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Michelle's Journal

APRIL


April 1, 2005 - April Fool's Day - I'm Pregnant...really
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I had to tell Marc this morning that in no uncertain terms that this was, in fact, NOT an April fool's joke. He still thought for several minutes that I was pulling his leg after telling him that I was pregnant. He called me at work later today and asked how I knew. There were several signs, I told him, all of which could be explained away as something else. However, the fact that I even bought a pregnancy test this time said I was willing to believe this was the real thing.

As I did with Megan, I sat on the toilet this morning just saying oh-my-God-oh-my-God-oh-my-God. Only this time I didn't cry. I was hysterical when I found out with Megan. I SHOULD be hysterical today, but I guess I'm in too much shock to be hysterical. And, again, as with Megan, this was not planned.

Marc kept saying (I'm not sure if he was reassuring me or himself) that he's excited and happy. Really, he says. Except the first thing he said was "that's cool." I was scared/nervous to tell him based on previous conversations about how he's "done" having kids. That, first of all, scared me. I didn't entirely believe it, though. I knew there was an ulterior motive for that statement. I know he's worried about putting the kids through college, and so am I, but I feel like we'll make it happen.

For like the last two weeks I've tried to convince myself that I'm not pregnant, even though in the back of my mind I've been thinking that I am. But all day today I haven't felt it at all. Kind of weird. So much has happened, though. I'm more scared about this pregnancy than I was about any other.

I was diagnosed in February as being pre-diabetic. There are issues with pregnancy and diabetes. I checked with the diabetes educator today and I can't take my oral meds for diabetes anymore. She said my doc might want to start me on insulin. More injections. Which is fine, as long as the baby is OK.

I've really been cheating lately with my eating - except today. I've been very, very good today. I read that if too much sugar gets to the baby, it can cause birth defects. Well I'd hate for that to be my fault. For something like that to happen because I was a careless eater.

I can only think though that this is what I've wanted for a long time. I really think that Marc wants it too. At least, I hope I'm not just wanting to believe that. He's said some things recently that make me think he'll be happy with no. 3. Again, I hope I'm not reading into it. He assures me that he's happy and that he's not just saying that. I really do think he is happy, but I just don't want him to resent the family or me because it wasn't really what he wanted.

Of course, we did agree that no. 3 might be a compromise because at one point I had said that I wanted four. I still think it would be neat to have two of each so everyone has a brother and a sister, but I have a friend with four (of course they're all under the age of 5!) and it just looks like a lot of work sometimes. At one point I thought it would be nice to have twins - a boy and a girl - so I could still have two of each. However, I don't really want that. That's just too much, I think. It's a strange feeling, to have what I wanted and not be completely happy. Money is the biggest issue. We have enough love to go around. It's just the money.

I think I'll call you peanut until we know if you're a boy or a girl. :)

April 5, 2005 - Ectopic Pregnancy? Birth Defects? Self-Doubt
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I'm completely paralyzed. I feel like I'm at this funky crossroads trying to figure out if this is what I really want. And OF COURSE it's what I want. I've wanted another child, a bigger family, for a long time. THAT'S why I'm so freaked out about this possible ectopic pregnancy.

I know in my heart that I'm fine. I just know it. But I've already started compromising: God, if this is your way of telling me that this child was meant to have birth defects, fine. That's really one of my biggest fears; that this child will be wrought with birth defects. And I know it's selfish. I KNOW IT'S SELFISH. But I don't want a child like that. I'm not saying I want a "perfect" child, but my God, what kind of life will that child have if it's got nothing but doctor's appointments and heartache? What quality of life will that child have? And what quality of life will I have and the rest of the family? YES I KNOW IT'S SELFISH. And that's why I'm beating myself up about this. My God! Why wouldn't I want a child of Marc and me no matter what ailments it may have? And 30 seconds of bliss is better than a lifetime of nothing, right? I'm forcing myself to write this right now. Forcing myself. I'd much rather be in bed or bumming on the couch.

I find that lately I am not very motivated to do things. Perhaps that's part of the fatigue of pregnancy, but perhaps not. I don't know. The more I think about this the more I can talk myself out of the fact that I'm having an ectopic pregnancy. I have absolutely no signs of an ectopic. Of course, I read on one web site that you can have zero signs and still have the ectopic. That scared me a little.

