On the surface, Divya looks like a typical mother of two beautiful , happy, working 24X7 raising kids and working as a financial analyst. As you carve down further into the family they have their own stories of struggle. Divya was trying to make peace with the diagnosis of vitiligo & hypothyroidism after her marriage.
However she didn’t realize when the symptoms she was experiencing actually brought her the shock of her life – a 360 degree somersault of diagnosis of type one diabetes at an age of 27 years . Doctors were skeptical about her diagnosis with different names of Type 1 / LADA / early onset type 2 .. but for all that it meant was life will be very very different from now on.
At one point, it felt like her life has shattered. Two years after giving birth to her son “Ean” she sat with her husband planning her life’s journey ahead. Her frustration made her google all the autoimmune diseases so she’s prepared that her kids don’t get any of the one’s on the list. Having diagnosed with T1D and Celiac disease at 27 years of age she made multiple visits to her endocrinologist trying to figure out what went wrong!
Two years later she knew her son’s “Ean’s” symptoms way before the lab reports said “HIGH” and she couldn’t believe her fate when her son got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It was a heartbreaking moment. Being a T1D herself, she couldn’t muster the courage to give injections to her own child. It was just so difficult for her and she cursed her life throughout. But as rightly said, what doesn’t kill makes you stronger. Even with the constant on going management of her health issues , she never lost the determination to live a positive life.
She says, “I’ve always tried to keep a positive outlook on life, not dwell on why so many health misfortunes have been thrust upon our family, or blame myself. My husband has been very supportive during this journey. He didn’t know anything about injections but managed to learn in one day when our son was diagnosed. He spent 6-7 hours outside his school and sometimes even sleeping in the car just to make sure aiyaan is safe in school. I accept diabetes is there, and it’s just part of my life and his. If someone has bad levels that day, it happens. Tomorrow is a new day, and we’ll start over again.”
It was now “two of us” in the family dealing with this condition and a new baby in the making. All this was only possible with the constant love, care and support of my husband who played a pivotal role. He juggled with our high/low blood sugars and stood with me as a pillar of support in the highs/lows of life. He managed me and my pregnancy with a newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic kid. We are now a happy family of 4!
Planning pregnancy with Type 1 diabetes was very intense and requires more hardwork & continuous monitoring. But it wasn’t a bad experience at all for her. She successfully delivered her second baby through a C-section.
On being asked about her experience of second pregnancy as Type 1 diabetic, she says, “I was more planned for my second pregnancy and made sure to keep my doctors in the loop with regular visits & ultrasound monitoring to see the growth of my baby in-utero. We were scared and that brought me and my husband to just hope all goes well. We monitored him grow his fingers , his head and finally when I delivered him.My husband saw the baby on a whatsapp call because he had gone to drop Ean to school. And I heard Ean shout.. YES YES!! I got a baby brother! It all brought me to be at peace. That was a feeling beyond imagination.And I feel blessed to have a family of 4!”
She says, “Your birth experience may be different to the one that you had expected, and this can be hard to come to terms with. I was advised to give birth early due to some liver problems. The doctors found out that the baby’s head was bigger than normal, which is medically termed as “macrosomia”
Today pregnant women with type 1 diabetes can achieve a very good glycemic control, however, despite substantial improvements in diabetes care, the rate of complications particularly macrosomia, remains high. Fetal macrosomia is associated with an increased risk of cesarean section, injuries to the birth canal and to the fetus, as well as obesity and metabolic diseases later in life. It’s important to visit your doctor and plan out your entire pregnancy for a health baby & to avoid complications.
She also advised to all the ‘expecting mothers, to keep the blood glucose well controlled throughout the pregnancy and during childbirth. If your blood glucose levels are raised, this can cause distress to your baby and may cause high blood glucose levels in your unborn baby. This will make him produce extra insulin, which can lead to your baby becoming hypoglycemic after the birth.
For this reason, your blood sugars should be monitored every two hours during pregnancy and labor. You can use CGM’s nowadays and ensure self monitoring of blood sugar levels because that plays a pivotal role to ensure smooth pregnancy. Make sure you take advice from your medical team & not believe in the myths prevalent in the society.
I would like to break the myths/misconceptions related to diabetes and pregnancy today on mother’s day, through my personal experience. Every diabetic woman can give birth to a beautiful and healthy baby, all you need to do is take extra care and manage your diabetes well. It’s sometimes quite irritating and you want to give up but in the end it’s all worth it
She says, “Yes, diabetes is hard, but if my family can remain positive with the challenges we’ve been handed, then there is no reason why other families can’t do the same. Take care and always try to enjoy life, whichever direction it may take you!”
There is no heroism, greater than motherhood and we salute all the Mother’s out there who are no less than a superhero in our lives!!
Wishing you all Happy Mother’s day! T1D Mom’s Rock.