Friday, March 14, 2014

Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy: Baby is here!!

Today is my Diabetes Anniversary! I was diagnosed 14 years ago: March 14th, 2000. It seems so fitting to be posting about and reveling in the birth of my son today!!!

Our baby has arrived and is almost a six weeks old! WOW how time has flown by and how busy it has been.

I love being a mom. The exhaustion is definitely an adjustment and I couldn't be happier about having to deal with it for what I have in return.

I'm going to share a little about my labor/delivery process........

I went in on a Thursday night at 10pm to prepare for a Friday morning induction. The nursing staff did my intake and attached me to monitors for the baby's heart rate and contractions. I was administered Cervadil in order to soften and hopefully begin dilating the cervix.

 The hospital standards are that diabetics be placed on an insulin drip. I had strongly indicated that I was not keen on going on one at all. This topic became a constant conversation during my doctor appointments. She was very strongly working to persuade me that it would be difficult for me to not go on one. I finally agreed that I would be open to being on a drip once the IV was started on Friday and once I had the opportunity to discuss the administration of the insulin with the nursing staff. I'm quite a control freak about my diabetes and I've been the only one administering myself insulin for 14 years. I was not keen on the idea of handing over that control.

Friday morning at 830am my doctor checked in on me. I had only dilated to about another centimeter putting me at 2 centimeters. She gave the nursing staff the go ahead to start pitocin. My nurse recommended I eat breakfast and get up for a walk before starting. At 11am they started the IV of pitocin to induce contractions. I felt good for a few hours and got up to walk the halls to hopefully help move things along. This required a lot of help from my husband to drag along the IV and monitors attached to me.

My wonderful doctor must have put it in my charges that I was a control freak about my diabetes because my nurses were beyond respectful about my wishes. They even admitted IV drip protocols are written based on gestational and type 2 diabetes. They agreed to allow me to wear my pump as long as my blood sugars stayed below 120. This freaked me out because that's so difficult for a type 1 to pull off! I had amazing nurses, but I still felt they didn't readily grasp type 1 diabetes. For example, my blood sugar did spike to 140 after breakfast and right after they started the pitocin. The nurse let me take a correction bolus and said we'd start the IV if it wasn't down in an hour. Well she didn't check me for like an hour and a half and I was down to 70. Then she asked me why I thought it dropped so much!!! This is a completely typical change of numbers any day in the life of a type 1. As for "why?"...I took insulin...that's why...or because I'm in labor.....

 After that a diabetes miracle happened and my blood sugars stayed between 80-100. This may have been partly thanks to them not letting me eat! According to one of the nurses, "labor is the equivalent of your body running a marathon". Because I was being induced I was not allowed to eat due to increased risk of unplanned C-section. So a 15 hour marathon and no food. Awesome.

I was able to stay on my insulin pump thanks to my supportive nurses and great luck with blood sugars. The nurses even told me the rest of the staff thought they were crazy for not having me on a drip, again, I felt very thankful.

Around 4pm my contractions were a minute long and a minute apart. They were hurting to say the least and I was starting to have a hard time coping. I hadn't written a birth plan in order to keep an open mind. My doctor had checked in on me at 430pm and told the nurses I could have pain meds whenever I wanted. Around 6pm I decided I wanted them. My nurse gave me Fentanyl through my IV to take the edge off while we waited for the anesthesiologist. He arrived pretty quickly and the Epidural insertion didn't hurt due to the fact that I had the IV medicine. The Fentanyl only last about 40 minutes just enough time for the epidural to kick in. My legs were very numb and heavy feeling, but to my relief I could still FEEL them.

The nurse checked to see how far I was dilated and to my dismay I was still on 3.5 cm after a full day of pictocin. I was feeling a little stressed and worried that if things didn't progress I would have a c-section and my hope was for a vaginal birth. I relaxed, reminded myself to keep an open mind, and decided to try to get some much needed sleep.

Thanks to the epidural I was able to sleep about 5 hours and woke up right before midnight. The nurse checked in and I had dilated to 6-7cm, finally! My husband had finally fallen asleep himself. I decided to wait until I was closer to 10cm to wake him. He woke up around 130am and it was time to start pushing a little after that.

Our son was born at 3:14 am weighing 7lbs 8oz. They placed him on my chest immediately and I was able to hold him for at least 30 minutes until they needed to weigh him, check his blood sugar, and give him a bath. All this happened 5 feet from my bed in the newborn warmer.

