Category Archives: Pregnancy

Five Years Makes A Full Circle

I’ve been trying to think of what to write about today. Should I just reblog my original post and label it “5 years of Suga-blogging”? Or should I simply just post some picture and say “Happy 5 years to my blog”? Then I started thinking about what my original blog post was about. The one that started my thinking of even blogging in the first place. Why did I start one? What was my purpose for starting this journey? And it’s all come full circle.

My first real-world, blogging just to blog and get things out of my head, post was about my thoughts of having a baby, and wondering if it was something we could do or not. It was something that was just a dream. But through blogging and opening myself up, I was able to process feelings that I had over time. I learned a lot about myself by just getting my thoughts out and facing the realities and working through them. I even created my blog “symbol” or flower (which has been redesigned over the years!)New flower - final4 200 to represent the renewal of hope that I found in myself that yes, I could do this. Eventually, that dream came to fruition. We became parents, and it’s been a wild ride ever since.

Now, here we are, approaching three years (sidenote: WHAAATTT??!?!) since our “BabyK” came into our lives. We have even thought and entertained the idea of having a second child as it was just one of our concluded agreements that if we did/could have one child, we wanted to have another one. But now, we’re sort of stepping back and reassessing that agreement. Not because we don’t think we can handle it as parents, but we are more worried about how or if my body could handle a second pregnancy. I know many who have two children and seem to be doing just fine. But I worry. It’s a question of should we be thankful for the one we have and not take the risk? Is there much more risk in the long term? There are so many questions that go through my mind, but the main topic of it is…

Thinking of another baby… maybe… maybe not.

4 Comments

Filed under dblog, Diabetes, Pregnancy

Preparing for Pregnancy : How Did You Do It?

_TKM2701color

Photo credit: Theresa Kaye Photography

One question that I noticed was being asked a lot when I attended the DiabetesSister’s conference in Raleigh this month was “How did you do it? What did you do to control your diabetes and get prepared for pregnancy? How did you get your A1c below 7 for pregnancy?” While I’m not here to give medical advice in any way, shape, or form, I will go over just a few things that helped a lot.

First, I know that many women have been able to have very healthy, successful pregnancies years ago without the use of the technology that we have now, but for me, I’m very tech-oriented and use whatever diabetes devices I have to the best of my ability… especially when I was preparing for pregnancy and all during my pregnancy. Most pumps and CGM’s (Continuous Glucose Monitors) come with software that you can upload and get a good general feel for how the past few days, weeks, or even months have gone and you can either fax or email your doctor your results.

I knew that in order to have a safe “oven”, I needed to keep my A1c below 7% per my endocrinologist’s advice. Of course, some of you may already do this, but considering I was a diabetic who hovered in the 8-10 A1c range, this was a huge step for me.  The biggest thing I ever did to help make this happen was I not only uploaded and studied all of my pump charts and logbooks on a regular basis (okay, once every 2 weeks)… I also obtained a Dexcom CGM. Some of you use a Medtronic  CGM that’s built into your pump.. that’s okay too. If you don’t have a CGM, I would strongly suggest looking into getting one. I know it’s not a very easily obtained piece of d-equipment, but it did make all the difference in the world for me.

There is a setting in the CGM that will alert you if you go high or low. I started out from my high threshold of 200 mg/dl and every few weeks, I lowered it by 20… so two weeks later, I lowered it to 180, then 160 and so forth. Even though I knew it would bug the absolute mess out of me, I eventually kept the high at 140 mg/dl and my low around 70 or 80 I think. I wasn’t worried about the low too much because the Dexcom defaults to alert you at 55mg/dl no matter what anyway. But by setting my high threshold at 140, I would know each and every time I hit that level and I would know to either keep an eye on it or go ahead and do something about it. I didn’t use it to think “Oh gosh, I’m high”… but more of a heads up that, “hey, you might want to watch this”. Why did I choose 140? The old “egg” (Seven Plus) system would only let you choose the high increments at 20 mg/dl steps, so I couldn’t set a 130 as I would have liked and 120 was just ridiculous, so 140 it was.

