Morning Sickness and Lows

Pregnancy and Diabetes Blog

Morning Sickness and Lows

From week 6 to about week 12 of my pregnancy, I dealt with a healthy bout of the pregnancy symptom known as morning sickness.  By its name, you would think that morning sickness would be limited to just the mornings.  But that is far from the truth.  The basic premise of morning sickness is your body has this surge of hormones that it doesn’t know what to do with except make you nauseous and sometimes vomit.  This feeling is particularly true when you have not eaten in several hours, which is probably where the term “morning sickness” came from since the greatest span of time between meals is from dinner to breakfast.


For me, morning sickness was particularly bad first thing in the morning because my husband’s alarm goes off about 30 minutes before I get up.  So I would lie in bed long enough to be awake and let the nausea take over.   I usually end up losing control and vomiting either in the shower or when I get to work.  I would try nibbling on crackers and sipping on diet ginger ale while driving in the car, but sometimes it felt better to just hurl and get it over with.  Another time that my nausea would be bad would be in the afternoons about three hours after lunch.  I don’t know why this time of day was bad for me, but I think it had something to do with the fact that I usually eat a light lunch and a small snack in the afternoons.  I’ve found that if I eat a heavier, carb-loaded and protein-filled meal that I can curb some of the pukies.  


Dealing with morning sickness and having diabetes has presented a little bit of a challenge.  The hardest time to deal with being nauseous is when I’m low because it’s hard to keep juice down when I immediately want to hurl it back up.  This lovely event actually happened on a few occasions, but once I puked I felt good enough to keep some juice down afterward.  Of course, whenever I’m low I make sure to suspend my pump to keep my blood sugar from dipping lower; I also keep an eye on my CGM to make sure I’m coming back up.  Dealing with lows happens often during the first trimester, so I kept my pump suspended a lot.  


The scariest occurrence I had with a low happened when I made a big batch of chicken Parmesan with a side of noodles.  I bolused for the noodles, ate the entire bowl, and immediately lost it less than 10 minutes later.  So I had five units of insulin flowing through my blood stream with no carbs for it to meet.  I sat on the couch while my husband fed me juice, tears rolling down my face because I was afraid of passing out.  I don’t know how low I got, but I felt every single symptom including sweating, anxious, disoriented, and light-headed.  I kept drinking juice until I literally couldn’t drink anymore.  


Now that I’m in the second trimester, the nausea has let up to the point that I only feel sick first thing in the morning, but I can usually hold it in until breakfast.  I’ve also learned to make the most of my extended square bolus feature on my pump to make sure that I can keep my entire meal down.  I’m also extremely impressed at how fast I can run to the bathroom, usually outrunning my stomach . . . usually.