybe try that one! It reminded me of the kiddo days where I drank Hawaiian Punch at birthday parties! I saw your post about swings, etc. We went with a standard, plain ‘ole Graco swing and loved it, but I really, really wish I would have gotten a MamaRoo. I’m like you—it was too modern for our taste and to blend in our home, so that was one reason we chose to not get one. I hope you are doing well. We all still enjoy reading about your pregnancy journey!

  9. I get my bottle at my appt next week. Not looking forward to the sickly sweet taste, but I’m sure I can down it like a pro! It would be better if we could just eat frosting!

    I haven’t been active AT ALL, so now I’m a little worried about how that’s going to affect the test. I think I don’t have to take it until before the NEXT appt, so that gives me some time…just have to stop procrastinating working out! I was so much better with exercise prior to pregnancy. I miss dance classes 🙁

  10. When my mom was pregnant back in the 80’s, they didn’t give her the orangy liquid. They gave her a list of items and she could pick a combination of them off the list. She worried if she was getting the right amount of glucose for an accurate test and wished she had been given a simpler way like just drinking the liquid.

  11. Ugh, glucose testing.

    I did it my first pregnancy but decided to opt out this time. Not only do I have no risks, history or symptoms I don’t find the test particularly accurate. It sort of bothers me that they don’t just test the pregnant woman’s blood sugar each appointment. The standard one hour glucose test is so easy to fail on inaccurate readings. I know so many women who failed the first test and passed the second….why!?

    Also, I’m biased because I get SO sick when I drink those damn sugar drinks! haha

  12. This is not the exact same situation, but it’s similar enough… I had to have a cat scan and they wanted me to drink this horrible chalky liquid. I knew it was all chemical filled and disgusting. My flavor choices were bubblegum or banana. So I pleaded with the nurse to give me the more juice-like liquid, which I could mix with juice. She finally agreed, so I got to drink pomegranite juice, diluted 1 part juice to 2 parts water, along with the mix in. It was so much better than the chalky, disgusting stuff they wanted to give me!

    I say all this to let you know that it’s ok to be assertive and not drink something you don’t want to. Of course, I also agree that since it’s only once, it’s not a big deal either.

  13. I failed my 1 hr and 3 hr GTT last time around. This time, I talked to my doctor and decided that I’d rather check my sugar multiple times a day for the next 12 or so weeks than take the 3 hr test if I failed the 1 hr. Looks like I’m going to be doing just that. The 3 hr test was BRUTAL! I nearly got sick after drinking that stuff on an empty stomach (3 hr test requires fasting).

  14. After talking it over with my midwife, I opted to skip the glucose test last year. My ONLY “risk factor” was being over the age of 25 (I was 28 at the time). I was very active in my pregnancy, and had kept a one-day food journal from a pretty typical day, because my midwife wanted to make sure I was getting enough protein on a vegetarian diet (I was getting plenty).

    Anyway, when we discussed the test, she basically said that I was already eating the kind of diet (whole grains, lots of veg, lean protein, etc.) and getting the exercise that she would recommend if the test came bake positive. This is obviously an individual decision that all women should discuss with their health care provider, but it saved me the trouble of the test and the worry and need for more testing that would come with a false positive.

  15. With both of my pregnancies it was a fasting test (yuck) but I did have the choice between the orange flavor and a lemon-lime flavor. Orange was okay (thought it tasted like baby aspirin) but the lemon-lime didn’t have artificial coloring (yay) and just tasted like a flat Sprite. Definitely chug ’em cold though…

  16. I was so worried that the orange liquid was going to make me puke. I hate, hate, hate fake orange flavor. I love real oranges but can’t do the fake flavor. It actually wasn’t bad but I think it helped that the lab kept the liquid cold. It tasted like melted orange popsicle. Not good but didn’t make me gag.

  17. I am using a midwife for my care, and I do not have to drink that sugar laden – fake juice. Instead I drink a cup of OJ or apple juice and then get tested.

  18. I didnt think it was a bad at all.i failed my 1 hr. I just did my 3 hr in Friday. I didn’t find it bad at all. My stomach felt a little off from all the sugar . The worst was the blood draws and sitting there for 3 hours. Thank goodness for hospital wifi!

