When a woman reaches 28 weeks of pregnancy, she is asked to take a glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. Maybe you’re familiar with it!
First you drink a bottle of what looks like Kool-Aid but tastes like cough medicine mixed with corn syrup and then wait for an hour, at which point they draw a few dozen pints of blood like a hungry vampire. It’s not a big deal, although I’ve spent plenty of time complaining about it. You usually drink the liquid sugar on an empty stomach and in the morning, so the whole thing is a bit queasy. Plus there’s taking off work or lining up childcare and worrying about needles.
I don’t know, I went in this morning with low expectations. Get in, get out. Maybe read a book. This isn’t my first rodeo.
Despite a tired nurse mixing up my chart and then trying to draw my blood before I drank the syrup, the appointment started out fine. I tried to be graceful. Mornings are hard. I get it.
When I got the juice down and had my routine OB check, I dutifully sat in the waiting room to serve my time, trying not to think about my swirly stomach while avoiding eye contact with all the scared baby daddys sitting around me.
One asked his wife, “Did you really want me to come back there with you? I’m not great with these kinds of things.”
If it weren’t for witnesses, I believe this man would have died today. Bless him.
Time passed slowly. I tried to read but the words kept getting mixed up, so instead I snapchatted pictures of the sad baby daddys to friends and thought about lunch. At one point I tried to buy books I don’t need on Amazon, but the transaction wouldn’t go through as Steve Jobs haunts iPhones that are up for an upgrade. Or maybe it was Austin. Either way, well played.
When an hour was up, no one called my name. I knew there were time constraints on this blood draw, but I didn’t want to be that patient, so I kept my mouth shut. Five more minutes passed. Finally they called my name and I waddled to the appropriate room.
The nurses looked nervous. One said, “her veins are hard to find since she’s been pregnant.” The other whispered, “Do you have a butterfly needle? I really don’t like doing this.”
I felt myself flush, but tried to be breezy.
“Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?” I chirp.
No one answers me. The loudspeaker plays a Toby Keith song. I should have taken it as a sign.
Four skin pricks later and they say I should go to the lab upstairs so a professional can try. I ask if I need any sort of paper. No one can find a paper. Finally someone finds a paper.
I go upstairs, but too much time had passed. It is almost lunchtime. The nurse asks if I can please stay another hour and try again. I feel my face move towards a Claire Danes cry and say, “I really have to go. I’m sorry.”
I barely make it to the car. I am crying and sending what looks like drunk texts to Austin and a few friends.
couldntn find vein.have to doit again. can i just stkip it? i sad.
I rest my head on the steering wheel and after a few minutes, realize I’m being watched by a couple in another car. Please let them think a relative has died.
In retrospect, this really isn’t that sad of a story. Despite the obvious annoyances of wasting a morning and lining up childcare for nothing, it could have been worse. I could have gotten a flat tire on the way home or ran over a kitten. I could actually have gestational diabetes.
The point of the story is that when I texted a friend that I was upset, she said: It’s okay. Just cry and then it will be fine.
And so I did. For ten minutes, I sobbed my ugliest, hungriest, most pregnant cry. Then I wiped off my face, got a sweet tea and chicken sandwich, picked up my kid, took a two hour nap, and felt perfectly fine.
At the risk of sounding like Carrie Bradshaw, sometimes I forget that 99% of the time—all it takes is some tears, food, and sleep to remedy a bad day.