Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Week 9 - Appointments, Appointments, Appointments! Hypos. Hypos. Hypos!

So, week 9.

I had my first appointment at the hospital last week.

I went again on Monday.

I saw the midwife the next day.

I've gone to the GP and made an appointment for later this week to use a 24 hour blood pressure monitor.

I've made an appointment to get my eyes checked.

The diabetes nurse has rang twice, and I am to see her in between hospital appointments.

I'm back at the hospital next week.

And this is how it will be, with appointments increasing in intensity and urgency as time goes on.

It would be nice, if every time I went to the hospital, I got to see the actual consultant that I'm booked in to see, instead of one of his 'registrars'.

Definition of 'Registrar' - Barely 20 year old woman, always skinny with a snooty expression. Has read a couple of books and now considers herself  as'specializing' in diabetes. She worships 'targets' and presumes if 'targets' are not met that it must be due to copious cake eating. 

The first appointment had me meeting with the 'Registrar', who literally gasped at my after meal readings (they were over 8, but by 2 hours post meal I was hypoing), and proceeded to increase my insulin to carb ratios. I questioned her and suggested that I would hypo a lot more on those ratios, but nope, the TARGETS MUST BE MET.

So I did as she said, increased my ratios and then spent the next few days having hypo after hypo after hypo until I was a big, sweaty, exhausted mess.

This week, I actually got to see the consultant, who (guess what) put my ratios down to what they were before! So a bit middle finger to the 'Registrar', I WAS right after all.

My Hba1c (which is a measure of your average blood sugar over the past 3 months) is now at 6.3. Not bad. Not bad at all. My aim is for that to be in the 'normal zone' (i.e 5.8) by 12 weeks, so that I know that my blood sugars during the developmental period were the same as a non-diabetics, and therefore if anything goes wrong, it won't be because of the diabetes. It will (almost) absolve me of guilt.

Also, another positive thing, was that my suggestion of changing to a pump did not make the consultant fall off his chair. He seemed to take it as a perfectly reasonable suggestion, and said if I still suffered with hypos then he would get the diabetic nurse team to move forward with it. (YEY!). The only thing is, I'm rather picky. I know that tubing hanging out of me will piss me off no end. I want a tubeless pump. The OMNIPOD, which is a little plastic pod that sticks to your skin. It looks amazing, and of course it would give me so much flexibility with my control, fine tuning by background insulin hour by hour, being able to suspend it whilst exercising or when hypo. I don't know if they'll give me the choice of picking a pump, but we'll see.

Fingers crossed. 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Scan Day!

Week 8

Scan day!

Well, it’s confirmed. 

There is a definite little blob growing in my uterus, and that blob has a nice strong heartbeat. I AM pregnant! It’s not just some weird dream or something I imagined. It’s such a relief to see it growing there, especially as I’ve had literally ziltch pregnancy symptoms.

Another good outcome of today is that my obstetrician looked through my notes, saw what happened with the boy’s birth, and immediately suggested a planned C-section. It is such a massive relief that I don’t have to fight for it. I had my notes and print outs of research all ready and waiting, so that I could back up my hysterical sobbing/begging with cold, hard facts but in the end there was no need. She suggested it with no prompting from me at all. Phew. 

The down side of today is the length of time spent here in the hospital. Of course my hospital phobia had me all in a fluster, with a high blood sugar after breakfast and a couple of high blood pressure readings (140 over 106!), meaning I was red flagged, and sent all over the hospital searching for a 24 hour blood pressure monitor (which of course there were none available). I’m now sitting in a room having a profile done. I think it’s lowered already, pretty sure it came right down as soon as soon as the C-section was agreed on.  It’s hard to relax when I know hubby is stuck at home with the boy and trying to run the business as well. I was only expecting to be here a couple of hours.

Note to self – learn some meditation/calming techniques, or else I’m going to be doing this a lot! 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

7 weeks...

This is torturous...

Waiting for that first scan. 

It is really there? Is it OK? Has all this effort been worth it?

The diabetes has been OK. OK but not perfect.

At least this time I am more educated. I now know how to count carbs. I now limit my carbs. I have well tested correction doses that work and I know that if I hypo I must eat 15g of carbs exactly and no more. This is instead of taking 'rage' boluses that send me crashing, initiating a roller coaster of lows and then highs when I end up eating the whole fridge in a panic (and then rage bolus again).

It's not been perfect but I'm handling it. I feel calm. 