***
I knew, from the way Dr. Grant pulled the chair from around the ultrasound machine-so calculated-the look on his face, that look of pity so apologetic without even saying a word, that something wasn't quite right. I was sitting in the ultrasound room after a brief ultrasound to confirm my third pregnancy. When I asked the technician what she saw, she said it was too small to tell, too early. "Nothing with a heartbeat," she said. That's comforting, I joked, even though I knew it was just early. That a few weeks from now we'll be able to see a lot more.

Sure, I was barely into my fourth week probably - maybe just three weeks. Even one of the nurses, who was there as a chaperone, said she had never seen an ultrasound this early. It was unlikely that a woman this early in her pregnancy would have an ultrasound to begin with. However with my risk factors, I guess they just wanted to be sure, which was perfectly fine with me because I was anxious to see the tiny sac. But when Dr. Grant said there was a gestational sac there and it was too small to discern anything else (like a heartbeat) the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy was there.

Ectopic pregnancy. The words just hung there like a cartoon bubble. I continued to listen and to answer his questions. No, no cramping; no bleeding. OK, a serum test today and repeat on Thursday and we'll call you Friday morning with the results. I walked out almost as if there was no badness in that room and set up another appointment for next week.

It wasn't until I got home several hours later that it really sunk in. My husband asked what happens if the serum test numbers are not good? What then? I don't know, I said. I hadn't even gotten that far. Dr. Grant didn't even get that far. No sense adding more undue stress or fear, right? But I don't know, this might be worse. The unknown.

I'm quivering, shaking, nervous, barking at the kids. This isn't what I wanted. This isn't what I prayed for. God, please let this child be healthy. God, please let this child be healthy. God, please let this child be healthy.

I've found myself questioning now this choice. Is this what's really right for me? For my family? With my health issues, can we really go through this? Is this God's way of telling me there's a way out? But my God, how could I think those things? OF COURSE I want this child. I've longed for a bigger family for some time now. I have to keep telling myself that everything will be OK and believe it. I have to believe it. Self-doubt is the worst. These next few days are going to be so long. I just want to go to sleep - to pray and think about peanut and go to sleep.

April 16, 2005 - Blood Sugar Obsession, Hunger & Doubt
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I am being rebellious today. I ate more than my allotted number of carbs for a snack, but my stomach was so nuts. I slept for almost three hours on the couch this afternoon and practically ignored the kids. I couldn't force myself to get up. I felt so disgusting. Like I had the flu or something. Even now at almost 9 p.m. I still feel fairly lousy, but I told Marc to wake me up when he comes to bed. I can just feel that something is wrong. I don't think he wants this. He says he's excited, but I know he doesn't feel the same way he did when I was pregnant with Marcus and Megan. I just feel the tension and distance between us. And I feel so damn guilty.

I don't really feel pregnant yet. I mean, the sickness reminds me that I am, but even that is so much different than it was with the other kids. I had basically a 24-hour nausea thing with them, but this is debilitating. I almost went home from work yesterday because I really felt like I was going to lose my lunch. Well, breakfast, but you know. I don't know if I'm not eating enough or not eating the right things or what. It's only been two weeks and I already feel like I'm defined by this illness.

I'm consumed by what I eat and what my blood sugar numbers are. I tell Marc that I was 100 after lunch or 70 fasting. I just wonder how tired he is of all this. I hate that I feel this way. And I hate that I know he feels the way he does and won't or can't tell me about it. I feel helpless. I feel in a way that I did this to us, but not entirely.

I kept praying to God and saying that I was ready for another child when He was. I guess I just thought Marc would accept it as I do.

I am anxious for another child. I ache to see my belly grow and to feel this child thriving inside my body. I long to give life to another human being and to see our family grow. I look at families with more than two children and think about how I want that. I WANT THAT.

I've never doubted myself so much about something like this. I love to be pregnant and I love babies and I love that our family is growing. So why am I doubting so much? I suppose it's natural at this stage of the game. I just don't remember it from the other pregnancies. I want to do this right.

