How Diabetes Gets in the Way: An update post-baby…

June 10, 2013By 1 Comment

cartoonIt’s been almost four months since I had my beautiful and healthy baby girl, and yet I feel like I’m still digging myself out of the blur of sleep deprivation and erratic blood sugars.  Everyone says I will eventually feel ‘normal’ again, but most of those people don’t have to contend with a chronic disease on top of being a neurotic new mom.

Yes, I have juice boxes stashed EVERYWHERE: Next to her rocking chair in the nursery, next to her bath tub, in her diaper bag, and in the stroller.  But unfortunately the lows are completely unpredictable these days.  Because I am still nursing, depending on how much or little milk I am producing (based on her growth spurts or eating larger amounts less times during the day), I have noticed a trend in my lows being correlated with increased milk production.  When baby T (I might as well talk about her with her first initial at least even though I’ve chosen to keep most of her information private) and I were rocking in the lovely rocking chair on our front porch that my husband got us for Mother’s Day, and she was starting to fall asleep, I started to feel the drop.  Damn it!  Such a beautiful moment, ruined by a low.

Another time, changing her on her changing table and sorting through all her adorable little rolls I still couldn’t find a juice box, as my stash was all out, so I picked her up, naked and all, praying there would be no explosions on the way, and I headed to my next closest stash in the bathroom.  The lows have just crept up on me that quickly lately.  Luckily, I still have symptoms, and can catch them in time.  And no, not every moment with my baby girl is effected by my diabetes, but for the few times that it is, I curse my pancreas.  It doesn’t help when I have my infusion site aching on my back-side screaming at me that it needs to be changed, or when I’m nursing her and the weight of her little body around my waist is making my pump clip dig into my hip bone.  Diabetes is my second baby.

There are some other little moments, like when my pump is on suspend, and the vibrating that reminds me that it is in suspend mode, will make her look up at me like ‘huh, what in the heck just vibrated on my butt mom? That wasn’t me!‘  The nights when she is struggling to go down, and I am exhausted, and I get a warning telling me ‘low reservoir’, only to find that its super low on insulin, like .035 units left, I know that I have to do yet one more thing before I can attempt to rest my head on the pillow and take vigil next to her monitor.

Most nights I have been going to bed around 150 (by pregnancy standards this would have been high, but by my non-pregnant burning-the-candle at both ends standards, this is a happy number for me to go to bed with).  I usually wake up and check a couple of times when I get up to go to the bathroom or if I need to go and soothe T, and I’m happy to report most nights I’m around 125 in the middle of the night.  Lately however, because she has been sleeping through the night more and more, my body has told my milk production to pretty much stop in the middle of the night since she doesn’t need it, and so for the last two nights I’ve woken up with blood sugars in the 300’s.  That is just CRAZY how fast that happens!  So tonight, I’ll try a temp basal, and if our pattern of nursing continues, I’ll need to bump up my basals over-night.

Learning how my blood sugars need to be controlled and how my insulin needs change on a daily basis due to nursing, eating, exercise (I’m finally back in the gym), and stress (oh, and back to work) is an hour by hour challenge.

The other thing that has come up is my darling chunky-monkeys’ size.  I don’t take offense to people pointing out that my ‘big’ girl is adorable’, I point it out all the time.  While she was 10.1 at birth, and 14 pounds at her 2 month appt., I am going to bet she will be close to 18 at her 4 month (and because her size 2 diapers are starting to get a bit tight).   What it has done was get me thinking, could my blood sugars be messing with her metabolism?  Being the researcher that I am, I searched Google and pub med high and low for any studies that look at breastfed babies of Type 1 moms and their size.  The good news is, all I could find was that breastfeeding for at least 4 months may reduce the risk of Type 1 diabetes by 27% and also, breastfed babies tend to be heavier than formula fed babies for the first 6 months, and then end up being leaner in the long-run.  There is a lot of research out there on breastfeeding reducing the risk of obesity.  What I couldn’t find are any studies looking at blood sugar level of moms during nursing and if it affects the baby’s metabolism in any way.  Thesis idea for anyone getting their doctorate and loving diabetes research!  I did reach out to my Endo and my high risk OB who covered me during my pregnancy, and they assured me that my blood sugars were not adding to the adorable and squishy rolls on her arms and legs.  This was a relief.

All in all, T and I are getting used to our routine, and now she is at the point where she can even hold onto the straw of my juice for me, so she is a really big help already.  My main job is to continue to take care of myself, and try my hardest not to put my diabetes on the back burner, because I want to be around for a long long time.

Filed in: Pregnancy and T1DUncategorized

Comments (1)

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  1. Veronica says:

    This is “eye opening” and incredible!

    How much we all take for granted.

    Keep up the good work for you and your little one.

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