Would LOVE to hear some birth stories

I'm at 32 weeks now and getting VERY nervous about the birth. So far my A1C has stayed around 5.6 and there have been no complications BUT he is already 5lbs despite my best efforts!!!! They started to a mention C-section, of course, but I REALLY want to deliver vaginally because a C-section scares me to death but I was hoping to hear some words of encouragement from some of your experiences. Here are some questions...

How did you deliver? What was the reason?
At what week did you you deliver?
Were you induced?
What was baby's size?
Did you wear a pump?
Were you able to breast feed if wanted to?
Did baby spend any time in NICU?

Thank you all in advance for sharing your stories!!! :)

I am at 31 weeks with DD#2 right now and have big plans for this birth! DD#1 was born at 35.5 weeks after my water broke.(She weighed over 8 lbs and was 21 inches). I was induced, but that was mainly because I went to the hospital right away because of the late-preterm water breaking. Knowing what I know now, I would have waited at home for labor to start and labored at home for the majority of the time. I am really trying to avoid pitocin this time.

I did use an insulin pump, but if I remember correctly, had it suspended for most of the time during labor/birth. My BG was monitored every hour.

Babe was taken to the special care nursery after birth (not NICU) and stayed there for 5 days. She had jaundice and a low blood sugar, which are both common in pre-term babies and babes of diabetic mothers. We asked that she go on IV fluids to raise her BG instead of formula because I wanted to breastfeed. I pumped as much as possible those first few days to stimulate my milk supply, got her to latch on within the first few hours and gave any colostrum I was able to pump through a dropper at first. She was great with feeding and with just a slight aversion to my left side which was corrected by a lactation consultant in the second week, we BF'd until 11 months.

We were sent home with a billirubin blanket to continue to treat the jaundice but after a week at home with that, her levels were normal and there was no additional treatment.

The hardest parts for me were the pitocin/epidural and having her in the special care nursery, connected to all sorts of monitors and IVs (partly our doing since we requested the fluids IV for her BG levels). But overall, everything went well. It was 13 hours from my water breaking to the time of her birth and we have a funny, gorgeous, inquisitive 4 year old who can't wait for her baby sister to arrive!

We're trying to keep this baby cooking for a little longer and avoid the interventions we had with DD#1. We have hired a doula time to assist in the labor and delivery since I am hoping to proceed much more naturally this time. We are also living in Argentina now (in the USA for DD#1), which complicates matters a little bit and I wanted a go-between to advocate for our wishes with hospital/birthing staff.

The best thing you can do for your baby right now is try to relax and know that your baby will arrive at the right time for him/her. I was very stressed with work for DD#1 and I'm convinced that contributed to my the early birth. Also, know that ultrasound weight estimates can be WAY off. Your body is made for birth and you CAN have a vaginal delivery, even with diabetes and a big baby. From the stories I've heard/read, it is not uncommon to have a 10, 11 or even 12 lb baby delivered vaginally, many times without a tear. Google it. There are some great, uplifting stories of natural births of large babies.

My doula was just telling me that larger babies many times are easier to deliver because they can react better to the stresses of labor and delivery. Smaller babies do not shift/react as readily and can be tougher. Not completely sure about that but I'm choosing to believe it's true ;)

Enjoy this final stretch and try not to be bullied into a C-section if it is not clear that its medically necessary. Size alone is not a necessity!

Hugs and best of luck to you!!

How did you deliver? What was the reason? By C-section. I had pre-eclampsia.
At what week did you you deliver? 34 weeks and 1 day
Were you induced? No
What was baby's size? 6 lbs 13 ozs
Did you wear a pump? No didn't have one at the time. Controlled everything with shots. Even though despite awesome control he was still that size.
Were you able to breast feed if wanted to? Tried for the first 3 weeks then my supply just stopped.
Did baby spend any time in NICU? No the NICU but a lower level nursery. At the hospital I delivered at there are three nurseries. Level 1 is for babies who stay with their momma's in room but have check-ups and breaks from momma. Level 2 where my son was is for babies that are 32 weeks and older. Level 3 nursery is the NICU for those 31 and earlier. He was in the Level 2 nursery for 17 days. It drove me absolutely nuts.

