Type 1 Diabetes: 5 Tips to Prep Your Body for Pregnancy

 

I thought I’d start a series, so to speak, about Type 1 Diabetes and pregnancy specifically. There seems to be a lot of negative information surrounding it and I’d like to share my thoughts and tips on how to successfully gestate while managing the beets like a boss 😉

In the world of the beets, you have good endocrinologists and ones you want to punch in the face every time you go in bad ones. Growing up, I had a semi punchable endo. He was obviously very informed and very knowledgable about my disease and how to treat it, a scholar if you will. However, I do not think that he was a people person. He was not the best with patients…probably because he was so frustrated with the ones (like me) who refused to recognize the severity of their disease and the importance of taking care of themselves. But I digress…

I remember him saying to me, “Do you want to have kids?” I answered nervously, “…yes?” To which he replied, “Well that’s never going to happen! You are doing permanent damage!” I think he was under the impression that scare tactics were effective. Well jokes on you buddy, you just sent me spiraling further in the wrong direction! Ha!

But seriously, let’s clear up a few misconceptions: First, it’s never too late to gain better control over your blood sugars. You can always make things better with better numbers. Second, having high blood sugars in the past, does not mean that you cannot have a baby and healthy numbers in the future. The past is the past, leave it there. And third, having Type 1 Diabetes does not equal inability to gestate. Seriously, it’s a condition that will mean you have a high risk pregnancy, but so are a whole lot of other conditions. OK? You can do it, and here are 5 tips to help you get ready:

1. Test, test, test: When in doubt, do a test! Before planning for my family I would say my A1c’s averaged around the 7.0 range. Not too shabby, but not great. When I started planning for a family I challenged myself to test a couple more times a day. I went from testing 4-5 times a day to 10-12. When my testing went up, my A1c went down! It was very motivating for me.

2. Get a CGM: If you’re able to, CGM’s can be invaluable for blood sugar control. While they do not replace testing, they provide you with something very important: trends! One blood sugar test can’t tell you whether you’re going up or down at that moment, but a CGM can! This is awesome for any Type 1, but especially valuable during pregnancy.

3. Talk to your doctor about your plans: It may seem silly, or you may feel grown up enough to make the decision on your own, but make sure your endocrinologist knows that you’re intending to get pregnant. Your doctor may want to do some blood work before you start trying to make sure everything looks in order, or he may need to make adjustments to your medications. If you’re like me and you have Hashimoto’s, you’ll need to make adjustments to your dosage as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Your doctor will need to facilitate that.

4. Exercise: This one may seem redundant, but it really is important! Try to maintain a healthy level of exercise in preparation for baby. Exercise has oodles of benefits and blood sugar stability is one of them. You can actually increase your insulin sensitivity by exercising, which means using less insulin. A healthy level of exercise can help prevent chasing highs and lows and keep things more steady, which is exactly what you want!

5. Routine, routine, routine: Make your diabetes control priority number 1. Increased testing, healthy eating habits, and regular exercise  should be part of your routine. When you establish a routine, you have less room for surprises. When it comes to blood sugar levels, you don’t want surprises! The first few weeks you’re pregnant (and likely before you even know) your baby is already developing vital organs that need healthy blood sugar control to succeed. If you already have a routine established, you can feel a little more at ease once you see that positive!

 

Feel free to comment with any additional questions you may have, or anything you may want to see addressed in this series!

-Stasia

 

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Eczema: The. Best. Product. Ever.

Before Rook, I had no idea how serious eczema could be. But let me tell you… it can suck! As you can see from my last eczema post, just a smidgen of any dairy product (and I’m also now suspecting corn) can cause disastrous results! I mentioned in that post how I was using a new product, and now that I’ve had bomb.com results, I want to share!

But first, to fully appreciate how far we’ve come, check out the little nugget when he was 6 months old at the Albuquerque zoo…

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And no, he did not get mauled by a lion while we were there. This is what his face looked like on the regular before I figured out what works (for us). Which reminds me of a story…I was walking around good ol’ Bed, Bath and Beyond and approaching the check out line when I hear a small child asking her mom, “Why is that baby’s face so red?” The mom (trying to be polite, bless her heart) told her daughter that the baby was hot. Miss smarty pants wasn’t fooled though, so she continued pressing her mom, “No mom, that’s not right, what’s wrong with him?” Now maybe a more composed person could have simply addressed the elephant in the room and told the little girl that my son suffers from eczema, a skin condition that can cause dryness and itching. But I couldn’t trust myself. 1- I was afraid I would hurt the little girl (no, seriously) and 2- I didn’t want to start bawling like a baby in the store as I broke down explaining (to a 5 year old) what we had been going through and how helpless he was. I mean, he was waking up just as much at 6 months as he was at 1 week because his face itched so bad! Poor little nugget!

So, that brings me to the whole point of this post. As a reminder, here is what Rook’s face looked like just a little over a week ago.

