Pre-Planning Pregnancy


#1

Hello.

My partner and I are beginning to plan a pregnancy way ahead of time.
Everywhere is FILLED with terrible stats and horror stories and has my stomach in knots. But we are excited!
Eating right, working on getting a CGM, staying fit (I’m a volunteer with Law Enforcement and a security guard so it comes with the job anyway) and so on…
I sometimes get kind of overwhelmed though. I feel like I can’t say anything except to my partner and a very small circle of friends about this process, since its a year or so in advance…but I need SO MUCH reassurance.
I’m struggling to find anything positive.

Help?
Am I a weirdo for planning this far in advance?

Current A1c is 8.4, going down.


#2

You are smart to prepare now and be in good shape in order to get pregnant. You are going to want your A1c to be around 6, lower if you can get it down to the high 5s. I ran about 6.2 when I was pregnant. My Drs. seemed to be happy with that. That was 25 years ago.

There are many women in this site who have gone through pregnancy and childbirth with positive outcomes. It is absolutely possible to have a healthy baby.


#3

6 just feels so impossible without crazy lows! Last time I was a 6, I was considered “perfect” A1C but I also had seizures from low blood sugars and extreme highs.
I also have had the unfortunate experience of having multiple diabetes doctors telling me I shouldnt have a baby because of T1.


#4

I am actively trying to conceive now, but I was in your position for the last year and a half. It’s an uphill battle for sure. I started going to a diabetes educator because doctors kept berating me without helping much. To be honest, I didn’t think she could help, and she hasn’t had much useful advice for blood sugar management, but she’s been a good cheerleader which is what I desperately needed. I became severely depressed while trying to get the hba1c down for so many reasons. But I know exactly what I want (a baby) and depression was getting in the way, so right now I am just trying my best to keep the demons at bay and stay focused. It is a 24 hour a day job. I got my hba1c down to 7.2 from 8.8 while still working, but I have been able to get it down to 5.6 and keep it there after I quit my job. I admire anyone who can do both, but I could not, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to take this option. My diabetes educator recently told me that I was an “inspiration” for maintaining this level of control for almost 6 months. It can be hard to not focus on all the things I have failed at, so having a cheerleader was an important step for me.

Also, getting a cgm that actually worked was a game changer.

Anyways, you are definitely not crazy for planning ahead. It’s the responsible thing to do if you can manage it. I hope you can find some support because its definitely an isolating experience, but hopefully it will be a worthwhile one in the end.


#5

Yes, 6 is hard. I achieved it by checking often and making small corrections when necessary. (Like every two to three hours.) The lowest I have ever gone in my whole life is 5.9. I don’t know how some of these people get lower than that.

Anyway, I also had medical professionals tell me not to try it. I wanted my own kids though. You need a high risk OB/gyn and a good endocrinologist. If you are near a big city, you might try one of the bigger hospitals. I’m in the Boston area. We have a number of world class hospitals here.

It was a while ago for me. My kids are in their 20s now. I did it with shots and finger sticks. No pumps or cgms back then, at least not for me. You’ll make your diabetes and your pregnancy your main focus over and above everything else.

It IS possible!


#6

I’m checking and correcting but still not budging a whole lot. I’m really scared of having those low blood sugar seizures again.
I am also in the Boston area, trying to get hooked up with Joslin but am jumping through hoops.


#7

I had my kids at Beth Israel. I used their high risk OB/gyn and their endocrinologist. Again, this was 25 years ago. I have no idea what doctors are there now.


#8

BeckyZ, I have been getting worse depressive episodes as well from all this. My endo jumped ship and closed his office, and he was my main doctor for all of my diabetes care.
Now I’m trying to rebuild my team with this in mind, but I’m so scared that I’ll experience the same grimness I always have…
How did you find your educator? I have always hated them. My last go at one laughed at me in front of a student after I told her my diagnosis story. But it would be nice to see if maybe that cheerleader aspect could be helpful going into this.


