Type 1 Diabetic & Pregnant (worries)

Krystyl - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have had type one Diabetes for about 8 years now,
Before I got pregnant, I was taking 2 injections a day, and 2 glucose tests...
my blood sugar was generally normal, and my husband and I are pretty good at adjusting the dose as needed on special occasions (Birthday parties, ETC.)

Now that I've been pregnant, I get hypoglycemia from eating the littlest thing!
My OB has recommended
that I now check my sugars 7 times a day and take 4 insulin injections!!!! - I feel like a living pincushion!
I Have been recommended to an OB because my Family Doctor has never dealt with a diabetic pregnancy, my OB is sending me to the 'big city' for extensive 'diabetes & pregnancy' training, hopefully that will be helpful,
He's also upset at me for not coming in to see him before I got pregnant (as apparently I should have done, as I haven't had a recent hemoglobin A1C test etcetc. )

I am also being sent to the city because my OB is concerned about heart defects and spinal issues ETC... The City has MUCH better prenatal monitoring equipment -- I was VERY upset by this --- The only thing I've heard in terms of Diabetic pregnancies & Complications are that the babies tend to be bigger... now I am hearing that my baby may get heart defects...
Though I am almost 9 weeks, and we DID see the heart beating at the OB appointment about 5 days ago.

I am hoping to get some feedback from other Diabetic mothers, who've maybe had this issue, is this maybe just a scare tactic?, how worried should I be?
I need just ,... Something.

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Elisabete - posted on 12/05/2009

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i feel the same way .
ive only had diabetes with one of my other sons and as i remenber i only had to check my sugars 3 times a day and get injections 2 times a day if that now i have to check my sugars 3 times a day which is fine but i have to have 13 units a day which is allot ,i have 4 at lunch,6 at dinner and 3 beofre bed .no matter what i eat the levels dont really go down and iam a picky eater,i do the injections in the arms and they are very sore .my son was born 6 pounds and he wassent big yet my latest daughter was 8 pounds 11 and i did not have diabetes with her .i dont understand how they work out how big the babies get?

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Debbie - posted on 01/04/2010

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I agree with kathy about the doctors' scare tactics. I've had type 1 for 20 years, and hadn't been too watchful of my sugars since I hadn't really planned on having kids, when I found out I was pregnant with twins. For the entire pregnancy, I had appointments with my family doctor, ob-gyn, and endocrinologist every 3-4 weeks, as well as monthly ultrasounds and A1C tests. Everyone was incredibly worried, and I even went to BC Women's hosp. for more tests. Due to an overly active job and lifestyle, I'm not on a pump (Humalog with a sliding scale, instead) but I tested my bs at least 5 times a day, and got my A1C down to 6.
The pregnancy was actually going perfectly, until I suddenly developed pre-eclampsia at 34 weeks and had an emergency c-section. Everything worked out fine except for a longer hospital stay, but that was due to complications with the surgery. My little monsters were strong and healthy (6lb 2oz, and 5lb) and are currently doing fine. I don't know how scary your doctors are making everything sound, but they're just thinking its better to be safe than sorry.

Kathy - posted on 12/30/2009

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being a nurse, i am biased when it comes to doctors. generally speaking, it is easier for a doctor to tell you what the worst case scenario can be rather than just come out and say that s/he doesn't know something. the best thing your primary doc did was to refer you to a specialist. these docs will know how to monitor and treat both you and the baby, as opposed to your primary doc who would just be guessing on the best treatment plan. some congenital heart defects actually heal themselves, and while others may require surgery to correct, it is usually a permanent fix. i think medical professionals do use scare tactics because we see patients over and over again that didn't listen to advice about prevention and treatment. i don't know if this sounds good or not, but it's easier to scare a pregnant woman for 9 months and have her and the baby be healthy than to not explain the importance of proper glucose control and have either the baby, mom, or both, be seriously ill. that being said, i have gestational diabetes and don't always do the right thing. it's hard, and it stinks, but i guess in the grand scheme of things, 9 months is such a short amount of time considering all the living you and the baby have left to do. but man, the things i would do for a hot fudge sundae with chocolate ice cream, real whipped cream, and reeses! ps...seeing the heart beat at this stage is a huge plus! if the heart rate was normal, it's a good sign that the baby's heart is A-OK.

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You should definitely be prepared to test a lot more, especially as the pregnancy continues, and a lot more insulin. The more the baby grows, the more fluids are in your body and it requires more insulin. I was on an insulin pump prior to my pregnancy and felt that this was an absolute godsend during my pregnancy since I could adjust my insulin as often as needed in case something was wacky. I think you should start reading about diabetic pregnancies (in Type 1) which is sometimes pretty hard to find, but there are other blogs and communities online too. Take care of yourself and know that all the extra trips to the city will all be worth it when you have that beautiful baby in your arms!

JenniferMichelle - posted on 11/09/2009

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I went through a similar situation...we live in a small rural town in Minnesota and when we found out I was pregnant my A1C was 8.6..We never planned on having children so I didn't feel the need to have my A1C checked anymore than I needed too. You're going to feel like a pincushion your entire pregnancy...I tested 8 times a day and took insulin more times than I could count...that's not including the regular blood tests I had that come with pregnancy...your doctor will probably have an echo done (an ultrasound on the baby's heart) at about 20 weeks...it does take a lot more work when you are pregnant and a diabetic but it's totally worth it....I had an echo done when I was 22 weeks along and it showed that she did have a heart condition that is associated with Down's Syndrome. The doctor did say she would have to have open heart surgery when she was 6 months old but that the surgery was very safe. After I had my daughter we found out that she did have a hole in the bottom and the top chambers of her heart...but that they should go away on their own...She didn't have down syndrome and now is a healthy spunk little 18 month old firecracker...i don't think it is a scare tactic I think they tell you what you MIGHT have to face so you know head on.....as long as you keep your diabetes under control and follow the doctor's plan you should be alright....enjoy your pregnancy

Sybil - posted on 11/08/2009

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If you have been managing your sugars before you got pregnant, you shouldn't have to worry too much. If your sugars were not well controlled, the chances for complications go up. I myself was very worried when I first got pregnant. So worried that I bought a fetal heart monitor on ebay so I could hear my baby's heartbeat! But everything turned out fine & Kaden is now a healthy 15-month old boy. I wouldn't say it's a scare tactic but the doctors are just probably concerned since they weren't monitoring your A1c beforehand. Diabetics aren't supposed to have unplanned pregnancies & most doctors like to see A1c below 7 (mine wanted below 6.5) before getting pregnant. Just make sure you control your sugars well in your first trimester (that's when you're at most risk for complications). Are you taking prenatal vitamins? That's important too. The first trimester is when the baby's major organs form and grow so that's why it's very important to have good sugar control at this time. After that, (like in gestational diabetics), the major risk is having a large baby. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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