On Wednesday I attended my final diabetic appointment at the hospital! Such a relief as it's a long day, made longer by the 60miles, 2 hour journey from home every two weeks!
I wasn't sure what to expect as no one had discussed the plans for delivering my baby, which is complicated by my type 2 diabetes. All I had to go on is my memories of my last pregnancy when I suffered from gestational diabetes. Last time I saw the obstetrician was when I was 32wks pregnant and he asked if I had a scan booked at 36wks to check the size of the baby. I wasn't sure so whilst the midwife was on the phone to the scan department asking if I had an appointment booked, he dictated a letter to my GP where he said that they were going to plan for delivery at 39wks. Sadly I got more information from listening to that message than I actually did from him!
I had my scan at 36wks and although the baby is still within normal limits, she has had a growth spurt and has moved from the 50th percentile to the 90th percentile. However no one seems concerned about how big the baby is at the moment, but I'm expecting her to be at least 8lb if not more! My 3yr old, with whom I had gestational diabetes for the first time, weighed 8lb 15oz at 38wk+5.
So I attended my appointment. I had my blood pressure and weight checked before having some blood taken to check my HbA1c. This blood test checks my blood glucose control over the past 8-12 weeks. When haemoglobin joins with glucose in the blood it forms a glycosylated haemoglobin molecule known as A1c and HbA1c. The more glucose found in the blood, the more glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) will be present. For non diabetics the usual reading is 4-5.9%, for diabetics a level of 6.5% is considered good control. My readings over the past few months have been really good, between 5.8% and 6.2%. My blood pressure was a little high, but at the time they weren't concerned.
Just before I went in to see the obstetrician my nose started bleeding! I went in to see him and it was arranged for me to be induced next Thursday (the 8th August) when I am 38wks exactly and I have to be at hospital for 9.30am that morning (I really hope it works quickly like it did with my youngest, with my eldest it took 3 days for the induction to work!). He also agreed to me having a membrane sweep by my community midwife before my induction. Which has now been booked for Tuesday the 6th.
As I was about to leave the clinic, the nurse came back and said that the obstetrician wanted me to have my blood pressure checked again as it was a little high and they were concerned because my nose bleed could be a sign of high blood pressure and being diabetic increases the risk of pre-eclampsia (and is the reason I am an a daily dose of aspirin) which I have to stop taking on Sunday. They took my blood pressure twice, with the machine and manually, but as it was still a little high, they sent me over to the ward to get it monitored.
By now, the two younger girls who we'd taken with us, were hungry and bored, so I sent my mum over to the cafe to get them something to eat whilst I saw my diabetic dr to discuss my blood sugar readings over the past two weeks. That appointment went well as I've had really good control, with no hypos and no high readings. When I was pregnant with my 3yr and had gestational diabetes, I couldn't get my readings below 10, but with this pregnancy they've rarely been above 7.8 which is the highest acceptable level. Good control means less risks of diabetic complications in me (such as diabetic retinopathy which is the main cause of blindness in diabetics) and other diabetic problems which can be made worse by the fluctuating control of pregnancy. It also means less risks to the baby, such as stillbirth, pre-eclampsia, large baby and low sugar in the baby when she's born.
I went to the antenatal clinic afterwards but because of the time I was sent upstairs to the ward to wait for the midwife there. Finally we were seen and I was attached to a monitor to listen to the heartbeat and check for contractions (I had a few braxton hicks whilst being monitored which I saw register but the baby was sleeping so didn't have much movements until after I came off the trace and she woke up!). I also had my blood pressure checked every 15mins for an hour. Finally they said they were happy with my results and we could go home, which was a big relief! All I remember thinking was that I had my bag with me but I had forgotten to pack my insulin medication! The staff were lovely and really looked after us, especially the girls, who were very bored by now and just wanted to go home. At least on the ward I was able to plug my tablet in to charge so they could take turns to play on it!
Of course whilst we were at the hospital we realised that mum's phone had a dead battery and I haven't got a phone at the moment, since my 3yr old decided it wanted a bath in her full potty! This meant we couldn't phone hubby or my dad who were home with the older two children. Whilst I was being monitored, someone came over from labour and delivery looking for me as hubby had started panicking because he hadn't heard from me and was trying to find me. Mum spoke to him but was asked to keep it brief so hubby thought they'd been cut off and this time phoned the ward where mum spoke to him again and the midwives asked how many husbands I have!!!
We finally made it home and I phoned my community midwife to arrange them checking my blood pressure today, otherwise it was another trip to hospital to get it checked there. Thankfully it was fine, although I doubt it was yesterday as I had a really bad headache, the kids were doing my head in and I was feeling stressed! Especially when I learnt the car was going to cost over £200 to get the handbrake fixed which of course we need! I also arranged for my midwives to give me a membrane sweep next Tuesday in an attempt to get the baby moving and I'm hoping all the braxton hicks I've been feeling and the fact the baby feels so low she's gonna fall out, means I should go into labour easily!
My parents took my 3yr old for her very first sleepover last night, along with my 8yr old for company, to get her used to it. She's never slept apart from me and still comes into our bed during the night! It was so strange without them last night, just having two children, and although it was a lot calmer and quieter, I didn't like it and missed my babies! The 3yr old did get a little upset during the night at my mums so my 8yr old woke up with her and took her into my parents room where she got into bed with them. Poor dad ended up sleeping in her bed though as she's such a restless sleeper! Which both girls found hilarious!
Now I'm just waiting for Mothercare to deliver the car seat and the garage to phone about my car. Plus I have to take my 10yr old son and 6yr old daughter to the dentist this afternoon so mum is coming over to watch the other two girls and wait for my delivery and if my car isn't ready, lend me hers! I really don't know what I would do without my parents, they have really been a big help with this pregnancy, ferrying me to appointments when I haven't been able to drive, coming with me to keep me company and looking after the children! I also love seeing the close relationship they have with my children, just like I did with my late grandparents (my dad's).
Tomorrow is my dad's birthday! What really makes me laugh is that the baby's birthday is going to be around a week after my dads. What's so funny about that? You might ask! Well... My 6yr old has her birthday a week after her daddy's. My 3yr old has her birthday the day after my mum's birthday. My son's birthday is 5 days before mine, and my 8yr old's birthday is 9 days after mine, 2wks after her brother's. So all of them have birthdays around a family member!!!