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.