On the Morning of My Ultrasound

When I was pregnant with my first, everyone I talked to was anxious to know what I was having. I had decided near the beginning of my pregnancy that no one outside of immediate family should know the gender of my baby  before the baby shower–lest I be showered with gender-specific clothes and not receive any of the essential items that I was hoping others would buy for me instead.

On the day of our mid-pregnancy ultrasound (about 19 weeks), my husband came with me and he held my hand. When we were asked if we wanted to know the gender of our baby, we adamently answered in unison, “Yes.” I was pleasantly surprised when the technician revealed that our Little Moore was actually a girl. Somehow, I had imagined that she was a boy and didn’t think I would have a girl until a subsequent pregnancy. Perhaps it was the lack of morning sickness that led me to think that it couldn’t have been a girl, but all of those thoughts faded with a smile when I realized that I would be the mother to a firstborn daughter. I had also prayed that God would allow me to have both genders as a mom, but especially that He wouldn’t give me all boys (there is nothing wrong with all boys, but I am totally the mom of a daughter!). As an excited mother-to-be, I had already picked out her name long before I knew who she would be: “Layne Blythe” or “The Joyous Path.”

Layne at 19 weeks in August 2012.

Layne at 19 weeks in August 2012.

 

Flash forward nearly two years to the day (today!) and I am going to another maternal/fetal medicine office to get a mid-pregnancy ultrasound. This time my husband is unable to get the time off of work to come with me, so my mom is coming to watch my daughter and offer support.

Before I became pregnant with this baby, I decided that I didn’t want to know the gender during my next pregnancy. There are so few surprises in adult life (and I am rarely surprised), and I want to know what it feels like to be able to meet my child for the very first time on the day of his or her birth. When Layne’s birth was disappointing (not Layne, but the birth itself), I vowed to do whatever I can to avoid another c-section in the future. I changed to a midwife who supports women who want a vaginal birth after caesarean, I started to revise my birth plan and I have prayed and prayed not to go through that experience again. However, I know that birth is its own animal. I can do everything right and still face a situation that is completely out of my control. I want to know that on the day of my son or daughter’s birth, if I am wheeled down the hall to undergo another painful surgery, that I have a surprise left to enjoy. I want my husband to be able to announce to the room and to the parents, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” I genuinely want to be surprised.

However, ultrasounds are a glimpse into the womb not afforded to my parents’ generation. It is like a movie trailer with the most interesting topic I have ever seen. It is like watching the future unfold inside me–a sneak peek into the rest of my life.

I desperately want to know if I am having a boy or a girl. I want to know that God is giving us a boy so that I will be assured that our family isn’t all girls. I want Caleb to have a little buddy to follow him around. I want a little man to dress in mini-man clothes and learn about all things boy.

I want my daughter to have a sister only two years younger than her so that they can share playmates, clothes and little league teams. I want another little girl to wear the hundreds of adorable girl outfits that I packed away with tears in my eyes as my daughter outgrew them. I want a “second daughter” much like I am the second daughter.

Short of twins (which I am not having), I will not get both of these with this pregnancy. God already has filled one of the above scenarios, and most likely it is way more in depth than I have summarize above. Knowing the outcome brings excitement, relief and months of planning. Not knowing, however, brings wonder, hope, and anticipation.

Today I may not find out the gender of my baby (unless it is unavoidable on the screen), but I will learn that my baby is healthy and growing according to schedule. This is all I can hope for as a mother. God has the rest all planned out.

The Passage of Time is Bittersweet

The passage of time is so bittersweet.

Most mornings, my child sleeps in. If I can get my act together, I have the opportunity to spend an hour or so with a strong cup of coffee and my laptop–getting some of my “work-from-home” work done to the soundtrack of ocean waves on the baby monitor.

This morning, I decided to do something that I have been putting off for some time: backing up my photos from my iPhone to my computer so that I could execute the long awaited software update. Last time I had attempted this, I hadn’t chosen to delete any of the photos after transfer and had (SOMEHOW) managed to upload a bunch more from my computer to my phone. Needless to say, I had long run out of room on my phone for updates and videos.

