Diabetic Compensation

5 million in compensation for diabetic blunder. Seen here. The woman was a type one diabetic who was pregnant in 1999. She states she was not adequately warned about the dangers of being a diabetic mother. On average babies born to type one diabetic mothers are bigger than babies born to non-diabetic mothers.

This is regardless of blood glucose control. In fact the worse the control the smaller the baby because the body is struggling to keep the mother alive never mind grow a small human. There are many theories as to why the babies are bigger on average and it basically boils down to the insulin in the mother’s system being different to normal and breaking down foods in a different way and such. Many diabetic mother’s don’t actually have a lot of sugar in their blood because these days they are watched like hawks and their control is ironclad before falling pregnant if the pregnancy is planned. The control my mother had when trying to fall pregnant for the second time was terrifying. The things she did just boggled the mind. No alcohol, no sweets, nothing that was not store bought and weighed and calculated. Her blood sugars averaged at 5.0. Non Ds will hit a high of 4.5 on average. I mean, it was watertight. But I’m getting side tracked. I just wanted to point out the blood sugar swinging diabetic mother is a stereotype from bad documentaries.

Many diabetic mothers tell their partner and then their nurse and to the nurse that is them getting the information one person too late. Yes, pregnant diabetics are encouraged to tell their nurse the minute they know. The minute.

Back to the woman from 1999. She knew she was automatically deemed a ‘high risk’ pregnancy. She automatically gets a ‘high risk’ label for labour because she could hypo or hyper during the procedure and as such be unable to properly communicate with her medical team for instance. She was nor warned that her baby could be bigger than average and as a result have wider shoulders, thus making it harder to birth them. This is now information every diabetic who can become pregnant is told the minute the doctor knows that you are menstruating. Seriously, you get hammered with ‘if you fall pregnant we must know and we must know right away and it can be dangerous and the baby can be bigger and did we mention WE MUST KNOW’ from your first period. This is what fuels my determination that parents should leave the consultation room when child hits teenage years because no one wants to talk sex and erections with mum in the room. Let them feel they can tell the Dr bound by law and I think you improve a lot. Most likely the scrutiny on diabetic pregnancy has occurred from cases like this.

This lady grew up when the diabetic community was tentatively lifting the ‘all type ones must have a C section’ mentality and allowing people to try give birth naturally. Just 8 years earlier I spoiled my mother’s party. She was all set to shove me out when I decided I wanted to get on with this walking business and forced a section.

So, this woman began a normal delivery but despite telling people she did not feel right they would not give her a section once labour began. Her son was too big for her to push out, as she is only 5 foot tall and he was large and had wide shoulders. He got stuck and had no oxygen for 12 minutes, resulting in cerebral palsy. If she had been told he may have wide shoulders she would have had a section. I feel so devastated for this woman and her family. 16 years later they have a settlement which can go towards caring for the boy. My mum knows from work that her new husband took partial retirement to help at home so this will be a great boost for them.

Diabetic pregnancy is just such a difficult one. There is no way to be sure that her diabetes caused the boy to be larger than her body could handle. Her height could have been the reason. Chance could have been the reason but she should still have got the information and then she could have chosen with all the information. As I say the control that was given in the 90s has been taken away again and pregnant Ds are watched very carefully. I mean, they can and do give birth naturally all the time but it is always debated first. I’m pretty sure your blood sugar needs to be within a range to even consider it. Of course, operations on a diabetic are highly frowned upon because again, blood sugars could go badly. We are more prone to infection and heal and at a snail’s pace so you can imagine how much healing time a c-section takes. Our blood is slower to clot too so again, something goes wrong and we can be in trouble fast though the blood flow issue can easily be there in a natural birth.

For the record I get put into the stats of ‘larger diabetic birth’ but all Doctors agree I should not be there. I was ‘large’ in that I was 9 pounds 1 and a week early to boot but I was really long. It was the only time in my life I was tall. Doctors actually remarked on how skinny I was. I did not have a big head either. In fact me and my youngest bro share the trait of having oddly small heads. So when people go OH WOW that is BIG and that must have HURT I’m like…you cannot possibly put that into context at all because heavy does not mean fat or a big head or anything other than that is how much that baby weighed. Hell heavy does not mean fat when you are an adult so why would it mean it when you are fresh out the womb? My brothers were all at least 2 pounds lighter than me and yet compare day old baby pics and they are wee boulders.

So, I feel terrible for that woman, glad she got a settlement, angry it took this look, sudden realisation of why a diabetic woman can no longer wipe her own ass without writing it down and bemused at the way people see baby weights.