_TKM2706color

Photo Credit: Theresa Kaye Photography

Over the next few months, I kept a very close watch on every single thing. I knew how exercise, certain types of foods, even the difference between water and a Diet Coke affected me. I literally became obsessed. I was a master of “dual wave” boluses for certain types of foods and Super Boluses for large-carb meals. I watched my numbers so closely that I had my basal rates down to the 0.025u increments, something that I never had to do before. I only ever adjusted to the 0.5u. Shortly after doing all of this, I reached and maintained that “under 7%” goal, and we were given the “green light” for pregnancy.

If I could give any advice (not medical… just “d”sister-to-“d”sister), I would tell you to honestly learn your body. Each and every one of us is made differently and what works for me may not work for you. It’s a process that takes time and patience, but it a rewarding process. I will say that I owe a big part of my preparing for and having a healthy pregnancy was having a CGM and insulin pump that I could work with and fine-tune, so use whatever d-equipment you may have to your advantage. Also, letting go of seeing your numbers as “grades” and seeing them as guides to help make a huge difference.

1 Comment

Filed under dblog, Diabetes, Pregnancy

The Big ONE

ONE.

The big one.

ONE year old.

That’s twelve months…. 52 weeks…. 365 days….. 8760 hours….

My sweet, adorable, loveable munchkin, you are ONE year old.

This past month, I have been remembering our steps up until this day exactly one year ago. From the agonizing swelling that made my feet look like marshmallows to all the way to the Friday before you were born when I was called in to the hospital for an emergency visit because my platelet count had dropped so dangerously low. All of those nights of not being able to sleep comfortably anywhere in the entire house come flooding back, along with the pain and fear of each contraction. The rush of the day before when we had the final visit to the OB’s office where they said they would admit me THAT night, and we had only three hours to get our stuff in order and be back at the hospital. The nerves that surrounded your dad and I to know that when we would return, we would have you in tow, separately… outside of me…

And, boy, have our worlds changed. You have grabbed us both by the heart strings and held on tight. Every move you make, every sound you utter, every smile that crosses your face grows our hearts to sizes we never knew possible. Every whine, whimper, cry, and pain you have felt has broken our growing hearts as well, but I know that it’s all a part of loving you and taking care of you and growing with you.

As for this month, you’re becoming more adventurous. You haven’t walked on your own, but you are a champ at pulling up and holding on tight to whatever you can walk along with for stability. We are finding a bazillion things every day it seems that we have to say “No! Not that! Don’t eat that! Don’t pull that!” And you get SO mad! Holy cow! I know you just want to play and have fun, but we just want to do what’s best and protect you. You hear “no” a lot now too since you’re learning that mommy has something attached to her with a cord. You want to play with the box and buttons, and pull on the cord, to which I have to pry it out of your hand and tell you “no”. You don’t understand what it is or why you can’t have it right now, so you get upset. I promise, honey, I’ll explain everything as best as I can until you know what my pump is and why I have to have it.

You’re also being weaned off of baby food and formula to Almond milk and table food. It’s taken me hours and hours to research this choice, but I believe that it’s the best for you. I’ve read too much about soy and it’s possible effects on the endocrine system, plus it’s already ingrained and infiltrated into too many products as it is now, so I don’t feel safe with you also drinking it.

Some good news on the dairy front is you seem to be starting to outgrow your dairy allergy, or at least be able to tolerate dairy a bit better. This past week was your Papa-T’s birthday, and out of curiosity, we let you have some cake without the icing. You absolutely loved it. We cautiously watched and waited for the vomit fest that we were sure would ensue within a few minutes… but it didn’t. You did break out in a patch of hives on your belly and chest area, but they went away very quickly after using your medicine on the area. Your dad and I were so happy! Our worries about your birthday cake and future parties eased a bit knowing that though you still had a reaction, it wasn’t a terrible one like you’ve had before. We’ve tried it again since then, and same thing – a few hives, but no vomiting. You’ve had uncooked diary as well, but that was a definite no-go, so it seems if you do have any dairy, it must be baked. And that’s progress! Your cake for your party will still be diary-free just because we don’t want to take any chance at all on your big day.

My baby, you’ll never know what a blessing you have been to me and your dad. We’ve been through SO much already together. We never knew what a challenge this would be when we brought you home, but that doesn’t change one ounce of the way we feel about your or the amount of love we have for you. God has blessed us with the most precious thing we could ever imagine.

