Nice Happy Baby Range.
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."