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Nice Happy Baby Range.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then something goes in this baby carriage thing.Oh no, not yet.  Definitely not this year, and maybe not even next year.  We're not quite there yet, but now that we're married and happy, starting a family is on our collective Sparling radar. 

I know that pregnancy is a wild ride, diabetic or not.  But from what I've heard, being a diabetic woman and being pregnant can be a challenge.  I've heard both horror stories and problem-free successes, so it seems like those nine months vary from person to person.

For me, I'm going to make getting healthy my goal for the next year.  While I was engaged, I was very focused on getting fit for the wedding, keeping that white dress in mind (and oh, all those pictures that I'm still waiting for and it may take another five weeks and Kerri is not happy about waiting so long but wow, run-on sentence much?).  But that mindset was very superficial.  This whole "getting ready for baby" thing is a mindset I've never experienced before.

I found myself making phone calls last month to set up doctor's appointments, as I mentioned.  I scheduled an appointment with my primary care physcian.  I make my yearly gynecological appointment.  And I also made an appointment to start the pregnancy clinic at Joslin later this summer.  In the past, these appointments were more routine maintenance events.  Now, I'm intent upon optomizing my health in hopes of carrying a child in the next year or two.  It's not too early to be thinking about this - it's actually the best time.

Last week I had my yearly appointment and after my doctor congratulated me on my recent nuptials, she got right down to the discussion about children.

"You're young and you're healthy, so we are not going to worry.  What I want to do is get your A1C down to that nice happy baby range.  When are you planning on coming off birth control?"

"Not at least until March or so of next year."

"Good.  Okay, so from now until March, we work on those blood sugars.  Under 7% is a good goal, but you are already there.  We want a nice happy baby range.  We want as close to 6% as we can get.  How does that sound to you?"

"Good to me.  I'm actually working on getting a continuous glucose monitor insured as part of my pre-pregnancy plan, so that will help."

"I like the sounds of that.  And once you are in that range ..."

I couldn't help but interrupt.  "The Nice Happy Baby Range?"

She laughed.  "Yes, the NHB range.  We get there, we talk with your husband about when you want to start trying, stop the birth control methods, and then you two go let nature take it's course.  But that A1C is important.  You're ready to make that commitment to your diabetes, right?"

I thought about that maternal instinct that has bloomed in me over the past decade and that feeling of a soft, sleeping baby tucked underneath my chin.  I pictured my husband as a father.  I saw myself as someone's mother.  This may not be easy, but I think it may be the most rewarding experience of my life.

"I am ready to do that.  I can't think of a more important reason to make these changes now."

My doctor gave me a smile and leaned across her desk, motioning for me to come closer. 

"Baby or not, Mrs. Sparling, it's worth making these changes just for your own health." 

Comments

Congrats on your baby planning Kerri! I can't wait to hear positive updates throughout your pregnancy (once you get to that point). As a mom of a young daughter (only 4 years old), it's nice to read your blog and know that one day she will be in a similar place in her life and she can lead an essentially "normal" life with D and do all the things she wants to....just with a few extra things in mind ;-)

Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration!

I love the thought of you two as parents! I am smiling from ear to ear now!

You are going to be such a fun mom! And you and Chris are going to have such a beautiful baby too. I'm sure I'm going to learn a lot from you as you start recording your journey to motherhood.

You're right, being a diabetic woman who is pregnant is a challenge, but it is the best. I love being pregnant, and I am sure you will too! Good luck getting your body ready for baby! It's the best gift you can give yourself and your child :)

With that range, you're looking at a Christmas baby!

Thanks, guys. And it's weird to be thinking of this stuff well before the actual decision to start a family. But I'm learning that this kind of preparation is necessary.

D - Another Christmas baby? Ahhhh!

I just had my second child. Both pregnancies were full of doctor's appointments, but it's amazing what you can do for your children, even when they're just a glimmer in your eye. You'll get in that baby range before you know it.

I am currently pg with my second, almost 16 weeks. I've had T1 for 22 years too. It's not that hard at all! I will say that I have the CGMS this time and it's really helped keep all the dreaded lows from coming on. I'm rarely in the 50s now. I was surprised how normal I feel being pregnant. Just another day with D. really, but being pg is so much fun and holding that baby is the best feeling in the world. Good luck and have fun trying!! Once you start thinking baby thoughts that a1c drops like magic.

I've done it twice Kerri it's tough but worth it!

Goosebumps.

Type 1 for 41 years no kids, but love being Auntie Karen.

You will make a wonderful mother.

I have been a silent reader for at least 6 months, but this whole baby thing is so close to me I had to speak up! I was dx'd with type 1 a year ago, I'm 24 now, and my husband and I are also thinking about babies in the next year or two. I'm excited to see your journey because this whole diabetes thing is still new to me!

I hit my 6.1 mark and got my OK to start the baby making in April. No babies made yet but my A1C is down and I am doign the healthy thing as best I can as well. Don't forget it's never to early to start the prenatal vitamins too! I will let you know how it all keeps on going...good luck with being a healthier you - I am sure you will rock at it!

Good luck with everything you're striving for. It's a wonderful and important thing, to grow a new person.
there's simply nothing like it.

And remember, just like with unsolicited bad diabetes advice, learn to look people straight in the eye and say "And why on earth are you sharing that with me???"

