We are all on a path in this journey of life, with goals and destinations we plan to reach. Sometimes life has a funny way of getting us there, it may have some unexpected turns but we’re still on our path.
The above picture was taken on my way to teach my first class of the new year. Remnants of confetti and celebrations scattered the street, full of excitement and anticipation of what this new year would bring! New goals, new chapters – a world of possibilities with a clear path ahead! Little did I know that shortly after, my path would take a very different course… this new route would be the path to Motherhood.
Yes, right after the new year I found out I was pregnant! A very big surprise, and being someone with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) this was to be taken quite seriously and there was no time to waste on getting my butt into gear to get my hemoglobin A1C (blood sugar average over 2-3 months) down where it needed to be.
(*Please be advised I am not providing any medical advice in this article, but simply telling my story).
T1D + Pregnancy = A LOT OF WORK. For a quick general background, it is preferred for those with diabetes to plan out their pregnancy and have their A1C at a particular target level before “trying” to get pregnant. Now insert my situation….my A1C was not in a desirable place (8.2 % to be exact), nor was the pregnancy planned. (Generally the target range for an A1C is 5-7 %, however in pregnancy the target is as close to 6% as possible or less.)
It was time to kick it into high gear, and I was going to sprint to get back on track and do whatever it would take to get there. This included making some very difficult (yet no-brainer) decisions. To move quickly my doctors and I removed the extra “variables” in my life to get on track. My erratic schedule and workouts were unfortunately the ones to go. The reality is getting myself on a regular schedule made tracking my blood sugar easier, both with eating and working out. As a T1D, everything must be calculated. Every piece of food that goes in your mouth, to every step and movement you make – and this is especially heightened during pregnancy. My hiatus from teaching is not so much physical, as it is more to do with blood sugar levels and stabilization. Addressing both high and low blood sugars while teaching, is not effective. Anytime blood sugar levels fluctuate and increase, it poses a risk to both me and the baby, and essentially I want to eliminate the unnecessary. What most don’t realize is that, YES exercise is great for blood sugar control and lowering levels, but High Intensity Exercise can cause blood sugar levels to spike, (not fun). Also, during pregnancy blood sugar target levels are held to a much tighter range much lower than I am used to. Prior to pregnancy if I was 65-75 I would be chugging down some juice or popping some glucose tablets, but now I hang out and wait to see if I drop further…. this has been the BIGGEST adjustment for me. It is this fear that my blood sugar won’t come back up. This is what was causing a lot of my fluctuations prior to pregnancy, as I was always on the go and this would create a bit of a roller coaster effect – something I was working on fixing. Although I’m learning to trust that the juice will kick in and that it may actually take longer than 10-15 mins to do so; there is no need to overtreat it. I swear it is the longest 10-15 mins out there, and I still refrain from trying to consume the refrigerator, but I’m learning to have some more patience.
REAL TALK: There is no science to Diabetes management, it truly is an art. You can do everything right, everything the exact same way and things just happen. Emotions, Stress, Hormones, being sick, Technology failure, it’s Wednesday, the sun is shining….. I think you get where I’m going. It is work, it is a full time job on a regular day, pregnancy now doubles that. My life is numbers, and although it can be such a nuisance (especially in the middle of the night :::BEEP BEEP BEEP:::) but technology is truly a blessing. Having a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) really is a game changer. The alarms may drive me bonkers these days (especially with the closer target ranges), but it gives a much clearer view of what is going on in real time, so I can make any adjustments more quickly and attempting to optimize blood sugar control. It is consuming but obviously worth it!
My current A1C is now a 6.7% (still a work in progress) but it has taken a lot to get here. Rather than negate all of the work that has been done (a big thank you to my doctors for their support) my teaching hiatus was the best option for optimal blood sugar control and health. Although I’m a bit sad about it, I also know it is not forever and I will be back! Now that I am feeling more like myself again (bye bye Nausea!) I am having fun incorporating new ways of working out, and creating new routines for myself and I welcome anyone to join me! If you have a favorite low intensity exercise please throw them at me! I’ve got some cool toys from Power Systems that I’m excited to play with and tell you all about!
We all have our path, we can only go forward and do our best along the way!
While I head into some unknown territory, this site is going into a major overhaul with new and improved features and content coming at you! Always in food, fitness, fun and living the T1D life. If you are curious about anything above don’t hesitate to ask!
Until next time – Stay Fit Stay Fly!