Saturday, 31 March 2012

Leaving on a jet plane...

I have mentioned in passing about an impending holiday but have kept tight lipped about it till now, think I have been too busy blogging about other bits and bobs but here it finally is, in true last minute style!

Tomorrow me and dad-to-be are off to Australia via Hong Kong and then Bangkok on our return. Some people don't blink an eyelid when I tell them this, others things we're mad! We honestly wouldn't be going if this was just a jaunt we felt like having for the hell of it before we become parents. It doesn't really mix with the fact I am 6 months pregnant and that for the next year or so we will be on a dramatically reduced income. The reason for this escapade is because my brother-in-law is getting married and we would very much like to be there, all three of us.

We haven't really known for definite if we would go until this week and I guess we won't know for definite until we are on that plane tomorrow! Although I shouldn't need any permission letter to fly out of the UK being just under 28 weeks (after this time you need a letter from your doctor/midwife to confirm you are healthy, have an uncomplicated pregnancy and confirming your due date) I still may be questioned about how pregnant I will be on my return. I have a letter by the way!

It feels like we have been planning and thinking about this for so long, I have been putting things aside - infusion sets, test strips, jaffa cakes - for weeks and preparing much more in advance than I would normally do for a holiday. I ordered a double prescription of insulin (both for my pump and for pens incase my pump plays up) aswell as test strips - 10 boxes in all. I've worked out if I tested on average about 14 times per day I would need about 242 for our trip, I know I have probably over estimated here but you never know, if for example I fell ill I might need to be testing this much.

My doctor has also prescribed blood thinning injections. I need to inject one of these the day before each flight, the day we fly and then for five days afterwards. So with four flights on our whole trip that's pretty much most of the holiday. Flight tights were also on my shopping list, I could probably write a whole post about those, perhaps another time...There is so much medical equipment that I need to take on board that it has its own designated suitcase. I don't think security will know what's hit them with all these liquids and needles!

When I am actually on holiday it will be all about trying to keep as healthy and relaxed as possible. Getting ill abroad is what I need to avoid as that could potentially mean I can't fly and therefore affect our whole trip and whether we can get back home.

I'm ready for a holiday now and by the time we return (hopefully with baby still in my tummy) we will be on proper countdown with just over 8 weeks to go! I'm hoping to do a couple of posts whilst I am away, if my good intentions fail there will be plenty of stories to tell when I get back...until then...

Monday, 26 March 2012

Wedding memories

Two years ago today I married my fantastic and handsome husband (otherwise affectionally know as dad-to-be on here!) I thought this deserved a little post and a chance to share a couple of my wedding pics.

My diabetes thankfully didn't get in the way (too much) on our big day. My pump securely sitting in my big cycling short pants underneath my dress and my blood tester in my handbag along with some jelly babies . My blood sugars were fine throughout the day, I think I ran a little higher at times to ere on the side of caution (like 10 mmol/L) and I remember this picture of me being taken testing blood sugar just before we left the hotel for the ceremony.

I was on target before we sat down to eat our delicious wedding breakfast - tomato soup in bread for me (leek and potato for everyone else), sausage & mash followed by strawberry jelly and ice cream. The only problem I had and thankfully this happened right at the end of the night was my infusion set came off when I went to the toilet, it got caught on my dress and I just saw blood coming from my tummy. Blood and an ivory dress! Luckily no damage was done, my blood sugar was actually a little low at that point (probably all that dancing!) and so it wasn't a problem that I had to wait till we got back to the hotel to put a new set in. I am so thankful that this didn't happen in my last minute dash to the toilet at the ceremony.
My blood sugar was still a little low the next morning and I didn't feel too great, I then over compensated and it went too high which left me feeling pretty rubbish the rest of the day.

But to be honest I don't even think about those things when I look back now, I remember what a great day we had with all our family and friends and how I am lucky to have found my best friend for life.

(All photos copyright of the talented Jodie Chapman)

I 'heart' my pump...

