Pregnancy and Type 1 Diabetes-The First Trimester

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The first thirteen weeks/first trimester flew by (although I didn’t think so at the time).  I admit I was completely unprepared for how I would feel. I thought I would just have morning sickness that would be a pain to deal with because nobody really talks about the other symptoms. For me the number one symptom I had during the first trimester was exhaustion.

It wasn’t just “oh I’m tired; I’m going to take a nap today” exhaustion. It was “oh my goodness, this must be what mono feels like, I don’t want to get out of bed, is it bedtime yet” exhaustion. I don’t think I have ever felt as exhausted in my life as I felt the first 13 weeks. It was hard to get work done; it was hard to get chores done; it was hard to hang out with people or run errands. My husband and I went on a few weekends away to visit friends during my first trimester and each time we got back, I had to sleep for at least two days straight.

Besides exhaustion, I also had tummy issues. I mentioned on a previous post that I was having tummy issues before I got the positive test result. In fact, I was pregnant when I went to the JDRF Research Summit in D.C. but didn’t know it. I remember meeting my first friend from the DOC in real life, Stephen from happy-medium and my tummy was a wreck. I was hoping I didn’t seem too awkward when I was talking to him because my stomach was telling me I needed to find a bathroom pronto. Over the course of the first trimester, I dealt with major constipation. Occasionally, diarrhea liked to be thrown into the mix, but the majority of the time it was the former.

During the first trimester, I also peed like every five minutes. It almost reminded me of how often I had to pee before I was diagnosed with diabetes.  I’m glad that has subsided some in the second trimester because it was so annoying having to go so often.  I also developed a nice case of eczema.  I’ve never had it before so I’m assuming it’s pregnancy related but I guess it could also be diabetes related.  My elbows were the first hit and then a random patch on my leg.  It has been SO itchy.  Hydrocortisone has been my best friends.  I debated going to the dermatologist but the Hydrocortisone has been doing the job.

Another fun symptom I have encountered is dizziness. I have felt so dizzy and faint on multiple occasions. Both my OBGYN and Endo told me it was because I was not drinking enough water so I have tried very hard to drink as much as I can but I still don’t think it’s enough. I also started having low blood pressure as a result of not drinking enough water.

Exhaustion, constipation and dizziness were my constant companions the first trimester. I was lucky that I didn’t have to deal with morning sickness (although I did get sick once). However, I did have really strange food aversions. I couldn’t even look at anything green. Prior to pregnancy, I would eat spinach every day for lunch. Once pregnant, the thought of spinach made me get sick. I also couldn’t eat any meat. Oddly, bacon was the one meat that I could handle, even though I was never really a bacon eater before. I also started to rule out any meal that consisted of a lot of food. Small meals became my norm. I couldn’t eat Chipotle anymore because it was too much food at one sitting and that was really sad for me because I would eat Chipotle at least once a week.   Also, Cheetos and grapes became my go to foods. I craved these a lot in the first trimester.

One symptom I actually did enjoy during part of the first trimester was watching my insulin needs decrease and my blood sugars become lower. However, the lower blood sugars don’t take effect right away. I remember reading on Twitter someone talking about having low blood sugars and someone asked if they could be pregnant. It doesn’t happen like that; it’s not an overnight thing. I don’t think I really noticed the lower blood sugars until around week 8 or so.

The insulin sensitivity allowed me to eat a little carbier than I normally would. I started to eat Panera bagels, which have 80 carbs in them and my blood sugar would be pretty good for the most part as long as I pre-bolused. I decided one week while I was sensitive to insulin that I would bake cupcakes and I ate a lot of cupcakes in just a few short days. 😛

Maybe because of the exhaustion or the low blood sugars, but I found it hard to work out in the first trimester. I had completed a half marathon in January and took about a month or so off from running, which then flowed into me getting pregnant so by the time I tried to get back to running, I had taken a good amount of time off. It was hard to get going again with running. Also, I read that my heart rate needs to stay under 140 when running and I had a really hard time staying there. When I would run, I would do a run/walk for about 3 miles.

During the first part of the first trimester, it was hard to give up alcohol. I didn’t drink all that much prior but I liked a glass of wine if I was cooking or drinking when out with friends. The first few weeks of finding out I was pregnant were hard. Luckily, I found out in March and not summertime because my hubby and I like drinking vodka/cranberries by the pool so that would have been a hard adjustment in the heat. After the first few weeks, though, things got a lot easier. Now I’m used to cooking without a glass of wine. It’s not a big deal at all that I’m not drinking when we go out with friends. I think the hardest thing after the initial shock, was not drinking when traveling because it’s so nice to have a glass of wine while on vacation.  I do look forward to having a nice glass of chardonnay once baby is born ;-).

Finally, during the first trimester, I have attempted to give up Diet Coke. I had my habit down to one a day before getting pregnant, but I’ve been trying to go without all together. The pregnancy gurus suggest no more than 200mg of caffeine per day and the Diet Coke bottles I drink are only 66mg so well under the limit but my OBGYN said that there aren’t any hard studies showing that Diet Coke doesn’t harm the baby. There aren’t technically any saying that it does harm the baby but just to be safe I’ve been trying to steer clear. I still indulge in a Diet Coke if I am out and it’s mixed with ice but otherwise, I’ve been trying to give it up completely. The lack of caffeine (I don’t drink coffee) could be one reason I was so exhausted during the first trimester (and oh yeah, I am growing a baby in my body!).

Even though everything individually seemed bad, all together they mean I am growing a beautiful baby in my belly and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

2 thoughts on “Pregnancy and Type 1 Diabetes-The First Trimester

  1. I just found out I’m pregnant and I’m type 1 diabetic. I have had 5 miscarriages and in working very hard to not lose this one. Thank you for you insight and story

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