Posted tagged ‘pregnancy’

Postpartum: In the blink of an eye

March 4, 2011

This post is the final post in a series about my labor, delivery, and postpartum story. When we left off, the entire family had been delivered to my room in the postpartum unit to recover.

See the following posts for a recap:

Read on to find out what happened during our stay in the postpartum unit.

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It was late in the evening by the time we finally got settled in our postpartum room. I’m really not sure what time it was, because we had been inside the hospital for going on three days now. The flourescent lights were starting to really throw off my sense of time and place. I was disappointed to realize that my room only had a half bathroom (no shower!!!) and was right outside of the nurses’ station, so was quite loud. But I was so tired and elated and just so full of wonder and fear all at the same time that I didn’t even bother to ask if they could move us. We were all here, together, in one piece (or I guess you could say two pieces :)) and that was what really counted.

I was comfortable at this time because I still had plenty of pain killer from the epidural running through me and a catheter to keep up with my peeing needs. So I was anxious to try when the nurse suggested that I breastfeed. I did so, under the guidance of a gruff and less-than-sympathetic postpartum nurse who seemed bothered by my incessant questions. Lukas latched right on like a champ, and the pain was immediate for me. Too bad that epidural couldn’t have spread just a little further north!

Afterward, the nurse suggested that I pump to help bring in my milk. I complied, after observing her rudimentary lessons, but, looking back, I think this is where all of my trouble with breastfeeding started.
And now a sidetrack about breastfeeding:

It turns out that I really didn’t need any help bringing in my milk – It came in on day two with abundance. However, lacking good lactation advice, I continued to pump in an attempt to build up a “buffer” for when I couldn’t breastfeed. But by the time we were discharged, we already had several ounces of stored breast milk and two really engorged breasts. My totally uneducated opinion is that the pumping I did in the hospital set me up for the oversupply I dealt with later that eventually played a big role in my decision to quit breastfeeding.

So if you wondering about breastfeeding and pumping, here is my advice: listen to your body. If you have plenty of milk, DO NOT pump, not even to build up a “stockpile.” If you’re anything like me, you will end up with more milk than you can use and you will pay for it with sore, rock-hard, lumpy, leaky boobs. So much fun.

Instead, just feed your baby when he or she needs it, and let your body do what it’s built to do. And if you have to supplement with formula at night so that you can get some sleep, try not to agonize over it. A healthy mom is critical to the health of a new baby, and if you are a wreck, your baby will be too.

Of course, everybody is different, so take my advice with a grain of salt. If you don’t have plenty of milk, for example, than you have the complete opposite (and much more common) problem from me. In that case, my advice certainly does not apply.

</end sidetrack>

The next morning, the nurse stripped the bandages off of my incision, drug me out of bed, and showed me how to get to the toilet. Getting out of bed is a lot hard than it sounds when you have a belly full of stitches. But they had removed the catheter and my body was starting to flush out the swelling that the Pitocin had caused, so I got lots of practice getting to the toilet in short order.

We spent four days in the postpartum unit and it was just an absolute whirlwind. I fed Lukas every three hours and my husband changed all of the diapers. In between, we struggled with an allergic reaction to two of the three pain meds they tried on me, gas pains, general incision pain, constipation, insomnia, and the standard noise and interruptions that come along with a stay in the hospital. It turns out that I had more pain than most new moms, so this added another layer to my struggle to recover.

I had one nurse who was a real diabetes moron. She gave me a lot of trouble for not finishing my lunches and for treating my near-constant lows with orange soda pop. My doctor set her straight, though, and she laid off. Aside from that one nurse, the hospital staff went out of their way to be helpful, which was a godsend when I was struggling with all of that pain. And they did not try to impose on my diabetes management. Instead, they just wrote down my BGs in their logs and kept track of the changes I made with my pump and the food I was eating.

Speaking of the near constant lows, I was hardly taking any insulin at all during those first few days. I had entered my pre-pregnancy basal rates into a profile on my pump before we left for the hospital, but most of the time my pump was on suspend. My insulin needs increased slowly over the next several weeks, but I still had random lows, especially after breastfeeding.

Our days in the postpartum unit passed in what seemed like moments and I felt so helpless. I could hardly crawl out of bed. My husband had to help me shower and get dressed.

