Diabetically pregnant, pregnantly diabetic? What does it all mean?

January 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm (Intro) (, , )

As many of you know, just over a year ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  This has meant some changes for my husband and I, and when we get pregnant it will mean more changes, as we know from our miscarriage earlier this year. 

I found out after a high A1C blood test that gauges your long term blood sugar level and based on several conversations with my doctor, it boils down to a few simple things: eat less sugar and carbs, be more active, and lose some weight. Of course, if I do the first two, the third should automatically happen.  I previously handled the diabetes with just diet and exercise, but then we got pregnant. The very first appointment that I had after getting pregnant was to meet with a nurse to discuss blood sugars and eating plans.  Within a week or two I was put on metformin, a drug that helps your body handle sugar but is also used for women who are having a hard time getting pregnant.  About a week and a half after that I was put on insulin, twice a day.  Each meeting (twice a week) resulted in an upped insulin dosage, which started to make me feel a bit depressed because my body ought to be able to handle this (common feelings).  After we lost the baby the nurse showed me how to adjust my insulin to whatever my body needed and my doctor gave me the go ahead to take the amount of insulin I needed each day.

If a diabetic gets pregnant, the likelihood of a birth defect is four times higher than for a non-diabetic, and there are several possible issues for her baby.  Sugar can cross the placenta, but insulin cannot.  To keep a baby healthy, the mom needs to keep her blood sugars low so that the baby’s aren’t too high.  Diabetic women are more likely to miscarry or have a stillbirth, and babies of diabetics can grow very large, be susceptible to high birth weights, early births, or have heart or neural defects.  It’s not a pretty picture.  A woman who has well controlled diabetes has the same risks as a non-diabetic, so you can see where the importance comes in.

Why am I focusing on this now? Well, I haven’t been taking very good care of my diabetes since we lost our Ducky.  This has meant not checking my sugar as often or taking my meds. Now that we are getting serious about trying again (and not having a ton of luck), I have got to get back into the habit of taking care of myself.  This means going back to checking my blood sugar every morning, taking insulin every night before bed and in the morning, and making wiser food choices. Oh, and taking walks more often.  The best gift that I could possibly give a future child is the healthiest possible me and my husband fully supports that.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: