blood sausage

At around six and a half months pregnant, they test for gestational diabetes by having you drink something resembling orange soda.  Then they draw blood.   As the nurse was weighing me today at my doctor’s appointment (161.5 lbs.), I mentioned to her that I’d had my glucose levels tested the other day.  “The results should be in,” I began to say.  But she was shaking her head, indicating she already knew, before I finished my sentence.  I could tell, before the words came from her mouth, that it wasn’t good.  “Yeah, about that…”

“You flunked,” my doctor said.  It actually sounded kind coming from his mouth.  It’s why I like him so much; he never scares me.  "Your chances of having gestational diabetes are higher when you carry twins because of a hormone secreted by the placenta.  And you’ve got two placentas, so…"  I scored a 146.  "Anything over 140 is failing."  Shit.  I can’t even study for tests like this, and tomorrow I have to take another one.  That test is called the three-hour glucose test, but it lasts all day.  I cannot eat or drink anything after 8pm tonight.  At 8am, I’ll need to be at the clinic for my first of FOUR blood withdrawals.  Then I drink the soda again.  An hour later, they draw blood again.  And then again, after another hour.  And then again, after yet another hour.  The beauty in all of this: I faint when I give blood.  Mostly it’s fear.  I’ve discussed this before.  So having to do this is kind of a nightmare for me. If they have to stick me, fresh, each time, I might throw a small fit.  I’ll most certainly whine.  I know I’m having babies, that I need to grow the hell up, but I’m still a baby afraid of the needle.  Actually, it’s not the needle.  It’s the digging once they’re in there.  It’s the lady who says, “sorry, I need to try again.”  That is the shit I cannot handle.  It’s so damn invasive.  If I flunk this second test, it means I have gestational diabetes, which will suck the big fat hairy moose cock.  Because it’s damn hard to gain enough weight for twins when monitoring my sugars and carbs.  Not to mention the fact that I could really never again eat cow and be perfectly fine.  We’ll see what happens.  Tomorrow I’ll be at the clinic all day, getting the blood removed from my sausage arms.  Wish me luck.  And hey, at least I can come home to clean slippers, a new plush robe, and lots of Aveda products: my version of a pig in a blanket.



  1. Aww… I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. I have the same fear of needles.. hang in there. I'll send some positive vibes your way.

  2. Did you eat anything b/f your first test? I made that mistake w/ my oldest (no one told me to fast), and I also flunked and had to go for the same test you're taking tomorrow. I know it sounds awful, and you could think of a million other ways you'd rather spend the day, but I promise you'll get through it. 146 is so close to 140, so hopefully, you'll pass w/ flying colors. Just DO NOT eat or drink ANYTHING, and bring something to keep you distracted while you're there. Being pregnant isn't easy – all the tests, hormones, etc, but just try to focus on the 2 beautiful prizes you'll end up with in the end. It'll all be worth it.

  3. Just think of this as more sob stories to feed the guppies when they give you a hard time about doing their homework or borrowing the car. Every mother has to have stuff like this up her sleeve. Her bloody, needle pricked sleeve! Hang in there…

  4. I flunked that first test during a few of my pregnancies, but passed the three-hour glucose. So here's hoping!!

    I'll be thinking about you. Just don't watch when they stick the needle in. Look the other way, think lovely thoughts, and hum a show tune! Sometimes it helps me….

  5. Trust me, when they come at you with that huge honking needle for the epidural you will want to kiss the anethesiologist! I did :)

  6. I think the fainting from needles is a redhead thing, so I've been told. (I'm a redhead too)I used to faint everytime…5 pregnancies later, but only 2 kids, I do believe I have finally gotten used to being poked at. I also know I have definately passed it on down to my daughters who now faint when getting blood drawn. We just lay down while they are taking it and its all good. I had to take that test for a second time and everything turned out fine…I believe my sweet tooth interfered with the first test so it was fruits and veggies only before the second. Good Luck!!

  7. Think of all the needles tomorrow as being a therapy of some sorts. I was terrified of needles, but I was sick for a while and had to do the blood thing every hour. The needles got easier. It's like shock therapy.

  8. I faint too and can sincerely appreciate that this would be the ultimate nightmare for people with irrational fears of needles that induce some level of shock. If you figure out a way to survive the day and stay conscious, please let me know.

