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Diabetes is worth the hard work to have a babe in your arms

Carly shares her experience of pregnancy to support other women with diabetes.

Three years ago my husband and I decided that we would like to start a family. Being a young diabetic woman I decided it best to seek advice from doctors and medical literature, which left me feeling very saddened and scared. Every piece of information I read filled me with dread that my child would have disabilities that would have resulted from the effects of my diabetes.

It is hard work, but so worth it when you have your baby in your arms

Carly

On the 10 May 2010, our daughter was born via c-section. She is one of the most beautiful, perfect things I have ever created. I say one of, as our son was born five months ago and he is equally as perfect as she is.

I want to reassure any other women that have diabetes, particularly Type 1, that if you work hard at controlling your diabetes the negative press that diabetic pregnant woman get is completely off the mark. It is hard work, but so worth it when you have your baby in your arms.

I was diagnosed when I was three years old. I am now 29 so have lived with diabetes nearly all my life – certainly all that I can remember anyway! When I was a child my management consisted of two injections a day, that being human mixtard. As a child my diabetes was reasonably well controlled, and I never really felt it had much of an effect on my everyday life.

However, when I reached my late teens I found it increasingly hard to control and, like many, ignored my diabetes more than I should, and just got on with being a young adult.

I went onto three injections a day, one being a slow acting and two being fast acting. I didn't find this very helpful, and my HbA1C was much higher than it should have been. This continued for quite some time, and it wasn't until I was 24 and at my regular appointment with my diabetic doctor that I realised the seriousness of my diabetes.

I was engaged, and he noticed my engagement ring and said, "I see you will be getting married soon. Any plans to start a family? Because you shouldn't even consider pregnancy with your HbA1C level. Tell me when you are ready and we can get it under control."

I was given a leaflet, which I have kept, due to the effect it had. It was a black and white leaflet which informed me of all the horrible risks that come with being diabetic and pregnant. It made me feel so negative and afraid that I tried my hardest to get things right. For six months before even trying for a baby I worked relentlessly at getting my blood sugar levels at an acceptable score.

I eventually got my HbA1C down to 5.6 and was given the go-ahead from my doctor. I was excited and terrified all at the same time. After finding out I was pregnant I spent the entire nine months petrified of what could possibly be wrong with my child. I worked very hard, and it paid off. She was perfect.

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