Frankly, this is how I feel regarding this bloody disease lately.
To continue on with the 'building' metaphors, I feel like I built such a strong foundation in my body last year as I prepared for pregnancy. And ya, the building went up, strong as granite, built to protect my sweet Littlebird. He grew and grew and I stayed healthy all throughout.
Then he was born.
I can barely begin to describe the havoc that post-pregnancy hormones wreak upon a type 1 diabetic woman's body.
Sigh. Guys have it so much easier.
Combining all of the pregnancy regulating hormones still processing out of the body, on top of the ones it needs to produce all this milk, let alone the mess type 1 creates in and of itself on a daily basis...I'm a wreck. I feel like a wreck.
Then I got my bloodwork back last week. I was honestly really freaked out about my thyroid panel results. I know that type 1 and autoimmune thyroid disease often go hand in hand (nice) and that women's thyroids often get wonky after pregnancy in general...so I feared the worst. But I kept talking to my body (I'm really into mind-body medicine) and kept saying to myself how I rejected getting another autoimmune disease (go ahead and laugh). Maybe it worked. Or maybe I was just lucky this time around, but my results came back fine.
And my A1c was 5.6%
Good? You readers might be jealous, but I'm honestly not sure how to take it. I know that number is due to a lot of post-breastfeeding lows that I'm still trying to work out. I've found that if I do a temp-basal of 80% for 2 hours after each feeding at night, it prevents the impending low. My CDE wanted me to just snack, but I was like, "um, all I'm thinking about is sleep, not eating at 2 a.m." So that's how I tinkered that temp basal right. But during the day I make sure I snack because otherwise I'll not be replacing the calories I lose through feeding him. I'm already starting to lose weight a bit too fast (I only have a few pounds to go until I'm my pre-pregnancy weight....not exactly a good thing considering I'm such a small gal, ugh!) So I'm trying to monitor this issue closely so I don't become like er, 1995 Kate Moss.
Then last week, I started having more post-partum bleeding. Not heavy, but it upset me because immediately my blood sugars started to go NUTSY. We're talking insulin resistance that caused my numbers to skyrocket. I even hit a 400. So I changed out my site and did a major pump and dump session of breastmilk. Talk about waste. And diabetes guilt. I was so mad. I was so tired. I felt so....disgusted.
Are you getting the picture? I'm up, down, up, down. Like one of those freakin' circus hammer bell games.
The most frustrating thing is that I'm generally a healthy eater. (Point: we went out to eat with a friend Friday night and I ordered Beet Loaf. You read that right: BEET LOAF. Why? Because I happen to like the damn stuff!) and I ended up with BGs in the near-300's. (Yes, it was a balanced meal. And yes, it had protein.)
Then, just as I was thinking about this stupid post and possibly freaking out more about this stupid freakin' disease...my blood sugars stabilized. Interesting that it happened right as that extra postpartum bleeding I'd started having stopped. That's why I hate hormones. Pregnancy was hard, but this....this is sometimes just pure insanity.
Because I'm caring for another little human being. And the irony of it is that I'm no good at caring for him if I don't take care of myself first. There's no healthy Littlebird if there's no healthy Mamabird to take care of him.
So I'm trying to refocus. To stay calm when things skyrocket or bottom out. To keep positive because I'm actually not doing that bad (read: it's not like every blood sugar's been 300). It just takes time. My superwonderful OB told me at my postpartum check up, "it's kind of a lie to tell women that they're fully postpartum and ready to 'move on' at the 6 week mark. Like it's this magic number where your body's just back to normal. It's more like 3-6 months!" So as my body recovers, I need to remember the process is not just from the physical act of giving birth, but all of the complex, chemical, internal processes that had to occur to make a baby, let alone feed one now. With my own body, (yeah that's amazing, right?!)
I'm just trying to stop judging myself so harshly. I've always been my worst critic. Not a good disease to have with perfectionism, I'll admit. :) The ways I've been easing things now are just by keeping my foods really, really simple (whole foods like yogurt, almonds, wild rice, cheese, dark greens, eggs, apples...and keeping a lot of snacks on board to prevent those breastfeeding lows and also so I can keep my meals small to prevent any spikes.) I've also promised myself a 30 minute walk each day during the week just to clear the babyfog. It's nice because I get to listen to my Ipod while the tinyman sleeps in his stroller. A good time for headspace.
As my CDE said, "we're getting there" and she's right. It's a journey, not a destination. I need to remember that. This is a day-to-day thing. I made it through one of the toughest scenarios with this wrecking ball of a disease (a pregnancy) and managed to build a damn palace out of it (my son) so I think I deserve a little credit after that week of pure hormone hell that I had last week. So my CDE's gonna be saying 'we're getting there' as long as I'm alive with this disease.
And I plan on being alive with it for my little birdy for a very, very long time.