  9. Stephanie—-I'm a newcomer to your blog, and am enjoying it very much. Many comments to make on that, but for now, I'll just say that I was identical to you on this (except for the twins)—-squeamish and fainting history w/shots and blood tests (and even visiting people in hospitals); flunked the shitty orange soda glucose test; had to get the four-shot test and THEN. that one came back "inconclusive" whatever the hell that means, and I had to DO THE WHOLE THING AGAIN! And it came out fine.

    Strangely, I never fainted during any pregnancy related blood tests, not event the first one where they take the four vials. And the long glucose test? Not the choice way to spend the morning, but really—not as horrible as it seems. I brought a book and kind of half enjoyed the forced idleness and reading time—kind of like the sick way I love airport layovers, now that I have two kids. But I digress.

    Best of luck with it and sending you non-fainting thoughts!

  10. Oh yeah, the three-hour test sucks the big one. I went through it, and I am also someone who HATES getting blood drawn, and hates needles. I survived somehow. Bring some good reading, and when it's done, go out for your favorite meal whatever time of day it is.
    I went and treated myself to a gooey cheese omelet….

    Here's hoping you pass the test with flying colors, AND that whoever draws the blood is quick and accurate.

  11. When I have to give blood I bring my ipod and turn it up super high. Blasting music+ closing your eyes+ squeezing someones hand. Worth a try..

  12. I faint too. Sometimes I even go into seizures. With the needles and all. Yes. I'm that bad.

    Make sure you're laying down…and take long deep breaths. Remember…it's all in your head. It's all in your head.

    Will be thinking of you on Wed. Wishing you luck on your test. I'm sure it'll go well.

  13. Hi – I too failed the first test when I was pregnant with my daughter, but passed the second one fine. My doctor later told me that most people pass the second one. Don't be too stressed.

  14. you know, every now and again i have to stop reading your blog because you say things that just disgust me. that moose comment – oh man. stephanie, you're beautiful, but your mouth puts a trucker to shame (and that's not a compliment).

  15. I have read your blog since my senior year in highschool. This is the first time I ever felt like reaching out to you and returning the feeling (of hope). I suddenly wish I was better at this. Instead, all I have to offer is this knowledge:

    The only thing scarier than finding out, is never knowing until it's too late. We aren't invincible, just human. Although, I'm starting to believe that everything that happens in our life, happens to prepare us for something else…to make us the better, wiser, stronger people we need to be. And if that's true, you will do fine. Not only throughout the tests, but throughout your pregnancy, motherhood, and any trials that follow.

  16. Oh please, this is embarrassing. Stop being so whiny about this and that… just do what you have to do. If everybody else can do it, you can do it too.

  17. 146 is not a thing to worry. Its OK. What did you eat the previous night? Its that intake which makes all the difference. Be sure not to eat (or drink) anything. Wish you all the very best. I have been trying your email, but you didnt reply? Anyway, I will keep trying. And good luck to you. You will be happy about my best wishes tommorow. Just be cool and composed (and beautifull, as always). Good Luck Dear!!!!

  18. Best of luck. Maybe you can ask them for a catheter in your arm, from which they can draw all they need. Of course, if you don't like blood, you might not like the appearance of thin plastic tube sticking out of your arm all day… but just a suggestion!

  19. same thing with me, andrea
    i wouldn't worry until you actually flunk again -a lot of women flunk the first one
    as i recall the blood thing was not bad at all – it's not like getting an i-v or anything
    or an EPIDURAL for that matter now that is a little scary
    good luck!

  20. Good luck! 146 is on the low side of failing. I failed the first GD test- with only one placenta. My husband said I tested positive for cocoa puffs, even though I'd only eaten toast for breakfast that morning. I think my score was 143. The three hour test sucked but I passed. I'm a whiney needle wuss too. I asked the nurse not to talk to me while she drew the blood. Hope you can focus on relaxing. Don't watch them stick you. Again, good luck!
    The orange drink reminds me of the McDonald's orange drink that they don't have anymore. Now they have Hi-C which just isn't the same.

