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It's All Rainbows and Unicorns.

I love BSparl.  I love her little feet and her pouty lips and that feeling I get when she rolls around inside of me.  I love knowing that my daughter is just a few weeks away from becoming a part of our Sparling family, and I know that every moment of this pregnancy is completely worth every iota of effort and worry.

That being said ...Rainbow not included.

I'm starting to lose my mind a little bit.

I've blogged about the details of the doctor's appointments, and the ultrasound scans, and the way that diabetes has impacted my pregnancy, and vice versa.  But by the end of my posts, I feel better having purged the feelings and worry.  And I want to reassure women who have type 1 diabetes that a pregnancy is possible, and enjoyable, and like they all say - so, so worth it.

But, like I said, I'm starting to crack a bit.  On Tuesday, I'll be at 30 weeks, seven and a half months pregnant with just under nine weeks left to go.  And these last few weeks have been ... well, not exactly rainbows and unicorns.

  • Like last week, when a string of 200's had me bump my basal so high, on the heels of amped up nerves, that I overdid it and ended up with two 50 mg/dl's in the middle of the night.
  • Or on Monday, when a carefully measured breakfast and a carefully calculated bolus, delivered 45 minutes before the meal, sent my blood sugars rocketing up to 248 mg/dl and held there for two hours.  
  • Or the other day, when i realized that pregnancy is actually ten months long, not nine.  Damn lunar months, and why the hell didn't someone give me a head's up about that?
  • Or that yesterday, Joslin gave me the run down on the rest of my appointments that are scheduled.  There are 20 of them.  I don't understand how people manage a high risk pregnancy and keep their jobs. 
  • Or that next week, I'm having the eye dilation that will determine BSparl's method of arrival, and I'm really nervous about it.  I'm nervous about vaginal birth or c-section.  Doesn't matter.  Just "giving birth" has my stomach twisty.
  • Or the fact that I'm craving carbs (nasty carbs, like cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets and pastries) and am having a very hard time not caving to these cravings.  I can't have anything even close to a sleeve of Ritz crackers in the house or they will disappear within a day's time.  I'm ravenous for these rotten carbs, and I've crocheted three scarves in efforts to curb the cravings.
  • Or that every time my numbers are out of range, I want to hold her little hands and tell her I'm sorry.
  • Or yesterday, when a perfect Dexcom flatline overnight was shaken by a cheese stick and a cup of decaf tea, leaving me with a blood sugar of 350 mg/dl and on the cusp of a panic attack.  What does this do to my baby?  Is she okay when I'm spending an hour over 300 mg/dl, without much food at all in my system?  Does she hurt when I am chugging water and stressing out but trying to control my emotions because I want her little womb to be serene and calm, not the spin cycle of diabetes chaos that I am so good at tossing her into lately?

Diabetics have healthy babies all the time.  I know this.  I've read this, others have proven this, and I hope to write those words myself in a few weeks.  But honestly, the mental part of pregnancy is more than I was prepared to deal with.  The guilt of every blood sugar and every miscalculation makes my heart ache, and I have found myself praying more in the last seven months than I ever have the thirty years before. 

I want to paint that "rainbows and unicorns" picture for you guys.  I want to make pregnancy seem like it's the most beautiful thing on the planet and even a person with type 1 diabetes can see the nine (ten?!) months through safely.  But as my delivery date draws closer, I'm not sure.  And I'm scared.  And I feel stupid because I have zero control over my emotions these days, leaving plenty of tears in my wake. (I've become a mega-wuss.)

Ugh, downer of a post.  I really can't wait to have the baby, but I know that part of why I want her out is because I believe she'll be safer once she's in the world and outside of me.  I know that Chris and I can take care of her, as parents, and keep her as safe as any other couple who loves their child.  It's the whole "now" process that has me in knots, wondering if I'm taking good care of her now.  I want the absolute best for my daughter, and I feel so guilty because I know that my body creates a challenge in some ways.

Just a few more weeks.  Every test, every infusion set change, every moment of blood work, every doctor's appointment, every time I pay the co-pay or the parking garage fee, every refilled prescription, every new CGM sensor, every curbed craving ... everything.  Everything is worth it if I can get to the end of this and have her out, safely. 

And then she and I will get matching mommy and daughter tattoos - hers a rainbow, and mine a unicorn.

