Tag Archives: diabetes in pregnancy

TSAB 2 of 3: Hiccups

While Little Ring’s entrance into this world was a super speedy one, it didn’t come without a few hiccups.

Last Wednesday when my obstetrician recommended we move the induction date up, it wasn’t just because of the hefty size of my little babe. A blood test showed my liver enzymes had been hosting a Cholestasis Bash in my belly, which was causing the incessant stomach itch I’d been enduring for more than a month. My ob wanted me to go in that day, but given my reaction (I was still working, Big Ring was also working more than an hour away, I didn’t have my suitcase with me, didn’t have a take-home outfit for baby, hadn’t selected our movies yet… I was NOT ready!) she agreed we could wait until the next morning.

But when I called the maternity triage, Thursday morning, they said the NICU was full; we would have to wait. Instead, I was instructed to go to the hospital for another non-stress test to make sure baby was okay. It was there that my obstetrician laid out the urgency of the situation: There was no guarantee my baby would require a bed in the NICU, she said, but because I was already technically high risk with my diabetes and because I was delivering three weeks early, and because there was that whole shoulder dystocia concern, it was a possibility. And with cholestasis, she said, there was also a chance of stillbirth if we waited too long to deliver. Uh, what?

The solution: She told me a hospital in Surrey had room and was willing to take us. I nearly broke down at this point. After 9 months of planning, preparing, carefully selecting, I did NOT want my kid being born in Surrey, I did not want my kid getting the Surrey stamp (Surrey = the slum of the West Coast) right off the hop.

I know that sounds selfish, but take into account that I specifically chose this hospital because of its newness, because I had yet to form a grudge against it, because I had a great family support network all around it. I toured this hospital, had become comfortable with the maternity ward and its staff through my various appointments. Surrey, I didn’t know, I didn’t trust, and by golly, it was SURREY!!!

After talking it over, Big Ring and I decided to take our chances. They’d induce me and if our baby required the nursery post delivery, he’d be shipped to another hospital that had room. It was a scary thought being separated from my baby, but we truly believed he would be fine, that he’d be kicking and wailing just as loud as the next healthy newborn.

We weren’t wrong.


Waiting for a room. Waiting to be induced. Waiting to meet my little man.

Little Ring came out strong and healthy, he didn’t require any assistance with breathing, his wailing lungs got a good workout from the moment he was out, the shoulder dystocia concern was a non entity, his blood sugars were a bit low to start, but quickly rose to adequate numbers.


Giving tummy time serious thought 😀

I, however, had a few more issues to contend with. Before my water was broken, I was told I was a carrier of group b strep, which can cause serious lung infection and even death if passed onto the baby through the birth canal. As a result, I required an IV drip of penicillin to protect my little guy. But the thing is, despite having gloriously robust veins that nearly every blood extracting technician compliments, the nurse who was in charge of getting the IV line in me could not find a suitable vein… she tried four times, was pushing and twisting, but the line kept getting stuck halfway in, not budging another inch. At the time, it wasn’t a huge deal, I was already in the throes of contractions which were taking my mind off the poking pain, but the next morning, and subsequent days after, my hands and forearms were covered in painful bruises!

But, given how my pregnancy was full of hiccups, obstacles, challenges from the moment Little Ring first became a zygote in my belly, should I really have expected a labour that would go 100 per cent smooth? Nah, that would have been too easy 😀

The lasts

Hallelujah, my friends, we have entered the week of the lasts. The last pregnancy related appointments I will ever have to endure. Wahoo… I mean, I’m so sad this is ending… note the sarcasm 😉

1. Blood work: After two years of monthly blood work, which involved more than one year prior to getting pregnant to ensure my blood sugars were perfect pre-conception, and then nine months of once-a-month tests to ensure BG perfection throughout the pregnancy, I held my pin cushion of an arm out for the pretty little vampires one last time last Monday.


When you get blood work done this much, you learn which labs are the quickest and which ones have the best (and by best I mean least painful) blood suckers on staff.

2. Diabetes in pregnancy clinic: Last Tuesday was the last time I will ever step foot in that god-forsaken, numb-skull driven place again. When you have a nurse who works in a pregnancy in diabetes clinic who asks if you might be pregnant – one month after regularly going there! – and when you’ve got an evil hag of a dietitian who makes you want to go and vomit every time you eat, I’m thinking you got a problem.


Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye!

3. Eye exams: Each trimester of this pregnancy I have required an eye exam to ensure the pregnancy hormones and pregnancy blood sugars haven’t caused diabetic damage to my eyes. And you know, I figured, given that I had to endure those blinding eye drops, the eye gods could have done me a solid and granted me my wish of finally being sentenced to a life of eye glasses (when a girl looks as great as I do in glasses, she should NOT be deprived!) but nooooo, the eyes continued to be the epitome of sight perfection.


Not even pregnancy could mess with my sight 😦

4. Non-stress test: As of Monday, the one-and-a-half months of twice-a-week non-stress tests, which at times were actually quite stressful, were no more.


