Above is our baby announcement posted officially on social media on September 25th! I recently realized I never made an official announcement on my blog, and felt other women with type 1 diabetes (T1D) would have questions about becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. But planning a pregnancy or adjusting to pregnant life as a person with T1D doesn’t have to be stressful… you just need to know what you are up against.
Today marks my 18th week of pregnancy. With twins. Yes, we were as shocked as you are to find out. But my OBGYN assures me that my a1c of 6.1% is within “normal range” and he doesn’t see there being any complications due to diabetes.
The last 18 weeks have been a little crazy. The shock. The excitement. The fear. The emotions. The crazy up & down blood sugars. And the endless phone calls to various doctors for appointments. It’s not easy like a “regular, non-type 1, or singleton” pregnancy would be, but I know it will be totally worth it in the end. I am thrilled to see what this journey will bring. I am also taking my time to share my personal experiences (thus so far) for those who have t1d and are trying to get pregnant, or think they will get pregnant sometime in the future.
On a side note, my husband and I were trying to get pregnant for some time. My a1c was between 5.8 – 6.3 in the months leading up to conceiving. I suffered a minor ‘diabetes burnout,’ and was 6.8 when we conceived. I have easily been able to get my a1c back down since seeing those two pink lines!
Weeks 1-4: (aka before we knew I was pregnant)
Blood sugars were higher than normal (averaging 120 mg/DL and up). I wasn’t sure why, but I bolused for the highs, tried to eat normally, and was hoping it was because I could be pregnant. Up until seeing those two pink lines, I can’t say I had symptoms other than the slightly higher blood sugars. I tested before even missing my period (because it was our wedding anniversary) and I thought it would be a wonderful surprise for us both.
I called the doctor’s office. They did blood work to confirm pregnancy. They had me come in for repeat blood work a couple days after to make sure my hormone levels were (at least) doubling. The nurse later called saying “You’re definitely pregnant”… but I knew that! I just wanted to have an ultrasound. Partially in part of being high risk because of type 1 diabetes, my reproductive endocrinologist saw me immediately after. My ultrasound confirmed there was a healthy fetus in my uterus. Then the shocker: “I have some good news, and some maybe-not-so-good news. This is Baby A… and this is Baby B.” My doctor went on to say that they are fraternal twins, and if they both do make it past the 8-week mile marker, we could discuss the option of aborting one (since it’s such a high risk pregnancy.) My husband and I didn’t even blink an eye and agreed that there was no chance of us doing that. We couldn’t be forced to choose between our children. We happily made it through the first 8 weeks without any issues, and switched our OBGYN.
Up until about the 7th week, I had very minor “pregnancy symptoms” including occasional nausea, and tender breasts. Around the 9th week, I began severe fatigue/exhaustion and noticed my morning sickness/nausea was due to being overly hungry. If I ate a small snack, the nausea went away. But the fatigue was bad. I struggled to keep my eyes open through the day, took small naps on lunch, and took another nap when I got home. My blood sugars were also frequently low (under my ‘safe’ 50 mg/DL zone), so I found hubby constantly yelling at me to get up and drink a juice box when he found me napping. I didn’t have much of an appetite, so that could also have played a role in my lower-than-normal blood sugar levels. It was also in this time-frame that I received a flu shot.
Around the 12th week, my blood sugars started to level out. I was hungry more often. I felt more bloated. My nausea had almost vanished. I was in contact with my endocrinologist, I send over Dexcom readings and he adjusted my basal insulin needs to counteract the higher sugars shortly after breakfast and after dinner. And I started to suffer migraines which I couldn’t do anything about (but lay down). Then I got sick! Congestion. Coughing. Hard time breathing. And more headaches. I relaxed more and let my body do the fighting.
Around week 15, I noticed a hint of a baby bump. We also went in for our 16-week scan, and both babies continued to develop normally. Baby B has lots of energy, and was doing headstands and bouncing around Baby A. According to a 3D/4D ultrasound tech, we are expecting two boys! Super exciting!
I now need maternity clothing. The slight hint of a baby bump is now “officially” a baby (or babies?) bump. My pants fit everywhere but where they button, and yoga pants and leggings have become my new best friend. I am winded more easily by doing simple tasks. It’s getting uncomfortable to sleep at night. And my blood sugars have gone up, quite significantly actually! My insulin needs have increased, and will continue to increase up until delivery. I’m adjusting my basal rates as I see need for, but also continuing to send Dexcom data to my endocrinologist.
Within the next couple weeks, we are looking forward to the 20-week anomaly scan, also known as a mid-pregnancy scan, to take a close look at the babies and the womb. We were told from the OBGYN that this is when we would (normally) find out the genders of the babies. Following that appointment, we have a fetal echo to look at the hearts in depth.