Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!I cannot focus on one small thing to improve, as there are so many day to day things. With diabetes, there is always room for improvement with SOMETHING, right? I'd rather focus on the one BIG thing I want to fix: My fear of managing diabetes during pregnancy.
Most little girls have dreams of prince charming, fairy-tale weddings, and of being a mother. Didn't so many of us sing that first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage? I was square in the middle of that group, but especially concerning motherhood. Fast-forwarding to age 28, I am happily married for over one year and the thought of starting a family is one that frolics through my mind now and again. Except the thought doesn't really frolic. It cyclones through my psyche, ripping apart images of a happy pregnancy, clobbering the idea of a healthy baby and leaving only stress and anxiety in it's wake.
I have a very real fear of pregnancy fostered from years of sub-optimal control combined with years of medical school and residency lectures that detail the nitty-gritty facts linked to children of diabetic mothers. I work in Pediatrics, I rotate through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I see the premature babies, the babies with caudal regression, the babies with hearts that more resemble swiss cheese than intact organs. I see these infants of diabetic mothers get ushered everywhere BUT the regular newborn nursery - far away from the mothers than long to bond with the present they waited nine longs months to receive.
When these patients are discussed, my colleagues sheepishly look at me and bleat their well-meant words...but I can only focus on the pity flowing from their eyes like invisible tears.
I find myself jealous of friends and family when I hear of their pregnancies. Many girls feel green with envy in these situations, but it is because of their fear of failure to conceive -- mine is a fear of conceiving and THEN failing. When all these girls are showing off their bellies and requesting ice cream and pickles, I'll have to worry about where to place my next pump inset, keeping my readings between 60-95 (!) before meals and only as high as 120 after, and how my every move plays into the routine. Forget the ice cream.
I fear that such a happy time in my life will be clouded over by around-the-clock worry that I'm messing it all up. Many pregnant women are hyper-aware of their health and fear that they will do something to harm the baby, but my hour-to-hour activity could ACTUALLY pose a very real risk.
So I need a better outlook on this topic. I have been reading DOC community blogs that pregnant women with diabetes have written and I've learned that fear is normal, but the situation can be controlled. I am not the first and won't be the last. I am still horrified, but I'm working on it.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes excellently tight diabetic control, then comes the baby in the baby carriage :)