inside the mind of the mom next door

Human Error

36 weeks

Wendy has gestational diabetes.  She has it under control with diet and exercise.  She does not have to take insulin, but she doesn’t get to satisfy her cravings for pasta, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, fruit juice, or cereal.  I joke with Wendy about how special she is, because less than 10% of pregnant women get gestational diabetes.

With gestational diabetes, the risks are a bigger baby, more difficult labor and birth because of the size of the baby, the baby not making it full term, and aging placenta, among others.  Most likely the baby will be born with low blood sugar.  That is not a big deal.  They will give her glucose if she needs it.  There is some slight risk of the child being overweight.  Fifty percent of mothers with gestational diabetes develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

Wendy has done such a great job of managing her blood sugar with a low carb diet that she has lost weight during the last trimester of her pregnancy.  Hope is gaining weight, so the doctors are happy.  However, it has been confusing.

Because of the gestational diabetes, the doctor has Wendy get frequent ultrasounds during the last trimester.  At the first ultrasound, the technician told us that Wendy would probably have an ultrasound every 2 weeks.  She said that if Wendy did have weekly ultrasounds that they would not measure the baby more often than every other week.  She said that there is a plus or minus 15% margin of error in the estimation of weight.  When different techs start measuring with different equipment on a weekly basis, that margin of error really becomes apparent.  She was right!

Hope is being measured weekly by different techs in different rooms with different computer equipment.  On March 31st, Hope was estimated to weigh 6lbs. 10oz. Her head, arm, and leg measured in the 60th percentile.  Her belly measured in the 98th percentile.  That was a red flag for me, but what do I know?  Overall, her size was just above average which has been consistent with all of her size estimates.  I expect Hope to be above average her whole life. 🙂  On April 8th, Hope was estimated to weigh 6lbs, 7 oz.  Overall, her size estimate was in the 48th percentile.

Wendy gained 2 pounds that week.  The doctor measured her belly with a tape measurer and said that he estimated Hope’s weight to be 7 lbs.  Because of the estimated weight loss and the risk of an aging placenta, Wendy has to get another ultrasound this week, and the tech will measure Hope again.  I am so curious to see the results.  The ultrasound equipment is amazing.  We can see Hope and all of her parts perfectly.  We can see her practice breathing.  We can see blood in the umbilical cord and fluid.  The measurements are dependent upon a person using a mouse to place an “x” on certain parts of the body.  There is very little consistency in the “x” placement, and it is obvious when measuring once a week, especially when the tape measurer might be more accurate than the computer equipment.

I am confident in all of our doctors and ultrasound technicians. I am just explaining our experience.  The best thing about frequent ultrasounds is that the techs have been giving us 4D pictures of Hope.  They are such good pictures.  I feel like I know what Hope is going to look like.  I think she is going to look like Wendy.  Their profiles look just alike.


Comments on: "Human Error" (4)

  1. Your photo is adorable! Very spring time and a reflection of good things to come.

    I’m glad Wendy is able to control her gestational diabetes through diet and exercise. What kind of reception have you gotten from the radiology department? My gyn (B.Nylander) told me Centennial is the most gay-friendly hospital in Nashville.

    You’re living our dream!

    • Thank you! and thanks for reading! We have had positive experiences with all the medical people at Tennessee Women’s Care, Baptist Hospital, and all the potential pediatricians. We’ve heard good things about Centennial and Vanderbilt as well. The insurance pays for Baptist, so that’s where we’re going. Baptist Hospital also has an impeccable reputation. It’s just older.

      Good luck with your wedding!

  2. Amanda said:

    Sorry to hear about the gestational diabetes 😦 FJ had slightly low blood sugar when he was born. I nursed him immediately and had to kind of fight off the formula pushers for a couple of hours. We ended up having to give him 1 oz of formula to appease them. After a couple more times breastfeeding him, his glucose levels were up to normal and everything worked out great for all of us. Fingers crossed for Hope!

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