Tuesday Thoughts.

I am currently 18 weeks and 3 days along in this pregnancy. It is just flying right on by. There’s this website I subscribe to and they email me fun tidbits about baby and my changing body. They tell me that this little guy is about the size of a large bell pepper. Weird to have my baby compared to food, but okay. :)

On the second I have an ultrasound appointment with the diabetes specialist. There they will measure baby to make sure he is growing properly, because apparently us diabetic mommies have big babies, they will also make sure that my due date is still accurate. The most important part, to me at least, is that I will get to see his cute little face on the monitor. I’ll get to see/hear his heart beat and watch him kick around. It’s my absolute favorite thing ever.

I will say that the most annoying thing so far is the indigestion that is sneaking up out of no where. Sleeping has also become incredibly uncomfortable which is why naps are a must during the day. A few other pregnant mommies have suggested special pillows geared towards expecting moms. I may be investing in something like this very soon.

The cravings are still a thing. The nice thing is that my husband will go to the ends of the earth to get me whatever I want. Special shout out to him for that. :) Maternity clothes are a must now. I am getting very round in the belly and nothing seems to fit like it used to. It’s terrible. Thankfully Target/Kohls have very stylish and affordable clothes. Whew.

Something I recently discovered..

These little signs are placed randomly, at random stores, just for me. :) Well, for expectant mommies. I know walking is good for me but when it is scorching hot out I will gladly park here. Located in front of most entrances. It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. Don’t judge. Even the hospital I go to for my diabetes specialist has a few of these out front.

I’m enjoying the perks of being pregnant. :)

Other than that. There’s not much going on. I have been emailing my numbers to the specialist who hasn’t changed anything with my basal settings. She doesn’t seem too concerned with the lows either. She just suggests I eat more snacks in between meals. Never thought that’d be an option. I was waiting for insulin resistance to kick in, which I am sure it will eventually, but so far nothing. The other day I actually ate a whole meal with out needing to bolus.

In fact I ended up dropping and had to snack some more. You’d think this would be “living the life” but it can be a bit frustrating. I suppose if that’s all there is to complain about though I shouldn’t complain at all.

My body has slowly gotten used to functioning at these lower numbers. My main concern is that hypo unawareness. I rarely get symptoms anymore unless I am in the 40’s. Before it used to be around the 60’s. I rely on Dexcom more than ever to alert me of the lows so that I can treat them early. It’s such a balancing act.

I’m just keeping my eye on the prize though.

Only 22 more weeks to go!

 

 

 

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Site change anxieties.

If you’ve never used an insulin pump, or an Omnipod for that matter, then you’ve never felt the sort of gut wrenching anxiety that I have felt every three days. Allow me to explain..

My pump is fantastic in that I have no tubes whatsoever. It is simply a pod, attached to my body, filled with insulin that is controlled by a PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) which sends it signals to give me insulin. I get my background or basal insulin and I can add in my blood sugar/carbs to get a bolus or dosage for that moment.

OmniPod-with-PDM

I change this amazing little pod every three days. I move the site to my arms, my thighs, my lower back, even my stomach. It’s important to rotate your sites so that there is less scar tissue and skin damage.

Where does the anxiety part come into play?

Well, it’s during the process of changing and prepping a new pod to be placed on my body. You have to click on your PDM that you would like to fill another pod. Inside a neatly packed bundle is a pod and syringe that you use to fill the pod with. You aren’t allowed to use a normal syringe. You fill said syringe up with your units of insulin and then you administer that through a tiny hole up in the top left hand corner of your pod. You then listen for two beeps or it didn’t work..

Filling…filling…filling…..

C’mon…

Beep, beep.

Whew. That part was a success.

Yes, I have had it fail out at that point which means you lost a pod, a lot of insulin, and a little bit of your sanity.

Next you follow the prompts on your PDM which will begin the prepping process. You’ll hear a series of clicks and beeps while a “loading” page is featured on your PDM screen. This can also be a bit agonizing because I’ve had it fail out at that point as well. (Cue lost pod, insulin, and sanity). After that you’re prompted to remove the pods safety latch that covers the cannula, as well as the adhesive that will stick to your skin. All is good with that part of the process I’ve never had an issue here. After placing it on the site of your choice you click through and hit “start” which is the process of firing off the cannula into your skin.

THIS is the most stressful for me.

You’re pinching your skin and waiting to hear the clicks and beeps that accompany the firing of the cannula when all of a sudden you get a loud, screeching, alarm signaling that the pod has failed. “Whhhhaaat? No! But, I…just” Ugh. Cue loss of pod, insulin, and a lot of your sanity. Of course then there are the days where everything fires off completely normal and you are done and set for another three days of Omnipod awesomeness.

The failed pods are few and far between but they have happened which is what makes changing your site such a nerve wracking situation. Insulin and pods are not cheap so when something fails out I am not a happy camper.

Do any of my other insulin pumping friends go through any sort of site change anxiety?

The results are in.

It’s been quite an emotional roller coaster for me these past few weeks.

In the first trimester mothers are given a Nuchal Translucency test which is defined as: This prenatal test (also called the NT ) can help your healthcare practitioner assess your baby’s risk of having Down syndrome (DS) and some other chromosomal abnormalities as well as major congenital heart problems. The NT test is not invasive. 

