Monitoring Contractions

Pregnancy and Diabetes Blog

Monitoring Contractions

June 6, 2011

It has been a wild weekend for sure. Going from realizing I’ve only got between 5 and 9 weeks left of pregnancy to thinking we may be meeting this little bundle a little sooner than that.

Of course, a few weeks ago, we started NSTs (Non-Stress Tests) twice per week to monitor the baby’s movements and my contractions. No biggie really, I just thought it was nice to see the baby’s heart rate and watch what the monitor does when we moves around in there and hear it through the speaker. Then came a couple of contractions during monitoring last week. Again, no biggie. I was told to make sure I was drinking plenty of fluids and to call if the contractions were steady or becoming more and more frequent.

This past week, they’ve been okay. One here and there, but again, no biggie. Then came Saturday night. I had been outside messing around for a while, but I had been drinking fluids. At about 11pm, the contractions started, and they were steady. Not like before when I would have a few and they’d go away with no rhythm or anything, these could be timed. I could watch my time and see that it had been three minutes since the last one and knew there would be one soon – and within a few seconds, the next one would start. So, we called the on-call doctor and he said to drink fluids and rest and if they didn’t subside within a two-hour window, to come in. Well, I was only about 15 minutes away from that 2 hours being up when they started subsiding and eventually ended. This whole time my blood sugars were doing okay – staying around 150 (higher than needed from supper) then coming down only to about 130 through the whole ordeal.

Then, today, I went in for my NST appointment again. I was hooked up and monitored, then they came back to tell me he wasn’t moving as much as he did in my previous appointments, so they were going to monitor for a little while longer. Come to find out, the reason why was because my blood sugar had dropped from when I first got there, so it was affecting him too. While waiting on my sugar to come up, I had two contractions and what they called “uterine irritability”, so they called the doctor to see what he wanted done. During that time, I had another one. So, they got word from the doctor that he wanted to check me and to come over then.

After waiting, poking and moving things around, I am still okay and not in any preterm labor, just experiencing random Braxton-Hicks contractions and contraction sessions. I was warned, though, that if they stayed consistent or increased any, to come back and be rechecked. The only thing about preterm labor and diabetes is that while normally they would put me on steroids, they are trying to avoid it because of what they do to blood sugars. So, I’m having to watch things very closely to be sure the contractions stay the way they are, rest, and stay off of my feet in hopes to do what we can to avoid all of that.

Otherwise, things are going great. Blood sugars have settled down a bit since increasing my basal and bolus rates in my pump to match the increased insulin resistance that seems to be hitting full force these days, making me change sites every 1-2 days. I have noticed, though, that before the increased insulin didn’t seem to work as well as we had hoped, and I got an idea that maybe it was the speed of delivery. So, I went into my pump settings and changed it so that it delivers at a slower rate, and it seems to have helped tremendously. So if you’re in your third trimester and big boluses seem to give you a problem, you might want to see if you can slow down the delivery in your pump settings our maybe even do the shortest extended-wave bolus available for each bolus (mine is 30 minutes).

I have been having a talk with my little one this morning, telling him we need him to stay in there a little longer. I want to see him, but not just yet if we can help it. So, keep us in your thoughts and prayers that I can carry to full-term and that he’ll be okay. And if I go sooner, that he’ll still be okay to come however early he comes.