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25years

Would you get pregnant a second time?

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25years

Hi All,

 

I am new to the forum ( a new poster, but I've been reading the forum for years now). I have had type 1 diabetes for 25 years and had a successful but immensely difficult pregnancy in 2012, with a healthy beautiful baby as the outcome. I had extreme hypoglycemia in the third trimester (sometimes requiring 300 grams of carbs plus IV glucose to come up >50 mg/dL). I also had severe pre-eclampsia with BPs > 200/110 that lasted for months after delivery. I didn't know it at the time, but type 1 diabetic women have a 1/3 chance of severe preeclampsia. Despite having an A1c of 6-6.2 for the entire pregnancy, I had an emergency c-section due to non-reassuring fetal heart rate, and my baby had extreme hypoglycemia with a BG of 11 mg/dL and stayed in the NICU for 8 days on IV glucose through a central line in her umbilical vessels. I believe the stress of being told I needed to be rushed to the OR for the emergency c-section made me panic and my BG rose to 220, and this was apparently enough to make my baby produce a surge of extra insulin which made her so hypoglycemic after birth. Immediately after the delivery, I believe I developed severe PTSD. I kept feeling the sensation of being strapped to the operating table, under spinal anesthesia and unable to move my legs. I would have horrible nightmares of my baby in the NICU, getting even sicker, etc. I was terrified with my BP so high, afraid that I would stroke and die any minute and not be there for my child. I ended up needing 4 different BP meds before things got better. My baby is now 1 year old and thriving. I am back to normal and off all BP meds. My A1c now is in the high 7s - far from where I'd like it, but after all those pregnancy lows, it feels "safer" to run a little higher, at least for the time being. I swore I would never get pregnant again after the first baby because I am so terrified. I have read the pre-eclampsia frequently recurs, and is worse with future pregnancies. However, part of me wants very much to have another baby at some point. I am curious how other's experiences have been - anyone else "dare" to try again after the ffirst? Or were your pregnancies too hard? I would love for my baby to have alittle sibling, but I am also worried that, by putting my own health at risk a second time, if anything should happen to me, it would be immensely unfair for my first baby to lose her mother. Please share how you all feel about multiple pregnancies. Would you risk it?

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Tsukia

I am a 29 year old type 1 diabetic since I was 16. I got pregnant in December 2008 and gave birth to a beautiful little girl with spina bifida. Spina bifida CAN be a diabetic complication but in our case I believe that it was more genetic than diabetic. She was a surprise and my A1C's were between 6-8 throughout the pregnancy. Unfortunately she passed away this past Christmas.

 

I struggled a bit, much like you are. We had just started talking about giving her a sibling not even 24 hours before she left us. I knew that I always wanted to have more kids but her passing it made it very difficult and because no one told us anything was wrong it created more concerns.

 

Once we had decided that we did want to try again, I asked for a month to get my diabetes under control. As anyone who has diabetes can attest, emotions don't help control and loss such as that of a child is a lot of stress and emotions. We concieved at the end of May and are expecting our second child early 2014.

 

I won't lie. I am nervous and a little scared of going through this all again especially as our family will forever be short one. I did switch gynocologists, and am being followed more closely by both doctors and my diabetic team. So far the first ultrasound looks good, we can even make out legs. My family has been very supportive and helpful. But to be honest I don't think I will stop worrying until the little one is in my arms.

 

I hope this helps. Please let me know what you decide. Best of luck to you and your family.

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Tanikit

Sorry you had to go through that.

 

Tsukia hope your pregnancy goes well and that you have your little one with safely soon.

 

I have two little girls - my first pregnancy was difficult - I had a new husband who did not understand diabetes, let alone diabetes during pregnancy. My sugars went severely low a few times so that I could not walk and fell out of the bed into the heater. I had to beg my husband to take me to the ER to have the baby checked - not knowing that they would never check a baby in the ER. My baby was in NICU for one night because of low sugar levels and then she got jaundice that was not treated in the hospital properly and it got worse at home - on top of that I had not been helped with breastfeeding because of her stay in the NICU and simply because we were in a bad hospital and this made her jaundice worse - luckily I found a good midwife and got a home light system so I could keep her at home and treat her after that as I did not want her back in that hospital. I also during that pregnancy spent a few days in hospital because of severe rib pain that may have been gallstones - who knows and it appeared towards the end that I was also developing pre eclampsia which is apparently more common during first pregnancies. My baby was born following an induction - they used a vacuum and she got a severe haematoma on her head which is actually the main reason she was in NICU.

 

From the time she was 3 months old though I wanted another child. I just knew one was not enough, but I did have to wait due to family considerations and job issues with my husband. My eldest was 2.5 before I fell pregnant with my second child - and I fell pregnant very fast after trying so that was not the delay.

