Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday

At this time, two years ago, my husband and I were debating whether we should allow the nurse to perform an amniotomy (break my water). I was tired, and probably crying, and my husband kept trying to get me to get up and move around the room and/or squat to get contractions going (I resented that).

Today, we celebrate my first son's second birthday. Right now, he is napping, and pretty soon he'll wake up and I will take him outside to play in the sandbox, or splash in the makeshift pool I put together for him (under-bed storage bin + hose = funtastic!), or kick the orange ball into the goal, or do whatever else his little heart desires. I'll try to avoid that low blood sugar that creeps up on me when I'm having fun with my babies, and I will be very thankful that I have given birth to two healthy babies. I love being a mom!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sometimes someone else says it better...

Today, I wanted to talk about labor pains; inspired by a beautiful post, once again over at Passionate Homemaking.

Beth has shared about moments when she knew it was time to embrace the pain of her labors. I, too, can relate to remembering the pains of labor; however, as I just re-read my last birth story, I couldn't help but notice I only used the word "pain" once, at the very end as I described the feeling of Audrey coming out of me. I believe so much of the pain of childbirth is perspective. When you have been taught that the pain is a good, natural part of the process and not to fear this pain, it can enable you to have a wonderful experience birthing your children. However, when you are surrounded by the culture of fear in which we live... it is difficult to understand this perspective, perhaps.

Think about it... everything surrounding babies and childbirth is ruled by fear... childproofing, CAMERAS to watch your babies while they sleep (creepy.), the "sleep sac" (because you are a bad parent if you cover your child with a blanket... I top that list since we love crocheted blankets for babies in our house), tricycles with seat belts (really?), and we all know that list is endless or BabiesRUs wouldn't exist. Not to mention the birth interventions motivated by fear... epidurals, perennial blocks, episotomies, and even inductions and c-sections occasionally (more frequently in the case of type one women like ourselves... have you heard statements motivated by fear such as "I'm just not sure you can birth a baby that size?").

I'm sorry to be linking to the same blog again, Passionate Homemaking. However, in her most recent post, Lindsay addresses beautifully the fear that pervasively surrounds birth in our culture. She opens by saying:

In this day and age, childbearing is often considered a thing to be feared. There is this overarching anxiety that we won’t be able to manage the pain of it all. We fear the baby being too large, or too small. We fear losing control. My desire here is to stop this train of thought that birthing is a thing to fear, encourage us to step back, and reflect on the beauty of the birthing process."

I hope you will find her words encouraging, she really manages to cover a lot of ground in the post!! I am very thankful for her thoughtful post on this topic. Best wishes to a relaxed and enjoyable pregnancy despite those medical providers around you who would rather you spend your time worrying and stressing apparently :)

(photo credit: passionate homemaking.com)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I came across a fabulous post on the risks of induction. The woman who wrote it is a midwife in Australia, and her comments about risk struck a deep cord with me.

"Risk is a very personal concept and different women will consider different risks to be significant to them. Everything we do in life involves risk. So when considering whether to do X or Y there is no ‘risk free’ option. We choose the option with the risks we personally are most willing to take."

Although she doesn't have anything about diabetes, you should browse her website if you are curious about the real risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I love stories like these...

Today, I was catching up on one of the blogs I enjoy reading, Passionate Homemaking. It has nothing to do with Diabetes, which, in my opinion is a good thing most days. In the post today, Lindsay, one of the authors shares about why she chooses to have her children at home. Linked later in the post is this story, about the birth of her first child.

This is a beautiful birth story. I love to read those, and thought you might enjoy it too. I love that the midwife delivered her first child fearlessly at home, breech. I'm pretty sure that most hospitals don't even allow breech vaginal deliveries these days, they are an automatic c-section. Which is just silly in my own opinion. Babies have been born for millennia breech without c-sections. (I know, I know...but jenn women and babies died all of the time during birth before medical intervention... Sure they did. And you know what, they STILL do. The US has one of the worst mortality rates for infants of all of the developed countries in the world... currently rank 33rd for infant mortality....the list is fascinating. And do you know what else we have... the highest rate of medical intervention at birth with about 92% of births attended by physicians and 90% of births with episiotomies and upwards of 30% with c-section.)

When I read stories like this one, I remember why I hope to one day have my babies at home. I'm still unsure about it all though with the diabetes, but I do want to continue conversations about the idea.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Jenn shared this with me a year or two ago and I found it very inspiring. Happy Mother's Day to all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Steel Magnolias

Maybe this movie is the reason why so many people assume that diabetics can't handle pregnancy. I think I saw it a long time ago, possibly before I had diabetes. Or maybe it was after my diabetes diagnosis, but it seemed so out-of-touch with my diabetic existence that I never really considered it could be me.

This article, by a pediatric endocrinologist, lays out reasons why the events of Steel Magnolias are unlikely to be realized in the present day. She notes positive developments in diabetes management, as well as a brief analysis of real diabetic hypoglycemia and kidney failure. I felt vindicated after reading it.

The bad news is that the story has some basis in truth. The playwright who wrote it had a sister who died following complications of her diabetes. The play was written some time before 1989, when the movie came out, when diabetes was much more difficult to manage and complications were not known or understood. Even still, it is important to note that in such a woman as Shelby (and perhaps the playwright's sister), kidney damage would have already been present and extensive before her pregnancy. Her pregnancy would have probably had little to do with the kidney failure that ultimately killed her.

The good news is that the story is very unlikely to happen today, except in cases of gross negligence or poverty. We have better ways to treat diabetes, including insulin pumps, and we can monitor for complications (such as kidney damage) before they are likely to kill us. Gratitude for such technology is truly in order for women, such as myself, who desire children. These improvements make pregnancy easier and complications rare.

Why Giving Birth in a Hospital Still Scares Me

I heard a story the other day from a labor & delivery nurse about a woman who delivered a baby at a hospital by c-section, and guess what the doctor did without asking? The doctor STERILIZED the poor woman. As in, performed a tubal ligation. As in, tied her tubes. Without asking. Because, you know, the doctor was in there anyway and figured she didn't need any more children. Did I mention she did this without asking the woman's permission?

This is one of the many reasons that the combination of patronizing medical professionals and c-sections terrifies me. I just think to myself, what if that were me? What if somewhere down the road, when I'm having my 3rd, 4th, or 10th child, I have a c-section, and I show up at my 6 week postpartum visit and the doctor tells me, "Oh, by the way, while we were doing the c-section we went ahead and tied your tubes, because I figured pregnancy is just getting too hard for you and you should really focus on yourself now. You know, it's just too hard to be pregnant with diabetes."

I sure hope the doctor is planning to personally pay for the surgery performed and for the surgery to be reversed. Out of pocket. Maybe next time he/she will think twice about it. I also hope that, just in case, my husband learns how to recognize when someone is trying to sterilize me because, you know, I'm a diabetic and just don't need any more children.