I am pretty sure that not a day has gone by since we have gotten married that someone has not asked me when we are going to have kids. Holy crap, if I had a dollar every time someone asked me about babies, I would be so rich… like own a summer home in the country kind of rich.
For the record, AT SOME POINT, we would like to have kids. Whenever the time is right, WE will prayerfully decide to stop preventing kids. The idea of actively trying to get pregnant (scheduled intimacy, calendar logging, morning temp taking, etc.) kind of makes me want to have a panic attack. So, whenever we decide to go that route, a “happily unplanned accident” sounds like the way to go…
All that being said, I grew up in the midwest. In the “go to school, get married, have kids as your life mission” midwest. I don’t think there is anything wrong with going to school, getting married, and having kids… BUT, I don’t think there is anything wrong with maybe waiting until you are older to get married and have kids… or not get married and not have kids… or adopting kids (I particularly love this idea, adopting a T1D kid)… or foster care… or being a fantastic aunt/uncle/cousin/mentor to some kid you know… or any other kind of combination you can make. I don’t think there is a “one size fits all” life plan that works for everyone, and that is fantastic! It makes life really interesting.
I’ve always been a little different in that area. I was never that kind of person that had baby fever and planned out my future gigantic family in middle school. I always knew that kids were in my future, but it was peripheral… and not something I ever focused on. In fact, to be perfectly honest, (with the exception of a few) I don’t really like other people’s babies. There, I said it… I don’t really like babies. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t really like them either… I don’t want to hold someone else’s kid. I don’t ooh and aah over their cute toes and fingers. I don’t want to feed them. I don’t want to change their diapers or rock them to sleep. (The exception to the rule, being some babies of VERY close friends and family – those babies I could hold and baby talk to until the cows come home).
Babies just lay there, and cry, or sleep, or eat, or poo. That’s it… so what are you suppoesd to DO with them?! Now… give me a toddler, and I’ll play on the floor with them all day long. Once they are older than 1 or 2, kids are GREAT – they have these awesome imaginations, and are energetic, and happy, and just AWESOME to be around, totally life affirming. Babies… meh. They don’t do it for me. (I assume I’ll feel very differently about my own kids.)
But, now to the crux of my post. I have Type 1 Diabetes, and I should be finding out any day now whether or not I also have PCOS and/or Thryoid disorder. If we want to get pregnant within the next 2 years, I needed to start seeing a TEAM of specialist doctors now. (I actually went to the first appointment in November.) Here is basically what I went away with:
1. PRE-pregnancy there is a ton of prep work. Mainly my A1C has to be below 6, ideally 5.5, and my average blood sugar should be no higher than 140. Even though I work really hard on maintaining excellent blood sugars, my current A1C is 6.5. Being sick in December didn’t help me much, but I’m still working on it.
2. If I falter with those sugar levels while pregnant, the baby can develop too quickly and there can be issues.
3. My insulin dosages could possible double while pregnant…. or it could decrease by half… basically they have no idea what is going to happen to my insulin dosages.
4. They don’t want me to gain ANY weight while pregnant. OR, they want me to lose a bunch of weight before I get pregnant. (So, no pregnancy craving junk food for me, at all.)
5. Once I hit 30-32 weeks I will be in the Dr for tests once or twice a week.
6. Upon delivery there is an immediate plan for changing my pump settings and insulin dosages because my insulin needs will change dramatically.
7. I can breast feed, but upon doing so, I need to have something sugary with me (like a juice box) because it’s very typically to have big blood sugar drops while breast feeding.
8. IF I have PCOS, there is a whole other set of Do’s and Don’ts I need to be concerned with.
9. Did I mention I have an entire TEAM of Doctors who will be on stand by and helping me through this “High Risk” pregnancy.
10. With precautions taken and carefully monitoring I could have a relatively healthy and normal pregnancy, birth, and baby.
So… There is a lot of pressure there. Not just from the millions of people asking me about kids, but from all the things that have to happen before we can even stop using birth control. I’ve talked to several other T1 Diabetics who have had kids, some have had great pregnancies and some have had terrible experiences, because of everything I listed above, or health complications. I know tons of women who desperately want kids and haven’t been able to get pregnant. I worry about things like “what if I give my kid T1 Diabetes?” or “what if I mess up while pregnant and they develop wrong?” or “what if I CAN’T get pregnant?”
Obviously, I try not to dwell on the “what ifs” too much and Daniel and I have talked about all of those possibilities. I also understand that the people who ask us about kids are probably just excited at the possibility of us creating more awesomeness for future generations (because, I mean… who can blame them). So, I try not to stress myself out when they ask, and I find hilarious posts and cartoons like this to focus on from other T1D who have successfully had kids.
We pray about all the aforementioned fears often… to be able to trust that His will is done, so the pressure doesn’t feel like it’s all on me (because God is way bigger) and then I can breath just a little bit easier.
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