Personal Experience with Diabetes in Pregnancy

Going through a pregnancy complicated with diabetes was one of the most difficult times in my life, but also one of the most rewarding. When I became pregnant over 27 years ago, the area of diabetes in pregnancy was in its infancy. I was one of the first women to use glucose monitoring to insure that my blood sugars were in good control before I got pregnant.

Insuring the most ideal blood sugars during the first trimester can reduce the chances of birth defects in the baby which are increased with poor diabetes control. When I started on glucose monitoring, the machines were large and there was no digital read-out. A dial pointed to the number to show what the blood glucose was at that moment.

One of the disadvantages of being one of the first doing blood glucose monitoring was that there was no history of the validity of the testing. For that reason, I was hospitalized for a total of eight weeks with each of my pregnancies to insure that the results that I was getting on my own matched with what the laboratory results were. 

Another great advantage that I had was that I was the research dietitian for the Diabetes In Pregnancy Center at Northwestern University/Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. As I worked with my patients, I was expected to follow the exact same protocol that they followed. That even meant the same diet that they followed!  On March 3, 1981 my son Christopher Joseph King was born. He was a perfectly healthy 8 lb., 11 ounce baby.  His blood sugar was low initially, but with an early feeding it was normal and I was able to begin nursing and becoming a mom.

Today, Chris is in media marketing and is married. He has been tested a number of times for diabetes, but to date he has shown no signs of diabetes. Due to his risk of developing Type II diabetes, Chris has always been active and maintains his normal weight. He is still an avid hockey player. 

My daughter, Loryn, was born on March 30, 1984. Again, Loryn was a healthy baby born at 7 lbs., 6 ounces. Loryn has also shown no signs of diabetes and is an avid athlete. She was the Number 1 woman’s soccer player in the state of Illinois in her junior year of high school and the Number 2 cross-country runner in Illinois that same year. She went on to run cross-country at University of Notre Dame and was on the number three NSAA cross country team that year. She is presently in her second year of Medical School at University of Illinois. She is contemplating going into the area of diabetes. 

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