Friday, March 29, 2013

Week Twenty.

Hello there, little nugget,

We're halfway there! Huzzah! Also, aaaaah!

I appreciate your daily reminders that you're in there: stretching, possibly punching and kicking, and probably high fiving your umbilical cord from time to time. "Yeah! We're awesome! Let's do this! Woooooo!", you're saying with language you haven't yet learned.

Keep it up, you.

You and I measured just as we were supposed to at our last OB visit, and my tummy/your temporary apartment is in the tail-end of that "is she or isn't she" phase of roundess, likely to tip over to "oh, she's definitely knocked up" territory any day now. I'm doing my best to drink more water than what seems possible, take my vitamins on time every day (the alarm on my iPhone that plays the Beastie Boys' Body Movin' at precisely 9:00 pm every night helps me immensely with that, even though that song choice would be more appropriate for a workout reminder, but whatevs), and eat a variety of stuff that most people agree is good for both of us.

But also, I have a feeling you're going to love Mexican food just as much as I do, since I've been feeding you a lot of it.

So many things are on your parents' To Do list before you get here - like, "buy and assemble all the furniture", and "look into taking baby/birth/parenting/whatever-you're-supposed-to-do classes", and the ever-popular "what the heck are we going to name you". I hope you like your room, and your clothes, and your toys, and all of the books we can't wait to read to you. I really hope you like us, too.

I can't wait for you to meet your dad, and I'm curious what you'll think of his massive lumberjack beard. I wonder if you'll have his beautiful blue eyes and blond hair, and if you'll be just as funny and goofy as he can be. I'm looking forward to watching the two of you bond over love of Pixar movies, silly voices, and macaroni and cheese.

Soon you'll get to meet your uncles and aunts, your grandparents, and everyone else who is going to fall madly in love with you, and it will be glorious.

Diabetes has thrown me a couple of curveballs lately, but I hope you haven't noticed. It was right after I had brushed my teeth that Thom Yorke buzzed to tell me I was below 55 mg/dL. I didn't want to believe him; what I wanted to do was sleep. If years are days, my sensor was well past drinking age, so I took the warning with a grain of salt and made a compromise with myself: if I'm under 80, I'll treat. If I'm not, and he's lying again, I'm doing a temp basal and laying down. The meter then blinked with a reading of 45.

I didn't even feel that one coming, little nugget, but I think you might have: you had been practicing your roundhouse kicks about 15 minutes before that. Was it related? Are you a built-in CGM? Do you have wifi and a galley kitchen in there?

After treating that low with two glucose tabs and a teeny (really!) bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran, I hit the hay. From what I can remember after that, I woke up in a fog around 3:00am and saw something like 241 on the Dexcom receiver, and made the half-awake decision to bolus four units. Not based on a finger stick, not based on my actual correction ratio, and not based on CGM data that was reliable. (See also: what the heck was I think- oh right, I was still half asleep.) A few hours later I woke up at 114, so it must have been what I/we needed - thanks for whatever wizardry you helped pull, there.

I hope you'll believe me that diabetes is my burden, and that you won't let what's happening with me now cause you to believe anything other than you are absolutely worth all of it. You are. All of it.

You're growing, and you're wonderful, and I can't wait to meet you in four and a half months. (Not that anyone's counting.)

Looooooove yoooooou.

-Your Mom (and not in a comeback-to-a-joke sort of way)

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Need Better.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...After my third snack of the day (it's for the baby, okay), I realized I'd been relying on Dexcom-supplied glucose guesses for the whole afternoon. "Huh, I should probably test." I pulled out the iBGStar from my meter case and stuck a strip in. Lancing my finger mindlessly, I then let the strip suck the blood off of my right ring finger.





Excuse me, what?

Frantically throwing open my "random stuff" diabetes drawer, I fished out my go-to backup meter: the Verio. Except that...

...the meter's battery was completely dead. As in, insert the strip in the top and nothing happens. AWESOME. Meanwhile, I'm having mental images of my child being drowned in maple syrup (because that's what the blood of high blood sugars is made of, yes?) inside me, while my stupid diabetes equipment won't just. work. when I need it to most.

