As a parent, all you want to do is make sure that your children are safe and happy, from the moment you even consider their existence, until the day you take your last breath. As a woman with type 1 diabetes, I was told at age 12, I would never have babies and that if I dared, they would be born deformed, or worse. Women with type 1 diabetes still have an incredibly increased chance of something going wrong during pregnancy, despite having so much more knowledge and many advancements in diabetes management.
This is the reason my PhD thesis was based around how we can support women with type 1 diabetes in planning, preparing and enjoying the journey to motherhood. So, for me, there was a mountain of worry and anxiety piled upon my back, as I entered into each pregnancy. In the end, I have 3 beautiful, healthy sons. None of them are deformed and all of them are very much alive. They are my treasures.
In recent years, the growing realities about the future of our planet, have dug away at me, and at them. We have conversations about what the world will be like for them and how we can make a difference. They have watched me as I have worked hard across their lives, to share messages about how to live a more gentle life. Like my parents, I have tried to live my life in a way that reflects these messages and instil a sense of environmentalism deep within their hearts. I can see the impact on my children in the way they live, speak and engage with the world. It isn’t easy, but it is very important. Our children need these conversations and they need to feel strongly connected with us, each other and our planet.