Diabetes and Pregnancy

This season of RTE’s OperationTransformation  has been focusing on type 2 diabetes in a big way. This is my first time to watch Operation Transformation and I find it a very interesting programme though not why you would think.

I was extremely interested in the piece about how unfit our school aged teenagers are, especially the girls. That was eye opening but when I thought about it not surprising.


However, it’s the feature on Petrice, which aired on Wednesday, 8th February, that inspired be to write this blog entry. Petrice was overweight and always figured that when she decided to start a family she would get in shape first. However, the best laid plans….. And got pregnant un-expectantly. During her pregnancy she developed gestational diabetes.


I have type 1 diabetes and had it before I started my family. My diabetes played a huge factor in deciding if I was going to have a family and really made me focus on what I had to do to prepare my body for developing a healthy baby. I had 10 years to learn as much as I could about diabetes before I started my family – imagine finding out all the scary things about diabetes and pregnancy after the fact! I felt for Petrice and how she was trying to cope with having diabetes and then think about how it was affecting her baby.


I started to think back to how I felt during both of my pregnancies. My first pregnancy went smoothly and resulted in a healthy baby (TG). It was really hard work; constant testing of blood sugars, lots of doctor’s appointments, faxing in by blood glucose diary weekly, accounting for every morsel of carbohydrate, feeding lows all the time and living in fear of the highs.


My second pregnancy happened just after our transatlantic move and my body was stressed, I was a little overweight and I had a two year old to take care of. I still put in all of the work and thankfully the result was another healthy (if not very large) baby (TG again).


Each time I was pregnant I had the same anxiety but tried to push it to the back of my mind and focus on nurturing a healthy baby. It’s amazing how this growing life makes you take better care of yourself and work twice as hard at managing your diabetes well without grumbling.


It’s like competing in a long distance race; you just want to get over the finish line. Your first question in the delivery room is not “Is it a boy or a girl?” but “Is everything where it should be and does s/he look healthy?”


Diabetes never lets you take a healthy baby for granted.