We had already known that weekend in July would be the start of a new chapter in our lives. My fiancé and I had signed a lease on a charming two-bedroom apartment and were looking forward to moving in together that Saturday and spending the next eight months growing our relationship in preparation for our wedding day in March. During a routine physical the day before moving day, I learned that I had Type 1 diabetes. And so began this new chapter in our lives.
For me, the beginning of this chapter was marked by dramatic changes to what I had thought was an already balanced lifestyle. I read everything I could get my hands on about diets for managing diabetes – vegan, raw, low glycemic. I instated a bedtime to ensure eight hours of sleep a night. I woke up early to squeeze in cardio and strength training before class. The implementation of these dramatic changes to my lifestyle might have suggested that I had accepted the reality of my diagnosis. Yet I remember being convinced that I was going to beat this diabetes. This irreversible autoimmune condition.
Seven months later, I’ve grieved many losses associated with diabetes. Not least of all the freedom I used to enjoy to eat what I wanted to when I wanted to. To sleep through the night without fear of a low blood sugar or being woken up by alerts signaling an impending low. To work out without needing to plan ahead of time by snacking or adjusting my meal-time insulin dose. Or bringing my testing supplies and glucose tabs to monitor my blood sugar and treat lows.
As I’ve entered into acceptance, my fiancé has entered into grief. He had been so focused on supporting me throughout those first months that he had taken little time to process how this diagnosis affected both of us and our dreams for the future. Especially our dreams of starting a family together. Maybe I was too focused on the day to day of diabetes management. Maybe I was simply naïve. But for whatever reason, the risks associated with pregnancy as a Type 1 mother were not something I had thought about.
Which leads me to why I'm writing this blog. I was hungry for information from Type 1 mothers about their experience with pregnancy and found very few women blogging about this topic. A community of Type 1 mothers, soon-to-be mothers, or even planning-to-be mothers (like myself!) was something I wanted for all of us. Some of my posts will be about motherhood. Some will not. My fiancé and I are still planning for our wedding day next month, which means planning for parenthood is still a little ways off. In the meantime, I hope my posts will meaningfully capture my experience of Type 1 diabetes as a young woman on the verge of much to come – intimate partnership, career, motherhood…
I’m delighted that you’ll be a part of this new chapter. Please share your thoughts below, and let’s begin developing a special community of beautiful, bright, resilient Type 1 women.