 

On to the second pregnancy... my doctor decided I needed to be on protophane as it was registered for pregnancies or they had done some studies on it. It was probably the worst thing to decide - at least I am hoping that is what made that pregnancy so hard so that it can be fixed. It was really a terrible pregnancy - I was hypoglycaemic at least 6 times a day from 8-18 weeks pregnancy. I would get sick and go comatose at the same time. We had the ambulance out twice and my family drove me to hospital another time. I lived on about 100g of pure glucose sweets every single day of that first trimester, I was late to work because of going low at home, I would not be able to do my job and had the people at work trained to arrive with sweets and juice and all sorts of other things that they would just hand to me as I walked in the door and still I would go low even after all this. Despite pushing sugars high by overtreating lows my Hba1c was 7.0 by the end of the first trimester and they told me not to try to get it lower as it was already dangerous (again I think if someone had understood more about pregnant diabetics I could possibly have been treated better and I did not know what I was doing on a new insulin with morning sickness and a pregnancy that was going so differently from the first) I was worried about the baby but managed to scan her at my own work during a low and she was in there happily kicking around while I could barely think straight. Second trimester my asthma went out of control and I was in the ER for a nebulizer and then home on cortisone tablets despite the diabetes because they said it would be better I was high and the baby got oxygen than that my sugars were fine and the baby wasn't getting any air. HbA1c rose to 7.2 that trimester and while I was not low as often, I was still going low probably once a day. Third trimester I ended up a week in hospital where at 33 weeks they lowered my dose of insulin by half and I still just kept going low every single evening no matter what they did - the doctors could not understand this and neither could I. It came up again in the next few weeks, but the lows continued. I was induced but due to baby's heart rate diving every contraction they did an emergency C-section. This daughter of mine spent 4 days in the NICU for low sugars - they tried unsuccessfully to keep her out most of the first afternoon of her birth. She had fewer problems however than my eldest did after the birth, but was a colicky baby from 6-12 weeks of age which was exhausting.

 

Would I do it again? I desperately want to do it again... but I want it to go better and I want it to be easier. I have moved doctors and am trying to get on an insulin pump to make things easier. I have done some research to find out why things went as they did and have found some other areas that I can help with. People who saw what happened last pregnancy was like say that I should have someone with me 24-7 if I am pregnant, but I don't think that would be necessary. I look at the two healthy beautiful girls I have and I know that it was worth all the pain and heartache. My husband is scared I will die next pregnancy and is not keen which is why I know that I have to make sure that things are better next time - nothing is guaranteed obviously and with pregnancies there could be all sorts of other issues, but it is a risk I am willing to take. I will NOT do it again under the same circumstances as last time - that would be putting the children I have now at too much risk - but I would do it if I could prevent what should have been prevented last time anyway. I love my second daughter - my husband says if he had known what was going to happen then he would not have agreed to have a second... I say even had I known that and also known what she would have been like.... I would have done and I'd do it all again for her.

 

Now, I feel like there is a third waiting for me... I just have to find a way to get her/him here safely.

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patricia52

If i had your complications, I think I would just count my blessings. You have a precious child that deserves a healthy mother. My DIL is having to have eye surgery and has kidney damage because she had the second child. That is just my opinion.

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GretchO

I had high blood pressure when I became pregnant. I was on BP meds that had to be switched to something "safe" during pregnancy but which also causes hypo-unawareness (lovely Labetalol, how I hate thee). i spent the last 6 weeks of the pregnancy in the hospital as they patiently waited for me to develop pre-eclampsia. During that time I ended up on 4 BP meds...I never did develop pre-eclampsia. I was delivered 2 weeks early because of hypos and inability to detect them. I had two hypo induced seizures while in the hospital. Both times they thought it was pre-eclampsia induced seizures and started IV drips of magnesium (yuck, yuck, yuck) before they tested my blood sugar.

 

In the end, my BP was well managed throughtout the pregnancy and I never developed pre-eclampsia. I could have done without the hypo awareness, and wish, wish, wish I had taken them up on the offer to get a pump. But, I didn't know much about them and thought using a pump meant you had failed (i.e., it was a bad thing to have to use one). My daughter was fine after delivery (no BS issues), though slightly jaundiced...a day on and off the bili-bed and she was completely fine. No NiCU and out of the hospital in 3 days. It would have been 2 but the day after she was born we had a blizzard and we were stuck there. So far, she's a happy and healthy 8 year old.

 

Would I do it again? Yes, if I wasn't 50.

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25years

Hi Tsukia,

If you don't mind my asking, did you know your daughter had spina bifida from birth, or was it a surprise when she got sick? You wrote that "no one told us anything was wrong," which sounds like no doctors found the spina bifida until it was too late. Were there any special tests that your little one had to have?

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Tsukia

I feel the doctors knew about the spina bifida before her birth but they didn't tell me anything besides "we can't get a good shot of her legs". We found out during/after the C-section (I was put under due to a reaction to the epidural). The pediatrician on call for her delivery even asked why we were delivering at the local hospital instead of bc womens hospital. My family doctor who stayed hands off during pregnancy even implied that there were signs that there was something wrong. I did all the tests requested and kept all my doctors appointments. But it wasn't until she was out that anyone told us anything, and at that point they weren't even sure if she would live.

 

My little angel lived for 3 wonderful years. I wouldn't have traded any of that for anything. She was a wonderful and smart little girl, that I will forever miss.

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Kathryn10

That's a tough question to answer, 25years. I've heard that every pregnancy is different, so it's difficult to tell whether or not you will have such a rough experience if you get pregnant again. I have a 5 year old daughter and with that pregnancy, everything was easy. I felt great and my daughter was born healthy. I am now 37 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child, and this pregnancy has been a lot different! I've been to the ER once and to L&D three times already. I have tachycardia and am much more uncomfortable this time around. I know that once you have bp issues during pregnancy you are likely to have them again, but I do not have any experience with this. This is a very personal decision that you and your husband will have to make (along with your doctor's input). Having said that, I would go through another pregnancy after this one still, but my complications aren't as serious as yours were (so far at least).

 

All of you ladies who've posted in response to this are very strong for sharing your experiences and it's helpful to hear from real diabetics about their pregnancies (rather than reading or hearing about generalized horror stories from type 1 diabetics who are pregnant).

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