Sunday, October 24, 2010

let's get personal, dearest littlebird~

hey little guy,
You'll never know how much we love you. I hope you will. You are so wanted, so planned, so hoped for, so dreamt of...right now you're the size of a mango according to BabyCenter.org. (strange, they always give size comparisons to fruit for the pregnancy progress reports, haha) so I'm not sure how much you can tell about me, your mama, yet. But I hope you can at least tell how much we talk about you, how much we hope for you, and...did I mention, love you?
You see, your little mama's adopted. I've never met another person that looks, sounds, walks, or talks like me. Having you, with the man I chose to be with the rest of my life and especially because I knew he'd be a great dad...well, let's just say I've dreamt of your face for a very long time. I can hardly wait for the next 4 months to pass, when I can hold you up to my own silly face and say, why hello there! my first blood relative!
When I got diagnosed with type 1 in 2008, strangely enough, the very first thought that went through my head as the doctor said it was, does this mean I won't be able to have kids? My mind literally started racing. I knew what type 1 was, but I didn't know anything about having a baby with it, (Steel Magnolias, anyone? Boy, do we need better depictions of people with this disease in film or what?!) There I was, in what was supposed to be my last year of college, taking my hardest load of pre-medicine classes, so many dreams of working as a Family Med doc for the impoverished---and being sick as a dog (no, sicker; more like dying like a dog) and I felt like everything was flashing before my eyes. I even started thinking about things I hadn't thought about in anything but an abstract way; things like kids.
How will I reach my goals?
What about kids?
What the hell am I supposed to do with having type 1 diabetes?!
It was the biggest, are you kidding? moment of my life. But no, they weren't kidding. I'll let you in on a secret: I held it together all day long in that hospital, cracking jokes like I always do when people are freaking out (which I could tell they were) and acting like it was all gonna be ok for MAC, your dad. Well, I was so relieved when everyone left and the docs finally put me in a room for the night, stopped poking and prodding me (even for an hour), relentlessly telling me my sugars were still running high (duh) and not letting me eat, even though I was [literally] starving.
When they put me in that room and shut the light off, I curled into the fetal position and cried my eyes out.
I waited all day for that moment.
My thoughts raced around everything I thought I was losing (no, not dessert). I feared that everything I'd worked for---school, living true to myself, traveling, trying to become a well-rounded person---was all for nothing. You see, I always wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be the best mom I could possibly be and thought, how will I do all of this at once? I was 28 when I got diagnosed, it wasn't like I had another ten years to ponder how to go about it all.
Within a few months, the wonderful docs I had began gently bringing up the issue of having children. Taking my age into account, they asked if we wanted them and how it would be better to have them sooner than later (aka, after all my beta cells stopped helping even the tiniest bit). At first, I was in so much shock, I didn't know how to respond.
Me? Have a kid? Soon?
But that's when it hit me.
We only live once.
This one doc said, "I know this is hard to hear right now, but really, grad school's always there. But the opportunity to have kids...for women, that's not an infinite opportunity."
He was right.
Sure, I could adopt. I love adoption. I'm all for adoption. Hell, I'm adopted.
But again, I'm adopted. I don't know what it's like to have a blood relative around. It was important to me to at least try to have a kid of my own before opting for adoption. Maybe that sounds weird to some people, but not to an adult female adoptee.
So we started the slow process of planning a pregnancy with a disease that is inherently toxic to pregnancy: imbalanced blood sugar.
I fought the pump for a long time. It freaked me out, the idea of being "plugged in". And then, I got so sick of daily injections, I reached a point where I was willing to give it a shot (er, no pun intended). I'm so thankful I did. I started the pump in October 2009, all with the hopes of getting some better balance...for a pregnancy.
I spent the early part of 2010 finding my OB, my perinatologist, my pregnancy CDEs; all while keeping my blood sugar in balance. It was so overwhelming! As soon as we got the green light, we hopped into bed! (TMI: haha!)
And here we are now. Months later, expecting you, healthy so far. I have no regrets, no sadness anymore. In fact, I can honestly say it's all for the best. I'm even more empathetic to those in need, those with chronic disease, people who really struggle with their health, than ever before. Sure, it took me a while to adjust to the idea of flipping my plans. But that's also something type 1 has taught me:
You can do everything. You can work around everything life hands you. You can flip your life's plans around and it's no big deal. You never have to stop--- dreaming, living, loving, learning. You can do it all and still make time to check your [often annoying] blood sugar. You can have your cake---and eat it, too!
That, my little man, is what I hope I give you the most: a sense of adventure and ease and that you should never, ever, ever let the fight go out of you.

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