I didn’t expect the simple transfer of photos to be an emotional endeavor. I suppose I should have known better with my hormones all out of whack, but I didn’t.

As the photos transferred from my phone to iPhoto, I saw nearly two years of my life fly by in pictures, in chronological order. It was glib, almost, to watch 1600 photos fly by my eyes. Occasionally, one would linger on the screen for ten seconds or more as if to ask, “Do you remember me?”

I did. I did so well it hurt.

I remembered the first time my daughter was placed in my arms when I was wheeled back to my hospital room.

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I remembered every little smile and frown she made for the first several months of her life as they passed by on my screen.

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I remembered taking her to my grandma’s house, and later to the hospital and rehabilitation centers as her time grew shorter and shorter with us.

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I remembered the joy on my daughter’s face as she jumped in her rainforest jumper for the first time and how enthralled she was with the fenced-in “play area” I made her when I started to babyproof the house.

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The bitterness is in the tears I shed, but the sweetness is what made them fall.

As I watched her teeth seemingly pop out of her gums as the pictures passed, I also realized the ways that I have grown as a mother in 19 months. I have picture proof of many ways I have grown and changed as a first time parent: learning the reason for her non-stop screaming in the first few months of my daughter’s life, examples of incorrect carseat usage and our switch from disposable diapers to cloth.

Nineteen months is merely a snapshot in the timeline of motherhood. It has passed too quickly, but every moment was cherished. I have never, ever wished for any life circumstance that would not have included these first 19 amazing months with Layne (first two screaming months and all).

The path to motherhood is joyous. But with the joy, comes tears.

A City With Broken Down Walls

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A year and a half ago, I was working in children’s church while we studied an important lesson. It was January, and in the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions, we learned the following verse:

“A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls.” -Proverbs 25:28

At the time, the verse stood out to me. My husband and I had decided to (try to) have our first baby that year. In order to make that happen, I would have to get my blood sugar under control and then keep it there for many months.

I was up for the challenge. We joined a local gym, I sourced an old elliptical machine from my local freecycle group and I carefully planned our meals to best accommodate my goals.
In a short time, I was successful. I had dropped about 4-5 pounds and had excellent blood sugar control. The first time that I saw my a1c at 5.1 I burst into tears. It was proof that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to with God’s help.

I was pregnant as of April (a little earlier than I had thought it would happen), but my doctors were supportive. Throughout my pregnancy, my blood sugar was uncharacteristically low. I found myself checking and re-checking until my fingers were calloused and sore. I took walks at every possible break while at work and would get on the elliptical machine for at least 10 minutes after dinner every night.

After Layne arrived, I was in a sleepy haze of feedings, dietary changes to accommodate her milk/soy protein intolerance, trying to keep my sanity….I stopped checking my blood sugar regularly because it wasn’t my focus anymore. Layne was my entire focus, every minute of every day.

Then last night, while feeling a little “off,” I decided to check my postprandial blood glucose (measurement of blood sugar 2 hours after the start of a meal). It was 186. I must have checked it 4 times, after washing my hands and testing the meter for accuracy. Humbling. My blood sugar should have been about 120 at that point.

I jumped on the elliptical machine again to bring it down before bed. I made a high-fiber, high protein breakfast this morning and I tested my glucose two hours afterward to find it in the normal range again.

When I don’t take care of myself, I leave my body much like a city without walls. I invite infection, disease, lethargy, weight gain, etc. into my life. I invite those ills into our family as well. It is not good to give my daughter everything now at the expense of her having me around as she grows up.

Much like I did a year and a half ago, I am placing my focus on rebuilding my walls. On having self-control with my diet. On being self-disciplined with my exercise.

Layne Blythe: The Birth of the Joyous Path

Sock Monkey

So what is JOY?

