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Sep 22 / Caro

In A Funk

I know that I’ve written a number of times about how much I’m looking forward to this whole pregnancy thing being over, and how much I’m not enjoying the diabetes stress and pressure. I’ve already talked about it this week. But I’m not sure that I’m really able to capture just what sort of state I’m frequently finding myself in, nor just how much my neverendingly patient husband has to talk me down and how good he is at doing it. And in that, today was a case in point.

It started with a headache. The third one in three days, and it was just enough to tip me over the edge from tired, hormonal pregnant lady to mad, irrational, hormonal pregnant loon. And the worst part was that I knew I was high without having to test my blood sugar and definitely without the insistent and irritating reminders from the DexCom, which just served to make me all the more crazy.

As I whirled around the house gathering up fresh insulin, an infusion set and (yet another) glass of water, I sort of snapped.

“These high numbers are ridiculous. And they just take so long to come down. Before I was pregnant, if I was high, I’d bolus and be down within an hour. But now I seem to hang out in the high numbers for hours. And now! Now! When it really matters. “ I think my anger was all too apparent as I spat the words out quickly.

Ever the calm, rational voice, Ian reminded me “It’s what insulin resistance does. You’re testing and adjusting. You’re dealing with it.”

“I know. I know. But it’s doing my head in” I retorted. “I’ve been high so much this week that Flangelina will definitely have put more weight on. So much for my blood sugars being easier to control once on maternity leave – they’ve been a hundred times worse. And so much for enjoying my maternity leave! The lie in was nice, but now I just feel stressed and grotty and ill.” I was unstoppable, the words falling out over themselves. “I suppose my overnight was good. It’s just food that screws everything up” I added, in a small voice. And it was there, hiding in that sentence. My guilty conscience and the feeling that I’m to blame for this, because I’m finding it hard to stick to the straight and narrow, and that food is really my downfall. “I’m feeling a bit of a failure again today” I almost whispered.

“Well don’t. This is a new and different challenge. Your routine has changed. It’ll take a while for things to settle down. And maybe we’ll just have to be more boring with food for the next few weeks.” Ian rationalised. I don’t know if he realised then that this is exactly what I am having trouble with doing.

The thing is, I’m used to being able to get away with eating different things whenever I fancy, so long as I bolus appropriately. But it’s all different in pregnancy. And now I just feel guilty for not doing better with what I’m eating. Even the bolusing appropriately part is tough, because psychologically I’m not adjusting well to the new sizes of these insulin doses. I can’t shift the notion that they’re too high and they’re going to kill me. That’s a major part of the problem. I’m afraid of being low with masses and masses of active insulin. Ordinarily if I have 12 units of insulin still acting a low blood sugar I’d be needing to either get through about 200g of carbs, or go to hospital.

“This isn’t ordinary” Ian reminded me, when I told him.

I do know that, but I still can’t get comfortable with it. I also know that we could go low carb again. It would be very unlikely to do the baby any harm. But low carb is incredibly hard, especially when you’re pregnant and hungry. I know that I shouldn’t, but I just want to keep stuffing my face. I want to eat chocolate biscuits. And I know that they’re no good for me, and no good for my blood sugars and no good for Flangelina, but somehow that makes me want them even more.

I know I signed up for this. And I knew it would be hard. But today it feels too hard and I feel like I’m failing.

“Honey” Ian said, forcing me to look at him “You need to concentrate on why you’re doing this and that the end is in sight. In six weeks or so you’ll be able to eat what you want and things will get easier. You’re doing so well, and it really isn’t that long.”

“It feels like forever when you’re the size of a house and you’re bloody hungry.” After a moment’s silence, I added “I’m never doing this again, you know.”

“You’re doing fine. It’s tough. And when you see the happy, healthy baby at the end, you’ll wonder why you got so stressed.”

“I know I really wanted children, and I still do really want this baby, but I don’t want to do this stupid, stupid pregnancy thing ever again. I’m just screwing it up”

“You’re not screwing it up. Your body and placenta is actively fighting you.”

“Stupid body”

“It’s not stupid, it’s doing what pregnant bodies do.”

“Yes, but most pregnant bodies also fight back. Mine is too stupid and lazy to do what it’s supposed to do. And I’ve had enough of doing it for it. Or rather trying to do it, and failing.”

Once I started to unravel, it came quickly

“I’ve been nothing but high for days. SEVENTEEN for half the afternoon on Tuesday. TWELVE for most of yesterday morning, and then nine to ten for a good chunk of the afternoon and evening, and now TWELVE again this morning. These are crappy numbers even if you aren’t pregnant. And when I’m not pregnant, a week of crappy numbers is nothing in the grand scheme of things. But since Flangelina has 40 weeks in there, which is really only 38 for normal women, and probably only 36 for me, an hour is an eternity. I need to keep everything down and stable as much as possible. And it’s just not happening. I’m really failing at this. I want this to be over. I just want the baby here safe.“

“I know. But you’re not failing. For starters we’ve looked at the data together, and I know that you’re exaggerating” he smirked at me. “And for now, the best place for the baby is definitely with you.”

“Is it? I don’t think so. I think I’m doing it more harm than good. Please don’t hate me for being crap and not being the best mummy for our baby.” I’m not really sure whether I was pleading with myself, or with Ian.

“I don’t hate you, honey. I could never hate you. I love you and you are the best mother that there could possibly be for my child.”

The tears were falling really fast now, as he swept me in to a hug. I think I sort of knew that I was beaten, but I waved my hands around, gesturing at the room, as I sniffed and said “But it will have a messy house. I’ve been too big, and hot and demotivated to do anything today.”

“Honey…” Ian raised his eyebrows at me “It’s not messy in here.” I think he was trying not to laugh.

“Maybe. I just want everything to be perfect. But I can’t do perfect.”

“No one can do perfect” Ian said calmly. “But you’re close enough.”

And I know that he meant it. I just need to work on believing it.

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