(Note to people who may think I've completely lost my mind:  Kidding about the tattoos.  But I might buy her a t-shirt.)

Comments

Hey Kerri, you are doing an awesome job and you are going to be an awesome Mom and Chris, an awesome Dad. It's totally normal to be freaking out, but just remember she will be here with you soon and she will be just fine. Just try and get through each hurdle diabetes throws at you, all you can do is deal with that high or that low, and move on. Bsparl will be fine, she's tough like her Mommy :).

Hang in there, Kerri! The emotional swings of the last trimester suck -- and the ones that come with the first month postpartum suck even harder, I'm sorry to tell you -- but here's the phrase to cling to: "Babies bounce."

I mean that almost literally. They look so tiny, so fragile, so very breakable, but it only takes a short time as a caretaker to understand how extremely durable they really are. Kids heal so fast it's almost unnerving. BSparl can be affected by your blood sugar, sure, just like they're affected by alcohol you might drink or smoke you might inhale -- but it takes more to hurt them than you'd think. A bad blood sugar day or three is something she'll recover from. Just pat your belly and tell her you'll pull through, together.

Babies bounce.

My heart is beating a mile a minute at just the though of when it's my turn (someday) and how I'll handle the pressure. Let's just say I don't have the creative outlet of making crochet scarves to curb my cravings! :) But, having read your story, I'll know I can do it!

Its normal to worry about the things you are worrying about. If you weren't diabetic Im sure you'd be worry about other topics, like is she going to be a rebel and date biker guys with ponytails and tattoos or will she be completely brilliant to the point she takes over the world? Or whether she will like peas or carrots better?

Im glad you were able to share this with everyone, its normal to worry and as long as you are doing the best that you possibly can, thats all that matters.

I'm in the same boat, and hoping that I don't fall out! My numbers have been nuts ever since I entered the 3rd trimester, and all I want to eat are doughnuts. That's just not fair, I think. I'm an emotional wreck most days, and every high number has me wanting to waddle up and down the stairs 10 times while doing correction boluses.
You've got to remember that you're doing everything you can, and it seems to be working. If you're working this hard to be a good mom during pregnancy, I have no doubt you'll be great once she gets here! (I should maybe listen to my own advice too.)

Kerri -

A pregnancy with type 1 is very worth it, but very stressful, and it is good that you are being honest and open about all the apects of your pregnancy.

I have two beautiful children who were totally worth it, but man I was glad when my pregnancies were over. I would even love to have a third. I know my body could handle it, but I'm not sure my nerves could!

You are doing a great job! It's okay and normal to freak out a little!

I enjoy reading your blogs, because at this time in my life and my marriage I am scared to death of having a baby. After having T1 for 22 years now, it has been on the forefront of my thoughts for well, at least 12 years now. Thank you for writing exactly what I'm feeling about the guilt/need of wanting/having a baby. Now I'm rattling, but honestly, just thank you for writing this today. Just what I needed.

Hey there Miss Kerri - you are doing a fantastic job growing Miss BSparl in there. She will come out a fighter. She will come out strong. She will come out looking like you :0) She will come out and amaze you.

You will survive it all and be stronger for it. You will have learned lessons about yourself and what you are capable of beyond measure. No one on this earth is prepared for birth the first time. But we all did it. You will too. It will be wonderful and joyous and beyond anything you can think of.

Start your mantra - 'All will be well. All will be well.' And I truly believe it will be so.

You and Chris will have an amazing child. She will be well.

Forget "rainbows & unicorns," they aren't real and they put way to much stress on you!
Your doing great and BSparl is too!
Kelly K

you are doing an AMAZING job kerri!!!

Reading your journey with BSparl is preparing me for having my own little nipper one day down the line.

You are doing a brilliant job. Keep up the good work!

I may be gullible enough to believe you would live at Joslin for the last few weeks of your pregnancy - but at least I wasn't gullible enough to believe you about the tattoos. But thanks for putting in the disclaimer, I'm sure it was for your dim-witted friend in CT (aka me!!).

I'm glad you're being honest that pregnancy isn't all rainbows and unicorns... mainly because it isn't! Pregnancy causes some major, major changes in women's bodies -- even in women who *aren't* diabetic. I actually think that bloggers and others who paint pregnancy as all "YAYAYAYYA! Kermit arms! Rainbows! Unicorns! Puppies and kittens!" are doing a huge misservice to other women who either are pregnant, or considering getting pregnant.