By the time we got home, it had been seven days since we had stepped foot outside of the hospital and I was so happy to see the light of day that I could have cried. It was late afternoon on a sunny day in June. As I walked toward the house, I felt the warm breeze on my cheek and noticed the sun glinting through the tall grass. I looked down to see Lukas asleep in his carrier. I just stood there for a moment, trying to take it all in. We were all here and we were all healthy. It was just incredible.

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Day Three: The Delivery

March 3, 2011

This post is a continuation of my labor, delivery, and postpartum story. When we left off, the first 48 hours of labor had drawn to a close and I was only five centimeters dilated.

See Labor: Day One for a breakdown of the going-ons on the first day and Labor: Day Two for a review of what happened on the second day.  Read on to find out what happened on day three.

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Things happened quickly after my doctor made the decision to do a c-section. I watched everything as if I were floating outside of myself. I was scared and nervous. It just seemed like a dream. The anesthesiologist came back and injected a boatload of some sort of painkiller into my epidural and they rolled me into a sort of staging area outside of the operating room. Here we waited for our turn.

Once inside, I tried to take it all in, but it was just so much. There were like three or four nurses and two doctors standing at the foot of the table. The anesthesiologist stood behind me. Everything was stainless steel. A nurse asked me if I could move my feet. I tried, but could not, but was not convinced that I was numb. They strapped my arms down to the side of the table like you see on TV and they put up that crazy paper shield right in front of my face so that I couldn’t see anything. I was kind of freaking out.  My doctor was standing on my left and an assistant was standing on my right. Just before the surgery, my doctor leaned around the shield and showed me what looked like a pair of pliers. He says, “I just cut you several times with these and you did not feel it.” I think he was trying to put my mind at ease, but his comment only served to freak me out further.

During the actual event, I did not feel anything. Not even the tugging or pulling or pressure you sometimes here about. Before I new it, my doctor was saying, “He looks good.” He held my baby up over the curtain for just a moment, but I couldn’t really see him because the curtan was basically in my face. I was still pretty freaked out and I said nervously, “He’s not crying.”

They took little Lukas over to a bassinet in the corner of the OR where they had oxygen and all kinds of other treatments, but he didn’t really need them. Just like that, he let out a surprised yelp and then started to cry in earnest. Tears of relief pricked at the corners of my eyes.

Meanwhile, the doctors and nurses were working on putting me back together. They discovered that Lukas’ cord was in a full knot, which explained why his heart rate kept dropping. And they found a large fibroid (the reason for our ectopic pregnancy scare at six weeks), which they removed. As soon as they started to close me up, I felt pressure in my shoulders. Sort of under my collar bones. That and nausea. I mentioned this to the anesthesiologist, who assured me that both were normal (the pressure is a result of gas that is trapped in the abdominal cavity during the surgery) and gave me something that eased the gas pain and Phenergan for the nausea.

My husband took pictures of the baby, of my open belly, of the knot in Lukas’ cord, even of the fibroid. Kind of gross, but I was glad he did it, so that I could sort of relive the expereince later after I had calmed down. I was not able to hold Lukas in the operating room because the pain in my shoulders was too great, but my husband was and we have a great picture of him in his white jumpsuit and “shower cap” holding our little bundle.

It wasn’t long, though, before I was able to hold him. Out in the recovery room, the nurse tested my sugar (the only test that I or my husband didn’t do during this entire week-long event) and then they propped me up and let me hold him. I can’t even describe the feeling. It’s like a dream. It doesn’t seem real. After a little bit of bonding and a few visits from family, they took Lukas to the nursery for a quick checkup and took me and my husband to the postpartum unit. They rolled Lukas into the room just behind us, and reported that he was doing splendidly. His BG was near perfect and he showed no signs of distress. And with that our postpartum adventures began.

Check back soon for one more post about our experiences in the postpartum unit.

Labor: Day One (Finally!)

March 1, 2011

Scrolling through the archives of my blog the other day, I realized that I never really told you all about my labor, delivery, or postpartum experiences. I started a collection of posts on these topics some time ago, but never finished them.

It’s just so hard to explain the rush of activities and emotions that occurred over the course of those seven short days. I  kept trying, but was never satisfied with the results. And then my netbook died, taking those draft posts along with it.

So I thought I might try again. And this time I’ll be sure to back up my files.

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You might recall that the day before my induction, we had an amniocentesis which confirmed that BabyNoName was ready to be delivered. The office assistant gave us instructions to arrive at Labor and Delivery the next day at 5pm.

