Thursday, July 30, 2009

"I thought I couldn't have babies?!"

Yep. I heard that again this morning to my dismay. I was told, although in a round-about-way, when I was a teenager by my doctor that I probably shouldn't plan on having children. Apparently, I'm not the only type one to have been told this.

This morning I went to training on the continuous glucose monitor from Minimed. I haven't taken the plunge and purchased the system yet. I'm just trying it out right now...having another sign of my diabetes on my body (besides the pump) is going to take some convincing for me! I arrived late, and with my 5 month old who was hungry in-tow. Thankfully, only one other woman showed up for the training, which spared me some embarrassment. She was probably about 23, diagnosed with type one at 18months old. We went through the training, watched one another insert a very large needle into our abdomen at a ridiculous velocity thanks to the "serter" for this new technology and bonded to say the least.

After the class was over, she said to me: "I have to ask you, I am so thankful you brought you baby, how did it go? The pregnancy? I have only heard horror stories and been told that I probably couldn't have babies."

I haven't sought much support from other diabetics over the years, but in the 20 minutes she and I stood talking in the parking lot, I gained so much. Connecting to another woman who shares my fears and doubts was amazing (I miss having my neighbor Beth 2 doors away to share this walk with). So I encouraged her and reassured her as much as I could. I too, remember stories of how I would have many miscarriages if I tried to have children, or how they would have birth defects, or how I would lose my kidneys from the pregnancy. I'm not sure how much truth there is to any of these awful stories I heard over the years about diabetics having children. But I can say, thankfully, that I had no such experience.

This woman was also concerned that she would have trouble getting pregnant because of her diabetes. I told her I hadn't found that to be the case for me, but that I wondered how much genetics has to to with that rather than diabetes.

All that is to say, wow! How many other diabetic women are walking around fearful, sad, angry, and inactive because they think it's not a good idea for them to have a baby!? With good blood sugar control, go for it, find a doctor who can get you in good control and have children if you so desire! Because you can do it!

Something else interesting came out of that conversation with her as well... realizing that as diabetics we all have different needs and expectations from physicians...she and I had been to the same doctor and each held a very different opinion of him. Find a doctor you TRUST and work well with, because you are going to have to get along well since you'll be seeing him/her a lot over a pregnancy :) Good luck, and be encouraged. Here's to getting rid of mal-information!

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