I’m back and there’s so much to tell! I’ve already been a mother for a month and as surreal as that sounds each time I type it up, it’s been an amazing experience thus far.
So, where do I start? Let’s start at the beginning. I promise that I’ll be tying all of this back to diabetes in one way or another, because we all know, you can take the diabetes off the mind for a bit, but you can’t take it away from the body. Womp!
I was supposed to be induced on August 3 at 8 a.m. However, it seemed that the baby didn’t want to wait that long, breaking my water on the morning of August 2, starting at 6 a.m. I say starting because it began as a slow trickle, not exactly breaking until I sat in the wheel chair at the hospital. There I went, wet and embarrassed, into labor and delivery, expecting things to go as planned… but do they ever?
Before I continue, let me just say, I really wanted a vaginal birth. I don’t know why I had my heart set on it. Maybe because I wanted to do it the “right” way or because that’s how it is “supposed to be”, but I really can’t tell you why.
So they started the induction. I started having strong contractions and in they came to check my progress every 2-4 hours. I had an epidural put in on Friday night after almost a whole day of contractions and very little dilation. I was so exhausted and decided to get the epidural so I could get some rest in case baby decided to come overnight.
Let me add something here. I managed my own blood sugar this whole time. On Friday, I was still allowed to eat, only because I wasn’t in active labor. During the early morning on Saturday, they told me that from then on, I could only have ice chips. No more food. Through this time, my sugars had been really good and stable. They weren’t even checking my sugar anymore, but relying on my sensor, which was pretty awesome.
The funny thing is that with each nurse, I would talk about my pump and answer questions about my sensor. They hadn’t seen this in action.
Since I wasn’t eating, my sugar started dropping on Saturday. I drank apple juice to get it back up. This happened twice before I had residents come in to tell me that if it dropped below 70 again, they’d have to give me D5 or dextrose in my IV. I didn’t want that. I didn’t care what percentage of it was sugar, I didn’t want anyone managing my diabetes besides myself. I called my endo to ask about this, to which he responded to watch my sugars. If they had to give me D5, he said to tell them to shut it off, if I saw my sugars going too high. After having that discussion, my sugars never again dropped below 70. Lucky me!
Saturday didn’t get any easier for me and my labor. On the upside, the my gynecologist that I had been seeing for years, who transferred my care over to the MFM (high risk doctor), was on call all of Saturday for a 24 hour shift. It made me feel secure to know she was there because she was going to look out for my best interests.
They started me on pitocin again (because they had stopped when they had given me a pill to thin out my cervix), so the contractions came on strong even though they weren’t giving me a high dosage like they did on Friday. I later came to find out that my doctor was upset that they weren’t giving me higher dosages to bring on active labor faster.
They came in every few hours to check my dilation; I was immobile due to the epidural at this point. That check was probably the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my life, next to getting a catheter put in. And I wasn’t progressing fast enough. They knew I wanted to have a vaginal birth — and in my head, I wanted it because I’d heal faster, it would be “normal” and I didn’t want to be a stereotype, especially after hearing, “all diabetics have c-sections.” But over the second night in pain and watching the hours go by, I told my husband, “If they come in and say that I haven’t progressed at all, let’s just do the c-section.” At this point I was going on 2 days of labor and I was ready to meet my child.
At 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, the doctors came in again and checked me out. I had progressed to six centimeters dilation, but that was as far as I’d go. Not even an hour later, my doctor came in and told me that I gave it the old college try, but it had been long enough. Even though the baby was taking the drugs and all this stuff like a champ, we were going to have to get her out via c-section. I said OK, and they prepped me for surgery.
During the surgery, I was awake the whole time. Luna was born at 8:42 a.m. on Sunday, 50 hours after my water had broken and I was so happy and relieved to have my little girl. I sobbed on the table along with my husband and I watched as they put her in his arms. She was so tiny and beautiful — I’ll never forget that moment when I first saw her.
Because I felt like I was going to vomit through the surgery, they gave me steroids, bumping up my BG to 150. The anesthesiologist said it right away when I checked my sugar wondering why I had gone up “so high.”
While I was in the hospital, it was so weird that nurses were so interested in my pump. I guess it wasn’t something that they saw very often. During my labor, one nurse told me that she had one patient with a pump years ago, so was fascinated by how technology had advanced. Another nurse asked me to see my site and how the pump was attached to me. Other just asked questions as to how it worked with the sensor and transmitter and things, but overall, I was appalled. You’d think, being in a hospital, that they’d know a little more than they did. Guess not.
After a three days in the hospital and going through tests, pill popping and lots of talks with lots of doctors, they let us go home to be a family.
The last few weeks have been surreal. I’m loving being a mother, even during those midnight feedings and diaper changes. I love washing her clothes, giving her baths and smelling her, but I’m also missing my work and hobbies, hence my desire to write this blog.
I’ve pulled out a book I bought myself to read. I’ve used my planner to organize my thoughts. I have a plan for feedings and pumping (motherly things). I have ideas on how to start writing and keeping up websites and blogs. I’ve enjoyed walks and spending a TON of time with family.
I’ve taken a short break from my CGM because it started acting up, luckily AFTER I had Luna. The instantaneous drop in insulin needs is wild. The next day I was back to normal basal rates. Although many women say that breastfeeding drops blood sugar, I wouldn’t say that it’s dropping as much as staying pretty steady. My endo told me not to neglect myself, which is very easy to do with the little one. However, my support system is awesome because not only do they help to take care of the baby, but they’ve also been here to take care of me — making sure I eat, have time to shower and time to take naps if Luna won’t let me.
It’s definitely a lot to get used to, but all in all, I wouldn’t change it for the world.