We aced those tests kid 😀

5. Obstetrician: Today, I went in for my last obstetrician appointment, which means no more freaking the crap out of me, no more poking and prodding, and other evil things to me (in the office that is) and no more peeing all over my hands. Oh happy day.


This book in the obstetrician’s office always made me laugh, but nine times out of 10, I left not feeling like a hot mama.

6. DINKs: Tonight could very well be the last night Big Ring and I are a Dual Income No Kid family.


Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!

The reason for the lasts: My due date is Sept. 20. It was suspected I’d be induced around Sept. 6 (the day before my grandpa’s birthday; the most amazing man I ever knew). But following the results of my last ultrasound last Thursday, which showed a long-legged, pot-bellied, eight-pounder with a highly visible “layer of fat,” it was decided I’d be induced on Monday. Labour Day (how appropriate!). But today, that all changed. After complaining of an incessantly itchy belly last week, I was sent for some blood work, and it turns out my liver enzymes have elevated (yet another pregnancy side effect I’ve been plagued with) and they figured it would be best if we start the process sooner rather than later.

Cue the freak-out session!

The state of urine

Warning: Some of you may read this post and think eww, ick, disgusting, too much information, and that’s fine if you do, because really, it is kind of grody and majorly disgusting. But keep in mind when you’re scrunching up your faces, I’m the one who’s having to go through this every two weeks – living the ick and disgust.


SOURCE

After 19 weeks – and several years prior – I think I may have finally discovered the trick to NOT peeing all over my hands when collecting a urine sample: go with an extremely full, ready-to-burst, omygawd-I’m-going-to-pee-my-pants bladder! The stream is much more direct.

The fact that it’s taken me this long to figure it out either shows that I’m slow, or that there’s something seriously wrong and antiquated with the current system. I’m going with the latter.

How is it that after so many decades of pee collection, the medical peeps have not yet come up with a system that doesn’t involve peeing all over one’s hands? I mean seriously, a cup, a freaking cup with an opening the size of a peep hole, and I’m supposed to get my urine in there without soiling my hands or the cup. I think not!


SOURCE

Some of you may think, oh her belly’s getting larger, therefore causing good aim to fly right out the window, but no, the belly can’t be blamed in this instance. Right from the get-go, for four months, I have been peeing all over my hands, hardly getting a drop in the cup. And when you’re put in a situation where you have to provide four urine samples in one week (yes, I did endure a week like that) let me just say, you don’t stray far from the soap canister.

I try getting it in the cup, oh my goodness do I ever try, but that stream does not want to cooperate. It wants to go in every which direction but the cup, and when I deny it that right, it opts for my hands and the outside of the cup instead.

And seriously, why do these places NOT provide some kind of sanitizing cloth, or wet nap, or even baby wipes to clean up the outside of the cup. I mean, you’ve got to set that thing down somewhere (Take note: it’s NOT advisable to try to hold it while getting yourself back together again) but no, there’s nothing there, so not only am I peeing all over myself, but my urinary waste is also spreading all over the bloody counters or back of the toilet! And I’m sorry, but try as I might, wetting a paper towel to wipe up the mess, that ain’t cleaning it – it’s still there!

You’d figure, given the amount of times I’ve got to pee in a cup (every two weeks at the diabetes clinic; once a month at the pregnancy doctors clinic, which will become more frequent as I progress; and once a month at the lab (I’ve all but given up on using a cup for checking my ketones every morning… I just pee straight on the strip)) I’d be an old hand at it by now, but nope, until today’s collection, I thought it was actually getting worse.

Seriously, it’s time for a better system!

And to all those who have used the washrooms after me, I do so humbly apologize if you’ve touched the counter where my pee laden cup once sat. Ewwww 😦

Panic at the porcelain

Whoever coined the term ‘morning sickness’ should be shot, and if they’re already dead, they should be brought up from the grave and kicked multiple times in the shins, no wait, in the gut! (Note: I’m pretty sure thumb-sucking alien baby can’t read my mind, so I’m good to write these toxic words…)

My so-called morning sickness has been more like all day and all night sickness. I wake up in the morning and feel like I’m going to hurl; I drive to work, forced to roll the windows down in the dead cold morning air, and feel like I’m going to hurl; I sit at my desk, conduct interviews, stand at rallies and press conferences, and feel like I’m going to hurl; I go home, and feel like I’m going to hurl; I wake up in the middle of the night, and yep, I feel like I’m going to hurl.

But I don’t toss my cookies, nah, that would be too easy. Apparently my body, which used to be a good little puker back in the day, decided at the age of 13 that it no longer wanted to puke over silly things like feeling sick, but rather prefers I suffer through the nausea. Pregnancy sickness is no different.

I’ve puked a total of three times; twice over pasta, and once just cause my body couldn’t handle the food anymore and needed to dispel it. But all other times, I’ve hovered over the porcelain bowl, sure I was gonna find some relief, I’ve tickled my tonsils, with happy visions of removing the sickness from my throat – but to no bloody avail. That stomach of mine is freaking stubborn I tell you!


