The 3 Hour Glucose ~Experience~

Well, it happened. I flunked the one hour test.

They had me do it at about 28 weeks. The threshold for my doctor’s office was a score of 140, and I scored a 160. I currently report from the waiting room of the medical center.

After my initial devastation/guilt/shame-induced sobbing session after finding out I flunked wore off, I decided to just do my best to watch my diet and stay resolute that all would be well as I waited out the two weeks before they could get me in for the three hour. Usually, this would be scheduled pretty quickly, but the holiday sprung up in there as well. The doctor just advised me to keep an eye on my sugar in the meantime since it is a longer wait than they usually want.

Anyway, the three hour test doubles the amount of glucose you drink from 50 to 100mLs. You go in fasting (14 hours is what my doctor wanted, but YMMV), they do a draw, have you drink the glucola, and then they’ll draw again on the hour for the next three.

I find that the internet really overdramatizes this, and my experience has been fine. Of course, I’d rather not be spending half my day on this, but it isn’t a total nightmare.

Here’s my experience:

Fasting: The worst part, no way around it. Telling a woman at 30 weeks gestation she can’t eat for upwards of 16 hours feels like a special brand of torture. Be sure to put a protein rich snack in your bag for when you’re done—I have a small bag of cashews and a granola bar that I’m waiting to bust into.

To make the draws smoother, I drank about a liter of water before I left the house this morning, and nearly a liter before bed. I’m going to get up to pee 30 billion times regardless. May as well have fresh veins.

The first draw: Totally fine. They only need 5 mL at a time, so it goes very quickly—even for me, as someone who is kicking the world’s worst needle phobia. I was told no eating, no sleeping, and only small sips of water for the rest of the morning.

The drink: I find it pretty gross, and I have a strong sweet tooth. It’s like drinking 50 melted popsicles. But they give you five minutes to choke it down and offered it to me cold or room temperature. Cold seemed like a better bet, even though it’s currently -3 degrees outside.

Hour 1: Physically, this was the toughest hour. Immediate heartburn, a bit of wooziness, and sheer exhaustion. I’m not sure if it was from the drink or coming in tired, but it didn’t feel good. Coping strategies for this hour were reading a little and doing a guided meditation. No energy for more than that. The hunger pangs were so real.

The second draw: They used to same arm as the first time. Little pinch, but not a big deal.

Hour 2: My energy picked up and the second hour was spend playing cards with my husband. Heartburn was still fairly bad, but easing up. Small sips of water did really help.

The third draw: New arm! Not so bad! By this time, I was pretty energized by being so close to being done.

Hour 3: Pretty much the same as hour two. Energy was okay, hunger pangs less pronounced, and spirits pretty high. This really was not that bad.

The fourth draw: This one hurt a little more because the last one puffed up my arm a bit more, but it was fast and easy enough.

After it all: I did immediately eat some cashews and half a granola bar on the way to lunch. This gave me some immediate fatigue that lasted through eating an actual meal, but after that meal I felt relatively normal. Which, for third trimester me, is fatigued but in good spirits.

And now I know that I passed all of them! My numbers are below:

Fasting: 73 (needs to be less than 95)

Hour 1: 135 (needs to be less than 180)

Hour 2: 123 (needs to be less than 155)

Hour 3: 115 (needs to be less than 140)

All in all, I’m super relieved that I don’t have to alter my diet or monitor my sugars or anything, and that the baby won’t be impacted by sugar issues on my part. It wouldn’t have been the end of the world by any means, but it’s one less thing on my back.

Biggest regret: laying off my favorite Christmas treats.


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