August 10, 2002
permalink Six months before getting pregnant...

Well, here I am: thirty-four and three quarter years old, type one diabetic for twenty-two and a half years, realising that I can't keep pregnancy in the 'too hard', 'let's think about it later' basket any longer. My biological clock has well and truly kicked in. But could I do it? Could I, Lover of spontaneity, Never had a medically acceptable HbA1C in my life, ever get my blood sugars under control enough to have a healthy baby? I really don't know...

I've been scouring the web for something that echoes my own experience. Something written by a woman like me who has lived most of her life with less than spectacular blood sugar levels and has somehow managed to have a family.

I find nothing.


Even plugging the words "no gestational" into Google does not help. Aside from an article by Cathy Daelman on the realitycheck site that I stumble on at page seven of the results listings, I find no information that even remotely echoes my own experience.

What I do find is page after page talking about the need for women with diabetes to achieve amazing blood sugar control. Page after page warning that if they don't, their babies will have a significant chance of being born with birth defects.

I am wondering about these birth defects. What are they exactly? And if you've not been able to keep your blood sugar levels in control in 22 years of unpregnant diabetes, how are you meant to do it with the morning sickness, hormonal variations affecting blood sugar levels and the added stress of thinking about everything that could go wrong?

I had always believed that the under 7.0 HbA1C recommended for pregnancy could only be achieved by giving up any shred of a normal life and living in an incredibly supportive nirvana land which would involve no work deadlines or stress, yet somehow contain enough life satisfaction to keep you sane. This is not my life.

I've had twelve fantastic yet pretty stressful years in the workplace. And many changes. The most recent change was having my position terminated along with a huge bunch of people from my organisation. I've been working as a researcher in the IT industry and this was fallout from the dot com crash. It wasn't personal but I took it personally - as my biological clock giving me a wake up call.

At first I relished the thought that I would be relaxed and free and could become healthily pregnant. That was before the new job offers came in and before I realised that hanging around with my blood glucose monitor while unemployed and trying for a baby, would be a sure recipe for depression. But how to find the middle ground?

Anyhow, this is my life right now. I have never had a HBA1C of less than 7.9 and most of them have been around the 9 with quite a few higher. I see my endocrinologist next Friday to get my kidney and thyroid results and to ask him once again to tell me if I can safely get pregnant and what I have to do to make it so. It will be the first time in my life that I have ever invited anyone into the doctor's appointment with me. My partner Michael is coming. If only men could have babies!!!!!!!

Posted by patton at August 10, 2002 11:17 AM
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