I have always associated the word “joy” with happiness. After all, it is hard to imagine anyone singing or talking about joy without being happy. Joy to the World is a happy song, right?

In my very short time as a mother, however, I have learned so much more about the true meaning of joy. Joy, in the biblical sense, is a feeling of purpose and fulfillment. Jesus’ disciples had true joy because they understood that their collective purpose was to spread the news about salvation to all people. When Jesus came to earth, the world received JOY because it now had purpose and its inhabitants could now find fulfillment in life.

My experience at the hospital was not a happy one. I was questioned repeatedly by nurses and doctors but my answers were disregarded. In fact, the birth plan that I took so much time to write and perfect was so far ignored that I shouldn’t have bothered. I was induced with a drug that I was hesitant to allow, I was told repeatedly that I had a “diagnosis” that I still don’t agree with, and I ended up having a ceserean section when my daughter couldn’t tolerate my contractions.

Following my delivery, the hospital staff once again disregarded my wishes to have my placenta encapsulation (despite a lengthy conversation with everyone WHILE I was in the operating room, half open) and someone threw it in a solution to go down to pathology. This ruined it. Upon returning to my room, I was hooked up to magnesium sulfate (without my consent) and I was not allowed to leave my bed or eat for 24 more hours.

That same afternoon, the nurses informed me that Layne had low blood glucose and that she would need to go to the NICU to be hooked up to a glucose drip. Of course, one of the reasons we liked this hospital was because they were adamant that nearly every newborn intervention could take place in the patient rooms, rather than down the hall in the NICU. Unfortunately, they were also in the process of cutting costs for staffing for the NICU, so it was temporarily relocated to the first floor (we were on the third).

When they came to take my baby, I was a mess. This wasn’t happiness. Women are supposed to feel accomplished and fulfilled after having a baby. I, on the other hand, felt a bit like I failed. Nothing was going right, I was exhausted, and I had now failed one more time by not being able to keep my baby from having to go away to get additional help. I told my baby that I loved her and watched them wheel her away from me while I sobbed. That night, my husband and I used FaceTime on our phones so that he could go visit her and feed her while I watched. I tried to be strong but tears just kept running down my cheeks. She was crying when he got there. I could do nothing about it.

My spirits lifted slightly the next morning, when I was allowed to get out of bed. My one last wish was for my baby to be breastfed. I was so determined to give her anything I could that I would pump constantly, even when nothing came out after 15 minutes. If I did manage to get some colostrum, I would proudly carry it with me in a syringe while my husband wheeled me downstairs to feed it to her. It became a routine for us to check her temperature, change her, have the nurse check her glucose, and then allow me to try to breastfeed with no success. We would then give her formula. The formula was necessary for her health, but it just felt like another slap in the face.

We would feed Layne every three hours. This meant that my husband would wheel me downstairs, we would do the above-mentioned routine (which took about an hour) and then I was supposed to go upstairs and rest. That “rest” time was usually spent having nurses and doctors check on me for a variety of medical and non-medical reasons. I developed anxiety about not waking up in time for her feedings so I wouldn’t sleep. For the duration of my stay in the hospital, I got about 5-6 hours of sleep (total). I was berated by the nurses for this as well.

Layne did make it out of the NICU in time to spend our last night in the hospital together. We left the following day in a whirlwind of confusion as our checkout day was misquoted, but I was very pleased to be leaving the hospital for good.

Nine months of planning and all of it (save my beautiful daughter) was destroyed in a few hours. I was too tired to be sad at the time and my body knew that I needed to keep moving to care for this new life. It took about a week to process the experience I had in the hospital and to start to grieve for what I lost. It was the moment when my world stopped spinning so fast after the holidays and I had my daughter in my lap staring up at me that it finally sunk in: I am inadequate as a human being and as a parent. My daughter has no idea how she got here but she thinks the world of me and that should be enough.

As time is passing along, I am weepy about all sorts of things….lack of sleep…..the rate that my daughter is growing…..the continued struggle (although almost success at this point) to get my daughter to breastfeed with no aids…..

