Friday, September 27, 2019

I Know That Worry

I know that worry.  I know that worry of carrying a baby while managing type 1 diabetes. I know that worry that you’re going to do something wrong and that the whole weight of the pregnancy (not just literal weight) but emotional weight is on your shoulders and only yours because you’re the one with type 1 diabetes, and you’re the one carrying that special baby. 

I know that feeling that you’re not checking enough, you’re not eating healthy enough, you haven’t cut back on carbs, you aren’t working out enough (or at all). I know that feeling. 

I worried while I was pregnant - I’m sure many do. But I worried that because I have type 1 diabetes, I had less of a chance of having a “perfect” baby, less of a chance of being a healthy pregnant woman and a glowing mother.  I know that worry.
Photo by Erin Girard

If you google type 1 diabetes and pregnancy a bunch of worry clouds the screen.  Articles about risks, complications and stories that will make you worry more than what drove you to google in the first place.  If you join a type 1 diabetes community page about pregnancy, you’ll encounter even more worry - other type 1s typing out their worries - I don’t blame them because we all feel that way. (Tip: leave the groups, and find a few key type 1s to confide in!) 

But, even though I know that worry (I won’t tell you not to worry) I will say that it’s all worth the hard work you’re putting in whether it levels up to other expectant mothers / mothers or not.  Because you worry, you care and that’s the best comment I ever received and I now pass it on to you. 

Almost 9 months of worry and my beautiful baby is here and now I worry about other things (of course!) but I worry because I care. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Call

We got the call at 1 a.m on Wednesday morning. I must have known something was going to happen because I had delicious pizza, a warm bath and got to bed early, Mike on the other hand... 

Shortly after 2 a.m on the way to the hospital 

We showered and I checked my pump
to make sure it was also ready to go - I didn’t want to be changing reservoirs or batteries mid delivery because that’s what totally would happen!  I put in a new battery and checked my insulin.  

Through labour and delivery, I had decided - along with my Endo that I would manage my diabetes myself unless I decided I couldn’t no longer.  Really, it meant both Mike and I would manage my diabetes because there were definitely times that I wasn’t able to.  So thank you to Mike who learned my pump and diabetes over the years! 

The “fun” begins 

The nurses also seemed happy I’d be managing my own diabetes, as one nurse said “type 1s know how to do their diabetes more than anyone else!” It’s true. We deal with our T1D 24/7 and know the trials and errors of managing a disease that literally changes minute by minute. 

To sum up 24+ hours, I laboured until I spiked a fever, which then led to having an emergency c-section so that both myself and baby were safe!  

Diabetes wise, I stayed fairly low. Having been on just fluids for over 24 hours, I managed to keep blood sugars between 3.5 and 5 mmol/L the entire time. A little lower than I wished, but better than high.  I balanced my blood sugars with Gatorade, Jello and Ginger ale.  The nurses still were in charge of checking my blood sugar every hour (I persuaded them to use my lancet - to save my fingers!) but I also wore a sensor. 

After delivery, as promised by my endo, my insulin needs would dramatically decrease. Since I was in recovery and was on quite a bit of medication, Mike changed the settings on my pump to adjust my basals.  I was visited by an endo a few times during our stay to make sure all was good. To be honest Diabetes wasn’t what I was trying to adjust to, so diabetes seemed easy in comparison. 

It was all really a blur during our stay, I don’t remember how much I was bolusing for or how well my blood sugars behaved, but I don’t recall it being too bad. 


Friday, September 13, 2019

Third Trimester

Alright, let’s take it back to third trimester. The hardest trimester of pregnancy for type 1s and probably for any woman really. You’re officially visibly pregnant whether you carried it all in front or all over (hello, giant butt!) and you’re uncomfortable, so very uncomfortable.  But, for type 1s it also means your blood sugars are creeping up and harder to control.  You throw so much insulin into your body only to have to wait it out and hope it comes down.  My basal rate was literally 3X the rate it was pre pregnancy! 

The doctors appointments become incredibly frequent, in fact the nurses and doctors knew me by name before I spoke and remembered past conversations we had - and they see A LOT of people.  You also are getting impatient because you just want to meet the little one whose keeping you up in the night kicking and forcing you to stop at EVERY SINGLE STORE to pee. 

For me, third trimester was a bit rough, only because my blood pressure began to creep up around 34 weeks ish. It was stressful because while I didn’t have any other symptoms of high blood pressure (besides actually having high BP) I wasn’t sure what this meant for me and my baby. Would this mean I’d be induced early? Was my baby okay? Would I need a c-section? Should I rest more? 

Well, what it meant for me was going to the hospital triage literally every single day (including weekends) to get my blood pressure taken and do a few other tests like a non-stress test, and urine / blood sample.  This is when the staff began to recognize me as I’d stroll in there and literally know exactly what to expect.  Lay on the bed, get hooked up to the NST machine which I called my “seat belt” and then get hooked up to the cuff to check my BP.  Oh and pee in a cup, the number of times I peed in a cup, I couldn’t even count. 

Each time I saw my OB, which was a couple times a week, I never knew what she’d say. If she’d tell me to it was time to have the baby early or if I’d be okay to keep going on. I know she was aiming for 38 weeks, but began to talk about 37 weeks or maybe even sooner. This scared me, but at the same time I didn’t want to wait too long and face the risks. 

On the Monday (36.4 weeks) I went in for my appointment with my OB. We took my BP and urine sample and within a few minutes of my appointment she looked at me and said, “I think it’s time to have baby!” I agreed because I didn’t want to play the game anymore of being scared of high BP. 

Then I was told to head to triage and of course this time my husband didn’t come to my appointment, so I had to get a hold of him to come down because I didn’t really understand what was about to happen.  They decided to induce me then, but then told me to come back when they called me. So we then waited for that call!


Thursday, September 12, 2019

I did it. We did it.

It’s been a few months - and I’m not sure where the time has gone, but healthy baby boy has arrived since my last post in May!

Hoping to have time (Ha!) to blog more about the experience of type 1 diabetes and pregnancy / now as a new mom because I know how valuable lived experience is in the diabetes  community. I googled many diabetes bloggers during my pregnancy for reassurance and guidance and I plan to pay it forward by being “that” blog for someone else.

But, first the most reassuring part that a soon-to-be Mom can come across. I managed my diabetes with all my mental and physical strength to my best ability and delivered the most beautiful baby boy August 1st at 8:33 am via C-Section (More on that in another post!)

The hard work that it took to get where we are today, paid off more than I can imagine and for those other moms out there living with type 1 diabetes, and those that are currently pregnant, we know how much work and energy it takes both before, during and after pregnancy.  I did it. We did it. We are amazing humans!

More posts soon (Or so I plan!)