WVU Medicine Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine empowers mothers with diabetes

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Pregnancy brings with it a host of lifestyle changes, but for individuals living with diabetes, it can also create risk and challenges. WVU Medicine Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine helps expectant mothers, like Daisy Greene, 37, of Morgantown, navigate those risks and challenges through monitoring and expertise. 

Daisy Greene with her daughter, Zoey, and son, Enzo
Daisy Greene with her daughter, Zoey, and son, Enzo

Greene was no stranger to going through pregnancy while living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). During her first pregnancy with her daughter, Zoey, she had preeclampsia, a high blood pressure disorder that can occur during pregnancy and, in some cases, can become life-threatening. When she became pregnant with her second child, Enzo, she knew the importance of monitoring her symptoms and taking action when something was out of the ordinary.

“I was diagnosed with T1D as a teenager and have been living with it for more than 20 years.  I had my first child when I was 30, and I was scared because I knew that it was going to be a high-risk pregnancy,” Greene said. “Now, comparing it to this pregnancy, that was an easy one. I didn’t think I was going to have a second child because my first pregnancy was so hard.”

Hormonal fluctuations caused by pregnancy can affect how the body processes insulin, and those affects can change rapidly. 

Greene was admitted to WVU Medicine Children’s at 27 weeks after becoming insulin resistant and going into diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that develops when the body doesn’t have or cannot process enough insulin to allow glucose into your cells for energy. She was also diagnosed with placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta attaches to the uterine wall near or covering the birth canal, which can cause dangerous complications if the mother is allowed to go into labor.

“Honestly, when the doctor told me that I was going to be there until delivery, I laughed,” Greene said. “I thought she was joking because I didn’t even think that was a thing that was possible. They wanted to make sure that my son and I were healthy, and it seemed that my health was going to be changing daily.”

During her 75-day stay at WVU Medicine Children’s, Greene’s blood sugar and insulin requirements were monitored to ensure her safety and that of her baby. In addition to caring for her medically, the team at WVU Medicine Children’s took care of her as an individual.

“The doctors and staff became like family. We would share pictures of our kids, and I’d ask them about what they did over the weekend. I’m a military wife, and we don’t have family here, so it was great to have them checking in on me not just as a patient, but as a person,” she said. “I didn’t feel like I was just another patient they were checking on. I felt like I was being taken care of, and it made me feel very, very special.”

Green says despite the challenges she faced while starting her family, it was all worth it now that she has her children, and they are healthy.

“Don’t let diabetes control you,” Greene said. “You control your diabetes. I was so stressed about it in the beginning, but I decided I was just going to live my life. I waited seven years to have this sweet little thing that I almost didn’t have because of the fear of what would happen. It was scary, but the support of an amazing team helped me have control over my blood sugar levels and my life.”

For more information about WVU Medicine Children’s, visit WVUKids.com.