I don't want this child to be screwed up because I couldn't keep my eating under control. But man, I'm so hungry all the time. And all I do is think about food. Food consumed me before diabetes and it continues to rule my life after diabetes. There are some times when I think this is so good for me because I would have continued on like I was probably forever. And would have gotten fatter and fatter and had more and more problems. And there are times when I just want a Big Mac and fries!

But I wonder, too, if now that I haven't had so much fat, if that's why my system is responding. I had some small York peppermint patties today and I had felt fine all morning. It wasn't until almost lunchtime that I started feeling so bad. Maybe I'll have to try no fat tomorrow. And no soda.

I've wondered if that's something, too. I had a soda yesterday. But it was Diet Rite…made with Splenda. Shoulda been OK.

I should walk tomorrow morning, but I probably won't. Marc likes to get to work early on Sunday since he's the only one there. I suppose I have all day, but what's the likelihood of walking later in the day? Slim.

It's just that it feels hard to focus on the baby when all I can think about right now is food and my blood sugar. I guess I'm letting it define me and I shouldn't. But it's like someone said, one month I found out I have diabetes and practically the next month I find out I'm pregnant. There was hardly any time to adjust to either.

I guess I just feel with the other kids I was all blissful and happy and thinking non-stop baby thoughts. And, in a way, I am with this one too, but those thoughts are commingled with food and blood sugar. And maybe it's just that I've been through this twice before and it's almost like it's no big deal anymore. I mean, it is, but it's not new. I've been around this block before. I guess I just want to feel like it's new and exciting. Which it is. I just need to change my attitude I guess.

April 17, 2005 - Hooray for Free Foods! Noticable Lifestyle Changes
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Thank God for "free" foods! I discovered just last week that sugar-free Jell-O is on my free food list. I'm in heaven! I can eat as much of it as I want! Well, I felt much better today. No rebellion.

It's interesting how my lifestyle has changed in just two short months. I went to the grocery store this afternoon around 4:00 to get some things for dinner. First of all, the fact that I was making meatloaf with turkey instead of beef is just one of many symptoms of my new thinking on food. By the way, it tasted great, but I wonder if my husband ate it just because he was hungry and it was there.

Anyway, prior to my diagnosis, despite the fact that I would have eaten dinner within an hour, I most likely would have grabbed a Snickers - a king-size Snickers at that - and eaten it in just the few short blocks it took me to get home. And then, I probably would have had an enormous bowl of chocolate ice cream smothered in hot fudge after the kids went to bed. And I would have loved every last bite of it.

But today, I just looked at the candy in the checkout lane and thought about what I would have done just three months ago. Heck, I would have done it the day before I found out I was pregnant. Diabetes or not.

April 19, 2005 - Hospitalized for a Blood Clot
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I'm in the hospital 35 weeks before I'm supposed to. And it's the baby who's put me here. Well, sort of. I've been flat on my back for four hours and anxiously awaiting the nurses to come in and get me moving. I have a blood clot. Again. Only this time, I'm pregnant. The vicodin I took about 40 minutes ago is helping with the pain in my leg. I had so far only cried for myself. It wasn't until I talked to my 5-year-old son that I cried for him. He sounded so puny. He's so scared for me.

April 20, 2005 - Some Hospital Blues
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I don't think I've ever been so bored. Ugh! I'd flip through the TV, but I have a roommate now and I don't want to be a pest. I thought I was getting a roomie who had just delivered, but it turns out they put the preggos together, which makes perfect sense.

Anyway, my sugars were off the chart yesterday. But today it's been much better. So that's a plus. It's still so hard to focus on the baby when I've got all this other crap going on in my body. I told my GYN that I knew this was backwards, but that I was more concerned about the baby than myself. She said she was the opposite, so we've evened each other out!

I have this terrible morbid curiosity and sense of righteousness. I want to-OK, I am going to-call my old GYN to find out how anticoagulated I was with the other pregnancies. I hate to question my current docs, but we specifically talked about Lovenox and my perinatologist said it was ridiculously expensive and thought I would do fine on Heparin.

