The last two years have been – to put it mildly – hellish. Hellish, for me, would even be an understatement.
It all started back in February last year when I found out I was pregnant with our first baby. For a couple of blissful weeks I walked around with a smug grin, thinking “yeah everyone, look at me, I’m carrying a baby. I rock, you know it”. And then it all went to shit. We lost that baby, over four gruellingly long weeks. Back and forth to the doctors, you’ve lost the baby, no you haven’t, it’s just too early to see the baby on a scan, it’s just implantation bleeding, no, you’ve lost it, no you haven’t. No, you really have lost it this time, I’m so sorry. And that last time – we really had lost it. I knew we had. I lost it when I was at my brother in laws funeral. So to top off the loss of our first baby, I was dealing with the grief of losing a man who had been more of a brother to me, a part of my family for longer than some of my younger sisters had been a part of it. I went into a deep dark hole and I stayed there for a long time.
But eventually, with the help of my partner, a fantastic counsellor and some pretty freaking awesome friends – I would be nowhere without my friends and my partner, I pulled myself out of the hole. I missed Moonlight (yes, we named our first Moonlight – we had reasons…) every day. But the baby was gone and nothing I could do would bring our baby back. It was time to move on and get myself into a good place to have another baby.
And it’s funny how things work out. In October last year, I decided to go on a sugar detox. Since losing Moonlight, my weight had been slowly creeping up and up. I didn’t care what I was eating, I just ate – I’ve always been an emotional eater, and I had a lot of emotions to eat. So I did a sugar detox, I started taking Evening Primrose Oil (because apparently that’s supposed to give you good mucus… who knew!), I did a bit of exercise (only a bit, because, to be honest, I hate exercising) and I also started charting my temps and making sure that we had fun times together at just the right time of the month. In November, a few days after Moonlight was due, I was sick. High temps, throwing up, so sore all over. And really, I don’t know what made me do this, but I took a home pregnancy test.
Lo and behold, there were two pink lines. And that second line, was so dark, and it actually came up before the control line. Cue excitement! (There was a lot of excitement). I think I knew it would happen that month though, because we had just booked ourselves a cruising holiday, and when I checked I realised that if I did get pregnant that month, we’d have to cancel because I’d be too pregnant for them to let me on the ship. But it happened. And after that initial excitement wore off, the nerves and worry set in. Actually, that was pretty much an immediate response. Worry, worry, worry.
The Man kept telling me not to worry. It would be okay. Last time was a freak occurrence, and we would be fine. I so badly wanted to believe him. I went to the doctor and I had a blood test done to confirm the pregnancy – though there really was no doubt I was pregnant – I just had to look at yoghurt by then and I’d be sick. At this point, I had a great doctor (we shall call her Dr Lovely). I’d been pretty much tossed aside by my previous doctor (Dr Slack) who was “looking after” me before I got pregnant the first time (I use “looking after” very loosely – if I sound bitter when I write about this Dr Slack – I am and always will be). When I started losing Moonlight, it was like she wanted nothing more to do with me and I got passed to her new and almost inexperienced registrar Dr Lovely who had just started. But in the end, it was the best thing she could ever have done for me and I continued to see Dr Lovely after we had lost Moonlight. So I thought nothing of her doing not just my HCG levels, but testing for any infections, sugar levels etc. I didn’t expect anything to come back except – yes, your HCG levels are rising (and they were, very nicely thank you).
Oh, but then I got that call. A call saying that I had high sugar levels, and she was concerned. Could I please come in (on a Friday afternoon) and grab a blood glucose tester and just test my sugar levels for her over the weekend, while I waited to have a second – fasting – blood test on the Monday morning. No worries. I honestly didn’t think anything of it. My mother has Type II Diabetes, my sister had Gestational Diabetes when she was pregnant many years ago. But still, for some reason, I wasn’t taking it all too seriously yet. I tested my blood over the weekend just as they asked, and went in on the Monday morning and had my fasting test. I continued to eat pretty much as I had been – still trying to watch what I was eating, but not doing the whole sugar detox thing any longer.
It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon when I got a call from Dr Lovely at work that it sunk in just what the hell was happening. “You need to come to the hospital tonight straight after work, we are booking you in for a couple of days”, she says. “Your fasting levels have come back very high, and we need to get you in straight away and on insulin. This is important, you need to come in tonight and we need to get this under control now”!
After my initial response of “Can I come in on Friday and do this, I’ve had so much time off work already” and getting severely told off by Dr Lovely, I went in on the Tuesday night and straight away I was given insulin and started on tablets as well. I cried. I cried a lot. I had just wanted to have a simple pregnancy, it was bad enough that every single time I went to the toilet I was checking for blood, but this was a whole different kind of scary. We had wanted to keep this pregnancy quiet, get to 12 weeks and gladly announce it to the world. I had been wrestling with how I was going to tell one of my best friends I was pregnant, just a few months after she had lost her first – I remember how badly it hurt having people tell me they were pregnant after I had lost Moonlight. I figured I would have many weeks to find a way to tell her, but all of a sudden, here I was in hospital and it wasn’t so easy to come up with a good excuse for being put in hospital on insulin – they don’t tend to do that with diabetics. Just pregnant diabetics apparently. So people found out. I wasn’t even 6 weeks yet and half the town knew we were pregnant. Or that’s how it felt – the reality is that it was probably only a handful, but a handful feels like a helluva lot when you don’t want anyone to know!
The Man and my friends were great, understanding and supportive and everyone helped me get my head around this new lifestyle of no sugar, counting carbs, pricking my fingers 8 times a day and testing my blood, injecting myself with insulin 5 times a day. Then came 6 weeks and our first scan. I was fully prepared to see nothing. Just like we always saw nothing with Moonlight. But there s/he was. Iz (yes, we named this one Iz. Iz he a boy, or Iz she a girl? Fitting right?). Little heartbeat flickering away. This miracle baby that had managed to withstand my sugar levels up at 13.7 and was steadily growing, right on schedule. Once again in an ultrasound I cried. But this time, they were happy tears. Only happy tears.
This post is continued in part two – http://canibeamummynow.com/the-story-so-far-part-two/