It’s no secret that I’ve always wanted to be a Mumma, Matt sharing that dream is just one of an infinite number of reasons why I fell in love with him. We’d talked about becoming parents at length and decided that we wanted to start trying at the beginning of 2018. I spoke to my Diabetes consultant because my HbA1c certainly wasn’t at the desired preconception level, but it wasn’t dangerously high (or even high to be honest, just not “ideal”) either, and I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that given the way I manage my Type 1 Diabetes day-to-day, he wouldn’t be worried about the safety of me or my unborn child at all if I was to fall pregnant with that number, but if I could bring it down some more then that would make life easier and safer for us. The plan got discussed with my Diabetes Specialist Nurse, and once the excited talk about whether we’d prefer a boy or a girl was over, she explained the way the preconception courses work and said she’d send off a referral, but to expect a little wait before hearing anything. Knowing that in an ideal world I should be taking a higher dose of folic acid for around 3-6 months prior to trying to conceive, I spoke to my GP at my old surgery before I moved and they very happily added this to my repeat prescription knowing they were seeing the beginning of a long-held dream come true. So there they are, the first tentative steps towards making sure I could have as healthy a pregnancy as possible taken, I was excited and petrified all at the same time but what an incredible bundle of feelings to have.
I hadn’t read much about T1D and pregnancy before having those conversations, I’d picked up some bits of information from skimming various sites, including Diabetes UK, hearing common misconceptions (“Diabetics have 12lb babies so have to have a c-section” was the funniest one I heard from someone who didn’t know anything about any of the types of Diabetes), and reading the experiences of others within the Diabetes Online Community and the blogs of Mums and Mums to Be that Diabetes UK have collated. I have to say the latter combined with just talking to my healthcare professionals were the best things I could have done, I have seen a few others hoping to become parents seem frightened off by some of the information available to read. I am certain that’s not the intention of the information, after all, we all know that in some circumstances knowledge can be power; but if you’re just taking those tentative first steps toward parenthood as a Person with Diabetes, talk to those of us who’ve done it, are doing it and who are also taking those first steps, it’s the best way of balancing all the information out there. It goes without saying that Your Diabetes May Vary and not everyone will have the same experience, which is where your Diabetes Team come into play and support you more specifically. So cultivate good relationships with them and if you’re ever unsure or unhappy; speak up. You will see each other at least every few weeks throughout your pregnancy, they will be there for some of the biggest moments of your life, so it’s vital that you work together.
I continued taking the folic acid each day and tried to put the excitement for 2018 to arrive to the back of my mind, whilst we settled into our new home and I got used to living in a place I didn’t know very well. We booked a long weekend away at our friends holiday home in West Sussex for the beginning of September and were so lucky with the weather. We had a day out exploring Arundel Castle and Littlehampton; where Matt had spent part of his summers as a child, we spent evenings walking along the beach with Ruby, watching the sunset or the moon reflect upon the water, then we’d relax in the hot tub looking up at the stars with Matt sharing his astrological knowledge. We talked about taking our own children one day, perhaps getting our respective families to join us, we talked about our anniversary trip to Malta in November and I decided I would work on losing some weight ahead of the holiday which would also help with some of my chronic pain issues, particularly ahead of a pregnancy. The entire weekend was heavenly, aside from the fact that tea (and those who know me will be aware that I drink a lot of tea), didn’t taste right. It made me feel sick almost, at one point I was convinced it was the milk, then it was the dishwasher and so every mug was washed by hand prior to making a brew; nothing worked. I managed a cup without feeling too sick whilst we were at Arundel but I suspect the slice of lemon cake helped with that. Add the somewhat more persistent hypos to my newfound ability to cry at most things and these moments of feeling unwell and like I have no control over my body were hellish! No amount of Haribo is a silver lining to that. The day before I found out I was pregnant, I had one of these persistent hypos and I just burst into tears. Matt; as ever was an absolute rockstar.
I took a photo of that moment (above) because I’m always curious about what my hypos look like to other people. Attractive isn’t it.
I’ll be honest, the thought of Moomin one day seeing me in this state terrifies me; but I hope that Matt and I will do a good enough job of explaining it all to remove any fear, I’ll also have the help of my exquisite niece to help her little cousin know what to do and to know that everything is and will always be ok. (You can read about Little P here).
Monday arrived and we were sad to leave Selsey, I was sad to have not enjoyed Tea or Matt’s delicious poached eggs (#notaeuphemism). My mind raced wondering what had made these things I loved so much make me feel nauseous but then I remembered the lovely red wine I’d enjoyed and thought it’d be ok when I got home and tea and poached eggs would again be my friends. Looking through the photos when we got home a memory was triggered; as we admired the stunning Chagall stained glass window in Chichester Cathedral, I had felt compelled to go into the chapel next to it. I didn’t know why I felt so drawn to it, I was raised CofE and went to church and Sunday school, but my path has taken a more spiritual, all-inclusive direction and to feel so compelled to pray was something I couldn’t ignore. In that chapel I felt my thoughts being guided; amongst the many thoughts, I asked for a healthy pregnancy and child. It was a very emotional experience and through the tears I wiped away when I rejoined Matt in front of the window, I put the prayer for a healthy pregnancy and child down to a future wish. It was only when I remembered this that I felt another compulsion……
To be continued…….