Life through the eyes of a diabetic, first-time mom.
You may not know this about me but I am a control freak and terribly impatient.
That’s why after waiting a week to hear back from the endocrinologist (the doc who oversees my diabetes treatment) I decided that I just have to figure this insulin thing out myself.
The endo-who-shall-remain-nameless was supposed to call me last week after reviewing my numbers and give me adjusted insulin doses. This was particularly critical after my OB saw my after meal glucose numbers and lectured me firmly on the matter. If it were up to me, he would have had control over this from the outset, but things happen and it didn’t work out that way.
A little more than a week ago I was instructed to take 13 units of humulin (intermediate acting) and two units of humalog (short acting) before breakfast, then two units of the short acting stuff anytime I eat, then another 10 units of the intermediate acting stuff before dinner. The results were not to my liking. You already know how my OB felt.
On Friday I decided to bump up to 13 units of humulin before both meals and at least four units of humalog. Results were immediate. Much, much better after meal numbers and before meal numbers were within 10 points or less. Before I eat the goal is to have a blood glucose level of under 95 and two hours after eating the OB wants me under 120.
Over the weekend I bumped up to 14 units of humulin before breakfast and dinner and experimented with as much as eight units of humalog before lunch on Sunday. I splurged and had potato chips instead of a salad for a side with lunch at the Rock. It worked out OK. I probably shouldn’t eat that many carbs but I was crazy hungry and by the time I got to the restaurant my sugar was low. That was the first low I’d had in about a month so I may have overdone it a bit. Still, two hours later, my sugar was 142. Maybe next time I should go with 10 units of the short acting insulin.
Problem with this method is that I’m guessing. I’m not sure if there’s a point of too much insulin and it could be problematic if I overdo a dosage — I could go into insulin shock, pass out, etc. I should probably start wearing a medical alert type bracelet again since I like to wander off on my own all the time. Not to mention that lows are just as bad for the baby as highs. A nice even keel is what I’m aiming for now. My hope is to really get this down in the next two weeks, in other words, by the time I am officially in the third trimester.
In any case, I’ll be going back to my OB on Thursday morning, and hopefully he’ll be happy with the direction of my blood sugar numbers. I’ll just be sure to not overdo the carbs this week, get out and do some walking, as well as monitor my numbers closely. Unless I run out of test strips and my insurance won’t cover another box. Those things cost $100 for a box without insurance. Yikes!
On another note, I’ve gotten questions from folks while out in the community about how I handled the heat. Fear not, my friends, I did not suffer. I did not melt. The first day of that weeklong heat wave my husband and I were up early in search of air conditioning units. I tracked down 6,500 BTU units at the Home Depot in Kent. Jason picked up a pair. One went in my family room and the other went in our bedroom. By Tuesday night our house was cool and comfy.
Back to the daily dilemma: what do I eat next? I’ll gnaw on some string cheese while I ponder.
So, as promised, the latest ultrasound image, courtesy of Valley Women’s Clinic. The third image is from Friday.
My father in law said our little girl looked like a pop can in the first image from early June. Heh. Alexandra, the ultrasound technician, calls her a “little punkin.” I like that.
The second image is from July 2. I won’t ever forget that day because that’s when we found out we’re having a girl. One of the best days of my life.
Hopefully you can see the changes in the three images. Most women don’t have this many ultrasounds done but because I am a high risk pregnancy the doctor wanted this third one to check on a couple of things. First, he wanted to make sure that the placenta had moved up as it was too low and near the cervix in the first two ultrasounds, a condition known as placenta previa. If it persists, it can block the cervix and cause problems during delivery. Fortunately, it is relatively uncommon, and often when it seen early in pregnancy the placenta will move or stretch away from the cervix. The placenta has moved so thankfully that’s one less thing to worry about.
Second, diabetic women, as I’ve mentioned previously are prone to bigger babies. It’s better not to let the weight get to be excessive both for the baby and mom so as to minimize potential complications during delivery. On Thursday, my obstetrician said my belly was measuring “a little big.” That freaked me out.
Luckily, our baby girl is not over weight, in fact Alexandra said she was a little under weight coming in at 1 pound, 12 ounces. At 26 weeks, a fetus typically weighs two pounds, so she’s four ounces shy of that. I’m quite relieved that my wacky blood sugar hasn’t caused her to put on two much weight at this point.
I love the images. I think she’s adorable already. But, I am biased, I’m her mommy.
Alright then, I’m going back to this program I’m watching on the National Geographic Channel called, “In the Womb,” about how identical twins develop.
Enjoy checking out the ultrasound images.
This blog allows me to do two fantastic things: rant and educate.
First, let me rant. This blood sugar management thing is driving me crazy. I am trying really hard to avoid stuff I shouldn’t eat. Problem is that each the list grows larger and things I could eat without issue a week ago are now causing my glucose levels to spike. Every time my glucosometer — it’s a OneTouch UltraMini, one in lime green, one in blue — spits a number back at me that is over, too often well over, the acceptable limits after a meal I get really mad. I’m angry at myself, at my doctors who can’t seem to figure out who should do what and how much of what medication I should take, and at food. I’m developing a hate/hate relationship with food. And just when I think I’m making progress, bam! I hit a wall.
Two weeks ago I was put on humulin, an intermediate acting insulin that should work to keep my insulin levels even for eight to 10 hours, and a week ago my numbers weren’t where they should be so humalog, a short acting insulin was added to the therapy regimen. Within a couple days of adding humalog, I started seeing progress, so having been told that I should be able to eat carbs once I started taking insulin that’s what I did since I was starting to miss bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. I had some sushi. Oops. Too soon for rice. I can’t remember what the next thing was that spiked my sugar near 200, probably bread of some sort. Whole wheat bread, actually, which I had been able to eat up until about a week ago. Then I really whiffed and got a grilled chicken sandwich on white bread instead of whole grain bread at a restaurant earlier this week.
