about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    Looking forward to chatting with you!

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Failing My Gestational Diabetes Test.

As I’m sitting here in between blood draws for my three-hour glucose screening test, it seems like a good time to fill you guys in on the previous test that I failed

To back up a little, you may remember back a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I was worried that I might be at risk for gestational diabetes.  I was experiencing some pretty intense thirst, even beyond the normal thirst that tends to come with pregnancy

Because I was worried, I called my midwife office and told them what I was experiencing, and asked if I should possibly take the test a bit early.  They told me the thought it was fine to wait, and that I’d be able to take my test somewhere around my next appointment date.

Wednesday afternoon I headed to my appointment as usual, and was shocked when I arrived to see the midwife handing out glucose drinks to our group.  (I do combined childbirth class/checkups in a group setting, which I will write more about later.)  Everyone I know that has done the glucose screening test has had notice and time to prepare – carefully selecting meals before the test.

I walked into the office having NO idea I’d be taking it, and immediately started panicking that I knew I would fail.  Literally 30 minutes before I left for the hospital I had been scarfing down my lunch – a big bowl of tomato soup and an avocado English muffin sandwich.  I also decided that polishing off the last few bites of almond milk chocolate ice cream sounded like a good way to end my lunch.  WHOOPS.

Had I known I was going to be given this bottle of orange goo at my appointment, I would have eaten much much differently that day.

2011-07-20 15.10.33 (480x640)

But I had no real choice, so I slurped down the syrup and hoped for the best, all the while knowing that my chances for passing were not good.  The 50g glucose drink was disgusting and burned my throat.  Other girls in the class easily chugged it, while I seemed to need the entire five minutes to gag it down. 

2011-07-20 15.10.44 (480x640)

Yesterday morning the nurse from my midwife office called with my results.  Just as predicted, I had failed.  My glucose levels needed to be under 135 for a passing result.  Mine was 169 – not even close.  I don’t know much about blood sugar and how much levels can vary, but I worry that my level was SO high above the allotted range, and what that means for my next test.

2011-07-20 15.24.29 (480x640)

They strongly recommended that I get the official 3-hour glucose screening within a few days of the first one, in order to be able to make a concrete diagnosis.  Since I am going out of town tonight (!), I had to scramble to fit myself into a 7am appointment this morning.  So now I’m sitting here sleepy, full of 100g of glucose, and with bruises lining my arms from all the pricking and blood work.  I’m hoping I’ll know the results soon.

I’ll be honest and tell you that as soon as I got off the phone with the nurse, even though in my heart I just knew I would fail the test, I put my head down on the dining room table and started sobbing.

I felt like such a huge failure.  Everyone has worked hard to reassure me that gestational diabetes is something that can happen to anyone, and while I’m doing my best to believe that, it’s hard to not feel responsible and embarrassed.  I also feel…confused.  I exercise regularly and eat healthier than most people I know, but still I can’t stop second guessing all the rootbeers and popsicles I’ve treated myself to throughout this pregnancy.

It is hard for me to believe that I am not at least partly responsible for this, when the treatment plan for dealing with gestational diabetes is essentially to eat a well-balanced diet and get enough exercise.  Wasn’t I doing that already?

Once of my least charming qualities is that I tend to be a major control freak.  I work hard to control my life and my surroundings.  Sometimes I take it too far and even try to control the people around me.  It’s not a characteristic that I’m proud of, and it’s something I’ve worked very hard to let go of in recent years.  I am not perfect, but I am getting better.

When I was 18 weeks pregnant, I found out that my thyroid wasn’t functioning correctly, and I was put on medication to correct the problem.  I was devastated, and once again I felt that I had done something to cause this.  Even though I know the intentions were good, hearing suggestions like “eat less soy” or “eat more greens” only intensified the feeling that perhaps this was a result of my actions.

Failing the gestational diabetes test has brought back a lot of those same feelings.  Whether or not I pass or fail the 3-hour test, I’m definitely going to cut back on my sugar levels from here on out.  I would eat dirt for 13 weeks if I thought it would help my baby have a safe arrival into the world. 

Pregnancy has been a very humbling experience. It has forced me to let go of control and learn to give into natural changes that come with such an amazing physical transformation.  Most of the changes have been good.  Every day I see my giant round belly and smile.  Other changes, like thyroid levels and sugar metabolism are simply beyond my control.

Crossing my fingers that the three-hour test is a success!  I’ll keep you guys posted as soon as I know something.  One more blood draw until I’m home getting ready to get a plane tonight and head to the beach!

