Friday, June 17, 2011

A Baby is On the Way(!!!)

Well, I've been on pins and needles waiting for my doctor's appointment to come around so that I could share the exciting news with everyone...we're going to have a baby!  We've known for almost three weeks now, but didn't want to tell anyone (other than my parents, whom I work with and I knew would figure out something was up) until I'd seen the doctor.  I went on Wednesday to meet with the OB's nurse, and happened to luck out and got to have my dating ultrasound on the same day due to an appointment cancellation.  I'm officially six weeks and five days, and everything looks good so far...I even got to hear the heartbeat, which was surprising because the ultrasound tech said we probably wouldn't be able to see much.  I saw the little spot right away and knew it was our little one, then heard the quick "thump, thump, thump" and figured it must be my heartbeat =) I only got to listen for a few seconds, but it was wonderful knowing that our tiny little baby was okay in there!

I first suspected I might be pregnant what was probably just days after conception.  May 17-19th, I had some seriously wacky CGM #s-if I didn't have double arrows going up, they were pointing down-nothing in between.  I even emailed my CDE and asked her if this might mean I could be pregnant, but I also didn't know if it was just due to my natural hormones-this was the first month I'd been off the pill, and I didn't know how my own hormones affected my blood sugar levels.  I had several other random symptoms (increased heart rate as I laid on the couch or in bed in the evenings, itchy skin, and a stuffy nose, just to name a few), but still was hesitant to jump to the conclusion that I really, truly might be pregnant.  The next couple of weeks passed, and I took a pregnancy test three or four days before I expected my period, and it was negative.  I was a little bummed out, but took another one on the day my period was supposed to start, and lo and behold, there were two precious little lines on the stick!  I was so shocked I just sat there and cried (joyful tears) for a little bit, then went and showed my hubby.  I think we were both surprised it happened so quickly, because I hadn't even had the prescribed normal cycle after stopping the pill, and I figured that since I'd been on the pill for so long (about four consecutive years), that it would take us a while to conceive.  When I emailed my CDE, she called to chat about my BG goals during pregnancy.  We talked about how crazy it was that I was right the couple of weeks before when my #s were out of whack, and when I told her how quickly it had happened, she said, "Well you're just Fertile Myrtle then!"

I took another few pregnancy tests in the weeks that followed just to make sure, because it all seemed too easy...and nothing in my life over the past year has been easy.  I've come to the conclusion that God must have known how much we needed this reprieve from all of the challenges and heartbreak I've experienced over the past several months...this pregnancy for me is not only an amazing accomplishment in spite of my diabetes, but a much-needed beacon of light in our lives.  I know that the road ahead of me will be a long one, but I'm 110% committed and ready because I know it means a healthy baby in the end. 

My blood sugar levels the first weeks that I knew I was pregnant were tough to control, so my CDE suggested changing my basal rates and re-evaluating my basal/bolus ratio.  After some adjusting, my numbers have returned to near-normal, although they're still more difficult than usual to control.  I also know what I'm up against as far as public opinions towards diabetes and pregnancy, but I'm prepared to deal with that...the people I care about (and who care about me) know more about the realities of the disease than the general public, so the un-diabetes-educated majority doesn't bother me as much.  My ultrasound tech on Wednesday was an older lady who wasn't the friendliest, and she questioned the validity of having a sonogram so early on.  After double-checking with the nurse, she came back and said she "didn't realize [I] was diabetic, so it puts [me] in a higher risk category", and therefore the sonogram was necessary to make sure everything was developing as it should.  Thank you lady, because it's not like I've been preparing for this for months and reading everything I can about it or anything...but oh well.  Like I said, I got to see my baby and hear its little heartbeat, so it didn't bother me as much as usual.  There are just times I'd rather not be a "diabetic pregnant woman" in everyone's eyes, and instead just be a normal pregnant woman instead.  Yes, there are (many) extra considerations I have to make because I have diabetes, but I also want to be able to enjoy my pregnancy like everyone else without the ignorant comments!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

60th Diabetes Blog Post (Yay!)--A1Cs and Running

Apparently this is my 60th blog post since I first started chronicling my journey with diabetes in November last year!  My first D-aversary is a couple of short months away, and I honestly can't believe it's already almost here.  I never in a million years thought diabetes would be such an intimate part of my life, but I've survived the past months and learned a lot--about diabetes and life--in the process.

I (finally) had my appointment with the endocrinologist on May 16th, then got my lab results back a couple of days later...and my A1C was 5.7%!!!(!!!!!)  So, we officially got the green light to start our family, something I've been waiting months for.  My previous A1C was 6.5%, so it would have probably been fine if we had started our family then, but probably just doesn't cut it for me when it comes to my future children's health...I'd never be able to forgive myself if I didn't bring it down and there ended up being something wrong with our baby.  I know that anyone can have a child with birth defects, but I strongly feel that if you have a chronic disease like diabetes, it's your responsibility to get it under control before you even think about having a child.  I think it's just one of the first of many decisions you have to make with your child's best interest in mind, and perhaps one of the most important.  All of the current scientific literature and knowledge (and my CDE) says that you should get it under 6.0% preconception, so the perfectionist in me finally had something to shoot for over the past several months.

Other than that, I don't think I've mentioned that I consigned my Gazelle to the spare bedroom until the weather becomes unbearably hot/cold again in favor of running outside.  I began with alternating walking and running, then gradually (very gradually) progressed to running.  I highly recommend the Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance if you're interested in starting a running program.  It has great advice on a wide variety of running-related topics, ranging from beginner to marathon runner-and it's equally friendly to both.

Running has become a lot of different things for me.  First and foremost, I run to stay in the best shape possible--for me, my husband, and our future children--in spite of my diabetes.  I also run, though, because it keeps my life a little less stressful.  On those long runs when it's just me and the road ahead (and behind!), I have a lot of time to think and sort through the things I push to the back of my mind during the day.  I've worked through a lot of issues this way, and running has saved me on the days I want to break down and cry--it's become my go-to stress reliever.  Not only that, it also gives me a sense of accomplishment.  You see, I was never what you would call an athlete during school.  I ran cross country and played basketball and tennis, but so did everyone else because I grew up (and still live in) a very small town.  In other words, athletic ability was not a prerequisite for participating in sports.  I could place in the middle of the pack in cross country, but that was the limit of my athletic prowess.  My junior high and high school coaches would probably faint if they knew how much I run now!  I've worked up to 4 miles at a time on my long runs, and my fastest time to complete that distance is right around 40 minutes.  Not Olympic-worthy, for sure, but not to shabby for someone who spent her junior high days looking for excuses to get out of workouts!