I know my HbA1c (a test that tells me my average blood sugar over the past 3 months) will be much improved, and well into the target zone. I'm taking my massive dose of folic acid, along with my other pregnancy vitamins and omega oils. I've had that niggling infected tooth removed (there was no saving it and it was just a ticking time bomb waiting to f*ck up my blood sugars if it abscessed). So, I'm doing everything I can.

I just want to SEE it, this baby, to see that it's real and that it's tiny heart is beating strongly. My first scan is at 8 weeks. 

Next week. 

It seems an age away right now. Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock

Monday, 21 April 2014


So the first weeks is done.

Already my blood sugars are trying to climb. It could be because of the pregnancy, or because of this damn infected tooth that I've been waiting an age to get treated. Luckily I managed to get some antibiotics from the emergency dentist, so nipped the infection in the bud before it had a chance to send my blood sugars completely haywire.

Dare I say it, but I'm finding it easier. Last time I was using Insulatard as a background insulin, which did not suit me at all. I know that now, looking back, I was almost managing without any background insulin at all. Just taking the Insulatard at night meant that it would have been out of my system by mid morning. Leaving me to try and control my daytime sugars with just my novorapid. No wonder it was so hard!

This time I'm using Levimir. A split dose taken morning and evening, so that I'm covered 24 hours. It means I can take less novorapid with meals, and so avoid having hypos (and rebounds). I'm also limiting my carbohydrates, eating lots of salads and vegetables, being uber healthy.

Another difference from last time, I'm not only recording my blood glucose readings,  I've also been recording my insulin doses, grams of carbs eaten with each meal, and the exercise that I do. This gives me much more information to work on. So that I can decide whether 'that high' was caused by something I ate (and need to avoid), or pregnancy hormones.

Even so my blood sugars have not been perfect. However here is another way that I'm doing things differently.

I am not going to stress. 

What good does it do anyway?

I'm just going to write it down, correct it with another injection of insulin, and try to learn from it. 

I've recently started having highs after breakfast. I've eaten the same thing for breakfast all week, so I know it's not what I ate, and up until 3 days ago the insulin doses worked perfectly. So I know it's the pregnancy and that my doses need increasing. So I increased my morning novorapid ratio to 1 unit of insulin per 2 grams of carbohydrate. We'll see if that works tomorrow.

That's how it will be from now on. Testing. Writing down. Using the evidence I give myself to decide on the plan of action.

The first week is over. It's not been so bad. I know it's early days yet but I'll take all the success that I can! 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

To tell or not to tell?...

We have a various family members staying with us over the next month. It's going to be difficult to hide. So we had the discussion.

Shall we tell them?

Because, you know, I'm the sort of person who never says no to a glass of wine. Surely they will suss me out.

I was undecided.

Really, I would like to unburden myself. So that I can get some support and encouragement, or at least some appreciation of all the effort I am making to keep my diabetes under control, to keep this baby safe.

My Dad came to see me a few days ago. He's having a stressful time at the moment and he comes to see us because it heals him. Dad comes with me to pick The Boy up from nursery. When he spots his Granddad from across the room he squeals with excitement 'Daddaaddd!!' and sprints into his arms. Dad has to brace himself against it. I have to blink back tears every time, and so does Dad.

My Mum and Nan came to visit today, just for an hour or so. They played with The Boy, kissed and fawned over him. Let their coffee go cold because they were too busy playing games. He sang them 'Tinkle Star' and showed them how fast he could run.

As I watched all these things...

.....I knew I couldn't tell.

Because if I have a miscarriage, it will not just be my heart that breaks, but theirs too.

So the secret must be kept. For eight long weeks until that special scan. The holy grail - 12 weeks. When the miscarriage rate drops below 1%. When it is (almost) certain. That's when I'll tell them.

Until then I am alone with this.

Just me

and my poppy seed

and a mountain of weight on my shoulders. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Accidental Pregnancy - 10% Joy, 90% Fear


That was my reaction.


I'm pregnant.

What the..?

You see, last time, it took us years. I charted. I used ovulation sticks. I lay on my back with my legs in the air. I stared at pregnancy tests, squinting and holding them under the light. I hoped and prayed and was disappointed over and over and over again. Before finally conceiving on fertility drugs.

So, you can maybe forgive my stupidity for being a bit lapsy daisy with my contraception and being unconcerned that anything would happen, but it has happened.

I'm pregnant.

Of course, I'm going ahead with this. It's my own stupid fault, and besides, what if this is some fluke of fertility? Something that would never ever happen again? No. This is happening. I'm going through with it.

I'm pregnant.

.....And I'm scared.

