Sunday, July 16, 2006

Testing

Pregnancy requires a lot of tests. First one to find out if your pregnant. Then another to find out if the first one you took was accurate (sometimes a third to confirm the second). Next is a blood test to confirm the previous two or three you took. Yep, you're pregnant. Ok. Now the real testing begins. Vial after vial of blood is sucked out of your arm which will be tested for everything from anemia to HIV. A few weeks later, more blood to test for a barage of genetic tests--this one you have to agree to take. Finally, comes the fun part--the ultrasound.

I was 13 weeks pregnant when I had my first. By this time, I was still looking like myself. I had a bit of a tummy, but not much. I had, however, experienced the frequent running to the bathroom every half a glass of water. I wasn't holding my liquids well. So, the doctor telling me to drink a litre of water within an hour of my ultrasound was a bit frightening. But, I managed it.

The test itself was exciting. We saw fingers and the heart beat and all of that stuff, but when the technition tried to do measurements of the head, baby kept moving around and hiding him/herself. What does the tech. do? She pounds on my stomach, trying to get baby to cooperate. Not exactly the most comfortable thing for a woman who's got to pee. But here, the benefits of seeing the baby make it worth it and soon after, I can head to the bathroom.

The glucose tolerance test--now, that's another story. At 25 weeks, I'm CONSTANTLY hungry. It doesn't take much to fill me up, but when I'm hungry, DO NOT get in my way. Give me food and give it to me NOW! Unfortunatly, for the glucose test, I have to fast for twelve hours. That used to be no big deal for me. I'd forget to eat all the time or be too busy to stop for lunch or dinner or whatever. Not now. A twelve hour fast is half a day. HALF A DAY! That's like skipping three meals in a row.

Ok, fine. I stopped eating at 10:00 PM. That means I can go to the test site at 10:00 AM. I've been told not to drive myself, and since getting Nick out of bed before 9:30 is impossible, this is perfect timing.

I actually felt ok. We drove to the test facility and got there just before 11:30. By this time, my tummy is rumbling and I'm glad that this test takes only an hour. One more hour and I can chomp down on the protein bar in my purse. As I wait to be helped, my hunger is reaching uncomfortable. Finally, it's my turn. The lady behind the counter looks at my doctors form and tells me,

"You'll have to come back at 1:00."

"What? Why?"

"Well, this is an hour long test and we clost at noon for lunch."

"What?"

"You'll have to come back."

I am not irritated. I am preparing myself to jump over the counter and strangle this woman.

"I have been fasting for 13 hours. Now you're telling me that I have to wait three more hours?"

"I'm sorry."

"You're sorry. Well that's nice. It's nice that I can't eat so that you can." I practically threw the pen she'd given me to sign in with in her face and walked away. Nick knew better than to say anything. He just drove me to the Butterfield Pancake House and bought me breakfast like any good husband would. We would not be going back at 1:00.

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