On June 27, Elizabeth M, a long-time Joslin Diabetes Center patient gave birth to a baby girl. She named her Joslin Marie, in honor of the care she received here at Joslin.
Though she endured a difficult struggle with diabetes during her adolescent years, Elizabeth gracefully transitioned into a responsible adult who successfully managed her diabetes during her pregnancy. She credits this change of heart to the high quality of care delivered by the dedicated Joslin physicians, which is why the choice of name was a natural decision.
“I decided to name my daughter Joslin because of the care I received at Joslin,” explained Elizabeth. “More specifically because of one appointment I had with Dr. Eyiuche Okeke. When I was about 21 years old I had a regular, routine appointment and at that point, my diabetes was so out of control.
“With an A1C of 10 or 11, Dr. Okeke flat out told me ‘if you were to get pregnant right now, your baby would have a 65 to 80 percent chance of having birth defects.’ Being a young adult, I knew that I always wanted to have children. I couldn’t help but cry that day, but more importantly, reevaluate my lifestyle,” she said.
Prior to her pregnancy, Elizabeth had been living with type 1 diabetes since her diagnosis at the age of nine.
“My diagnosis was tough on me and my whole family,” commented Elizabeth. “It was a difficult adjustment, getting used to this new condition. I started going to the Joslin Clinic right away and was seen in the pediatrics department. Being the stubborn little girl that I was, I didn’t like being told what to eat and what not to eat, how to live my life and that I had a few too many high or low sugars.”
Despite Elizabeth’s initial reservations about following the advice from her doctors, her mother, Jina, never doubted that Joslin was the right place to receive her daughter’s diabetes care.
“I was young and didn’t know much about the Joslin, but my mom kept telling me how we were so lucky to live in a place where they dedicate an entire hospital to the disease,” said Elizabeth. “I slowly started to realize that this place was what would change my life. It was becoming more special to me as I grew older and wiser… and a little less stubborn.”
Although Elizabeth completely altered how she managed her diabetes, having type 1 diabetes while being pregnant was still a challenge. To successfully care for her diabetes throughout the course of the pregnancy, Elizabeth checked her blood sugars more frequently, changed her insulin types and doses as needed and of course, came for frequent appointments with Dr. Florence Brown in the pregnancy clinic.
These precautions proved to be worth it when Elizabeth delivered a perfectly healthy and happy baby.
“Now I have a happy, healthy baby girl, something I never thought was possible until I got the help I needed from Joslin,” said Elizabeth. “Every day of my life and every time I look at my baby, I will thank the Joslin Clinic and Dr. Okeke for getting me to where I’ve always dreamed of being.”