Diabetes and a Newborn

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It’s been about 6 weeks since I gave birth to my little one.  It’s been an amazing time but also one of the most difficult times.  It’s been amazing because I get cuddles around the clock every day and I get to see my little man growing.  There is no better feeling than seeing him smile for the first time or recognizing my husband and me. The lack of sleep has been very difficult but not as difficult as trying to manage my diabetes.Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 1.26.44 PM

In the last several weeks, I have had all sorts of issues from the surgery.  Because of the catheter they put in for the surgery, I lost the ability to know when I needed to pee.  The sensation is starting to come back but for about three weeks there, I would have no clue when my bladder was full and if I didn’t make sure to go to the bathroom every so often, I would encounter some pretty serious pain.  This was a pretty annoying side effect but I will consider myself lucky that it didn’t go the other way where I felt like I needed to pee every 5 minutes or that I accidentally leaked.  Also bathroom related was the side effect from taking the Percocet.  I was given Percocet to help with the pain from surgery and I took it for a few days postpartum.  The Percocet caused constipation which led to the most painful bowel movement of my life (sorry, TMI but for those thinking about getting pregnant or that are pregnant, the first BM after delivery is AWFUL).

I mentioned in my previous post on the hospital stay that I had really bad shoulder pain, which was a result of air bubbles getting into my body that traveled up to my shoulder.  Well, the shoulder pain didn’t subside after a few days; it lasted about 2 weeks.  My shoulder was in so much pain but I didn’t call a doctor because I knew they would just tell me it was an air bubble.  When it was going into the second week, I was really doubting the air bubble theory and thought it might be more of a serious issue but luckily it subsided.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 1.26.13 PMMy c-section incision has healed nicely but it’s still a little puffy around the incision.  The first few weeks, it was pretty painful on my left side but that also subsided.  The skin below my belly button is numb but according to my OB, it will take years for me to finally get all the feeling back.  I also have had insanely itchy armpits.  It sounds like a hygiene problem, right? But I’ve been researching it and according to some online sources, it sounds like itchy armpits are a result of hormones from breastfeeding.  This side effect, unfortunately, hasn’t subsided. Recently, I have started to have intense pain in my hand near my thumb.  Thanks to Google again, I have determined that I have De Quervain’s Syndrome, aka Mommy Thumb.  I have started to take Tylenol and I’ve started to ice it so hopefully that helps, otherwise I might need to go see a doctor about being more aggressive with the treatment.

On the plus side, I’ve pretty much lost most of my pregnancy weight.  When I was pregnant, I was right on track with gaining the appropriate amount of weight (25-35 pounds by the end of the pregnancy) but then the last week I somehow gained like 5 extra pounds, putting me at around the 40 pound weight gain mark.  A few days after the hospital, I had lost 20 pounds (the doctor said that my baby was big, my placenta was big and I had high amniotic fluid which probably accounted for the big loss).  Then the following two weeks or so I lost another 15 pounds (I’m guessing water weight).  So I have lost 35 pounds total and I have about 5 more pounds to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  However, the last few weeks I haven’t lost any weight so I think my weight loss has plateaued.

Speaking of weight, my little one is not hurting in this area.  When he was born, he weighed 10 pounds, 14 ounces.  When we left the hospital he had dropped down to 10 pounds 3 ounces.  We went to see the doctor 2 days later and he was at 10 pounds 4 ounces.  At the two week appointment, he had grown 20 ounces to 11 pounds 8 ounces!  Apparently babies are only supposed to gain like 8 ounces per week so we were passing that no problem.  We went back to the doctor around the 5 week mark and he had grown up to 13 pounds 14 ounces.  The doctor said there was no problem with my milk supply.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 1.26.22 PMPrior to having my son, my number one worry was being able to breastfeed.  I was so worried that being diabetic would mean that I would run into issues.  I was worried that if my blood sugar was too high, I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed.  I wasn’t even that nervous about giving birth as much as I was worried about being able to breastfeed, so I am so happy that it has been working out so great so far.  Although I will say that engorgement is no joke-ouch!

Besides the weight gain, my little one is looking good so far. No issues came up at the two week appointment.  We did run into an issue with diaper rash, but we are getting that under control (oh and he poops more than I ever thought imaginable!).  In terms of sleep, my little guy is not the best so far.  The first few weeks were rough because we were so exhausted from the hospital stay.  We weren’t able to build our sleep reserve back up because our little one was up every two-three hours. The nice thing about the first few weeks is that all he basically did was sleep, so even though we were up every couple of hours, we were able to take a lot of naps.  Now, he is a lot more alert during the day so the naps aren’t as awesome.  He is starting to have longer stretches though.  We had one night where he went 6 hours between a feeding (not 6 hours of sleep) but the majority of the past week he has been going about 5 hours between the first night feeding and then feeding every three after.  During the day, our naps are hit or miss.  Some days he is up ALL day long and other days (like today, hence being able to write) he sleeps all day.  I’m trying to get him on a good schedule but I’ve also heard that you should follow the baby’s cues the first 6 weeks so I’m letting him sleep if he needs it.

The one topic I haven’t mentioned yet is my blood sugars.  This has been the absolute HARDEST part of having a newborn.  The first week I didn’t adjust my basal or bolus rates so my blood sugar was CONSTANTLY low.  I must have consumed about 100 pounds of candy that first week in treating my low blood sugar.  I FINALLY got around to making adjustments with my CDE and things went ok for a few days but then my blood sugar started to creep up.  I dealt with high blood sugars for about four weeks before finally finding time to sit down and review my blood sugars to find out what changes I needed to make.  It’s been so hard because I have all these hormonal changes going on which are affecting my blood sugar but then I am also breastfeeding. Since we aren’t on a set schedule, I feed my little one at different times each day so its hard to see patterns.  I’ve also been so incredibly exhausted that any free time I have, I don’t spend reviewing my blood sugars but instead sleeping.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 1.26.34 PMAfter 9 months of having amazing blood sugars, I’ve been so frustrated seeing higher blood sugars.  Not only have I not been reviewing and making changes to my rates, but I’ve also been slacking in other areas.  I have been going about 5 days between an infusion set site change and I’ve been bad about putting in a new CGM so I don’t even have good data to review.  Now that things are starting to get a little more structured, I’m hoping to pick up the slack on my diabetes.  At some point I need to find time to make an appointment with my endocrinologist to go over everything, but I’m honestly scared to get my A1C result.  I was really enjoying seeing those 5’s for a while.

It has been quite an adjustment, that’s for sure.  Despite all the issues I’ve mentioned, there is no better feeling than having my little one to cuddle.  He is the sweetest little boy and now that he is getting a little older, he is interacting a lot more.  His smiles and faces he makes are the best things in the world.

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One thought on “Diabetes and a Newborn

  1. Thanks for the cute photos and your son is adorable. Long term I think that nursing makes blood control easier, but you’re right that hormones beg to differ. Of course I didn’t have home BG monitoring when I nursed my boys, so my comments are pretty worthless! Happy Holidays to you and your family:-)

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