  19. The test was no big deal. I did it fasting because I went first thing, and then ate after I had my blood drawn. It didn’t taste good and I had a headache the rest of the day, but otherwise, you just suck it up! (hehehe)

  20. I ran throughout my pregnancy – even did some half marathons – and still failed my first glucose test. I passed the 3 hour one easily though. Afterwards, I heard from a lot of women that this was typical. So if you fail it at first, don’t worry – you’re probably completely fine.

    And yes, a cupcake would be AWESOME!

  21. I’m seeing a midwife and she actually did give me an option to eat real food instead of drink the orange stuff! I had to eat two slices of bread toasted with a little butter (50g of carbs total – I actually ended up having 4 slices of gluten-free bread because the slices are smaller), 2 plain scrambled eggs, an 8oz glass of orange juice and an 8oz glass of milk. This had to be consumed between 7 and 7:15am so she could draw my blood exactly 1 hour later. I was psyched, I hate skipping breakfast and the thought of drinking something so sweet in the morning was just nauseating!

  22. Lucky. For my gestational diabetes test, my doc had me fast from midnight the night before – which I think it pretty standard (according to what my friends have told me). I was expecting the orange drink to be horribly nasty; and, although it wasn’t good and I wouldn’t voluntarily drink it – it really wasn’t that bad at all. Kinda like overly sweet soda or juice. No aftertaste – so it’s really just a matter of drinking it quickly and then not having to worry about it.

    Good luck!

  23. With my second pregnancy, I asked about alternatives to to the orange drink, and they told me I could eat 18 (?) jelly beans. I was super-excited because that sounded much more palatable to me. But it was really hard to eat all the candy in the allotted time so, if I had to do it again, I’d just go with the drink.

      1. Just a question. Why is buttercream frosting or jellybeans any more “real” than the drink? I’m confused about whether you issue is that it’s too much sugar at once, or if its the ingredients. When I did my GTT, I had been up all night operating before the test, and “passed” the test by 1 point.

        The tests are designed so that a lot of people “fail” the first test and then “pass” the second. The first test is designed to capture everyone who might have GD, and then the second test is used to narrow down and weed out the false positives. It’s a common statistical tool in health screening.

        1. Oh I’m not saying they are necessarily real food. My first preference would be to eat fruit/bread real foods to get 50 grams of glucose, but if I MUST eat straight sugar, I’d much rather have it in the form of candy or sweets – although I suppose the butter in the butter cream would confound the results.

  24. Glucose testing is gross, but a good excuse to read a book for an hour.

    I had cervix twinges too but it was just my son headbutting me in the cervix. He started doing it more aggressively towards the end of the pregnancy and that will make you scream out loud! A few times during a meeting at work I let out a little scream. Good chance to see the baby again though and get it check out.

  25. Ugh, the dreaded glucose test. I have a friend (with a different doctor) who was allowed to just eat a candy bar and drink a coke– MUCH better than that soda!! But, in all honesty, the soda isn’t that bad– I think it gets exaggerated.

    I failed my one hour test and freaked out about it, but passed the three hour. I guess that happens a lot, which I knew going into it, but still, hearing that I’d failed it was not fun! Good luck with it, and with your ultrasound next week!

  26. I really liked the drink. I don’t know what that says about me, other than that I missed soda, which I never drank when pregnant.
    I take those measurements with a huge grain of salt. With my first, I always measured pretty small and I had an ultrasound at 36 weeks to make sure he was developing properly because I measured so small….he was 9 lbs 7 oz when he was born (the day after his due date).

  27. I had the glucose test with my first and it made me very nauseous. I don’t like really sugary foods. Of course, the test came back positive for GDM. Blood work once a week after that. I was put on a diabetic diet and lost weight. The doctors weren’t thrilled. Needless to say, all of the weekly blood work after the initial test came back negative. I was so sick of the blood draws and bruised arms that towards the end I quit having them. My son was born healthy a week later 🙂 With my second, I didn’t have the test and everything was fine. Sometimes, I think the diagnostics create more worry than help. I guess it’s all preference. You’ll be fine. It’s not that bad 🙂

  28. I remember the sugary stuff being super sweet (even for me, Miss Sweet Tooth). I recommend chilling it first 🙂 And yes, I’d rather eat buttercream frosting on cupcakes than that stuff…and you probably get MORE sugar from that but yeah, I know what you mean about picking your battles and just…doing it, as directed. Good luck!

