For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mom. I had dolls galore as a child and even dressed up the family cat and forced him to ride in a stroller. (Sorry, Sunny). But then this little disease called diabetes came knocking at my door when I was 10. I don’t know if I heard this straight from the doctor or if it was only discussed with my parents, but I knew from the time of my diagnosis that I was told I’d never have kids. Not ones that were biologically mine anyway.
Then, my best friend (who also has T1) got pregnant and had a healthy baby when she was 17. I became a bit hopeful then, feeling that there may still be a possibility for me. It’s sad, really, to think that I was worried about my reproductive abilities at that age. You know, the age when you’re supposed to concentrate on not getting pregnant? When I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome at 26 I knew my chances were reduced even further. Chicks with PCOS who do get pregnant tend to be those Americans you see with the super-families – think Kate Gosselin. And then, just to add a little cherry on my reproductive woes, I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 28.
The trouble with all of these diagnoses and my wondering what it would mean about being someone’s mom was that I wasn’t really ready to even try to have a baby yet. In theory, I still haven’t even tried to have a baby. And that’s partly because of the scary OB/GYN I saw a couple of years ago who regaled me with tales of defective, fat babies with organs on their outsides and things that made me think of that scene in Steel Magnolias where Julia Roberts’ kid is crying on the verandah while she’s comatose from kidney failure. Annoying OB/GYN lady told me it would be stupid of me to even think about trying to conceive with my blood sugar levels. So I’ve worked for the last 2-3 years to get an insulin pump (got one! – story later) to try to get my A1C (average blood sugar) down to where it would be safe to try to get knocked up. I’ve had the pump since April and I’m feeling a lot better and my last A1C was down from 10.2 to 8.6. And finally – finally, I’m ready to say that I want to have a baby. And my husband wants one too. Because, let’s face it, I’ve mostly just been waiting for him to give the green light.
So now, my family doctor (whom I adore) is sending me off for tests and has hooked me up with an awesome diabetes/pregnancy clinic at Women’s Hospital. My first appointment is on Monday and, while I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, I won’t deny that I have had visions of presenting our parents with “Merry Christmas, Grandma & Grandpa!” cards on December 25 to announce a future grandbaby. I’m really scared, though. Not of the potential complications – for baby or me – but of failure. What if none of this works? What if I’ve waited too long? What if we can’t conceive? We don’t have the money to pay for IVF or surrogacy or adoption. How else do we get our baby? Short of asking my friends with teenagers to keep an eye out for any accident babies (and yes, I’ve done that), would there be a next step?
I will try to force all of those questions to the back of my mind for now because I’ve heard stress can really eff things up in the land of fertility. I will keep diligently checking my blood sugar levels and eating oatmeal and running three times a week. I will treat my body like the baby-making machine I know it can be. I will get my glucose, TSH, ferritin, GGT and electrolytes checked and follow that up with an ECG. I will treat myself to a massage to relax my mind. I will not rely on positive, powerful statements to get me pregnant, but rather trust myself and my team of kick-ass medical practitioners to get me that cute, little ginger baby I know I deserve.