Monday, February 1, 2016

Diabetes and Pregnancy - My Experience

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with a diabetic nutritionist to go over my blood sugar, medications, and the foods I should be eating while pregnant.  As many of you already know, I was type 2 diabetic before pregnancy and being diabetic can pose some complications during pregnancy.  Now being type 2 diabetic is different than having gestational diabetes.  There can be some similarities but there's also some differences.  The way I understand it, gestational diabetes occurs later in pregnancy while having type 2 before pregnancy means it's there for the whole dang pregnancy.  Because I've had type 2 diabetes there was some concern in the first 3 months for the baby developing abnormalities or having certain disabilities.  I'm happy to report that, so far, we've gotten the all clear from the doctor.

Now that we are 20 weeks the doctors are concerned that when I hit 24-28 weeks my insulin resistance might get worse which could require insulin to manage my blood sugar.  I don't think insulin is a bad thing, if needed, but there are certain complications that go with taking insulin.  It could cause the baby to have trouble regulating it's own blood sugar after birth which could require it to have to stay in the NICU for a couple of weeks.  Additionally I could have an underweight baby or an overweight baby.  For me personally, it means that the birth plan Tim and I have chosen for a certified nurse midwife would change as she can't see me if I'm taking insulin.  I become high risk at that point and the hospital regulates that an OB would have to see me then.  The good news is that all of this can be controlled with proper nutrition and exercise, which is what prompted the visit to the diabetic nutritionist.

So far, my sugars have been well controlled but they are borderline.  My doctor is anticipating that at 24 weeks, which is usually when gestational diabetes is discovered, my sugars will go up and having high blood sugar could really have some adverse affects on the baby.  So, for the next four weeks I have to monitor my blood sugars after every meal and fasting first thing in the morning.  I have to do everything I can to get them lower so I can avoid going on insulin.  The awesome news is that because I've been working so hard to lower my sugars I've started eating way better than I had been and I've naturally lost 20 pounds during this pregnancy and my A1C dropped significantly.  Additionally, my post meal sugars have been perfect while my fasting sugars are borderline.  So if we can figure out how to get those lower, I'll be well on the right track.  I have to four weeks to do it. 

Having diabetes is a big deal in pregnancy and sometimes it can be really scary.  It's possible to manage and keep it under control but sometimes I still feel like it's impossible.  I have a reason to do it though, more now than ever.  This time it's about my daughter and making sure that she's brought into this world with the best start she can have. 

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