Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Power of Experience

The more pregnancies I go through, the more I pity Type I diabetic women going through their first. By trying to describe my experiences, I want more than anything to help other Type I diabetic women who have never done it. I want to help them avoid some of the worst and most unnecessary anxieties that might be imposed upon them by their doctors, by their medical history, by the world around us which finds children somewhat detestable at times, and by the very real dangers that accompany this journey of motherhood we find ourselves on.

The other day, I realized that, towards this goal of reducing anxiety for Type I diabetics, I now have something that probably most obstetricians might not even have. I have experience, from start to finish, with four whole Type I diabetic pregnancies. I was going to do some statistical analysis, but I think I'd just screw it up. So I'll simply note that there are not that many Type I diabetics in the U.S., and an even smaller proportion of them are women of childbearing age. Not very many of those women will have more than one or two children, at least in part because doctors have a way of making pregnancy so frightening and unpleasant for women with high-risk conditions like Type I diabetes. That means that there just aren't many Type I diabetic pregnancies for obstetricians to observe.

Maternal-fetal specialists probably have more experience, because they only see women with high-risk conditions. But they also don't follow pregnancy all the way through delivery. They never really get the whole picture. I have never returned to a MFM after delivery to tell them how awesome everything turned out. They have no idea that all the fretting and anxiety about all the things which might possibly go wrong never came to fruition, and that the upshot was an awesome and normal little kid.

So if I have any power at all, during these days when my physical strength is waning, it's the power of my experience. I wish I could give this power to every Type I diabetic who has ever contacted me, either on the blog or over e-mail. I wish I could tell you that everything will turn out fine, as it has for me, after every single one of my anxiety-filled pregnancies. I wish I could tell doctors a few simple ways they could avoid freaking out and over-burdening their Type I diabetic moms. I wish I could give you a healthy, positive pregnancy and delivery experience with a few strokes on the keyboard. 

I know that some things cannot be given except by living them, and I know that not everything turns out fine every time, and I will certainly not be there to help you in the delivery room when you need to make important decisions for yourselves and your babies. But if there is any question you have about diabetes and pregnancy, please feel free to ask! I don't have much, but I do have the power of my experience, and perhaps something I've learned may help you, too.

1 comment:

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