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We arrived at the hospital right on time at 5pm and the nurses were ready for us. I was surprised by the amount of paperwork to be completed and the details to be finalized. But I was comforted by the fact that the nurses seemed confident in their ability to deal with my “special” circumstances and their seeming interest and concern about my baby’s well-being.

It seemed to take forever, but it was probably only a couple of hours before we finally got started with the IV and then the Cervidil. As a reminder, Cervidil is a gel that is applied to the cervix by means of a tampon-like device that is placed in the vagina. It’s supposed to thin the cervix and, in some cases, can even dilate the cervix. As expected. It caused light cramping, but was not difficult to deal with. I was still allowed to get up, walk around, and use the bathroom on my own.

My husband and I fell into a routine of testing and logging my BG every hour. At one point, I was low and the nurse let us treat it with our own stash of supplies, so from there on out, we took care of my BG.

The Cervidil stayed in all night, and in the morning, the doctor on call checked my progress. Boy was I disappointed to hear that we’d only progressed to one centimeter. One! So next we started with Pitocin through the IV. The Pitocin increased the discomfort of the cramps, but they were still not debilitating. They gave me morphine every four hours or so to keep me comfortable. We also used the exercise ball to sort of massage away the pain and to try to take advantage of gravity.

The nurses really went out of their way to keep me as comfortable as possible, and they were very hands off with the whole BG control thing. They wrote down everything I did, from BG tests to basal adjustments, to low treatments, but really stayed at arm’s length. One nurse told me that as long as I was able to keep everything under good control, they would let my husband and I handle it. But if things got out of control, they would step in. And they kept their word. I was impressed.

So after a whole day of labor with low levels of Pitocin, another on-call doctor checked my progress. Still one centimeter. No, I’m not joking. Oh, how I wish I was! At this point I had been in “labor” for about 24 hours. My doctor stopped in and advised me that they would next try a “foley ball”. I’d never heard of this procedure before. Fair warning: if anybody ever suggests it, consider running in the opposite direction.

Stay tuned for “Labor: Day Two”

One final update before the big day

June 4, 2010

We’re down to just a weekend before the big amnio. If all goes as planned, this might be my last post for a little while. I’ll do my best to at least post a couple of pictures once Baby NoName finally makes his big debut, though.

In the meantime, here is an update on my and baby’s health over the course of the last couple of weeks.

As has been the case throughout this pregnancy, Baby NoName and I are healthy. Neither of us has an diabetic complications to speak of, although I continue to struggle with “real people” pregnancy symptoms like swelling, heartburn, and round ligament pain. These have mostly improved now that I am on my “staycation” and resting more.

For the last three weeks, though, I have really struggled with my BGs. I’ve averaged about 100 throughout the entire pregnancy until these last couple of weeks. Now my average is up to 120. I’m seeing an alarming number of post-prandial readings in the 170-180 range and an occasional number in the 200s. Of course, I do my best to bring these numbers right back down, but they are alarming after all of the great numbers I saw up until this point. I have no idea how much of an effect this new development will have on baby’s BG when he is born, but you can be sure I am worrying about it. Hopefully all of the good numbers I’ve managed to accumulate throughout the pregnancy will offset some of these higher ones.

It seems that my basal and bolus rates are increasing every two to three days. And the needs are not consistent. One day this week, I used a 140% temp basal all day, and the next day, my numbers dropped back down into the normal range.

My average daily insulin intake is up to 82 units, up from 35 units pre-pregnancy and up from 75 units a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve gained about 17 pounds over the course of this whole journey. Given that I came into this at a less than ideal weight, I was hoping to keep my weight gain to about 20 pounds or so, so I am pretty happy with this number. Still, I am not exactly thrilled with my new, flabby and water-logged figure. I do my best to avoid seeing my rear end. It has widened considerably. And my arms and legs look increasingly like stuffed sausages. Yikes.

Psychologically, I am a bit of a mixed bag. I am so excited to finally meet this little guy. But I am scared and nervous, too. Can I actually do this? Childbirth? Breastfeeding? Childcare? What if it turns out that I am not “mom material?” I’m sure we’ll figure it all out as we go along, but that doesn’t mean that these thoughts don’t keep running through my head.

Spending the last couple of days at home has not helped. When I was always running to work and appointments, I didn’t really have time to think about what was coming up next. But now that I’ve had a chance to relax and regroup, it’s given me time to think about these types of things.

