Diabetic pregnancy and low blood sugar

 

7 months pregnant with twins

7 months pregnant with twins

I’m going to share my experience with low blood sugars during my pregnancy

It was very challenging for me.  I had twins and because of this the doctor told me I would pretty much feel double the amount of everything (including low blood sugar and nausea-ugh not fair). 

Anyway, during the middle of the 1st trimester I began having lows.  Worst time for me was the middle of the night.  Maybe because I had to snack all day to help with the nausea at this point.  I bought an alarm clock with dual settings so that I could automatically set it for two times at night. 

I was exhausted during this time so would go to bed around 9pm and set the alarm for midnight and 3 am.  I got up at 6am to go to work. 

I didn’t want my babies to suffer any highs or lows so I checked before bed, twice during the night, and then in the morning.  This helped me adjust my insulin and avoid dangerous lows. 

My doctor felt it was extremely unnecessary but, he doesn’t know how bad it feels to have blood sugar in the 30s, doesn’t know how much worry a mother feels when carrying her child or children and, and doesn’t know how horrified a husband feels when he sees his wife unconscious from low glucose.  My husband doesn’t know what that feels like either and I’d like to keep it that way, thank you very much.

So yes, I did this throughout the entire pregnancy.  I had to because as soon as I adjusted my insulin and survived a week with great numbers, my body’s changes sent my sugars down again and I had to keep steadily lowering the insulin amounts. 

And to complicate things…

At one point in the middle of winter I got a stomach flu and spent days throwing up every 2 hours, almost becoming dehydrated, and suffering a lot of lows.  The only reason I didn’t end up in the hospital was because I checked so frequently and enlisted my husband’s help with bringing me lots of juice while I laid on the floor of the bathroom.  

Important:

If you are pregnant and do not own a glucagon and glucose gel do get these items ASAP. 

Glucose gel can be bought at the pharmacy and is used in the case you pass out or are so low you can’t help yourself. 

A Glucagon injection kit is also used if you pass out from a low.  This requires a prescription from your doctor and does expire so routinely check the label.

Train someone responsible living with you how to use both of these items. 

By the 2nd trimester I got a break from low blood sugars-but then came a problem with highs!

During the middle of the 2nd trimester I began needing more and more insulin.  (At the peak of this increase I was giving 3 times the amount of insulin I did before getting pregnant!) 

During the 32nd week of pregnancy something strange started happening.  I began having a lot of lows again.  I was getting up to pee at night about every 1 or 2  hours (no kidding) and so I left my glucose meter on the bathroom sink so I could check that often. 

I knew the babies might come early and I knew if I kept my blood sugars near perfect, their blood sugar would most likely be perfect as well!  Had I had too many highs-they might have been born with low blood sugar.  And I didn’t want them to be fed glucose water instead of my colostrum as their first welcoming meal so I checked VERY frequently. 

The adjusting of insulin because of lows continued until I gave birth to the twins via c-section at 35 weeks.  Their blood sugar was fine and they needed no help whatsoever.  My hard work paid off!

I needed about the same amount of insulin for a day or two after the c-section and then began to slowly reduce insulin towards pre-pregnancy levels.  Do remember, if you weigh more after pregancy than you did before you became pregnant- you will need more insulin simply because you weigh more. 

Also, If you are breastfeeding do know you will definitely need less insulin since breastfeeding kills so many calories.  I lowered my lantus and ended up giving the same amount of fast acting insulin before eating.  Why?  Because I ate 3 times as much as I did before the pregnancy.  I even ate more than while I was pregnant!  (Big perk for you breastfeeding mothers).  Oh, did I mention I didn’t gain any weight for months while breastfeeding and eating all I wanted?

There it is, my long struggle with lows during pregnancy.  Checking frequently is your best defense. 

Good luck when and if its your turn!

3 thoughts on “Diabetic pregnancy and low blood sugar

  1. Pumpin Pregger

    Hi I love your website! You were really ontop of your bs during the night. I test during the night as well because I am up 2-3 times to use the bathroom and figure why not! You must be very proud of your babies! People always frown upon the Type 1 Diabetic having a baby but I think everyone should go for it (as long as your dr.agrees).
    Good luck with the twins and getting back to normal Diabetes life!

  2. Sysy Morales Post author

    Thank you! I am very proud of my babies! They are proof that hard work pays off- just like it will for you. I do wish more people knew type 1 diabetics could have healthy children and stay healthy themselves. I often felt I wouldn’t be able to have children-all because of this misconception.

  3. Samantha Allington

    Fantastic news! I’m currently pregnant with twins in my early days still and in all four of my previous pregnancies I only suffered with high blood sugars (except my last where I had lows from 30 weeks due to placenta failing) and didn’t know you could have lows in pregnancy when diabetic.

    I’m only diabetic type 2 but insulin dependent and this pregnancy has already been so different to the previous ones. Already in less than a week I have just suffered my second hypo! So scary as I had only ever had one hypo outside of pregnancy since diagnosis!

    That was how I found this page, I googled twin pregnancy and diabetes in the hope it might give me some information as to why I’m experiencing low blood sugars. Now I have seen a few people’s stories about low blood sugars in twin pregnancies I shall be monitoring much more often and am also thinking of setting that alarm for twice a night like you did.

    After losing my daughter at 20 weeks pregnant in 2011, the chance now to have twins is beyond all my wildest dreams. There won’t be any more pregnancies with me so in my mind I have to do all I can to ensure that these 2 babies come along healthy x Thank you x

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