On Wednesday, November 5th, my husband and I went to our scheduled OB appointment. The days leading up to the appointment were pretty dramatic (as described in a previous post) as we had failed the Biophysical Profile the previous Friday and almost delivered that day (Halloween) but didn’t, and then had decreased activity and a hospital stay the next day (on Saturday). Sunday through Tuesday we tried not to overreact about decreased activity because baby seemed to pass the non-stress test fine when we were at the hospital.
My c-section (not induction because baby was weighing 9 pounds already at the 36 week mark) was scheduled for November 11th but when we arrived at our appointment on the 5th, my OB decided she didn’t want to risk waiting until the 11th to welcome our son. She said that given the events of the previous week, combined with the decreased activity I was feeling, she wanted to take the baby that day. Our appointment was at 11AM and she wanted to go ahead and do the surgery at 2PM.
I was a complete wreck when she told me the news. Prior to this appointment, I had been planning on a scheduled c-section at 9:30 in the morning. I had talked with my diabetes educator about how to manage my blood sugars for the morning c-section. Having the c-section that day left me with no way to make sure my blood sugars were where they needed to be. I know I’ve had several people tell me that birth plans never go the way you think they will and that was definitely true for me.
I woke up Wednesday morning with a good blood sugar but I had been seeing a lot of low blood sugars for a few weeks and I hadn’t taken the proper steps to eradicate the lows. I ate breakfast like normal and went to my OB appointment thinking I would be eating lunch right afterwards. When my OB told me that I would instead be going into surgery and I wouldn’t be able to eat anything, I was really worried. I tested my blood sugar and it was 94 mg/dl, which is perfect, but I knew it would be dropping.
Since the surgery was unplanned, my husband went home to grab our hospital bag (no we didn’t have it with us because we had no idea the OB would want to take him that day) and I headed to labor and delivery. It took about 2 hours for me to finally get checked in and I was completely freaking out. I tested my blood sugar about an hour into the waiting and I was 60 and dropping. I told them I needed an IV with sugar ASAP but they had so many hoops to jump through first before they could get me the IV. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything so I just had to sit and wait for the sugar drip in my IV to start working. While I was waiting for the IV, I broke out in the crazy low sweats. I didn’t test again but based on the way I was feeling, I’m pretty sure I was below 50 by that point.
I finally got the sugar drip going (around 1PM) and my blood sugar climbed up to 187 (around 2:30PM). I think adrenaline (I was so nervous!) played some part in the high blood sugar. Then I freaked out for the opposite reason. I didn’t want my blood sugar high going into the surgery because having high blood sugar meant that my little one’s pancreas would be over-producing insulin to compensate, which would lead to low blood sugar when he was born. I quickly corrected and hoped that there would be enough time to bring my blood sugar down. Luckily, they didn’t take me right at 2PM for the surgery so I had time for the insulin to work. Finally, at 3:45PM, they took me back for the surgery and my blood sugar had gone back down to 86 so then I worried again about dropping too low. However, that worry went out the window because it was time to welcome my love bug.
The drama of the day (unexpected day to welcome son and roller coaster blood sugars), was completely forgotten when, at 3:57PM, I welcomed my precious son (38+4weeks). He was a big guy, 10 pounds 14 ounces and 21 inches, so it was a good thing he came out via c-section. He scored an 8 and a 9 on the APGAR test (pretty perfect) and was all around healthy.
Baby C did have low blood sugar for about 36 hours but it wasn’t drastically low. From what the nurses said, as long as his blood sugars were above 40 mg/dl, they weren’t too worried but they really wanted to see it above 50. Baby C had one blood sugar at 26 soon after birth but otherwise he hung out around 42-48 until he finally had a few blood sugars in the 60’s and the nurses were content and stopped testing him. I breastfed him and also gave him formula (to bring up the low blood sugars) those first 36 hours and then I exclusively breastfed and he has done great. He was allowed to stay with me while we worked to bring up his blood sugar so he had no time in the NICU.
It was quite an emotional 9 months leading up to his birth. I was so worried that my diabetes would affect him in a negative way. Every time I had a high blood sugar, I stressed about the impact it was having on him. But despite a few blips in the road along the way, he came out perfect and proved that my hard work paid off.