Tip of the week: Avoid the TLC channel and the shows Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby during the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy. I’ve seen all sorts of births on TV this week: c-sections, at-home births, natural births, medicated births. In one episode, the mom was in so much distress that the doctor asked the camera crew to turn off the cameras so that they could deliver the baby. My mind made up all kinds of scenarios for what happened while the cameras were off.

My life is about to change in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. And this is something that I’ve always dreamed about. The journey has been long and stressful but oh so worth it. But I realize now more than ever that this journey is not even close to over. In fact, you might say that it’s just beginning.

Maternity Leave: The Ins and Outs

June 2, 2010

So I am officially on maternity leave now. Technically, it is a sort of pre-maternity-leave vacation. You see, my company requires that I use any remaining vacation during the first days of my actual FMLA/short term disability leave. That is, all types of leave, including vacation and sick time run concurrently, or at the same time. So you can’t use your vacation and then use your FMLA and then use your short term disability. The clock starts ticking on all of them on the day you begin your leave. In my case, this is the day the baby is born.

The really crappy part about this is that my HR department did no clarify this requirement with me until I was already in my third trimester. Too late to travel to an exotic location for a “baby moon.”

So I am on a “staycation” now. At home. With swollen ankles, sore hips, and heartburn. I’m trying to put the time to good use, though. I am preparing the house for our little one’s arrival. It is slow going, though, because I am tired, swollen, and sore. I spend more time on the couch resting my fat ankles than I do actually preparing. Today our new mattress is being delivered, so I am here to manage that, and then it is off to Target for some last minute baby items. I’m also on the lookout for a seamstress who can sew up the cushion covers for my deal-of-the century, hand-me-down rocker/glider.

You might remember that my struggle with my company over maternity leave was a bit emotional for me. I work for a small company where only one other co-worker has ever been pregnant. So the company has no written policy on maternity leave, and it seems that the policy changes pretty regularly to suit the whims of a few select people in charge. I was really hoping to avoid that kind of battle. I just didn’t need it on top of all of the appointments and tests and emotional ups and downs I was already facing.

In the end, though, probably because I am so darn stubborn, I was able to negotiate what I consider to be a reasonable amount of time, but it is not without risk. And, of course, none of the time is paid except for the 6-8 weeks of short term disability which are paid at 60% of my normal wage.

This is what I was able to cobble together:

  • 4 days of personal leave and 4 vacation days before my leave actually starts. I structured the leave so that the first day of my actual leave will fall roughly on the day the baby is delivered.
  • 6 weeks of short term disability starting on the day the baby is born. I am using 5 days of vacation to cover the elimination period. If I have a c-section, I will get 8 weeks of short term disability leave. The amount of time you get under short term disability is based on the amount of time your doctor says you are unable to work. Typically, your doctor will allow 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery or eight weeks for a c-section. Your leave might be extended if you have complications. If your doctor requires you to be off of work longer than your short term disability coverage lasts, you might then get long term disability. Not all companies offer short term disability leave and the benefits under it differ depending on your plan. Some states require that the company provide a certain amount of short term disability leave, but mine does not. Another important note about short term disability: Many plans have an “elimination period” in which you do not receive benefits. In my case, this is the first week. You can use vacation time to cover this financial shortfall. This is what I decided to do, but only because my company did not give me enough notice to use that vacation for a proper “baby moon.” I would have preferred to have the extra time off and sacrificed the pay during the elimination period.
  • 12 weeks of FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act.) This also starts on the day the baby is born. So basically, I’m losing the first six weeks of FMLA leave because they run concurrently with the short term disability leave and the five days of vacation. Also, you can typically use FMLA time intermittently, as opposed to using it all in one block. Unfortunately, there is a clause in the law that allows companies to force you to take all of your FMLA time in one block if you are taking it for the birth or adoption of a child. A total crock, right?
  • A leave of absence totaling four weeks. This leave is not required by law; it is an extra leave benefit at my company that is approved on a case-by-case basis. Thankfully, this leave does not run concurrently with my other leaves, so it extends my total maternity leave time to four months. Unfortunately, since I will no longer be protected by FMLA, the company is not required by law to hold my job for me during this leave.
  • When I return to work, I will return part time. One surprising perk at my company is that if you maintain 25 hours per week, you can keep your insurance benefits. So I will return to work three days a week starting in October. I will continue on this part-time schedule until the end of the year. I’m losing some vacation and my bonus is going to be pro-rated as a result of the drop in my hours.
  • At the first of the year, I will return to my normal full-time schedule. However, the company is completely within their right to deny me full-time status if they do not have enough work to warrant my return.
  • One other benefit I managed to squeeze into the plan was for my company to cover my tuition for my final MS class which just started last week. This is huge for me, because that class costs over $2,000. The way I understand it, the company does not have to cover the class by law; the only benefit that FMLA requires them to offer me while on leave is health insurance. I argued that, because of the repayment clause in out tuition reimbursement policy, if I decided not to return after my leave, they would get their money back. If I do return after my leave, as is my intention, then they get the same benefit they would have gotten if I was not on leave (a more educated employee.) I think that argument helped.

