With the recent news of Paula Deen's battle with type 2 diabetes, diabetes has been getting some negative coverage in the media. I've even heard comments like " No wonder Paula Deen has diabetes when she eats so much sugar and butter." This is frustrating because it perpetuates the false stereotype that all people with diabetes are the same.
My baby girl had just been born. I was in the postoperation room after going through a cesarean section. My husband went to get my parents, who had been waiting for twelve hours in the waiting room. A nurse laid my little girl in an incubator next to my bed and checked her blood sugar, which was normal, in the mid-40 range. Fifteen minutes later the nurse checked her again, and it registered in the mid-30s. I watched as the nurse fed my baby her first ounces of food. I was still too numb to even know that I had legs, much less to be able to wiggle my toes.
Throughout pregnancy and all the way up until labor, I was adamant that I was not having a cesarean section. I was terrified of being cut open because I know that my healing time is longer due to my lowered immune system. In 2009, I had to go to the emergency room for an infection caused by cutting my leg while shaving, so how could I possibly heal after being opened up to birth a baby?
Diagnosed with diabetes at age 15, Brandy Barnes went on to a successful career as a pharmaceuticals salesperson, but she deeply missed having other diabetic women in her life to whom she could relate. Finally, after a difficult pregnancy, long thought, and prayer, she founded DiabetesSisters (www.diabetes.sisters.org), a North Carolina-based nonprofit organization that provides education and support to women of all ages with all types of diabetes. DS offers conferences, websites, blogs, and a "sister match" program, all designed to lessen feelings of isolation and deepen bonds of connection among women with diabetes.
Editor' Note: This article continues Katherine Marple's series on pregnancy with diabetes as a complicating factor. For previous articles, enter her name in the search feature at the top right-hand of this website. The next installment, "Birthing Options," will appear on December 30.
I thought I had seen it all as a person with diabetes. Going to college, marriage, moves, career changes, you name it. I had soldiered on through them all, my control shifting from tight to loose to somewhere in the middle as the situation changed. I had adapted pretty well, I told myself.
Final weeks of pregnancy! The third trimester brings about many more ultrasound scans and measurements taken to judge the growth and health of your child. You'll likely be visiting your OB/GYN or maternal fetal medicine office twice per week for non-stress tests to ensure that your baby is healthy and active.
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