Share your T1D pregnancy success stories!?

I have had Type 1 Diabetes since I was a year old. My glucose levels have ALWAYS been very sensitive and all over the place. My recent levels have been very bad with an A1C in the 8's. I found out I was pregnant a few months back and have been trying so hard to keep my levels under control. Although they are still a bit up and down, I'm having more normal levels with a few highs. I'm at 21 weeks now and baby girl is healthy from what they can tell via ultrasound!

I'm very curious to hear other diabetics pregnancy success stories and have so many questions! Please share your story and help other T1D's through our pregnancies :)

Did you deliver naturally or by c-section?
How did the doctor/hospital control your glucose levels during labor?
Did you have a long labor?
Did you experience any complications during pregnancy or labor?
What was your A1C and/or worst glucose levels during pregnancy?
Were you on injections or the insulin pump?
What type of insulins did you use during pregnancy?

Hi there! Thanks for replying to my post about early preg lows. :)

I was all set to deliver naturally...was dilated to 9cm, but stuck there for 6 hrs. So, after 12 hrs of labor I ended up with a C-section. And no wonder - my lil girl was 10 lbs, 4 oz! Pretty amazing! She's a petite lil thing now. :) I think she retained a lot of fluid as I did in those last few weeks. My water broke 2 wks early, but the doctors knew it'd be early b/c I was getting so big. Now I ate healthy, had excellent blood sugars (other than the random crazy numbers we all get sometimes), and exercised for at least an hour everyday. I even swam over a mile the day my water broke. :) I wouldn't really worry about delivering naturally or by c-section. I really wanted to deliver naturally, but in the end it really didn't matter...whatever is best for the baby is fine by me. Just keep your mind and options really can't plan every detail. I asked the doctor why my Lani girl was so big even with great blood sugars, and she said it just happens with Type I diabetics.

I am on a pump and have a Dexcom CGM. My blood sugars were really great during labor and delivery...I think the highest it went was 120. And the baby's blood sugars were normal when I delivered. I set up a delivery plan with my pump nurse beforehand. We had a separate lower basal rate programed already for the days after pump can save multiple basal rate plans. And I took my husband with me to one of my last appts with the pump nurse so he could learn about how to use my pump and such. We had it planned for him to call my nurse during labor and he only needed to a couple times. Having the CGM was wonderful during the preg and the labor and afterwards when I'm too busy to check blood sugars all the time.

The doctors and nurses at the hospital were happy having me control my diabetes on my own, they were confident that I knew what I was doing. Of course they checked in on me and asked how the numbers were and I didn't go in for surgery until we had talked with my pump nurse and asked her what to do.

It all went very smoothly. And I was soooo happy that my husband made it home in time...he was deployed to Afghanistan the week we found out I was pregnant and made it home less than 2 wks before I delivered. After trying for 7 months to get pregnant, I really think God had his hand in it...if we had gotten preg any earlier my husband would have missed the birth! Now this time around, I'm hoping to get pregnant the first month trying. :D I hope, I hope, I hope!

Oh yeah, and my blood sugars ran high for the entire pregnancy! Starting with the first week! I kept them in range of course by changing my pump settings and such, but there was never a low period or a leveling off. I think the last month or 2 was actually the easiest with the least amount of change...very opposite of what most ppl report. I met with my pump nurse every single week to make changes throughout the pregnancy! By the end I think I was getting 3x the amount of insulin that I would normally get before all meals. And I found that if I got my boluses at least an hour in advance of eating (esp. with breakfast) I would avoid the highs post-meals. Just ease it back by 15 min increments til you find what works best.

Hope some of this helps!

Delievered by c-section.  I was induced at 39 weeks and my body wasn't ready to deliver yet (cervix hadn't dialated, baby hadn't dropped).  I was in active labor for 20 hours before they decided to do a c-section.  

I kept my insulin pump on during labor and had very normal blood sugar levels since I couldn't eat.  After the cesarean I was on an insulin drip for about 24 hours.

No pregnancy complications, though when my water broke at the hospital one of the nurses said I had a lot of amniotic fluid and that was common for diabeteic moms.

A1c was 7 when I first became pregnant but I quickly dropped it to a 5.1 with no severe lows.  I aimed for a non-diabetic blood sugar of 80 and tested a lot to avoid lows.  I had a couple blood sugars between 250-300, but only a few.  For the most part I kept good numbers by bolusing, eating, then testing an hour later to see if I needed a correction bolus.

Used insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

Like you probably already know, having a health pregnancy takes work when you have diabetes, but it's totally do-able.  I didn't plan to have children and was so thankful for my "unexpected blessing" who is now 7.