You are my heart… my breath… my world.

I love you SO very much.

Always know that.

-Mommy

 

3 Comments

Filed under BabyK Letters, Non-Diabetes, Pregnancy

Calorie Sink

Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m gaining back some of the weight that I lost after I had Kip. I’ve been really depressed about it, but I just didn’t know what to do. The thought of exercise is great, but with school and everything else going on, I just don’t know when I have the time to fit in even a 15 minute walk.

But this morning was the kicker. I’m back over the mark that I didn’t want to cross ever again unless I was pregnant… 150. Of the 37 pounds I lost after pregnancy, I have gained back 16. That’s almost half. And I am not happy with myself. It’s all my fault though. After I stopped pumping, I no longer had the “calorie sink” (as my endo calls it) that allowed me to mindlessly eat whatever I wanted and still lose or maintain my weight. Also, my insulin needs have slowly crept up, which I’m sure doesn’t help but add to the problem even more. (Of course, all those pre-supper snacks of junk-food time as I get home doesn’t help either, but ya know….)

So, I’m doing something about it.

I’m going back to Weight Watchers. I’m going to do everything in my power to stick with it (again). I have sucessfully lost weight on it before, and I think I can do it again.

Already this morning, one of my biggest problems has been pointed out.. my lattes. I love them. I make them at night for the next morning. And now, I can change them up and make healthier, lower-fat ones with the recipes that I saw others post. Breakfast will be chagned from a biscuit to something healthier and more satisfying. This morning, I had a spoonful of natural peanut butter and a banana. Yum.

I don’t know how I’m going to handle transitioning back into a restricted diet. I’m going to be a like a big kid and buck it at times, but I know it’s best. I’ve got to stay at a lower weight to be healthier.

And somewhere, I have got to find 20-30 minutes to exercise… I just hate to start with the weather outside being a freaking oven now. (See: I hate to sweat! It’s yucky!) Maybe I need to start back on the dance games on the Xbox…. hmm…..

So I guess that’s the goal. Not so much to lose weight fast, but to eat healthier so I can be healthier.

I’ve signed up for the 3 month plan. I also have my endo appointment on Thursday which will give me a beginning A1c too, so I’ll be able to see if it helps with blood sugar control and help me get my A1c back where I used to keep it.

Leave a comment

Filed under dblog, Diabetes, Pregnancy

9 Months

Nine months have passed.

While I still see the baby that you were the day I had you, you’re slowly morphing into this toddler. A kid with his own little personality. One thing above all that I simply love and that melts my heart is how happy of a child you are. There’s hardly ever a time when you cry or get upset, unless of course it’s the normal stuff like hunger, diaper, or you have bumped your head on something while trying to be adventurous… oh, or if you have something you can’t and I have to take it from you. Things excite you so much. Your eyes open wide, you squeal in your own little weird way, and you clap your hands as if to say “YEEEEY, mom!”

And remember last month when you were starting to scoot backwards? Well, you still can’t quite go forwards, but I no longer have to put you into crawling position for you to get down and go where you want to go. You have mastered getting from sitting to crawling position, where then you look behind you and back up, where – when you get there – you spin yourself around on your belly to face whatever it is you were going to get. Oh, and I have also given up on expecting what position or area of your crib I’ll find you in in the mornings. I do belive you have covered every square inch of that thing either on your back, side, or belly, scooting and rolling about from one side to the other. Sometimes, even under your pillow.

Backed into a corner 😀

And this month, I left you for the biggest, longest trip ever away from you… and away from everyone (except daddy… he went with me).  We’re talkin’ clear across the USA, but it was for a good cause, I promise. I hated so much to leave you, but I knew you were in excellent hands. Thank GOODNESS for FaceTime and video cameras. Even though we were thousands of miles apart, we were still able to talk and chat (babble?) so it helped a bit. Besides, I think your cousin kept you pretty well entertained, as I heard you had an itinerary of your whole stay well before we left you.

You are starting to be independent (geez, don’t know where you got THAT from! 😉 ). You have learned what mommy’s iPhone camera is and what it does, and you either grab for it or you did like you did this morning and turn away from me. Now, gone are the days of posing you for cutesy pictures… I’ll be on my toes (or elbows), and exercising some mad “creative” picture skills I’m sure.