  29. The glucose test wasn’t bad at all for me. The drink wasn’t orange, but instead tasted like a thick, flat Sprite. Very easy to chug. I didn’t feel yucky afterwards either. I was told to avoid carbs at breakfast so I ate chicken breast and nothing more 😀 I would eat the eggs and avoid the toast. It isn’t cheating, its allowing the test to be accurate. I scored an even 100 on the test and was thrilled to not have to go through the 3-hour.

    Also, I am actually going in for an ultrasound today because I am the opposite of you and am measuring a bit small. (I am 31 weeks today). They think my son may just be laying low and sideways since everything else about the baby and me is looking great. And he definitely has felt low to me the whole time. Here’s hoping nothing but good news for us both!

  30. I got the lemon-lime flavor and it wasn’t nearly as nasty as everyone made it out to be. It really was no big deal and I opted not to eat anything beforehand and just went at 8 AM (I normally eat breakfast at work anyway).

  31. I strongly recommend you eating what you normally eat, which is oatmeal with lots of toppings. The GD test is really important and very crucial to diagnose for the health of your little bun. This may sound harsh, but I beg you to not try and “cheat” the test. I’ve had friends with undiagnosed GD and that shit can get scary. Just food for thought 😛

    1. But I wouldn’t normally eat a big bowl of oatmeal AND a huge sugary drink.

      I would much rather they do the test after a normal breakfast of mine – I agree that would be much more realistic. But considering the nurse said NOT to have carbs, I’m definitely not going to go against her recommendation

  32. I totally agree with a higher protein breakfast. I ate a couple scrambled eggs about an hour before I drank the drink and then an hour later they took my blood. It’s nice that your’s is not a true appointment and you can just run in and go. With my first I had a scheduled appointment immediately after the blood draw and the doctor was running late. I did my test first thing in the morning and I’m not a big sugar-in-the-morning kind of person so I could feel my blood sugar dropping while I was waiting. The nurse finally had to find me a snack. The peanut butter crackers afterwards is a good idea.

  33. The instructions that my Ob gave me were to have a small breakfast when I first got up in the morning, drink the juice an hour before my visit, and then fast during that hour. Hope your lab results come out okay!

  34. That orange drink made me feel SO sick! I NEVER drink regular coke (or any coke for that matter) and I don’t eat sugar so ingesting that much syrupy orange drink gave me a killer headache and upset tummy 🙁 With my second and third pregnancies I was with midwives so I got to eat real food (I think it was grapes and a few other real foods)…seems to make so much more sense to me than the fake stuff.

  35. I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy, but not my first. I stayed very active and only gained 21 lbs the entire pregnancy. I did not have a single risk factor (I was even 24 and over 25 is a “risk factor”). Apparently I am one of the unlucky ones that gets it for no apparent reason. And I agree, I wouldnt cheat the test because if you have diabetes you will wnat the extra testing to make sure the baby is healthy and his blood sugar doesnt bottom out after birth. I would stick with the eggs and toast reccomendation. It wasn’t too bad dealing with it though once I got the hang of it…anything for a healthy baby!

  36. I just took my glucose test a few weeks ago. I ate scrambled eggs with chopped red and greem peppers. No carbs at all. My glucose was 92. (pass) My friend on the other hand ate maple brown sugar oatmeal and a glass of apple juice and failed. She just sat for her three hour test (which is fasting) and is awaiting those results. Another firend ate taost and a glass of orange juice, also failed but then past the fasting 3 hour test.
    I dont think its cheating the system to leave out the carbs on the morning of the glucose test. The drink is the sugary carb part along with whatever protein/good fats you eat that morning. I would say the drink has a alot more sugar than whats in a bowl of oatmeal, ceral or toast that one may eat on any given day.
    Good luck with it and your next sonogram

  37. I reckon the glucose test was the WORST part of my pregnancy, it made me feel terrible, plus I had a sugar-hangover for about 3 days afterwards (I don’t eat a lot of sugar generally, so I think I’m pretty sensitive to it).

