What it Means to Be High Risk
Appointements, tests and so much more. What it means to have High Risk Pregnancy in the first trimester.
My Endocrinologist warned me from about 25 years old that I can definitely have a healthy pregnancy, but I would be considered high risk. No matter how great my BG control was, as a Type 1 Diabetic, that’s just the way things are.
Note: this is from the perspective of a high risk Type 1 Diabetic, not just any high risk patient.
Getting the Positive Test
When you are a regular person (meaning no health issues, over-all healthy woman), you don’t usually have your first appointment until after your 12 week scan. As a high-risk pregnant woman, you get your first scan anywhere from 5-7weeks. You also become extremely overwhelmed by all the doctors and nurses, nutritionists and other people you see on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
More Visits Mean You Get to See Baby More
At the beginning, yes, this is completely accurate. I was going once a week from 5 weeks to about 10 weeks. Every time we went, we got to see the little blob turn into a little bean and from a little bean to a little peanut and finally a little peanut to a somewhat human-looking baby. Seeing the progress is unexplainable. It feels almost magical and unimaginable to watch this tiny blob form into a little baby.
After your 12-week scan, however, they stop giving you ultrasounds everytime you go to the hospital. The hospital visits get less exciting, especially since all you’re doing is meeting with a handful of medical professionals just answering questions. Questions like: How are you feeling? Have you had any cramping? What is your daily water intake? How has your blood sugar control been? Are you eating 4-5 times a day? Blah, blah, blah.
Don’t get me wrong, I know how important these visits are. Making sure my BG is in great control is what keeps the baby safe and free from developing issues. I’m sure they wouldn’t have us come out there every month (did I mention we live 1.5 hours away?) for nothing, even though sometimes it may seem that way.
From the first visit to I’m assuming (haven’t gotten to the end yet) the last appointment, you have to get a blood test(s) and give a urine sample. They check everything from your A1C, to liver enzymes, protein (or lack of protein) in your urine, to thyroid function and who knows what else. You begin to recognize certain people at the blood test center, you know you’ll be seeing them upstairs as soon as you’re all done your tests.
As a Type 1 Diabetic, you also need to get a echocardiogram for the little monkey at the children’s hospital, around 20-22 weeks. This is just to make sure that the baby doesn’t have any issues with their heart. My doctor told me it was totally precautionary and thus far, she hasn’t seen one person in that clinic with any issues.
Advice to Pumpers and CGMers
If you wear an insulin pump on your arm, as well as a CGM on your arm, make sure that you put them on the same arm on the days you have hospital visits. The nurses will be checking your blood pressure and you’ll be getting blood tests, so you need to have one arm free in order for the test to be done easily. 😉
Since you’ll be in the diabetic clinic at least once a month, be curtious to everyone around you. Most likely, you’ll be seeing familiar faces every time you go, you may even start talking to some of the other women/couples in the waiting room. Be especially nice to the receptionists, they will appreciate it and be extra nice when they see you (maybe even giving you better time slots for appointments).
Most importantly, don’t be a slob in the waiting room. We all roll our eyes at the people who spread out across three seats and then leave jackets behind so that they’ll have a seat when they come back. Don’t do this! Let another pregnant lady sit while you’re with the doctor, don’t be selfish and rude. Throw your garbage out in the trash can and for goodness sake, wipe down the toilet seat after you use it! *Okay, rant over*
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