But JOY is the one thing holding me together. Purpose. Fulfillment. Being a mother to an adorable baby with chubby cheeks who doesn’t see me as a failure or a diabetic patient with a host of made-up medical issues. To her, I am just Mom.

And this Joyous Path will continue to guide me through the grieving.

“Consider it pure joy [purpose, fulfillment] , my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2

30 Weeks: Fear is a Four Letter Word

There is nothing like impending motherhood to remind me of how little control I have over anything in my life. This uncertainty is just exacerbated by my raging hormones and constant re-thinking of every choice and decision I make on a daily basis.

Yesterday, I had a 30-week ultrasound to determine my baby’s growth and development. After marveling at detailed facial features (this baby might have my nose after all) and a perfectly functional heart (I could see all four chambers), I was informed that this child is in the 95th percentile for growth.

Wait a second….My child is big?

My shock transitioned into slight vindication when I realized the explanation for my 3.5 pound weight gain over the last few weeks, but then that quickly receded into fear. Fear for my child’s development, fear that I had somehow missed something with all of my blood sugar checks, fear for my ever-still-so-small lady parts!

The doctor only made it worse by bringing up cesearan section talk in the exam room following the ultrasound. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that my 5’2” frame probably would do better with a 6-7lb baby than a 10lb baby, but I resented him for even mentioning it yet. I resented my doctor for always bringing up every worst case scenario. I resented him for dismissing my objections with bringing my baby’s health into it.

“It isn’t about what you want. You might not have a choice…..”

I made sure to let him know that while he is only thinking about this child, I am thinking of my (up to) three other unborn children and their health and safety with delivery in the future. He told me that Vaginal Birth after Cesearean is common (yeah right!) and I shut down a little. The same doctor who told me that he would like to see me get to 38 weeks before induction due to my diabetes then told me that inducing early wouldn’t help me and that we would have to discuss scheduling a c-section if the baby continued to grow at this rate.

Frustration, coupled with pregnancy-magnified anxiety clouded me the whole drive home. I wasn’t thinking clearly and my mood was sour. I have done everything I can possibly do to ensure that my child has every fighting chance and a normal, non-diseased life. What the heck am I supposed to do now???? I put one hand on my belly while driving as if to excuse my child from having done anything wrong. 95th percentile should belong to children of really tall people, but if I am supposed to birth a linebacker, then so be it.

“My fears have worn me out…” – Switchfoot, Redemption
It wasn’t really until this morning that I realized where my fear and resentment were really coming from. When I failed to look to God to answer me in my distress I found my thoughts getting darker and more angry. Like the child who gets upset when his older sibling tells him he won’t get to do something when the parent or babysitter has clearly said otherwise, I looked only to my own doubt and frustration and never once thought that maybe God knows a little more about this child than the doctor does.

Psalm 139

13 “For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”

“My frame was not hidden from you….Your eyes saw my unformed body….”

We can look at my child through monitors and sonograms and modern technology, but God sees this child with His eyes. Nothing is hidden from Him. He knows exactly the date and time that this child will pass through to this side of life and all my doctors can do is estimate, guess and rely on technology to make decisions. They do their best, but when they tell me educated guesses about my child or my ability to bear this child naturally, I can’t throw a fit and feel defeated. I have to look to God (who knows the ACTUAL weight and height and whose nose the child has) to give me my answers.

27 Weeks: Vaccinations. When the Third World Comes to Us

One thing I have learned since becoming a “parent-to-be” is that “vaccine” is a dirty word in the natural parenting community. I think it actually outranks “epidural” and “episiotomy.” In fact, I have found no issue so polarizing in recent discussion than the vaccination of children in the United States.

I personally believe that are an over-medicated society. My years in and out of doctor’s offices have taught me that the only way to get and stay healthy is to become your own best advocate. I have fought (what I believed to be) unnecessary prescriptions, methods and tests. I don’t take birth control (obviously, but I never have). I don’t mind the occasional pain medication but I will take my chances with the flu and not get a flu shot. I am up-to-date on all of my vaccines through the Hepatitis shots I got in high school.

