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Ignoring Her.

BSparl likes this thing.  Unfortunately, so do the cats.She was tucked into the bassinet, perfectly safe and sound. Only she was wailing, with this loud cry and her bottom lip pouted out at an impossible angle, because she was hungry.

"I'm sorry, baby girl.  You have to wait just a few minutes so Mommy can have some juice, okay?"

I was standing at her side, belly full of grape juice and a blood sugar of 43 mg/dl.  BSparl needed to eat, I needed to breastfeed her, but I didn't feel confident picking her up just yet.  Of course, she started to cry just as the meter tossed that result at me.  A perfect storm of chaos.  My hands were too shaky and my brain wasn't 100% tuned in to reality.  She was safe and unharmed, but her cries were cutting through me and settling right in like barbed wire around my heart. 

"Two more minutes, sweetie.  Can you hang on?"  I stood by the bassinet and stroked her hair while she cried.

"Why, Mom?  Why aren't you picking me up and feeding me?  You're right there!  I can see you!  I can smell you!  I hear your voice!  Why?  Mommy, pick me uuuuuuuup!" 

(Or at least that's what I heard in her cries.  I'm sure it was some variation on that theme.)

Within a few more minutes, I felt much better.  More capable of picking up my daughter and bringing her over to the couch so I could feed her.  I kept a jar of glucose tabs on the coffee table while I fed BSparl, and the Dexcom eventually showed some arrows pointing north (it was like a CGM "thumbs up").  And we were both fine.  BSparl ate, I was fine, and we moved on with our day.

But the guilt of not giving her what she needs is something I need to adjust to. In keeping with the whole "oxygen mask" theory, I need to be in good form in order to take good care of my kid.  That means that my blood sugar needs to come first.  And that also means that my kid has to fuss while I wait for my blood sugar to be at a more reasonable level.  I can't pick her up if I feel shaky.  And I can't let the sound of her cries make me make decisions that aren't safe.

... it's hard, though!  Her bottom lip is ENORMOUS, and it's like my body is programmed to respond when she cries.  Leaving her there in the bassinet while I went to drink juice was heartbreaking, because she doesn't understand why I'm not giving her what she needs.  I don't want her to think her mommy is ignoring her.  The time will come when she understands how this balance works.  She'll grow up knowing that food is sometimes medicine and that her mommy, though madly in love with her, can't do it all at once.  

Until then, I'll stand at the bassinet and stroke her head, hoping that she'll forgive me for letting her cry.

Comments

Look at it this way....they say it's good for them to cry sometimes and not get what they want right away. :) You're just teaching her patience.

Awwww, this makes my heart break for you. I can't imagine hearing her cry and having to resist. You are very strong.

BTW, is that the crib/basinet thingy that you have? Looks nifty!

"and it's like my body is programmed to respond when she cries."

Your body IS programmed to respond when she cries.

Can you find a way to distract her without picking her up? Maybe a special toy that lights up and sings and dances that you only let her see/play with when you absolutely aren't safe to pick her up yet?

You ARE doing what's best for her, even though she can't reason her way to that conclusion yet.

We had a toy we called "Scary Bear" that sang really loudly and moved its head and mouth. It stunned the kids into silence for the duration of "Baby of Mine" from Dumbo. It was a gift - not something I would have ever chosen, because it was so loud.

Use the guilt as an impetus to figure out a solution. Make it productive. You're doing great. I would've quit breastfeeding long since if I had your medical issues (and I say that as someone who nursed for 28 months, through my second pregnancy, tandem for 9 months, and my second child for 22 months total). You're doing a great job.

please don't feel guilty!!! You have to be safe before you can handle bsparl - and the whole oxygen mask is a perfect example. I'm sure that being low and listening to a baby crying is NOT a combination any of us would want. I can only offer up hugs

I also suggest distraction. I was blessed with two kids who screamed all the time - from reflux. I swear they were both early readers because I would do crazy things like sing the alphabet or spell words to them in an attempt to distract them. "ooh, look at the pretty baby..b.a.b.y. Ooh, look at the kitty. k.i.t.t.y"

guilt is hard, but realize the end result is what is important..you are still taking care of her needs...just not at the exact moment she wants you to..kinda like the rest of life, huh?? Hubby needs something from you too (that's what got you in this mess, right..wink, wink) gotta apply cold creme and wash face first...he still gets what he wants...just not at that moment...work needs that report done...gotta grab a coffee, work gets what it wants, just not at that moment...I think the Rolling Stones said it best with one caveat.."You can't always get what you want, when you want it, but you get what you need"
Hang in there...it gets better...trust me..I'm from the internet...:)

Saw this quote today and immediately thought of you... "There is not one way to be a perfect mother, but there are a million ways to be a great one." Hang in there, you are doing great!

Thanks for your comment, Kerri ! I am now officially in love with your blog and don't know quite how I went so long without knowing about it.

I look forward to your posts in my reader. Thanks for your openness and kindness to a perfect stranger!

You're doing great, Keri! And yes, the oxygen mask metaphor is perfect. Also, even moms who don't have to deal with diabetes on top of everything else can't always immediately satisfy their babies' needs.

But oh my, do I remember that cry! I found earplugs helpful at times. This isn't as mean as it sounds; they still allowed me to hear everything (you don't want to block all sound), but they helped take the I-want-to-jump-out-of-my-skin edge off.

You are doing great and doing exactly what you should be!

YOU ARE A GREAT MOM!

((((hugs))))

She will understand. Let the guilt wash away. You know you are doing the right thing. You are a mom Kerri, welcome to this wonderland of emotions and feelings and oh yeah, guilt. The club on that one is large here in Mommyland. She will understand. Keep on keepin' on.

