"Suck it in." "I am!" I screamed to my husband as he tried to zip up my formal black dress for my company's Christmas party. I was banking on not showing that much by the time this party rolled around. However, things have really started to expand this week around my belly. Most of my pre-pregnancy pants don't fit anymore, or I at least can't button them. I also bought my first pair of maternity jeans last week, which are still a bit loose but are better than my attempt to squeeze into my other jeans. My expanding belly is also providing plenty of challenges when it comes to my diabetes, namely site placement and the dreaded insulin resistance.
The biggest challenge with inserting a new pump or CGM site is that the skin around my belly is really tight and dry. So I am lathering myself in cocoa butter lotion after I shower. Having lotion on my skin at all makes a new site less sticky. In fact, it likes to slide off my skin more than stay on it. So I have been sticking to having sites around my thighs, hips, and arms and avoiding my growing belly. But these locations make site rotation a little bit of a challenge because I am taking one region completely out of the selection of choices. I am also utilizing locations that I rarely use such as my lower back and gluttious maximus, otherwise known as the butt. I typically do not like these sites because they are awkward to insert and are less comfortable when I am lying down or sitting, but I need to make these sites more of a habit in order to get the best rotation and, in turn, the best insulin absorption.
I believe that insulin resistance has also started to rear its ugly head, too. It started out after what I thought was a fluke high following a holiday lunch. I did not go absolutely crazy, but I probably had one too many chocolate-covered pretzels. (Note: Being diabetic and pregnant during the holidays is really REALLY hard, especially with all the savory goodies around.) But the same thing happened the next day with a calculated carb count and insulin dose. After a brief freak out and a nice walk to calm my nerves and lower my blood sugar, I figured out that this increase was probably the beginning of insulin resistance associated with pregnancy.
I knew something funny was happening because I also noticed that my morning numbers were starting to creep up as well. I have increased my insulin to carb ratio from 1:10 to 1:8 and upped my basal rates during the day by 0.1 units. I normally would like to see my endo before making these changes, but I can't wait three weeks for a trend to take over before something is done. So far things have leveled out, but I know that more increase is coming. I try not to get too discouraged by the total numbers and just try to think "Whatever is good for the baby is good for me." So I am happy with taking a bucket load of insulin if that's what it takes to keep he or she healthy.
One good thing that I'd like to end this post with is that I have started to feel the baby move! It is very subtle and almost unnoticeable unless I am sitting very still. But the feeling is undeniable, almost like someone is doing flip flops inside my stomach. Just like hearing their heartbeat at the doctor's office, it gives me the greatest sense of joy and peace to know that there is someone in there and they are doing just fine.