That said... You're in the home stretch. And I've heard that insulin resistance kind of peaks at this point in the pregnancy. You'll be OK, Bsparl will be wonderful, and you'll ge through. Because you have to. :)

And go get the McNuggets. They actually don't cause that much of a spike!

Those 20 appointments (and the many you've already been through) are to help reassure you (and your doctors) that everything is progressing smoothly. It's a long haul, but you're almost there!

Thanks for posting the "messy" and emotional parts of pregnancy too. I can't relate just yet but can only imagine what you're feeling. All anyone can do is the best that they can, but that must become so much harder when there's a baby involved. Hang in there, I'm sure she'll be here before you know it, healthy and happy.

Thank you for this post! It's so nice to know I am not alone in my struggles against high blood sugars and cheeseburgers (or, in my case, corn dogs and marshmallows)!

I think the reason I love your blog so much is that you don't make it all unicorns and rainbows!

Your candor and tough-cookieness is amazing...a big part of why I can put my chin up and move forward with my own family planning is because I read SUM and know that I'm not crazy, that worrying is normal, that it's all really hard but it can be done.

You're doing such a great job, Kerri - for you, for BSparl, and for all of us!

As a devoted mother to three astounding children, one of whom is a 4 y.o. with type 1, I can't help but feel jealous that your feelings of guilt, worry, and anguish are limted to the terms of your pregnancy. We (mothers of type 1's) battle the overhelming feelings of your post on any given day, year after year.

Thank you for your words. I look forward to reading them every day.

i had 2 kids, one a month early, and one on her due date. personally, i find that last month as completely useless and unnecessary ;)

Yay for your shout out to Melissa! You will be there soon!
I was thinking about your tweets about BSparl yesterday and that you worry what your BG is doing to her and it's not her fault. I know this is really apples and oranges because pregnancy is a whole different ball game, but it made me think - oh my gosh, I'm choking up - about how I feel when I screw something up and Caleb's numbers are out of range and I feel like he is going to "fry". I'm sad and feel guilty and of course the worry, worry, worry until the number starts to move. It was nice to follow along as you very expertly and smoothly came back into range. In any case, you are doing a great job Kerri, and I know it will end up all rainbows and unicorns even if there aren't any fun baby tattoos.

Yay for your shout out to Melissa! You will be there soon!
I was thinking about your tweets about BSparl yesterday and that you worry what your BG is doing to her and it's not her fault. I know this is really apples and oranges because pregnancy is a whole different ball game, but it made me think - oh my gosh, I'm choking up - about how I feel when I screw something up and Caleb's numbers are out of range and I feel like he is going to "fry". I'm sad and feel guilty and of course the worry, worry, worry until the number starts to move. It was nice to follow along as you very expertly and smoothly came back into range. In any case, you are doing a great job Kerri, and I know it will end up all rainbows and unicorns even if there aren't any fun baby tattoos.

If it helps I am praying for you, chris, and BSparl all the time but something tells me, she is going to be just fine.

Dear Kerri, I've been following quietly along throughout your pregnancy and I just want to say that I think you've done an amazing job. One of the things that strikes me is just how lucky this generation is to have the tools to help them have a healthy pregnancy. Just the tools aren't enough, of course, it takes someone as motivated and determined as you to make such good use of the tools. You're on the home stretch - many congratulations.

Dude, you're doing an awesome job. BSparl is lucky that you care so much for her before you even meet her. That being said, you're still allowed to freak out every now and then. :{}

And I really don't get the math thing. Everyone says it's 9 months but it's actually 10. And then you've got the whole trimester thing. You'd think if you had a period of time that you were going to divide into 3 parts, you would make them equal, but noooooo...let's make the first two trimesters 12 weeks long, then we'll just throw a few extra weeks into the 3rd one. If anything, it's like 2 semesters and a really long summer session.

And now I've gone cross-eyed.

What they said. And {{{{{hugs}}}} You'll make it, we know you can :-)

(And personally, I just don't think Siah would like the unicorns. Their horns would drive her mad. But it would be funny to watch...!)

Wow those last weeks of pregnancy go slowly, don't they? I'm so sorry that you're feeling overwhelmed. If I could give you one piece of advice about this, it would be to simply relax, and know that your baby girl is doing just fine in there. 300's every now and then suck, but they happen, especially at this point in pregnancy. I had an infusion set fail on me and it didn't tell me for a while, and I was running at 300+ for a bit before I knew. I cried and was terrified, but I delivered a 6 lb, 1 oz baby girl who is healthy as they come so I don't think that it did too much to her.