  21. Maybe when they say they will take some blood they mean a prick in the finger. I had the 3 hour test (in Germany) and they just pricked my finger to get a drop of blood so they could get a reading of my blood sugar levels – much like a diabetic would with their own kit. It isn't pleasant but it is much better than someone digging around in your arm. I did fail the first test which was a proper blood draw but the 3 hour one for me was just the prick in the finger type. I failed the second one too and had to take insulin but it really wasn't such a big deal especially as my levels were not too high, only a little over the level it should be. If you do fail there is still a lot you can eat – just wholemeal bread, sugar pasta etc and plus there are plenty of protein type things that can add weight

  22. Stephanie, I hate to tell you, but this is an experience that many, many pregnant women have… it's not overly dramatic or unique. Is your doc still concerned about your lack of weight gain? Your comments about your "sausage arms" and calling yourself a "pig" definitely make it seem like it's intentional.

    I'm concerned about those babies, for your sake!

  23. i'm with mellie! that orange soda stuff is the nastiest! it's like they poured an orange crush in a glass and set it uncovered on the counter for a week and make you drink it!
    as for the blood thing… i fainted my senior year in high school just taking pictures of the blood drive for the school paper, i woke up on a cot. at least the picture turned out. when i had to have blood drawn, i looked the other way, closed my eyes and told them to tell me when the blood was out of sight. that was the worst thing about pregnancy… why do they need all that blood anyway? this is the 21st century… can't they find another way?
    try the ipod thing that bklynite said, that sounds like a great idea.

  24. I too flunked the first one Stephanie after. Then my Dr's nurse actually called with condescension in her voice telling me I would have to take the 3 hour, 4 stick test. (I scored a scary 171.) I took my pillow and lots of good reading with me to relax by the way.

    I too faint when getting blood drawn but it is usually afterward. The amazing thing is how willing I am to do these yucky things for my unborn baby. I cried after reading websites on gestational diabetes and was very worried. I shouldn't have been, I passed with flying colors and I know you will too. Just be prepared to explain the black and blue arms afterwards for the next week or so when strangers look at you likely a junkie! Good luck!

  25. Im the same way with needles and my mom and her three sisters are all nurses, her father and his father were all doctors.

    It's embarrassing for her to watch me get my blood drawn b/c of how "dramatic" I am. I just dont like the thought of something in my vein. Eck.

    And what I dreaded the most throughout my whole pregnancy was getting that iv I'd have to get when I was in labor.

    I do the same as someone else stated- I turn the other way and hum or think of something really funny.

    Please please please dont ever change that "trucker" mouth of yours. It's what I love most about your blog. Every now and then you throw it out there and I FUCKING love it. :)

  26. good luck tommorrow!!
    I just bought your book today. Plan to curl up on the sofa with my cuppa tea and book and enjoy (while the kids are at school and playgroup). Hope you will come to Norway and give us a reading one day!! (I had to order the book, but did mention your blog to the lady behind the counter!).

  27. Re Laura's comment, no fruits and veggies b/f the test either – NO FOOD, PERIOD!! The fruit, especially, will raise your sugar levels. YOU MUST COMPLETELY FAST FOR THIS TEST! Why risk it? Anyone have the coke flavor? I thought it was much worse than the orange. And, I had to drink it warm, which made it much nastier. Ugh. Anyway, good luck Stephanie! Just look the other way and think happy thoughts.

  28. According to my Dr. there's a 15% rule: 15% flunk the first test, 15% of that group flunk the next test. I flunked the next test, and actually, it wasn't that bad having gestational diabetes. I actually felt a lot better without the sugar, and have managed to cut most of it out of my diet even now.

  29. Hi Stephanie,

    I hate, hate, hate needles. Actually, the worst part of pregnancy were those blood tests. Worse even than delivering a 9 lb. boy face up with no epidural. Needles ICK.

    I don't faint, but wish I could. Sort of like sedation dentistry – sedation phlebotomy. Could be a fantastic new industry.

    Good luck – I hope you get better results today!

  30. Poor dear, I'm the same way. I had to get a measly little flu shot this morning and nearly passed out in front of all my coworkers! I try to tell myself that it is good for the spirit to do things that are scary for you, builds character :). Good luck!

  31. Okay maybe not cunts but you guys sure are bitchy to each other sometimes.

    Stephanie, I hated my IV so much I had to request they cover it with a towel almost the whole time so I couldnt see it.

    And the epidural is *nothing*. You feel *nothing*.
    I was terrified of that too but if you ask me the IV and catheter were far worse.

