Diabetes and Pregnancy - Bundle of Joy x2 - Part 2
Earlier in the year we introduced you to Shannon, who at the time was pregnant with twins! She shared her pregnancy story with us and showed that thanks to good diabetes management (including an insulin pump and CGM) and a close collaboration with her healthcare team, she was able to have two successful pregnancies. Since we last heard from Shannon, she has given birth to two beautiful twin boys and today, she’s here to update us on the recent additions to her family! Have you had a successful pregnancy with diabetes? Please share with us in the comments below.
In 2012, my husband and I decided we wanted to try for one more baby … little did we know, God had bigger plans for us and gave us TWINS.
We went to our first doctor’s appointment, and the nurse doing the sonogram said, “I definitely see two heart beats... let’s make sure there’s not three.” Uh yea… please let’s make sure there’s not three! LOL (I already had a 5-year-old son and a 12-year-old stepdaughter.) My pregnancy was relatively uncomplicated. I only gained 24 lbs total, and most of that did not come on until the third trimester. Those babies were literally taking everything from me. That's definitely a "plus" of being diabetic - I can't (shouldn't) eat for two, or in my case three, during pregnancy. ;)
My official due date was May 9th, but my doctor was planning to take them via C-section at 38 weeks, which put us around April 25th. That last month, I was going to the doctor every week so she could monitor me, as well as my babies. I saw the OB, my Endo, and a Fetal Specialist (for high level sonograms.) On April 2nd, my OB took me off of work because I was starting to swell a little (pre-eclampsia.)
When I next saw her on April 15th, she said my blood pressure was creeping up and with the swelling (pre-eclampsia) she was taking the babies tomorrow. What?? I’m not ready. (Physically I was way PAST ready.) We went home, got bags packed, and knew it was our last night at home without our two new additions.
The next morning, we got to the hospital around 7 am, and they put me in a room to start prepping me for surgery. They gave me my epidural in the operating room and then people started filling the room. At one point I looked around and there were fourteen of us in there. FOURTEEN. That includes me and my husband. They’d brought in two teams from NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) since they didn’t know what to expect once the babies were here.
First to come out was Baby A. He immediately grabbed the clamps with a tight grip (he’s going to be a future doctor, I just know it *smile*) and they handed him over to the nurses. They weighed him … 7lbs4oz. What? I heard the nurse say the weight, and I said, “Just ONE of them??” Then two minutes later, out comes Baby B. 6 lbs. even. That’s two full size babies I had in there!!
Each one went to their respective NICU team and both were doing great. Baby B’s blood sugar was a little lower than they’d like (in the 50s) – that is common in diabetic pregnancies, though, because baby produces insulin based on mom’s BG, and then suddenly when the cord is cut, it takes a little while to adjust back to their own itty bitty working-perfectly-fine-pancreases.
Something that happens to a diabetic during pregnancy is we have to take a lot more insulin as the pregnancy progresses. The placenta gives off a hormone that makes you resistant to insulin and therefore we have to continue adjusting our insulin levels – which ends up being a moving target. I was very fortunate to be able to wear an insulin pump and CGM during my pregnancy, so I could easily adjust for the constant changes to my basals, bolus ratios, and for corrections.
The day after my boys were born, my BGs started crashing. I’d be fine and then would be in the 40s/50s before I knew it. I’d adjust my basals and then have to do it all over again the next day (if not sooner). My husband quickly found the snack room and every night I’d fall asleep with some juice and peanut butter crackers sitting by my bed.
It took several weeks (almost 2 months actually) before my BG’s finally leveled out, and I’m now back to where I was when I first got pregnant. Having the pump and CGM was a lifesaver (some days literally!) for me during that time.
If someone like me who’s been diabetic for almost 21 years can have not only one, but two successful pregnancies, one of which was TWINS, then YOU can do it, too! You just have to prepare ahead of time and take care of yourself. Not only for your sake, but also for the baby (or in my case babies.)
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.
Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.
Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.
Please visit www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation for complete safety information.