My blood sugars initially skyrocketed after labor. Possibly from a variety of reasons: They finally let me eat so I stuffed my face with granola bars because that's all there was until breakfast, I had also been receiving dextrose through my IV in order to avoid spilling ketones (I had a few ketones before they gave me dextrose because of how hard my body was working and not receiving food), and my body had just been through labor so the stress could have spiked things too. 

My sugars stabilized after breakfast. They continued to check my son's blood sugars at intervals until he "graduated" from blood sugar checks after 12 hours. He had been borderline low for an infant and they gave him some formula to be on the safe side. (My son has a very low chance of developing type 1 diabetes. The blood sugar checks at the hospital are to look for lows. Babies born to diabetic mothers have usually been exposed to a sweeter environment prenatally, even with good control. After birth their own pancreas might be overcompensating and this can result in low blood sugars.)

My insulin amounts decreased steadily the days following delivery and I am actually now on smaller rates than pre-pregnancy. Breastfeeding has lowered my blood sugars and made me thirsty/hungry often. My endocrinologist called me after I was home to congratulate me, ask how things were going, and follow up with some prescriptions!! I happily told her how diabetes now appears "easy" compared to managing it when I was pregnant!! Haha! All about perspective.

Diabetes and pregnancy has been my greatest challenge with type 1 diabetes. I feel so thankful to have had a healthy pregnancy and blessed with a beautiful baby boy. My husband and healthcare team were above and beyond. The hard work has really only just begun, but the newborn challenges are so much more rewarding!

*What works for me might not work for you. If you have questions, concerns, or are thinking of making changes to your diabetes care always contact your doctor.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy New Year- 2014 Goals

Better late than never! As I look back over 2013, I have accomplished and experienced so much! Looking forward to everything 2014 will bring. There are many challenges ahead that I've been able to mentally prepare myself for such as the baby and my husband taking on a new career (yes all at once, bring it on 2014!). There will also be many surprises as life always brings, bracing myself for a big year of change!

My goals this year primarily revolve around healthy habits (isn't that always the theme though!):
  • I've enjoyed having practically non-diabetic blood sugars during pregnancy. I don't expect to keep them quite as rigid, but certainly close to it! 
  • I've decided to make clean eating a priority. I've been doing a lot of online reading on eating clean and talking to my husband about meal plans. We created a grocery list and meal idea list to keep on our fridge. This will hopefully make grocery trips easier as well as being able to quickly think of healthy meals for dinner.

  • I look forward to getting back to a great fitness routine. I expect it to be a challenge with the new baby.  Since being in shape for me is 80% nutrition and only 20% exercise, when it comes to prioritizing if I only have time to prepare clean meals I will be doing that over working out. This will be hard for me because I can be a little addicted to my workouts.
  • Speaking of that new baby. Sleep is my other priority. Getting as much of it as possible, even when it's impossible!
  • More stretching and yoga to sleep better and feel better.
  • Drink a gallon of water a day.
  • Play. I told my husband that we have to make sure we continue to be active with our baby. Keep climbing, surfing, hiking, traveling and adventuring!
  • I made a calendar and goal list to help me keep track of clean eating, workouts, and when I've had a "cheat meal".

The big picture goal is to take great care of myself so I can be the best mother and wife to my boys!! I'm nervous excited for the changes coming in 2014!! Trying to enjoy the calm before the beautiful chaos.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy: Final Weeks

I have finished up my final growth ultrasound. Baby is still showing up in the 50th percentile and I sure hope it's accurate (I've heard it's not!). I'm seeing my regular OBGYN for the weekly NST and checkups. In the next week if baby hasn't made his debut we will start discussing and scheduling an induction! My next update about diabetes and pregnancy will be post-baby! 

A few last pregnancy pictures (37 weeks)! We had time before we rushed off to a dinner date to snap these at a ranch by our house!! Finally a few non-gym clothes AND not taken on the iphone!

A sweet quote that my mom recently sent. Some good thoughts as I prepare for this new journey.(The more I read it the more I think this can be applied to any aspect of life, not just raising a child!)

If I had my child to raise over again,
I'd finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I'd do less correcting, and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less, and know to care more.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I'd run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging, and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd teach less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.
It matters not whether my child is big or small,
From this day forth, I'll cherish it all.
- Diana Loomans

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sweet Stuff

We've had a plethora of things to be thankful for lately as we prepare for a newborn!