  32. I have small veins and taking blood from me is traumatic – or was. About 6-7 years ago (I am ashamed to say how MANY years it took before I got the courage to do this), when a blood test was staring me in the face, I decided, enough. I told the tech then and I say the same thing every time, "I have small veins. For some reason, everyone has a really hard getting a good vein to get enough blood. Please don't stick me until you are beyond sure that you have the right spot. If there is someone else here more experienced, please get them. I cannot endure 'poking' in the arm or anywhere to search for blood. Sorry, this is just how it is."

    I have had AMAZING results with this approach. Most techs and nurses balk at this initially, but the warning accomplishes it's purpose – I have not a bit of trouble since. Then when they do get blood fairly painlessly, quickly and with a minimum of poking, I praise them to the high heavens and they beam with pride. Sometimes they decide to use a baby needle, sometimes they go for my hand instead of the inside of my arm (less painful for me, weird), sometimes they just thump and roll and squeeze for a loooong time before they stick.

    My first pregnancy, which was also my first blood test, the tech stuck both arms, both hands and when she started looking at my ankle, I burst into tears. There followed 25 years of misery – until now.

    Also, b/c my babies were so big, they were positive I had gest. diab. I took the tests about 3 times. It's yuck, but it's good to know if you do have it. Good luck!

  33. Oh my god! I can't fast and then give blood once! Never mind 4 times while being pregnant. Don't worry about 'growing up.' Needles SUCK!

  34. Stephanie: I can totally relate. I am the biggest wimp when it comes to needles. Ever since I was in high school and I had mono, I was watching the blood draw and they hit a rolling vein and I fainted. Can't handle it since then. Even the mere mention of needles makes me turn green. I turn my head, close my eyes, try to breathe deeply and it still is awful. I have had the people remark, "Wow, you really hate this." Yes, I do. I was in the emergency room one time and I had to be hydrated with an IV and they had to use a needle that they use for children because I couldn't handle it.

    Good luck. I hope everything turns out well. Thoughts are with you.

  35. Stef.. I took that test eighteen and a half years ago for my first baby.. also failed… but made a lifetime friend. There was another girl there doing the test, we had our babies a week apart and have remained friends ever since. We actually developed a small group of us with daughters the same age of which one of the girls wrote a book about which she never had picked up by a publisher but it is a lovely tale based on the differences in us all… we were five very distinct personalities that blended well. So cool! We try to get together with our "babies" who are all now off to college every summer.

  36. Again, I can't get past your words without empathizing because my days carrying two were so similar….and I want to remind you that while always thinking positively is vital, being intelligently PREPARED for twins and the possibility of preemies, is just plain going to make the whole thing ultimately easier for you both. KNOW as much as you can by doing the research, asking the right questions and getting yourself and the Daddy READY. I'm so glad to hear your confidence in the doctor.

  37. I've given birth 3 times and giving blood doesn't get any easier for me…I feel for you…just breathe and think about getting home to those freshly pressed sheets! You can do it!

  38. Thinking about you today and hoping it's only minimally stressful, even if you did subject me the the phrase "…suck big fat hairy moose cock."

  39. Stephanie. I feel ya on the needles. Along with being anemic for most of my life I have also had sugar problems. I pass out so much from my sugar being too low, that it has become a little joke among family and friends, "Oh, wait, Brooke's passed out, again." I am constantly being pricked and poked for blood. Luckily my mother is a physician and she is the one doing all the pricking and poking. If she hurts me, I let her know.

    Good Luck tomorrow, you and the Guppies are in my thoughts and prayers.

  40. Laura, Sorry if I offended you. I certainly didn't mean to. If you reread your post, maybe you'll see why I misunderstood. I thought it sounded like you ate fruits and veggies b/f your 2nd test, and I didn't want Stephanie to make that mistake. I think most of us just want to offer Stephanie advice and that we mean well. I'm not sure if Julie was referring to us in her post, but either way, I think it was pretty extreme. I'm not looking to be a bitch to anyone. Just trying to share what I've been through. That's all. In fact, I'm always amazed at how nasty some of the posts are, and I think that if people have nothing nice to say they should say nothing at all. That's just my opinion.

  41. you should not be eating "cow" anyway…its terrible for the enviroment and so bad for your babies!!! not to mention bad for the cow. its amazing to me how behind the times people are!!!

  42. hi stephanie
    i'm just 12 weeks and having that "triple screen-nuchal" test anxiety. at every stage there's apparently something new to worry about. anyways best of luck to you, i hope you pass and if heaven forbid you don't, gest. diabetes is a very treatable (albeit annoying) condition and your little ones will be fine.

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