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Could I Ever Have a Baby?

Could I Ever Have a Baby?

I am 39 years old. I have never had a child. The thought of having a child, aside from some warm, fuzzy afterthought, has never much crossed my mind. But… that might change in my future. With the ending and beginning of new relationships, come new paths in life. What if I meet someone, and what if they want to have a child? What should I expect? I mean, I have both type 2 diabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

There are many women in my position. This is a long, and perhaps, complex topic… so I cannot possibly cover all of the variables – but there can be quite a few things to keep in mind. I know, for one, that I can’t go it alone. So if this happens, we will need to develop a plan of action.

Discuss your goal with your medical team and your significant other

They will help assess your individual health hurdles and give you a pre-pregnancy examination. And there might be a lot of hurdles. There will be changes that need to happen quite some time before you ever become pregnant. You will want to be as healthy as you can possibly be for the sake of the baby (and your own safety). These changes might need to happen 3 months to even a year before you want to be pregnant. Things like losing weight, cessation of smoking or alcohol drinking, and normalizing of blood glucose levels are just the tip of the iceberg.

Be aware of the complications

Pregnancy is a serious health condition. Your body – even when healthy – is undergoing some serious stressors when it’s pregnant. You owe it to yourself to discuss with your doctor the potential risks of high (and low) blood sugar to your baby and to yourself. The conversation should also include your significant other, as they will want to help you with your daily routine. Some of these risks may include high birth weight, low glucose levels in the baby, premature birth, and even miscarriage. A mother may experience neuropathy, preeclampsia, kidney issues, vaginal infections, etc.

Understand that you may need a change in medication

There are quite a few medications which you will not be able to continue during pregnancy in order to avoid harm to the fetus. Many women are placed on an insulin regimen, and will need to visit with a Certified Diabetes Educator in order to learn how to count carbohydrates, administer insulin shots, manage potential low blood glucose episodes, and be advised of their new (and stricter) blood glucose goals. Blood glucose goals for pregnant women with diabetes are much more stringent than for non-pregnant women. Are these goals doable for you, while also having other health conditions – or being at an older age? Pregnant women with diabetes are expected to keep their fasting blood glucose levels at below 90-95 mg/dL, and their post meal levels at below 120 mg/dL at the 2 hour mark.

Meet with an OBG-YN/Endocrinologist

There will be risks with age, and with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – as well as diabetes – for having a baby. The older a woman is, the more complications she and a potential child may experience. Do your homework, and know what you’re getting into. With the guidance of a specialist, there can be safe ways of exploring how to have a child, and even overcome the many hurdles which can present themselves. This is the time to insist on a referral to a proper specialist.

At the end of the day, though, let LOVE define your journey. Consider that even if having a natural pregnancy is not an option – perhaps in-vitro, surrogate pregnancy, or even adoption may be alternatives. Be open to love, and not so much method.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.