I started my adult life off being a mother and wife at the young age of 20. I got married to my highschool sweetheart on March 20, 2004 and 3 months later our daughter Aly was born 6 weeks premature due to me developing pre-eclampsia. This would be the 1st of many hurdles that would be sent into my life. Aly was born weighing 4lbs 9.6oz and was immediately taken into the NICU where she stayed for 13 very long days. Being a new young mom was made even harder knowing that your child for the 1st time in her life is fighting to stay alive.
For Aly she beat that hurdle and got to come home with us a strong little precious girl, unfortunately for Aly this would not be the last time in her life that she has had to fight to stay alive. 2 years passed and Aly was doing great, she was starting potty training, and all the fun things that 2 years old enjoy ... then IT hit! My precious little girl started off by drinking way more than usual, being through complete outfits even she she had a diapers on, then started the random throwing up and massive diaper rash that would not go away. With this information we took Aly to the pediatrician to see what was going on (we did not know anything about type 1 diabetes at this point) and her pediatricians dismissed it as a bad virus, dismissing all the "signs" as being related to this virus. THEY NEVER ONCE EVEN MENTIONED TYPE 1 DIABETES!!! 2 weeks later and my baby was getting even sicker!! She now was lethargic almost to the post of unresponsiveness. She was no longer the energetic 2 year old that she used to be. I spoke to my mother in law and she mentioned Juvenile Diabetes, as soon as I heard those 2 words I did what all doctors tell you not to do and hit up Google. I wanted to know what this disease was ... I sat there in disbelief reading the symptoms (while at work mind you) thinking THIS IS MY CHILD! MY CHILD HAS DIABETES! I immediately let my supervisor know that I had an emergency and had to leave (This was in January during the largest snow storm we have had in Kansas City for a while), went and picked Aly up from my moms house and drove her directly to the nearest children hospital. When we got to the emergency room I walked up to the check out window and said I think my daughter has type 1 diabetes, please check her. After what seemed like hours waiting in the waiting room we were finally taken back into the intake area, they did the usual checking on temp, weight, meds, ect ... and then they check her blood sugar ... the hospital meter greeted us by saying HI. HI is never a greeting that you want from your child's or anyone for that matters blood glucose machine. On Jan 20th, 2007 we began our life with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, this changed mine and my husbands life at 22 upside down as well as Aly's young life was changed forever.
When Aly was diagnosed at the children's hospital her blood sugar was 682 (normal blood sugar is 80-140). The children's hospital that we took Aly too was not set up for this type of inpatient stay so we were transferred via ambulance to a larger children's hospital where we started the rigorous training/learning about how to take care of Aly, how to check her blood sugar, how to administer insulin shots, how to read a nutritional label to know how much insulin to give her for her food, how to weigh and measure food properly to know how much insulin to give Aly for her food, learned about the different types of insulin and how they worked in the body, learned how exercise and stress affects blood sugars, and so much more. All of this information is given to you in a 3 day crash course and you hope that you retained it all to be able to keep your child alive and healthy. We went home and started our "new" life.
In 2009 we were blessed with Aly's little brother Joel who was born 4 weeks early weighing 5lbs .5oz.
He was a special little man because on 8/8/08 I suffered a miscarriage at the 8th week of pregnancy and found out that I had a bicornuate uterus (heart shaped uterus).
Pregnancies in a bicornuate uterus are usually considered high-risk and require extra monitoring because of association with poor reproduction potential.
A bicornuate uterus is associated with increased adverse reproductive outcomes like:
- Recurrent pregnancy loss: the reproductive potential of a bicornuate uterus is usually measured by live birth rate (also called fetal survival rate).
- Preterm birth: with a 15 to 25% rate of preterm delivery. The reason that a pregnancy may not reach full-term in a bicornuate uterus often happens when the baby begins to grow in either of the protrusions at the top. A short cervical length seems to be a good predicter of preterm delivery in women with a bicornuate uterus.
- Malpresentation (breech birth or transverse presentation): a breech presentation occurs in 40-50% pregnancies with a partial bicornuate uterus and not at all (0%) in a complete bicornuate uterus
In June 2011 I decided to became a diabetes educator to my community and to Facebook users. After 4 years of Aly being diagnosed I saw that there was a missing piece in the diabetes community locally. JDRF and ADA raised money to help fund research to find a cure but I never saw them out in the community doing diabetes education, making people aware of what Type 1 Diabetes was or the symptoms, this is how Hope for Aly was founded. I decided that I was going to make a difference! I was going to get out there and educate people. I started with doing a vendor fair and had a booth there with Type 1 Diabetes information in June 2011 and have since done many many more events in the Kansas City community and will continue to do even more as well as growing my D.O.C. friends on Facebook and educating on my Type 1 Diabetes Facts and Information page on Facebook.
So this is me a 28 year old mother of 2 amazing children, a wife of 8 years, a daycare provider, and diabetes educator.