Diabetes and Motherhood-It’s Tough in the Beginning

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I’m still alive!  I went one whole week without my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) and I’m still alive! I can’t remember the last time I went that long without wearing it. I didn’t go without it on purpose.  It was merely a result of being too busy taking care of my infant and trying to do actual work.

It’s been a pretty rough road for my diabetes care these last 13 weeks since I had my son. The first week I hadn’t updated my rates from my pregnancy levels so I dealt with a ton of lows. Then I made changes and they were too dramatic in the opposite direction so I dealt with a lot of highs. I finally made some more adjustments after talking with my CDE and my levels got better.

The two weeks postpartum, looking pretty great, eating a LOT of carbs and hardly taking any insulin

The two weeks postpartum, looking pretty great, eating a LOT of carbs and hardly taking any insulin

Back when I was pregnant, I came to know what to expect. Every week or two, I would need to increase the amount of insulin I needed and I would make the adjustments and my blood sugars looked fantastic. Then around week 34 or so, my insulin needs started to decrease so I made more changes and, again, my blood sugars looked amazing. I got used to waking up at 70mg/dl and I rarely saw a number over 150. It was fantastic. My A1Cs were 5.5 the majority of my pregnancy as a result.

However, once I popped my baby out, my hormones have been all over the place!  I have also been scared to go too low because my sleep is so important to me that I didn’t want a low blood sugar interrupting my sleep (it happened a few times and I cursed myself).

Even with my “good” rates, things haven’t gone so well. This was mainly a result of not wearing my CGM. I’ve gone many days of the last 13 weeks without my CGM. The main reason is that I just haven’t gotten around to it because my son is taking up a lot of my time (and lately work). The first few days I went without my CGM, I freaked out and tested way too often. Then I started to get used to not having my CGM and I reverted back to my old bad habits. I started to test less frequently, which resulted in a lot more highs.

Blood sugars without CGM

Blood sugars without CGM

However, even when I would test more frequently, I would still see high blood sugars. Often, they were unexplained. I wouldn’t forget to bolus. I still ate the same things most days so I know the carb counts. Besides having an air bubble in my reservoir, the only thing I can think of to explain my high blood sugars is that my hormones are playing tricks on me.

I will admit I also haven’t been changing my infusion set as often and I didn’t use to think that made much difference but now if I go to day 4, I will without a doubt see highs. I also haven’t been uploading my data so I haven’t been making any changes, nor investigating the unexplained highs.

One trend I have noticed is that I go high overnight a lot.  I finally went to the endocrinologist last week and she only made slight changes. She thinks my highs overnight are due to the dawn phenomenon hitting sooner because I am waking up in the middle of the night to feed my son. She didn’t want to make a change because she wants my son to start sleeping through the night and if he does that then I won’t need to worry about the dawn phenomenon hitting too early (easier said than done!).

If I look at my two-week average from the two weeks post partum, my average blood sugars were 106 mg/dl. Now, my latest two-week average is 154, yikes! Now, 154 isn’t too bad, but when I was so good for so long, it’s sad to see it creeping up. I never thought that being pregnant would be easier to manage my blood sugars than being a new mom, but that’s what I’ve experienced. I’m frustrated and upset at the highs but I just don’t have the energy to do much about it right now. I’m hoping things will start to get easier but right now I think having diabetes and being a new mom is tough!  Hopefully, I can start wearing my CGM more because when I do, I have nice numbers like below:

Blood Sugars with CGM, a lot better than when I'm not wearing my CGM

Blood Sugars with CGM, a lot better than when I’m not wearing my CGM



2 thoughts on “Diabetes and Motherhood-It’s Tough in the Beginning

  1. Whether you see this as a rough patch or not, it looks to me like you’re doing great! (Not that I should be judging or anything). And doing this without going “low carb” is a great demonstration – to me – that there are other ways to achieve good blood sugars without depriving myself of carb-y goodness.

    Also, I’ve found that the lows always seem to come while giving the baby a bath. Without fail. Every time.

  2. It sounds like it really is like starting all over again from scratch. But it also sounds like you are making great progress while balancing so much!! I hope you are proud of yourself. I’m proud of you!

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