I guess I just want to pick her brain a little. Because I've had two previous pregnancies with no blood clot issues and I switch doctors and now I'm having a problem. There's no guarantee, however, that this wouldn't have happened if I were already on Lovenox, but I just really have to wonder.

The kids came to see me this morning. It felt so good to see them and touch them and just hug and kiss them. It was good for Marcus, too. I think he really needed to see that just because I was in the hospital that I am, indeed, fine.

I'm wondering if I'm being too nonchalant about this. My dad called this morning and I could tell that he was fighting back the tears. He said, "You were a pain in the ass as a teenager and you're still a pain in the ass!" He also said that I had them really worried. I don't know. I did this last time. It just didn't hit me how serious this was until several years later. I guess I'm just more focused on the baby than myself.

April 27, 2005 - Sonic and Baskin Robbins Sing Their Siren Songs
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I looked in the refrigerator at lunch and said out loud to myself: I don't want to eat any of this! I think I had it on my brain already, though, that I was going out to eat for lunch. I really, honestly, tried to talk myself out of it, but I didn't. And it didn't help that when I left work the smell of barbequed pork steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers from the business across the street wafted over to me.

I tried to just take a couple handfuls of Cap'n Crunch cereal to see if then I would be willing to eat better food. No such luck. I think I had been resisting this craving for some time and I guess it was just a matter of time before it finally got to me. Almost got an ice cream cone last night, but instead settled for a mini peppermint patty. That did me OK, but I guess my brain still needed something.

I went to Sonic and at first I told myself that I was just going to have a junior burger and some tater tots - a kid's meal. Then I thought, well, geez, if you're gonna cheat, you may as well go all the way. So I got a regular-sized cheeseburger and tater tots and a diet soda. I hate diet, but I guess part of me was starting to feel guilty. Man, oh man did those tots taste good!

I don't think I've ever relished the taste of any food as much as I did those tater tots. So salty and crunchy. Man, I can still taste them two hours later! I just about melted with the first few bites of that cheeseburger. After about half of the burger, though, I started to realize that I could put it down if I wanted to. That I could very easily have walked away from it right then. The only reason I continued to eat it was because it was there. The tater tots, though, were another story entirely. I devoured those and would have gone back for more.

It's not like I feel like I deserve to splurge. In fact, I felt like I shouldn't have done it in the first place, but my pregnant brain had been telling me for some time that good food just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

I remember when I was in my first trimester with my son. My very favorite ice cream in the world is Baskin Robbins' peanut butter and chocolate. I had picked up a quart on the way home from work one day. Now, I never really had cravings, but I woke up on a Saturday morning with nothing but that ice cream on my brain. I was bound and determined, though, not to eat ice cream for breakfast, but my brain and my subconscious had other plans. Literally everything I ate that day tasted terrible - right up until I finally gave in and had some of that ice cream. After that, I could eat just about anything without a problem. And see, last night, although I was desperate for a Big Mac and fries, I tried to eat good food at home, but everything I made tasted awful. Just awful. Maybe now that I've soothed this beast, I'll be able to eat a normal dinner tonight. Or not! Now I have Baskin Robbins on the brain again!

Before I found out I am pregnant, I was only testing once or twice a day per instructions from my nurse practitioner. At the time, we considered that I was pre-diabetic, but treating it as if I was diabetic. Anyhow, if I was going to cheat or eat out or something, I would always make sure to test prior to the bad eating. Sort of cheating, but I guess it made me feel a little better about it since I didn't see those incredibly high numbers.

Now I test after every meal. But here I sit two and a half hours after eating Sonic and I haven't tested yet...and I'm not gonna. I know what I've done to myself! I don't need to have that 300 or higher staring me in the face making me feel all that more guilty. I already feel somewhat bad about it. Not like go-to-confession-guilty, but I know what I've done. I just don't feel the need to rub it in. Still thinking about that ice cream, too!

April 29, 2005 - I Feel Lousy - But Fast Food Nutritional Information Impowers Me!
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You could say that I had some mild nausea with my other two pregnancies. It really wasn't anything to write home about. I threw up a couple of times, but nothing significant, really.

Twice now in the past week I have felt absolutely awful. I mean, like suddenly feel like I'm going to barf and my lower abdomen feels so tight that I think I'm going to have it coming out the other end, too. However, I go to the bathroom and it yields no results. Just me thinking I'm going to cry and/or explode.