My child, however, is another story. This baby will come from my womb 100% perfect, with no diseases (Lord-willing) and no toxin-induced disorders.

The Case AGAINST Vaccinations:

As mothers we are encouraged to give up alcohol, smoking, bug spray, sunscreen, rollercoasters, processed foods and pesticides during our pregnancies. We are told to limit caffeine and to get plenty of sleep. We avoid ibuprofen and aspirin and well as traditional cold medications. In the last few years, I have rid my cupboards of aluminum-containing baking powder, which can lead to inflammation and Alzheimer’s.

Then our babies are born. In the hospital, they receive their first vaccination: a Hepatitis B shot (for a sexually-transmitted disease). The FDA recommends no more than 25 mcg of aluminum as a safe dose for a newborn. The HepB shot contains 225 mcg. This is where most mothers against vaccines start to draw the line.

The HepB shot is only the beginning. Most of the vaccinations we give our children to protect them against horrific diseases contain neurotoxins at extremely unsafe levels. In addition to aluminum, vaccines contain trace amounts of mercury and formaldehyde. Vaccines also contain a number of less questionable ingredients that can cause severe allergic reactions in some patients (which is unavoidable in today’s world of allergy-prone children). In a child’s first “wellness” visit at 2 months, he or she will receive over 1800 additional micrograms of aluminum.

The summary: Vaccines contain poisons and we give them to our children during their most sensitive years of brain development. There are anecdotes all over the web of children who have never been the same after receiving multiple vaccines at a doctor visit (especially after getting the MMR vaccine). For many parents (many of whom believe that the risk of their children getting life-threatening diseases is very low anyway), vaccination is not a risk they are willing to take for their children.

The Case For Vaccination:

There is a reason that we don’t see the same diseases in the United States as can be found regularly in third-world countries: we vaccinate. Our children don’t die of smallpox anymore. We don’t fear polio or mumps. Our children are all but free of serious communicable diseases.

In fact, in communities where parents have decided not to vaccinate, there has been a resurgence of whooping cough (pertussis) this year, which can be fatal to infants who lose the ability to breathe. We don’t live in a bubble. The United States is full of traveling families and visitors from foreign lands. We get vaccinations before going to third-world countries on missions trips, but we don’t think about what might happen when the third world comes to us.

Vaccines are not a bad thing. And, unless they reject them for religious reasons, most people aren’t arguing that vaccines are evil or unnecessary. You may make the choice not to vaccinate and your child might be as healthy as can be. Or sick. Or really, really sick. Or dead.

What mothers need to do, nationwide, is demand something better for our children. We wanted organic produce and foods at our grocery stores and so we voted with our dollars and we got them. Although Americans might be guilty of believing too much of what they read and see on television, the threats against our children (vaccinated or not) are real.

In Conclusion:

So is the best choice to vaccinate and hope that my child can get through the highly toxic levels of poison contained in these shots but avoid scary and life-threatening diseases?

Should I stagger the vaccines so that the child receives only small amounts of toxins at a time?

Should I neglect to vaccinate at all and take my chances in a sort of “voting with my non-compliance” in hopes that enough of us can convince the government to research safer vaccines?

I have no idea and only 13 more weeks or so to figure it out. I do know one thing, though. My child is NOT getting a vaccine with 225 mcg of aluminum in the first 24 hours of his/her life. That is just insanity.

What do you think?

My Silent Partner in Life and Pregnancy: Diabetes

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After 8 months of testing for food allergies and strange bacterial infections, I was diagnosed with diabetes at nineteen.To say that the doctors weren’t looking for it is an understatement, as I showed no typical outward signs of being at risk for the disease. I am not heavy, I am not old and my family has virtually no history of carrying it (I did find out a few years later that my great-great grandfather on my mother’s side had it, but that was probably back when they treated it with pig insulin and gave patients a short life expectancy).