How did you deliver? What was the reason?
Vaginally. I was induced at 37 weeks as my bgs were dropping and they were concerned that the placenta was starting to fail. I had an amnio to determine lung development. I was really scared about the amnio and it turned out to be no big deal. Hurt less than having blood drawn.

At what week did you you deliver?
37 weeks

Were you induced?
Yes, they put me on cervadil for 12 hours. Then they broke my water and that put me into transition. After pushing for a while, they used pitocin to even out my contractions. I was prepared to have a 3 day induction that ended in a c-section. Instead, my boy was born in less than 18 hours from the beginning of the induction.

What was baby's size?
9 lbs, 4 oz.

Did you wear a pump?
Yep - I wore my omnipod and my cgm

Did baby spend any time in NICU?
Yes. He had shoulder dystocia (sp?) and took him a while to get his breathing correct. That was the main issue. He also had low bg at birth (although mine stayed between 60 and 90 during active labor and delivery). So he spent 5 days in the NICU. He probably would have been released earlier, but he looked like he was developing jaundice, so they kept him in a billibed for 36 hours as a precaution.

Were you able to breast feed if wanted to?
Yes. I did not get to breast feed him until about 24 hours after he was born. I was pumping and the NICU was bottle feeding for the first day. He had minimal formula at the beginning. I wanted to avoid all formula, but that's they way it went. After day 3 he had no more formula. It took about 4 days to figure out breastfeeding as we had to deal with schedules and tubes at the NICU. However, as I was pumping as much as possible, I had an over-abundace of milk. He also learned how to take a bottle from his daddy, so they get a chance to bond as well :)

How did you deliver?
My first girl was natural, but had epidural, my son was natural and just had the gas (I enjoyed my son's birth better)

What was the reason?
I had complications with the epi, was almost a c-section but she finally cam after 9 hours of being induced.

At what week did you you deliver?
38 weeks on the dot for both

Were you induced?
yes with both, i was in bed for both of the birth, wasn't allowed to walk around because my levels were too high the morning of the inducing so they put me on a glucose/insulin drip to keep my levels steady. ( I got out of bed though with my son cause i couldn't lay there anymore )

What was baby's size?
my daughter was 4.15kg and my son was 4.3kg. They told me my son was going to be small...... they were rong.

Did you wear a pump?
no, never tried one but heard they are great.

Were you able to breast feed if wanted to?
yes, I did up until they were both 4 months, then went to work. Breast feeding can lower blood glucose levels, it didn't affect me too much but everybodys body reacts differently.

Did baby spend any time in NICU? My daughter was in special care for 3 days, my son, was in there for a few hours, he had a glucose drip and had his bgl's were tested often but I asked if he could stay in my room, they hesitated but I told them I really needed him there.

Enjoy the birthing experience!! Look after your levles and eat healthy :) Try not to stress too much. Get as much information as you can from the dr's so you know exactly whats going on aswell. Most of all enjoy it!

These stories are super encouraging mainly because I nor baby have had any complications...wonderful pregnancy!!! Therefore, I don't want to be told I need a C section strictly due to size. They said the main reasoning was that diabetic babies distribute their weight differently and it can cause complications during birth but it's nice to hear of these success stories with vaginal deliveries. Thanks ladies! :)

I am 31 weeks right now and wondering the same things. Baby is measuring 3 lbs 11 oz so about 54th percentile. My A1c was 5.8 about 2 weeks after conception, dropped to a 5.5 in Dec, 5.3 in Feb and up to a 5.4 in April.