    Cupcakes over weird sugary concoctions ANY day 🙂

  38. You know, Kath, I just realized how cool it is that one day (a LONG time from now!) your son is going to have this blog to look back on and read and know so many of the little details of his birth and infancy that none of us ever really wrangle out of our mothers or know. How cool is that!

  39. Ah. Good luck with the glucose test. But don’t worry if it comes out positive. I was up by ONE POINT and I had to take the longer tests with four needle pokes. Ick. Ended up I didn’t have it anyway, but it sure did scare me for a couple weeks. <3

  40. The orange soda’s not that bad, but it may mess with your appetite the rest of the day — it did mine! And definitely avoid a sweet breakfast. No yogurt or oatmeal. Have eggs! My sister failed her one-hour after eating pancakes. Good luck!

  41. I wish they had given me that info-I was told “nothing” to eat past midnight!! My appointment was at 8am…for someone who is hypoglycemic this test is NOT a good idea. I usually eat every 2-3 hours, so imagine fasting and then gulping down pure sugar!!! Basically, I almost blacked out-the nurses had to carry me to the back room to lay down…which is where I stayed for the 2 hours…and I went to my appointment alone!!!!! This time I asked the nurse and she said I can have a light breakfast and make the appointment a few hours later….don’t know what good that will do in my case but I’m sure it’ll work for you! God luck 😉

    1. I tend to get really lightheaded when I don’t eat so I don’t look forward to fasting tests. Thanks for sharing. Now I know to make sure to ask my doc about breakfast before the glucose test when I have it.

  42. It really didn’t taste that bad to me, and I didn’t feel sick after I drank it. Although I did take the test in Germany and it wasn’t orange, it was a giant bottle of grape-like juice. (Kind of like cheap grape juice). So I wouldn’t worry about it (try not to at least). I felt like I worried too much about it and it ended up being no big deal :).

  43. Go in early in the day and skip the carbs (no toast!). The 3-hour test sucks. It’s just one drink and one carby breakfast to sacrifice…

  44. I love seeing all of your updates! It makes it so fun that we are one week apart! I have to take my glucose test this week or next…not really looking forward to it!! Good luck with yours!

  45. I would eat an egg…more afterwards..take something to do. the drink isn’t bad…and the needle no worse than the ice cubes at childbirth class ;P missed you sat. I was working postpartum until 1:00pm…just managed to see the sibling class come through the unit.

  46. they don’t make you drink that much – it’s probably 1/2-3/4 of a cup of the yucky orange liquid. It is quite gross – so it seems bigger than you think… My OB suggested that I eat a normal breakfast & head in. So I had half a bagel & cream cheese.

    lucky me – I have to do the test 2-3 times since my mom had gestational and now has type-1 diabetes, so they’re testing me extra during my pregnancy to make sure I’m OK.

    1. ooh – meant to say – i did feel a little sick for the hour afterwards, but then felt fine…. But I was also in my first tri when I had to do it so my gag reflex was a little over-active.

      I also am NOT a sugar person, I never have sugar, and I felt ok!

  47. Chilling the drink helps! Most labs know this and keep it chilled. I had a hard time drinking it in the allotted time. The lady was pressuring me (“Chug it! Chug it!) during the last 30 seconds. You are smart to want to do it right the first time because the 3 hr test is a big pain in the butt. (Or so I have heard from friends.) I have heard the most palatable is the jelly beans but no lab in my area offered that.

  48. Congrats on your pregnancy! I was worried about being able to handle the glucose drink (not to mention the ingredient list freaked me out) so my midwives had me do an at home test. I took my blood sugar level, then ate a huge breakfast of pancakes, bacon and orange juice and took my blood sugar again. It was still a challenge for me (not a morning eater!) but much preferable to the glucose drink!

  49. Here in Canada, you only do the glucose test if you have risk factors. I didn’t do for either of my pregnancies. I wonder if it’s a difference between private & public health care? Anyway, good luck!

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