Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Backblogging week 17: walking and randomness and taking it all in~

Time is flyin' and this little one is growin' like crazy!!
According to the website I follow, Littlebird's the size of a bell pepper this week. So fun!

This week was pretty busy. Great, but busy. I'm still doing massage therapy, maintaining my work with refugees, and also helping military members access mental health services through the Civilian Medical Resources Network (please support these two wonderful organizations if you're of the mindset!)

I have this wonderful friend who lives south of here and came up on the train to spend the day in the Q with me. She is such an amazing and incredible human being. What was really great, too, was how well my blood sugar cooperated with me that day. We just spent the day walking all over the place, taking the bus all around to do our day of shopping and movies and the like. I'm always amazed at how merely walking everywhere does my BG good. I'm a pretty active gal, but if i could just walk all day, I'd never spike over 120, haha. Of course, life is happening though and we can't get everything we need done by walking all over town.

**As a sidenote, I'm sitting in my favorite cafe in town blogging, and just saw the most beautiful pregnant woman walk in. Wow, she looks so great for like, 8 months!**

After the basal changes of last week, they're still holding pretty well. Any spikes I have are coming down fast with correction. This is hard for me still, though. I blame myself for every little thing that "goes wrong", forgetting that this is the nature of the disease: to keep my body in a state of constant, difficult flux, unless I just do my best at calculations and corrections. Which is all we can do, right? It's not easy, but I look at my averages and realize that we're more than hanging in there.

I still have yet to feel Littlebird. Kinda bums me out. I know I'm only in the 18th week as I sit here and write this, but I can hardly wait. I imagine it to be like a wave, coming over me....Hey mama! I'm here! Just waving from in here to say hi!

Yes, I'm strange. But this last week it's all I can think about, as I get closer and closer to feeling the baby. As my belly expands, it still seems alien...like maybe I'm just getting chubby, haha! So I'm looking forward to my first butterfly kisses inside my tummy from my little one. :)

Tomorrow, I have my 3rd ultrasound. I'll try to post week 18 IN week 18 (haha) instead of doing all this "backblogging". I've read some posts online that say some women find out the sex before the 20 week mark. Wow! Tomorrow I could find out what we're having!!
There's something about calling this little one by name that means a lot to me. But I'll be happy with whoever we get. I love kids, boys and girls a like. 'Cos remember, they all grow up into men and women, and I can think of all the wonderful things I'd like to do and share and talk about and learn about with my adult child, too! :)
Hopefully Littlebird'll cooperate tomorrow and we can do just that. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Backblogging week 16: keeping it real, keeping it safe~

Whew! People aren't kidding when they say how fast pregnancy starts to go at some point. I'm kinda starting to freak out, to be honest. I feel like I have so much to do and am barely starting the "to do" list, haha. I thought I'd use this picture we took in our backyard, since the belly shots get a little weird sometimes. I think of taking 24 more of those shots and wonder if my readers'll think I'm merely a delusional decapitated diabetic. :)

This last week of 16/17 was pretty rough. The placenta is finally starting to truly release its hormones specific to er, insulin resistance (CAN WE SAY FUN, PEOPLE?!) making my control suddenly very difficult. My post-meal numbers suddenly began to skyrocket---even when I got so frustrated one night I merely ate an avocado and tomato salad for dinner...only to end up with a BG of 265. HOLY CRAP, BATMAN.

But as soon as I saw that it was a pattern and not just some fly-by-night bolusing mistake, I thought "Hmmm, Peabody, I think we're in for a basal change." I downloaded my pump data (Medtronic uses "CareLink"; it's not too bad!) and my CDE wrote me back that very day telling me, sure enough, to up my basals. She gave me the numbers and we changed them to an increase of about 10%. Phew. Things are a lot better now; I had some yummy fish tacos last night for dinner and my BG never went above 101. That's more like it.

As most first time type 1 mamas, I'm a royal mess right now. Every little shift, every little change, every BG that surprises me (high or low) causes me to rub my belly, apologize profusely (which, anyone who knows me, knows I do too much of already) and literally get tears in my eyes. Ok, the hormones don't help, but diabetes really throws an added wrench into things. As my CDE said, "we can't compensate preemptively for hormonal fluctuations, so we're forced to wait it out and see what happens, always staying on top of things to make changes as soon as we see a shift." And boy, do we stay on top of it. Like every 3 days, I'm downloading data for her to look at. Yeesh! I'm just glad we even know as much as we do now, as often as we type 1's get frustrated with the state of having the disease in this medical era. Think of the Diabetes Dark Ages, when the disease even freaked doctors out so much, they just said, You can't have children. And the women that tried to...well, it wasn't a pretty 9 months. Some even died trying. We are so lucky to be out of those days. Our babies are really no different now. I'm so grateful for that team over at the Center for Prenatal Development; amazing women there.