I just gave birth last week to a beautiful, healthy baby boy! I developed mild pre-eclampsia in my 38th week of pregnancy and my doctor decided to induce Sunday evening, so that I would have the baby one day shy of my 39th week. I was already 2cm dilated and my cervix was soft, so my doctor thought it would be an easy induction. Cervadil was put in at around 11:30pm, which caused mild but consistent cramping. I also had to be on a magnesium drip to prevent seizures and that made me feel very sick. After staying in bed for two hours to get the Cervadil working, I was able to get out of bed, go to the bathroom, etc. I started to feel really nauseous around 1:30am and got sick a few times. During one of those times, I felt some bubbles in my stomach and then a gush of fluid. My husband got the nurse, who confirmed my water had broken. They took the Cervadil out and from there, things progressed very quickly. The contractions came strong, every 2-3 minutes apart. I ended up getting an epidural, because I was afraid I wouldn't have the energy to push, and the nausea between the contractions was pretty unbearable. I assumed I would be in labor for many more hours but around 5:30am, I started to get the urge to push. They checked me and I had gone from 3cm to 10cm in 3 hours! I actually had to wait almost an hour to start pushing because they didn't have a nurse available to be in the room! After about an hour and a half of pushing, my 9lb, 2oz baby was born.

I wore my pump the whole time, checked my sugars every couple of hours, and let the nurses know what it was. They said they were going to hook me up to a glucose drip during active labor, but honestly things moved so quickly, I'm not sure that ever happened. But my sugars stayed between 60-110 and I was able to eat earlier in the night to get it up from the 60s.

After the baby was born, he was cleaned off in an adjoining room, measured, his blood sugar checked, etc., then brought right back to me. I was able to breast feed right away. His sugar was 45, which was the lower end of normal for a baby but he did not need any formula or sugar water, just breast milk. They tested him a few more times throughout the day and his sugar consistently went up. I think they only needed to test his sugar like 4 times before they were satisfied he was doing well. He spent no time in the NICU.

My A1Cs were a consistent 6.0 throughout the pregnancy and he was also measuring around 5lbs at 32 weeks. My doctor started to talk C-section, but never pressed it and just took it one week at a time, one measurement at a time! Overall, other than the magnesium drip, it was a great experience and the nurses and doctor were really mellow about the fact that I had diabetes and let me take care it myself.

So very re-assuring. Quick question? How have your blood sugars been with breast feeding? Thanks for the news and congrats!

I hated the magnesium drip. It made me so sick. My pre-eclampsia developed at 32 weeks. It went severe at 34 and 1 day. I ended having to have an emergency c-section but I remember how the magnesium made me feel and the fact I couldn't get out of bed for the first 24 hours.

Oh. My son was 6 lbs 13 ozs at 34 weeks and 1 day. My A1Cs were in the 6's as well.

You can read my birth story here

But to answer your questions:
How did you deliver? What was the reason?
C-section based on the baby's predicted size and my OB-GYN's concerns about my ability to birth the baby safely

At what week did you you deliver?
Just completed the 38th week

Were you induced?
No, c-section, but I naturally went into labor before the c-section -- so I got to have some contractions :-)

What was baby's size?
4230g/9lb 5oz, 55cm/20.5inches

Did you wear a pump?
Yes, and it was on me throughout the c-section. I managed my own blood sugars.

Were you able to breast feed if wanted to?
Yes, I breastfed as soon as I got out of the surgery. My milk came in by day 3 and I had no issues with supply. We had a bumpy start learning how to do it (mostly he had trouble latching when my breasts were engorged), but almost 11 months later, we are still breastfeeding and all is well!

Did baby spend any time in NICU?
No, and he had no issues with low blood sugar.

I've been thinking about you, Anna! I know you're getting pretty close. :) I'm glad you posted this, because I would've asked the same question soon! Sounds like you're doing really well with your A1C. That's great!

Hi Kim!
I've been thinking about you too! Hope all is well. I can't believe how close I am...SCARY but exciting! :) My A1C has been fabulous but it hasn't helped me in the department of the baby's size...he's already 7lbs and I'm only 35 weeks. They will do another growth ultrasound in 2 weeks to determine what to do. I'm pretty nervous and feel guilty but I guess I did all I could...just really didn't want to do a C-section. Oh well, I'll keep you all posted!

Don't feel guilty about the size! It happened to many of us who did everything to keep things under control. Our son came out strong (9lb 5oz), but was healthy in every way and good control was important there.

It took me a while to accept the c-section, as I know that many women can birth big babies vaginally. I have heard stories and advice in both directions. So talk with your team and tell them your concerns.

