At the start of my pregnancy I developed a coping strategy to try and stop me going mad from the pressure of trying not to turn my unborn child’s current home into a sticky syrup of glucose. That’s served me pretty well to be honest, although I am now trying to reduce the level of swearing involved with high blood sugars for fear that her first words won’t be suitable for public consumption.
But before I actually have the baby and start looking back with rose tinted spectacles at how wonderful pregnancy was, I thought I’d try and pick out the key things needed to survive, while I’m still in the midst of the harsh reality of it.
To survive pregnancy with diabetes, I would recommend:
• A good sense of humour: even with the easiest pregnancy in the world, there are still going to be many occasions when it’s all just a bit too hard. You’re either going to have to laugh about it or go mad, so you might as well laugh.
• Keeping things in perspective: at first every blood sugar over 8 feels like the end of the world. But it’s not sustainable to live like this for 9 months. A few one off highs are not going to turn your foetus into a lollypop. Acknowledge them, deal with them and work out how to stop them happening again. Take this seriously, but don’t beat yourself up over it.
• Skin as thick as a rhino: it can be very trying to spend 9 months being told by every Dr, nurse, pharmacist, street cleaner that all diabetics breed baby elephants and they’re usually so large it’s a miracle they ever manage to get them out at all without the aid of a tow truck. And if they do manage to haul them out the baby will be fat/lazy/hypo/in special care for weeks/have more bits that don’t work than do. Do your own research, understand the risks and what you can do to minimise them, and ignore ill-informed idiots who should know better but don’t.
• Lots of patience: for dealing with aforementioned idiots, and also for dealing with diabetes which changes almost daily. More than ever the diabetes mantra of “just because it worked yesterday doesn’t mean it’ll work today” is fitting. The change is ;