What’s it like having diabetes and a baby? To learn we asked eight women to share their stories.
Carla Floyd, 34
Fort Worth, Texas
For Carla Floyd, exercise is essential to great diabetes control during pregnancy. “I stayed active the entire time,” she states. “I went on a walk two days before [delivery]” She likewise maintained stringent blood glucose control. “I kept my A1C listed below 6 throughout the whole pregnancy,” she says. “I was really, really obsessive about carbohydrate counting. It was very extreme.” Her hard work settled in July 2009 when Floyd, a nurse, gave birth to her son, Nicholas. Her only remorse: stressing excessive during the pregnancy. “Overall, on average, you are doing a good job of keeping your blood glucose,” she says. “Don’t stress out about the periodic spikes you’ll have. I invested so much energy fretting for absolutely nothing.”
Debbie Quiring, 40
By the time Debbie Quiring had her son Ethan she was a specialist on pregnancy with diabetes. After months of researching her book, Balancing Pregnancy With Preexisting Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby, which was released in April, she understood the significance of pre-pregnancy planning. When she hit her A1C target, Quiring started aiming to conceive. “I evaluated my blood sugar level all the time — I ‘d say 10, 12 times a day,” she states. “When I got pregnant, it was 15 times.” Looking back 3 years to when she provided her boy, Quiring says mothers-to-be must be positive. “It is certainly possible,” she states. And the reward: “Pregnancy can truly influence you to obtain your blood sugar in the best control you can get.”
Bonnie McDonald, 31
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Bonnie McDonald can attest to that managing diabetes while pregnant is hard work. “It was 9 months of tracking and tracking,” she remembers. “It wears you out. It was a constant job.” She credits her tight control to the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor she began utilizing prior to her pregnancy. Still, during the 3rd trimester, the retinopathy in McDonald’s left eye got worse. (She blogged about her experience here.) Preeclampsia owned McDonald’s medical professionals to schedule a cesarean area, and McDonald brought to life a baby girl in May 2009. Though some cloudiness stays in her eye, McDonald, an accounting professional, states the birth of her daughter was absolutely worth it. “It was the difference in between being a mother and not being a mother,” she states. “There’s no chance I would alter that.”
Jennifer Hoyte, 31
Though Jennifer Hoyte, 31, didn’t begin trying to have a baby until 2009, it was pregnancy she was pondering in 2003 when she went on an insulin pump to gain better control over her type 1 diabetes. Once pregnant, Hoyte, a diabetes blog writer at Six Until Me, took her diabetes management up another notch. “I thought, ‘If this is really my objective, every action counts,'” she remembers. “I began to end up being a very actively included patient.” Still, pregnancy included worries. “I didn’t picture it was going to be so emotionally difficult,” she states. “Every meal felt like a guiltfest.” However, she adds, all the work deserved it. After a month of bed rest (due to preeclampsia), Hoyte brought to life a healthy baby lady in April 2010.
Linda Francis, 40
Handling a diagnosis of diabetes is tough enough. However for Linda Francis, a site designer, that diagnosis took place during pregnancy (though her doctors believe her type 2 had actually gone undiagnosed for a year). “There was this rush of information that I needed to find out in a week,” she states: She needed to learn how to use insulin, test her blood glucose, and count carbs all while her body was acting unpredictably, but Francis says the medical diagnosis was a blessing, in a manner. “In retrospect, I’m so much healthier now than I was,” she says. Her kid, Declan, now 7 years of ages, is benefiting, she adds: “[My medical diagnosis] considerably improved the way I taught my boy to eat.”
Evelyn Alvarez, 32
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Evelyn Alvarez already had a complete plate when she learnt she was pregnant: She was a graduate student getting her master’s in stats. Her A1C was listed below 7 percent, but her doctor discussed that she still had to make some changes to ensure a healthy pregnancy. First up: a switch from metformin (Alvarez has type 2 diabetes) to insulin. She likewise saw a dietitian who helped her count carbohydrates and include protein to her meals. “Sometimes it was harder,” states Alvarez. “I was in school at that time so I needed to carry an amount of food because I needed to eat snacks.” Alvarez’s focus on meal preparation assisted her gain a healthy quantity of weight. She provided a baby lady, Sreeja, in September 2009.
Vickie Oglesbee, 36
A number of months after she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Vickie Oglesbee had another surprise: She was pregnant with her second child. “My doctor had actually given me 8 weeks to attempt to see if I could lower everything with diet and exercise,” she says. “I had lowered my A1C to 5.8. … And that’s when I learnt I was pregnant.” Right now, Oglesbee, an information expert, started researching diabetes and pregnancy. “It did not look excellent,” she states. “I went through a few weeks depressed… And then I took control of it.” On April 7, 2010, Oglesbee brought to life a kid, Logan. Aside from a day of low blood sugar, the baby was healthy — a testament to Oglesbee’s effort.
Cindy Powell, 38
Ladera Ranch, Calif.
Now that she’s pregnant for the second time, Cindy Powell is drawing on knowledge she garnered three years earlier, when she brought to life her daughter, Campbell. “It’s truly important to have the A1Cs in a great variety,” she says. Powell also learned what it suggests to have a large baby (the delivery was difficult going); this time around, she might have a cesarean area. “If I had returned, I would have had a C-section,” she says. “She was 9 pounds, and with my frame it was challenging.” But the best lesson she has actually learned is that, with diabetes, it’s possible to have a healthy baby: “I might be a little bit more unwinded this time.”
*All names have been replaced by fictitious ones