Double Income (and Diabetes), No Kids

Considering the pros and cons of not having children.

Rachel BaumgartelBy Rachel Baumgartel

It is the question that is asked from the moment that a couple says, “I do”, or sometimes even as soon as an engagement announcement is made. Oh, that question about children, when they will come along to make the couple’s life better.

For us, we leaned against not bringing a child into this world early on in our relationship. We acknowledged that we might change our minds, as we grew older. In April, we will mark eight years of marriage and we still have little desire to become parents.

When it comes up in conversation with others, it is nearly inevitable that we are asked if our decision was made because of diabetes.

Quite honestly, there are many reasons why we have not had children as part of our long-term plans. Certainly, the thoughts of passing along type 1 or type 2 to any future offspring has been mulled over, but so has the prospect of passing along family histories of depression. The knowledge that type 2 diabetes puts pregnancy in the high-risk category cannot be ignored. And of course, there is the worry over a child having parents with complications from diabetes before he or she would be out on their own living his or her own life.

Beyond diabetes, it used to be a simple explanation. We perfected the “too selfish, happy to be cat parents” line. As much as I adore my nephew and nieces, I have never been one to entirely enjoy babysitting. It is one thing to cradle a sleeping newborn for hours on end; it is another to control a temper tantrum from a two-year-old. In other words, cats are easier to manage.

In the past few months, the reality has set in regarding the state of my reproductive system. Even if type 2 diabetes were not in the picture, things are messy in there between multiple ovarian cysts (not polycystic ovarian syndrome as far as we know) and a possible uterine anomaly.

My husband said it best when we learned of these truths. It is a good thing having children was never high on our priority list. Getting pregnant and staying pregnant would have been a challenge – then add to it type 2 diabetes, history of hypertension, hypothyroidism, and Rh-negative status – and we might have faced quite a bit of heartache in the journey to become parents.

Yet as I approach my thirty-fourth birthday, I do feel a sense of sadness as the opportunity is slipping away. Maybe we were never meant to be parents, but we still need to find some meaning or purpose in my life if there will be no children. Kind of funny in a way – I keep thinking that meaning could be found right back in diabetes advocacy.

Read more of Rachel's columns.

dLife's Daily Living columnists are not medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.


Last Modified Date: November 28, 2012

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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