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May 16 / Caro

Mini Meltdown

Last night, I had a bit of a meltdown. I’m guessing it may have been good practice for Ian on what we have in store as this baby gets older because it was a bit like a toddler tantrum, with shouting and tears – lots and lots of tears. And snot. Plenty of snot too. I’m a classy bird, me.

I wish could say it was the first time in this pregnancy that I’ve lost the plot a little bit. But in truth, I first lost the plot within a few days of that second pink line appearing. While I’m sure all mothers-to-be, and especially first time mothers-to-be, experience plenty of early pregnancy anxiety, the source of my distress was very definitely diabetes. On that first occasion, my blood sugar had risen seemingly inexplicably to something like 13mmol/l. I panicked, in a very full on hyperventilate-y way. Even though I was aware of how ridiculous I was being even as it happened, I could not stop the strong sense of fear overtaking my rational, sensible side. All I could imagine was the harm that high number could be doing to the delicate little beginnings of new life inside me. The result was a crying fit that it took Ian a good thirty minutes to talk me down from.

What that first high number really underlined for me was what a mammoth task I’ve taken on. I was, and still am, totally and completely scared by the awesome responsibility of building a new life. I’m so, so afraid that I can’t do it. That I can’t keep up the necessary blood glucose control and fit in the weekly or bi-weekly hospital visits required of me, all whilst continuing to do my job well. I’m afraid that my broken body will let me down. I’m afraid of letting Ian down, by not providing the very best environment to nuture his child. Most of all, I’m afraid that I will let our baby down.

The rational and sensible usually prevails, but I can’t suppress those fears all the time.

I cried at each and every one of my first few hospital visits. I cried to my diabetologist, expressing my concern that if anything goes wrong in this pregnancy, it will be my fault for not managing my medical conditions, and most specifically my blood sugars, well enough. I do understand that even if I were perfectly healthy, and a model mum-to-be, that things could go wrong. But if something does happen, I’ll never know the exact cause and I will always tend to assume that it’s down to me. My consultant tried to reassure me that any problems would be the fault of diabetes, not me. But diabetes is under my control. If I fail to control it well, any problems *will* be down to me.

I’ve cried at hospital appointments just because of their intensity. I don’t want to feel like a medical experiment. I don’t want to feel continually petrified of what I am doing to our little baby in there. I want to be a mum more than anything, but I also want to at least enjoy pregnancy a little. The amount of time spent at the hospital reinforces that pregnancy just seems too hard for me. That would see me dissolve in to tears again.

Last night I had a melt down because my DexCom was throwing screwy numbers, and a fingerstick revealed a much higher number than I thought I’d been sitting at. It sent me in to a spin, wondering just how long the DexCom had been giving inaccurate readings. Had I been high for the 3 hours since I last took a fingerstick reading? And that of course made me curse my laxness, for going too long without a “proper” blood glucose test. I’d been slacking and I was paying the price.

I know that I need to lighten up. I know that there is every chance the stress I’m putting myself under will do as much harm as the occasional elevated numbers I’m getting. But I also think that much like I have to accept that high blood sugars will happen occasionally during pregnancy, I also have to accept that these kind of panics and melt downs are par for the course with a diabetic pregnancy.

Luckily for me, Ian certainly seems to be accepting it.

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