Last night I had to get out an old insulin pen. Every now and again I forget something to do with my diabetes, for example the other week I got five minutes down the road and I remembered I meant to put a box of test strips in my bag as I only had a few left. Then on Saturday I remembered I hadn't taken my insulin with my lunch until about 20 minutes after I had finished. I don't think I can blame baby brain, I'm convinced it happens to us all with diabetes as there is just so much to think about.

As I went to tuck into my dinner last night I reached down to get out my pump and remembered I only had a couple of units left in it, four in fact. I was frustrated and resigned to the fact my dinner would go cold as I filled my pump and changed my infusion set. Then I had a lightbulb moment, I could just inject. So I got out my insulin pen which has seen little if any action in the last couple of years, I loaded a cartridge and needle and then took my injection. My husband commented that he hadn't seen me do that in years and I agreed, it felt weird, I had to think about what I was doing to make sure I was doing it properly. It felt, let's say, old fashioned. I still used my technology and I inputted into my pump the amount of carbs I was about to eat and my blood glucose and then injected the amount my pump told me to take. As I mentioned in a post last week my doses have been rising therefore I am running out of insulin quicker so need to fill up my pump with more units (I only used to fill a cartridge with just over 100 units for 3 days).

The only problem I had following injecting rather than pumping was when I went to bed last night, my blood glucose was 5.6 mmol/L which was great but lower than I have been recenty before bed. Normally I would check how much insulin I had left in my system and decide if I needed to have a snack before bed. I couldn't do this so I had to take a guess and ate about 12g of carbs. This morning I was still on track at 5.9 mmol/L. It's features like this that make being on a pump so good, I used to 'suffer' from stacking a fair bit (giving more insulin before the previous dose is out of your system) and so being able to see my insulin on board on my pump was a big help for me.

I do love my pump, there is no way around it, I couldn't live without it now. I heart my pump!! My dad asked me last night what I would do if my pump stopped working whilst I was on holiday, I guess after a good cry and a period of devastation I would inject. But it wouldn't be a fun situation to be in, pregnant and on holiday. So please don't let me down pump, this is your big moment!

Friday, 23 March 2012

26 week scan

I had my 26 week growth scan today and I am glad to announce that all still looks normal! No huge head, extra long legs or bulging tummy. It was nice to see him on screen again, it had been too long! However he wasn't up for his starring role and I couldn't really get a good view never mind pictures to add to my collection (well, I did get some but I haven't got a clue what they are and I'm afraid they're not worth posting!)

As he has been constantly wriggling, kicking, tossing and turning lately I was intrigued to see what kind of position he was in. His head was near my cervix on the left hand side and then he was lying diagonally across my tummy with his feet higher up on my right hand side. Plus he was lying face inwards, so no smiling for the camera.

For those interested in the minute detail here are some of the measurements taken:

Biparietal Diameter: 68.5mm
Head Circumference: 248.5mm
Abdominal Circumference: 221.8mm
Femur Length: 49.8mm
Est. fetal weight: 982g / 2lb 3ozs

I've just discovered that the Biparietal Diameter is the head diameter so at the moment it is still pretty tiny at less than 7cms and weighing less than a bag of sugar. Still some serious growing to be done, let's hope he cooks in there a bit longer!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Insulin on the up...

It's been a busy few days and my blog love has been neglected! The next ten days or so are likely to be the same as we count down to our impending holiday - more on that in the next day or so, I promise.

I wanted to do a quick update on how I am finding my blood sugars and insulin requirements as I approach my third trimester. As expected I am starting to notice that my blood sugars have been creeping up and therefore my doses have needed a lot more adjusting. I must admit I haven't been as quick on it as I probably should of been. Things had been ticking along okay recently, although my last hba1c had risen from 6.5% to 6.8% and a few weeks ago I was struggling to remember the last time I had a good feast on some jelly babies, which is great to be avoiding hypos but I also knew this meant things were rising.

