Thursday, April 12, 2007

Information Chill Pill

I remember the day. The alumni at Clara Barton Camp were all gathered around the lake, laughter and happiness oozed out of the group as long time friends were reunited. It was alumni day and as a part of the alumni committee, I knew we would be honoring Dr. Younger that day. Dr. Younger was a pioneer in assisting women with type one diabetes to have healthy babies. As the little ceremony began, I ventured down to the waterfront to hear what these women would say, but I was more concerned on how the kitchen was doing with lunch and would we stay on schedule. I had a boyfriend at the time, who we refer to as ‘the artist’ and while deep down I knew he wasn’t ‘the one’ I 100% knew that I wanted children some day.

In front of me were some people that had a much larger impact on my life than they will probably know. They were the counselors and leaders of camp when I was just a child. As I grew up and learned how to be a teenager with diabetes, I watched them become women with diabetes. It was their style and grace that made me so confident that I would end up where I am. A healthy adult woman, loving my life. Although, style and grace may be romanticizing it a bit- the first one that came back to camp and told us that she was pregnant was serenaded by a good old round of Salt ‘n Peppa “push it” at the camp dance. With the short 80’s shorts and tube socks, I remember it well.

I stood there, with my mediocre A1c and ‘good enough’ attempts for close control, as is so common with the ‘just out of college’ crowd. I listened as these women told of how Dr. Younger supported them through pregnancy and diabetes. As the tears started to flow, a light bulb clicked on. That life time ‘lesson’ that is diabetes management- I need to take care of my self now, so that I can be a mom (or whatever I want) when it’s right. Ever since that day, I’ve had what I consider excellent control. (Not freakishly tight, but a nice place that my Dr and I are comfortable with)

Fast forward 8 years, 2 serious boyfriends, 9 apartments and 1 car later….

It was all coming together. I had the wonderful husband, my prefect wedding, we bought a ‘family friendly’ house and then I started reading. And reading and reading and stressing and stressing and stressing. I was convinced that I’d be on bed rest for 6 months, and I’d live on nothing but pre-measured salads and water. I, as I have done more than once, worked myself into an internal panic. I need to know more - and the more I read on the scary internet - the worse I felt. It was all topped off when my well intentioned sister-in-law asked “you’re not going to die if you have a baby, are you?” I told her to return Steel Magnolias and never watch it again, and no, nor am I going to spill OJ all over me in the beauty salon, or have an armadillo cake. I could feel my panic taking over my rational mind.

The ultimate problem is that this was the one time in my life that my diabetes was going to dictate what I could do. I don't do very well when I can't do what I want. I wasn’t ready to deal with myself if we were ready for a baby, except my diabetes out of whack. I don’t think that I was ready to deal with how quickly my mind wanted to control the situation. I was calm and collected on the outside, but quickly unraveling inside.

I had my annual appointment with my lady parts doctor. I asked her a slew of questions, so she referred me to a high risk ob- just to talk. I felt silly going in to ask questions, but I went anyway.

Why did I beat myself up about this? Why did I let these women’s experiences in the Midwest so skew my reality. If my A1c was 5.0, not only would I be rich as hell for having cured diabetes, but I’d probably be hospitalized for uncontrolled lows.

The best thing that I got, was the information chill pill from Dr Espesito. The facts, plain and simple. It’s not so scary when you lay it all out. He said I was “good to go” any time.

Deep breath out….

So now, I am focusing my “over planning” skills on my husband’s birthday extravaganza in May. Did I mention we are having 90 people to my house? Oye.

And this summer, after our trip to California - cause as I told my friend, I want a baby, but not more than I want wine in Napa in July. We’ll think about it. Just like everyone else in the world – and deal with whatever comes along just like we always do.

Style, grace and a whole lot of 80’s dancing.


Blogger Nicole P said...

Dear God, Caren, I remember that Push-It incident... So funny. :)

I wish you look as you prepare - relax, take a breath - and think of all the people you've got to consult with.

I'll look forward to reading about your journey as you set off on it!


2:30 PM  
Blogger Maura said...

Caren, Thank you for sharing your story. I have two thoughts, 1) I wish someone would have told me to start practicing good skills because it would pay off when I wanted kids and 2)thank you for putting it so well...The ultimate problem is that this was the one time in my life that my diabetes was going to dictate what I could do." Hmmm

4:12 PM  
Blogger caren said...

Maura, I think that is indeed the hardest part, it's the one time that diabetes plays a major role. And damn it all to heck when the diabetes won't play along.

I am very certain that you and I will end up in the waiting room at BI together sometime soon!


4:33 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

I completely relate...

About 18 months ago (or more) I started "preparing my body for baby." Working on my A1c, keeping my blood sugars steady and avoiding post prandial spikes. It definitely takes effort, but the practice will pay off big time when the time to be pregnant actually arrives.

Now, my husband and I are officially "trying" and my struggle is to relax and not have to be in control of everything!!

Good luck, I can't wait to read about your experiences!

7:27 PM  
Blogger Flmgodog said...

Good post and I remembering feeling EXACTLY the same way not so long ago.
I just wrote yesterday about all the things people told me I was going to have to do because I was diabetic but suprisingly things have gone well and I really have had no diabetic related problems to speak of with this pregnancy.
Their are lots of us out here in the blogosphere who know you can do this and it is NOTHING like Steel Magnolias.

Good luck whenever you and hubby are ready!!!!

12:02 PM  
Blogger Lyrehca said...

Hi--likely chiming in late here, but honestly, I am living proof you can have a healthy baby as a mom with type 1 diabetes. It is a ton of work, but it became second nature to me (I'm surprised I'm not expected to maintain such tight sugars post-birth), and now I'm trying to figure out non-diabetic things like just breast-feeding and pumping. You can do it. Good luck!

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