Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy – Weeks 8-12… Something you should know!

Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy – Weeks 8-12… Something you should know!featured

I’ve been reading lots of pregnancy and type 1 diabetes forums lately and I see a lot of the same difficulties arising with us type 1 pregnant gals.

The main one is the utterly exhausting hypoglycemia stage that occurs early in pregnancy.

tired pregnant woman leaned on the door isolated on white

As if early pregnancy wasn’t hard enough, then add on what feels like constant lows… hang in there!

When I was preggo with Golden Top, I felt quite a bit in the dark as to when this stage would end.

As many of you ladies have said, it just felt never-ending!

Let me tell you something that’s helped me a great deal with my pregnancies.

Here’s the simple reality I learned when studying to become a Certified Diabetes Educator:

“The worst time for hypoglycemia in pregnancy is during weeks 8-12.”

Some of you are going, “yeah, could have told you that.”

But for those of you early in a pregnancy it’s good to be extra prepared during this time. And I want to reassure you with one simple phrase:

This, like all things, will pass. 

Young frightened man with long hair being terribly clipped

Yup, the hypoglycemia stage – like a bad haircut – will last about 3 months :)

A good friend of mine says, “Nothing lasts longer than a bad haircut.”

I want to be super honest with you about how this period of time has been for me during this current pregnancy.

It would be better to ask my hubby (but I’m a little afraid to hear the truth!)…

I’m now 18 weeks pregnant and just outside of that very difficult time.

Dear friends: I was not a fun person to be around.

You know what I’m talking about if you’ve been there or if you’re there now.

I hear you all talking on the forums about the same thing I just went through!

I’m going to summarized it best in the following poem I wrote:

Frequent lows, so many at night.

I’m so frustrated and tired and filled with fright.

Sometimes I wish I could just be healthy, no complications to recite.

I’m trying so hard to see the light, but today my love – it’s not in sight.

Please overlook my snappy, angry bite.

And know that, soon, there will be light.

This is truly from the heart. Just coming out of the darkness makes it easy for me to write about this time.

Have hope my friends, it does end!

I’m now in what I consider an easier point in the pregnancy.

You see, early in pregnancy the anti-insulin hormone is low, but as the pregnancy progresses the anti-insulin hormone increases causing insulin resistance.

I find the second trimester to be the best part of the pregnancy. Insulin resistance definitely takes it’s nasty bites every 2 weeks or so…

But it’s not as bad as the third trimester when just looking at a marshmallow makes me hyperglycemic.

Like I said, every 2 weeks I feel frustrated as my sugars increase at random times of the day but I know it’s part of the insulin-resistant stage.

We should be semi-happy as this means our body is producing healthy hormone levels to support the bambino.

Illustration of Super Hero Girl in the fly

This is the least intimidating superhero I’ve seen! Nonetheless, watch out anti-insulin hormone, you’re about to get a whooping and it won’t be with a smile on my face!

With this pregnancy, I’m really quick to kick some serious anti-insulin hormone in the #*%@!!!

With Golden Top when I saw high sugars I’d be like: “Oh it’s probably something I ate.”

Now? I go straight to an increased temp basal and extra correction boluses.

And at night when I’ve had insulin resistance, I’m making modestly aggressive changes to all of my settings: insulin to carb ratio, basal rates, correction ratio, and so on.

The cool thing is that: The insulin dose changes really becomes quite predictable!

I know I’ve said it before, but I feel it’s easier than managing my monthly blood sugar fluctuations, which outside of pregnancy, feel like a roller coaster ride of unpredictability.

Do you agree? Is the second trimester really the honeymoon phase of pregnancy, even for us type 1’s?

Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

About the author

Melissa Shannon

Melissa Shannon is diabetes obsessed! She's a diabetes nurse, diabetes advocate, and person with type one diabetes. Melissa loves sharing stories about life with diabetes and is a passionate speaker and diabetes evangelist. Melissa's motto is: "Let's not let diabetes rule our lives, let's have diabetes to go!"

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