Happy Mother’s Day to all the diabetic (and non diabetic) moms out there.
Having children is the most amazing gift I could ever have received. Getting pregnant for me was no easy task. It took five years for me to finally get pregnant with my oldest daughter. I did IUIs, accupuncture, herbs, you name it, and then I took a break for a year and did nothing. I stopped trying. Physically and mentally I was exhausted. I just wanted time to let my body heal from all the fertility drugs. And my overworked mind and emotions needed a rest.
After a year of “not trying” and getting my body and mind back in balance, we did IVF. It worked the first try! Initially, I was carrying twins, but lost one of the twins at 8 weeks. However, the other baby survived. Thank God. The pregnancy itself had it’s ups and downs. Pregnancy is crazy enough but when you add in diabetes, challenges can occur.
I had worked so hard to get pregnant that there was no way I was going to lose this baby. I became obsessed with my bloodsugars. At times this was good and at times not so good.
When four months pregnant, I bottomed out during the early morning hours. My husband tried to get glucose in me, but I fought back. He ended up calling 911. I even tried to fight the police officer who arrived first on the scene. Luckily, I do not remember any of this. Paramedics finally arrived and were able to get me under control. Glucagon did the trick.
But I was horrified. I was embarrassed that I had lost control of my diabetes and myself. The baby was okay though, and that was my number one concern. After all this went down, I would lay awake at night, afraid to fall asleep. What if it happened again? What if my husband had not been home?
The what if’s eventually stopped, and I was able to let go of the episode. I slowly moved on. I signed up for an insulin pump and acknowledged that maybe I was trying a little too hard to maintain tight control. This baby needed a healthy mom.
Time passed and before we knew it, Halloween was in sight. I started having contractions (6 weeks early) and had to go on bed rest. Previous to this I had really slowed down. I was not allowed to run during my pregnancy. I had walked some but nausea and fatigue rocked my world the whole pregnancy.
To be honest, bed rest did not sound that bad. By week four of bedrest, I was ready to have this baby. Ready was an under statement. I was beyond ready.
When the maternal fetal specialists informed me that all diabetic mom’s are induced three weeks early (if the lungs are developed) at this particular hospital, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was finally time.
I had waited so long. I will never forget that day. The induction did not go as smoothly as planned, and after 24 hours I ended up having a c-section. But the baby girl was healthy and okay. She was beautiful! It brings tears to my eyes as I remember hearing her cry for the first time (holding my breath as I waited for the magical cry). And then holding her and looking into that tiny little face. A miracle had occured.
After all that trying and being told we would probably never have another baby again, I felt so blessed to have her. And even more blessed when 6 months later a pregnancy test showed I was pregnant again. What? How could that be? Pregnant? I did three different types of tests just to make sure. Yes, I was pregnant. Wow.
However, a few weeks into the pregnancy, I had all the classic signs of a miscarriage. According to my bloodwork, my HCG levels were dropping. It was not a viable pregnancy.
So they thought. A few days later I went back to the maternal fetal specialists and lo and behold, there was a heartbeat. I was still pregnant. The doctors warned us that the first trimester would be the test. Expectations were low on their end. But I never stopped believing.
Once again, I tried to eat as healthy as possible (still had some cravings) and managed my diabetes closely. This time around, the insulin pump helped a lot, and I was not as obsessed about having the perfect blood sugars. Having a young baby at home, also, kept me busy and preoccupied. I had to be active. There was no time to obsess.
This second pregnancy was much smoother. No crazy lows. No ongoing nausea or extreme fatigue. Smooth sailing after the first trimester passed.
I, also, realized that my diabetes had to be monitored closely for the sake of me and my baby, but I did not have to perfect. Perfect was too dangerous and unrealistic for me.
My second daughter was born one week early, and once again I felt so blessed. These two gorgeous little girls were mine. I get goose bumps of joy recollecting these amazing memories.
And now my precious little girls are six and seven years old. Wow! Time flies. I love them with all my heart and know they feel the same. They are my biggest supporters when it comes to living with diabetes. Sometimes they will pretend to have on an insulin pump because they think it is cool. They ask lots of questions about being “low” or “high”.
I do not want them to be afraid of diabetes. I want them to realize that I can do anything with them. And I will. Diabetes is a gift just like my daughters. The gift that keeps on giving.
Talking about gifts…I am including a photo of the flowers my daughters gave me this morning. When I was out running, they snuck to the store with their dad and each picked out a bouquet for me. So sweet.
Happy Mother’s Day!