I know I have never posted on here before. I spent a good amount of time throughout my pregnancy lurking the boards though. I’d often find myself here, hoping to find others like myself that have experienced the daily (and ever changing) struggles of being pregnant with type 1 diabetes. I would turn to these forums and read what you guys had to say, and cling to every little glimmer of hope I could find. It helped knowing that I was not alone in the battles I was facing, and that there were infact other people just like myself out there that had made it through the rough road of pregnancy with type 1 diabetes and had success. Anyways, after scaring and stressing myself completely silly for almost the entire pregnany, here I am with my success story.
For your convenience, I am going to break it into 2 sections. The bold being a quick, easy-to read summary of my diabetes care and pregnancy with type 1. And the later being all of my rambling and the juicy details.
So real quick-
How long have I been type 1 diabetic?
Did I use insulin injections or a pump?
What types of insulins did I use?
Novolog and Lantus
Did I use a CGM?
A1C’s throughout pregnancy?
8.3 at 8 weeks along. (I’m guessing it was much higher at conception)
5.8 beginning of second trimester
5.9 somewhere between second and third trimester
6.3 third trimester
6.3 day of delivery
Was I induced?
When was baby born?
38 weeks and 1 day
C-section or vaginal delivery?
7 pounds 10 ounces
Complications during delivery or with baby?
Was it work??
Was it worth it?
Now for the rambling for those that like details!!
So me? I’m 24. Was diagnosed with T1 when I was 16. So I’ve had type 1 for about 8 years now. I am going to be honest and say that before I became pregnant, I did tend to keep my sugars on the high side, for I had this overly paranoid fear of going low and passing out. I was usually satisfied with any number between 100 - 200. While I was away at work or out and about, I’d usually keep it between 150 - 250 just to prevent myself from going low. Sometimes even higher than that. 250 - 300 was a common range for me to keep myself at while I was at work each day. No, I wouldn’t keep it quite that high all the time, however, I was comfortable there, and those numbers were far from uncommon on my glucose readings.
Moving along. =P
Taken by surprise (without any real “prevention” for 2 months), I got my first positive pregnancy test!! I was in shock and disbelief, to just be honest. I don’t think I really grasped the entire concept of it at first, as I had always allowed myself to believe that I would have a hard time ever getting pregnant. (Not that I ever had any doctors tell me this, I had just tended to not give my body much credit since my diagnosis.) Looking back now, I was about 2 weeks along when I found out. I called my OB/GYN and they didn’t want to see me until I was 8 weeks!!! My endo has always sort of scared me, and I was afraid of the awful things he would have to say, so I didn’t seek help from him, and took getting my diabetes under better control entirely upon myself. I started taking a crazy amount of folic acid, and did the best to bring down my sugars. I struggled with highs each morning and after meals though, much to my distress. I can honestly say that the first trimester was the most difficult for me, as I was not used to keeping in sugars in such a stringent target range, doing correction shots, and I wasn’t used to aiming for such perfect goals 24/7 non-stop. (not at all due to lack of knowledge, but more-so, laziness - being blunt here, no hate please!!)
8 weeks along and I finally got to see my high-risk OB/GYN. Or I guess as he was called, maternal fetal medicine doctor. I got to hear my baby’s heartbeat on doppler for the first time and I was still in awe. Was there really this little life growing inside me?? Yes!! Anyways, so he did blood work and my a1c was 8.3 at 8 weeks along. Keep in mind, that that was with at least 6 weeks of me trying to control my sugars… yikes. Yes, obviously that was a high a1c, and I’m sure it was even much higher when I first conceived. My poor child. What had I done?? Fortunately my mfm doctor had an extremely calm demeanor and didn’t ever once use any scare tactiCS. He did his job, informed me of thse risks involved, and to quote him exactly - “if I want to be pregnant, than be pregnant.” He did not see any reason to scare me silly, and didn’t. He was this way throughout the entire pregnancy.
I saw my endo once after the initial first appointment with my mfm doc, to give him the results of my a1c and to see what he had to say about all the medications I was taking. He told me everything I needed to hear and I didn’t see him for the rest of the pregnancy. I left it up to myself to take care of my sugars and adjust them as needed. My mfm doc looked at my glucose log at every visit, made his input, and wrote all my prescriptions. I did not want the stress of seeing two different doctors throughout the pregnancy. I did not want to deal with their conflicting advice (if there were to be any), and I certainly didn’t want to deal with the emotional stress of two doctors either. In the end I’m happy with my decision.
By the second trimester I got my a1c down to 5.8!! I was thrilled beyond words!! I did it!! All by myself!! Ecstatic was putting it lighly. This was the absolute best a1c I had had since after being diagnosed. I had worked so ridiculously and excruciatingly hard to kick my sugars into gear, and I finally saw on paper the hard work paying off!! My baby looked great on scans and I was feeling great.