This pregnancy is high risk. I'm a type 1 diabetic, so from now on my blood sugars need to be PERFECT. This means weighing and measuring everything I eat. It means pricking my finger 15 times a day (and during each night too). It means battling against my hormones which will make me resistant to the insulin I inject. If I get this wrong, I'm more likely to miscarry, more likely that the baby may have birth defects, and more likely to have a still birth. Yeah, it's pretty terrifying.

I'm pregnant.

My husband reminded me that I've beaten this once. I reminded him that yes, I did beat this once. But I beat it in a 'Rocky' type way (ie. I may have won, but I was seriously bloodied and broken by it). The last time I was pregnant, it was hell. Not just the stress of getting my blood sugars right, but I developed choleostasis (where you itch like crazy, oh yeah, and it also increases the stillborn risk even higher). I also ended up with pre-eclampsia, and the birth?! Oh my God the birth was something else. Ever heard of shoulder dystocia? The boy got stuck, really stuck, and we ended up being wrenched apart by a team of panicking doctors (all while I was hypoglycemic because the nurse controlling my blood sugars via a drip was a useless dick).

Oh yeah and then The boy got meningitis when he was 3 days old.

So that's why I'm scared.

I've upped my background insulin from 50 units to 60 units. It seems to have worked... so far anyway. Just had a hypo and am now sitting here after eating a measly 12 grams of carbohydrate (for fear of rebounding too high) waiting for my heart to stop pounding.

I'm Pregnant. 

So I guess I'll have to change the title of the blog, as it is soon to be a diabetic pregnancy diary. I won't be talking about any other topics because I won't be able to focus on anything else but eating perfectly, testing, injecting, attending hundreds of appointments and trying to stay sane.

I'm pregnant!

There is an uninvited little poppy seed growing in my uterus...

... and I think I love it already.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Chocolate Snot

Lately, The Boy has developed (yet another) annoying habit. He holds food in his mouth, for like, hours, without swallowing it. I've come to the conclusion that he does it when it's something nice, because once it's swallowed, it's gone. It's super annoying.

This recently happened in public with horrendous consequences.

So we go to the Farm Park with my friend and her little girl. The Boy is soon in a shitty mood because we had to let some other kids have a go on the old tractors. But despite that, we got through lunch in the little cafe quite nicely (basically by letting him eat crisps and chocolate) and then we decided to go and look around the toy shop.

I didn't realize he was still holding a mouthful of mushy chocolate in his mouth, like a little hamster....

.... until he sneezed....

.....all over the Thomas the Tank Engine display.

Luckily no one saw except my friend, who kept a look out for me whilst I frantically wiped all of the chocolaty goop off the toys with antibac wipes.

After cleaning up (the first) mess, I try to get him to swallow. Squeezing his cheeks, rubbing his throat, threatening him, bribing him,  but nope. He would not swallow it.

So I picked him up and quickly tried to make my exit from the store before he defiled any other toys. 

When he sneezed again I managed to catch it in my hand.

However whilst preoccupied with wiping away the shockingly copious amount of runny brown snot from my hand....  he then sneezed in my face!!

What can I say. Just another typical day looking after The Boy. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Motherhood, the pathetic pinnacle of my aspirations?

I recently read an article shared by the 'Huffington Post' on Facebook. It was about motherhood and how it changes you. The worry, the sleepless nights, the self sacrifice, and how beautiful and worthwhile it all is. You know.

Now, I don't want to talk about the article really. What really struck me was the reel of comments below the article. Most of them rather derogatory and insulting, but such is the internet.

There was one in particular that caught my eye. 

'The world is overpopulated and a biological function of the body isn't a miracle to tout as the sole reason for your existence. Or at least not a very unique one. Animals breed all the time. Humans have a choice. Some people, like me, had that choice taken away and can't have children. Tho, I wouldn't even if I could. There are far too many children - and adults - who need love and support now. You don't get my respect for spitting out a kid, but you do if you adopt. Or foster. Or volunteer or donate or do anything which helps the planet and her people. But you don't get applause just because you feel special for being a parent and demand the attention. Be careful how you define what being a woman is and if your kids are your sole focus in life I feel sorry for you to have to define yourself only as a mother. Tho if it makes you happy, great. Enjoy the grit and grime - I hope parenthood isn't the pinnacle of most people's aspirations. Kids are important and need education and guidance but don't say every woman's most important occupation is child rearing. It's insulting and devalues my purpose to be nothing more than a milkmaid and nanny.'

