24 weeks

Party! We have made it to 24 weeks and everything is going well! My belly is starting to grow well and I feel more and more trampling in my belly. What a nice and beautiful feeling that is! Of course, I have felt many little ones kicking in other mums' bellies, but to experience this myself is very special. For me, the first movement felt like a twitch, you know, like your eye or eyebrow has a twitch. Only then in my belly. I have also heard the description of butterflies in the tummy or the feeling of ants tickling the inside of your stomach. Are you at the stage where you can start feeling movements yourself now? So it feels different for everyone and some people feel the movements as early as 15 weeks and others only at 24 weeks. This is all very normal. It varies per pregnancy and per person. It can also depend on the position of the placenta in the belly. If it is against your back, you can feel the movements earlier. If the placenta is against your belly, the baby has an extra cushion, so to speak, and so it may take longer for you to feel the movements. If you are worried because you don't feel the movements yet, don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider. An extra listen to the heart is a small effort!

In my previous blog, I mentioned that I had an indication to do additional screening for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is when the sugar regulation in your body gets disrupted by the pregnancy hormones. Some bodies are more sensitive to this than others. There are also pre-existing factors that make your body more susceptible. These include diabetes in your immediate family or the fact that you have had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy. So you can get tested for this via an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, or OGTT. Other tests are also available but this test is preferred. I did my test at Zuyderland and will describe how it worked. It may be done differently in other hospitals. But the goal remains the same.

I had to report to the hospital early in the morning sober. Sober means that from about 10pm the night before, you are not allowed to eat any food and only drink water.

I was still nauseous at that point in the morning so going to the hospital sober was a challenge in itself. Upon arrival, I was allowed to take a seat in a small room with two nice ladies who were also having the sugar test done. It creates an instant bond when you share the same fate. Even though I am a midwife, I am not a hero when I have to be pricked myself. The first thing they did was prick my sugar sober, through a finger prick and from an IV that they pricked for the day. The finger prick was extra in this case because they are doing a study to see if the finger prick is as reliable as blood from the arm. That way we may be able to omit the blood prick in the future! After the blood test, I was given a sugar drink with lots of sugar in it. It's a bit like drinking pure citrus lemonade. Only without the strawberry flavour. Not very tasty, but doable! An hour after finishing my drink, I had to have my blood drawn again. Again, the finger prick first and then they drew blood from the drip again. This is repeated for the last time two hours after drinking the drink. So because of the infusion, they only had to prick me once instead of three times. Very nice!

We then had to wait another hour for the results. In my case, unfortunately, the fasting value was on the high side. I was therefore given a lancing kit to take home so that I could monitor my sugar levels at home. For me, the sugar test turned out better than expected. Are you due for a test soon and are you dreading it? Feel free to ask all your questions in a personal message or call your midwife. He or she can answer all your questions and perhaps reassure you a bit more.

My sober values at home were not good and that made me very insecure. I first started working with Mayke to see how I could improve these values. You can read how I went about it and what the results were in my next blog!

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