A pregnant type 1 diabetic’s sickness survival kit (aaaand breathe)…

Sorry if me banging on about my morning all-day and night sickness has been a bit of a bore; I feel ya. I’ve never felt this nauseous for so long, and since about week 6 of my pregnancy, I’ve thrown-up multiple times a day. Some days it’s just the once, some it’s almost hourly. This baby is letting me know that they’re there alright, which I can’t help thinking is kinda cute (god, I’m a proud mom-bore already, and I like it). Yes, nausea and puking is shit. At 16 weeks and still puking, I’m a little bored of it too. Thank goodness I work from home so that I can live in a constant state of barely-dressed dishevelled-ness. I say work from home, but I’ve had to drastically reduce the work I’ve taken on, because on some days all I can do is aim to get to the bathroom in time before I see my lunch again. I know, gross. If I worked on a non-freelance basis, I’ve been told that I could be signed off work, but, oh well, it’s all worth it (riiiiiight?!).

Now, my type 1 diabetes often throws some added challenges into the mix. It’s all good; it’s been doing that since day one. However, I thought I’d share a little of what I’ve learnt, or been doing, so that if there are any fellow pregnant type 1s out there who are struggling a bit; you might get a new idea to try. I mean, these things might also help non diabetics, but I can’t help coming at it from a type 1-angle because I have to put my blood sugar control first, for the safety of myself and my baby. Even if it does nothing to help you, this list might just provide you with a sense of solidarity, or that what’s happening is okay, or, I dunno, everyone likes a list (apologies for the reduction in quality of my writing, I think this is it now for at least the next 18 years or so, or forever).

Don’t be jealous of my Insta-perfect photo x
  • Find towels that you don’t care about anymore, or hate, or are indifferent about. Like those beige ones that you save for at-home hair dye situations, or the ones you use to dry your dog after a rainy walk.
  • Leave these towels near your bathroom, in your bathroom, or better yet, next to your loo, if this is your preferred place to be sick.
  • Use a towel to kneel on, fold a couple-up to create a bathroom pillow, and if you’re feeling fancy; find a big one to wrap around yourself when your temperature drops and you’re all clammy, but you’re just not ready to leave the loo-side.
  • Comfort is key, so do not be afraid to create some sort of towel den, and turn your bathroom into an environment that others would question.
  • Get yourself a (preferably wipeable) container, and fill with some, or all of the following items:
  • A bottle of water, a bottle of mouthwash (great if you don’t quite have the energy to brush your teeth yet, but need to cleanse your mouth), face/baby/freshening wipes, floor/surface wipes, hair bobbles and grips or a headband, glucose drinks or fruit juice for when you’re hypo, mints – I’ve been having mint humbugs during some hypos when I can’t handle sticky fruit juice (they also feel like more of a treat), dry and beige food sources (think crackers or ready salted crisps).
  • If you’re able, do the following:
  • Beg ask someone to make you a huge cup/glass/vat of a fresh/herbal tea (my preference is mint or ginger and lemon), first thing in the morning so that it has time to cool down and you can shove some ice and a straw in there too. Leave this by the bathroom.
  • Do all you can to grab your blood glucose monitor and phone on the way into the bathroom (this isn’t always possible, but it’s great if you can). Your blood testing machine is pretty self-explanatory, but your phone can provide so much comfort. I’ve been playing rainforest storm sounds and the odd podcast when I’ve been in there a while; it’s about whatever gets you through.
  • Leave a fresh scented candle (mint is so good) burning in your bathroom (avoiding fire hazards) if you think it’s going to be one of those days that you’ll be in there a while.
  • Invest in some scent-free, or gently-fragranced bath/shower products so that you can have a wash without making yourself wretch, again.
  • I’ve often found that being able to run myself a warm (not hot) bath, while I’m ill, is soothing, and it’s so lovely to dip in when I’m able to come up for air, and I feel gross.
  • Shower as much as you want, do not feel guilty for wanting that clean and fresh feeling.
  • If you’re hypo, treat it slowly (within reason). I made the mistake of downing a carton of apple juice too quickly and it came straight back up again. Just sip, then slowly nibble on those plain carbs I mentioned earlier.
  • Test your sugar as much as you can; it can be confusing as to why you’re feeling a certain way, and hypos can be easily missed.
  • Keep telling yourself that you’re doing great, you’ve totally got this, and whatever is happening is because of the loveliest reason.
  • Or, do non of the above and just survive each day. Be selfish without any guilt, because I had no idea just how debilitating prolonged nausea could be. Hydrate and eat when you can (I’ve found little and often is good for me, but whatever works for you is perfect), and do all you can to keep yourself comfortable.
  • Call in your troops; this is the time when loved ones can feel a bit helpless, so if you need help with anything at all, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
  • I think you’re amazing, and you still look radiant, and remember this isn’t forever (thank eff).

Peace, love, and a green tinge, Fay x

*special shoutout to Marv for constantly bringing me supplies and loving me even though I look like an extra from The Walking Dead.

**another shoutout to Cosy – the best friend I could ask for, always by my side, especially on the bathroom floor. True unconditional love.

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