Third try, I grab my purple OneTouch UltraMini and find a bottle of the test strips (because of course all three of these meters have to use separate ones; picky little divas). Guess what? They expired in October.


I decided expired strips would have to do, and so they did: after realizing I'd just eaten an apple but hadn't washed my hands or used an alcohol swab - and alleviating that situation - I tested at 210. Better!

I went back to the iBGStar, and this time it spat out a 204. Okay!

Should I have been better prepared by having a charged backup meter, or test strips that weren't leftover from Halloween? Yes. But would it also be great if meters could distinguish between blood sugar and leftover food on my hands sugar? Yes.

(Speaking of meters, Lifescan issued a recall of all VerioIQ meters today. Check out this press release, and the OneTouch website for more information.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Stuff and things:
  • You may notice in the near future (or, not, because it will be tiny) that I will have a small ad on my site for Diabetic Living magazine, which is part of the Meredith family of publications. They reached out to me earlier this month about doing some advertising on TMP, and while it wasn't a decision I rushed to make, and I think the time has come that this site could start paying for itself just a wee bit. (Basically, if people follow the link on my site and then subscribe to the magazine, I get a chunk of it.) I hope that's cool with you guys. Ads will never have anything to do with the content you'll find here - I'm not doing any paid topic insertion tomfoolery - and if things get weird, I'll swing the axe. No biggie. But, worth a try, I think.
  • I'm a fan of the intersection where satire and diabetes meet, and last week one of my wishes came true. Go check out The Cinnamon (a diabetes-centric play on The Onion) and submit a ridiculous headline of your own. It's on Facebook, too. (And bee tee dubs, it's Chris that's behind it.)
  • On a similar note, it looks like if I just follow these simple rules, pregnancy should be a breeze.
  • Tuesday, March 26th is dubbed as Diabetes Alert Day by the American Diabetes Association, and it's "a one-day 'wake-up call' asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.Sanofi Diabetes is also supporting the effort by hosting an "event" on Facebook where they're asking folks to not only take the diabetes risk test, but also to draw a blue check mark on their hand and upload a picture to the "Check It Blue" page.
  • This is accurate.
  • I saw my internal medicine doctor earlier this week, and as I stood in line to schedule my next visit, I noticed that the gentleman in front of me was carrying a lot of familiar-looking items: a Bayer something-something glucose meter (his hand was over the picture, so not sure which one, but does it matter?), a booklet on carb counting, and a Calorie King book. I wanted to say something to him, but he never made eye contact with me, which was going to be my "go-ahead" cue. Even diabetes advocates don't always speak up.
  • I've begun the baby registering process, and holy crap, kids have a lot of stuff. My crafty side has been rearing its head, so there are a few things I'm making instead of buying new (I can sew the crap out of a changing pad cover, you guys), and the room that shall become the nursery is now a tornado of fabric, boxes, half-finished projects, and diapers. Yes, I'm buying diapers already. They're on sale! They don't expire! It makes sense! Kind of!
  • And lastly, Corgnelius is the Ryan Gosling of Corgis. (Spellcheck may not like that name, but I sure do.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kick Me, Please.

Perhaps it's just me, but there's something about knowing I'm pregnant that makes me perpetually scared that for any given reason, I suddenly won't be.

Why do I feel that way? Perhaps it's because I know that parts of my body (my pancreas; my thyroid) are already faulty and I wonder, in an unjustified way, if that condition is shared elsewhere. Perhaps it's because it took longer than we had hoped to become pregnant, and so the whole thing feels a little fragile. Perhaps it's because I know so many who have had miscarriages, and I wonder if that will be my experience, too.

It's part of why I was so strict about what I ate, drank, and did for the first six weeks after I knew I was pregnant - lots of restrictions, and I stuck to them faithfully.

But right around the beginning of week 15, I felt something that I regard as welcome relief from my worry. I felt a kick.

