11 September 2012
Pregnant and Diabetic
Oh and then there is the diabetes.
There is so much information out there about diabetic pregnancies resulting in larger babies, more complications, pre-eclampsia, malformations, and still births that it seems like a difficult pregnancy with a poor outcome is inevitable (you can just google it and see how depressing it is - here, here, here for a start). Its scary, stressful, and daunting.
But so far things have thankfully progressed quite normally for me on both the diabetes and pregnancy fronts. My A1C has remained steady at 6.0-6.2 for the entire pregnancy, my blood pressure has been completely normal and ultrasounds of the little bub in my belly show that her growth is right on track - not to big, not to small but right in the middle.
I have been closely monitored through this whole pregnancy by my OB and my endo. I have probably had almost twice as many OB visits and ultrasounds at this point than a non-diabetic woman. And I see my endo every two weeks to review my blood sugars and make adjustments to the settings on my insulin pump. I've been very impressed with my endo - he has been great in keeping one step ahead of the late pregnancy insulin resistance, keeping my blood sugars from hitting the stratosphere while also not sending them too low.
But I think I deserve some credit here too for taking good care of myself.
I keep very close track of my blood sugars and am very focused on the types of food I eat. I avoid foods that I know will send my BG sky high and opt for lower-glycemic foods that I know will make my blood sugar easier to manage. This means I eat alot of fresh veggies, some fruits, beef, chicken, fish and cheese. I avoid breads, pastas, and pretty much all sweets (cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc). I average about 30-40g of carbs per meal plus 25-30g of carbs in snacks. It also means that I have pretty much ignored advice from diabetes health professionals who advocate that people with diabetes eat more carbs and more whole grains - this approach just doesn't make sense to me when I'm trying to avoid high blood sugars and when the foods I already eat (like veggies) have just as much or in some cases more nutrition than the whole grains they recommend.
I also cook alot. I pretty much cook every meal we eat. Its sometimes a pain and I sometimes don't feel like it but it allows me to measure my food so that I know how much carbs are in it so I can bolus as accurately as possible. Eating out is always a carb guessing challenge and typically results in a high BG for me which I would prefer to avoid as much as possible at this point.
While things have gone very smoothly so far, it has taken a lot of dedication and focus on my part to manage my diabetes and eat nutritious foods so that I can grow a healthy baby. I haven't given in to the whims of my cravings for chocolate or ice cream or pizza or banana pancakes.
That can come later when the baby is delivered.