You’re also starting to notice the things that are attached to your mommy… like the box with the string (a.k.a – the pump). You see the string.. you want to eat the string… you pull the string, and momma says “no”. But you think that “no” word, or the other one – “stop”, are funny words, so you laugh and pull harder, causing mommy to squeal. You think it’s mommy being funny, so you laugh. It’s in that moment… that second… that I dislike diabetes all over again. Here, you think you’re playing with a simple toy, but you’re playing with something very serious, and I have to take it from you. You get upset, and I quickly distract you with another toy, but in my mind, I know that we’re soon going to be faced with the questions of “what’s that, mama?” or “I want to play with it, mama… why not?” and simple toy distraction won’t work, and the journey will begin of how to explain my attachments to you and why I need them. You will then enter into my world of diabetes as a T3, not just mommy’s baby. I know it’s going to happen soon.. I’ve just got to mentally get ready for it. I want to tell you and explain things just right so you understand. I don’t want it to scare you, which is what I’m more afraid of than anything.

 

You are my sunshine.

My 20-something ball of smiles and bolus-free sugar.

I love every bit of you and everything about you.

“I love you right up to the moon – and back.”

 

1 Comment

Filed under BabyK Letters, Pregnancy

Two Front Burners

You know, I get that losing weight has an impact on insulin needs. And I have done that. Not only has it been two months since BabyK was born, but I have continued to lose weight and am now down to my lowest weight during the 1st trimester, which was 10 pounds lower than my pre-pregnancy weight. This, largely in part, to pumping his milk, which burns extra calories.

Most everything has returned to normal since having him. Hormones (thank you, PMS!) are back on the monthly roller-coaster that they were, I’m back in my pre-pregnancy clothes, even though I’m a slightly different shape than before (but it’s amazing what pregnancy will do to your calf muscles! or mine, at least…). But one thing that hasn’t returned to normal is my insulin. I’m still only needing about half of what I was before pregnancy, and as of this morning, I’ve backed off even more when it comes to correction factors. Granted, I don’t mind being low mid-morning and eating my two Oreos and clocking in at a nice 100mg/dl at 1pm for lunch. The low had resulted from an overnight high of 231mg/dl at 4am, long after any bolus would be active, so I took the full amount. But what I didn’t think about was that I had also pumped his milk at 4am as well, which normally requires a decrease in insulin for me, so I probably took too much in light of that situation.

Not that I’m trying to complain at all about the decrease in insulin needs (hey, it’s a welcomed change to have a few extra vials of insulin on hand between refills!), but I just wish I could figure it out. I just wish I could learn myself enough to do what I need to do without much thought (I’m sure I just heard a collective “HA!” in the DOC) while trying to balance being  a mom and doing what I need to do for the baby.

I mean, seriously. I know everyone says that when you become a mom, taking care of yourself goes on the back-burner and the child comes first. And I’ve done that. But diabetes doesn’t let me put myself on the back burner. It’s still up here, front and center, along with BabyK. And I think this week has just finally gotten to me mentally – trying to find out what’s going on with me and  what’s going on with him and his skin.

(Turns out, he has eczema, so I’m having to use a steroid oil on his patches until they clear, and then keep him lotioned up to help him not break out as bad. But with the biggest, angriest patch being on his face, I’ve been having to try to keep him from rubbing and scratching it, not just so he won’t irritate it, but so he won’t get the oil in his eyes or mouth… to which these mittens that Erik’s friend gave us have come in handy!) 

Froggie Mittens!

Froggie Mittens! Smile

I know I need to just relax and things will take care of themselves. But I’m just so afraid of the whole “not-taking-care-of-him/herself syndrome” that others have. If I leave my diabetes alone and avoid tight control because I can’t balance it and him, then I’ll be at risk for long-term complications, and when they happen, outsiders will say “she just didn’t take care of herself…”, and if I totally gave myself to diabetes control as I did before and during pregnancy, others may say that I’m ignoring him  and his needs in place of my own and I’m being a bad mom and I need to put him first. I feel like it’s a darned-if-you-do-darned-if-you-don’t situation. And, no, no one has said anything of the sort to me, but I feel like they think it.