Well, maybe not a kick so much as a nudge. A drumming. The feeling of popcorn popping in my stomach. (The first time I read that description on a pregnancy site, I thought, "What? That's a horrible description. I can't even imagine what that would feel like. How will I know?" Well, Whitney, you just will.) Whatever it was, it was movement, and proof that Baby V is alive and well (and perhaps Riverdancing) in there.

I had my 18-week check-up yesterday, and while we skipped the ultrasound, we did hear a heartbeat. In the past two appointments we had no trouble locating it - a few swipes across my belly, and there it was, loud and clear. This time, however, it seemed that the kid had thrown the placenta between it and us, so much of what we heard for the first few minutes was my heartbeat, not the baby's.

I tried to tell myself that it can't be an easy find each time, and I reminded myself of the movement I'd felt. I held my breath, and desperately wished and wished. And, minutes later, the technician and I both grinned and sighed simultaneously as we finally heard it.

148 bpm. Perfect.

That sound is something I long to hear more often than every four weeks, but in between, I'll settle for getting kicked.

And the worry? It's fading with each bit of weight gained, each week elapsed, and each nudge felt. Now that I have a constant reminder that things are okay, I can start to release the worry that they're not.

Monday, March 11, 2013

More Than Meets The Eye.

During last December's Give All The Things!, Donna at Tallygear offered to send me a free Tummietote belt (and, later, her case for the Dexcom G4 receiver). This happened before I knew I was pregnant, so the size I ordered wasn't intended to fit a baby bump.

But thankfully, this thing is stretchy as hell and lets me transform from "normal-looking pregnant lady" into "stealthy multiple-device-wearing pregnant lady" quite nicely.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

And not only is the stealthy part cool, but it also solves the "these pants have no pockets and I have to lug all of this crap around" problem.

The middle pouch (there are 3, and they velcro shut thoroughly, which I'm sure is helpful if you're one of those super active people) even has a window, which is super convenient for quick checks of a CGM graph or IOB on an insulin pump. It lays surprisingly flat, and with the mega-long maternity shirts (what is that, anyway?), it's not even a big deal.

Speaking of convenience, I need to invest is some shoes that don't require anything but sliding my feet into them, because reaching my feet to tie up sneakers is already getting kind of awkward.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Week Seventeen: A Diabetic Pregnancy Poem.

I've embarked on a journey where
My mind, body, and spirit will try
To balance a growing baby
With a depleted beta cell supply.

It's of upmost importance 
To keep my glucose levels appealing.
I'm reacting so swiftly 
To every number, every alarm, every feeling.

But it's really quite challenging 
Because all of it has importance -
In range numbers, and more food.

Alas, those two don't often jive.
Most times, they fight and bicker.
"You need a lot of carbs!"
That's the real kicker.

I'm trying my very best,
Though meter results don't always reflect it.
I'm doing everything I know how
For this little one, so I can protect it.

However, I am realistic
And I recognize there's no perfection.
And where I seem to "fail"
It's not a personal reflection.

I have diabetes!
This is how it it works, you see!
It will - oh hang on a minute,
I once again have to pee.

This pregnancy can be fun,
But it's also a lot of work.
The doctors, the labs
The worries that lurk.

Let's not even talk about
Future childcare or school.
It's overwhelming to think that far ahead.
One thing at a time, fool.

So for now, I'll stick to now.
Only 23 weeks left to go!
I'll be sewing and crafting and ordering and unpacking -
I think this is called "nesting like whoa".

Every time I take one of these, I just feel like
I'm taking a picture of my hand. (And now you know
what the restroom at work looks like.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Carrot.

It's easy to be angry.

So many flashes in the dark; so many tales of good fortune that could lie ahead. Some feel real - you can almost allow yourself to daydream how it could be. How much time you'd then have. How much freedom you'd feel.

When the life you've been presented gives you reason after reason to give up, and seemingly throws obstacles at every turn, it is difficult to maintain that very important, yet fragile emotion: hope.

image credit
I sometimes sympathize with the bunny whose carrot is always kept just out of reach. Just close enough to see it. Just about five years away, but eternally so.

It's easy to be pessimistic.

