Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Ultrasounds, a Fetal Echo, and insulin, insulin and MORE INSULIN!

Howdy All!

It's been awhile since I've updated, but we've been busy enjoying our summer! We went on a trip to see all of my family out west while I could still fly and be relatively comfortable with my growing fetus in the blissfully hot desert weather. I miss the mountains. Sigh.  And  I LOVE THE SUN!

But, I digress. This blog is about diabetes, not my love affair with the sunshine.

So, here's what's been happening!

1. We had another ultrasound because the doctor was not able to see all of the things he wanted to see at our 20-ish week ultrasound.  Also, at the last ultrasound, he saw what he thought might have been a uterine septum, which puts you at higher risk for early delivery, so he wanted to get a better look at that, too. Turns out I DO NOT have a uterine septum (thank goodness!), and the baby is growing perfectly and he was able to see all the anatomy he missed last time.  Specifically, he wanted to get a better look at her face to make sure her lips had formed and that she didn't have a cleft palate or lip or anything.  We saw her moving around like crazy, which he said was actually really good (even though to me it looks like she's having one crazy long seizure).  He said they actually worry when the babies don't move around like that, so he was very happy to see how active she was.

2. This week I also had a fetal echocardiogram, which is pretty much just a souped-up ultrasound that specifically examines the baby's heart. With Type 1 diabetes, you are more at risk for congenital heart defects, so they make sure you get one of these fetal echos at some point during the 2nd trimester. We had to go to the local children's hospital to get it done, since I guess they don't do it anywhere else around here. It is kind of amazing the amount of detail they can get of the heart, and all it's inner workings, even when the baby is so small!  It also shows how the blood flows in and out of the heart and they take all kinds of measurements of different parts of the heart and different heart beats. It was fascinating.  And, we also have good news to report from that! The cardiologist said the baby's heart looks awesome, and that she saw no problems and basically had nothing to report to us.  The actual scan took about 40 minutes, and then meeting with the cardiologist took literally 5 seconds because she had nothing to say. In this case, no news is definitely good news. She was really nice, though, if a little too touchy-feely, but she said if we had ANY questions or concerns not to hesitate to contact her again.  The baby absolutely did NOT like being poked so much, though. Every time the technician would put a little extra pressure on my belly to try to get a better picture, that kid would kick back! Also, she was moving around the whole time and I think it took a little longer just to get all the measurements they needed because the kid was so stinking active!  (This might not bode well for our future . . . we'll see.)

3.  So apparently, overnight, my insulin needs have skyrocketed! Seriously, it's like I'm injecting water sometimes.  I'm changing my pump set out about once every 1.25 days now. In my baby's defense, I do have one of the pumps with the smallest reservoir (only 200 mL, when most are 300), so that makes things more annoying, but still.  I had one night that was particularly awful and full of highs, so the next day I increased my basal rates by nearly half.  Nearly FIFTY PERCENT, people! In one day.  I'm so grateful that Apidra decided to run it's "No-co-pay" promotion the same year we are having are baby, because we are certainly going to save a lot of money because of it.

4. I have an eye appointment with my retinal specialist scheduled for a few weeks from now. Apparently they like to check your eyes out thoroughly at some point during a Type 1 pregnancy, and if there are any major problems (severe leakage from blood vessels, or any kind of bad retinopathy), they will reevaluate how you're going to actually deliver the baby. I've heard of other Type 1s with bad eye problems that had to have c-sections because I guess the pressure from pushing a baby out can make already damaged eyes even worse.  I'm not too worried about this appointment, since my last eye appointments have been so good, but I'll keep you posted on that too!

And, diabetes-ly speaking, you've been brought up to date!

Of course, there are all the regular pregnancy things going on too. I'm almost at 24 weeks and I'm getting gigantic a "really cute pregnant belly". Luckily, the baby is not measuring big at all (which can be a worry for people with diabetes), so that is good news.  It's getting harder to tie my shoes, bend down to pick stuff up, get up from lying down, etc., etc. But, I'm feeling this kid kick around on the inside, which is a little weird still. Lots of people have said how amazing it feels when you can feel the baby move, and while it is a little awe-inspiring, to me it's more awe-inspiring along the lines of "what the crap is that monster doing in my belly?!---oh wait, yeah, it's a human fetus."  Ben has actually been able to feel her kick, too, which is pretty cool. And I've noticed that she gets really still when I'm teaching piano lessons, or when I sit down to play the piano myself. I've got a 9-student teaching schedule these days, so this fetus gets to hear at least one lesson a day. I think it's kind of cool that she is listening (I think), because I hope that means she likes music or will respond well to it when she's no longer in utero, but I'm also a little horrified, because I don't want her to learn any my students' bad habits! So, I guess that just means until she arrives, I'll be making all my students practice extra hard so they sound better during their lessons. Seems fair, right? Or, maybe I need to play her a lot of good music, like Bach & Brahms instead of having her hear Skip-to-my-Lou or scales repeatedly. Over and over again. Day in and day out.

And on that note (pun intended) I'll end.  Thanks for sticking with me to the bitter end of this super long post!