I didn't get much choice in letting my daughter cry, she had colic and so was inconsolable in her crying and fussing no matter what I did to try and soothe her. There more than a few moments where after hours of crying I did the only thing I could, I put her in her carseat for safety and went to sit on the porch for 10 minutes of almost peace before re-entering the fray. She's now a month shy of 3 and perfectly fine, so I'm sure that BSparl will forgive you and turn out just fine.

You gotta love that Dexcom "thumbs up." I never thought of it that way, but that's exactly what Dex is telling me. Go ahead with the rest of your day. Thanks Kerri. You're doing a great job as Mom!

I understand exactly how you feel! I run a daycare and sometimes that is how the day goes. Except it's more than one baby or child crying for me and they always want my juice...or my granola bar like yesterday!! Hang in there!

Kerri,

I am a diabetic mother of two boys: ages 2 and 4. I have gritted teeth through crying when I am taking burning supper out of the oven, potty training one (and the other needed something), and when I am on the phone making dr's appointments for sick kids. Though it breaks our hearts, we cannot always be there instantly for our children! Don't feel guilty about it; taking care of yourself qualifies as keeping your child safe, which is always our #1 priority as mothers.

When my baby brother was born, my mother's carpal tunnel syndrome was so bad she couldn't hold my brother. To breastfeed, she'd sit down, get a pillow, and get one of us (I have three other brothers, and my father's very much around) to put my brother down on the pillows and in position, and then later to shift him.
If you don't want to be in a position where you might drop BSparl, you might be able to get somebody else to pick her up and put her in your lap or something like that.

Ignoring Her?? No Way! You were doing the only sensible thing...you know it and she will come to know it because it will be nothing but natural in her life. "Mommy needs the oxygen mask so she can help me with ____ (fill in the blank). She will totally get it.

Diabetic Dad of a two and a half year old here. I wasn't diagnosed until she was a year and a half old. I've had to learn that there are things I can't do until I make sure that I'm ok to do them. The right thing to do (making sure that I'm safe to take care of her) is the hardest thing there is, especially when she's crying, and needs to have attention paid to her. She's old enough now that she understands that daddy has to test and take shots and she's learning to be patient. But there are moments when I don't want to worry about numbers, and just want to pick her up and give her what she needs right then.

Thanks so much for your blog posting. I work in clinical trials with people who've been diagnosed with diabetes, so I look for support groups and blogs where my patients can find community.

You tell it like it is. I appreciate your honesty.

Thank you.

You are doing an amazing job I'm sure. I don't have any kids yet but I can tell you that it's okay for babies to cry and you shouldn't feel bad about it! Take care of you first and then you can take care of baby! Hang in there...I'm sure I'll have a similar post one day in the future!

I only have older step kids, and the youngest I've dealt with is a 3yr old. But they are all remarkably resiliant. Kids are programmed to thrive and you ARE programmed to respond! That's natural. Diabetes is just the stinkbomb in the middle of it all :P You're doing great, you cannot feel guilty for looking after yourself. Thank you so much for sharing with everyone! :D

You're doing just fine... and the guilt is hard at times, but that's why you have such a wonderful hubby there to remind you you're GREAT. And that dropping her on her head would be way worse than making her wait a few minutes.

great post... I feel that sometimes my daughter cries in the middle of the night just to tell me something - like wake up you are low or high and I need to test myself. It's very strange but I think she feels it even though she is only 20 months old..
Your daughter will eventually get use to it:)

It's heartbreaking to not be able to attend to babies right away. Does it help to know that even those of us who are not PWD have to make them wait sometimes, too? You're doing great. Thanks for sharing with us.

I love your writing style! I can't totally relate because I wasn't diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes until my kids were pre-teens. But you are so right, you have to take care of yourself first. If I don't take care of myself I am grumpy and snap at my kids and that's not good for any of us.

I agree with Andi! My son will cry in the middle of the night (not often anymore!) but when he does, I'd better listen, get up. AND TEST! He has warned me of quite a few lows (before they got too low!) in the middle of the night. Not a bad 6th sense for a 14 month old, eh?! Kerri... I remember the same thing happening to me, and it sounds WAY worse when you're low. Like shards of glass... I've resorted to a bad 'old school diabetic' trick when I need my sugar up NOW... sugar in the OJ!

Whenever I read your posts, I think "this woman is ME." ;) I went through this same thing when I had my daughter (who is now 8). Rationality does not apply, help, or even exist in these moments. But somehow, someway, she'll love you even more for the difficulties you face, and for the fact that sometimes she has to deny instant gratification. The amazing part is that *she* will become stronger as a result of *you* having diabetes.

And then when she grows up and starts therapy, the therapist will tell her your mom met your needs too quickly and you never allowed you the chance to experience frustration...Kerry you will never win, you are doing a great responsible job...

Hey, K! I'm glad you had the strength and wisdom to do what was truly best---and that was to take care of the 'betes first. I've had many moments like this, and I can tell you my 18 month old survived every one of those moments and isn't emotionally scarred or anything. :)

Although it feels horrible at the time, know that babies are resilient physically and emotionally. You are not alone. I couldn’t pick up my first baby to feed because of pregnancy related issues with my wrists. We managed. Baby #2 comes along and Toddler #1 was dx with Type 1 – so, sometimes baby has to wait while we check BG on the toddler, or help brother get through a low, or untangle a pump tube. Babies know a Mom’s love and grow into wonderful, independent, yet loving humans. You will quickly realize that Diabetes will not be your only motherhood detour. ;) Hurdles can make you a stronger Mother IMHO.

I'm not a mother, but I've heard from plenty of parents that sometimes you just have to let them cry. Your situation is different, of course, but like you said... sometimes you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of her. Don't worry, you're doing a wonderful job.

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