This is getting a bit more personal than I usually do in an online community, but I want my own children. I want to feel the miracle of pregnancy and to see the resemblances of my husband’s face in our child’s eyes. I want to be surprised, yet comforted, when I notice that our child starts to have the same mannerisms as we each do, or how she reminds me so much of my grandmother.
I’ve wanted children since I was 10 years old. I’ve wanted a family for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed first generation Type 1 at age 14 (12 years ago now almost) and I struggled for years to subside the “mother urges” because I had read and had heard from so many sources that Type 1s could NOT have children. I mourned my “dream future” for years.
Then, about 5 years ago, I participated in a Joslin Diabetes Center Research Study in Boston MA about Type 1s and pregnancies. While I was there, I burst into tears of relief when they told me that I certainly could have my own children. They had to stop the class while I composed myself because my heart had been broken about it for years. The other Type 1s in the class (some were “currently” pregnant) comforted me that they, too, were told that they could not bear children.
Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston is in the Top Diabetes Research centers in the world. I’m going to trust their judgement, take care of my body, and take control while we try for kids of our own. We are not quite ready emotionally or financially to have children yet, but when that time comes, I’m going to be ready and waiting for our baby (each piece of us who created her) to be placed into my arms.
I’m 25 years old now, and studies show that if the parents are Type 1, if they wait until after their 25th birthday to have children, the odds of the child contracting Type 1 are cut down from 25% to 4%. Honestly, the odds of ME contracting Type 1 12 years ago were 0% (as it doesn’t run in my family), so I’m just going to have to play the hand I’m given when the time comes. Because no matter what, we don’t know the TRUE cause of Type 1. We don’t KNOW if it’s genetic or environmental. Like me, with no family history of autoimmune diseases, maybe it’s just the location on the planet from which I’m residing? I can’t substantiate claims that my child will have Type 1 just because I do, when I contracted the disease all on my own.
As far as the risk to my own health while pregnant, I will do whatever it takes to bring a child into this world, safe, happy, healthy.
Adoption is a beautiful act. I would consider it for myself if we turned out to be unable to have children. But, Type 1 is NOT going to hold me back from the ONE thing that I’ve wanted for my whole life. I’ve wanted to be a mother BEFORE I contracted Type 1. And I’m going to try as hard as I can to make my own dreams come true.
I deserve that.