A Day in the Life of a New Mom with Diabetes.
For D-Blog Week, Karen challenged the diabetes blogging community with a week's worth of blog prompts. Today is "A Day on the Life," and I've decided to focus on my new life with BSparl. (Because if I tried to pretend that motherhood isn't affecting my diabetes, I'd be lying my face off.)
DING!!! Game on.
5 am: Alarms? We don't need no stinkin' alarms. Because now we have little baby girl who wakes us up at all hours of the night.
When BSparl starts to fuss from her bassinet, either Chris or I leans up to check on her to make sure she's okay. Since Chris usually does the 1 am feeding with a bottle, I try and do the 5 am feeding. Since I'm breastfeeding, what I need to do first is check my blood sugar. Anything less than 120 mg/dl and I'm snacking while she's eating. I start this feeding at 98 mg/dl.
5:15 am: BSparl is done with one side. I switch her to the other side to finish eating, and I brush the foil wrapper that the fruit snacks came in to the floor.
5:45 am: BSparl is fed, burped, changed, and tucked back in. I test my blood sugar again - now I'm 74 mg/dl and the Dexcom is showing a bit of a drop. I wander out to the kitchen for peanut butter and a piece of toast. (Not froast.)
7 am: Up again, only this time because the Dexcom is blaring at me. 49 mg/dl. WTF? Breastfeeding has very unpredictable effects on my blood sugars. Some mornings, it doesn't make me low at all. And then other mornings, it makes me plummet.
7:30 am: BSparl and Chris are asleep in the bedroom, so I settle in on the couch with my laptop and a cup of tea. My goal? Answer some emails, write a blog post, finish some stuff that always seems to be due and I'm chasing the deadlines of, and use the breast pump to stash some milk for BSparl. My insulin pump tubing sometimes gets tangled up in the breast pump tubing. Which makes me think I'm wearing too many freaking pumps.
9 am: Husband and daughter emerge, both sporting the same furrowed brow of the morning. BSparl needs to be fed again, so I test my blood sugar to see where I'm at. 145 mg/dl - thank goodness. Enough with the lows. Bring on the BSparl!
11 am: All of a sudden, it's almost noon, and I haven't eaten anything since 7 am. I also haven't answered a single email. Or finished the article I needed to finish. My mornings are usually spent testing my blood sugar, feeding BSparl, changing her diapers (which have baby Sesame Street characters on them, which makes me laugh. Because what do you call "Baby Big Bird?" Little Bird?), and doing laundry. I test my blood sugar - 118 mg/dl - and thank God that it's not pinging all over the damn place today. Because some days it does.
High Noon: Still haven't eaten. I force myself to stop and devour a Greek yogurt. Blood sugars are holding steady. But my pump site is aching a little - when was the last time I changed out the site?
Noon-thirty: BSparl and I investigate the site. Well, she hangs out in her bouncy chair on the bathroom floor while I take a look at the infusion set. Looks fine - edges are peeling a bit - but it's only been four days. Even though the reservoir isn't anywhere near empty, I opt to change the site because it's achy. And because if I don't do it now, while I'm thinking about it, it will be another full day before I remember. With all of my focus on BSparl and adjusting to life as her mommy, sometimes diabetes takes a wicked back seat.
1 pm: New infusion set is in, baby girl is getting a bottle of breast milk because my own breasts need a break sometimes, and I still haven't answered one single email. Is this why people take maternity leave? I need some coffee.
2:15 pm: Thirsty as all hell. Test again - oh, that's nice. 233 mg/dl. Frigging pump site change ... did I forget to take a little 0.3u bolus before pulling the site? That seems to be the only way for me to avoid post-site change highs. But of course, I had forgotten to do that. And now I'm basking in the warm warming glow of a high blood sugar. FanTAStic. Still haven't eaten lunch, and now lunch is on a further delay due to the high. I bolus down the high.
2:45 pm: Dexcom shows that I'm dropping. Meter confirms the same - 177 mg/dl. Thing is, with the baby now out of me, I'm trying to figure out what my body's insulin needs are. And that's tricky, because with breast feeding, I am never able to do an accurate basal test. I have an appointment with Joslin in two weeks (for my 6 week follow up after surgery/birth), so I'm trying to log blood sugars to give my endo something to go on.
2:46 pm: CRAP! I haven't logged any blood sugars in three days! With BSparl in my arms, I open up my laptop and try to find the spreadsheet. I locate it, and then try to scroll through my meter memory and type the blood sugars into the spreadsheet using one hand. BSparl decides this isn't a good time for her, and she makes a sound not unlike a can of shaving cream being deployed. (She is a delicate, fragile, pooping flower, this child of mine.) Diaper change time!
3:30 pm: Lunch. Finally. Blood sugar is 109 mg/dl. Lunch is a turkey and cheese sandwich, even though I'd much rather go low-carb these days to help lose the pregnancy weight. But without carbs, I'm low all the time after feeding BSparl, so carbs it is.
4 pm: Time to head out to the grocery store and then to the post office. BSparl hangs at the house with her dad while he works, and I test once more before getting into my car. 167 mg/dl. How is the post-prandial that high? I counted those stupid carbs. My insuiln:carb ratio, I thought, was settled back into 1:12. I need to test that ratio again, but no time today. Must run errands.
4:04 pm: As much as I love my daughter, I felt guilty blasting the Beastie Boys while she was inside of me. Without her in the car, I can crank up the volume of the music again. So i do. As I head to the grocery store. Damn, my life is a thrill a minute.
5 pm: Walking out of the store, I realize that my Blackberry has been pinging for three hours and I haven't looked at it yet. Checking the emails, I see that 75 emails have come in since 7 am. And I STILL haven't answered a single one. Whoops.
6:30 pm: It's time for BSparl's dinner. And then we read a book together - I like Dr. Seuss, but sometimes we read other books because I can only make my mouth navigate words like "Th'need" so many times before I start to either giggle or accidentally spit on my daughter while reading.
7:45 pm: Chris heads down to the gym and I prepare to go when he gets back. (No, I'm not really "exercising." Can't for another two weeks, due to the c-section. But I can go for walks on the treadmill, so that's what I do.) I test my blood sugar (139 mg/dl) and get all my crap together for the gym: Dexcom receiver, meter, cell phone, reaction treaters, and that ever-elusive pair of workout pants that actually FIT.
9 pm: Back from the gym, blood sugars are steady for once, and BSparl is napping. FINALLY, I answer some emails and finish up that article. Oh crap - dinner! I find something in the kitchen that doesn't require much assembly.
11 pm: I realize that, since 5 pm, I've either fed BSparl or pumped six times. How is that even possible? Sure does account for the unpredictable blood sugars, though. My body is in a constant state of "feed," making trends nothing short of chaotic. And I have to be honest - I'm not sure I have the mental bandwidth to wrangle in diabetes and motherhood with any kind of precision these days. Working off of very little sleep, and trying to understand the new swell of hormone changes in my body, is frustrating as hell. Diabetes fine-tuning isn't my top priority these days. I just want to coast as safely as I can at the moment. (Note to people who may want to lecture me about my own health: Back off for a few weeks before you run cryptic commentary.)
Midnight: What am I thinking, still awake?? BSparl will be up in two hours for her 2 am snack. I'd better restock the bedside table with low blood sugar snacks and call it a day.
Midnight-thirty: Whoops, forgot to test. 94 mg/dl. Dexcom confirms it's a steady number. Off to bed!
Game Over ... until 5 am. :)