It's not that the research isn't cool, or that nothing will actually come of it - it may. There are too many smart people working passionately and with all their hearts for it to be any other way. What drags it through the mud is often the messaging:

"There is no reason this can't be in a real-world setting within five years."

"Our mission is to eradicate diabetes by {pick a year}."

"This technology is five to ten years away."

Putting a timestamp on something with so many moving parts is a dangerous practice, and I wish it would end. If you don't know, don't say. There are situations where theatrics, hype, and overselling have a place, but here? Never. Give me a reason to be interested, and then blow me out of the water with what you come up with. Don't tease me with grand, emotional claims. Don't tell me how close you think it is. Show me, and let me be the judge (and cheerleader).

Despite how I feel now, I refuse to let anger and pessimism paint the colors of my carrot. What do I chose instead?

Cautious optimisim, with a healthy dash of realism.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Week Sixteen.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...What's that? I can just blog in bullet points this time? Dude. Done.
  • The "epic lows" stage seems to have now been replaced by a "sometimes you're running low, but when you're high it's those really sticky ones that won't come down with just one correction bolus" era, which is probably not the technical term for what's happening now, but it alludes to my frustration. My endo and I are meeting every two weeks (sometimes it's with her nurse instead, but it's still the same routine) so that she can download my pump and CGM data and take a stab at what the heck is going on. Just when we think we've conquered overnight lows, the afternoons creep northward. When that gets reigned in, post-breakfast tomfoolery strikes. I know that pregnancy with type 1 diabetes is a game of darts where the target is always moving, but man, this is hard. 
  • So. Much. Blood. Between lab draws for the endo and the ones for my OB, I may run out of veins. Does that happen? Is that a thing?
  • Pregnancy is bringing more fun friends along, like Stuffy/Runny Nose and the infamous Pregnancy Brain. Drinking buckets of water doesn't help that whole "always have to pee" thing, but it sure helps the nasal situation, so yay? And as for the cranium fog, I nearly lost Billy last night as I forgot to affix his leash before opening the front door to let him do his thing. He trotted down the driveway just as I was thinking, "...wait, something's not... OH MY GOD GET BACK HERE", and once I discovered that my worried/panicky/angry voice wasn't going to get him back within 15 feet of me, I switched to the sing-songy/happy/good dog voice, and wouldn't you know? He sat his butt right down, waited for me, and let me pick him up. Thank goodness, because I would have cried all of that aforementioned water right out if something happened to that little fluffball.
  • The Liz Lange maternity pants at Target have pockets. WORKING POCKETS! This changes everything.
  • Many folks have asked us if we will be finding out the gender of the baby - the answer to that is "yes", but not as soon as I'd like. See, normally the next ultrasound would be at 18 weeks, but since I'm a high-risk rockstar* I get to have extra stuff, apparently. I'll be getting a Level 2 ultrasound at 20 weeks, and because the Level 2 one is required, that makes the 18 week (far less fancy) ultrasound optional for us - so given the amount of appointments (read: copays) in our future this year, we opted to not tack on another expense by doubling up on ultrasounds (and, therefore, finding out gender at 20 weeks instead of 18).
  • In less baby-ish news, the folks at KIND emailed me asking if I was familiar with their stuff. I had seen some granola bars and whatnot in the grocery store, but I'd never tried it, so they were nice enough to send me a slightly ginormous box of stuff to test out. (Sending free food to a pregnant lady is always a good idea; btw. It was very, um, KIND of them.) (Sorry; I'll stop.) So far I've tried out one of the types of granola and a few of the bars, and I'm developing a crush like whoa. Have you had the apricot and almond with yogurt bar? Imagine how the Girl Scouts' Caramel Delights taste; now replace the chocolate with yogurt and the caramel with apricot. It tastes like that, and it is divine, and everything is gluten-free and made with stuff I can actually pronounce and we need matching BFF necklaces because please stay in my life.
  • If you are having a bad day, remember: at least your hit song wasn't remixed by a goat.

*self-prescribed term that seems much more enjoyable than "high risk pregnancy"