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Releasing the Kraken … Into Our Home.

… he’s definitely not the Kraken.  That nickname will never stick because so far, our littlest friend is mild mannered.  He’s more Clark Kent than Kraken.  (Mixing my superheroes and myths this morning; feel free to blame the sleep debt and my attempt to repay it with caffeine.)

But he’s home, and even though he’s a sweet boy, he’s still an infant and our house is ROCKED by his presence.  My body remains equally as rocked by his escape, and my diabetes management is so confused that my pancreas, were it to have a head, would be scratching it with confusion.

OUR HOUSE:  Remains in the middle of our street, only it’s bursting at the seams with burp cloths and tiny little articles of clothing that require origami skills in order to snap up.  The laundry this little man produces is astounding, as are the number of diapers he rips through … and the number of times he’d like to eat during the course of a day.  For someone so small, the baby came with a lot of stuff.

(But I’m so glad he’s here.  I’ve never been so happy to have my house turned inside out in my life.)

MY BODY:  Is slightly less than a wonderland.  I talked about the c-section and cannot stress enough how different it was from my first surgical birth experience.  When I examined myself after having Birdy, I had a sizable scar and serious gas pain, but didn’t feel as though I’d been put through the wringer.  Ringer?  (W)ringer.  This c-section was very different because it felt busy during (lots of pressure and they actually needed to use the vacuum to assist in removing my son from the womb, poor kid) and the aftermath was not pretty.  I had a lot of bleeding after this one, more than the first time.  I also didn’t get a good look at my scar, etc. while I was in the hospital (they are smart to keep full length mirrors OUT of the postpartum recovery rooms) so I saw the mess for the first time when we came home.

Holy shit, the bruising.  The three or four inches of skin real estate underneath my incision was entirely black and blue and it looked as though I was wearing blue underpants.  I (am embarrassed to say) that I cried when I saw it because it looked so frigging VIOLENT.  Thankfully, 15 days later, the bruising is entirely gone and all that remains is the incredible shrinking uterus and the healing incision, but for the first week or so, I had a hard time checking the incision because it looked so Frankenstein’s monsterish.

And aside from the obvious diabetes stuff, I’m currently taking a blood thinner (thank you, Factor V Leiden) for six weeks, and am also unable to drive for six weeks.  The blood thinner is a little painful but totally manageable (one injection every night – easy enough).  The not driving thing is MAKING ME GO BANANAS because my freedom is entirely MIA.  I’m relying on friends and family for trips to the pediatrician, picking up prescriptions, getting groceries … every little thing requires assistance from a volunteer chauffeur.  And since I don’t want to trouble anyone more than I already have to, I’m placing some screwball orders on Amazon … like for the dry erase board eraser required on my daughter’s back-to-school list.  Or the long sleeve, size 0-3 month onesies for my son.  Or coffee, damn it.  I’m really excited to be able to get back behind the wheel and reclaim some semblance of independence.

DIABETES HEY OOOOH:  I cannot complain about how diabetes did its thing during the 38 weeks of pregnancy.  I didn’t have any tragic lows, there weren’t unmanageable highs, and the lack of pre-eclampsia was an excellent change of pace for this round.  During delivery, even though I was terrified, my blood sugars stayed solid.  And throughout my stay at the hospital, my blood sugars were without issue.  It was kind of awesome, and surely will stay that way forever, right?

HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA … now that my placenta has been kicked out of my womb and I’m breastfeeding a newborn, all kinds of diabetes hell has broken loose.  My blood sugars – once calm and dare I say predictable? – are now pinging and ponging all over the damn place.  My insulin:carb ratios are 1:20 (versus pre-pregnancy 1:11 and during pregnancy rates as low as 1:5) and my basal rate is 0.3u per hour (versus pre-pregnancy of .5u and during pregnancy rates as high as 1u per hour).  And absent the breastfeeding, these rates would probably hold tight for a few weeks until they started to require increasing, eventually bringing me back up to where I was pre-pregnancy … at least ish.

