Thursday, April 11, 2013

Diabetic and pregnant

I feel like I have an opportunity to demystify and unscarify one of my biggest concerns about this endeavor: being diabetic and pregnant.

I won’t begin to try to explain the difference between Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes, or the risks they cause in pregnancy. It is enough to say I have Type 2, and have been schooled for years by my endocrinologist I would need insulin if I got pregnant. I was only 3.5 weeks when I saw the Dr. and started insulin.

My diabetes has always been fairly well controlled, and I’ve been rather relaxed about it – taking my medicine, but eating what I feel like and not checking my blood sugar consistently. That changed in an instant. Now I check my blood sugar seven times a day and inject insulin four times a day. I have to really think about what I’m eating because I can see immediately what effect it has. If I’m doing my job, my blood sugar stays within the target range all day long, which I can only know by testing every time I’m supposed to.

Here’s the thing I did not anticipate about this big lifestyle change: it wasn’t hard. It has been something I could control -- a good thing I could do for myself and the Fig – in a crazy sea of uncertain circumstances. I know I am merely at the beginning of this job, and blood sugar control will become more important (and possibly more difficult) as the months go by. However, I know now the unfortunate combination of diabetes and pregnancy is not necessarily devastating. That said, I'm sure it is hard for a lot of women, especially those who have trouble with blood sugar control or those who slammed with the reality of gestational diabetes when they haven't had to worry about it before.

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