Your baby girl is almost here! Try and enjoy your last few weeks pregnant because it will all change dramatically. For the better, of course! But, life as you know it will be totally different.

Also, give in to a craving now and then. So, you'll need 28 units of insulin for it... but you'll love every second. Just don't make it a habit. :)

Pregnancy is one of the most profound things you'll ever experience. And at the end, you get the best, best, best things you'll ever imagine. So try to enjoy it as best you can. And if you need someone to vent to, I'm here :)

keep at it Kerri. I'm sure it can be really nerve-wracking! I think you might also want consider everything else you have going for you and BSparl aside from the t1 challenges. Your attention to all aspects of your health, in addition to t1, have a significant and positive impact as well.

But from what I can tell from your blog, you have been really careful, doing your best. And that is all anyone can ask.

heh. Michele's comment made me chuckle. I have four, all born before 40 weeks, too--36, 37, 38 and 37--all of them considered full term.

Yes, 40 weeks. It's much better to think of it that way. 40 divided by 4 equals ten. Ten months. LOL the last of which should very well be optional. :D

You really are stressed. *hugs* I'm so sorry things are wacky for you right now. I'll add to your prayers in hopes that you can relax.

It's easier said than done, but please, please, please try to get off the guilt train. I rode it during my pregnancy, too, but that cheese stick and the decaf tea? Your choices were not responsible for your 300something. The placenta kicks out some CRAZY hormones in the third trimester and their effect on blood sugar can be unpredictable. Blah blah blah complications are the result of SUSTAINED high blood sugars, not just a couple-few hours (or even a couple-few days!) spent out of range blah blah blah.

Bottom line is you're doing an awesome job, Kerri, and these emotions you're having are normal. I remember how tired and done I was by 30ish weeks, and add Type I shenanigans on top of that? Oy. I'm sending you flat BS vibes and calming vibes for those times when there are peaks and valleys. Can't wait to "meet" BSparl! :)

Reading this Kerri i was struck by how much you sound like a "Mother". Your little girl will be OK because you are taking wonderful care of her. One day she will read about the beginning of the journey. The part where it was you and her against the world. She will see what we do, that you are a GREAT MOMMY!
I tell this to Gen from ACT1 all the time. Most woman have the luxury of worry about nothing worse than heartburn and hemorrhoids. A Diabetic Mommy has to be ever vigilant and I am so happy to watch both of you being exactly that. So make a cup of tea and knit another scarf, she's almost here.

Hang in there Kerri! Although I know I can't begin to imagine how you're feeling, I feel really strongly about the following 2 things: 1) as a pretty well-controlled type one myself, I still wish I could have YOU manage MY diabetes... I'd pay you to do it... I wish I had your dedication and knowledge, and your spunk!; and 2) your baby girl will be just fine... my sense is that, in many ways, your pregnancy is probably healthier and better-managed than many others.

I don't mean to trivialize your concerns, I just hope you know that you are doing so well!!! I applaud you and I wish you and your family nothing but the best!!!

I'm behind you by a bunch of weeks but feel every single bullet of this post. There are so many of us out here with you with these same worries, highs, lows... and CRAVINGS. I tell myself every day, "everything's going to be okay, kiddo!" And it is. You'll see. We need to be better to ourselves, less judgmental. You're doing great, just hang in there!

This post describes the reason we didn't choose to have bio kids. I struggle with my type I. As I type this, my blood sugar has been bouncing between highs for a week. When I get really high, like 400, it takes a long time for me to recover. I just can't fathom doing that to my unborn child. It scares me. But Kerri, you are doing a great job. Seriously. YOu are controlling your sugars as best you can. I admire you for doing such a good job. I don't think I could do it.

Kerri~
I so enjoy reading your blog as I am a mother of a daughter with type 1. Though I do not have t1 myself, I can relate so much to your thoughts about the safety of your baby. My daughter was diagnosed at the age of 8 months. She is now 2 and I so often worry about her safety and what all the crazy BG #s we see will do to her (hopefully, prayerfully, she will be safe~ and your BSparl, too). Reading your blogs give me a unique and realistic perspective into how our daughter may feel and into how her life may be as she grows up with this disease. Thank you for being real.

