Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back and babbling on as usual!

So, a long overdue update. Why haven't I been here?

Welp, I found out that I was pregnant about a month after I made this post. October 12, 2007, to be exact. According to my perinatologist, I am 20 weeks pregnant today. Due date June 17, 2007. It only took us two months of active trying, and trust me, we're still shocked. (Happy! But totally flabbergasted.) I stepped back from the blog because it was accessible by people at work, and I didn't end up telling my manager until about a month ago. Now that the Ricola man has practically yodeled my pregnancy from the mountaintops, I feel it's safe to blab on the blog again ;)

I should probably make a post about how hard it has been to be diabetic and pregnant, but the truth is I haven't experienced serious insulin resistance yet. I did have some Fun With LowsTM during the first trimester; enough fun that I joked about hooking up to a juice box as well as my pump. This past week has brought a few changes and challenges, but so far it hasn't been anything that's made me want to tear my hair out. As an example, if anything I have upped my carb intake and my last A1C, drawn on the 14th, was a 4.5. That is just utterly and completely whack. I've heard it said that A1C measurements are not as reliable during pregnancy (if they are ever reliable in the first place), but the fact that I'm a whole 2 points lower than when I first conceived is remarkable to me. I would have been happy to be in the 6s throughout my pregnancy. I don't feel like my efforts have been Herculean, and for that I'm thankful - I hope my baby is still reaping the benefits of lower numbers. I test about 10 times a day, and I catch at least one high and one low per day. Most of these highs have been easy and quick to get down, but of course I'm already experiencing mommy guilt about the ones that weren't so easy.

The mommy guilt. That's what I really wanted to write about. I read a comment on diabetesmine.com today that made me so angry. Angry enough to rehash in tedious detail on my own blog! I wasn't angry at the commenter, but I was immediately on the defensive at the idea her comment suggested, at the possibilities it raised.

The commenter said that she would be happy to see the Type I gene disappear, and that she intended to adopt her children rather than pass on her genes. (She has an immediate family member with Type I as well as herself.)

My first reaction is that that's a very noble choice to make, if you are able and willing to adopt. I'm not just talking financial resources, although that's probably #1 for most people - but y'know China won't allow Type I diabetics to adopt even if they are willing. That thought tied into what really irks me about not passing on "the Type I gene." It's that there's this assumption of inferiority. And since Type Is are inferior, we should not raise children. We certainly shouldn't be reproducing, passing on our inferior genes. Hey, maybe diabetics should be prevented from having kids, full stop. And while we're at it, throw in all those folks with cystic fibrosis or autism or whatever particular flavor of the week we feel like eliminating. Why spend all that money on a cure when we could just have a little eugenics party?

That belief terrifies me and pulls up a bunch of yammering Big Brothers in my mind. GATTACA, anyone?

I think my bottom line is that I would rather my child live with diabetes than live a in world that resembles Winston Smith's or Vincent Freeman's; a world where the privilege of having children and a full, happy life is extended only to those with valid, or superior, genes . . . a world where there's a Big Brother deciding what valid is and what's best for each individual.

Would I have made the choice to get pregnant if I had a strong family history of diabetes? (I am the only person in my family with an autoimmune disease - and I'm extending that statement out to cousins, aunts, uncles. I do have a family history of heart disease, and to a lesser extent, cancer.) I don't know where I draw my lines, but as someone living with diabetes I still don't feel that I have the right to pass judgment on the reproductive choices of others. Maybe my mind is making some sort of arbitrary categorization of diseases. "Well, if I had that disease, I wouldn't have kids. But for diabetes it's okay." Is that because I have diabetes? Is it because that disease is so much worse, or more deadly, or more painful?

My gut says it's because it doesn't make sense to live in fear of diabetes. Yes, the world would be a better place without diabetes - but I don't think diabetes is going to disappear because diabetics stop having children. Scary genetic mishaps are in all of us, diabetic or not, and genetic mishaps are not the sole cause of diabetes. Diabetes does have a genetic component; for some this is more true than others. But me, with my random lightning bolt on an otherwise sunny day . . . why should I allow that one event to control my life any more than it already has?

That could be interpreted as me being hellaciously selfish. I can't apologize if you see it that way; my baby is healthy, today, as am I. I'm enjoying the rest of my sunny day, and I hope that others also seize the opportunity to enjoy theirs. I know that life is a privilege and not a right, but I don't feel that the privilege given to me should be cut down to an acceptable shape by a someone else's labels and levels and judgments of what is or is not good enough.

I promise the rest of my pregnancy posts won't be as dark or muddled. (Well, they will probably still be muddled.) I am very happy with my life right now; new home, new baby on the way. Tons and tons and TONS of stuff rattling around in my mind about the future, from paint colors to cribs to more nebulous events and concepts like impending birth and motherhood. Can't wait for any of it!

Level II ultrasound is tomorrow. Send an urge to flash to my child, if you would be so kind :D


Colleen said...

Congratulations to all three! of you! Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job w/ regard to your diabetes, and enjoying yourself at the same time.

Araby62 said...

Congratulations, and I hope you and baby continue to do well!

(P.S. Saw your post on Diabetes Mine and completely agree with you)

TDavis said...

Congrats!! Been wondering how you were.

BTW, maybe we should try to eliminate the idiot gene rather then the T1 gene, eh?

Scott K. Johnson said...

Congrats Kendra!

..M.. said...

Great to see you back!

Seriously huge congrats to you! YAY!

We shouldn't live in fear of diabetes. It's just another health issue in a bundle of wacky human genes - what makes D so special that it needs such avoidance?!

Since I've been a part of the D bloggers / forums etc I've learnt what wonderful people diabetics are. As far as I'm concerned we should breed more of us :P

Major Bedhead said...