Pregnancy and Type 1 Diabetes-Getting Pregnant

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If you saw my post from last week, you will know that I am pregnant!  My hubby and I are expecting our bundle of joy November 15th (although the doc said he/she would most likely be a week or two early).  I am 16 weeks along now.

It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, though.  In fact, it’s been a pretty emotional journey.  My husband and I got married three years ago.  We were never in a rush to get pregnant but after a year, I started thinking that pregnancy should be coming on our minds soon.  My A1C was OK.  It was under eight but it wasn’t under seven, the magic number I had read about.

At that point in my life, I didn’t really know any other Type 1 diabetics, besides my mother-in-law, who was diagnosed later in life, but we never talked about our diabetes.  Around this same time, my husband and I moved from Northern Virginia to Richmond and I didn’t have an endocrinology team yet.  I was very scared about the thought of getting pregnant with T1D, which is when I randomly googled pregnancy and Type 1 Diabetes and landed on Jacquie’s page at Typical Type 1.  She is a T1D who also happened to have a baby and reading her blog was comforting to me.  She had a blog roll on her page so I started getting exposed to other blogs. I can’t recall the timing of it all but after reading her blog and the others I found, I decided I would create a diabetes blog as well.  It seemed like such a great way to connect with others.  I still hadn’t discovered the Twitterverse with diabetes so the blog was my first foray into the DOC (Diabetes Online Community).

From reading the blogs, I learned a little bit about pregnancy with Type 1 diabetes and I realized I needed to get my A1C Below Seven before I could think about conceiving.  Hence, that became my blog name (also an A1C below seven is a good target to aim for to avoid long term complications).  I started my blog October of 2012 so I’m going to say that’s about the time I got serious about getting my A1C Below Seven.

With the help of the d-blogs, I discovered the DOC in the Twitterverse.  I began reading how different people treated their diabetes, like what setting they used for their high threshold on their CGM.  I’m pretty sure mine was up near 220 or 240.  I slowly lowered my high alert down to 150, where it is now.   I used to be comfortable with a blood sugar around 200 or even 220.  Somewhere over the course of the year I started to feel “high” around 200.  I have no idea when this transformation happened.

I will also say having a CGM also played an important role in getting my A1C down because I was always ALWAYS afraid of lows.  I would treat a low blood sugar if I was 100mg/dl.  I would think a blood sugar of 130 was amazing (well I still do like seeing that number) but even a 160 or 170 was great to me.  Through Twitter/Dblogs I learned that people with an A1C below seven might not necessarily think a 170 is good.  With the help of the DOC, exercise and my CGM, I somehow transformed from a person comfortable a little higher to someone who is not afraid to see a lower blood sugar.

I started my blog at the end of October 2012 and in October 2013, I thought a great blogaversary gift would be to finally see my A1C where it needed to be.  I was so sure that all my hard work had resulted in that magical number that I even got off my birth control, ready to start trying to get pregnant.   Then I got the disappointing news that my A1C was 7.1, not below 7.  My endo told me that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I got pregnant at 7.1, but she really wanted me to be below 7 (plus some sources claim your A1C should really be 6.5 to get pregnant).

Then in December, I finally got the great news that my A1C was not only below seven but it was 6.4!!! I was ecstatic.  I immediately made an appointment with my OB-GYN and told her my hubby and I were ready to get pregnant.  This is where the bad news set in.  She told me that because of the duration of my period cycles, I most likely wasn’t ovulating.  Apparently if the time between your period is more than 35 days, the likelihood that you are ovulating is significantly reduced.

After all the hard work to get my A1C where it needed to be, I was feeling deflated.  A few weeks later, my period showed up at day 39 which further confirmed that chances that I was ovulating were slim to none.

Without giving up too much hope, my hubby and I still tried to get pregnant.  We weren’t technically trying in December but it didn’t happen and then in January, I was getting out all the ovulation calculators and calendars I could find.  I bought ovulation sticks, which actually confused me, but when I thought I might be ovulating we tried.  I was so sure that despite what the doctor said about not ovulating, I was pregnant.  I stopped drinking alcohol; I focused on having perfect blood sugars; I bought a ton of pregnancy tests and started taking them when I read they could possibly give a positive result (but they never did).

Then a few weeks later, I got my period.  I was so upset.  I became somewhat depressed thinking the doctor was right; it’s going to be hard for me to get pregnant.  My husband and I both started thinking worst-case scenarios.  He thought maybe it could be him.  I was thinking that I wasn’t ovulating and I started researching medicines to help with that.  I was a wreck thinking that I need to keep my blood sugar so perfect for over a year while I tried to get pregnant.  Having good blood sugars isn’t something that comes easy to me so the thought of having to do it for so long became very daunting, which resulted in me giving up a little bit on having the perfect blood sugars.  This also led to a little diabetes/diabetes blog/social media burnout.  I was depressed and logging onto Facebook and seeing all of my friends posting pictures of their babies depressed me further.  Reading d-blogs about good blood sugars depressed me.  I didn’t want to think about my diabetes because I was upset that after trying so hard for over a year to get my blood sugars where they needed to be wasn’t enough to help me get pregnant.

