This is the first in a bi-monthly series.
One of the first questions I get from people when they find out I have diabetes is whether or not I can have children. The short answer? Yes. The long answer? Well, that’s what this new blog series is here to explain – a Type 1 (T1) Diabetic’s journey to motherhood.
Becoming a mother has always been on my list of life goals. As I cruise from my early thirties to my mid-thirties (how does that happen so fast?!), and all of my friends are becoming parents, that goal is becoming more of a priority.
Last year my fiance and I decided the top three goals we had for the next 18 months were to get married, buy a house, and start a family. We ended up moving our wedding, which was planned for July, to last month. We did this to save money (we got married in a ceremony with just us, a Justice of the Peace, and a photographer at Hotel Vermont) to put towards goal number two, which is to buy a house. Our lease isn’t up until November so we still have time to save, but having T1 diabetes means I have to start planning for that final goal of a baby sooner rather than later. I actually started planning last fall!
The first step I need to take on my journey is to get my A1c to a number my endocrinologist and I feel is right for me. My first goal was to reach 7.0, which almost ANY Person With Diabetes will tell you is perfection (and hard work!). I’m happy to report that at my last two quarterly endocrinology appointments, I reached, and maintained, the elusive 7.0 A1c. I won’t lie, I’m incredibly proud of the hard work I’ve put in already. My previous result was an 8.4 so reaching that 7.0 was not easy. I did many things to improve my A1c, including pre-bolusing, more exercise, keeping my glucometer in the bathroom overnight so I could check and correct blood sugars during my routine middle of the night trips there, and logging.
When the nurse gave me that first result of 7.0 back in September, I was giddy. I might have cried. Ok, I did cry. It was amazing to know that my hard work was paying off and that I was getting closer to my goal of being baby ready. At my most recent appointment in January, I feared I had failed to maintain that 7.0. What with the holidays and sleeping and eating ALL OF THE THINGS! Shockingly, my A1c stayed right at 7.0.
So my next step? Over the next six months my doctor has asked me to continue working on lowering my A1c and get to a 6.5. I have no doubt that I have the will and support system in place to do this. When I hit that magical 6.5, it will be time for my husband and I to make our first trip to the High Risk OB and begin to discuss conception planning. Exciting!
I hope you’re as excited to follow me on this journey as I am to take it. As I progress further into becoming baby ready I will talk more about how a chronic illness like diabetes affects a major life event like pregnancy. For anyone that wants to know more now, JDRF put out a fantastic guide to pregnancy and diabetes. You can see a quick summation of the facts here. You can also read about the pregnancies of fellow T1Ds like Kim or Kerri on their personal blogs.
Jess Buchanan is a native Vermonter who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2007. She is also a newlywed who loves sports, writing, singing and cooking. She aspires to push past the limitations diabetes tries to impose on her.