A Look Into the One-Hour Wait: The Pregnancy Glucose Screening

Ahhhh, the notorious glucose test. For some reason, I’ve been hearing about this screening for gestational diabetes since I was a young teenager. I would read all these recounted experiences on all these different forums, and the conclusion that I drew was, at the very least, it’s not an enjoyable experience. I would say that’s exactly where my anxiety regarding this test began; well before I was even thinking about being ready to have children.

I also grew up with an irrational fear of vomiting and seeing/hearing others vomiting (emetophobia, you can Google it). My family can tell you stories of how younger me would panic if anyone in the house even said they might throw up. I, myself haven’t vomited since I was 9 years old (15 years ago). I have never been able to pinpoint where this anxiety stemmed from, but it was restricting enough that I decided I didn’t want to ever get pregnant because of the possibility of morning sickness (ha!).

Flash forward: I’m here, I’m round, I’m due in a few months and it’s now time for me to go and take this crazy test I’ve heard SO much about. I’ve been reading more recent forums of other mothers who have gone for the test. Some say it was nothing; some say they felt a little strange after for a little while; some say they actually vomited or passed out after drinking “the drink”. One thing I’ve learned about most things pregnancy is this: you’ve got to go through it yourself to know how the experience will be for you.

So with that being said, because I enjoy documenting all things, I decided to do a thorough breakdown of how the 1-hour glucose screening test went for me when I went exactly a week ago. Results may vary. But for the most part, it appears to me that it is a RARE occasion that a woman will experience more serious side effects.

11:00am: woman behind the desk asks me if I want fruit punch or orange. Most people said fruit punch was not bad, so I go with that. She hands me the drink and says I have 3 minutes to drink the entire thing and to tell her as soon as I finish the drink. It is between 8-10oz. of liquid with 50g of sugar.

11:01am: I start drinking. Takes me 4 minutes to drink it – most women chug, but my nerves are already making me feel a little nauseous so I have to take sips to make sure it all goes down without coming back up. The biggest issue for me is how full I am feeling from drinking it all so quickly. Told the lady I was finished and she said we will test my blood at 12:05pm.

11:07-ish: I start feeling a little buzz

11:09am: I burp and feel a lot better because I don’t feel as full anymore

11:11am: I notice the baby moving a lot. Think the sugar may have gotten her excited. 

About the drink: the quantity was more than I expected, and that was the main challenge. The taste wasn’t bad at all. Most people said it was like a really sweet juice. That was pretty spot on. I think I expected it to be more syrupy than it was, and I was thankful to have been wrong. 

11:15am: I stand up to take a phone call. Feel a little off, but really it just feels a like the sensation I get when I drink too much coffee. Best word to describe would be jittery, but nothing that’s intolerable. 

11:20am: surprised at how well I’m tolerating the drink since I got that burp out. Hands down I think the hardest part of the test was trying to ingest that large quantity of liquid very quickly. I’m not really a “gulper” and really only “tiny-sip” any drinks that I have in my normal everyday life, but for the average person I don’t think the quantity would really even be an issue. 

11:24am: noticing a nasty taste in my throat. Could be my acid reflux acting crazy, but again, I physically don’t feel as horrible as I expected to feel! Feel like I want to take a drink of water, but gotta hold out for another 30-something minutes.

11:27am: another burp. 

11:30am: I’m thinking about the chicken tenders from Chik-Fil-A that I asked my husband to bring me for right after my test. 

11:31am: noticing that I’m feeling tired. Don’t know if it’s because of the sugar or from just sitting here in this seat for a while. Think it might be the drink. Nothing alarming, just feeling nap-ish (lol I made this word up). 

11:39am: just spent some time Googling whether it’s typical to feel so tired after the glucose drink. Seems to be normal. 

11:40am: wondering whether I’ll pass or not or whether I ate properly this morning before the test. 

What I’ve eaten today: My doctor told me I didn’t have to fast, so I was just careful to not eat something crazy sugary for breakfast or before coming to the test. For breakfast (around 7:30am) I had 3 half-strips of bacon, two over-medium eggs (I know, I know), and 1 piece of toast with butter. A few hours later at 10:30am I had a small handful of dried edamame just to make sure I had a little something in my stomach before getting to my appointment at 11:00am.

The thing is: some people try to trick the test by eating a special diet beforehand or not eating at all (I do understand some people are REQUIRED to fast). What I ate today was pretty much my regular diet (I would probably have had an additional piece of toast). I feel like you should eat close to what you would normally eat because if you DO have gestational diabetes, you’d definitely want to know about it so that you can make the proper lifestyle adjustments. Tricking the test (whether you’re successful or not) would just make it so that you get a passing result when it was meant to be failing.

11:48am: stomach feels fine. Don’t really know if I’m still jittery but it doesn’t feel like it. I am feeling pretty tired though. And thirsty. Less than 20 minutes left! 

11:58am: ordered my Chik-Fil-A in the app. Hubby is picking it up now.  Baby girl is kicking the LIFE out of me. Don’t know how to describe how I’m feeling. Kinda like lightheaded, but not as intense. Just a little foggy and tired. I want my nuggies! 

12:02pm: only 3 more minutessssss til they take my blood out!

5:28pm: I just ate an entire steak and cheese sandwich in what seems like 45 seconds. But, flashback to earlier: the lady took my blood at 12:05pm and I was happily on my way. How I felt after the test: just really tired. I ate a few chicken tenders and fries from Chik-Fil-A, drank some water and fell asleep as soon as I got home. I woke up a few hours later and felt pretty much completely back to normal. I had some acid reflux/heartburn, but I think that was from falling asleep right after eating. I woke up around 4:15pm and was starving and immediately knew I wanted a steak and cheese. I swear my diet really isn’t always this poor. I was just too drained today after the test to actually prepare and cook dinner like I normally do lol. 

All in all, I did feel a little odd from the test, but it was nowhere NEAR as miserable as I was led to believe from other reviews. I went in, drank the drink, sat for my hour, got my blood taken, and was on my way. I felt sleepy afterwards, so I ate some protein and had a nap, and TA-DA — good as new! I got my results back the next day and I passed (by one point – but still passed)!

My recommendation: Don’t stress it. Have a snack and some water ready for after. Take it easy for the rest of the day. It may not be the funnest thing to do, but it’ll all be over before you know it!


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