It's only when I write everything down and assess a week that I can see where things might be creeping a little out. But life has been getting in the way slightly as it does and all of a sudden a few days have gone by and my monitoring diary is looking sparse.

I'm trying to regain that control and today I have adjusted my doses again in preparation for tomorrow's after lunch peak. My insulin to carbohydrate ratio is now set to 1 unit = 5g for lunch, it used to be 10g then 8g then 7g and more recently 6g. I have also increased my basal slightly for the afternoon from 0.500 to 0.550. I could be heading for disaster making these two changes at the same time but I am fed up of getting sugars of 12..11...10 mmol/l two hours after lunch and then it not coming down any further despite knowing that my carb counting at lunch was correct. Something isn't right!

My other ratios have also increased and I know this will happen more and more over the coming weeks. I was taking part in an online diabetes survey yesterday and one of the questions asked how many units I took a day, I was surprised to see I am now on about 44 per day, which has increased from around 32 per day. So it's clear to see my demand for insulin is increasing. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow afternoon holds.

My other motivation for getting things back on track will come on Friday when I have my 26 week growth scan and I can see how things are going size wise. The thumps are getting stronger and I sense it's getting more cramped in there not to mention my ever visible growing bump. I'm intrigued to know if he is normal size or whether we are now on the road to big baby syndrome! Will report back on that front too....

Monday, 12 March 2012

My Diamond Ring

This weekend I met up with some of the girls I used to work with on Slimming World Magazine and we had a lovely afternoon tea. Before you try and guess, no this blog post isn't about the efforts of carb counting afternoon tea, although it could well have been!

One of my friends is also pregnant and one has just very recently had a baby so we were very much on the baby talk all afternoon, we haven't all met as a group since we both fell pregnant so it was a good chance to tell the stories of how we discovered we were about to become mummies, amongst many other natterings. Our accounts couldn't be more different - me knowing practically from day one whereas my friend didn't know she was pregnant till she was 8 weeks. It also highlighted to me again the need to be super organised and 'on it' when it comes to pregnancy and diabetes, if I had gone 8 weeks without knowing I was pregnant I don't know if my baby would be in as good shape as he seems to be now.

We found out I was pregnant last October after trying for what couldn't of been more than six months. I had done a couple of pregnancy tests in the months before and this time I tried to hold off for as long as possible before I did one, as it's disappointing (and a waste of money) when you do one too early to then see a negative result. It was a Monday morning and one of my other friends was staying with us for a few days, only the day before I had told her that we had started trying for a baby, she was very excited, little did I know I already had one inside me!

That morning I went to have a shower and did a test straight away. Seeing a blue line appear immediately, I left the test on the side of the bath and went to the sink and continued with my routine, pretty much thinking that was it till next month. Until I went back to the test and saw a cross. Eek! I then had my shower as normal and hid the test in a wash bag and took it back to the bedroom.

Once my husband started to surface I told him what had happened in the bathroom, knowing how hard things could be and the chances of problems in the first few months he didn't whoop with joy but simply told me not to get too excited. All in hushed voices of course as we weren't alone in the house! (In fact we couldn't really discuss it on our own till a few days later). Then we went about our normal day, well kind of, I don't normally do pregnancy tests in the tube station toilets - I had to do another one just to make sure!

It was very surreal for the first few weeks and it was hard to imagine that I was really pregnant. Then at 6 weeks+4 I went for an internal scan at the early pregnancy assessment unit so they could see what was happening (due to me having diabetes). I was convinced there wouldn't be anything there or what was there might not be growing as it should, but to my amazement there was a little tiny dot with a little heartbeat. It was a like a diamond ring - the diamond being the baby - so very tiny. It's amazing to look at now and think that was how he started and to compare to the more recent scan pictures.

My friend also had an internal scan, but hers was to try and get to the bottom of her stomach pains but led to her finding out she was 8 weeks pregnant! Again planned but still a shock all the same. I was incredibly envious that she had got to 8 weeks without any hideous nausea and sickness!

