Today actually marks 21 weeks of incubation. Although, my husband likes to count based on the time frame of when we conceived. Please give me the extra few weeks and days ... please?
We had our anatomy scan and a visit by the pediatric cardiologist (PC). Having a PC review an ultrasound of a diabetic is a necessity (or so says the doctor's office), as babies of diabetics have higher risks of heart problems. Since we have no clue what we are looking at on the ultrasound screen, it is a bit nerve wracking until you finally hear something out of their mouths. "Perfetta" was what we heard. Long story short, everything looked really good. What a relief. This is when I started to tear up.
Being pregnant is hard. Being diabetic is hard. Combine them both and not gonna lie, the s^*t is H-A-R-D some days. I describe it as "it's not hard, but it's not easy." I know that there are people who go through much worse in their daily lives and in their pregnancies. But for me, this isn't easy and it's also not hard.
Knowing that Flobee has a healthy and strong heart was the first realization of how my efforts are paying off to having a healthy baby. It has cost us thousands already in medical bills just for me, I don't want to run up more bills because I purposely didn't take care of myself. It was the realization that every minute of every day is focused on number (which I normally hate). When you pick up a piece of anything to eat, a nondiabetic person can just plop a snack bar, a bag of almonds, a piece of fruit or an extra spoonful of something into their mouth. For me, before anything goes into my mouth, here is what goes through my head: What is my fasting number? Can I eat now or do I have to wait until that fasting number is at least below 110, preferable in the 90s? Did I take my insulin at least 15 minutes prior to eating? Am I too low and in need of eating something NOW? What do I have with me? Crap, all of those protein bars won't cut it, I need something more. Did I calculate correctly? I know these certain breakfast sandwiches cause a huge spike in my sugar, so do I take more insulin with it or take it earlier? Will one or the other cause a low crash?
Once all of those questions are answered, I can eat. But it doesn't stop there. I look at my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) nonstop to see if I guessed correctly, if what I ate is affecting my sugar and causing a spike, or if it is just right.
There may never be a day where I can just shove a snack bar into my mouth without having to spend five minutes prepping, but yesterday's appointment made it all worth it.
The hours I spend weighing food, reading food labels, packing my lunch, cooking dinner and freezer meals for the week ... all of those efforts are paying off in my pregnancy.
Our perinatal specialist called me an "ideal patient." My a1C hasn't been above 6.5 in four years, I check my sugars about 50 times a week ... I count how long a vial of 50 test strips lasts, which is generally a week. I have countless sleepless nights because my CGM beeps to alert me that I am low, or it thinks that it is low and in reality I am not.
While most nondiabetics count their pregnancy in days and weeks, mine is counted in carbs, units and milligrams.
I haven't touched too much on diabetes and pregnancy in this blog ... as I said, it isn't hard (I lie. Yes, it is) but it isn't easy. I just want others to be grateful for not having to go through this. I am grateful that I am not on bed rest at 20 weeks like my midwife was. I am grateful that I can actually become pregnant. I am grateful that I can actually carry my own child. I will gladly take a faulty pancreas over other faulty body parts.
I will gladly keep poking myself, having sleepless nights and taking 30 minutes to prep to eat as long as it means little Flobee is growing like a normal baby. And so far, (s)he is.
Now, if you will excuse me, Dexcom is beeping at me. I need to eat.