I'm 17 weeks pregnant and I'm having a hard time being excited about the pregnancy because I worry that something will go wrong. It's almost like I'm bracing myself for disappointment. At conception, my A1C was 6.7, but as of last month, it was down to 5.4. I know that's a good number, but I also know that my sugars aren't in a normal range all of the time. I get low sometimes (a lot in the beginning!), and I am 170-180 sometimes, too. My highest has been 240, but I don't go above 200 very often. My sugars aren't perfect, but are they good enough? I think part of my struggle of letting myself be excited is that I was diagnosed in 1981, and spent most of my life being told that I probably shouldn't have children, or should at least use a surrogate. I have a 20 week ultrasound and fetal echocardiogram scheduled in a few weeks and am hoping I'll relax and allow myself to be excited if everything looks good. Do most people feel like this? Is this normal?
Ok. Take a deep breath, Jen. It sounds like you are doing everything you can do. If you've got 17 weeks of pregnancy under your belt and not been over 240 - you are in VERY good shape. Better than I was and I have two healthy daughters (age 13 & 11). They were both born in the 6lb range. They had low BG an hour or so after birth, a bolus of glucose into their stomachs and both were fine after that.
YOU CAN DO THIS. Try to enjoy it. There are good things about being T1D and pregnant - more ultrasounds, more visits to hear that heart beat. :-) Enjoy it. Just think - you are ALMOST half way there. Next week you'll be be 18 weeks. Anything above 36 weeks is full term. 38 weeks is when lots of T1D women get induced, etc.
Hang in there. Go to your dr. appointments. Keep doing what you are doing.
I felt the exact same way. I would consider it normal for people in our situation. but seriously girl, your numbers are AWESOME! The 20 week ultrasound will help too, I promise :) Do you feel baby move at all yet? I think that's when I finally let myself be excited, it made it so real! And I had a way to keep tabs on him. You are doing wonderful and your baby will be wonderful and healthy! We CAN do this! My son is 8 months old now and a completely healthy, happy, little terror. It's worth it!
I agree with Katie. You are doing an awesome job. My a1c was also 6.7 at conception and I had it down under 6.0 by 20 weeks, but I was never under 5.5 & I promise you I had the outlier sugars too that are no good and feel so scary. Just take your bolus/shot, drink some water, and say a prayer until you check your sugar again. My son was born at 38 weeks, 7 lb 13 oz, completely perfect, no low blood sugar, no glucose necessary, and I was in no way perfect. The docs like to scare you (because some people don’t take them seriously), but responsible diabetics do their very best and have excellent outcomes. Even when I had to be induced early (& cried) my perinatologist gave me a hug and told me I had done an amazing job and that he was just being extra cautious, and that nothing I had or hadn’t done could have changed our outcome. You’re doing great!!
I'm new to this site/forum and have been thrilled to see all of the advice on being pregnant with type 1. We are not pregnant yet, but are planning to try soon. I can relate to being worried - I'm worried now and I'm not even pregnant!
I wondered if those that have commented here on their A1c dropping after pregnancy can talk more about that. Going from 6.7 to 5.4 is fantastic. I'm at 6.6 now, and I'm not sure I could ever get to 5.4 without battling constant lows. How did you do it? Was it a result of constant vigilance once you found out you were pregnant? Is it because the first trimester isn't too crazy in terms of increased insulin needs (my endo has warned me trimester 2 and 3 bring wild increases). I have an omnipod and Dexcom so I'm doing all I can now, while still having fluctuations due to..well, life. I find that I've increased the amount of time I think about and manage my blood sugar since getting the Dexcom. How hard was it during pregnancy (and that relates back to the question about how the heck did you do it)?
I can imagine a baby will be a great motivator for such focused control once pregnant, but I'm amazed at your A1c and so glad to hear these stories. It's nice to hear people sharing good news!
Thanks everyone. I'm so glad to have found this group to get information from others going through the same things. :)
Thanks for all of the encouragement! Honestly, there are 2 things that calm me down- when my Endo says that I'm doing a good job, and reading success stories on here. Rebekah- I don't feel anything yet, which doesn't help! I feel like I have no idea if things are ok in there.
Harmony- I was the same as you. I used to read posts on here of people saying that they had A1C's in the 5's and I thought that would never be me. But, with work, you can definitely do it. For me, it's been testing alot (10-15 times a day, even with a CGM), writing down everything I eat, and trying to be really good about carb counting. I'm not on a pump, but the injections have been working fine for me. I am on a lot less insulin now than before I was pregnant. I got low all of the time in the beginning until we sorted out my doses. I think that is normal, and then at some point the insulin resistance will kick in. It is a lot of work, and this is the only time in my life that I've really felt like diabetes is a burden. But, with the goal of a healthy baby in mind, you do what you have to do! It's definitely a huge motivator.
Harmony- one thing that helps is that you get 40% more blood when pregnant which automatically lowers your a1c. My docs wanted me under 6.5 before pregnancy, and closer to 5.5 by halfway through because of the extra blood. She basically said 6.5 while pregnant wasn’t as good as 6.5 before. It’s the same test but she said she had different expectations- there’s more blood to dilute the plasma glucose concentration so it will give a lower result. If that makes sense? Having that tiny baby depending on you to keep your levels as normal as possible is definitely motivating. You don’t want their pancreas to be doing anything, or else they’ll end up too small or big with low sugar at birth. Luckily it’s totally doable. We are working on our second right now & if it was too hard or scary I wouldn’t be diving back in!
I didn't know about the blood increase danapal. That's cool and it's likely a contributor to improved A1c. But I do think there's more to it because not all type 1 moms have lowered A1cs.
Like you said, there is no motivator like knowing your blood sugar affects your baby. Most moms eat healthier in pregnancy and most moms with diabetes get tighter control.
Before becoming pregnant I never had an A1c below 6. But it was easy with a baby on board to have a 5.1. I avoided lows at all costs and had none that were severe. Since non-diabetic women have pre-meal blood sugars of 60-80, I set my pump's target rate to 80 and would test an hour after eating to see if I needed a correction bolus. Between testing often and carb counting carefully, it was fairly easy to have better control.
But it also takes a lot of time and dedication. Once my son was born I went back to a target blood sugar of 100 and my main goal with a new baby was to never have a low when I was caring for him on my own, so I wouldn't put my son in danger.
After I found out I was pregnant, I dropped mine from an 8.9 to 6.1 in three months, with very diligent testing and carb counting. I wore a cgm for a few months and an insulin pump as well. The CGM helped a lot but, after a while I couldn't take the beeping so I took it off.
Eating right and exercising helped with blood sugars. The baby definitely motivated me to take care of myself for the first time in a very long time! He saved my life really.