The Highs and lows of being pregnant with T1D

The first trimester, for some, is awful because of morning sickness, now add managing blood sugar control to that…

Let’s just get one thing clear right away. Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease. You don’t become T1 diabetic because of poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise, drinking too much soda or any other lifestyle issues. It’s like epilepsy, MS or celiac disease. There is no cure and no reason why certain people get it, but there are medications to help manage it.

3 Weeks Pregnant & BGs Are Already Wacky

If you read my previous post The Dreaded TWW, then you know that I knew I was pregnant at about 3 weeks along or gestational age about 1 week. How, you ask? My blood sugars were crazy low and when they weren’t low, they were perfectly stable. The highest BG I had during that week was 6.0 mmol/l and that was after a big meal or a large snack. It almost felt as if my diabetes was going to disappear completely *wishful thinking*.

It Didn’t Stop There

After we finally got our BFP, I vigorously checked my BGs every hour, some times more. Thank Goodness for my Freestyle Libre! Becoming very vigilant not to go below 3.5 mmol/l or above 7.9 mmol/l. I wanted to take every precaution possible to keep this baby safe. With the use of my FGM and insulin pump, it has been pretty great, with a few hiccups here and there.

Night time lows became a daily occurance. My [amazing] hubby would check my glucose before coming to bed, gently wake me up and hand me a juice box, then set an alarm to wake me an hour later to re-check it. Most often, I had about 2-3 juice boxes a night to keep my BG from going too low. Even though I had adjusted my basal rate to almost half of what it was two weeks earlier, the lows just kept coming. There was/ is no stopping them.

Foods to Avoid

When you’re checking your sugars as often as I was/am, you being to see patterns when you are eating certain foods. For example, I could only eat pasta during the day. If I ate pasta for dinner, my BG would shoot way up and then drop way down about 2 hours after eating–not fun. Certain fruits, like bananas, would raise my glucose higher than I’d like, and keep them up there for a good few hours. Great for when I want to go for a walk, not so great when I’m sitting at my desk trying to work.

Everyone is different. You can keep a food diary to try to figure out what foods work well for you and which ones to avoid.

BG Just Won’t Go Up

This is the worst. Especially at bed time, or when you’re out for a walk. Before I got pregnant, I would keep two small (15-20g) snacks in my pocket in case I went low. Normally, I never used them and I would end up throwing them out the next year when I stuck my hands in my pocket and realized there was a squished year-old snack in there *yuck*. Now, I need at least two snacks in my pocket (20-30g), always eat a snack before I leave the house and usually need a snack when I get back home. I’m surprised I haven’t gained 10lbs!

My hubby is so afraid of me going low at night, he’s been putting off going on business trips. Luckily, this past week (I’m 19 weeks now), my lows have been a lot fewer and I’m normally fine with one juice box before bed.

Advice

For all you newly pregnant T1’s, make sure you always have a snack really close by. Something that’ll kick in fast– juice, candy, dex tabs, whatever. Also, make sure to inform your Endo as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. This was something my Endo told me years before we even started trying.

Good luck!

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