My diabetes had manifested itself as a nasty tongue rash. The rash resembled the sores that one might get after burning his or her tongue, but much more painful. All of the doctors dismissed it as some kind of allergic reaction to citrus or exposure to something environmental. I was given a magic mouthwash (with benadryl and some other antihistamine ingredients), a prescription for hydrocodone (vicodin), and told to take Benedryl on a daily basis. The oral surgeon, dentist, allergist, and ER doctor were all wrong! Something inside me knew it too, but never suspected diabetes.

The summer of 2005 was really hard for me to find work. It was between my freshman and sophomore years of college and I was to go on a college internship to Walt Disney World that fall. I had left my job as a waitress a few months before and the families I babysat for were going on vacations and didn’t need me very often. I was feeling better than I had during the spring, but my tongue issue had never really been resolved. I chalked it up to “one of those fluke things.”

In August, I consulted my sister to participate in a sleep study at the clinic she worked for in Detroit. I was told to keep track of my sleep patterns for a period of time (and write in a journal). After submitting these I was called in for a comprehensive blood test, urinalysis and physical to make sure I was a good candidate for the study. I remember sitting in the exam room, sipping a travel mug of coffee with sugar and milk in it. It was the last time I ever put sugar in my coffee.

I got the call from my sister a couple days later. She shouldn’t have had access to my medical results, but what was truly troubling was the diagnosis: Diabetes. My blood sugar was 373. This is a number I will never forget. It meant absolutely nothing to me at the time. Could there have been a mistake? Was it the sugar in the coffee I was drinking? Should I do the blood test again?

For those of you who may not know a lot about diabetes, a healthy person without the disease has a blood sugar rating of 60-99 (or so) when fasting. Although the reading that the clinic took was not a fasting reading, it never should have been over 120. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates, our bodies break them down into sugars. The pancreas is responsible for releasing insulin. This insulin acts like a key to unlock the cells in our bodies (in all of our organs–think brain, muscles, etc) so that we can utilize the energy from the foods that we have eaten. In a person with diabetes, either the pancreas does not work properly and not enough (or any) insulin is released to carry the sugars to the cells, or the body becomes resistant to the insulin and it is not as effective as it should be. The result for people like me is that the sugars sit in our blood streams, our blood sugar levels rise, and the high levels of glucose can eventually damage our organs rather than help them.

After the doctors at the clinic confirmed that the test was accurate and would not need to be redone, I started my spiral of self-pity and mourning. I remembered being the fat kid on the playground and wondered to myself if I was to blame for this.

My emotional side dialogued with my rational side:

“Why me?”

“Why not you? What makes you special?”

“What did I do wrong?”

“At least it isn’t cancer.”

“I feel like a failure.”

“That is an overreaction. You aren’t going to die.”

“Will I ever be able to have children?!?!?”

I made it through college with the help of a wonderful doctor and caring parents who wanted me to get the best medical care we could find. I kept my blood sugar “under control” from a medical standpoint through the aid of pharmaceutical drugs, a few of which either had horrible side effects or have since been recalled.

When I graduated from college, I really started to look at my disease differently. I wanted to finally get my answers as to why I had it and what I could do about it. My experience with the doctors that I had seen–all of the poking and prodding and medicines–had made me skeptical about most medical interventions. I told my doctor that I was certain that there was a real reason why I had developed this disease, and that I suspected it was because something was off-balance in my body. He dismissed that with, “Everyone wants to believe that it is something else–that there is a reason. I’m afraid you are just another run-of-the-mill diabetic. It just is what it is.”

I didn’t accept that answer. In 2011, my doctor finally mentioned that I have a mild case of Hashimoto’s, which is when the thyroid is enlarged and doesn’t work as effectively as it should. I got frustrated. Even though the doctor said that my tests still showed my thyroid function in “normal” range, I knew where this was going: a few more years and then a good chance of being on thyroid replacement therapy for the rest of my life. My grandmother (on my mother’s side as well) has had a dead thyroid since she was in her forties. This WAS genetic.