IF you do end up with a c-section, do all that you can to accept it BEFORE the c-section. Some studies show that women with c-section can have more difficulty with breastfeeding, but one theory suggests that it can be connected to stress or disappointment about the birth. I wanted a natural birth more than anything and had a hard time accepting the c-section. For a few weeks afterwards, I wondered if I could have had the natural birth, but then I was able to let go of it. Still for baby #2 (not yet on the way), I am hoping for a natural birth, even if the baby is measuring big. We'll see....

Wishing you all the best!!

How did you deliver? What was the reason?
I had a c-section at 39 weeks. I had some indication of ovarian cysts in my early ultrasounds, so he wanted to take care of those at the same time, rather than needing to go back for a surgery later. I was MORE than happy for the c-section - I was more worried about a natural delivery and the stress on my blood sugars! The epidural was really easy and recovery wasn't bad at all. The worst part was a bad reaction to the stronger pain meds they gave me about 12 hours after surgery that made me puke, but that was short lived. At what week did you you deliver?
39 weeks exactly. She passed ALL her non stress tests with flying colors, though my blood pressure got a little high at my last appointment at 38 and 38.5 weeks. My cervix was entirely closed and not dilated, pretty much closed for business, but I was totally ready by then. Were you induced? n/a What was baby's size?
6 pounds, 13 ounces. At some of the first ultrasounds (perhaps around 24 or 28 weeks?), she was on track to be a 9 pound baby. But DO NOT place much stock in those predictions - they are not very reliable. But of course since I am diabetic, everyone was super surprised she was as small as she was. And non-diabetics can have big babies, particularly if they run in the family.... Did you wear a pump?
Yup, never took it off. Were you able to breast feed if wanted to?
Baby was latched on within 30 minutes of delivery. I was surprised it went so easily, all things considered. What I was NOT prepared for was all the ongoing lows in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. My basal rates are about 65-70% of my pre-pregnancy dose. Did baby spend any time in NICU?
Nope, her blood sugars stayed stable and her other levels were good so she avoided the NICU. I worried about that, too, and that is why I was so crazy about keeping super tight control in the last couple weeks. In the end I realized that whatever was in the best interest of the baby was what I'd do. One word of advice is that there is only so much you can do to prevent your baby spending time in the NICU. Babies born to non-diabetic mommies sometimes spend time there in the first day or two due to low blood sugars and a host of other common issues.

First of all, the fact that you have worked so hard and taken such good care of yourself means that you have every reason to expect a smooth labor and delivery and a healthy baby! You've done the hardest work and now you just need to finish the last mile of the marathon!!

To answer your questions:

How did you deliver? What was the reason?- I delivered vaginally after going into labor at 38 weeks, 6 days.

At what week did you you deliver?- My son was born the morning of 39 weeks exactly.

Were you induced?- No!!

What was baby's size?- 6 pounds, 14 ounces

Did you wear a pump?- Yes, my blood glucose was managed mostly by myself and by my husband as the labor progressed more and more. My pump, meter, and cgm were by my side the entire time. I tested about once per hour and my hubby kept a constant eye on the cgm.

Were you able to breast feed if wanted to?- Absolutely, and I was encouraged to do so immediately.

Did baby spend any time in NICU?- Nope.

The very best of luck to you!! I was lucky enough to have fantastic birth that went pretty much entirely according to plan. Although I was warned by my perinatologist about all of the horrifying possibilities, the reality was that NONE of them occurred. It is entirely possible to have a positive birth experience and a healthy baby even as a type 1 diabetic. BTW I wrote a super in-depth birth story and posted it here on this blog about type 1 diabetes and natural childbirth. Check it out if you're looking for all the details!

I'm 31 1/2 weeks now and my baby is 5 lbs too. My BG's are pretty darn good and my A1C is 5.5. OB said its not just diabetes but could be genetics too. I'm nervous too about the whole C section thing if that were too happen.More the induction and pitocin part. I just want her to bea safe and healthy but I do hope for a chance at a natural birth. We just have to hang in there and know we are doing the very best we can and it is not our fault if they are "bigger". Congrats by the way xoox