And Then There Were Three...

Pregnancy, diabetes, and motherhood

 Pregnancy diabetesBy Christel Marchand Aprigliano

March 2014 — Her first cry sounded like angels singing to me. A healthy, throaty cry, followed by John's emotional gasp and my quiet sobs of relief. Our daughter was here.

She was either early or late, depending on which calendar you choose. Five weeks early entering the world, but we would have loved to have met her years earlier and bypassed all the heartache of the miscarriages we endured. My diabetes had nothing to do with the miscarriages, but everything to do with bringing our daughter to us.

Pregnancy, diabetes or not, can't truly be prepared for. The same goes for parenthood. I worked very hard at keeping my blood sugars within range and collaborated with the gaggle of specialists to ensure I was doing everything within my power to keep her safe. As my pregnancy progressed and I said adieu to my feet for a while, those specialists and my husband kept me sane. I wanted her to be healthy. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be as normal as I could be during my pregnancy, diabetes or not.

Nursery finished, bag packed (I'm a planner), we looked at each other and foolishly said, "Great. We can just enjoy the last few weeks of being just the two of us."

And then there were three.

Two nights later, my water broke. I am tiny. I was beautifully huge with her. We think there just wasn't any more room and she decided she wanted out. My carefully laid plans were out the window, replaced with a comedy that included none of my doctors being on call, a baby who refused to stay in one place for the fetal heart monitor, and the decision to put me on an insulin IV drip because my blood sugar was 4 points over the threshold. (The only part of our birth story that I wished I could change.)

Once she arrived, I relaxed. Not just emotionally, but "diabetically," too. 

The smallest person in the room becomes the largest thought in your head after you bring a baby home. My needs were shoved into a corner to make way for feedings and diaper changes and the lack of sleep. Blood sugar checks were relegated to a few times per day… or when I remembered. My parents forced me to sit and eat when they came to visit — I was so focused on her that I forgot about me. 

As she's grown, my diabetes care has gotten back on track. Once her meals began to include solid foods, we would eat together, and my life with diabetes found its rhythm again. (Getting more sleep definitely helped.) She knows the beeps of my continuous glucose monitor mean juice or glucose tabs. The word "diabetes" is in her ever-expanding vocabulary. The pump is just a part of me to her. She will play at checking her own blood sugar. At almost three, she understands enough to know that while I may be a mom with diabetes, to her, I am just Mom.

Read more of Christel's articles.

dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: May 20, 2014

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

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by Brenda Bell
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