I feel like I should change the title to “Being Diabetic with Pregnancy”, because it seemed like I was a diabetic first and foremost who just happened to be pregnant. I knew less about my pregnancy than I did about my numbers.
I was diagnosed diabetic three months before becoming pregnant and was just learning about diabetes and how it affected my body when I found out I was pregnant. I was ecstatic! I was overjoyed! Until I went to the fertility doctor who told me, “You need to be in control of your diabetes. Your numbers need to be better or your child will have birth defects.” I was in shock. I had been trying to have a baby for three years and was hoping to enjoy the happy news for a little while.
Shortly after, I visited my OB and realized I would have to work hard to manage my diabetes during pregnancy. I gave myself insulin four times a day and checked my sugar four times a day. I tracked these numbers and called the OB’s office every day with the information. If I got busy or forgot, the office called me.
With all the stress, I finally felt I was doing right by my baby when my initial appointment for an ultrasound of the baby’s heart had to be rescheduled. They could not get me in for several weeks so I asked if I really needed the test being nearly full term. The doctor said that because I kept my diabetes under control, I was at the same risk as any other pregnant women. I was finally able to take a deep breath and know that I did the best I could for my baby.
My beautiful, healthy baby boy was delivered at 39 weeks. There were no problems. He was perfect! But what I learned is that diabetes is not a joke; it is a disease that you have to think about every minute of every day. And when you are pregnant, you have to worry what it’s now doing to you and to your baby. For me, it didn’t go away after the baby was born, so now I have to think about my diabetes every minute of every day so I can raise my baby, teach him a healthy lifestyle in hopes he does not get diabetes, and, most of all, I want to be here when he has children.
Learn more about being pregnant with diabetes here: www.cdc.gov/NCBDDD/pregnancy_gateway/diabetes.html