After not getting further direction from my endocrinologist this week, I decided to adjust the dosages myself, especially after the lecture I got yesterday from my obstetrician and hearing that I was “measuring a little big” when he rolled the tape measure across my tummy.
The kind, but quite firm, doctor reminded me that I need to keep my blood sugar levels under control so that my baby will continue to develop normally and so she doesn’t get too big. All the extra sugar crosses the placenta, and like with anyone living outside the womb, excess sugar turns into fat on the fetus. Diabetic women are prone to having bigger babies. My mom, who was diagnosed with Type 2 last April, had me when she was 31 and often complains about my size — ohmigosh I was nearly 10 pounds! I betcha anything she had gestational diabetes and didn’t know it. My older sister, who was 12 when mom was pregnant with me, says our mother ate ice cream from the carton slathered in Hershey’s syrup.
According to what I’ve read, pregnant women are only supposed to take on anywhere from an extra 200 to 400 calories a day, but sometimes ladies interpret eating for two far more literally than they should.
But that’s something I can’t really get away with because of my diabetes, though I admit, as I come to the end of the second trimester my appetite has gotten quite a bit bigger. I’ve been trying to eat smaller meals four to five times a day because it’s good for my blood sugar levels and also because of the limitations of my diet it’s easier for me to do this.
I’ve gained all of five or six pounds, depending on the scale, during my pregnancy and I’m nearly 26 weeks now. If I can manage to not gain more than 15 pounds total I should be in good shape. We’ll just have to see how things go with what I can eat, the insulin doses and whatever excerise (walking the dogs around the neighborhood) I can squeeze into my busy schedule.
This whole medication and insulin thing has been a struggle for me but I’m doing the best I can. I’m starting to think it’ll be easier to take care of my baby once she’s out of the womb and away from the evil clutches of my diabetes.
I’ll find out this afternoon at the ultrasound just how far over weight she may be at this point. There’s still time to get it under control since babies gain most of their weight in the third trimester. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can do it.
Pregnancy is everywhere lately. I guess you could say that I have baby brain and in more ways than one.
Right now, for example, I’m watching this show on TLC called “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.” This program fascinates me. I remember watching the hour long specials during my first trimester (before I knew I was pregnant) and thinking to myself, “Oh, come on now! That would never happen to me.”
Or a few nights ago I was watching a follow up to a six part series on MTV about teen moms with Dr. Drew Pinsky called “16 and Pregnant: Unseen Moments.” It was basically additional footage that wasn’t shown during the series. One segment of the show focused on a health scare, as Dr. Drew described it, where one of the girls was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. She whined about not wanting to take insulin. This frustrated me so much because I know for me, I would do anything for my baby girl, that has always been my first thought. Later they show the teen testing her blood sugar (with the same glucosometer I use, interestingly enough) at a restaurant. Prior to the diagnosis she had been living on a junk food diet but now out to eat she attempted to eat a salad but was put off by the mixed greens before her. I remember how hard it was to cope with diabetes after I was diagnosed (and I was only 23) but to have to learn how to eat right while pregnant, dealing with cravings, then on top of that be in the third trimester when one’s appetite gets quite hearty would be such a challenge.
It’s a shame they didn’t show this struggle during the episode but I’m glad MTV and Dr. Drew decided to use this and other footage of “unseen moments” to teach about the realities of pregnancy no matter the age of the expectant mom.
Speaking of struggles, I’ll be going to see my obsetritian in the morning, along with getting another ultrasound to check on the health of the baby. It will be interesting to hear his thoughts on how my blood sugar numbers look after being on insulin for almost two weeks.
Coming up with a name for this blog was a bit of a challenge. Dennis and I batted around a few ideas but we just didn’t strike upon something that felt right to me.
So, I talked it over with my husband, Jason to see if he had any thoughts. He actually had a great idea but I vetoed it. I’ll have to explain later. “Well, you’re the writer,” Jason said.
Then I turned to my friends on Facebook. A high school classmate of mine, Tallie Menzie, suggested “Baby Blurb” and “My Journey of Uterus Expansion.” That second suggestion is so Tallie. It made me laugh but I knew it wouldn’t work. A short while later, Bambee Haddock tossed out “Baby Babble” and “Words of the Womb.”
Once I saw “Baby Babble” I was sold. I asked Dennis what he thought. He liked it, too, so the matter was closed.
It makes sense to me for two reasons: first, I will tell anyone and everyone who will listen that I’m pregnant then go on and on about it. So, I do babble. Second, this is my first pregnancy, my first baby, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to blog about after our darling little girl arrives. Thus the name transitions well from pregnancy to parenthood.
And speaking of names, start throwing out ideas for names in the comments here on the blog. I have a middle name picked out. And to further help you narrow your suggestions, we’d like an L or R name, one that goes with Elizabeth. I selected Elizabeth because it’s a middle name that goes back five generations on my mom’s side and it’s my older sister’s first name. I really like that she’ll have connections to our family from the out.
Once we get a good list, we’ll post a poll on the Web site, www.covingtonreporter.com or www.maplevalleyreporter.com, and the winning name will get a prize of some sort. We’ve not sorted that detail out yet but I’ll keep you posted.
So keep up with my Baby Babble on my pregnancy. As of today I’m 25 weeks (just a little more than six monts) and am fast approaching the third trimester. Our little girl is due Nov. 19. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say between now and then about the insanity of pregnancy coupled with the challenges of being diabetic.
I’ll try to post two or three times a week. Next time I’ll try and post the latest ultrasound image which is coming on Thursday.
Until then, let’s get the creative juices flowing and come up with baby names!