My boss told me that her cousin, who is diabetic, had a hard time with her sugars while she was pregnant. They just fluctuated so much. I'm wondering if that's it.

I took a two-hour nap this afternoon and it's Friday and I work. Fortunately, my bosses understand and are super cool about this kind of stuff. I think the nap did it. I'm wondering, too, if it has something to do with sleep. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I felt the worst on the days when I hadn't gotten enough sleep. I was up about an hour or less later than usual last night. I don't know.

I checked my sugar records to see what was going on the other day when I felt so lousy. I was 94 after breakfast on Sunday and then 85 after lunch. I felt horrible for a day and a half. It was terrible. This morning I was 80 fasting and 82 after breakfast. The same breakfast I've been having for the past four or five days and have gone up considerably afterwards. I thought maybe it was a bug, but for some reason today it hit me that maybe it's a blood sugar issue.

So, I called my educator and she said that I'm probably right on target - that maybe since I continue to lose weight (lost 28 lb. since mid-February!) that my body and my sugars are adjusting proportionately (as my weight goes down, my body doesn't need as much insulin). My numbers are consistently on the low side of the acceptable range after meals. I'm usually between 100 and 110 after meals. I think. I'm rarely over 120 unless I eat something I'm not supposed to.

My educator says we'll go ahead and back off my insulin two units over the weekend and see what happens. She thinks that maybe I'm getting too much throughout the day and that's why I'm feeling lousy so often. So hopefully that does it. Hopefully, prayerfully that does it.

On another subject: I have discovered that fast food nutritional information can empower me to eat! I used to think those things were ridiculous. I mean, if you're going to McDonald's you pretty much know what you're getting yourself into, right? It's just fat, plain and simple. I thought no one ever read that stuff or used it except for maybe school projects or something.

Well, a friend of mine and I were emailing yesterday about going out to lunch next week. She suggested something cheap like McDonald's or Taco Bell. I reminded her that I really couldn't eat that stuff because of the diabetes. Oh, shoot, I forgot about that stuff, she said. So she suggested salads. Thinking she was still talking McDonald's, I remembered that McDonald's now has salads.

So I got on their web site and checked out the nutritional information. Man, was I glad it was there! Turns out I can eat several of their salads.

Well, turns out she was talking about a different restaurant. Thank heaven, because their salads are to die for! And I'll be able to eat some of the other stuff they serve without going over my limit.

So, I'm addicted to the ice from Sonic. It's like the ice chips you get in the hospital - full of air and so easy to chew. I absolutely love it. Well, I was thinking this morning that the ice would be so much yummier with just a hint of flavor to it. Then I remembered that Sonic has diet cherry limeade now. So, again, I looked up the nutritional information (twice in two days!) and turns out the diet cherry limeade has only like 6 grams of carbs! I can't wait to go get one. It probably tastes gross, but I'm in it more for the ice than anything. Let everything melt together and then pour off the drink and eat the ice. I think I've got to do that tonight! Then, I saw that their dish of vanilla soft serve (no cone) has only like 20 grams of carbs. Oh my God, I'm in heaven!

I was so diligent for so long (ok, several weeks, but for me that is a long time) about not eating anything bad for me. Now I think that my inner sweet tooth is coming out. Not to mention that I'M PREGNANT and supposed to be able to eat whatever I stinking want!

Like right now, I'm so darn hungry. My educator just emailed me and wants me to check my sugars one hour post meals instead of two. I'm 153. Ugh! So I feel like I shouldn't eat because my sugars are higher than they should be, but I'm so damn hungry that I could eat the ass end of a horse. Or go to Sonic and get an ice cream and diet cherry limeade. Ha! I'm in one of those moods where literally nothing sounds like it's going to taste good; just the thought of my favorite Blue Bunny yogurt makes me want to puke. Ah, well, I'll drink my water and fume about this for a while before I finally convince myself that it will be ok if I don't go get an ice cream. *Ho hum*

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This is not a health care site. The editor is not a health care professional, is not qualified, and does not give medical or mental health advice.

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