How do you let go? How do you not worry about what people think or say? I’m doing everything I physically and mentally can to take care of the two absolutely most important things in my life, and I’m so afraid something somewhere along the way is going to fall through the cracks, and I’m going to  be fussed at or looked at as unfit.

I don’t know the answer, and I don’t know that any of you do either. I do know this. I’m glad that I have you guys as a sounding board. People who know what I’m talking about and have been there. People who have the guts to not let things get to them, and when they do, they tell the on-lookers to shove it and they move on. I envy you.

And I’m grateful for those of you who give me words of encouragement, that tell me that no matter what, I can do this, and to just sit back, BPR (Breath, Pray, & Relax), and take each day as it comes.

Because it’s true.

I CAN do this.

Not because I have to, but because I want to.

I want to be the best and do the best I can for both me and  my child.

After all, a stove has two front burners, right?

 

Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? –Matthew 6:27 CEB

Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34 CEB

Leave a comment

Filed under Diabetes, Pregnancy

After The Birthday (Part 3)

I was kept on the critical floor for that day and a half because not only was I on a morphine drip, but I was also on a magnesium drip because of my blood platelets. They had dropped yet again. Not to mention, my blood sugars went on a wild ride right after delivery, dropping every hour it seemed. We had to do a lot of basal and bolus adjusting during that time. I had already dropped everything – basals, bolus ratios, correction factors, etc – by half and it was still too much insulin. I knew to expect a big drop, but I didn’t realize it was going to be that much. It really is amazing what goes on in your body, and how the littlest or biggest things can have either a big or little impact on you.

Meanwhile, I had not seen my baby since that few seconds right after he was born. I was going crazy. Erik and others kept bringing me pictures that had been taken with their cell phones, and the NICU staff had even taken some pictures and laminated them for me to keep in my room, but it was just not the same as actually seeing him or touching him. So, when they finally let me move from the critical unit floor down to the standard delivery floor, I didn’t waste any time asking if I could go down to the NICU to see him. The nurse wanted me to say and let her check me really quick, but with the pain of the c-section making it hard to get up and down in the wheel chair and the fact that if I had to go one more second without seeing him, I would probably go insane, I all but begged her to let me stay in the chair and let me go see my baby.

untitled shoot-012We scrubbed in and went through the double doors. Erik wheeled me around the other babies to take me to my little one. Finally we rounded the corner where he was. He was laying there, hooked up to all the machinery, sleeping. I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t hold my emotions. I cried as I finally got to touch his soft skin again. I could barely talk as I took in the wonder of the miracle that God had given me laying there in front of me. It was then I got to hold him. This was a huge deal. Even though others had come and gone to see him with Erik, no one but Erik had gotten to hold him. Erik made it a point to be sure that no one could except him until I had gotten to hold him. He did this without me knowing, and when he told me, it made that moment all the more special.

It was then that I saw his feet. His poor little heels had been poked so much by this time that they were purple and speckled. My heart broke. I knew they had to monitor his blood sugars, but it was then it hit home. I hurt for him. It was a moment where I started to blame myself for his pain. I know it’s a big risk that babies of diabetic mothers are likely to have blood sugar problems that have to be monitored, but you never really think of what that entails until you see your own child with speckled heels from every check they performed staring you in the face. As I was looking at his feet and rubbing them, the doctor from the NICU came up to speak with me. He had spoken with Erik before, but he wanted to introduce himself and let me know who he was and how BabyK was doing. He told me how his blood sugars were doing and that they were going to start weaning him off of the IV glucose to see if his body would respond and balance out. Then he looked at me and told me something that I will never forget: He said that other than the blood sugar issues at birth, there were absolutely no other signs of him being born to a diabetic mom. It was then that I really lost it. My worst fears of a diabetic pregnancy had been alleviated. My son had not been seriously affected by my disease. Those words ranked right up there with “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” and “It’s a boy!” and “Here he is!”.

And to think that through my teen years and up until only 6 years ago I was so dead set on never trying to become pregnant because of my diabetes. Oh what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and show my younger self this little miracle and say, “Yes!, You CAN do this!!!!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Diabetes, Pregnancy