34 weeks: Ye olde crawdad

First they called me fat and now they’re telling me I might have an old crawdad for a placenta.

Seriously, what gives?

I thought placentas were scary before, but that’s just freak nasty!

Okay, maybe she didn’t actually say crawdad, but the vacation relief endocrinologist at the diabetes in pregnancy clinic yesterday did warn me that the recent low blood sugars on my charts could be the result of an “old” placenta, to which her colleagues – the clueless nurse and evil dietitian – backed up. Are you freaking kidding me? Seriously, for people who work with insanely hormonal pregnant chicks on a regular basis, I’m thinking they probably should have come up with a better word than old!

I went into this appointment prepared for the comments I thought for sure I’d get over a few of the highs recorded on my chart. I had explanations for nearly every single one of them: dinner out, high-carb dinner, failed infusion, etc.. But what I didn’t expect was the concern I got over the lows. Sure there were a few more than I’d had lately, but for the most part I had explanations for those as well: rage bolusing due to the aforementioned highs, increased activity, insulin overdose, etc., etc.. And because I’d been having lows throughout this pregnancy, I really didn’t think there’d be great concern over these ones.

But remember awhile back when I told you high blood sugars (no matter how much we don’t want them and no matter how many daily adjustments we make to avoid them) are a sign of a healthy placenta. Well, low blood sugars, not so much. Apparently, unexplained lows could be the cause of the placenta no longer efficiently pumping out hormones, essentially slowing down, and pretty much clamping the necessary nutrients from reaching the baby.

While we don’t think my lows are cause for concern – yet! – I have been told to keep a close eye on my blood sugars (like I haven’t already been doing that) and my insulin doses. If my total daily dose drops by 10-15 per cent, I’m to call the clinic and my obstetrician immediately. Apparently that’s a sign thumb-sucking alien baby wants out – like now! Oh crud!

And you better believe, I was giving my little TSAB a good, long lecture on the way back to the car, informing him or her that while I realize patience is not a virtue in our family, we are NOT ready for an earlier than expected arrival!

2 thoughts on “34 weeks: Ye olde crawdad”

  1. No no no no no no no! No! Of course, I’m not a trained professional — at all — but I was having the same fears this past week with some unexpected and unexplained lows, so I consulted my trusty copy of Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-existing Diabetes, and I learned that this starts happening between 34-37 weeks! For real!

    I don’t have the book with me now, but I believe there’s actually a paragraph in there that says (and I’m paraphrasing), “Don’t freak out and start to think your placenta’s failing because you don’t need enough insulin. Your insulin needs just tend to level out or drop a little at the end of the pregnancy.”

    I’ll find the exact quote later. But don’t freak out!

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