Anyway, that is the low-down on how my maternity leave panned out. I learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about the laws surrounding maternity leave, disability, and discrimination during this process. I hope I never need to know these things again, but it is good information to have in my back pocket should the need arise.

Finally, an Update

June 1, 2010

First, let me thank the couple of readers I have who have hung on with me through my most recent hiatus. Things are getting kind of crazy in my little world now and blogging has definitely taken a back seat. Without further adieu, here is an update on what’s going on and how things are going.

I am officially 36 weeks pregnant today. Baby NoName is still passing his non stress tests with flying colors. I was scheduled for one yesterday, Memorial Day, and the Fetal Eval Department was closed, so I had to go to Labor and Delivery for the appointment. It was kind of nice to get a sort of dry run for finding L&D and where to park again. The maternity ward was pretty quiet. I’m hoping for the same environment on the big day.

Luckily, when we arrived at the reception desk, I recognized the L&D nurse from the Fetal Eval Department. She fills in there from time to time. Along with Baby NoName’s regular kicks and heart beats, she also recorded two contractions. She says this is normal at 36 weeks. They are just “practice” contractions. They were so weak that I didn’t even realize that they were contractions. They felt kind of like Baby NoName was stretching inside my uterus and just pushing his little walls to their limits. If I have more than six in an hour, I should call my high risk OB.

We officially have a plan for the birth now. Seeing as both baby and I are healthy, we have planned a tentative induction for 37 weeks. That’s next week! I think that if I had resisted and tried to wait this out until closer to 40 weeks, my doctor would have agreed, but the truth is I am tired and grumpy. The testing and prodding and doctor appointments are really starting to get to me. I’m not sure how much longer I can take this routine. Couple that with an increased risk of fetal death in the last month for type 1 diabetic moms, and I am more than ready to get this show on the road.

So the plan is that we have an amniocentesis scheduled for next Monday. The amnio is used to check the maturity of Baby NoName’s lungs. Apparently, the only real risk with an amnio is contractions. When you get an elective amnio in the earlier stages of pregnancy this is more of a risk because it can lead to miscarriage, but at this late stage, the risk is much less because the baby is much more likely to survive if you go into early labor. Basically, contractions at this stage are OK because we are more or less ready to deliver the baby anyway.

If the amnio shows healthy, fully-mature lungs, then we are ready for the induction. If my cervix is not yet dilated, I will be admitted to Labor and Delivery the same evening for Cervidil. This is a prostaglandin gel that they apply to the cervix to soften and thin it. Then they will start the Pitocin through an IV in the morning. Pitocin is an artificial version of oxytocin, the hormone that my body would make naturally during labor to cause contractions.

If I am already starting to dilate on my own, then we will just wait until the next morning, skip the Cervidil, and start with the Pitocin.

I am a little freaked out about the whole induction process. I’m reading that Cervidil can cause painful but non-progressive contractions. And Pitocin can cause contractions to be more painful, but ultimately not work well enough to progress the labor. I have heard horror stories of inductions that last three agonizing and exhausting days and then result in c-sections anyway. It seems that sometimes induction works and sometimes it doesn’t. I expressed my concerns to my doctor who told me that these scenarios are all possible, but that there is no way to know if induction will work until we try it.

He is strongly in favor of induction over a straight c-section given that Baby NoName and I don’t have any of the standard diabetic complications. It is hard for me to believe, but my eyes, my kidneys, my blood pressure, baby’s heart, baby’s weight, and baby’s spine are all perfect. I guess all of those late-night BG checks and the never-ending appointments are finally paying off.