I took the test which required a few drops of blood from my fingertip and then an ultrasound. I waited impatiently for about a week and a half to get the results back. I was worried. Would my baby be at risk for down syndrome because of me? Because of my diabetes? Would it be my fault? The love I would have for him or her would overflow but the guilt I would harbor for possibly doing this to him or her would haunt me.

Finally I received a phone call. My results before the test for baby bean to have down syndrome was 1 in 800 and something. After the test it went down to 1 in 105. I panicked. In my eyes my baby would be perfect but to others my diabetes would be to blame. They’d question what I did wrong. Maybe I’d question myself too. Could I have done more?

My husband did his best to assure me that everything would be fine. Not to worry. But that did little to help. My diabetic specialist encouraged me to take the MaterniT21 test. A non-invasive test that required blood work. I agreed because what else could I do. She said that because of my diabetes we had to know there would be possibilities for this and the best we could do was monitor the situation. I cried even more. I prayed, a lot.

Oh and in case you’ve never heard of the MaterniT21 test here’s a brief definition: MaterniT21™ PLUS is a new test that offers women an alternative to traditional Down syndrome screening methods during pregnancy. Unlike amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling (CVS), which are invasive tests, MaterniT21™ PLUS is a simple blood test that is non-invasive to you and your baby. The testing can detect Down syndrome and other chromosome abnormalities, including trisomy 18, 13 and sex chromosome abnormalities. It has a higher detection rate and a lower false positive rate than first trimester screening, which is the most common non-invasive screening test in pregnancy today.

They informed me that the results would take up to two weeks but they would call me no matter what. I played the waiting game again. This time without much worry. Because at the end of the day I reminded myself that it didn’t really matter. Whatever the results we would get through it as a family, with love in our hearts, and accept whatever life decided to hand us. I know for a fact I am doing my very best to keep diabetes in check. Sometimes there isn’t much else we can do.

On Monday the 2nd I received the phone call. My heart pounded a bit in my ears as the doctor asked for me by name. She said that the blood work came back negative! Baby bean was healthy, growing properly, and had no signs of abnormalities. I was overwhelmed with happiness. Let me make it clear though. Down syndrome or not this baby would be loved. Any sort of “abnormality” would make no difference in the joy this baby would bring our family. What bothered me was that I would be blamed for it. My diabetes. The doctors feel like they have to place the blame somewhere and the mother is always the number one suspect. I ache over my blood sugar numbers and cry when they aren’t in range. I would feel like an awful person if I were the cause of anything that harmed my baby. Thankfully, everything is going great and I pray it continues so.

I thanked her for calling and then she surprised me with more news..

The test looks at the chromosomes so it can also tell the sex of the baby. She asked if I wanted to know and before she could even finish the sentence I blurted out..YES! Yes, I want to know…

I thought I would share that with you today..

 

I asked my darling girl to help me spread the news. :)

We are thrilled.

Everyone who guessed boy was right.

Except me, I thought for sure it was another princess.

15 weeks!

I feel like just yesterday I was announcing my pregnancy and now here I am sitting at 15 weeks. Things have been going swimmingly I think. I am starting to feel little flutters here and there. Sometimes it feels like the baby is doing barrel rolls or something. Such a fun experience. Wanna know what’s not fun? The allergies that sprang up out of no where and have caused me to have swollen, itchy eyes, and a sneeze that just wont quit.

It’s lovely. :)

Also, I have noticed a ton more lows than normal. In the first trimester I was struggling to keep food down, my numbers were steady but got a little crazy at times. Now all I am is low, low, low. It’s insane. I am struggling to eat enough food to keep my blood sugars up some times. Yesterday at work was the worst. I sat around the 60’s, even dipped lower than that, it was a mess. That’s after I had a grilled cheese, sugary iced tea, AND orange juice.

I got home around 9:30 and was still low. I ended up eating more food, juice, and even a few pieces of candy and finally got my blood sugar up to 150 which I felt comfortable with. I needed to sleep. I woke up this morning at 80. I’m wondering if my insulin pump settings are too aggressive for this stage of my pregnancy. I may have to speak with my doctor about the excessive lows. They make life just as difficult as the high numbers.

There’s also a debate on whether the lows or highs are worst for the baby’s development. A few ladies in the forums that I wander around say the highs are worst for baby and the lows are just draining for the mama. A discussion I might bring up at my next appointment because now I am curious too.

I have an appointment with my diabetes specialist on the ninth and I am anxious about the whole thing. I may or may not be getting an ultrasound done that day which means I may or may not find out whether my peanut is a boy or girl..eeek. We also need to discuss some blood work that was done a few weeks back which would tell me if the baby has any chromosomal abnormalities. This baby will be loved no matter what the out come but that doesn’t mean the stress isn’t building up some. There’s so much riding on great blood sugar numbers, and control of this disease, that sometimes I just want to cry.

Sticking with the positive and hoping for the best though.

In other news my sweet little girl is on summer break now and that is awesome. It means sleeping in and fun days are ahead. I can’t believe she’s going to be a first grader though. Tear.

Overall things are going very well. Minor hiccups but nothing that can’t be overcome with a smile and a positive attitude.

So don’t forget to smile, there’s always a reason to. Really. :)

Here’s a belly shot for ya. Don’t mind the tags on the shirt I was trying on my maternity clothes. Which by the way are such a great investment. I have never been more comfortable.