Noun: The power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.
Verb: Determine the behavior or supervise the running of.
Such a simple word. But right now it has been eluding me. It may be the first time I honestly feel like I have control of nothing. I know things, many things, have happened in my life that I have no control over but I’ve always still felt like I was in control. Or at the very least had some control of some aspect of my life.
Well this week I have been struggling. Struggling with this idea of control. Trying to find it again in some aspect of my life. I know technically I have control over many of the things I’m struggling with but at the same time I really don’t. Not if I want a happy and healthy toddler. A strong thriving baby. So in essence, I know I’m choosing to do things the way I am…I have to but it still doesn’t give me the feeling of control. No calm, cool, collective here.
Let me try to explain what I mean. What exactly is going on in this brain of mine. (yes, this is a very daunting task but try I must).
As many, probably all, of you know I had Gestational Diabetes (GD) last pregnancy and was insulin dependent. Well, it never really went away. It was just high normal or very very low diabetic. They hoped beyond hope once my hormones straightened out it would be ok. It wasn’t. Then it was hopefully when I stopped BFing that the final pieces would fall together and my pancreas would right itself. Never happened. Well basically as soon as this pregnancy was confirmed I was given the label of Type 2 Diabetes and put back on insulin.
I don’t mind the testing and the injections. It is my new normal. It’s what has to be done for the health of BabyA v.2012. So far I’ve done really well controlling my diet and glucose levels after meals. The fasting one gives me grief sometimes but for the most part I’ve got it under control. Look, there’s that word again. Control. I’m told I’m doing well and it’s under control and we’ll hopefully be able to keep it that way. But having control of this disease takes away my control…if that makes any sense.
I must test my sugars at the 2 hour mark. Not the 1 hour. Not the 3 hour. The 2. If I’m starving but it hasn’t been 2 hours I shouldn’t eat and if I do it’s not usually food I “want”. But I do it. I’m struggling with the fact that I can’t have juice or pop if/when I want it. I shouldn’t eat fruit in the AM because it doesn’t metabolize as well as later in the day. I can’t just open the cupboard and whatever I want, whenever I want. I want candy. I want sweets. Damnit, I want them and carbs all the time. But I don’t give in. I can’t. Not for the health of this baby and not for my own health. Yes, I do make room in my diet for those things I shouldn’t have and make sure it balances the rest of the meal so my readings are still good but I’m at a point where I think the baby is growing and I want what I want, when I want it. But I don’t. I can’t. I’ve relinquished that control to the greater good. Yes, I know this is showing self-control to not indulge whenever I feel the urge but it leaves me feeling powerless. I can’t control what my body is doing nor why I was “lucky” enough to get this diagnosis 10 years too soon. I forgot what it was like to be “normal” and have a normal functioning pancreas. Food is always the one thing that people can control in crazy situations and for me it’s the reverse right now. It controls my life and choices and if not, it will affect the outcome of my pregnancy and development of this baby.
I’ve lost control over my body in other ways as well, in ways that comes with growing a baby. I whole-heartedly handed my body over to this being growing in my uterus and for the many years afterwards. It’s the least I could do. It’s only 10 months tops. But at the same time, with that comes the loss of control. In a mere few weeks I won’t be able to stop waking up to go to the bathroom & to find a more comfortable sleeping position for my hips, I’ll watch my body do amazing things as it grows at speed unlike any other, I’ll watch my belly move and contort in ways only a baby can make it happen. It is beautiful and again something I have no control over. I can sit back and watch it be done for me.
There are so many other reasons I could go on and on about that make me feel like I’m lacking control. But honestly, the icing on the cake came yesterday at my OB appointment. Birth is the one thing I have always felt in complete and udder control over even though it’s my body’s innate instinct. It’s what my body was made for. What will happen whether I’m ready or not. But I find power and therefore control. I have control over the choices for my labour and delivery and baby and that is enough to make me feel in control of the situation in this instance. It’s a hard thing to explain what is going on up in my head. Why these things are different. They just are.
But ok, back on track. Back to yesterday and my appointment. All was going well and I was asking about protocol with this clinic since I figured it might be different than what I was used to at the “regular” clinic when I heard the Doctor, without hestitation, say I will be the one who induces you. Not the on-call Doctor so don’t worry about that.
“Say what?! Induction? Huh.” So I need clarification and she goes on to list the risks of an insulin dependent Mother and baby, which I already knew since this isn’t my first time to the rodeo. Then again says the word induction at 38w.
I sat stunned and listened and wanted to say something but I didn’t. I just sat there listening and making big bug eyes & frowns to J, who was sitting across the room in the chair with E. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The words “not optimal environment” jumped out at me and I wanted to scream. How is my body not the optimal environment for a growing baby, a baby who is not yet to their due date? It’s what my body was made for. It is the safest place for a baby to be.
I understand she is looking out for the best interest of the baby and myself in trying to prevent worst case scenarios but if I’m happy and healthy and the baby is happy and healthy, how can she say I’m no longer the optimal environment?! Hearing this and the possibility of automatic induction stopped me dead in my tracks and took away the confidence and sense of control I felt over my body. J knew what I was thinking and what I wanted to say when my tongue failed me so he brought out the big questions. I finally heard the words I needed to hear. We won’t induce due to a large baby and if things are medically fine with you and the baby closer to the date we’ll discuss other options and closer monitoring. That’s all I want. Of course I wouldn’t scoff at an induction if it were necessary but I have control of my glucose levels and it’s my body-my choice. They can’t make me do anything. Good luck with that. I know the risks of stillbirth for me and I also know that as long as my Diabetes is controlled it’s not much higher than a “normal” pregnant woman. I can and will make an informed decision and won’t be convinced based on what-ifs or fear.
For a couple hours after the appointment I felt like I lost control over my own pregnancy. I was floundering. Then I slowly started remembering my research and information about Diabetes in pregnancy, about birth complications, about my first birth experience, and what my options are. I then began to take back my sense of control and know even if it came down to an induction I get to choose when and how pretty much. I will be informed and I will be ready.
So all in all, my experience yesterday is slowly making me find a sense of control once again. But it’s a slow process. It’ll start with this and work it’s way back and hopefully help me feel more in control with my own body and this damn disease.