By: Katherine Marple
By now you’re halfway through pregnancy. You’ve managed to get through the stresses of insulin shock in the first trimester and insulin resistance beginning in the second trimester, and you’re well on your way toward your third trimester. Congratulations! A moment of applause, please.
At this point in pregnancy, I was on the verge of a meltdown due to the number of office visits to every doctor who wanted to take part in my pregnancy journey. I was working full-time and was extremely grateful for the support I received from my boss and co-workers, who didn’t give me additional grief for missed meetings due to two or more appointments per week.
But was it entirely necessary for me to see my endocrinologist every two weeks when I was managing my glucose readings and correction factors on my own? I asked if I could simply fax my blood glucose journals to his office, and he was willing to cooperate with me. I spaced my OB/GYN visits as far apart as they would allow, usually once per week. I kept my maternal fetal medicine appointments because they were measuring my baby with an ultrasound. I was always so excited to see her every three weeks.
I was urged to see my eye doctor throughout pregnancy, but never managed to make an appointment. This is one appointment I do think is necessary, however, even though I didn’t fit it into my own schedule. During pregnancy and labor, new stresses are imposed on your eyes. If you have not experienced retinopathy until now, it’s possible that it may develop during pregnancy or labor. If you already have retinopathy, your OB/GYN may urge you toward a C-section to avoid putting further stresses on your eyes, with risk of blindness increasing.
I was diagnosed with retinopathy in my left eye in 2008, two years prior to pregnancy. When I tightened my glucose control and checked again six months later, the retinopathy was nearly reversed. I endured 21 hours of labor, but haven’t noticed a significant change in my eyesight. I am scheduling an appointment with my eye doctor this week to confirm that the retinopathy has not returned.
If you can manage it, try to stick to a fitness routine, even if it’s just twenty minutes per day. I tried to walk after dinnertime every day. If I didn’t accomplish that, I’d park my car at the end of the parking lot at work or while grocery shopping to force myself into exercise. I ate extremely healthily, but am not ashamed to admit there were a few lunchtime fast food stops due to convenience while at work. While I was pregnant, I was rarely hungry. In the end, it was better to eat something versus eating nothing.
Everything you do while pregnant is your choice. Whatever methods you and your partner decide on after research should motivate and inspire you and ignite confidence in your ability to support this growing child. You don’t have to be numerically perfect—you simply have to strive for precision. Just as with life, it’s the journey getting there that matters.