The view from up above 😦

It bloats at the first bite of gluten products, turns at the mere thought of my most beloved chocolate, recoils at the sight of nuts and peanut butter. But here’s the thing, I have to eat. There is no getting around that fact. No matter how sick I feel, no matter how vivid the shade of green a certain sight or smell of a food turns my face, I have to eat. And unlike the problem-solving mechanisms of non-diabetic pregnant chicks, I can’t reach for endless crackers to ease the belly and get nutrition. I need protein.

But when my belly is revolting against many of my protein options (nuts, nut butter, peanut butter cookies, pudding, milk, etc.) and when I can’t go to tuna for solace, what am I to do? There’s only so much bloody cheese and Greek yogurt a girl can take!

Seriously hoping the nausea ends soon, not only because it would be nice to have a happily functioning belly again, but also because I can’t bloody well say the damn word!

Bitter in (non) Barfland…

No puncture wounds allowed

It’s been more than 2 years since I last injected anything into my arm. As soon as I went on the pump, pretty much the only sites I used were my belly, hips, back, and sometimes upwards on my derriere. I was never a fan of injecting into my arm anyway; always felt like I could feel the cold insulin going in, a shock to the system I did not like. However, that all changed yesterday.

Ever since finding out I was with thumb-sucking alien baby, I’ve been totally creeped out about inserting infusions in my belly. I mean, the needle, that sucker is like two inches long. And it didn’t matter how many times the pregnancy endos told me it was perfectly okay to inject in my belly, or the fact that I know the baby isn’t quite in that region just yet, I still keep picturing thumb-sucking alien baby popping out with puncture wounds. That would NOT be a good mom thing to do!



And so, I ordered super long tubing (seriously, it’s like the length of a skipping rope) and yesterday I went back to the arm. It was a little more difficult than regular needles I got to say. It seems I need two hands for the infusion, whereas with needles I only needed one. There was a point in the whole process where I had the sticky part of the canula stuck to my finger, and the needle stuck in my arm, and confusion all over my face as to how I was gonna pull the whole thing off. Big Ring saved the day. He became my second hand. With him holding the sticky part down, I was able to pull the needle out and get the other sticky side down and was good to go.

Two days in and I can tell you, I still don’t like the arm. For doses larger than one unit, I can feel the insulin shooting through my skin – it’s like a shock the second it goes through. And because my pump vibrates when it’s about to inject the insulin dose, I’ve got plenty of warning, and waiting for it to get through the long tubing to underneath the skin is like freaking torture!

And then there’s the whole ripping out aspect. Here I thought I only had to worry about that with legs and butt locations, but nope, it seems the arm is a danger zone too. Last night, just before heading out for a walk with Big Ring, I went to put a sweater on anddddd totally ripped the canula out. At $15 a piece that’s gonna get a little pricey to say the least. Awesome.

But, least thumb-sucking alien baby won’t have any puncture wounds 😉

The life of a pregnant T-1 chick

Thank you everyone for your congratulations and well wishes; the last couple months have been a whirlwind of excitement and trepidation… and specialists appointments. Oh man, have there been a lot of those.

In fact, it was in the ER that I first found out about the little thumb-sucking alien baby growing inside me.


Remember this?

Remember a couple months back when Mario and I were out running and the cement demons latched onto my ankles causing me to do a perfect 10.0 face first dive into the cement, and how Mario suspected a dislocated shoulder? And how, when he suggested the hospital, I completely freaked out? It’s not odd that I would freak out given that hospitals totally wig me out in general, but this time it wasn’t because of that. It was because I was worried about getting an x-ray.


A reenactment of the dive.

See, I had suspicions about something going on in my belly at the time. I hadn’t told Mario my suspicions as it was still super early and I wanted to be sure. But I did tell the docs when they checked me over. They did a test and sure enough I was preggers. Three weeks along.

I was still good to go for the x-ray, but the thing is, I was in a completely different waiting room then Mario. And so, for three and a half hours, I sat there, ready to burst with this news, but couldn’t exactly text him now could I. Can you say torture?

Or, a little foreshadowing maybe? Since then, I have been running all over the map getting myself to this doctor and that specialist and 1,000 others after.

Every two weeks, I’m required to attend the pregnancy in diabetes clinic, which consists of an endocrinologist specializing in pregnancy, dietitian, and nurse, and for the first while, I was seeing them every week. I’ve also been in to see my diabetic eye specialist, something I have to do every trimester because apparently diabetic retinopathy can present itself in pregnancy. I have to get my hemoglobin A1c tested every month to ensure BG perfection continues, as well as my thyroid, the dose of which has already been increased due to alien baby sucking all the good thyroid out of me. An obstetrician has been recommended as a result of Dear Diabetes being earmarked as high risk, and I’ve also been given advance notice of stress tests coming my way. And that doesn’t even include ultrasounds and regular visits with my GPs that specialize in pregnancy.  Oh joy.


The result of one of my many appointments: the first pic of our little thumb-sucking alien baby.

Seriously, it’s like the world thinks if you have Type 1 and are pregnant, life stops. You don’t work, you don’t have commitments, you don’t have a social life, nothing – except a wide open calendar to fill with specialists appointments!