Thank you Jess for starting this thread!  I'm at 11 weeks and feel like all I hear/ read are the scary stuff.  It's great to hear some success stories.  My obgyn, on our first meeting, immediately told me I would be induced.  I feel like 1., it's way to early to determine that, and 2., I should only be induced if my body is ready, or near ready, OR if the baby is measuring too large.  I'm going to a practice obgyn, so basically only the DR who is on call will deliver.  In the meantime, I will be meeting with all the doctors at the practice, and plan to share my reservations of being induced with each of them.  Do you ladies who have already delivered recommend being induced?  

I was scheduled to be induced, but never made it that far. I think it’s pretty standard for diabetics b/c the placenta breaks down earlier than others, even if you have good blood sugar control. Is there a high risk OB in your town? I highly recommend seeing one if possible!

Did you deliver naturally or by c-section?  Natural, but induced at 38 weeks for both

How did the doctor/hospital control your glucose levels during labor?  I let them do it (I also checked myself out of hospital after 24 hours with 2nd daughter - they were driving me crazy with T1D care)

Did you have a long labor?  22+ hours for both

Did you experience any complications during pregnancy or labor?  For first pregnancy I had low placental fluid and was taken off work at 34 weeks.  

What was your A1C and/or worst glucose levels during pregnancy?  low 6s, and a couple of high 5s.  I hated it.

Were you on injections or the insulin pump?   pump

What type of insulins did you use during pregnancy?   humalog

Hi.  I just had a baby girl in October.

My A1C was 6.1 when I found out I was pregnant, and early 5's throughout pregnancy.  My highest reading was probably in the mid to high 200s when I had a bad infusion set.  I am on an insulin pump and on Apidra insulin.

I had pre-existing retinopathy which I had been treated for before with laser photocoagulation, and about half way into the pregnancy I found out my condition was becoming unstable and had to have a couple of laser treatments while pregnant.  My high risk OB scheduled a c-section at 38 weeks because of all of that.  They were worried that I would have more complications and vision loss if I actually went into labor because of the pressure.  

My doctor controlled my glucose levels as soon as I got to the hospital.  He had me take off my pump during surgery and I didn't need any insulin until the next day.  During my 4 days the hospital and doctor managed my blood sugars.  I was fine with that - I was a little out of it after the surgery and trying to take care of a new baby.

My baby was completely healthy - born at 6lbs 11oz.  She had low blood sugars though so they gave her a little formula.  She is 5 months now and very strong and healthy!  Overall my experience was great - a lot of work but totally manageable.

Hey girl! I'm stealing Katie's idea here :-)

Did you deliver naturally or by c-section?

 Naturally assisted with forceps. I was scheduled to be induced at 38 weeks, but had contractions/ false labor for a month   beforehand. My cervix was dilated to 3 cm and 70% effaced at my last appt and my BP was up a bit, so we induced 2 days earlier. Just a few drops of pitocin and the doc breaking my water and we were on our way!  Wound up needing

How did the doctor/hospital control your glucose levels during labor?

 I controlled it myself with my pump the entire time. I developed a plan with my endo and my OB just checked in on me to make sure things didn't get too crazy. I pushed for 2.5 hours and got a little worked up, so I had some highs (150's) because that what happens when i get upset/ overtired.

Did you have a long labor?

No! I think this was because I had false labor etc for what feels like forever. I was only in labor for 12.5 hours total, from my first drop of pitocin til I heard lil' dude cry. I also want to add that my contractions never fit the mold. they were never regular or strong looking. Even with the internal monitor. But i progressed FAST.

Did you experience any complications during pregnancy or labor?

 After 2.5 hours of pushing i opted for the forceps delivery which lead to a little  bit greater of a tear and an episiotomy. My recovery was not bad at all though. I'd do it again. I did however have an elevated AFP when they did the second trimester screening...which kept me up at night until a high risk ultrasound ruled out any defects. I also had high fluids during the last trimester. Neither of which had any impact on the baby. I just had a really big belly!

What was your A1C and/or worst glucose levels during pregnancy?

 6.8 at conception, 5.6 up until the third trimester, then it jumped up to 6.5. But my endo thinks the jump was mostly due to steroid shots i received when in the hospital for early labor. I had a lot of lows (50's) in the first half and then i had some low 200's (less than 10) in the third trimester.

Were you on injections or the insulin pump?

 insulin pump. And it made it so easy! I'd just email my endo with my concerns and he'd email me back with new settings! I had one office visit with him... then he just said he'd rather me not have to pay a 30$ co pay when we could talk on the phone/ over email for free! I'm so lucky :-)

What type of insulins did you use during pregnancy?