…bam. 13 weeks rolled around and I was at work one evening when I was hit with excruciating abdominal pain. What the hell!! I had my DH pick me up from work and I tried to sleep off the pain. It got worse. Soon I thought for sure I was miscarrying. Rushed to emergency. Baby turned out to be absolutely fine. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Finally (12 hours of pain later), after having an MRI and bloodwork done to try to figure out what was wrong, they saw that it was my appendix. That’s right people. My appendix decided to have it’s moment while I was pregnant!!! I was told I’d need surgery. Absolutely terrified and devastated, I had no choice. The surgery itself was smooth, but recovery was slow and painful. But miraculously through it all, baby made it through!! I couldn’t believe it!!! I was so happy. Naturally I was terrified I was going to miscarry at every recovery cramp and pain I had, and my sugars were terribly messed up for a good few weeks while I dealt with the nausea and pain of recovering as well. It was awful. Right when I had just started to get everything under control there I was struggling to figure it all out all over again. Great. Somehow, I managed, and the next a1c I had came back at 5.9 I was more than happy with this number, all things considered. I won’t lie, I had many many highs (200-250) while trying to reconfigure my act together.
Anyways! So that was the big trauma of my pregnancy. The rest of the pregnancy I spent worrying myself sick each and every day about the “what-ifs” and spent more than enough nights terrifying myself through Google, but that was no fault other than my own. (My advice - stay off of there!!! LOL.) I felt justified to be such a worry-wart though, and because of such I never really did take the time to “enjoy” my pregnancy. To add to the mix of stressful situations already, I also had an anterior (placed on the front, as opposed to the back) placenta, which cushioned much of baby’s movements, and made kick counting almost impossible to do.
A couple weeks into the third trimester my a1c jumped up to 6.3. Between my anxiety and overnight numbers, I spent a lot of time hovering in and around 150 so I wasn’t surprised by this number, even though I wasn’t happy about it either. Anyone on here KNOWS that it is absolute WORK to be pregnant with diabetes!!! I was waking up every 2 - 3 hours overnight in the third trimester just trying to correct and avoid the stupid highs I was having due to hormones, but often times I found that my correction shots did very little. It was stressful, and many nights of mine were spent in tears. I even stopped eating after 6 and 7pm at some point in the third trimester, and was still battling high numbers (around 170+) seemingly almost every night. It just seemed that everytime I fell asleep my sugars would raise. (This has always been an issue with my diabetes though, my numbers are extremely ‘brittle’ and my numbers rise when I sleep, despite many many insulin adjustments). Let me tell you, the GUILT and STRESS of these numbers were awful!!
But guess what… in the end, I was extremely blessed, and everything turned out okay. I was going for non-stress tests twice a week, and having bio-physical profiles done every week as well, from about 30 weeks and on.
I was induced at 38 weeks exactly (personal choice, my fear of stillbirth was through the roof and I didn’t want to risk it anymore!!). My doctors practice never lets diabetics go past 39 weeks, but said they can induce up to as early as 37 weeks. I felt 38 weeks was a good medium and I absolutely do not regret my choice.
I was induced at 9:45pm on May 5th. I welcomed my precious baby girl into the world the next day on May 6th at 1:36pm. She was perfect in every way I could have wished for. She weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces. (side note: I had always feared a super huge baby because of my diabetes and my less-than-perfect sugars, but hey - that didn’t turn out to be the case!). Her blood sugar never went below 45 (they said anything from 45-100 is what they want to see in a newborn), she never had to go to NICU, she got to room with me the entire time I was in the hospital, she took to feeding right away, and we got to go home 2 days later. I think he apgar scores were 9 and 9? I don’t remember to be honest. I had pushed for 2 and a half hours and was absolutely exhausted when I finally asked. I had a vaginal delivery, induced with Pitocin and had an epidural.
Because of the slow recovery I had from the appendectomy at 13 weeks, I was absolutely terrified of what a c-section would do to me. I am so happy to say that I did NOT end up having to have one! I had read online that most diabetics and inductions end up with a c-section, but again, was absolutely blessed!! IT IS POSSIBLE to have a vaginal delivery even with diabetes!! (yes I get that all things are circumstantial lol, I’m just saying - there is hope!!)
Anyways, I am now writing this with my perfect little baby napping right by my side on her natural due date of May 19th, with her being 1 day shy of 2 weeks old.
All is perfect in my world right now, and you too can do it! It is WORK!!! but so very worth it.
Thanks for reading, I hope this may be of light someday to someone who could use it.
Questions are welcome.