Practice now.

Wow Sara, I'm envious of how easy you make it sound. I also have had T1 for over 20yrs, have a 2yr old son & am gearing my self up psychologically and physically for pregnancy #2. I feel that being pregnant as a diabetic was a LOT of work. Actually, I've compared it on level with that of another job. And an "A1C that drops like magic," wow, that sounds great, mine always takes a lot of work to drop, not just "baby thoughts." Sure the motivation helps, but your situation sounds idyllic. Maybe you're filled with great pregnancy hormones, but your description makes me roll my eyes and feel badly for T1 women who've had to work hard to have healthy pregnancies.

I can definitely relate to this post.
Our plans are to start trying for a little one (or two – BOTH of my Hubbys parents are twins) in exactly one year from now.
I’d love to try sooner but I’m going to need the time to get off some meds, get my A1C down and lose some of this weight that I’ve packed on thanks to the steroids.
So…I had my yearly gyn appoint last week, got a referral to the high risk OB office for a pre-pregnancy consult, saw my Rheumatologist who explained that I will need to stop some of my arthritis meds in January AND yesterday, I put in my order for a DexCom7.
WHEW…its going to be a lot of work but definitely worth it.
I’m so excited and absolutely overwhelmed at all the work and decisions that we’ll have to do/make.

"those nine months vary from person to person."

YPMV?

Kerri, you have the makings of a great mom. A sense of humor, commitment to take care of yourself so that you can take care of another. I am not D but my second son is. I had other issues with pregnancy, but taking care of myself made it work. Kudos to you for thinking ahead! Kudos to Joslin for having those classes! Your mom would be proud!

I would like to add that your experience with a diabetic pregnancy really depends on the right attitude, as with any pregnancy really. There are days that are harder than others but a positive outlook and keeping focused on the "bigger picture" really helps to get you through those 9 months!

You will do great when you're ready! A sense of humor is key...and you already have that!

Kerri-
That is so cool that you are making sure everything is in check and your body and diabetes are ready to start trying when you and Chris are. I was there just a few years ago.
Our quest to have a baby was somewhat difficult however the pregnacy was the easy part. I felt better than I had in years!!!
I sort of let my diabetes slip to the waste-side after I had my daughter and really need to get myself back in line.

Good luck with all your preparations.

With a Dexcom, a blood meter, constant checking, coordinating exercise and eating well, I'm sure you'll be in range soon. Are you still going to Boston for the doc visits, though? Plan for a lot of travel time! And drop me a line--the pregnancy and type 1 book is coming closer to a reality and I'm keeping a list of potential sources to interview.

i'm in the same boat as you right now kerri. i'm working on lowering my a1c so that when the time comes, i can have a healthy pregnancy. no offical plans yet, but it's never too soon to prepare. good luck getting your a1c down. i think you'll do great. ^_^

Congrats on the baby quest! I have two and had the first back in the day when NPH/Regular were the thing.
I think the CGMS is an excellent idea. The only trouble I had with either of my T1 pregnancies were nasty, unpredictable lows during the first tri and half of the second.

You will see the dr a lot so Joslin might be a long haul. For what it's worth, I didn't see a high risk OB for either. I just used my regular endo and OB/GYN. They were up on the latest so I felt in very good hands, and I delivered at the local hospital. Whatever you're comfortable with though.

Good luck getting the A1C near 6. I was lucky in that it wasn't all that difficult. I think if you are testing and using a CGMS, you will be all set.

I would also like to add that it's really important to have the "team" approach. It sounds like you already do, but it was such a relief when I was pregnant with my first and all 4 docs (obgyn, endo, retinal specialist and internist) knew one another and had records of all visits. It made the tedium of going to the doctor almost twice a week for much of the pregnancy more bearable. I didn't have the same experience with pregnancy #2, which just meant that I had to be on top of everything and write copious notes to bring to each appointment to relay messages from doctors and make sure that each doctor did what he/she had said they would do in terms of communicating with one another.

Hi Rachel -- You are so right: in my original comment I should NOT have said it's not that hard (living with T1 is absurdly difficult, pregnant or not). In fact, before becoming pg the second time I was absolutely terrified of how difficult it would be and doubted I could do it. It's a crazy amount of work and I cry many days because of it. But now that I'm on that diabetic pregnancy roller coaster I'm just hanging on, taking it one day at a time. And yes, the pregnancy hormones make me forget all the insane difficulties: that must be why I'm doing it all over again when I swore never again after #1 was born! But I really do focus on the prize and the simple joy of being pregnant every day and that helps get me through.

I'll stand by what I said about a1c's though: yes it's work getting it down but growing a baby is incredible motivation to do the best we can. And yeah, this all is even harder while chasing a toddler with a meter in one hand and a roll of Smarties in the other. But she's why I do all this in the first place....

I'm in the exact same place as you, Kerri. Just got my wedding photos back, trying to get my insurance to back a CGMS, and reaching for the NHB range. I was at 7.1 last March and am waiting for my most recent A1C. You are not alone. And we'll get there, Kerri. We definitely will get there. :)

We're adopting. Having type I combined with pregnancy is not something I want to do...however, I think that if you can make it work, go for it! I blog about "diabetes and adoption" on the Diabetes Sisters website. Please check it out!

Happy sniffles!

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