A Double Success Story in T1D Pregnancy

WRITTEN BY: Katie Solovey

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth story in Katie’s series.

I kind of left you hanging, didn’t I? Spoiler alert: I now have TWO beautiful four-month-old boys. First, let me back up a bit.

Over the course of a year and half, we went through three complete cycles of IVF. The third cycle was going to be our last because I couldn’t physically and emotionally go through it again. I explored adoption agencies, surrogates and sperm banks prior to July 2016. As a last ditch effort, our fertility doctor suggested we try an experimental new procedure on my husband on the same day as my egg retrieval.

As my husband and I awaited the procedure, we sat across from each other wearing hospital gowns, caps, and booties, with looks on our faces that said, “How in the world did we get here?” This was our Hail Mary, our last real shot to have kids that were biologically ours.

The doctors were pleased with how the procedure went and five days later we were back for our embryo transfer. We had six embryos, with two that really stood out based on their grades. I told our doctor, “Please, transfer them both, I’m not doing this again.” She told us it was highly likely that we’d have twins based on the grade of the embryos.

My pregnancy was confirmed two weeks later. Two weeks after that, we went back to the office where we saw two little heartbeats flickering on the screen: twins. I was so happy I felt like my heart may burst. It had all been worth it.

I’m supposed to say that pregnancy was pure bliss and I loved every minute of feeling my babies grow, but I’d be lying.  I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop my whole pregnancy. Two babies? It was too good to be true!

Managing my Type 1 was by far the hardest part of my pregnancy. I was obsessive about my blood sugar, testing 12-15 times per day on top of the Dexcom that was permanently attached to my arm. Every time my blood sugar was above 140, I pictured my babies floating around in a juice box in my belly. I knew that despite my best efforts, I was going to have high blood sugar at some point during my pregnancy. At one point, I was going through an insulin pen a week just to keep my blood sugar remotely in range.

I was hard on myself. It was difficult to really enjoy my pregnancy and the mere miracle that I was pregnant in the first place. Nonetheless, my pregnancy was healthy and uneventful with each boy growing at the same pace, which I attribute to the M&M McFlurries that I devoured on a weekly basis.

At 37.5 weeks, I was on moderate bed rest, up 65 pounds, and ready to meet those babies! Our boys, Ben (6 lbs. 6 oz.) and Liam (6 lbs. 8 oz.), were born one minute apart during a C-section on April 5th.

Life with newborn twins has been a whirlwind. My husband and I live far away from our families, so we have mostly been on our own trying to figure out how in the world to keep these little humans alive. I’m already finding it hard to remember the first few weeks after recovering from my C-section, changing diapers and bottles, and interpreting two sets of cries. My diabetes took a back seat—maybe the back seat is being generous: the trunk, really—in those first few weeks. I was lucky if I could eat at all, much less something that was both easy to eat and healthy for me.

We are settling into our new normal. The boys are ridiculously cute and grow more fun each day as they find their little voices and start to notice one another.

When I reread my old blogs, I want to hug the girl who wrote them and tell her, it all works out.  Four months later, I turn to my husband nearly every night and say, “Can you even believe we have two kids?!” It’s still surreal, especially from the desperate place we came from. It’s truly been the longest, shortest, hardest and best months of our lives, and I’m looking forward to what these little guys have in store for us.

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Katie Solovey

Katie was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2011 at the age of 25. She is currently a newlywed living just outside of Washington, D.C. where she works for a public relations agency. She does her best to approach life with a sense of humor and finds happiness in her family, friends, bad reality TV and a steady line on her Dexcom. While she longs for the days where she could eat without counting carbs and units of insulin, she believes that living with Type 1 has made her stronger as a person and prepared to take on any challenge thrown her way.