So I made a deal with him. We will try induction for one day (24 hours if we have to use the Cervidil the night before.) If I am not progressing and am not at least semi-comfortable, we will move forward with the c-section rather than waiting another day or two as is his standard procedure.

In the end, I think it just comes down to me freaking out about the whole labor and delivery thing. No matter what route he takes to get out here, it is not going to be a walk in the park,. So ultimately, it doesn’t really matter which avenue he chooses as long as he is healthy.

Why I Didn’t Buy a Dexcom

May 21, 2010

I had my monthly prenatal appointment with my Endocrinologist last week. We have seen each other once a month and traded e-mails once a week for eight months now, so we seem to sort of “get” each other now. My appointments are friendly and chatty. This month, he gave me a good ribbing for choosing not to purchase the Dexcom after my trial. He says I am the only person he’s ever met who decided that she didn’t really need it.

While he is right that I did choose not to purchase the Dexcom after my trial, his understanding of my reasons for doing so are a little off.

Let me start by saying that the device is impressive. I tested a Medtronic MiniMed CGMS several years ago when it was in trials. It was clunky, was not remote, and was not waterproof. You had to put the thing in a little waterproof shower pouch that you could hang around your neck in the shower. Really? You had to go to the doctor’s office to have the sensor inserted. To top it all off, the thing was testy. The first time I trialed it, it crapped out after just a day. The second time, the result were better, but you could only wear it for three days. Probably the worst part about the device was that it did not communicate any of its information to me, the patient. Instead, all of the information was stored in the device until the doctor downloaded it. So much for catching highs and lows.

Today’s CGMs are in another realm completely. The Dexcom sensor was really pretty simple to “install” and the user interface on the device itself, while basic, was relatively easy to figure out and was functional. The sensors are now remote, so I was not tethered to the device, and they’re also waterproof, so I could attend water aerobics and take a shower without worrying about a shower pouch. Perhaps most importantly, this new generation shares its information with me, so I have “real time” information about whether my BG is trending up or down, or is out of range. I’ve got to admit, that’s pretty helpful.

When I trialed the Dexcom, I managed to get over 14 days out of one sensor, although by the end, I was seeing a lot of ??? screens. The low and high warnings were a bit annoying in the beginning, especially when I was recovering from a low and it was STILL beeping at me. The lag-time was frustrating. But once I got the alarms set to the right levels (60 and 160 worked well for me,) this annoyance was somewhat tempered. Of course, the fact that it caught untold numbers of pending highs and lows during the trial is not lost on me. My graphs and charts from the second week, once I got used to the thing, were amazing.

So why didn’t I buy? It basically comes down to a sort of psychological burden. I really felt like the thing just put too much of my focus on this damn disease. Before the Dexcom, I was already testing 16 times a day. Now I had to do even more finger sticks either to calibrate, or because Dexcom thought I was high or low and I needed to confirm. It was like the thing was whispering in my ear all day, “Hey you … you’re diabetic. Don’t forget.”

I’m also really hung up on the idea of yet another hole in my skin. I don’t like wearing all of these devices on my body. When the pros outweigh the cons, I’m willing to do it, but otherwise, I’d like to get away from sensors and infusion sites. If they ever figure out how to put the two together into one site, then I would be really interested.

The device is big and cumbersome, too. It did not fit in most of my pants pockets, and the clip was worthless. The size and shape were a constant reminder … when the darn thing popped out of my pocket in the bathroom … when I would leave it on my desk at work during a meeting … when it took up precious real estate on my nightstand where it was jockeying for position with my tester and my juice boxes and my box of Dots.

In the end, I looked at my current diabetes regime, the fact that my A1C’s have been amazing throughout my pregnancy, that my baby is healthy, and that my non-pregnant A1C typically hovers in the 6.0 range, and I decided that the slight improvement in my control was just not worth the psychological pressure.

The day I returned the device to the sales rep, I caught a low in the 20’s only because I tested. I didn’t feel it. I wondered if I should have bought the Dexcom. I still wonder sometimes. And maybe I will change my mind one day, when my A1Cs are not as good, or the lows and highs are more frequent. But diabetes, and life in general, is all about balance. We need to find a way to manage this disease while staying mentally healthy, too. And the best way to do that is different for every one of us. For now, I think this is the best decision for me.