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I ended up getting put on to this product by a friend who has relatives that suffer from eczema. I was skeptical at first because what works for one, does not work for all. In the span of just 11 months I have bought enough eczema lotions to fill our entire bathroom closet. It’s ridiculous. So I wasn’t too thrilled about adding another potential bust to the collection. But oh man, this stuff is so good! It’s the True Lipids by Cheryl Lee Ultimate Eczema kit. Apparently she is some dermatologist in the Utah area that came up with this formula, which is gentle enough for babies (score!) It is quite pricey, and by quite, I mean obnoxiously expensive. I went ahead and just ordered the samples of each of the creams so I could determine if it was worth it. After just a few days Rook’s skin was looking like this…

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That’s ridiculous! Even with the prescription steroid cream that we had used in the past, we did not see results this fast! (Do I sound like I’m being sponsored by this product? Cause I’m not…I literally have like 2 readers. This stuff just works!) I kind of have mixed emotions now though because if it didn’t work then I could save myself a boat load of money, but since it does…anyway, you get the idea! You can click on the link above and check out all the ingredients and all that good stuff, see if it’s a good option for you. But I felt like I’d be doing a disservice to those who suffer from eczema if I didn’t share how it has worked for us. If you end up trying it, or have used it before, let me know in the comments what you think!

Lata!

 

 

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We’re Growing!

I have no idea what I’m doing, but I started a garden anyway. Brad and Janice (my parents; I use their first names because it was the easiest way to get their attention as the youngest of four children. It stuck and I haven’t quit) were in town a few weeks ago and I convinced my dad to help me build a garden box. He acted like he didn’t want to, but he was making trips to Home Depot like nobody’s business and up and at it early in the morning. He looooooved it!

Anyhway…I wish I had pictures from the building process, but for now, just these. We went with zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and carrots. Mainly because they are suitable for our climate (or so I’m told) but also because they seem to be things we use regularly and wouldn’t go to waste.

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The zucchini sprouts

I’m not sure what’s going on with the leaves on the zucchini, but I’m hoping it doesn’t mean disaster! My guess is insects or dehydration? I’ll have to look into it… (Edit: looked into it, seems to be a type of mold. Ugh…)

If you squint really hard, you can see the sprouts of the carrots popping through. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I saw these. I literally was jumping up and down like a crazy person! Something about growing a plant from just a seed is so invigorating…ha!

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Seeeeeee?

I also have some herbs, but they’ve pretty much died, wah wah! I’ll post more once we harvest, happy growing!

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Type 1 Diabetes: Dexcom

If you have type 1 diabetes and you don’t have a Dexcom, I HIGHLY recommend that you get one! Better yet, if you have a loved one with the beets (ya I’m gonna call it that) then you should get them a Dexcom! Here’s why I am so obsessed:

1. Accuracy. I actually had a Medtronic CGM prior to getting the Dexcom and I can’t tell you how much I hated the Medtronic one, SO inaccurate! CGM’s by nature aren’t designed to replace finger sticks, but what they’re really good at is detecting trends. Well, the Dexcom is pretty close to being spot on about 90-95% of the time and it always knows when I’m going any one direction too fast.

2. Affordability. I hesitate to add this because I know everyone’s insurance can be different AND calling any health care affordable in the US is kind of…laughable. BUT when I got quoted for how much the Dexcom would cost I thought there was a mistake! Compared to all the other costs in the beets world, this was the cheapest.

3. iPhone and Android compatible. Finally! A system that you can use from your phone! Not only that, but other people can download the app and follow your glucose in real time. They can turn alerts on for lows and get notified directly on their device, pretty sweet! Although, I know for some people, sharing your numbers with others is like a major invasion of privacy. I have my hubs, my Mom in Seattle, and my friend in town all following. My hubs and friend have alerts for when I’m low but both know that if they abuse their inner circle privileges I can knock ’em off real quick! 😉

 

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Here’s what the app looks like on an iPhone

As I mentioned above, my hubs gets blood sugar alerts. The other day when I was at Home Depot with Rookie, I got caught in a rain/thunder storm and was frantically trying to finish up my purchases, stay dry, and race home before he realized he was hungry. I was so flustered and preoccupied with everything else going on that I didn’t even realize or hear the alerts telling me that my blood sugar was in the 40s! Luckily he was able to reach me and tell me to sit down somewhere and pound some power pellets (Go Seahawks!) before I got back in the car. Phew! It’s great to take a glance at things before I drive anywhere so I know whether a low is in the forecast or not.

Lastly, I did not have a CGM when I was pregnant with Rook. That is the one thing I wish I could have had. If you’ve got the beets and you wanna start a family, or have young children, I double recommend getting this! I will definitely be using this for my next pregnancy since it’s so good for keeping things “in bounds” and notifying you of those debilitating lows! And no, I am not some spokesperson being paid to recommend Dexcom, I am just THAT obsessed!

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