I'm writing this two years later as I realise that I haven't actually talked about the decision-making that went into having a second child.
My endocrinologist was very encouraging about me having a second child even though I experienced severe oedema and pre-eclampsia with my first baby. This surprised me. Mostly I was worried about whether or not my kidneys would recover totally from the experience of the first pregnancy. They had definitely copped a beating at the end of the first pregnancy. My doctor told me that with my level of proteinuria before the first pregnancy my kidneys would be expected to 'bounce back' by around three months after the birth. In fact it took them fourteen months to bounce back.
During this fourteen month period I did 24 hour urine tests at various intervals to see how the kidneys were going. Even before the protein levels had returned to pre-pregnancy levels my doctor said he was not concerned that a second pregnancy would cause any long term damage to my kidneys. With the level of proteinuria I had he said a second pregnancy would not worsen them. I was still apprehensive, not only about kidney damage but also about the possibility that pre-eclampsia would set in earlier causing my baby to be born extremely prematurely. The prospect of having a baby die or be left with a severe disability due to prematurity was a major concern to me, so we put our decision about whether to have a second child off.
It was only when we got the fantastic news that my kidneys had indeed bounced back, well, chugged their way back, at fourteen months post birth, and were in fact better than they were before my first pregnancy, that we decided to embark on a second pregnancy.
Reaching 32 weeks without oedema, and knowing that my baby was past the high risk prematurity stage was a great relief.
In this interim period, when we hadn't decided for sure, several specialists who weren't endocrinologists cautioned me against having another child, due to the potential risks to my own health and my baby's health. My endocrinologist, who works with a wide range of hisk risk pregnancy groups, disagreed with their comments, as did another endocrinologist I consulted interstate who had plenty of experience with diabetes and pregnancy. She said that one half of the women who come into her clinic with diabetes, wanting to get pregnant, half of them would have worse health status than me, half would have better. So, there you go. As a good friend of mine says, it's a personal battle. It's certainly a personal decision.Posted by M.A. at November 22, 2005 04:31 PM | TrackBack