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Diabetes and Pregnancy - Bundle of Joy x2

By Naomi Kingery

Social Community Manager

Posted:  1/29/2013 4:13 PM

Tags:

Many women say that pregnancy is a time that transforms their future knowing they are carrying the child they will one day hold in their arms. It’s exciting, intimidating, and down-right frightening at times. And when you are a woman with diabetes experiencing pregnancy, many of these emotions can be drastically highlighted. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Shannon. She has had type 1 diabetes since right before her 18th birthday and now wears a MiniMed insulin pump and CGM. Shannon is active in her local JDRF Chapter and writes about life with diabetes on her blog No More Shots for Shannon. A big thank you to Shannon for sharing her inspiring story on being a mom to one, soon to be three! 

When I was admitted to the hospital in 1992 following my diagnosis at the age of 17, I vividly remember the on-call doctor telling me that I will never be able to have children. I was crushed. If anyone had asked me when I was a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d have said a mommy. To hear someone say that would likely not happen was gut wrenching.

I am happy to say that in 2008, after delivering my first son via caesarean, I proved that doctor wrong.  My husband and I had been trying to conceive for a while, and in 2007, we finally received the good news. I was prepared going into the pregnancy – I had lowered my A1C and soon after finding out I was pregnant, I went back on the insulin pump. A diabetic’s insulin needs change around mid-pregnancy (for most women) and it is much easier to make gradual adjustments on the pump, versus MDI (multiple daily injections.)  By the end of my pregnancy, I was taking 3x the amount of insulin that I had started with. I had been told that my insulin needs would drastically drop after giving birth, but this did not happen – it was more of a gradual decrease, which was a good thing in my opinion. My son was born perfectly healthy at 38 weeks.

In August of 2012, we found out we were pregnant again, and it is twins this time! Again, since we were trying to get pregnant, I had lowered my A1C into the 6’s and am still wearing my insulin pump and CGM, which again makes it much easier to make gradual adjustments as they are needed. I am due in May, but because of my age, my diabetes, and the fact that I’m carrying twins, they will take the babies in mid to late April. So far I have had a complication-free pregnancy. As I did in my first pregnancy, I see a doctor every 2 weeks, whether it is my Endocrinologist, my OB, or my Perinatologist, who performs high level (3D/4D) sonograms to monitor the growth of the babies, and so far everything is moving along smoothly.  

After that first doctor told me I would never have children, I would have given anything to know someone who could have reassured me that that was in fact not true. So I hope my story is helpful to someone who thinks she cannot have children. You can. You have to be extremely diligent about taking care of yourself—up to a year before deciding to have children.  It’s imperative that you’re in good control of your numbers before getting pregnant – for your sake as well as the baby’s. But it can happen and I’m living proof. 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems. 
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms. 

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day. 
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately. 

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment. 
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected. 

Please visit www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation for complete safety information.
 

Comments

Lorrie schwarz

Posted on Tue Jan 29 17:11:49 GMT 2013

I am 50 and have been diabetic since I was 16 and I am very proud to say that I have two very healthy children my son is 28 and daughter is 24. I went through the pregnancy with the shots so it can be done. my first child did have issues at birth but it wasn't associated with the diabetes and my daughter was 6 weeks earlier but born healthy and yes I was told by a doctor that I would probably not be able to have children but I had no problems getting pregnant

Katie

Posted on Tue Jan 29 17:25:54 GMT 2013

Thanks for the inspiration! It is so important for young women with T1D to hear your story. Thank you!

Scott K. Johnson

Posted on Tue Jan 29 17:36:43 GMT 2013

Love hearing Shannon's story!

All of you mothers with diabetes simply amaze me. Thank you for all of your work - it's a real inspiration!

Melissa

Posted on Tue Jan 29 18:31:20 GMT 2013

Ahhhhhhh. Yesterday I was crying bc I feel like there is no one to share my experience with that would understand. I need a support group. My story follows Shannon's. However, I have two boys. It is serendipitous that I found this story posted today. I do not feel alone. Well done, Shannon. I am having problems controlling my Type I and I am going to call a few places to see where I can seek help/support.

Amanda

Posted on Tue Jan 29 18:34:31 GMT 2013

I was diagnosed just after I turned 12. At the time it was strongly recommended that I not have kids. At age 22 my husband and I found out we were pregnant with twins. The pregnancy was considered high risk however I had a very normal pregnancy. Although they were born early, however it was not due to my diabetes. The twins are now 6 happy and completely healthy. We also have a four year old and a two year old. No complications with any of the pregnancies or births and all my children are 100% healthy kids. At the end of my pregnancies I had 4 different doctor appointments every week to make sure everything was ok. It was a lot but it was most definitely worth it. If you take care of yourself and see your doc. regularly, a diabetic mom can have a healthy normal pregnancy, delivery and amazing children.

Karrie

Posted on Tue Jan 29 19:15:31 GMT 2013

Thank you all so much for your stories – and big thanks again to Shannon for her inspirational words.

Melissa – you’re right, you are not alone. There is a big and welcoming community of people with diabetes to support you. In addition to this blog, there are many places online to connect with others. Here’s a list to get you started http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/community. For offline support, the ADA and JDRF are both good resources to help you find a support group in your area. We’re all cheering for you!

