Diabetes and Pregnancy
This week is my pinnacle 12th week of pregnancy. It’s finally the time when I feel comfortable enough telling my close friends and the whole world (on social media) that I’m pregnant. Diabetes and pregnancy has a few more complications than most pregnancies would. We went into the OB/GYN today to have an ultrasound and an in-depth consultation with the specialist (I believe she’s called an obstetrician). Be warned, the next section is a bit scary. You can have a ton of complications when you are pregnant and diabetic.
Related Article: Type 1 Diabetes & Me
We went over my history. With diabetes, I have had a history of urinary tract infections. This is caused when my blood sugar is high, and the excess glucose gets excreted through my urine. At times, I have had UTI’s so badly that they’ve traveled into my kidneys. If I get one more UTI, then I will need to take antibiotics for the rest of the term. Apparently pregnancy just turns your whole world upside-down. I can have a UTI without any symptoms. And when it strikes, I can be in the hospital with severe complications in no time flat. Hence, the antibiotics seem like an acceptable route.
Another key health history point is that I have been in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) once, and it happened to be this past year (What is DKA?). I have to be extremely careful of not going into DKA while pregnant. This was scariest part of the visit because if I go into DKA the baby could be stillborn. DKA can happen quickly in pregnancy, just like the UTI’s, so I am in full mommy protective mode now.
So onto the little baby growing inside of me. If my blood sugars are too high or too low, the baby could be overweight or underweight for its development. Because my A1C (What is an A1C?) was 8.8% in January (around conception), they are very concerned that organs weren’t developed probably. So far, the organs appear fine, but looks can be deceiving. At 18 weeks I will be having a detailed ultrasound where they measure all of the baby’s vital organs and take an up-close look at each of them.
Then at 22 weeks, I will be having an echo-cardiogram for the baby because it has more of a risk for a heart defect. Then, every 4 weeks I will be getting an ultrasound to check the baby’s growth.
The last concern is that I will probably need to deliver early. Hopefully I will make it to 37 weeks (considered full term), but if my blood sugars are hard to control then I might have to deliver sooner. The placenta starts shooting out more hormones in the third trimester, so that will make my insulin less effective. Wish me luck when that time comes! I will have to go in twice a week for monitoring when I hit 32 weeks. Oh how I am dreading how much I will hate going to the doctor’s at that point.
So that’s it folks, everything you need to know for diabetes and pregnancy. It’s going to be a roller coaster ride. Check in with me for my upcoming appointments. We will be on this journey together.
Until next time, tchau!
P.S. Tchau (pronounced chow) is goodbye in Portuguese (and several other languages). Portuguese is the official language of Angola, which holds the record of the most pregnancies per thousand people.