The Toll of a High Risk Pregnancy

My husband urged me to write a blog post recently but I came back at him asking what would I write about?  I have literally been doing nothing and am frankly pretty frustrated and stressed.  He said write about that.  Write about the challenges of pregnancy with diabetes and all the patience it takes.  Here it goes:

Since I have been on modified bed rest there are three things that have bothered me;

  1. I have a short cervix which means I really have to listen to my body.  Even though I have had several appointments where the doctors are very encouraged that it has either grown or not gotten shorter, it puts me at risk for pre-term labor.  I have been told that if I deliver before 24 weeks, the results would be devastating.  I will be 23 weeks this Thursday.  Obviously this makes me very anxious, nervous and stressed.
  2. My work-life balance is off.  I have been working a lot lately.  I have been waking up in the early morning and thinking of all the things I need to do and when I can’t get back to sleep, I just drive to my office and start on them.  So I’ve been getting to work around 6:15am  and leaving around 5:15pm.  Obviously this schedule would make anyone tired, but I’m pregnant so I’m more exhausted than normal AND I’m trying to control my blood sugars.  Not to mention the work I am doing right now is constantly fluctuating, so I could get far ahead and then find out the next day we are going a totally new direction, making all the work I did moot.  When I thought it was a possibility that I might have to go on bed rest or have the cerclage surgery, I worked until 10pm one night last week putting together a transition plan for my manager/team.
  3. I’m prohibited from exercising with my short cervix, as any movement could put pressure on it.  That means no running, no free weights and no walking, not even leisurely walking my dog.  So what’s the one thing I’ve done my whole life when I get stressed out?  I exercise.  Now, I can’t do that.  I’ve only gone a few months without running in the past 25 years, and it tends to turn me into a cranky, terrible person.  Just ask my husband – not running, combined with pregnancy hormones turns me into a real B.  I’ve had a couple of injuries that have sidelined me but I’ve usually been able to walk or do the elliptical.  Modified bed rest definitely is a new thing for me.

So what am I doing to alleviate some of these stressors?  Well, I have started doing meditation.  I sit in the future nursery in the glider and I open the meditation app.  I close my eyes and relax.  It truly helps and only takes 3-5 minutes so I can always find the time.  I’m trying to do this at least three times a week.

I’m working with my manager to ease my workload.  She is very understanding and helpful, but a lot of the things only I can do, so I am working on training other members of my team.

I finally have time to read!  I finished a novel I’ve been working on since April.  I love reading, so this is definitely a perk of sitting still.

I’m trying to focus on the positive, because the negative will pummel and destroy me.

  • The baby is doing great!  He/she doesn’t know any difference between a short cervix and a normal one, and every ultrasound we get is adorable!  I can’t wait to meet him/her!
  • My blood sugars have never been better.  My OB/Gyn told me a few weeks ago that my A1C is better than some of her patients that don’t have diabetes. Score! (Although, caveat, I have found it harder to get rid of highs without being able to walk.  Walking plus insulin was my go-to method to get high blood sugars down faster).
  • I have not gained that much weight.  Albeit, I am only 22 weeks into the pregnancy, but I have only gained 11-12 pounds.  (I only know this from going to the doctor’s office – we don’t keep a scale in the house to combat an eating disorder I had and successfully recovered from in my early 20s.)  I do worry about pregnancy weight a little, just because I have a very petite frame and if I gain a lot of weight it will be harder for me to run after the pregnancy (something I truly enjoy so much!).  My husband thinks it may be impossible for type 1’s to gain a lot of weight in pregnancy.  It’s hard to do, when you’re only eating 120 carbs a day.  Think about it, we are not like normal pregnant women; we can’t give in to cravings, we can’t binge on food (we must know the serving size of everything), and in general we are making healthier choices than our non-diabetic counterparts.
  • My husband has lost weight since I have been pregnant.  He is eating the same low carb food I eat, so this just happened by accident, but it’s nice for him!  He looks great!
  • One more positive on food; I don’t have cravings and I’m not hungrier than before pregnancy.  I’m not certain why this is, but I believe it’s due to the low-carb food I eat because it’s so satiating, I often feel very full.  I have been eating a ton of meat though – baby loves cheeseburgers!

I like to end my blogs on a positive note, which is difficult here because the whole post felt like a rant.  I believe the patience, perseverance, resilience and courage this pregnancy is teaching me will help me be a better mother.  That’s what I think about each day when I feel burned out or stressed up to my eyeballs….that and it will all be worth it when I’m holding my baby in a few months time.

-Grace

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4 thoughts on “The Toll of a High Risk Pregnancy

  1. Wow, great post! I’m so glad your husband encouraged you to write and that you did! I have Type 1 as well and I can’t imagine what an enormous challenge being pregnant (and not to mention not being able to exercise to manage high bg) must be. I’m amazed and inspired by you!

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  2. I just started following. I’ve never been into blogs but stumbled across yours. I’ve been a t1d for about 18years now and my fiancee and I are getting married next October and our main goal is to have a child (which I cry over more than not out of fear). I fear I won’t be able to, but your posts are so uplifting! I know it’ll be difficult but it’s nice to hear that it can work 🙂

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  3. Aw wow we are almost the same – I will have my 19 year “diaversary” in a couple of weeks.I think you will be able to – because look, you are already doing your research. Definitely get on a pump and a CGM if you don’t use them already – they are clutch for pregnancy. I got married in Dec. 2015 and spent the 1st 6 months of my marriage aggressively attacking my A1C, and you’re right it’s very challenging but if the end goal is a baby you find the motivation! I’ve found that when I am pregnant, I have a lot more motivation to achieve good blood sugars (avoiding foods like pizza and tortilla chips that make me spike, pre-bolusing every meal and snack). It makes a huge difference what you can do when someone else is counting on you!

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