I had to think long and hard about what this comment stirred inside of me. It's a little insulting, but I understand it completely. It reminded me of the bitterness I felt when I was an outsider, striving for pregnancy and failing miserably (at what comes so naturally to most). It reminded me about how motherhood is annoyingly expected of everyone and mothers are put on a pedestal. It's the sort of thing I would have said, to remind myself that I was no less a person for being infertile and that life could have some other meaning.

But I decided that it was these parts in particular that grabbed my attention...

if your kids are your sole focus in life I feel sorry for you to have to define yourself only as a mother

I hope parenthood isn't the pinnacle of most people's aspirations

These days, the boy is my soul focus in life. For some reason I struggle with that. I can't help feeling ashamed and guilty that I don't work. Looking at career mums and wondering how in hell they manage it (they must be so much better than me!). I have stopped achieving. I have nothing to talk about with other adults (besides the boy of course). I am no longer a valid person. 

Yet stupidly, when I was trying for a baby, it was all that I wanted. Achievements didn't matter to me in the long run. Giving my husband a child, my parents a grandchild, motherhood was all that mattered. It was literally all I thought about and it ate me up inside.  

God what an idiot I am! I wish I could make up my mind! 

I don't know why I feel this constant need to achieve things - correction - achieve MORE things.

I am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I have gained a science degree, started up two successful businesses from scratch, and I occasionally get published in a magazine. I have worked my way up from debt to a position where I actually have some money stashed away for a rainy day. I have soldiered through infertility, controlled my type 1 diabetes obsessively throughout the pregnancy and got my crappy body to actually make a healthy baby. Pregnancy was the hardest thing I ever did, by biggest achievement to date. And now I am in a situation where I CAN stay at home with my child and enjoy my time with him. Many mothers would love to be in my position.

What more do I want? 

I think what I really need to focus on is just being happy. Now THAT would be an achievement. I should play with my son and take in each moment as he grows up. I should plant veggies in the garden. I should love my husband and spend time with my family. I should walk with the dog through the woods. I should write some stuff. I should Forget what everyone else is doing and achieving, forget what others might think of me. I don't need the respect or admiration of disgruntled Huffington post readers, and I don't need their pity either. 

I'm one of the lucky ones.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

So what's it all about?

Sooooo... New blog, first post. It seems that an introduction would be the done thing to do. So here it is. 

Thirty something, married, mother of one small boy, who shall be known from here on as 'The boy' or 'The brat', depending on what sort of day we're having.

He's two years old, blonde hair, blue eyes, rosy cheeks, the epitome of cute and angelic - apart from the fact that I'd actually bet money on him growing up to be the next great dictator, and possibly starting world war 3.

The boy is my hard earned prize after struggling through a few years of infertility, a really crappy pregnancy with many complications, and a birth that resembled something from a Saw movie. From the day I pee'd on that stick and it told me I was 6+ weeks pregnant when I hadn't even missed my period I knew the boy was a determined little so and so, and I was right.

I came to realise soon after joining the 'motherhood club' that I really didn't belong here. It felt like I had sneaked in through the back door. I was the one zoning out through boredom with all the baby related conversations. I was the one with the birth story that would turn everyone white. I was the one with the red faced banshee child and they were the ones with the cooing cherubs. 

That's right. It's me. The mother with the screaming kid that ruins your restaurant meal. The mother who has, on occasion, snapped and told her child 'for God's sake SHUT UP!'. The mother who will go upstairs and scream into a pillow on a quite regular basis. Yep that's me. And I'm not ashamed.

'You must not be acting firm enough' - I hear you judging me.

And you'd be wrong. I am certainly not a flake.

It's OK. I forgive you for jumping to conclusions. It's actually something I may have said myself back in the days before the boy came along. The fact is, that some kids are just more temperamental than others. It's fine. No really, It's OK to not have a happy smiley child that behaves angelically all of the time, and it's OK to not be the perfect mother.

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to think your child is a complete arse AND love them an unfathomable amount at the same time.

I suppose that's what this blog's going to be all about. That's my message.

'It's OK'.

Alright it's not catchy, but a well needed message in today's mothering society - where your sold this perfect dream of snuggles and rainbows, where it's a constant 'dick measuring' competition between you and the other ('better') mums, where you constantly carry a mountain of guilt thinking that you don't do a good enough job or that you don't enjoy it enough.

No wonder Post Natal Depression is rife these days - Expectations VS Reality. The aim of my blog is to be a reality haven.

So, if you're one of those always happy, well adjusted, full of advice (secretly judging us all) mothers who can't ever understand why anyone would become exasperated with parenting because it's so Goddamn dreamy, then don't let the door hit your perfectly toned backside on the way out.

Otherwise, hello and welcome!