Thursday, October 21, 2010

week 21: things go wrong, things go right~

I can be really hard on myself.
Let me repeat that for effect:
I can be really hard on myself.
Throughout this week, I started to see my numbers transition in that way everyone warned me about, but I feel like that's all I've been referring to in my posts:
wow! Things are changing so fast!
wow! Things are so hard to keep up with!
And then I talk with my pregnancy CDEs and realize....this is it. This is me, pregnant.
And you know what?
We're doing ok.
If you're reading this, planning a pregnancy with type 1 diabetes---freaking out like I was a year or so ago, trying to understand this beast of a disease and asking yourself, "Holy crap, this sounds really, really hard, how the heck am I gonna manage this?"
Don't freak out.
I was so worked up at times, so mistrusting of myself. So overwhelmed at what my doctors said, my friends said, the research said.
The bottom line is (and I want you to trust me on this):
You can do this.
What is hitting me is that the best way to make a healthy type 1 baby is to get that A1c in range. Before you get pregnant.
(There's a lot of arguing about what number's best. Some docs say below 6% [hello freakishly scary lows!], some say 6.5% and below...well, Kerri Morrone Sparling over at the incredible Six Until Me blog had an A1c of 7% when she conceived, and her little gal is nothing but perfect. It dropped significantly due to the nature of the first trimester, but still, you get my point).
I sometimes get so worried about Littlebird when I have spikes or lows, and forget what my OB and perinatologist did when I came in for my first visit:
Nothing.
No, really.
They were so relaxed. Just wanted to touch base. Shake hands. Congratulate me on the baby. And then congratulate me on my A1c and say,
Of all the things you could've done right, it was get your A1c in range before conception.
It's all about the average, they said. Sometimes I'm not sure I believe this. Sometimes I think I don't want to believe it. How is it possible that it all comes down to an average? (ie, what if you're running between 200 and 50, of course your averages are gonna come out skewed somewhere in the middle...) Honestly, mine weren't like that. I conceived with an A1c of 6% and it was relatively what the EAG Guidelines suggest: an average of about 126-130. But that doesn't mean I didn't have my share of spikes and lows. They just weren't like that all day, everyday, every number. And now, as I enter my 5th month, this doesn't mean I haven't had my shares of spikes and lows.
But somehow, the experts are right. Overall, Littlebird is floating around in a blood glucose average of around 6% still (we'll see if I'm right next week when I get it checked again) and the ultrasounds are all showing him as growing smack dab in the middle percentile: not too big, not too small. So far nothing weird is going on with the anatomy of his heart, his spine, his brain; all the things diabetes could have a negative impact on had it been out of control before conception.
Who knows who's right at the end of the day about what makes the most "perfect" conditions [insert slightly sarcastic laugh here] for a successful type 1 pregnancy...but we can all guess the basics, to be sure. But you know what? I'll take what I've got so far. ;)

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