#DBlog Day 3: Pregnancy By Numbers

It appears I missed Day 2’s prompt – the Diabetes Poetry Slam. (i.e. Write a poem, rhyme, ballad, haiku, or any other form of poetry about diabetes.) I had a couple songs stuck in my head yesterday… does that count? No? Okay, I’ll humor you with a haiku:

Fifteen, wait fifteen
Versus the contents of my
Refrigerator.

<Beatnik snaps all around>

Okay, now on to less humorous items. Let’s talk about our feelings.

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?

Nothing stirs up emotions like a pregnancy. Not just because your hormones are running rampant, but the mix of excitement and fear can make all rational thought exit stage left for 9 months. Add a chronic illness to the mix, and it’s a wonder how any T1 moms survive the pregnancy with their sanity.

I’ll openly admit to anyone that asks that I’m not having fun during my pregnancy. It’s not because of the morning sickness, or the body image issues, or the back pain, but it’s that I’m too busy dealing with numbers to actually enjoy “being pregnant.” Controlling my blood sugars is a chore now more than ever. Rather than stressing over nursery decor and child care, I’m worried about the 69 mg/dl I had one hour after eating dinner… and the pending 200 that will probably show up later.

Diabetes with pregnancy is all about numbers. Are they too high after a meal? Can you increase your basal without dipping too low in the middle of the night? How many carbs can you stand to eat without bolusing again because you think the 3 units you already have on board might cover it. (Sometimes it does… other times it really doesn’t.) The game changes daily… hourly. This is one giant math problem I can’t solve. And I don’t really think math is that fun to begin with.

Diabetes not only effects me personally, but those around me, and most importantly, the person growing inside me. And that’s a HUGE guilt trip. Usually, when a stubborn high plagues my afternoon, it only effects me. It’s my burden… my consequences alone. Now? It 100% effects someone else… someone who also doesn’t have a say in what this disease will do, despite my micro-managed efforts.

Diabetes consumes every ounce of this experience. At my 15 week appointment, I spent 20 minutes going over blood sugars, problems I was having with control, suggestions and ideas I had, patterns I saw, all while the Resident took notes for the head OB to review collectively with me before changing my pump settings again. She left to go find the head OB, but returned two minutes later and asked, “hey, do you want to hear the heartbeat?” We were both so caught up in the numbers game that we forgot about the real reason I was supposed to be there – to check on the baby.

So after all of this – why on earth would any sane, fertile woman of childbearing age with T1 ever want to have kids?

Well, this is my reason:

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Meatball at 12W

It’s hard to explain. I know deep down that my efforts, despite my fleeting sanity, will be worth it come October. The things like a nursery, shopping and the whole “nesting” thing will come along soon enough. I know I don’t have time to do a lot of things that I should be doing at this point, but I don’t feel it’s as important as making sure this kid comes out into the world healthy. And that end goal is important enough to me to keep a level head.

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4 thoughts on “#DBlog Day 3: Pregnancy By Numbers

  1. Kelley says:

    Your OB reviews your blood sugars? Are you seeing your endo still? I’m surprised how different each T1D’s pregnancy care is that I’ve read.

    Cute baby…do you know the sex yet?!

    • seejendance says:

      I’m actually not seeing my pre-pregnancy Endo. They keep all pregnant PWDs in the OB department. My MFM is actually a CDE as well, but the other faculty members are trained in endocrine issues. They mostly see GD moms, and sometimes try to use those theories for me, but I’m a whole other can of worms. There is an Endo in the department that I’ve met once, but I don’t see her regularly. The advice nurses were or are CDEs as well.

  2. fifteenwaitfifteen says:

    Oh, I remember these thoughts and feelings like it was yesterday (not 3 years ago!)…..I was SO HAPPY to be pregnant with my daughter, but the big D swallowed up so much of my joy because it was just so much freaking work and stress being pregnant. I wasn’t just taking care of myself and diabetes, I was building another little human, and knew that everything I did affected her. I worried that every single high or low was hurting her in some way. I scheduled my eating and insulin and exercise to the letter, and still felt like I failed. I had always thought I would love and enjoy and bask in pregnancy, but really, it felt like just a countdown of weeks to when we would get past each milestone and survive, and she would be OK. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would toss out as much of that useless stress as I could, and really try to enjoy pregnancy, with just a side effect of diabetes, not let it be all-consuming. But, I can tell you, it would be hard. CONGRATS again! I know you are doing a fabulous job, and can’t wait for October!!!! ***hugs****

  3. fifteenwaitfifteen says:

    Oh, and by the way, my daughter came out perfectly healthy, no blood sugar issues, nothing!! at 37 weeks, 1 day. My heath care routine included OB, Endo, and several maternal fetal medicine specialist visits – because I was over 35, had T1D, and had also had fibroid surgery 2 years before, so I was a scheduled C-section from the get-go. Not due to diabetes, but due to the fact they didn’t want my uterus to explode or anything since it had already been cut open before for the fibroid surgery. While I had always hoped to not have to have a c-section, it ended up being fine, and I was perfectly cool not having my uterus explode at any point! 🙂

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