For some more upbeat pregnancy talk, here are a few other places you can find me recently…

I wrote an article called Eating for Two in the July/August 2011 issue of Breathe Magazine!

Breathe_JulAug11_Cover_FINAL.indd  breathe

And of course, the latest on Babble

See you from South Carolina!

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195 Comments so far
Leave a comment

shannon (the daily balance)     at 11:05 am

haters gonna hate.

hope you don’t let it bother you too much, Mama ;)

Just as they are allowed to have opinions, you are allowed to have reactions and feel whichever way you want – no explanations necessary.

you are a MOTHER — and most of these commenters should know that when it comes to your child, rational thought and “keeping your emotions in check” are impossiblities, anyway.

[Reply]

Kate     at 12:01 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and never commented, but I really feel compelled to after reading some of the other comments. This blog has really helped me figure out a way to eat healthily as a relatively new vegetarian and runner, and I’ve really enjoyed reading about your pregnancy too. I check at least a few times a week for recipes and baby updates,’so much fun to read!

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Nicole     at 12:16 pm

What a comment shit storm! The posts that causes such drama always suprise me. Anyway, I thought I’d throw in my two cents regarding postpartum since it is the only thing I’m qualified to speak about. PPD occurs in up to 1/3 of women and the severity ranges from “mommy blues” to homicidal thoughts. The largest predictor of PPD is a history of major depressive disorder—this is the type of depression that requires treatment, not just a week of feeling sad. So, everyone who thinks that your anxiety issues or emotionality sets you up for PPD, they are plain wrong. Not sure if those comments struck a little fear within you, but I just wanted to give you my professional opinion based on reading your blog and having spent a few days with you and Casey. Being an emotional person is viewed as such a negative thing in this country. It’s not like you act on your emotions in a way that is harmful to anyone. I love that you share your feelings–especially when you are in the moment and raw. People need to toughen up–it’s just a blog post! ;)

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Julie     at 1:29 pm

Wow. Remind me to never start a mommy blog. I am a worry wart and super emotional to begin with, I can’t imagine what I’d be like pregnant…and what people would have to say about it :/

I enjoy your honesty and love reading about your pregnancy. Don’t let the haters get you down ;)

[Reply]

Coree     at 1:47 pm

I love your blog!!! I’ve read most of it (stalked through your archives!), and I could not believe the comments on this post. I so admire your honesty. I hope to one day be as self aware as you are and as brave to be able to admit it to yourself and the world.

I look forward to reading your blog and find you to be an inspiration!!!

[Reply]

Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey     at 9:12 am

I had missed this post back when you posted it, and have been catching up…

To say that I was blown away by some of the reactions to this post, would be a great understatement.

I love that you are real, that you feel, and that you aren’t afraid to share what might be the “unpopular” point-of-view with us. It’s what makes you interesting to read, and interact with. If I wanted to read a medical textbook, I would.

I want to second (or third, or fourth!) the sentiment that you shouldn’t take some of these comments seriously. Those who leave nasty comments, anonymously, no less (imagine that, eh?) are usually the ones who have unresolved issues regarding these things, themselves.

I am an emotional person, (as you seem to be), and I’m so sick and tired of that being a “bad thing”. Being emotional, and caring are NOT signs of weakness, or being hysterical. What a load of BS.

And as for the comment by “Pete”… I have one thing to say — “No uterus, no opinion”. Thankyouverymuch! ;)

I think you are awesome, and I love following along with your pregnancy journey (and was a reader beforehand). I look forward to hearing about it all… the good, the bad, and the ugly. That is life.

Keep it up. :)

~

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Angie! I know what you mean – emotional does not equal crazy. It makes us interesting. :) No worries. While I think it’s important to always be open to feedback and different opinions, I also have a pretty thick skin at this point.

[Reply]

Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey Reply:

I’d would imagine you’d have to have a thick skin at this point – and I admire that about you, as well. :)
I doubt I would handle those types of comments as eloquently as you do.

