We were over the moon when we heard that D-blogger Gina Capone, founder of Diabetes Talkfest and The Diabetes Resource, was expecting a little one. We knew that Gina's road to parenthood was not an easy one. Before conception, pregnancy and childbirth, many women with diabetes struggle to prepare for conception by achieving ultra-tight glucose control.  Gina, now in her mid-30s, discusses what it took for her and her husband to have a baby, and we couldn't be happier it all worked out!

 

A Guest Post by Gina Capone

Remember when you were a kid and your friends on the playground would make fun of you when they found out that you liked certain a boy or a girl?

It would seem as if the entire playground was chanting in unison that horrible, horrible song that went like this:

{Name} & {Name} sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes comes love, then comes marriage then comes a baby in a baby carriage...

Innovation 2015

But when you have type 1 diabetes, the song is altered in your head and goes a bit like this...

{Name} & {Name} sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the battle of reaching a safe A1C Baby Range, and then comes a baby in a baby carriage (hopefully!).

For me, it seems as if since the day I got married four years ago, that song has been stuck on that one part: then comes the battle of reaching a safe A1C Baby Range, then comes the battle of reaching a safe A1C Baby Range, then comes the battle of reaching a safe A1C Baby Range... Baby range A1C's are recommended to be 6.5 or lower, something I had not seen since my first year of diagnosis. Getting to a 6.5 felt like an impossible task.

I talked to my doctor numerous times about pregnancy, asking him what I needed to do. But no matter what I tried, I just could not get to that 6.5 target. The summer of 2009 was my lowest A1C. My diabetes team was happy that I got where I was, but I still didn't have the go-ahead to try and get pregnant... I tried so hard, and thought the number was going to be so much better. Coming up short felt like a huge slap in the face.

Now, I could have easily tried harder to beat that number, but I didn't. Instead, I beat myself up about it. It was much easier to feel sorry for myself. As time went on and in defeat I stopped trying to improve the number, it got higher and higher. I felt as though my dream of one day becoming a mother was going to be just that: A DREAM.

Some reoccurring depression I'd experienced in the past came back full force this past year, but I still had it in my head that I wanted to be a mother no matter what my A1C was. So last fall, I bought myself an ovulation monitor that my cousin recommended and started tracking which days were best to conceive. An egg was supposed to pop up on days of ovulation but, of course, no egg came up for months. Along with my risks due to being type 1 and an older mother, I now had concerns of infertility too.

My anxiety was getting so bad about pregnancy, my A1C and the possibility of infertility that I really felt as if I were going crazy. So much so that I left my job, a job I loved at a Fortune 50 company, to focus on my health and achieving what I wanted so bad: to become a mother.

Just when my stress level was at its highest coupled with my crappiest A1C ever, an egg finally decided to make an appearance on the ovulation monitor. I can't tell you how excited I was to know that I could indeed ovulate. Phew! What a relief! After a long discussion with my husband, we decided that we would try, even knowing about all of the risks involved. Call me a horrible person or judge me if you will, but it was a decision my husband and I made together and one we will never regret because that same month we conceived a baby!

In one month, I was able to bring down my A1C level almost three full points and by the third month, it was down to an amazing 6.1. It turns out a bun in the oven was just the motivation I needed.

After years of struggling with my diabetes, all of a sudden everything just feels so easy. Checking every two hours, correcting, bolusing on time, eating right and just being aware of what was going on doesn't bother me anymore. For the first time since being diagnosed, I feel as though my head is absolutely clear of all of the negative feelings I once had toward living a life with diabetes. It makes me think, why the hell was I stressing out all of these years?

Having diabetes and being pregnant isn't always the easiest, and I am doing the best that I can everyday to make sure that the baby and I stay as healthy as possible. Having a loving and supportive husband who checks me every night (sometimes twice per night and once before he goes to work in the morning) to help make sure blood sugars are in target range also helps me tremendously.

 As I sit here and reflect on my life up until this point in my 7th month of pregnancy, I can't help but think of all of the obstacles I have gone through and how this baby boy growing inside of me has already changed my life for the better. I can't believe that I, a person who was once so broken inside and full of hate for a disease she never wanted, is finally able to heal and is given the greatest gift of all: LIFE.

Who would have thought that the greatest help of all in dealing with my diabetes would be someone who I feel love for unconditionally, but have yet to meet. In three months' time, I will be able to hold my son, look at him smiling, and whisper in his ear: THANK YOU!

 

 

Thank you, Gina, for this beautiful post. I'm so incredibly grateful for my own three healthy children, who remind me every day why "I can do this" with diabetes.

 

 

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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.