Having this early scan really helped as it would have been a long wait if I would of had to wait till I was 12 weeks pregnant and I would definitely ask for one if you have diabetes. Again another perk of diabetes, all the extra scans! I will be able to fill a photo album of all the pictures soon!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Fizz, Bang, Whallop!

One of the most exciting parts of my pregnancy so far has been feeling our little baby's first movements. I've been debating the best words to describe it other than amazing and exciting as it's also weird, surreal and strange to feel something actually moving inside you.

For me it wasn't completely obvious when I started to feel him move, it was more of a gradual process that started when I was around 18 weeks pregnant. This being my first baby there were plenty of moments of doubt whether it really was him moving or was it just gas in my tummy. Sorry for the detail but this is what it feels like!! At times like gas passing through your tummy and also like someone doing little flicks on your tummy from the inside. The movements gradually got stronger and more frequent to the point were I knew that it really was him moving without a doubt! And when I had my 20 week scan the sonographer was practically chasing him around my uterus to try and check his measurements. Which admittedly even led me to Google whether an active baby inside meant a hyperactive baby when born!

I can now see my tummy flinch when he does a big move but unfortunately so far daddy-to-be hasnt been able to capture the action as it happens. It's like he knows when Daddy's hand is there or when I expose my belly to try and get a clearer look. The usual tricks you hear about do help - cold drinks, fizzy drinks, the latter definitely sending him to a flurry of somersaults!

My midwife has mentioned about starting to count the movements soon, I should be looking for at least 10 movements a day and recommended I try the tricks above first if I was worried about him not moving (don't think I have to worry about that just at the moment, he can't keep still most of the time!) She also stressed that if I was worried about a sudden lack of movement to call or come into the hospital and mention I have diabetes. I've also just come across this website which seems to have lots of advice and links to useful apps to keep track of movements:

He definitely gets more active when there are voices, it seems particularly those of Mummy & Daddy-to-be. The other week I was working at home and so the house was very quiet and I wasn't having the usual conversations with my colleagues, meetings etc. But then as soon as my husband came home and we started chatting he went for it, spinning, kicking....whatever he gets up to in there!

I will miss his little kicks as he begins to get too cramped to perform his daily gymnastics routine. But I have a fair few weeks to go yet before that happens, I'm sure (and I hope) I have plenty of kicks and thumps and prodding to come yet!

Pic sourced from:

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Time flies when you're having fun!

Time is going way too quickly. I can't believe I will be 23 weeks pregnant tomorrow, if you take into account it's unlikely I will go full term due to being type 1 then I probably only have in the region of 13-16 weeks left to go! It's not that I had forgotten that this probably wouldn't be a 40 week pregnancy, I was just reminded of it on Tuesday when I was at the hospital and saw a different midwife who reiterated to be prepared for things to start happening at 36 weeks. I know that doctors prefer to wait as long as possible (if safe) and that 38 weeks was probably the average. But then I started thinking 36 weeks will be 1st June, I don't plan on finishing work till 8th June!

I like the fact that I know I won't go overdue (must add that to the benefits of diabetes list) as at least I can be slightly prepared and I won't have that endless uncomfortable wait at the end of my pregnancy. But I guess now I pretty much should be prepared for any time in June. Cue slight mild panic. Though I am sure I am not the only pregnant woman to fall asleep thinking of what needs to be done before the baby arrives, how many days I have left at work to finish all my projects, what else we need to buy, how many pay packets will come in before my maternity leave etc etc. I also haven't mentioned that I am off to Australia for 3 weeks in a months time (plenty more posts to come on that later) so my head is now gearing up to that too.

So I need to relish my pregnancy and enjoy it whilst it lasts, it's not quite coming to an end but it's well underway. I should enjoy the sleeplessness just me and my thoughts because soon enough it will be a whole other type of sleeplessness I'm facing!