Diabetes: Planning the Birth of my Child

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • Pregnancy Tracker: 34 weeks, 3 days

    Size of the Baby: Over 5 pounds now.

    Biggest Obstacle: Getting the baby to move from against my ribs!


    With my due date only six weeks away, we're starting to plan (as much as possible) the birth. The hospital where we'll deliver is conveniently located less than a mile from our home and on Wednesday evening we headed over for a tour of Labor and Delivery.


    We're already fairly familiar with this hospital after attending our six-week child birth class there. It's nice to have everything mapped out, including where to park when we arrive, since we'll probably not be very relaxed when I'm actually in labor!

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    The tour itself was pretty basic. First, all seven or eight couples gathered in a conference room to review hospital procedures. We were given detailed instructions on which parking lots and entry doors to use, depending on the time of day or night we come to the hospital. It seems that university facilities everywhere are constantly undergoing construction. Our hospital is no different. There were many entry doors blocked by ongoing construction, which just adds to the confusion!


    After all of the administrative issues were covered, we took a physical tour of the facility. Apparently they were having a "baby storm" as they called it, so we weren't able to see any of the actual labor rooms. We saw a maternity recovery room, which looked like every other hospital room I've ever seen.


    I noticed that many of the mothers-to-be looked concerned and uncomfortable. This is obviously to be expected, since most of us were first-time moms. However, I think the entire idea of the "hospital" bothered some folks. This is another instance where having diabetes has prepared me well.


    I've been hospitalized twice for diabetes. Once, when I was diagnosed and my mom and I stayed in the hospital for five days. I also experienced a four-day stay in the hospital when I had diabetic ketoacidosis during my freshman year in college. Additionally I had one minor surgery when I had my tonsils removed. All in all, hospitals don't bother me much at all. I've felt completely well taken care of during each of my hospitalizations; relieved to be in the constant presence of wonderful nurses and doctors.


    It was really exciting to see where we're actually going to meet our baby. After weeks and weeks of anticipation, we're finally going to see this little person!


    One of the best things I learned on our tour was how similar my desires are to those of the hospital. Since UCSD is a teaching and research hospital, they have a lot of cutting edge healthcare information to implement. Our instructor did not hesitate to tell us that they were a breastfeeding hospital. They expect that all moms will breastfeed because it's by far the healthiest option for both mom and baby. Since I'm committed to breastfeeding, it was great to hear that I'll be getting a lot of support in that area.


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    To accommodate their breastfeeding mission, the hospital practices "rooming-in" for all of their infants. This means the baby won't stay in a separate nursery, but will be with me nearly all of the time. Due to these kinds of policies, the hospital was recently certified as a "baby friendly" birth center by an international program sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.


    I left the tour feeling wonderfully about the hospital and confident that I can have a great birth experience there.


    I also had a very fun experience with one of the other moms on the tour. We were sitting beside one another as our class began. I suddenly heard a very familiar insulin pump beep. I checked my pump, but there wasn't an alert displayed. I glanced over and saw my neighbor punching buttons on her Cozmo pump! I was so excited! I smiled at her and showed her my pump. It was very exciting to see another diabetic mother-to-be. Kindred spirits!

Published On: December 05, 2007