“I Can…”

This is the theme for today’s post, as I join this 6th Annual Diabetes Blog Week. “What have you or your loved one accomplished, despite having diabetes, that you weren’t sure you could?  Or what have you done that you’ve been particularly proud of?  Or what good thing has diabetes brought into your life?”

I have had type one diabetes for 39 years, and there’s nothing I can think of that I’ve wanted to do that diabetes has kept me from doing.  One of the things I’m most proud of, was also one of the most challenging things I’ve done – having two healthy, beautiful babies. I never considered not having children, it was something I desired and knew I would do as long as I can remember. I simply knew I’d have to work super hard to keep my diabetes in perfect control during the 9 months of pregnancy. Easier said than done, of course!

This was back in 1990 and 1993, before CGMs, though fortunately, after blood sugar meters. I worked my ass off – probably the hardest thing I’ve done, keeping my blood sugars as near normal as possible, by eating at the exact same times, the same foods mostly, and constantly adjusting insulin doses as my hormone levels kept changing my insulin needs.  I worked with a team at UCSF (which was mostly very helpful), and felt like keeping my A1C under 6 was my full time job for both pregnancies.

I was successful, and had two completely healthy baby girls, the greatest joys (and challenges) I could imagine! They both were large babies even with my excellent blood sugars, and I was deeply disappointed that they had to be born by c-section, having gone a week past my due dates with each of them.

At the time, I was a birth doula, and supported other women to have natural hospital and home births. In my own pregnancies, being considered high risk, and being told over and over all the dangers to my babies, I did not feel supported in having a natural birth.  I was thrilled to have my daughters be born healthy, and though that was ultimately the most important thing, I still needed to grieve the loss of the kind of birth I had longed for.

My daughter’s never knew me without diabetes.  Being a mom of babies and then young children, while managing my type one diabetes was occasionally challenging (like when I was low and had to eat something before feeding a crying baby, or finding good hiding places for the Peppermint Patties I ate for lows), though not as challenging as having teenagers!

I have found that anything I really want to do, I find a way to do, and diabetes doesn’t stop me!

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10 thoughts on ““I Can…”

  1. Kelley

    Aww congrats on your babies, I bet it wasn’t easy back in the early 90s to be pregnant! I just had a baby in November and I’m not sure I could have done it without my CGM! You are amazing!

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    1. Lucia Maya Post author

      Thanks! No, it wasn’t easy, but so worth it! Congratulations on your new baby! I’m sure the CGM made it easier, but it’s still a lot of work.

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  2. Allison Nimlos

    Thanks for sharing your story! I’m always so impressed by women who had children before most of the diabetes technology that we use today. I’m nervous about having a baby with a CGM and pump, so it’s reassuring to hear that women have done it with much less!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Lucia Maya Post author

      Thanks for reading! Yes, the technology helps, for sure! But we just always do the best with what we have, I didn’t consider not having children, I just knew it would take a lot of work. Today’s my younger daughter’s 22nd birthday – so grateful I had her!

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  3. Sara

    Beautiful. Wish I had some yearnings for a future….never really thought past the next christmas, I guess…and here I am, 41 years of diabetes later, with very little to show for it

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Lucia Maya Post author

      I think we each have different ways of experiencing the world… I’ve just always been looking forward to being grown up, and am so enjoying this part of my life now that I’m in my fifties!

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