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My GP told me that I was unlucky, but deep down I knew something was very wrong

 

"I didn't know I had diabetes and was only diagnosed after three miscarriages and being told by my GP that I was just 'unlucky'.

I had no symptoms of diabetes when my husband and I decided to start a family in 2002. I was aware of the common symptoms as a close member of my family had been diagnosed as 'borderline' a couple of years before.

At 13 weeks I miscarried, having suffered terrible stomach cramps for several weeks before that. My GP suspected the pregnancy might be ectopic, but the scans showed otherwise.

My GP told me that I was unlucky, but deep down I knew something was very wrong. A few months later in January 2003, I miscarried again. This time relatively early at six weeks. My GP told me that my miscarriages couldn't be investigated as I had 'only' had two.

In August 2003 I miscarried for the third time in 12 months. I was 10 weeks' pregnant.

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By now I was an emotional wreck, but at least it meant my GP would refer me for further tests.

He still insisted I was 'unlucky' and gave the impression that I was neurotic, but that I should keep trying.

By the time I was referred to a pregnancy consultant in December, 2003, I was pregnant again - but carrying a dead embryo.

The staff at UHW Cardiff were wonderful. Within two days I knew that I was diabetic and I was told that I would be attending their diabetes ante-natal clinic so that my condition could be managed until a pregnancy was viable.

My consultant told me that it would take about 12 months to get my body ready for pregnancy. I told him that I wanted a baby in 12 months! He was a tremendous support, but made it very clear that I had to be realistic in terms of time scale. A baby within two years was the target.

Well, exactly one year to the day later, I delivered a healthy baby girl - the child I never thought I would have (pictured above, right, Kathryn and Ruth). T

hey said it couldn't be done, but I did it! She had a normal birthweight (7lb 7oz) and was delivered by Caesarean at 39 weeks after the maternity unit insisted on a (failed) induction because she was 'too big'.

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I can't say I enjoyed pregnancy - it was an emotional rollercoaster. I had miscarried so often that I kept my pregnancy to myself - even failing to tell my own mother until I was 16 weeks. I didn't tell colleagues until seven months and stayed away from friends who would guess.

I only confided in those closest to me because every single day of my pregnancy I thought I would lose her.

Through careful insulin management and wonderful care from UHW Cardiff, my pregnancy was, physically, problem free. Yet emotionally I was living on a knife edge. I remember painting the nursery at eight and-a half-months, having been told that all was well and to 'stop worrying' but refusing to call it the nursery - it was the spare room.

And I missed out on all the fun of buying things ahead of the birth because the thought of it freaked me out. My husband had to buy the pram, moses basket etc the day after my daughter was born!

My daughter will be five in December. She is the light of my life - I went to hell and back for her. There were times when I didn't want to wake up the next morning; when every woman in the street appeared to be pregnant. These were the lowest days of my life.

I'd love another child, but financially it's not right and I'm 40 now. I'd never say never, but Ruth is the child I feared that I would never had and I am so grateful. I can never thank my ante-natal team enough for the work that they did.

I'm writing this because I've seen your pregnancy stories on your website and I think if I was diabetic and trying for a baby, I'd think it was going to be hellishly hard. I'm not suggesting it is easy, but for me, the treatment of my pregnancy was straightforward.

If you are sensible, get good care, and listen to the experts you have a very good chance of getting through it. My problems were emotional, and I must confess that I do lay some blame at my GP's door for that.

I just want other women in my position to know that there can be a happy ending."

Words by Kathryn

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