#9

I was actively against getting an educator, but my endocrinologist doesn’t want to deal with anything pregnancy related, and my gynecologist made it clear the diabetes was too much for her to handle, so she referred me to a high risk pregnancy clinic. The doctor was not very empathetic in my opinion, and gave the typical scare speech. She referred me to the educator after telling me the 7.2 that I had worked so hard to achieve was meaningless. That was a low point, and I went into the educator with an attitude of, “this is it. If I don’t get some help, I’m giving this whole thing up, and adopting”. The previous doctors had already scared my husband enough that he was begging me to just adopt. The educator saw all this, and begged me to just keep coming to meetings. She even asked the clinic not to charge me a copay ro make it more enticing. She kept cheering me up and encouraging me, and after 8 months of meetings, I was at a 5.6 and ready to start trying. It is hard to find the right support, and I was very lucky to find her when I did. For me, even trying to get pregnant has been a battle against my own fear and society’s prejudices, but I console myself that it’s good practice for being a mom. I also remember that all mom’s worry; we just start earlier than other people, which means we have more practice.

As far as lows go, I understand completely. I had maybe a half dozen seizures as a teenager and was scared too. But I realized that I had to take that risk if I was going to get the hba1c down. It’s part of the reason I quit because it’s not easy to take a break to fix a low where I work. It still freaks me out a bit to cruise along at 75, but I know I have sugar and can fix it if anything changes. The cgm was very helpful in letting me know when lows were about to happen which means I can prevent the really bad lows that lead to seizures.

Also, the cgm taught me that pre-bolusing was a good thing to be doing if I want that low hba1c.


#10

I am aiming at 6.5-7 right now. I feel like that is my “safe” zone…
I’m glad you mentioned the educator, it may be a worthwhile endeavor. I’ve also gotten to the point now where I am so fed up with scare tactics being used EVERYWHERE that I think I am strong enough to tell a new endo to get bent if they try and do that to me again. LOL


#11

Good luck. Just stay close with your team. I wish u the best.


#12

I applaud you for pre-planning. Diabetes is hard work on the daily. Being pregnant is also hard work :slight_smile: I am a T2 diabetic that was controlled on orals meds when I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant (my oldest was 17 years old at the time and this was a wild surprise). My A1C was in the low 7s, but I had a lot of issues controlling my blood sugars starting in month 4 and the different meds caused me to have scary lows and I didn’t like my care team. They didn’t seem to have any real idea about diabetes management and always trotted out the scare tactics. I switched into a high risk clinic with amazing doctors, went on insulin, met with their fantastic diabetes educator to learn how to use it, and we focused on having a healthy baby. By the end of pregnancy my A1C was 5.4 with no hypos and I had a straightforward induced delivery with a healthy baby that weighed 7lb2oz. She turns 7 next month.

The key is controlling your diabetes now, don’t get hyper focused on the A1C-aim for good control throughout the day without super highs and lows. Start looking for a high risk clinic now, actually interview the doctors and ask them about their experience with diabetic patients and what their approach to diabetes management within pregnancy, etc. Trust me when I say you’ll know if you want to be cared for by the practice or not once you meet with them.

I did make more frequent doctors visits and ultrasounds than a standard pregnancy, especially towards the end.

You can do this.


#13

Hey all, I know it’s been a couple months since people posted on this thread but I’m also planning for pregnancy and I’m feeling kind of lost. I’m a T1D (17 years) using Omnipod and dexcom G6, and last a1c was 6.5.

I moved to a new city 2ish years ago, so I have been working on a relationship with a new endocrinologist, whom I like, but she’s young. She knows I want to have a baby ASAP, but I’m not sure how much experience she has working with pregnant women. I recently asked her for a recommendation for an OB she trusted which she gave, but when I asked if she’d worked with this OB before she said she just recommended the practice she uses (to my knowledge my endo is not T1D). Sooo long story short, despite her well intentioned recommendation…what are people’s thoughts? Is it preferable for T1D to be seen/managed by high risk OBs?

I want to get the ball tolling but don’t want to waste time or copay on going to a regular OB if I should be seeing a high risk specialist from the get go…

Also, hoping things are going well for @Gallant493 and others who posted previously :two_hearts: It’s nice to know I’m not the only one having a hard time emotionally related to thinking about motherhood and that there’s a supportive community here.