1. Beautiful Christmas celebrations with friends and family. 

2. It was the sick taking care of the sick in our home for a little while. My husband had a cold for a week after Christmas. Then one day I was having headaches and dizzy spells. I was suppose to make him soup that day but was in bed myself, so he made it! Here he is checking my blood pressure. Checking at home as helped ease off worries of if I'm developing pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was fine and I eventually slept off my symptoms.

3. We were both feeling better just in time to go to the beach! A nice little romantic night away in Carmel, CA. The "zen" hotel had bamboo fountains in the rooms, outdoor fire pits, and chocolate strawberries by the bed. It was a lovely mini-vacation for my husband and I to connect before baby arrives! The Carmel beach was the warmest it's ever been when we've visited and walking along it made winter feel very distant!

4. Baby Showers with my preschool co-workers and one with my family. My co-workers are phenomenal and had the cutest Dr. Suess baby shower for me. My family and close friends threw me a nautical themed shower. Max and I are completely spoiled. We are beyond bless by the family and friends we have in our life.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nursery Decor

Our nursery is ready and awaiting baby! I'll be the first to admit decorating does not come naturally to me. I had to rely on friends and Pinterest to keep me from totally ruining this room. It developed into a traveler/nautical theme.  I started with a color scheme more than anything and a budget. I kept it simple and hope to add pieces over time, including a rug eventually! I wish it had a decorators touch, but given my skill level it's good enough! (The paint on the wall is Benjamin Moore Bleeker Biege.)

  • Graco Stanton Crib: $150.00 (ours happened to include a free mattress)
  • Crib Sheet: The red one is a hand-me-down. I also have a blue one and a white one with blue ships ($14 Buy Buy Baby). My husband doesn't love the bold pop of red, it surprises me that I do!
  • National Geographic Map: $25.00. A map was the first thing we agreed we wanted in the room. My husband was debating map type (political, geographical, etc.), while I just cared about it having mostly neutral color tones. We saw this one in my dietician's office and both left the appointment only wanting to talk about "that map". We'd also both memorized the label on it and I found it on National Geographic's website later. You have to sign up as a member to browse and purchase, which is free.
  • Lazy Boy Recliner: Free. My dad's hand-me-down. We've had it for almost 5 years now and every time we move my husband wants to get rid of it! I think it's super comfy and have refused to let him! It reclines and rocks. Made it a little prettier with a $14.00 throw pillow from Marshall's. (Now that it'll be a rocking chair my husband loves it as much as I do, just didn't love how much space it took up in our living room)
  • Side Table/Nursing supplies station: $60.00 TJ Maxx Home Goods. I wanted a table I could store nursing supplies like burp clothes, creams, nursing covers, and low blood sugar snacks. I've been told lows are common after nursing and I don't want to have to get up to get something! I had all the drawers filled with baby stuff and a spot for "my" things. While giving my husband a tour of how I'd organized the room he looked at the side table and said, "What about me?". I felt awful and immediately cleaned out the bottom drawer for "dad" supplies. I don't know what that'll be, but he's right, whether he will be feeding our little one in that spot or just rocking baby and bonding he needs a place to keep his things too!!
  • Tug Boat Piggy Bank: $17.00 Petroglyph Ceramic Studio. I painted this while on a fun outing with my cousins and sister-in-law!
  • Nautical Themed Quotes: $24 and $10.00 on I also got the frames on Amazon for $20.00 each. 
  • Lamps: $40.00 each from Lowe's.  
  • Dresser: $130.00 Amazon
  • Closet Organizer and Shelves: Bought these at Orchard Hardware Supply with a 20% off coupon and I think the total was around $100.00.
  • Map name letters: Each letter was $2.50 at Michael's, I used mod podge, and printed maps off the internet. I followed the model provided here:
  • Changing table and changing pad: Handed down to me from a co-worker. We already had the baskets and received the changing pad cover off our registry. It is blue with anchors and probably way too nice for diaper changing! Love that it fits nicely in our spare bath! Between the fan, diaper genie, and a Scentsy we hope to minimize any unwanted odors.
  • Rock n' play bassinet was also a hand me down!
  • Globe: $15 TJ Maxx Home Goods
Entire nursery furniture and decor budget around $700.00!