Shannon

Posted on Tue Jan 29 19:29:39 GMT 2013

Thank you all for your comments - it means a LOT!!! :) And Melissa - please feel free to email me anytime! You are definitely not alone :)

Mark Scott

Posted on Tue Jan 29 23:25:50 GMT 2013

Your not alone I have had diabetes since last year I am on a Insulin pump I am cheering
for you Shannon I hope a cure for diabetes will be found soon you are very brave it is
hard at Christmas when they are sweets around i can not have any

Samantha K

Posted on Wed Jan 30 00:45:03 GMT 2013

I'm very happy to hear that there are women out there with type 1 diabetes to have had healthy children. I was diagnosed at age 13 and I'm now 33, I really want to have children but I'm very scared about the possible complications. I've been working hard and lowering my a1c, thank you for sharing your stories it gives me hope.

SHUG IN BOOTS {Beth}

Posted on Thu Jan 31 18:56:11 GMT 2013

This is SUCH an awesome post! I really needed this! I suffered an ectopic (my a1c was 6.4 and it was totally UNrelated to my diabetes. But, still, I feel so scared to move on and try again. So happy for you! I CANNOT BELIEVE they told you that you couldn't have kids in 1992!!!! That's crazy talk!

Melissa - I struggled so much until I started charting my temp. basals. I finally realized that every month, my sugars spike around ovulation time, then go back to normal for several days, and then spike way higher (think basal of 175%) right before my period. It also helped me to bolus ahead of meals by about 30 mins. and to eat mostly produce and protein, and limit carbs. Of course, everyone's body is different, but talk to your doctor and try something different. I also gave up gluten which made a HUGE difference. (My hair was falling out, periods were irregular, blood sugars sporadic - all kinds of stuff!) Good luck to all! Great post!

Kristen

Posted on Tue Feb 26 22:13:49 GMT 2013

It's amazing to find this. I was diagnosed at age 10 on Election Day of 1995. Rather than finding out if I could have kids or not when I was diagnosed, I asked if I could have Crunch Bars. Being that Halloween just happened, being told I couldn't have crunch bars was a real major blow. Thank goodness they didn't tell me that. Education for type 1s even back in the 90s was so lacking to what it is today. Pretty unbelievable now. I'm now 27, and getting to the phase of my life where the topics of marriage and pregnancy will be looming in the coming years. I've been lowering my A1C steadily in the past year and plan to go on the CGM in the next couple months. After meeting Nicole Johnson's baby (Miss America 1999) and seeing how it was possible to have a baby and be on a pump (even through delivery) made me think it's possible. Prime control and health seem like the two keys to getting to the finish line. Hopefully when I get to that point, i'll be ready as ever to be the Mom I aspire to be.

Thanks for the great post. Plenty of girls I know like myself in our 20s worry about having kids. It's comforting reading the positive stories.

Danielle

Posted on Thu Mar 21 22:20:59 GMT 2013

It absolutely can be done! I was diagnosed in 1988 with Type I and in 2009 I had a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby boy :). He was 6 weeks early, but fully developed and healthy. Just like everyone else said, it takes some planning beforehand and lots of diligence during (many, many appointments). The pump certainly made it easier because of the huge increase in insulin, and having a good, honest relationship with your doctor(s) really helps too.

Jennifer

Posted on Mon Mar 25 23:40:21 GMT 2013

Happy healthy pregnancy #2-squared. I am a mom to an almost 4 yr old, and my husband and I are looking forward to move in the direction for our own #2 attempt. Definitely possible, and my CGM has been great in keeping me aware of my results so far. Wishing you all the best!!

Felicia

Posted on Fri May 03 19:55:32 GMT 2013

i am diabetic type 1 and 5 weeks pregnant! I JUST got approved for a pump by insurance but am SUPER nervous about changing to a pump from the injections while in my first trimester! I am scared of having a hard time adjusting and harming the baby? Any words of wisdom?

Naomi

Posted on Fri May 03 20:49:13 GMT 2013

Hi Felicia, congratulations on the pregnancy! I’m not qualified to offer you any medical advice and I recommend that you discuss these concerns with your healthcare team. If you have any questions related to your device once you’re on it, let me know and I can always connect you with someone to help. Also, be sure to stop back and check our blog post this upcoming Tuesday, May 7th as it may be a topic of interest to you.

Aylin

Posted on Mon Oct 28 06:04:51 GMT 2013

Hello to all diabetic type 1. 2 months ago I went on a pump. I and my husband decided to have a baby, but it is impossible for me because I have diabetes.I think if my bold soger up or down to make sure it happens and could harm the unborn baby's health.
I'm living in a country where the cost of pump is too high and the number of people who pump uses very little. I'm lonely here

Naomi

Posted on Mon Oct 28 18:56:07 GMT 2013

Hi Aylin. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am very sorry to hear that you are feeling alone. There are many places online to connect with others who are living with diabetes. You can use the following link to find a few of them - http://www.medtronicidabetes.com/community. We're the US team, but if you have any questions related to your pump, please check here for local contacts who would be happy to help - http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/customer-support/international-contacts

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