Diabetes - Type 1 Community
Can I have a baby?
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Can I have a baby?

Hi,
I'm new to this forum, and have read through the archives trying to find out some information.  I'm a type 1 diabetic of 16 years.  I sadly enough have gastroparesis, very severe gastroparesis, making me have a gastric stimulator implant that doesn't do much to help with the daily symptoms of pain, bad sugars and nausea.  NOW my question comes as a suprise to even myself.  Can I have a baby EVER?

I always told myself that I didn't want to put my body through that, that I was okay being childless if it meant health.  THEN I fell in love and have changed my views.  I'm getting married and want a child one day.  If I get my sugars under control, could I ever have a child on my own while still having severe gastroparesis?  I've had a month or so of good sugars, but my gastroparesis still is around daily, so I believe it will stick around even if I get them under the right control for having a baby.  Would I need to expect nine months of being in the hospital? (An idea brought up to me in the past.)  OR should someone who already has a complication from this disease just get a dog and give up a dream of having my own baby?

Alexis
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Hello artisitc_alexis,

Thank you for posting here.

I am a volunteer, not a medical professional, so my advice is based on experience in caring for my son, now 10 who was dxd at the age of 3.  My sister also has type 1 - she was diagnosed 2 yrs. before my boy and she was 24 at the time.  (She is 33 now.)
She has other health problems, as well.  (fibromyalgia, IBS, and possibly arthritis in her hands)  

I found a posting here about pregnancy and diabetes.  I do understand that one more thing (gastroparesis) is thrown into the mix so to speak, in your situation, so I am unsure if this link will help, but here it is:  (I apologize if you have already found this)
http://www.medhelp.org/perl6/Diabetes/messages/526.html

Alexis, I am curious to know what your endocrinologist says.  Have you talked to him or her?

I have heard of and read a litle about gastroparesis, but I do not know enough about it to really give you a good answer.  I apologize.

Even when I search diabetic gastroparesis and pregnancy, I end up finding pages that just have a bunch of links and cannot find what I would consider good information to refer you to.

Please talk to your endocrinologist and find out your options and what your pregnancy could be like, what the health risks to you might be, as well as if there are health risks to the baby.

I guess all that I can suggest is to make a long list of questions and bring them to your endo.  If your endo has had patients in your particular situation who have had successful pregnancies and you want to hear more from the OBGYN side, then see a Perinatologist.  (High Risk OB)

Please do not take this the wrong way because remember I am not living with diabetes - my son is and my sister is - but, if your life was at a great risk by getting pregnant, you do not want the chance of your baby not having a mommy.  Please seek advice from your endocrinologist.

I know it is different, but I have had 3 high risk pregnancies and I have 2 kids.  I lost my first baby.  I had many months of bedrest, but I am grateful because I know there are woman that would gladly go on bedrest.  I guess what I am trying to say is that if after finidng out all you can from your doc, if a pregnancy is an option for you, you can survive bedrest, if necessary.  But, I do not know your pain, nor do I know if a pregnancy will make your pain worse.

Your posting brought tears to my eyes.  I am truly sorry for your pain.

After seeing your doctor, post here again.  The information you bring back will be of help to others.  Thank you and please keep us posted.

I am certain that other volunteers and visitors of ths site will comment in regards to your posting.

Warm Regards,
SS
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a volunteer, a long-time diabetic, and also not a physician.

There is one idea whose seed I'd like to plant with you and that is ... just as you & your soon-to-hubby yearn to be parents -- to love, nurture, discipline, and guide some young souls into healthy, productive adulthood, there are many babies and children yearning for a mommy & daddy to love them, raise them, and parent them like their own.

While some folks believe they cannot love someone who's not "their own," I think that's nonsense.  Wives and husbands, who are not related by blood (at least we HOPE not!), love each other.  Friends love friends.  And I'm certain that when willing parents look into the angelic eyes of just the right child(rent), they will fall in love instantly and eternally.  Adoption and parenting is at least as rewarding as pregnancy, delivery, and parenting.  

At the risk of sounding harsh, I'd like to add that it is irresponsible to knowingly start a family using a process that will seriously jeopardize one's DM and gastro.  Pre-pregnancy takes work, pregnancy takes work and takes a toll, and then there's this new life that needs a fully-functioning mommy right away.

Your child(ren) deserve a maximally healthy & capable mommy & daddy to raise them; it is unkind to create a child who will have to endure mommy's declining health when s/he should be enjoying a story with mommy or a walk or a game.  In the best of circumstances, diabetic women do have children. In circumstances like yours, a loving, compassionate, and wise alternative is adoption.

Your situation seems to be one where it'd be constructive to count your blessings -- really dwell there instead, nurture your health & your relationship with your fiance/hubby, and when you're ready to start your family -- look for those souls that are already here yearning for loving parents.  I'm guessing you'll all fall in love ...

You don't need to choose parenting or good health.  You can have them both.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am the person whose reply on pregnancy was the one you were sent to in the first reply to your question. Although I had two children while an insulin-dependent diabetic, I do not suffer from any complications. The nausea would probably be much worse if you got pregnant, for this is a symptom of early pregnancy that even folks without gastroparesis have to deal with. While I did not ifnd that either pregnancy raised my glucose levels, i am one who tests every 3 hours every day, so it was not hard for me to adjust medications when necessary to prevent swings in glucose. If your control is NOT normally good, and you are already facing damage to your digestive system nerves, then i personally would advise you not to rock an already unstable boat by adding a pregnancy to already precarious health. While having children does not automatically cause any damage, the added nausea could be a life-threatening problem for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 27 years and I am only 33 years old.  I have four kids.  No problems.  Take care of yourself  and you do whatever life has to offer.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,
Most of the people who have posted should actually be ASHAMED of themselves. It is bad enough living with diabetes and people's ignorant views and incorrect 'facts' without being told WRONGLY that it has to dictate how you live your life. Fine, you will always have to monitor your diet and medication but it does not need to hold you back from doing a single thing that someone without diabetes could do. I was diagnosed as an insulin dependant diabetic [injections] aged 10, I am now am 27 and  have a healthy 4 year old daughter and am 5 months pregnant currently, with my second child.

The bottom line is this: IF YOU ARE WELL CONTROLLED YOU CAN HAVE 20 CHILDREN OR MORE. Diabetics can also drink alcohol, eat fatty/sugary foods, eat out and absolutely anything else that they want IN MODERATION and if the are well controlled. Just wanted to clear that up because clearly, there are some hugely ignorant people among us.

Honey, get your sugar levels under control for a few months, start taking folic acid and pre-natal vitamins and then TTC - ther are a million and one reasons not to have kids. Diabetes is not one of them.
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Avatar_n_tn
FTM, I also have Gastro P - it doesn't simply affect diabetics and the longer you control your levels the better it will get so keep up the good work. Yes pregnancy incurrs changes in your medication dosage but I hardly think that outweighs the benefits of having your own child. If anyone suggested adopting a child rather than bearing my own while I was able to naturally conceive and carry I'd call for them to be either sanctioned but my initial reaction would be either to laugh in their face or be violent.

Please accept advice with a pinch of salt but check with your consultant - mine was fantastic and even supported m latest decision to have a home-birth. There is nothing you can't do as long as you are willing to try hard to maintain levels. All the best for the future!

x x
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