Diabetes and Pregnancy: And So We Enter the Third Trimester


A couple of months ago, I wrote about my awful night of hyperglycemia. At the time, I was unsure what the precise reason for a persistent high blood sugar was, with the most likely culprits being bad insulin and my ongoing pregnancy. After that night, I switched insulin bottles, and my daily insulin requirements dropped right down to where they had been a week prior. I concluded: the insulin was bad.

Over the couple of days, I have again seen a sharp spike in my insulin requirements. Pre-pregnancy, I would take 12 – 15 units of insulin on an average day. Requirements have been slowly climbing for the past two months, and in the last few days I have reached double that original level, requiring 24 to 30 units for a normal day.

This time, though, I don’t suspect the insulin. Tomorrow marks three months left in my pregnancy. In other words, third trimester insulin resistance is upon us.

Right now, it is 8:20 AM. First thing when I woke up, my blood glucose was 69 mg/dL with a slight downward trend, and I had not suspended my basal or anything. I have worked out for 45 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym, and eaten a total of about 3 grams of carbs. I have taken a whopping 5.3 units of insulin over the past hour and a half, and am finally leveling out at 94 mg/dL.

Pre-pregnancy, I might take 0.6 units of insulin for a similar waking blood sugar plus (albeit slightly more intense) workout, plus about 20 grams of carbs. So the idea of pumping more than five units of insulin into myself before the day has even begun is a little bit shocking.

The other night, I went down to 34 mg/dL in the night because I had stacked and stacked boluses waiting to go down, thinking, insulin does nothing anymore! The trick of it seems to be that the insulin does less, but also takes longer to do it, which I am not used to. So total efficiency is greater than I perceive, just over a longer period of time. Delayed responses really complicate bolusing strategies; how do I know if I haven’t taken enough insulin, or if it’s just going to hit me in two hours?

And the third trimester has yet to officially begin. My strategy? Low carb. Or rather, lower carb — I have been anticipating needing to reduce my carb intake for a while, and so began in the second trimester, but only a little. But based on how much insulin it’s taking just to defeat my hormones, I’m thinking the third trimester is going to involve a lot of string cheese.

But, hey! I’ve made it this far, and thank God it has been easier than expected so far. The little tummy-dweller has stayed put, despite what seem like concerted efforts to kick a path out of me. So, one more trimester? We can do that. Onwards!

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Shannon A.
Shannon A.
7 years ago

It sounds as if we are living the same life at the moment! Everything you have described I have also been going through. It is nice to see that others are just as dedicated yet frustrated and a little confused as I am am while being both pregnant and diabetic. Thanks for the reassurance!

Melissa Shannon
8 years ago

Hi Karmel,  

Isn’t it so shocking how much insulin is required for almost no carb AND exercise. 

I found myself shocked and wondering where all the insulin was going since I too was keeping a real hold on my carb intake.

I remember getting an egg mcmuffin on my way to work sometimes and only eating one half of the english muffin but taking 6-7 units of insulin!!!!

Hang in there, you’re almost at the finish line now:)

Melissa Shannon- http://www.diabetestogo.com 

8 years ago

I was diagnosed with diabetes after I was done having kids.  I cannot imagine how much work and how frustrating insulin would be while being pregnant!  I just wanted to let you know your are awesome!  And even keeping up a good attitude.  Wow.  You will be an amazing parent.

Copyright © 2009-2021 Diabetes Media Foundation, All Rights Reserved.
ASweetLife™ is a trademark of the Diabetes Media Foundation, All Rights Reserved.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x