My successful twin pregnancy as a type 1 diabetic

 

Mother's Day 2009 at 7 months pregnant

Mother's Day 2009 at 7 months pregnant

Recently in history, Type 1 diabetes and pregnancy did not mix.  However, now that we have insulin pumps and better insulin and meters, healthy pregnancies in type 1 diabetic women are a norm.  Yes, pregnancy as a type 1 diabetic does carry extra risks.  Obviously the risk level changes depending on the person as well. 

But, I can tell you personally that it CAN be done.  I have had diabetes for 15 years this November.  I am 26 years old.  I got married a year ago and last October I became pregnant  (After being told I may never conceive due to endometriosis).  I was so pleasantly surprised!  Then terror struck me.  I thought of all that could go wrong either with me or my baby.  I was told by an obstetrician that my pregnancy was considered very high risk even though I was in good health.  So of course that freaked me out.   

My first month pregnant was easy because I didn’t know I was pregnant and didn’t notice any symptoms.  During the second month I worried my tail off but, still didn’t feel much.  I noticed I was outgrowing my clothes very rapidly though and starting to feel a little nauseated.  I had an ultrasound at two and a half months to see how things were progressing and discovered alongside my mom that I would be having twins!  I called my husband and informed him we’d have to sell his nice truck because our family would not be fitting in it.

Well, now my pregnancy was even more high risk than previously believed.  I am a spiritual person and thought to myself, “well…maybe this is God’s way of telling me that he knows I am capable of doing this and to just trust him”.  And so I tried.  I had to somehow eat an extra 600 calories a day and check my blood glucose more often and still manage my busy work routine.  All this on what they affectionately call “prego brain”.  Not to mention along with severe morning sickness which should really have been called 24/7 sickness.  I worked in a human resources office and can’t tell you how many times I threw up in the office bathroom. 

My Christmas was pretty miserable as I hugged the toilet bowl, wondering if my last glucose readings of 200 were going to kill my babies or deform them somehow.  My A1c around this time was a 4.6 but, being so sick made me start having lots of readings around 200.  I was in a constant state of worry.  The first trimester also held something new.  Low insulin resistance.  Suddenly at night my insulin needs would decrease and I would have to adjust my lantus every night for 2 months because my blood sugar would get to the 30’s range.  I woke up my husband every night with a low blood sugar for about 1 month I think.  Poor guy.  I even began talking in my sleep and one night repeatedly muttered “I can’t do this anymore”, prompting him to shake me violently until I awoke.  I would have nightmares very often because of the dips in blood sugar. 

Throughout this entire time I am setting my alarm for twice during the night so that I can catch lows before they get too low.  I would hate to know what would have happened had I not done this the entire pregnancy.  My doctor didn’t like that I did this.  He said I should “cut myself a break” but, it was my life and my children’s life at stake, not his.  My insulin needs were fluctuating too much for me not to hover over top of my blood sugars. 

The second trimester was a tiny bit easier.  My morning sickness began to subside a bit.  I was shocked about still being pregnant and almost congratulated myself.  Yet, being the worrywart I am, continued to freak out about daily 200 readings-usually only one but, that was enough to make me believe a baby wasn’t getting a limb formed.  My boss at work kept the work coming strong and I felt I couldn’t keep up.  And my boss was a woman.  She had no children, that’s for sure.  And those progesterone levels really played a number on my brain.  Remember, they’re twice as high in a twin pregnancy.  I felt so much compassion for the diabetic woman who might become pregnant.  It isn’t easy to go 9 months or so feeling the weight of the world on one’s shoulders. 

I made it to the 3rd trimester.  WOW.  Now I had to cope with being HUGE.  I was at 6 months already bigger than most women are when they give birth with one baby!  I had only gained 20 pounds at this point.  I have to say, I really ate healthy throughout my pregnancy.  I made sure to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit and whole grain bread.  Eating was a huge challenge because normally, I control glucose in part by limiting carbohydrate intake.  Yet, being pregnant with twins meant I had to eat more and I craved carbs all day long.  Carbs were the only thing that made the dizziness go away.  Go figure.  So, I ate more carbs in the form of complex carbs such as beans and whole grain Ezekiel bread. 

I was put on medical leave from work so that I could focus on blood sugar control from home.  This helped tremendously and I did improve control.  My A1c was a 5.3 when checked during my 6th month.  Not to shabby.  Now my insulin requirements began changing again.  I needed more and more insulin now.  At 7 months pregnant I needed 3 times the normal amount of insulin!  I checked my blood sugar extremely often and was now checking 4 times a night-which was every time I got up to pee.  No more alarm clock necessary. 

During the 7th month I began having to decrease insulin needs again.  This might have been due to an aging placenta.  I still have had no signs of preeclampsia but, with my belly so huge, I worried about the possibility.  At the end of my pregnancy I began feeling that I wasn’t going to make it again.  I felt so tired of my ongoing anemia, never ending finger sticks, and incessant worrying. 

At 35 weeks and a few days I had an appointment with my OB (mind you I was now going 3 times a week!) and she took one look at me and sent me in for a non stress test.  The babies were fine.  Then they checked my blood pressure.  It was really high.  My ankles were swollen, my vision blurry, I had preeclampsia.  The doctor sent me to the hospital.  Mom was not fine and these babies were coming out early. 