When I saw my superwonderful OB this week, he told me to keep focused on the Big Picture. He was like, "your A1c's are excellent [6% or less], your meter averages state the same, you're testing like crazy...your baby couldn't ask for more!" I really needed to hear that this week.
It's a helluva disease to try to be pregnant with, but I'll take the end result over playing it safe and not even trying. :) When I think of how the reward is a baby---a baby!---I just grin like the biggest dork, get teary eyed (how many times am I gonna admit to this in this particular post?!), and think about the next step, like: what exercise do I need today? What is the healthiest thing I can make for dinner? ... and of course, holy crap I still have so much to do! :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Backblogging week 15: my wicked little CGM~

Uh-oh, I'm falling behind again on my blogging duties. I promised to be a good blogger during my type 1 pregnancy and ta-da! Here I am, back to my old ways. :)

Wow, from that picture, you could say that I'm really finally starting to show. This is so beyond exciting, being my first kiddo and all, so I could probably blog on and on about all of the ridiculousness that makes up my mushy excitement.

But I won't. :)

My middle of the night lows were still a HUGE problemo for me up until the end of the week when my CDE turned down my night basals even more and I myself realized that I could actually have a half a peanut butter sandwich before bed and not wake up any higher than 80. Not too shabby. We'll see how long it lasts, though. You know how these things change so fast!

Also, I told you how I wasn't getting any sleep because of my CGM's set thresholds screaming their lights out at me all night long: Ohhhhhh, we're dipping, Ohhhhhhh we're low. Ohhhhhhhhh, we're moving up!
Yes, I can hear you buddy. All.night.long.
But then I'd wake up and look at the graph and it pretty much looked like this:


(With a tiny bit of variability, here and there.)

So, I hate to admit this, but I'm taking a break from the darn thing. I'll put it on next week. Maybe I can wear it every other week? We'll see how long I last considering that I may actually be missing certain highs now. I do check my blood sugar like a blood-sucking fiend (12+ times a day) so I can't imagine that I'm missing that much. Wonderful Cheryl Alkon, who wrote the fabulous book "Balancing Pregnancy with Preexisting Diabetes" told me she's going nuts with her CGM, too. (She used me as a blurb on the back of her book! Can you believe it?! I'm a blurb! On the back of a book! :) And Elizabeth Edelman over at Diabetes Daily (who had the most amazing natural birth experience with Type 1---Cheryl interviewed her for her book) told me that she got so crazy with her CGM she just took breaks and eventually took the darn thing off in the 3rd trimester. Yeesh! But the key is of course, to just test like a madwoman. Well, a madwomanmama--desperate to keep her wee one healthy. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

week 14: pregnancy is complicating my diabetes~

That pun was most definitely intended.
Before I got pregnant, I felt so on top of this disease. Challenging as it was, the pregnancy factor was in the plans, but it sometimes felt far off. Like it was a separate issue. And yet, everything I was doing---all the extra testing and doctor's appointments and research---it was all with the goal of making a healthy baby. My type 1 wasn't a piece of cake, but I certainly felt more intuitive about it on so many levels.
Then Littlebird showed up.
Everything about my disease feels flipped now. I'm still doing well, but sometimes with the freaky lows and rebound highs, I get so worked up about my diabetes I forget I'm actually upset because I'm pregnant with diabetes. I know, weird. How do you sorta forget you're pregnant? When everything about the baby depends upon a 24/7 disease, that's when you strangely forget.
And then you go, "oh my gosh! How's baby?!"
When I saw my superwonderful OB and my superawesome diabetes educator last week, I expressed my frustrations with how nonintuitive making adjustments had been lately. Before, I'd confidently adjust my basals and meal boluses for weird numbers, but with all of the lows, I'd become terrified of the meal bolus. Exercising had become something to be afraid of. We've turned back everything to the point that I'm down to about 9 basal units a day. I go to bed with a good number, and still wake up (literally) all night long with my CGM alarms going off, screaming at me that I'm going low. Even though I went to bed feeling snuggly at a comfy 130. I can't drink enough juice to keep my night numbers up. Lately, I've been pretty tired when I wake up due to treating all those night lows. Oy.
But my providers tell me I'm doing fine, my bloodwork's fine, baby's fine. You're finefinefine. But every time I go low, baby goes low. That makes me sad. And angry. And just plain freaked out. I think of how awful I feel when I go low and I just pat my Littlebird bump and say I'm so sorry, mama's doing her best. Then I sit down and start doubting myself: Am I doing my best? Am I just overwhelmed? Why was I able to "get it" so well before and now feel like I'm "messing up" a lot?
I know they're right. I'm correcting as fast as things go wrong. This is the nature of the disease. I'm not going to have perfect numbers 24/7. I have to remind myself that every day, women with type 1 have perfectly healthy babies. Times have changed. Now we can do this, with the help of a lot of wonderful biomedical technology. But it doesn't mean it's ever going to be easy. Just easier.
Sorry if this post sounds a little down. Really, I'm blessed things have worked out so well so far. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm a mama trying to keep her body healthy so baby's healthy. And it's so worth it! All I can say is that I'm so very grateful for having such a great team of specialists who deal with this everyday. They really do see things clearly, while I'm sitting there wondering what the heck just happened to my well-understood diabetes. They say there's nothing to worry about. They say this is just pregnancy and type 1 diabetes! (Er...fun?) They say women are always surprised and overwhelmed at how fast things change, how often adjustments need to be made. I'll second that!
But I'm also freaking out with joy. Each week, my belly gets a little bit bigger. Each week, MAC and I just giggle at the idea of finally being the parents we've dreamt of being for so long. It's a fine line between accepting the situation for what it is and being willing to keep working on it. Because it's so worth it, I'm more than willing to walk the tightrope.