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Pregnancy: What to Expect at the Three Hour Glucose Test

Pregnancy: What to Expect at the Three Hour Glucose Test

So, I’m pregnant and I got the dreaded call that I failed my one hour glucose screening and needed to go in for the three-hour glucose test. This hasn’t happened with either of my other two pregnancies, so of course, I hit up Dr. Google for a breakdown of how things would go.

Here’s what happens… You have to fast, then have four blood draws in three hours. Ouch. I’m not fearful of needles and have had my blood drawn plenty of times during this pregnancy, but my veins are small and often the phlebotomist has trouble either finding a vein or getting enough blood. To help keep my mind occupied, I chronicled how the experience went and what I learned…

What to Expect at the Three Hour Glucose Test

Thoughts on the way to the test:

Instead of drinking straight up glucose concentrate, these tests would be much more pleasant if it were candy you were told to eat. Hour 1, eat a Snickers bar, hour 2 eat a package of peanut butter cups, hour 3 enjoy a bag of Skittles.

There should be glucose test clinics that are day spas or nail salons. For a week I’ve been trying to find time for a pedicure. Since I’m literally just sitting here, it’d be nice to kill two birds with one stone.

WiFi in the waiting room. I could be working instead of typing this post out on my phone.

Hour 1:

The blood draw was smooth. Easy peasy. Chug down a high concentrate glucose drink in 5 minutes. Fruit punch as opposed to orange this time.

Baby moving around like crazy. He must have been hungry.

30 min: Feeling nice and light headed. Oy. It’s going to be a long morning.

45 min: There’s a guy in the waiting room yelling at CNN about a political story that’s on. Praying that he please, please does not come sit next to me. Debating putting my earbuds in.

10 min until next draw: Dizzy, thirsty and bored already.

Hour 2:

Two blood draws down, two to go. Not as smooth this time but not too bad either. I’m back to the book I was reading. I’ve given up trying to work from my phone or using pen and paper. This waiting room is just too distracting.

15 min: Ooh!  There’s a loud cell phone talker having personal family conversations in the waiting room.

20 min: I’m starting to feel the blood sugar crash…getting sleepy.

55 min: I managed to avoid the TV yeller, but not this lady. After chatting up the receptionist for entirely too long, she sets her sights on me. I’m clearly not engaging, but she’s still talking anyway. No, I don’t want to tell you who my doctor is or why I’m here or learn why YOU are here to see the lady doctor. Yuck.

Hour 3:

3rd draw:  This draw was painfully SLOW. And one that will definitely bruise. The waiting room has calmed down significantly and luckily TMI lady was called in. Hopefully I won’t get an update on her way out…

… it’s her bladder, in case you were wondering. She needs minor surgery, but is going on vacation soon so will call back when she decides.

Observation: Lots of people wear sweatpants as everyday wear. Not yoga pants, but old school, grey sweatpants.

Last draw. Free at last! No problems at all. Now time for lunch!

Tips to Know Before the Three Hour Glucose Test

So, some tips for anyone having to go through this:

  1. Drink water. Drink lots of water the day before the test and bring water to drink during the test.
  2. Try not to look too far into the future. Googling gestational diabetes, etc., will likely just make you nervous. Chances are, you just had too much sugar the day before your one hour screening and you’ll be fine.
  3. Bring books, a magazine, knitting, etc. It’s boring to just sit there.
  4. Bring a post-test snack. By the time I got home I was really light headed and shaking from the blood draws and not having eaten for so long.

 

The Results are In!

I passed by the way…no word yet on if TMI lady is having the surgery or not though.

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4 comments

  1. JP October 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    funny post. going for my 3 hour this saturday. thanks for the tips!

  2. Nia July 7, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Loved reading this! I just got the dreaded call too…..this sucks! I failed the 1 hour with my previous pregnancy as well. Thought for sure I passed this time. So not looking forward to being stuck 4 times and starving all morning. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. RJ Conte November 17, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Thank you for this!

  4. Profile photo of Natasha Siso

    Natasha Siso January 22, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Love this post. Thank you for the tips and for making this post light-hearted.

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