Upon arriving home, we knew for sure that Cleo was expecting. She is round. Eating like a horse. And there are kittens in there! Moving around like crazy.

She is due sometime after 21 August (three days). We are in a bit of a lather.

First time grandmother, I have taken to it with typical obsession. She has not one, but three firm ‘nest’ alternatives now. Which have been alternately lined with towels, fleece and now finally newspaper in the last week. She has not so far chosen any of them. I pray her eventual stopping place will not be a) under a double bed or b) on a window sill, which to be honest has been her favoured place these last ten days. A windowsill! Imagine this. Or not.

Establishing nests for her also seems to have led me into my own nest building: I have been (again rather obsessively) clearing out cupboards and wardrobes. It’s a case of serious overdrive. You could be forgiven for thinking we were getting ready to either move or adopt a child. We have so far filled about ten black bags with STUFF. Only two more sets of clothes and two more chests of drawers to go, and then we will have been through all storage items in the house. Preparing for babies, moi?!

OH says that daughter M would do best to be at some distance when she falls pregnant (one hopes, years from now!). I think he may be right. Meanwhile, I am trying to catch languishing Cleo long enough to trim around her teats (yes, she says defensively, this is actually done, we are informed by the breeder!) so that the kittens (kittens! kittens!) can find their milk…

Sigh.

Cleo looking altogether more relaxed than I feel!

***

On other fronts, we did have an absolutely wonderful time: we read and swam, read and swam. But also saw a number of deep South of France cities we hadn’t before: Avignon, Orange, Arles. Of these, Arles was stupendous. The kind of working, ancient town — with a few Roman remains thrown in — that you’d just like to get inside of. This is what I love about imbedded history: yes, there are tickets to buy and audio books to listen to. Yes there are tourists. Of a sort. But the life of the city just carries on around it. People drive around the Roman amphitheatre, walk through it on the way to work. It’s incredible. And heartening. We also went back to Uzes and the Pont du Gard, two favourite spots which lived up to our memories of them. Stunning, Provencal, and somehow liberating.

ANYWAY.

Number wise things were just fabulous: after the first couple of days of temp basals, E’s insulin levels seemed to settle rather miraculously. We began not to put him on any temps, he hardly had any lows, played in the pool a great deal, walked a great deal… And, you guessed it, GREW like a beanpole. By the end of the holiday we realised his needs had gone up overall, which is why all the exercise etc had not sent him crashing over and over.

And you guessed it: on the way back in the car, his numbers began to soar. Where they stayed, enduring the battle of the 200% temp plus corrections, for about 4 days. Like a plant, with a little sun and water, he had shot up. Had he been less active, we would have had to increase his insulin by about 30%. As it was, we had to do it when we got back.

We figure he grew about an inch in that two weeks. No kidding. He came downstairs the morning after our return saying his eyes were at a different level in the mirror! My lord!

No wonder we have been running to keep up.

So OH and I have not had an unbroken night in four weeks now. We are still trying to get night basals right — he keeps being 12-14 mmols at 2 or 3 am, which is sort of incredible. We then correct him and he’s usually (but not always) okay in the morning. Clearly he’s doing all his growing at night! This morning he was 2.9mmols however, too low, so it’s just that middle of the night window that needs looking at again. We’ve already raised it by two increments since our return.

Oh well. We will get there. Until something else changes.

We’ve also had to change his insulin sensitivity on the pump, or his correction ratio (eg how many mmols can one unit of insulin be expected to lower him?). It used to be 1 unit insulin to 4 mmols in the daytime (high, but he’s quite sensitive), and 1 unit to 5 mmols in the nighttime. For the first four days back at home, we kept finding corrections less effective, lowering him only a little. After setting the basals on 110-120% temp all day and night, and still corrections were not doing it, we figured it wasn’t just a question of basal adjustment. We therefore changed his correction ratio to 1:3mmols for the day, and 1:4mmols for the night. The nighttime one still seems hit and miss (eg didn’t bring him down from bedtime to 2am, and brought him down too much this morning) — but we’ll have to tackle this again through basal rates, as I say…

Endless.

But he’s  three inches taller than me now. Since Christmas. He looks like a tall person in a queue of people. He is beginning to measure up to his father. Which is some good growing, type 1 diabetes aside. Yay!

***

And I haven’t even mentioned daughter M. Who grew like a plant as well, and was the only one in the family who turned the colour of a nut effortlessly and has French style, with scarves and tank tops and gladiator sandals and sunglasses, like nothing I’ve ever seen. Who is only now four inches shorter than me. Who will pass me in height in oh, two years or less. And I will be the short, comparatively squat one in the family. It’s alarming. Really wild. I always thought I was tall. 5’7″ is pretty tall for a woman. Isn’t it? Isn’t it?!

But I’m surrounded by lean, soaring, willowy folks. Of whom I’m so proud. Sniff.

Cleo, E and M. Must be something in the water.

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