~

[Reply]

Mom     at 5:56 pm

I finally was able to read all the comments on this blog and just wanted to add my own comment, I am Emily Malone’s mother… I was told twice, once when carrying Emily and again when carrying Sarah, that I was at risk of gestational diabetes. My reaction, after the initial panic and “beating myself up”, was to research it and ask my doctor for suggestions on how to “fix” it (we try to “fix” things a lot in our family) With Emily, I did not end up having GD but I had to be induced early with Sarah because of gestational diabetes combined with a placenta previa (I also was 39 years old) I felt worry and concern for both babies on the diagnosis and some “guilt” that I had some how caused this. My doctor assured me both times that my feelings were normal and that I was not to “blame”. When Rebecca was born, I had planned to have “natural unmedicated childbirth” because that is what my childbirth class said was “the only way to protect your baby during childbirth” (It was 1978).I felt horribly guilty that I had hurt Rebecca in some way when I had to have an epidural. I came to realize later, that the epidural was not the worst thing to happen to her. I think all women, when pregnant and in the first few years of raising children worry about how their actions will affect their child- I think this is very normal and would worry more about the woman, or man, who does not realize the consequences of their actions. Everyone has anxieties and some people are more outward in their expression of them. Emily’s job is to write about her feelings and she does an excellent job of letting you feel her “pain” as well as her joy. Post partum depression usually results from holding your anxiety and fears inside. Most of you read this blog because Emily is real and shows you herself from the inside out. Perhaps not being judgemental and presumptious and listening to the feeling of the blog instead of just the words would help to better convey what Emily is actually saying…

[Reply]

Lindsey     at 7:02 pm

Found your blog about a year ago via those amazing Asian/sesame brussel sprouts (!)… I just want to thank you for presenting such an honest, insightful and uplifting blog. It truly is so refreshing.

I love that your momma responded to the presence of such misguided negativity. Mine would have done the EXACT same!

[Reply]

JenRD     at 10:34 pm

Awww, sorry I am late to see this post! As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educate, who also just happens to be 34 weeks preggers, I have lots to add to this topic!
Bottom line is that if you were to be diagnosed with GDM, it is NOT your fault! It is not from eating too much sugar or too many carbs. Pregnancy in itself is an insulin-resistant state, becoming more so the farther along you are. What this means is that even the healthiest of us (including fellow dietitians!) can develop GDM.
Most risk factors you can not control (i.e. age, race, family history); the ones you can control are being a healthy weight prior to pregnancy, gaining weight gradually, and being active–all help to reduce that insulin resistance.
Anyway, glad your 3 hr OGTT came back normal!
Jen

[Reply]

JenRD Reply:

Also wanted to add that STRESS can raise your blood glucose as well! They definitely should not have ambushed you with the glucose screen–it should be done on at least a 4-hour fast! Food in belly + stress in pregnancy = higher blood glucose.

[Reply]

Tara     at 5:36 pm

I feel you! I’m a registered dietitian, totally gaining the appropriate amount of weight, eat healthy and exercise regularly. However, I totally failed my 1 hour glucose test and had to do the 3 hour. I was so bummed when people found out I didn’t pass, they were trying to give me nutrition advice. Really? Anyway, looks like according to your updates, we are due at the exact same time. Mid-October…We’re having a boy too! I did end up passing my 3-hour. You too? I think the one hour test is lame as your body is out of wack as it is.

[Reply]

Lay off the sweets « Duke’s House     at 12:10 am

[…] encountered ranging from Emily of “Daily Garnish” writing about hypothyroidism and a gestational diabetes scare, to Jen from “This Runner’s Trials” talking about both success and challenges […]

Nicole     at 10:58 am

Hi! Thank you for this post (I know it was written a while ago, but it is helpful for me right now!) I failed my first test, and passed 3/4 of my second tests, so the nurse told me to “watch my carb intake” (ask if I don’t already do that!) Anyway, I was…am…feeling pretty depressed about it, especially after talking to my Labor and Delivery nurse sister-in-law who told me the results “probably weren’t completely my fault”. Anyway, I’ve been feeling very guilty for the past few days for how I could have caused this. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

[Reply]

shekhar     at 2:59 am

nice article on gestational diabetes ..I follow http://www.gestational-diabetes-diet.com to have information about gestational diabetes diet

[Reply]

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[Reply]

Corinna I. Worek     at 3:21 am

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[Reply]

Kristen     at 10:28 am

I know its been a few years, but thank you for posting this! I failed my first test and I am active and healthily. I started worrying about every small thing I indulged on during the pregnancy, when for the most part I eat pretty healthily. I def. was crying about being a failure to my Hubs so I wanted to say thank you for making me feel not alone. (Even several years later.) Here’s to hoping the 3 hr one goes better and even if not, making a healthily delivery for baby.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hope your test went well! Thinking of you!

[Reply]

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