Tuesday 28 July 2015

Pregnancy weeks 9-12: kidney-bean babies and leveling out

So at 9 weeks it's finally sunk in; we're having a baby-kid. It's a strange feeling, knowing you are pregnant but not really having tangible proof of that, other than the crazy sore breasts, insane lethargy and incessant crying at TV adverts with mistreated dancing animals.  I've donated a shit lot of money to charity during this stage of pregnancy.  Be warned.

I must have looked at that pregnancy test a millions times, but it wasn't until I saw the kidney-bean-with-ears shape on that first early scan, that I really 'felt' pregnant. There doesn't seem to be a 'standard' approach to scanning mums with D early, but ours was scheduled at 9 weeks, and offered estimated dates of conception and due date, and basic checks that everything looked OK.  Not that I would have had a clue because to me the image on the screen could have been anything, but seeing the flutters of the primitive heart flicking away on the screen was a pretty special moment, and made the many hypos and achey worn-out feet worth every single moment.

After donating more of my best blood cells to the hospital's store of my personal supply, now quite possibly needing its own wing of the hospital, we've been told all looks good with the growing kidney-bean, and that my HbA1c was holding steady just above 6%.  This, along with the fact that I'm learning how to manage the 45-minute hypos, means things have started to feel a little more normal again in life.  I'm packing away the carbs with the gusto of a famished post-hibernation grizzly bear, and if I ever start to waver or feel a little overwhelmed with the task ahead, I look at the photos of the bean, and remember why I'm doing this.

As a result of the first scan and midwife appointment, I'm now also in a regular routine of seeing my diabetes team every 2 weeks for them to look over my results, make suggestions and work with me towards achieving blood sugar levels as close to 5-7mmol as possible.  Some days this feels like a mammoth task, but keeping their email addresses to hand and dropping them a line if I am ever struggling has helped me enormously in feeling like any issues are addressed straight away.

Things I've noticed in the final parts of the first trimester:

~ I've become more sensitive to insulin, and more accepting of carbs.  Rarely rising above 9 mmol even after the most carbilicious meals mean the final parts of this trimester have left me feeling like life is leveling out, just a little.

~ Hypos still take a long time to recover from and some hit in 'stealth-mode', with little warning.  If you don't use CGM, I would highly recommend increasing blood tests if you haven't already, because the tiredness and general overwhelming need to be completely horizontal, if awake at all, in early pregnancy means those hypos-in-cloaking-devices can knock you for six.

~Blood tests still suck.

Friday 10 July 2015

Pregnancy: weeks 5-8 (boob-ache and bolus-mayhem)

By now if the constant boob-ache and total lethargy hadn't given me reason to suspect I was packin' a baby down there, the five pregnancy tests sealed the deal.  I was one of those horrendous secretly-thrilled people filed under 'lucky bastard' who didn't suffer any sickness (yet), but, before you virtually strike me in the blog-face or permanently unsubscribe from my posts, I have taken to spontaneous day-sleeping.

Spontaneous day-sleeping is a marvellous condition which makes it all but impossible to keep the pregnancy a secret, and works wonders for your relationship when every film we watch together ends in me snoring or falling asleep immediately after the opening credits. Sex, has all but gone into hynernation, because I'm asleep all the time, and there are laws against one-way loving. Jamie, is thrilled.

Diabetes-wise, these weeks weren't too crazy of a time after the first 4 weeks other than some pretty striking hypos which seemed to take 45 minutes or more to recover from. Having been away travelling there was still a whole heap of late-night campsite-tramping and wicked post-meal hypos needing lots of fruit-juice glugging.

During these weeks you may well be going along to your maternity clinic for your first blood tests (these don't get any easier, even with a kiddo on board) and some information on how your care will take shape over the next few months.

Below are some of the things I noticed over these last few weeks.

~I've been religiously using gentle walks to budge down blood sugars when I know I have enough insulin on board but that my post-meal spike is going up just a little faster than I would like.  A quick 15 minute walk around the block once or twice is enough to bring me back into range, and the beauty of walking is that even when lethargy-face hits, it's not such a big ask to go walking for 15 minutes.

~On the plus side, carbs, which I was convinced had reached the end of their sweet life during pregnancy, are back in full force. With some cleverly timed bolusing, I've been enjoying meals with 70, 80 or even 90g carbs.

~ pregnancy gives you 'hunger-rage'. You'll know it when you see it, and you'll probably consider strangling any stray cows eating unattended in a field if hunger-rage strikes. Because you will be THAT hungry. 

~Blood tests still suck arse.

~For some reason my blood sugars have become increasingly more difficult to bring up after a hypo.  Initially I made the horrible mistake of treating hypos twice, because after 30 minutes I was still in the 3s at a stable pace. Be warned, treating twice is a false economy, because you'll most likely spike twice as hard and twice as fast when you recover.