Even without being pregnant, managing blood sugar levels is one of the hardest things to do. That’s what makes having diabetes so hard. It’s also what makes people give up certain things, like high carb foods, sweets, and the like. I mean, for a while I gave up rice (until I started eating brown rice, and less of it), tortillas (until I limited myself to just 2 or 3) and bananas for a while. It made my blood sugars easier to manage.
When food has glucose in it already, you have to consider that. Adding food with additional sugars only increases the amount of insulin one has to take and has us worried about spikes and feeling shitty. Instead of doing all that jazz, why not just eliminate it!
However, when you add the growing baby in the belly, it makes everything that much harder. Not only is your body producing and messing with your hormones, but your placenta is doing that, too! This is what causes gestational diabetes, if you know about that.
So here’s what we Type 1 mamas have to work with:
- A non-functional pancreas.
- A functional liver, which produces glucose on its own and in every body.
- A growing placenta that releases all of those additional hormones for growing baby.
- oh yeah… and food. 🙂 Not to mention those cravings that you just can’t fight!
Everything you read nowadays says, “Every pregnancy is different for every body,” which for mamas with diabetes means that includes fluctuations and handles on the blood sugar levels. It’s not just morning sickness and back aches for us, oh no! There are many more surprises that come with growing our little ones.
I’ve had the pleasure to be part of Facebook groups, where women discuss and talk about the issues that come with being Type 1 and pregnancy. I’ve learned a lot and have read through various discussions that sound extremely similar to my own experiences. I feel like part of the majority!
Recently, after going to see my high-risk doctor (MFM), they told me, “We’d like to see your blood sugars be under 100 in the morning and your sugars going back down to 140 an hour after you eat, and 120 two hours after you eat.” Gulp!
Even though, at the time my A1c had gone down to a 6.5, it still wasn’t what they wanted to see. However, I’m on a pump, something that the team really isn’t familiar with. On my first visit there, they said they only get about two pump users a year, which really surprised me. So as far as how that’s being used, they’re not really sure. They work with mamas who give themselves shots.
Yesterday, I went to go see my endocrinologist and my A1c went down even more to a 6.1, which is more or less perfect. When I told him that they wanted my numbers below 100 in the morning, he looked at me as if I demanded it. He said, “But how are we supposed to do that? It can get dangerous, especially in the middle of the night.” He went on to explain that not only is your body coming to an equilibrium while you sleep, you’re body is also adjusting with all the other hormones which is why at times we see our sugars spike in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. If I don’t wake up to go to the bathroom and see my blood sugar level, I’d never be able to give myself any correction and bring my sugar down a bit. It’s not like I’m eating cake in my sleep! (Maybe in my dreams…)
Needless to say, my endo told me which reports I should pull from my pump to show just how good I’ve been doing and he did alter a couple of things on my settings like my carb ratio and my sensitivity so bring it down a little more. He also said that come third trimester, I was going to need more insulin– that’s just the way it is.
A lot of times, it’s a battle of “WHICH DOCTOR DO I LISTEN TO?!” especially when the MFM asks why your sugars aren’t better — “Hmm… because I have diabetes?” This has been the consensus as to the best answer to give when you get asked questions like that. Sometimes even the doctors don’t understand.
In the end, we mamas know our body the best. We’ve lived with ourselves and our trials and tribulations with diabetes for a very long time (I’ve lived with it for 27 years). This has to be one of the hardest things we do, but in the end, it’s all worth it.