February rolled around and I didn’t realize it at the time but my cycle length then was 34 days (under the 35 day threshold for ovulation). My husband and I tried again but I had basically given up hope.  My blood sugars weren’t where they needed to be because I didn’t think it was going to happen.  And OF COURSE when you least expect something that’s when it happens!

It was so crazy because the week after we conceived, I started feeling the symptoms.  I was googling about whether that could mean I was pregnant or not but according to the internet, a woman can’t feel the symptoms that early but I felt like I knew.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up though.

My husband and I were talking and we had decided if it wasn’t going to happen for us right away that we would plan a trip in the Fall.  I had already started to plan out a trip to Europe in the fall, complete with a trip to Oktoberfest in Munich.  Then it was time to take a pregnancy test.

The day of the pregnancy test was surreal.  I wasn’t expecting a positive because I didn’t think it was going to happen.  I was all ready to pack my suitcase for Germany.  But at the same time, I had been feeling different so I thought well it could be positive.  When we got the results, I think my husband and I were both in shock.  First, it was oh crap now we can’t go to Oktoberfest to oh wow I guess I was ovulating, to YAY we are having a baby!

A lot of emotions came with the positive pregnancy test, the biggest emotion was guilt.  I had slacked on my blood sugars.  I was really worried about how crappy that were.  My endo told me that it shouldn’t matter too much because I was under good control for the most part.  I’m still nervous to see the day my baby comes and hope that he/she is OK and my poor control in the beginning didn’t do too much harm.  I think the OBGYN telling me that I wouldn’t get pregnant was her way of trying to take the pressure off of me because I’ve heard when people try too hard it doesn’t happen.  I had definitely given up the thought that it would come easy to me and then it did.

When I walked into the OBGYN’s office to tell her I was pregnant, her first comment to me was that it was a good thing I was on the birth control pill because apparently I’m pretty fertile :-P.  Just goes to show you that you shouldn’t give up.

So no trip to Europe this fall but the consolation prize is even better! 🙂

It's positive!

It’s positive!

8 thoughts on “Pregnancy and Type 1 Diabetes-Getting Pregnant

  1. Yipppppppeeeeeeee, congrats to you guys!! Wow, babies seem to be going around this year, I know about 4 T1’s currently pregnant, just in the DOC! 🙂 I know everyone will say this, but try not to be worried about the poor control at the beginning (or worried at all the crazy highs and lows you are still going to have – pregnancy certainly doesn’t make for perfect blood sugars!) If I’m counting right, you made it through the 1st trimester, and if anything had gone “wrong” because of poor control at the beginning, most likely you wouldn’t have made it this far. I remember celebrating at every milestone along the way…14 weeks (miscarriage risk lowers), 20 weeks (halfway there, major tests done, get to know sex of baby, etc), 28 weeks (if she had to be a preemie for any reason, she’d more than likely survive), 32 weeks (even better survival rates), 35 weeks (pretty much smooth sailing from here!) These were all my thoughts – I worried a LOT – but you know, my girl came (by scheduled c-section, because I’d previously had fibroid surgery) at 37 weeks and she was PERFECT. I had kicked myself for every high and every low blood sugar, but in the end, did my best, and she was A-OK. No issues that had anything to do with me having Type 1. All that to say – do your very best to try to enjoy being pregnant (without so much worry!), and cherish every moment you can 🙂

    • Thanks!! 🙂 Also thanks for sharing your milestones! I had never thought about it that way but I love “goals” so that’s perfect to have something to celebrate. I am looking forward to week 20 to be halfway there! I can’t wait for November to get here 🙂

  2. Kelley, as I said in the comments to your previous post, I am so happy for you. I look forward to following your journey and pray that everything continues to go well. You’ll be a great mom!

    • Thanks Laddie! You are so sweet :). I do have a few blog posts up my sleeve after not talking about it for 16 weeks….hopefully readers won’t be too baby overloaded 😛

  3. How great!! i will spare you my birth stories, bc i am sure you have heard and read enough. I will tell you that there is no greater motivator for keeping those sugars in control than feeling that sweet baby kick. good luck!

    • Yes! I haven’t felt any kicks yet, but I can’t wait! I heard the heartbeat this morning and it was such a sweet sound :).

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