I remember being in high school and hanging out at my friend’s house watching movies. Every once in a while a group of us would all get together and watch the latest release on VHS (gasp! What’s that??!). Well, this night in particular the movie was Steel Magnolias. Imagine my excitement when I realized Julia Roberts was playing a person with diabetes!! Finally, a character I could relate to. Well, my excitement quickly turned to horror as I watched the events of this character’s life unfold. By then end of the movie, I secretly had a panic attack inside my head…Oh my goodness, that could be me one day. I decided then and there that maybe having children was not in the cards for me.

Fast forward a few years later when my doctor at the time started discussing “family planning” with me. He was a good doctor whom I had known and been to for years, but he was not a specialist in diabetes, and, to be honest, tried his best to help me but didn’t quite get it (I know this now). I trusted him, and so I listened to what he had to say about having children one day. He told me all the scary stuff and talked about complications, and said “You must get pregnant before 35 or it’s just too risky”. Steel Magnolias all over again… So once again, I decided having kids was not for me. I continued to feel this way for the next few years of my life which included my getting engaged, married and buying a home. It also included some very scary health episodes which further solidified the fact that no way was I ever going to have kids. And before you ask, my hubby feels exactly how I feel (he’s me, only male and w/o D). So as you read on, when I say “I”, I really mean “we”.

It was my husband that finally got me to see that my diabetes treatment was not working for me. I bought “Think Like a Pancreas” and “Pumping Insulin” and read those before making an appointment with an endo. Within 6 months I was counting carbs and on a pump. It was also at that time that the subject of kids came up again. My new endo told me that there was absolutely no reason not to have kids, as long as I was willing to do a lot of testing and adjusting basals. It would be like having another full time job, she said. Hmm. And after seeing yet another endo (my first one left the practice, and luckily a friend at work referred me to my current endo), she has encouraged me up until this day to not give up if having children is something I really wanted. My a1c’s have been in the mid 6’s. I am, however, going to be 37 this summer, and am also, if you haven’t already figured it out, scared sh**less. So, once again, I’m thinking, maybe this isn’t a good idea. With that, I decided I was going to focus my mind elsewhere, get another master’s degree and focus on becoming a principal one day. I had come to terms with the fact that I was not having children, and I was ok with that. Or so I thought.

Then, yesterday, I learned that my dear friend, boss and mentor’s long time boyfriend passed away at age 50. He was the love of her life, and my heart is broken for her. They never had children. I cannot imagine what she must be going through right now, and she has been on my mind for the last 24 hours. I don’t know why, but this very sad event has made me think that maybe I need to stop wasting time being so afraid of having children. Maybe I need to stop avoiding the issue because there may come a day when it will be too late. And that scares me more than any pregnancy ever will.

Thanks for sharing your story Di! Pregranancy with diabetes is one of my greatest fears… so I can definitely relate.

You should check out this discussion and join the Oh Baby group.

One of our members, J Davis Harte is now pregnant, and over 35.

i have chosen not to have children, not because of diabetes, but because i never imagined ever having kids, and honestly i wouldn’t be happy if i did have kids (dealing with diabetes is hard enough). I’m happy with this choice and have no fear of dying alone, ony dying from diabetes.

Whatever you decide, I hope that you feel confident, safe, and well-informed about your decisions. I am trying to get pregnant and can’t wait to have kids. If I ever get there, I’ll let you know how the ride goes!