Fears of the NICU struck me and I wondered if my babies were going to be ok.  I wanted a natural child birth and hung in there for a while-no pain medicine for 12 hours of induced labor and back to back contractions.  Finally I took a mild pain medication.  The doctor spoke of c-section which I was not excited about.  36+ hours and no sleep or food later I had an epidural and one hour later a c-section.  I had only dilated 1 cm throughout all this. 

My babies came out screaming and in no need of any assistance.  I was elated.  What a dream come true.  A type 1 diabetic could have a healthy baby-in fact could have two!!!

(Thats me in the picture, believe it or not I got a lot bigger than that, lol)

11 thoughts on “My successful twin pregnancy as a type 1 diabetic

  1. Felisha

    wow this has really changed my way of thinking! Iam also a type 1 diabetic and im 20 years old and 17 weeks pregnant! I have bin going thru exactly the same things you did like the 200s blood sugar readings and they scare me to death i hope and pray my baby will be ok and i get to have a healthy baby just like you did! :)

  2. Courtney

    I can’t begin to tell you how much of a relief it is to hear about your story and the similarities it has to mine.

    I am 20 years old, and I have been a type 1 diabetic for 11 years. Before conception, I had an a1c of 8.5 even being on an insulin pump for 9 years. I was also told that with such an out of control a1c and endometriosis I would likely never conceive and was deemed “infertile”.

    I had no symptoms except exhaustion, but I figured that was from working late and college starting back. I took an ept test because I felt it would trigger a period so I could get put back on my birth control so that my periods would regulate again. Low and behold, I was pregnant.

    Immediately, my obgyn wanted to admit me to the hospital until my a1c was under control. I started keeping a closer check on my blood sugar and did everything I could, and within 2 months went from 8.5 to 5.9. HUGE relief.

    I was sent to a specialist two hours away and found out at 13 weeks that I was pregnant with not one, but TWO babies. I was floored and had no idea what to think. I found out they were identical girls.

    I gained little to no weight from the time I conceived until 6 months. I had no symptoms and the only problems I had with my sugar was being thrown into the ER for being found in my room unconscious and unresponsive due to my sugar dropping extremely low while sleeping.

    I am now 32 weeks pregnant, and a little disappointed because I was told my body won’t be able to sustain this pregnancy much longer and that I would need to deliver within this next week or two via c-section. I was admitted a few days at 31 weeks for high blood pressure and found out that my cervix has “funneled”. So I’m just waiting now to deliver….

    I’m really glad to see that someone with Type 1 Diabetes and a multiple pregnancy has done so well and had healthy babies. I’ve worried non-stop since finding out I was pregnant. This gives me a lot of hope and eases the trouble.

  3. Bethany

    This is a wonderful story. I would like you to know a bit of mine. I was diagnosed with type 1 when 11 years old. My 1st pregnancy was at 26 and went to 38 wks with c sec to a wonderful son. I have had 7 more c sections at 37, 36, 32, 35, 24, 32, 35 weeks gestation. The 24 weeker was a Uterine rupture and passed away 28 days later to NEC. All were healthy and continue to be healthy, some NICU stay for immature lungs but did great. I want diabetics to realize that with proper medical care and controlled blood sugars they will have healthy and wonderful pregnancies just like everyone else. I am now pregnant with my 9th and doing very well.

  4. Casey Thompson

    How much did your twins weigh when they were form? I have one child and have had diabetes, type 1, for 17 years. My first child was 6 lbs 13.2 oz at 1 month early. I was very sick my first pregnancy and worried about this one as I am expecting twins however, trying to get insides on how much other t1diabetics twin babies weighed at birth.

  5. lakshmi

    Wow!! Thats really fantastic. You are really an inspiration for most of the diabetic pregnant women. Thanks for the post!!

    Lakshmi.

  6. Monique

    I am thinking about having my second baby at 36 years old. I have had diabetes for 28 years. Does anyone that has had multiple babies feel it wears on your health each time you give birth? I felt great and had no problems until 36 weeks. Then, I am pretty sure I had preeclampsia, although, not diagnosed until 2 weeks after birth. My family and I really want another. Do you all have any words of encouragement?

  7. Alex

    This is amazing and so helpful. I cried the whole story out of happiness, thank you for sharing. So helpful and so very important for others to be able to relate to!
    Thank you thank you!

  8. Roxy

    Hi everyone. I am a type 1 diabetic been 1 for going on 17 years now. I am 26. I am now 35 weeks pregnant with non identical twins. Sugar was fine the first 2 months . Then started to drop all the time , very often. Then it was good for about a month then started going high. Im taking 3 times more insulin now and waking up 3 times a night to test and about every 1 an half hours to test during the day. My twins are healthy and so far Dr cannot see that they gained any extra weight due to high sugars so im very relieved. I wish all you ladies the best of luck. And there is no reason diabetics cannot have children. My due date is at 37 weeks on the 28 Dec 2016. I havnt had any complications yet. An i feel good. So hang in there ladies. ?

  9. Sysy Post author

    Congrats Roxy! And thank you for your inspiring comment. I hope all goes well with delivery and that you and your precious babies are in excellent health. Do give us an update! And if you don’t have time for a few months, trust me, I’ll understand :D

  10. Priya

    Hi
    After I read your experience with really got some energy.. I too have diabetes. Like to get pregnant with twins.

  11. Dallas Hellmers

    Hi, are you able to chat via email? Just found out I’m pregnant with twins and have been type 1 for 22 years. I have a 13 month old at home. Would love to chat with someone who has been through it. My husband is more then worried to say the least. Hope to hear from you

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