You rock and you can do this. We're all cheering you on.

I'm with ya, Kerri...only I'm MONTHS behind you!! I just awoke this AM to discover that I'd been sleeping at about 43 all night...my dexcom blaring away and my ignoring it. I'm only in the early part of month 4 and feel like I might lose my mind! Hang in there; you've done a great job--I only hope I can be as sane as you in 4 months...

You are doing a brilliant job Kerry, and I’m sure it’s all gonna be worthy when you old BSparl for the first time in your arms. Keep up the good work!

Great post. I love to read stories of adults who are successfully living with their T1. My daughter is only 6 and it worries me thinking of her doing this all on her own. But, someday she will be as confident and knowlegable as you are.

She will be able to have babies of her own! I gotta say though, your line about your high numbers and telling her you are sorry just about sent me into tears.

The last months of pregnancy are crazy-making. I was a lunatic with all of mine. You have a big, added crazy-maker, but you're doing great. Really.

Kerri it sounds like you're doing great! I've been Type 1 for 27 years now and have a 3 year old and a 20 month old.

It was hard but so worth it. I didn't have a "Normal" diabetic pregnancy so I honestly can't relate to the highs at the end (Or highs at all during pregnancy, my basal rate was almost 75% less than normal by the end of my pregnancy), but I do know that it all turns out great in the end.

I had totally normal births, no c-Sections, and my kids were around 7 pounds each.

Hang in there, it'll be fine.

I can totally relate since I am just a few weeks behind you. You are doing everything possible to have the healthiest pregnancy and that is the best thing you can do for your baby. It will be so worth it in the end!

You will be fine and your honest observations and concerns are what makes you real to the reader. Just look at my replies to your "Oprah" and "Insurance billing" posts in the past 24 hours. I have long held it in for 2 reasons - 1) Non T1's can say, "wow that sucks" but that's also what they say when someone backs into your car in a parking lot. They don't grasp the magnitude of it all.
2) I fear that a parent of a 5 year old newly diagnosed Type 1 will read and be horrified and I don't want to add to their stress.

I realized that if you mask the magnitude, no one learns and we don't make our voices heard. An easy going attitude will lead to complacency in your control.

You also never know how your seemingly "insane thoughts" resonate with so many people and it gives them comfort knowing they are not alone. This whole "interweb thing" has been an amazing source of support.

Think of the years us old timers went with really no one to relate to.

Last Summer, at one of the JDRF Rides to Cure Diabetes, I was at the coaches table with 4 other 20+ year type 1 guys. Coaches, avid cyclists, pumpers. Such a niche demographic - but I felt I was finally amongst my peeps.

At another ride in Tucson, I met Phil Southerland of Team Type 1. 27 years earlier, the doctors painted a gloomy picture of her son's future. His team won the Race Across America last year and he is heading to the Tour.

I'm telling you, it is awesome meeting other T1's like that and seeing what my unknown brethren have been doing over the years. We're starting to see successful T1 athletes pop up all over the place and they are positively using our shared experiences to benefit us all.

They are real, credible sources we can identify with. Warriors that even the mighty "O" can't keep down.

I have visited your blog for a couple of years now - and think about this - I am a 39 year old T1 Male. I visit because you are a credible witness to the daily struggles of a T1.

I always enjoy your entries and love seeing that you are becoming the best warrior in the blog channel of elevating T1. It is because our little army is scattered through so many disciplines that we are gaining momentum.

It's like a dream team of marketing for T1 - Bloggers, Cyclists, Olympic skiers, NFL players, NHL players - all connected by one thing.

I guess it's time to start my own blog (that I have been talking about for 2 years) so I don't take up so much space in your comments section ;)

I just stumbled across your blog when I was googling a diabetes question earlier today, and I have to say that you are such an inspiration! I'm a 19 year old premed college student/type 1 diabetic/hopefully future mom when the time comes, and reading your blog literally brought me to tears (especially the blog you wrote for your mom, and anything you ever say about diabetic guilt). I also work at a diabetes camp for kids in Indiana, and I know so many other girls my age who have the same thoughts/fears/concerns about diabetes and life that you are dealing with and documenting right now! Your success gives me hope for the future, and I wish you nothing but the best! I will definitely be sharing your website with my diabetic peers, because there's nothing better than seeing that we can live successfully with this disease!
Best wishes.

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