Tag Archives: healthy placenta

34 weeks: Ye olde crawdad

First they called me fat and now they’re telling me I might have an old crawdad for a placenta. Seriously, what gives?

I thought placentas were scary before, but that’s just freak nasty!

Okay, maybe she didn’t actually say crawdad, but the vacation relief endocrinologist at the diabetes in pregnancy clinic yesterday did warn me that the recent low blood sugars on my charts could be the result of an “old” placenta, to which her colleagues – the clueless nurse and evil dietician – backed up. Are you freaking kidding me? Seriously, for people who work with insanely hormonal pregnant chicks on a regular basis, I’m thinking they probably should have come up with a better word than old!

I went into this appointment prepared for the comments I thought for sure I’d get over a few of the highs recorded on my chart. I had explanations for nearly every single one of them: dinner out, high-carb dinner, failed infusion, etc.. But what I didn’t expect was the concern I got over the lows. Sure there were a few more than I’d had lately, but for the most part I had explanations for those as well: rage bolusing due to the aforementioned highs, increased activity, insulin overdose, etc., etc.. And because I’d been having lows throughout this pregnancy, I really didn’t think there’d be great concern over these ones.

But remember awhile back when I told you high blood sugars (no matter how much we don’t want them and no matter how many daily adjustments we make to avoid them) are a sign of a healthy placenta. Well, low blood sugars, not so much. Apparently, unexplained lows could be the cause of the placenta no longer efficiently pumping out hormones, essentially slowing down, and pretty much clamping the necessary nutrients from reaching the baby.

While we don’t think my lows are cause for concern – yet! – I have been told to keep a close eye on my blood sugars (like I haven’t already been doing that) and my insulin doses. If my total daily dose drops by 10-15 per cent, I’m to call the clinic and my obstetrician immediately. Apparently that’s a sign thumb-sucking alien baby wants out – like now! Oh crud!

And you better believe, I was giving my little TSAB a good, long lecture on the way back to the car, informing him or her that while I realize patience is not a virtue in our family, we are NOT ready for an earlier than expected arrival!

Insulin, insulin and more insulin

Holy mother of I don’t know what, but I’m going through insulin like you wouldn’t believe. They kept telling me this would happen, that the hormones in my placenta would eventually slow down my body’s ability to efficiently absorb insulin,  and while I didn’t necessarily not believe them, I never thought I’d be registering total daily doses that are more than double what I was taking pre-pregnancy!

Going through insulin like mad.

It’s a bit of a pill to swallow. I’ve long prided myself on the small doses I take in, and when I get that shocked, holy crap, how do you manage that look from fellow Type 1s, or the wow, you must have super insulin sensitivity comments from medical peeps, I humbly smile, but inside am doing a freaking awesome party dance. I love my small doses.

But now, my gawd, it’s an embarrassment having to spill the beans every two weeks on my total daily doses, which are currently stacking up to anywhere between 40 and 60 units! Are you freaking kidding me? Pre-pregnancy, I was averaging 20-24 units a day!

I used to be able to get through four days on 130 units, now I’m filling the canula with 180 units and am barely getting through two and half to three days. I’ve had alarms going off telling me my insulin cartridge is nearly empty (I never used to go past less than 20 units before changing the infusion) and the last two site changes have had to be done emergency style in the evening instead of the mornings when I usually change them.

Ten units won’t get me through the night these days 😦

I’m told not to worry about it. I’m told this is normal. I’m told this is the sign of a healthy placenta – that if this wasn’t happening, then I should be worrying. But you know what else it’s a sign of – higher blood sugars. Not cool.

I have been struggling with post breakfast highs, and it seems no matter what I do, they just keep creeping on up. I’ve switched back to super fibrous bread for my toast (now that my belly can withstand it) which doesn’t have a quick-acting glucose release like white bread does; I’ve increased my protein intake; I’ve postponed my smoothie and fruit bowl to later in the day, as apparently those can cause glucose spikes first thing in the morning. I’ve also majorly increased my morning basal rates, starting an hour prior to breakfast, and have seriously decreased my insulin-to-carb ratio for breakfast; down from 1 unit of insulin per 24 grams of carbs to 1 unit of insulin per 5 grams of carbs. That’s some major wheeling and dealing there, but to no bloody avail.

And yesterday morning, I was told by the medical peeps at the pregnancy in diabetes clinic that it will only continue to tax my system. My blood sugars will continue to rise. My body will continue to pork out on insulin. My adjustments will continue to work one day and then majorly fail the next for no apparent reason at all.

It’s a roller coaster ride, the nurse told me, buckle up!