But breastfeeding is its own circus.  The act of breastfeeding does not make me hypoglycemic, but the act of producing milk does, so I’m going low mostly while my milk supply is filling up.  If this was a predictable cycle, I could plan snacks/meals around my son’s appetite and my anticipated refilling, but the cycle isn’t one I can map.  I can’t even guess.  Some times, I go low 15 minutes after feeding him.  Other times it takes up to an hour and a half for the low to hit.  I’m not sure when I should eat, causing my CGM graph to look all Ms and Ws.  If my experience with Birdy helps inform this round, I should have a more predictable blood sugar response around the time that my son is a month old.  Which means that I have two more week of letting my body ebb and flow and get all confused before it aligns to some kind of schedule.

The madness of a newborn added to the mix of an already all-over-the-place family is exactly what we had anticipated.  We’re exhausted.  (While driving home from a pediatrician appointment, Chris turned to me at a stop light and asked, “This is really happening, right?  Like this isn’t a dream?  We’re actually driving right now?”  The lack of sleep is like we’re on the tumble dry setting in the dryer, all jumbled and confusing and warm and is this real life?)  We’re adjusting.  (Birdy is doing her best to make sense of the new little creature in our house.  She loves him.  But I’m on the watch for sibling angst as well.)  We’re grateful.  (Issues like a messy house? Exhaustion? Sore body?  Bring those issues on, because I’m happy as hell to have these as my problems.)  And we’re in love with this little guy, who despite being only 15 days old, feels like he’s been part of the party forever.


9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Laura #

    My son is almost 4 weeks and I finally feel like my blood sugars aren’t bouncing all over the place as much as before. I think in the first few weeks of breastfeeding I managed to polish off two full boxes of fig newtons and a gallon of juice. It didn’t help that I had no time to eat because he was always eating… Now my supply is regulating and my basals and carb ratios are turned waaaay down so I’m not bottoming out nearly as bad. Good luck!

    09/7/16; 5:18 pm
  2. Leah M #

    I would question that 6 week driving restriction–that’s craziness, especially if you’re not taking a narcotic. I used to manage postpartum patients and we’d tell them 2 weeks or until not taking narcotics. The incision might be uncomfortable with a seat belt, but they’re not restricting you from riding in a car, so I don’t really see a difference. I’m all about questioning ill-conceived rules!

    09/7/16; 8:29 pm
    • I have a follow up appt on Friday and I plan to ask about driving. Like “Hey, can I drive now? Please? Kthxbai.” 🙂

      09/7/16; 9:04 pm
  3. Kathleen #

    You sound so happy! If you need anything from this side of RI, let us know! We would be happy to help out (or send something!)

    09/7/16; 8:37 pm
  4. Katie #

    Is the 6 wks because of the C or the blood thinner? I had to wait 2 wks because of my C. My doc said you have to be strong enough to slam on the breaks (which made sense to me).

    09/7/16; 9:52 pm
    • C-section. I’m hoping they clear me to drive at my next appointment. My wings need unclipping for sure.

      09/7/16; 10:15 pm
  5. Regina #

    As others have said, breastfeeding stabilizes the blood sugars more ( slightly) after about a month. I found that my daughters growth spurts actually had some sort of a predictable pattern and followed the ‘ wonder weeks’ theory of baby growth and development. And obviously the more feedings, more milk production, more lows… Less feedings, less milk production, more highs. Also, as much as we want to build their tiny helpless immune systems and nurse them with everything we’ve got: your sanity, health and wellness is most important for him right now.

    09/8/16; 12:05 am
  6. Beautiful post, Kerri. I relived my own experience of bringing bébé2 home while reading this. The infant – the big sister – the breastfeeding – the diabetes – the laundry – the family dynamic etc etc. So many emotions!

    09/8/16; 4:06 am

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