Sarah shares her story here of type 1 diabetes in pregnancy – she points out that a) she was told she wouldn’t be able to have children and b) that if you do have diabetes in pregnancy, it can go wrong. Happily Sarah is a mum of 2 demonstrating how it can be done!
Type 1 Diabetes in Pregnancy – Sarah’s Birth Story
I’m a Type 1 diabetic and have been my whole life. When I was younger, I was told I wouldn’t be able to have children, but then medicine progressed and I was referred to the pre conception clinic. When we got pregnant, I was given a 30 page A4 booklet about type 1 diabetes in pregnancy and there was one whole page about what could go wrong. The specialist diabetic midwives were lovely and very reassuring.
Then I found out that I also had an anterior placenta, which meant I couldn’t feel the kicks and didn’t have any alien moments. All of this meant that I didn’t feel very connected to my baby and I was convinced something would go wrong. But it didn’t and at week 38 I was being booked in for a routine induction. (Mums with type 1 diabetes in pregnancy have lots of problems if the babies over cook)
I was booked in on the Wednesday and looked at. Baby was looked at. We waited. Nothing. At about 2am I was given a pessary to get things started. Nothing. At 8am Thursday morning I had another pessary. Lucky old me. Nothing happened. Just after lunch, there was more prodding and poking and I was told that I was having contractions. That was a surprise. Sadly, because it was a bank holiday, all of my lovely diabetic midwives had booked the time off, so I didn’t get to see anything of the specialist diabetes in pregnancy team that I was promised.
The contractions weren’t anything to write home about so that evening we all went to sleep. The next day (Friday) I woke up with terrible period pains, but not the contractions I was hoping for. More examining and I was only 2cm. The aching went on through the day and into the night. At midnight on Friday, I’d still only got to 5cm and they were now worried about how tired we both were.
They did a test on baby, where they stuck a monitor to her head and told me she was ok, but they might need to do it again. At about 2am, alarms started to go off and they told me that baby was in distress and they needed to get her out. My perfect water birth suddenly became an emergency c-section, which I don’t really remember except I threw up in my husbands hands… When baby had been born, I asked my husband ‘what is it?’ (meaning boy or girl) and he looked at me, crying his eyes out and said ‘a baby’…!
Baby Ava was born at 2.35am on Saturday morning. At breakfast time, they tested her blood glucose and it was very low so she had to be taken to SCBU. We knew this might happen, so I had been hand expressing colostrum. They were really pleased and said it really helped, but she still needed to have a feeding tube. The main problem for me, was that I couldn’t walk, due to the section so had to rely on people taking me to see her. I was the only one on the ward who’d had a section and the only one without my baby. I desperately wanted to see my baby. Luckily she was only there for a day, but then they put her in a trolley cot, next to my bed and I couldn’t lift her up, because of the section. It was a miserable time. She had big trouble latching on and I don’t know whether the time away from me or the feeding tube made that it worse, but it was horrible.
It was a far cry from my perfect NCT water birth. We didn’t even think about the birth plan! I’ve now had another baby by elective section and the two were so different. Ava’s now three and Eliza’s one and the best of friends!
Thank you Sarah! Sarah is a regularly contributor to both the Mums’ Days Facebook Page conversations and this here blog! You can follow her journey by also reading her posts on Bottle feeding guilt, BLW and Baby Bond.