For the past month or so, I'm thankful to say that my pregnancy has been fairly boring. My weight gain has plateaued (34 lbs.) and so has my insulin resistance (42 units basal, and 1:6 bolus ratio). The last 2 OB appointments have gone very smooth; in fact, I've spent more time in the waiting room than actually seeing my doctor. My blood pressure and urine have all come back fine, which I count as a huge blessing. For most of my formerly-pregnant friends who ended up getting complications such as preeclampsia, the symptoms started showing by now. So I feel like I've beat some personal goal by making it to 34 weeks and everything about me seems like a normal, non-diabetic pregnant woman.
But I feel very at home with my OB, and he treats me as a unique patient and doesn't generalize me for my type 1 diabetes. That hasn't been the case everywhere else. For example, at our prepared childbirth class last weekend. Initially, I was very excited about this class because I wanted to get an idea of what to expect during labor (either naturally or induced) and I was anxious to tour the maternity center where I would be giving said birth.
The class started out great. We went through the overall process of labor from early labor to transition to PUUUUUUUUSHing. The morning teacher made me feel like I could handle the type of labor I wanted because it is 90% mental anyway. Plus, she said regardless of how long ago it happens, every woman remembers the details of her child's birth. So it's so important to mentally prepare yourself and fight for what you want. We broke for lunch, and I felt great. At this point, no one knew I was a type 1 diabetic or that I was considered "high risk".
Then came the afternoon, and a different teacher took over. Her job was to talk to us about medical interventions like inductions, epidurals, and C-sections. I wasn't scared of this part because I figured some of these interventions might be in my future. Before we got into the part on C-sections, the teacher threw out this random statistic because she had just got back from a conference on diabetes and pregnancy. "Did you know that 85% of all diabetic pregnancies end in a C-section?" And she starts the video.
I lost it. I looked at Trey and said, "Well, isn't that wonderful?" Tears began falling down my face. Snot was running down my nose. And I had to muffle my mouth from the heaves that were coming up. Really?! 85 percent?! So even if I do everything right, I only have a 15% chance of having a vaginal delivery?! I was distraught and could barely pay attention to the video. It ends and the lights come on. I calm myself enough to listen to the cord blood banking guy, the last talk before the maternity center tour.
I tried pushing that number out of my mind while we went on the tour. I reserved that I would deal with it later. One of the reasons I chose the hospital I chose is because a) my doctor is right next door and b) they have these LDRP rooms where every process of labor is done in one room. I wouldn't have to labor in one room and then be escorted to another room for recovery. These rooms are great, they're set up like your grandmother's bedroom with a quilted bed, rocking chair, and warm decorations. The same afternoon teacher told us that these rooms have everything that a typical LDR room has, but you get to stay here the whole time after baby is born. "However, we typically only use these rooms for our low-risk patients." I raised my hand and revealed myself to the whole class. "So with me being type 1 . . . " She responded, "Yeah, it's unlikely you'll get to use these rooms." Again, I was shot down due to my category and nothing to do with me.
Trey and I got in the car and headed home, and I felt like I had completely wasted the entire day. I felt so defeated. I don't care if I have to have a C-section or have to be quarantined to a room deemed suitable for high-risk patients if my daughter comes out healthy and safe. BUT. I feel like my story has already been written even before I'm there. I want to have some say in how my body is dealt with, but right then I felt like I was just at the doctor's will. I cried the whole way home, and that's a long 30-minute drive.
Thankfully, I had an OB appointment this past Monday, and I basically told him everything that happened at the childbirth class. I told him I felt very discouraged. My doctor, always the sensitive guy, looked me in the eye and said, "That's not true. That 85% MIGHT be true for uncontrolled diabetics, but definitely not for you. And you have the choice to use the LDRP room, I'll see to it. As far as I'm concerned, you have a good chance at a vaginal delivery." I dried my eyes that had been wet for the past 2 days, and made my appointment for 36 weeks. My endo even told me that given how good my pregnancy has gone, he would let me go to 40 weeks no problem.
I know I shouldn't let these things get to me. I should be used to people generalizing diabetics into some doomsday category. My story is still unwritten. I want every pregnant type 1 to know that they don't have to submit to anything that "should be" just because of our category. We are high-risk, not "high maintenance enough that we don't want to give you a chance". Several people have already asked me if they were going to take my baby early or if I have a C-section scheduled. No and no! If you take away this stupid disease and just look at ME, I am 100% healthy and so is my little girl. Let's take off the vial glasses and look at ourselves as individuals. Because as one of my good friends says, "Diabetes doesn't define me (!), it just explains me."