And then it clicked. What if the two conditions were related? In 2012, I started to scour “non-medical” healing books to read about diseases and their origins. Under Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism was a direct connection to the development of type 2 diabetes. Since both the pancreas and the thyroid are in the endocrine system, their function is directly related. When one stops working properly, it is likely that the other will eventually follow. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include being cold all the time or having a baseline body temperature of less than 98 degrees. Mine has always been 97.4 or so. And NOBODY knew better to be looking for it.

Pregnancy and Diabetes

As I mentioned when I was first diagnosed, one of my top concerns with having diabetes was whether or not I would be able to have children. Or, more realistically, could I have children without screwing them up physically for life?

I actually had a former boyfriend / love interest tell me in conversation that he would never marry someone who had a disease because it would be too hard to deal with and it could affect their children. That was one of the most hurtful things anyone had ever said to me. Rejecting me, or people like me, based on something that we had no control over felt horrible and unfair  “I didn’t pick this!” I thought.

When I met my husband, my world started to make sense. He didn’t care that I had diabetes. He loved me and mentioned that he would be fine with adopting kids if we couldn’t have any. He was everything I had ever wanted in a husband ( and things I didn’t know I wanted until I met him ). I felt safe with him but still had a great fear of screwing up my unborn children. The drugs I was on were not safe for pregnancy, and I knew that I would have to control my blood sugar 100% better to prevent birth defects and other problems during pregnancy.

After three years of being on one medication that make me nauseous all the time, I told me doctor I was done December of last year. I told him I didn’t want to risk getting pregnant on this medication (Byetta) and that I was tired of being “sick.” He was fine with me going off the medication but cautioned me that I would most likely have to take insulin if I did, indeed, become pregnant.

After getting my a1C down to 5.4 (this is a 3-month blood glucose average of 115), I was given the go ahead to conceive. This happened almost immediately, as the fear of pregnancy went away. Most of my friends had taken months to conceive, and I had conceived without really trying. I was surprised and couldn’t believe that it was actually happening.

Since I became pregnant 6 months ago, I have heard all sorts of warnings from my doctors about eventually needing insulin to control my blood sugar, about delivering early, and about the risks of stillbirth if my blood sugar is high and I let the pregnancy go past 38 weeks. All the while, I have been checking my blood sugar 3-4 times daily and eating accordingly. My next a1C was 5.2 (108 average) and the next was 4.8 (93 average).

My doctors have been astounded as to how I can have better blood sugar than most non-diabetic patients they see in pregnancy. I might not know all of the inner workings of fetal growth and blood sugar, but I do know a few things:

  1. My blood sugar levels can only be controlled with God’s help. I pray over my baby daily and ask Him for help because I don’t want to screw this up. I can’t control one point of my blood sugar on my own. It is God who makes my body work and respond to exercise and treatments.
  2. There is no room for FEAR in pregnancy. I can only afford to have confidence that God has a plan for this child and for me as the mother. I CAN’T screw this up because that isn’t what God wants. He wants me to have a healthy baby.
  3. On earth, I am ultimately responsible for what happens to this child. No drug or fear-filled advice is more important than my own intuition. When my first doctor called in a prescription for a long-acting insulin when I was first pregnant and my numbers were just above normal, I gave it two days and (with faith) the blood sugar came down without intervention. Something told me not to pick it up and I am glad that I didn’t.
  4. Being on insulin or other diabetic drugs is NOT a bad thing. If I get into my third trimester and my blood sugar creeps up out of control, I WILL do what I have to do to keep it down. It is not failure to do what is best for my child, even when it involves medicine. Failure is choosing not to trust in God as He gives me peace or direction about what to do.

Right now, all I can do is take one day at a time and keep praying for this peanut. For the time being, however, pregnancy suits me. 🙂