Overall, I had a very positive experience. Aside from every ultrasound being told he measured big and it was because I was diabetic ( he was 7 lb 9 oz at birth... not all that big) I also had a top notch medical team, which I really think made all the difference for me. So my advice would be to find doctors you really like and not to be afraid to keep looking.

Ignore the scary statistics and anyone who asks if you've seen "Steele Magnolias."   Just do your best and trust your instincts.

I found it difficult to find recent research studies on type 1 expecting moms in reasonably good control.  Most include women with all types of diabetes and varying levels of control.  And frankly a lot of the studies were done before modern insulins, insulin pumps and carb counting were used.  

As a mom with diabetes I've learned that no matter how well controlled your diabetes is you will likely be viewed as high risk, you will be told your baby is "measuring big", and you will be encouraged to induce early and have a cesarean.  

Then everyone acts like it's a miracle when your baby is normal weight and has a non-diabetic blood sugar...

Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. It's interesting and informative to hear what other diabetics have done and gone through.

I'm currently on insulin injections. I was on the pump for awhile, but I'm so slender, I just had too many issues with infusions sets not working where ever I put them. I got so frustrated I went back to injections. My doctor encouraged me to go back on the pump while pregnant but I just really dont feel comfortable with it. I take Novolog for meals and corrections and Lantus once a day. She also said there was not alot of studies on women taking Lantus insulin during pregnancy, but again I had bad experiences with the other long-lasting insulin and it was my choice.

I guess from reading everyones stories though, I think it's best to do what you feel most comfortable with as long as your baby is staying healthy. I really have to work on my blood sugars, thinking of trying out a CGM now! And although I really do not want a c-section and would like to deliver naturally, I'll just have to see how it all plays out and just prepare myself for whatever may need to happen. Whatever is best for me and baby! :)

Lets see. Used humalog in my insulin pump which I been on for 8 yrs at the time, diabetic for 15. A1C started at 6.7, got down to 5.7 by delivery. I was monitored by my endocrinologist, ob, perinatologist, and opthomologist and had an awesome pregnancy (diabetes wise!). Zero evidence of diabetes until the very end. Baby boy always measured perfectly medium (except his big head!)- we had over a dozen ultrasounds to keep a close eye on him but he was/is perfect! Around 37 weeks I noticed a HUGE change in my insulin needs. It was the week before thanksgiving and I went to a potluck luncheon and took 0 units and my sugar was 150 afterward. (I had a little of nearly everything including a roll and two desserts). After a couple of days of that type of thing and lots of juice boxes to fix my lows, I put it together and called the doc. My placenta was failing and the hormone that usually causes your body to need extra insulin was decreasing, so my insulin needs were as well. The perinatologist said the baby looked great, and we were probably fine to wait until my scheduled induction at 39 weeks (a week later), but that it was just as well to be safe rather than sorry. Baby boy was already a healthy weight and a chance of time in the NICU was worth it to him. They induced me the next morning. My bishops score was low- I was dilated to "1 & a wiggle", cervix softened but still high and back, so after 7 hrs on pitocin I was only to 3 cm. That would have been fine except after every contraction the baby's heart rate dropped dramatically, so the ob recommended a csection & I tearfully agreed. Ended up being a blessing in disguise because his head was not only huge but turned wonky and kind of caught on my pelvis. She actually had to extend my incision another inch to get him out. She said he probably would not have come out vaginally anyway. Or at least not without even more drama. My endocrinologist and I talked before hand and while I was in labor and he wrote orders for me to be my own boss. I kept my pump & CGM in and checked my sugar frequently and had no problems. They did give me an IV with saline (which has some glucose in it) and at some point switched me to the "sugar free" version as I was seeing a slight rise in my blood sugar but didn't really want to be bolusing when I didn't know what to expect. Same thing throughout my recovery. He checked on me daily but said that I was definitely the best judge of what I needed. Baby was 7 lb 13 oz at two weeks early and his sugar at birth was perfect. The took him to the nursery for monitoring but he was great. Next time I will insist baby stays with me and they can monitor it there. I will know what my sugar has been up to that point & will know if baby will possibly need glucose or not! All in all a great experience. My doc was very insistent on my control being awesome before I even thought about getting pregnant because of the potential for problems, and although I was annoyed to have to ask him for permission to get pregnant he was right. Having those habits and control before things got crazy was nice. I was able to tighten up even more, but I liked having a baseline. He did encourage me that he had a patient whose a1c was 12 and he got it down to 6 and her baby was perfectly fine!

