I have a small favor to ask the folks who don’t know me very well, yet insist on asking me when I’m having children: Please stop.
I mean, I know you’re probably just trying to make friendly conversation. Or maybe you’re wondering why it’s been almost four years since I’ve gotten married and haven’t started talking about “trying” (a euphemism, by the way, which makes my ears seize up with second-hand embarrassment and my brain explode from TMI imagery).
Even if it was your business, Folks Who Don’t Know Me Very Well, there’s only one answer I can honestly give to your question: I have no idea.
Should I start sitting each of you down when the subject comes up, so that we can go over the many factors in my (and countless other couples’) lives that dictate baby-having plans?
Maybe I’ll build a PowerPoint presentation that details appropriate A1c levels for PWDs who want to get pregnant. I’ll include a couple of pages that outline the side effects of the Beta Blocker and ACE Inhibitor I started taking a few months ago. We can talk about Category C, D and X drugs and the relative odds of my giving birth to a six-eyed, gilled-and-flippered baby with mad telekinetic skills.
Perhaps I’m being dramatic, but still. As Kerri and Nici and Layne have all demonstrated, it’s more than possible to have Type 1 diabetes and give birth to a fat, happy baby. It’s also scary as hell, and takes an unthinkable amount of planning, testing, measuring and tracking. And the only thing that scares me more than being pregnant with Type 1 diabetes is the thought that I might never be pregnant with Type 1 diabetes. You never know, right?
Even if I wasn’t dealing with diabetes and idiopathic cardiomyopathy (translation: my heart’s weak, no one knows why, and it makes me feel like an idiot), asking me when I’m having children is asking me to predict the future — and I can’t do that. Maybe I’ll get my A1c back down below 7.0 and my heart back to normal in a jiffy, and bust out a litter by the time I’m 36. Maybe I’ll find an infant in a basket, floating down the St. Johns River or left on my doorstep. Maybe we’ll be one of those couples who adopts a couple of kids and then randomly and unexpectedly has one of our own. Maybe I’ll move to a farm and adopt a herd of pygmy goats, and turn into one of those people who talks about her “children” for several minutes before you realize she’s referring to pets instead of people.
Even if I wasn’t dealing with a single health issue — or, perhaps, especially because I am — my reproductive life shouldn’t be up for small-talk discussion. No one’s should. Ask me about my insulin pump. Ask me about my diagnosis. Ask me about carbohydrates and needles and my CGM. Ask me how much I weigh and how old I am.
Just don’t ask me when I’m having kids. I don’t have the answer.