Today’s post is the third and final in this week’s series devoted to pregnancy and disabilities. Giving Birth with Confidence is contributing these posts as part of the Bloggers Unite event, People First: Empowering People with Disabilities. The blogging event aims to raise awareness about empowering people with disabilities by sharing stories around the ‘Net in support of people with disabilities and the groups who work to empower them.
Kerri is a new mom to a beautiful baby girl and has been living with type 1 diabetes since she was six years old. The following post, which discusses pregnancy with type 1 diabetes, was originally published on Kerri’s blog, Six Until Me, on February 19, 2010 and is being republished with her permission.
It’s All Rainbows and Unicorns
I love BSparl [nickname given to baby in utero, stands for "Baby Sparl"-- Sparl being Kerri's last name]. I love her little feet and her pouty lips and that feeling I get when she rolls around inside of me. I love knowing that my daughter is just a few weeks away from becoming a part of our Sparling family, and I know that every moment of this pregnancy is completely worth every iota of effort and worry.
That being said …
I’m starting to lose my mind a little bit.
I’ve blogged about the details of the doctor’s appointments, and the ultrasound scans, and the way that diabetes has impacted my pregnancy, and vice versa. But by the end of my posts, I feel better having purged the feelings and worry. And I want to reassure women who have type 1 diabetes that a pregnancy is possible, and enjoyable, and like they all say – so, so worth it.
But, like I said, I’m starting to crack a bit. On Tuesday, I’ll be at 30 weeks, seven and a half months pregnant with just under nine weeks left to go. And these last few weeks have been … well, not exactly rainbows and unicorns.
- Like last week, when a string of 200′s had me bump my basal so high, on the heels of amped up nerves, that I overdid it and ended up with two 50 mg/dl’s in the middle of the night.
- Or on Monday, when a carefully measured breakfast and a carefully calculated bolus, delivered 45 minutes before the meal, sent my blood sugars rocketing up to 248 mg/dl and held there for two hours.
- Or the other day, when i realized that pregnancy is actually ten months long, not nine. Damn lunar months, and why the hell didn’t someone give me a head’s up about that?
- Or that yesterday, Joslin gave me the run down on the rest of my appointments that are scheduled. There are 20 of them. I don’t understand how people manage a high risk pregnancy and keep their jobs.
- Or that next week, I’m having the eye dilation that will determine BSparl’s method of arrival, and I’m really nervous about it. I’m nervous about vaginal birth or c-section. Doesn’t matter. Just “giving birth” has my stomach twisty.
- Or the fact that I’m craving carbs (nasty carbs, like cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets and pastries) and am having a very hard time not caving to these cravings. I can’t have anything even close to a sleeve of Ritz crackers in the house or they will disappear within a day’s time. I’m ravenous for these rotten carbs, and I’ve crocheted three scarves in efforts to curb the cravings.
- Or that every time my numbers are out of range, I want to hold her little hands and tell her I’m sorry.
- Or yesterday, when a perfect Dexcom flatline overnight was shaken by a cheese stick and a cup of decaf tea, leaving me with a blood sugar of 350 mg/dl and on the cusp of a panic attack. What does this do to my baby? Is she okay when I’m spending an hour over 300 mg/dl, without much food at all in my system? Does she hurt when I am chugging water and stressing out but trying to control my emotions because I want her little womb to be serene and calm, not the spin cycle of diabetes chaos that I am so good at tossing her into lately?
Diabetics have healthy babies all the time. I know this. I’ve read this, others have proven this, and I hope to write those words myself in a few weeks. But honestly, the mental part of pregnancy is more than I was prepared to deal with. The guilt of every blood sugar and every miscalculation makes my heart ache, and I have found myself praying more in the last seven months than I ever have the thirty years before.
I want to paint that “rainbows and unicorns” picture for you guys. I want to make pregnancy seem like it’s the most beautiful thing on the planet and even a person with type 1 diabetes can see the nine (ten?!) months through safely. But as my delivery date draws closer, I’m not sure. And I’m scared. And I feel stupid because I have zero control over my emotions these days, leaving plenty of tears in my wake. (I’ve become a mega-wuss.)
Ugh, downer of a post. I really can’t wait to have the baby, but I know that part of why I want her out is because I believe she’ll be safer once she’s in the world and outside of me. I know that Chris and I can take care of her, as parents, and keep her as safe as any other couple who loves their child. It’s the whole “now” process that has me in knots, wondering if I’m taking good care of her now. I want the absolute best for my daughter, and I feel so guilty because I know that my body creates a challenge in some ways.
Just a few more weeks. Every test, every infusion set change, every moment of blood work, every doctor’s appointment, every time I pay the co-pay or the parking garage fee, every refilled prescription, every new CGM sensor, every curbed craving … everything. Everything is worth it if I can get to the end of this and have her out, safely.
And then she and I will get matching mommy and daughter tattoos – hers a rainbow, and mine a unicorn.
(Note to people who may think I’ve completely lost my mind: Kidding about the tattoos. But I might buy her a t-shirt.)