Random thoughts: even though your body may not be ready to have the baby when/if they want to induce, take their advice under consideration. There is a significantly higher chance of unexplained stillbirth in diabetic mothers after 40 weeks. A chance not worth taking!

Running high during pregnancy will result in a bigger baby, if you don't know the reasons I can explain. That's why women with gestational diabetes have big babies every time. They aren't used to the diet/meds and don't usually have good control and their sugars stay on the high side. Same with type 2 diabetics. Type 1 diabetics are different.... Their babies can be big or too small. Good control means they'll be average, but my entire pregnancy they were worried he'd be too small, not too big (because of what my numbers were running and my low weight gain). I was surprised by that.

I read everything I could find. Not just blogs & message boards, because every woman & doctor & hospital is different. There are a couple of books I felt had good, research based information and presented multiple possibilities.

Sorry for the novel!!!!!

Great story danapal!  Very encouraging.  Could you share some of the books you read?  

Did you deliver naturally or by c-section?


How did the doctor/hospital control your glucose levels during labor?

Tested before I was induced (it was in the 170s), tested again when labor came on (still 170s), tested again when I was 6 cm dilated and I was 122 so they gave me some juice. Didn't test again until after she was born and I was 115. They immediately tested her blood sugar (they were concerned it would be too low after birth) and it was 71.

Did you have a long labor?

My labor was a little over 6 hours

Did you experience any complications during pregnancy or labor?

No, and I am still so thankful to this day.

What was your A1C and/or worst glucose levels during pregnancy?

My A1C and numbers certainly weren't perfect. My lowest A1C during my pregnancy was 6.6, my highest was when I first found out I was pregnant. It was 8.3.

Were you on injections or the insulin pump?

Insulin pump!

What type of insulins did you use during pregnancy?

I used novolog in my pump.

Just a little more info- My pregnancy was a surprise. A big surprise. Found out 6 weeks in. I didn't have my numbers under very good control when I found out and I really questioned myself if I could do it. I immediately went into "diabetes mode" to have a healthy pregnancy. My doctor and family were all so supportive and that was a big help. My daughter was due on 9/4/10 but we induced on 9/1 and she was born that day :) I was so afraid I would end up with a c section, but I am so thankful I was able to deliver her naturally. She was a beautiful 7 lb 4oz baby and she is now 2 1/2 and running around like crazy! Congrats on your own baby girl and I wish you the best of luck!!

Thanks for sharing your experience! It always eases my nerves when I read about other T1D who have been diabetic for a long time getting pregnant! We just started trying! :)

I've been so busy, I forgot to post my story here! So during my pregnancy I started gaining a TON of weight towards the end. I'm talking almost 10 lbs a WEEK. I kept mentioning it to my doctors but they didnt say anything. When I went in for one of my usual prenatal appointments, my blood pressure was high and I had protein in my urine. I had developed severe pre-eclampsia and they told me they wanted to induce me THAT DAY! Due to the severity of it and risk to me and baby, I let them. They put me on a magnesium drip for the pre-eclampsia,but that makes you very lethargic and nausceous if you eat, so I wasnt allowed to leave the bed or eat. I was in labor for 2 days! It was a very long two days, I was so miserable I almost opted for a c-section, but I pushed through it and delivered a beautiful baby girl. She was a bit jaundiced at birth and they kept us both for observation. Baby lost about a pound and they kept us both for 4 more days until we were both good to leave. She was born 8lbs 10oz :)

Did you deliver naturally or by c-section? Naturally

How did the doctor/hospital control your glucose levels during labor? They had nurses come in every few hours to test my levels and give my shots. Although towards the end of my stay there, they were doing a horrible job, so I told them I was going to take care of my own blood sugars since they were slacking on their job

Did you have a long labor? Two days after being induced. Put on pitocin and magnesium for pre-eclampsia

Did you experience any complications during pregnancy or labor? Severe pre-eclampsia.

What was your A1C and/or worst glucose levels during pregnancy? I believe I was in the 8's I cant remember, but I had some pretty high glucose levels, but better towards the end

Were you on injections or the insulin pump? Injections.

What type of insulins did you use during pregnancy? Novolog for meals and Lantus once a day

Hi girls, I am 63 and have T1 since 1954.  There wasn't a meter ( test stripes, yes) when I was pregnant with my two children.  They never even talked about A1c.  I'm sure it was very high. No trouble getting pg and no complications.  I know I experienced several lows where I needed help (friends & family).  My kids are 35 and 33 and grandkids are 8 and 6. All are doing fine.

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