I’ve now been pregnant for 9 weeks!
If you subtract the first 2 weeks, when you’re really not pregnant, since pregnancy is tracked from the first day of your last period. I’ve only been pregnant for 7 weeks!
I’m not going to sugar coat anything here.
It’s been very tough!
Well, here I am with type one diabetes. Never before in my life with diabetes will I be told that I need to be PERFECT. But right now it seems to me that everyone wants me to be PERFECT (more on that fallacy below)!
And the crazy thing is, no one took your diabetes away.
So you’re expected to get normal pregnancy blood sugars while still having a wonky, out-of-business pancreas
As I’m writing this, I’m having my first hypo reaction of the day. It’s amazing my brain is actually spell-checking too:) Go brain go!
I want to share with you a few things that I’m doing differently with this pregnancy. I’m hoping these changes will improve my quality of life and make for just as good blood sugars as with Golden Top.
Here they are:
1. I Want to Reassure You that with Golden Top, I did not have Perfect Blood Sugars.
I certainly did aim for “perfect” but I’m not a machine and last I checked there wasn’t an artificial pancreas for sale.
I just wish someone would tell you not to ruin your day because you decided to treat yourself to lunch out and now you’re kinda paying the price.
I just saw my endo today and I told him these words exactly (in a bit of a breakdown and revelation moment):
“It’s impossible to get the pregnancy targets.”
After listening to me vent for a few more minutes he said:
“You’re exactly right…it’s impossible with imperfect treatments to get perfect blood sugars.”
And then he made a point to say, “You’re doing a great job. Your sugars look great”.
When I see my logbook I see 9.0 mmol/l (162 mg/dl) and 10.0s (180 mg/dl) probably once a day (sometimes twice). But he sees overall great sugars.
So please my fellow preggar PWDs don’t sweat it. Just keep doing the full time, non-stop job of your pancreas that you’re doing everyday and YES… how about giving yourself some credit!
Note to self: Continue to give the above pep talk to yourself daily! Sometimes hourly :)
2. Exercise to Keep Weight in Healthy Range
Being a type one preggo and aiming for target sugars has one big downside: weight gain.
I’m sure it doesn’t happen to every lady out there, so don’t feel doomed.
It did, however, happen to me. By week 14 with Golden Top I’d gained 8 lbs!
“I kid you not when I say I had fears of making the newspaper for having a 13 lbs baby!”
Thankfully, Golden Top was born at 7 lbs 4 oz (a month early albeit).
To counteract this fear of excessive weight gain, I’m walking after one meal per day. Essentially I walk off the carbs consumed at the meal.
This keeps my daily insulin dose slightly lower. And in my mind makes up for some of the extra carbs I’ve consumed with hypos throughout the day.
And it’s working! I’ve actually lost 2 lbs since finding out I’m pregnant… really not my plan but my doctor doesn’t sound too worried. I will let you know of my OB’s reaction when I see them.
3. I’m Using a Glucose Sensor and it’s Awesome!
With my Medtronic Veo pump I’ve added the Enlite sensor.
It’s really expensive at about $65/week but it’s truly worth every penny.
It can be summed up quite easily: I like sleeping and the Enlite sensor is allowing me to sleep with peace of mind. (Note: I’m receiving no product endorsement for this statement).
The low glucose suspend feature automatically turns off insulin delivery if the set low glucose value (for me 3.0 mmol/l ) is reached.
The insulin delivery is stopped for 2 hours and then resumes again in 2 hours and will even turn off again in another 2 hours if the sensor is obtaining a reading again at your low glucose suspend setting.
With Golden Top I used a sensor for about a week but due to the difficulty inserting I didn’t use it again.
The Enlite sensor is crazy easy to insert and not a barrier at all.
And since the accuracy has improved I’m finding my finger pokes much better match my sensor readings.
4. Using the Reduced Basal Feature on my Pump
I mentioned to my diabetes nurse educator that I want to avoid gaining 50 lbs this pregnancy!
So she gave me a great tip that can sometimes be quite helpful… sometimes (I’m warning you).
When my sugar is in the 4.0 mmol/l (72 mg/dl) range she said I can try using a reduced basal of about 0% for 30- 60 minutes, instead of eating 15 grams of carb.
I’ve honestly never liked doing this… because I find it’s so much more efficient and reliable to just eat some fast-acting carb.
But I’ve tried it a handful of times and about 50% of the time it’s worked AND helped me to avoid eating excess carbs.
The downside is: Depending on your active insulin and other factors like your activity level… your sugar may drop too fast and carbs are required :(
Then you’re stuck eating carb and trying to bolus for the extra insulin you’ve not been getting.
So, I will end by apologizing for the delay in this post. I’ve spent the last few months napping, as often if not more, than my 15 month old son.
I hope to update you soon with some of my favorite hypo treatments (good for pregnancy or not… that are convenient and much healthier than my usual candy assortment)!