The Magic of Mommyhood
Thirteen years of living with diabetes... Three words summarize this year - BIG LIFE CHANGES.
I remember reading, after 2003, not to make three or more significant life changes within the same year. My wedding, my high-risk pregnancy, moving internationally, and the birth of my first child all came in 2003.
Significant life changes of any type can be challenging to navigate as we move forward into the unknown. Even if the change is expected or welcomed, it can be unsettling and disorienting. And the more changes we have to navigate at once, the more challenging it can be.
Diabetes and pregnancy is an intimate experience, especially while doing it living abroad. I sit in appreciation for the care and support that surrounded me during 2003.
I put a lot of time and energy into keeping my glucose levels as close to target as possible so the baby could develop normally. My metabolic needs changed continuously, and by the end of the pregnancy, my insulin requirements had more than tripled.
My labor and delivery didn't go as expected. Honestly, the entire few months leading up to my son's birth wasn't as planned. It was not optimal in many ways. My labor included excessive low blood sugars over many hours,. I would drink the orange juice and shortly there after I would throw up the orange juice. By the time I heard his cry, I was beyond exhausted doing what I could to remain awake to meet, kiss, and hold him. I was told I wouldn't be able to have children living with diabetes. I felt like I crossed the finish line of a marathon when I heard his loud cry as he came into this world. The thousands of finger pricks, pump set changes, injections, dietary planning, logbooks, additional doctor appointments, additional ultrasounds, day to day baby monitoring at the end were all for that moment he arrived. As though my task was complete and final, his birth. I think many new parents make this assumption, focusing entirely on delivery, not knowing how impacted their lives truly were going to be once the baby arrives.
Many mothers of daughters living with diabetes have approached me to share how they feel. Some have tears in their eyes as they watched me with my little kids, a diabetic mother. Those encounters mean a tremendous amount to me, giving hope to a mother and the opportunities for her child. Fifteen years after he was born, I would have a person say to me, "your son WILL change the world one day." That sense of hope we have the day our children are born should always remain, and any reminder is a good one.
It was a year full of significant life changes. I was closing out 2003, on New Year's Eve, holding my son in my arms the day he was born, his ten toes and his ten fingers all grown in my diabetic body. It was a beautiful moment that, to this day, brings tears to my eyes. Magic really, being a Mommy.