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The Thought.

It wasn't until yesterday that I thought The Thought for the first time.

She had a very wet diaper in the afternoon.  And even though she had nursed for a long time and even though she seemed (and is) healthy and very strong, I still thought about taking out my meter and pricking her heel myself.  Just thought it for a second.

I didn't follow through, though.  I didn't let The Thought stay for more than a flicker, as I immediately finished changing her diaper and started singing her a song about the power of tiny spoons.  (Don't ask.  My songs never make any sense.)  I shook the thought off the same way I shake off the thought every time I wonder if my niece or nephew might have dipped into my autoimmune grab bag.  I don't allow my brain to go there.  It's not denial, but feels more like a protective measure taken by my mind, protecting my psyche from letting The Thought permeate my daily life.

Because I can't spend the rest of my life waiting to see.  The chances of BSparl being diagnosed with diabetes are slightly elevated as a result of my diabetes, but not much more than your "normal" (read:  mom without diabetes) mom.  But if it's going to be part of her future, I can't sit around waiting for it to happen.  I can't let every wet diaper and every "she wants to eat already?" thought prompt a panic attack.  I can't let this kind of fear own me.  I refuse to let The Thought even progress into A Fear.

I had a lot of questions tossed my way during my pregnancy about the likelihood of my daughter ending up diabetic.  I had some concerned family members who wanted to know if there would be a second type 1 diabetic among our numbers. I had some curious blog readers whose questions ranged from "Are you scared of passing it on?" to the irritatingly rhetorical "How dare you even take the risk?"  (For the record, my one-line email answer to that rhetorical question was, and remains, "How dare you write that email?")  And the weeks before Chris and I decided to go for it, I was scouring the Internet for stats on the children of diabetic moms.

But the moment they told us "It's on," all those thoughts went out the window.  I felt like any other mom, or at least I imagined it was how any other mom felt.  I wasn't fearing the worst, but hoping for the best.  Wondering what color eyes she'll have (they're slate blue, so far), what kind of books she'd like (she loooves The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog), and how snuggly her hugs would feel (super snuggly).  Diabetes was on my radar, but only as it related to my body and our shared pregnancy.  I didn't worry about whether or not she would get it.

The Thought

it was weird, though.  That very wet diaper.  The Thought jumping right into my head, without warning or care.  It just was there and it lingered for a split second, before I literally shook my head and said, "Get out," sending The Thought back into the gray abyss.  It's just a wet diaper.  She's just extra hungry sometimes.  It's okay.  My baby is healthy.  My baby is happy. 

And if her health status were to change, I'll make it my job to ensure that her 'happy' status doesn't.

Comments

Oh Kerri, I can so relate to this post. A few weeks ago, I did test my 2 yr old daughters sugar(I am a diabetic mommy as well). I kept pushing off "the thought" thinking I was just extra paranoid about the fact that she drinks all the time. Although she did not have any other symptoms, I wanted to put the fear to rest. So I changed the lancet, put it on the lowest level, and tested. She did not even blink, she just looked at me proudly and said "mommy's medicine". My heart pounded out of my chest as I waited for the number...... 88. WHEW
I am sure I will have more "thoughts" throughout her life. However, if she happens to inherit my Type 1 along with my blue eyes we will work through it. There is nobody better equipped to deal with a load like that then Diabetic Mommies :)

Kerri, a dear friend of mine is type 1 and her 6 year old was diagnosed last week. She is devastated. I have heard of some people choosing not to have children "in case" they pass it on. Would you rather have not been born if you had known you would be diabetic? Life is a precious thing and although diabetes isn't always fun...life certainly is!

Thanks Kerri...I can fully admit to testing my 9 month old (on more than one occasion). I tested it about 4 days after we got home from the hospital to make sure it had come up (he was on an IV for the first 3 days of his life because of VERY low blood sugar) and then kind of forgot about it for a long time. Then about 2 months ago he went through a growth spurt during a heat wave...I panicked...BIG TIME! I tested his blood sugar every day for 4 days, alternating between fastings and 2 hour post meals. I cried every time I did it, knowing I couldn't stop him from getting T1 but I just felt like I HAD to do it. As though it would make me a better mommy if I could catch it before it was serious. Of course every blood sugar reading was fine...perfect in fact. My husband was annoyed with me at first, but then he realized how scared I was that I had "made" my son a diabetic. We talked for a long time about how that wasn't the case and he made all the points you made in your post. He's an amazing guy and he really helped me let go of the lancet hovering over my baby. Sometimes I have a fleeting thought that I should just check and see...but I don't do it. But sometimes I have to grab his chubby little hands and kiss his adorable cheeks to keep from checking...I just want him to be happy and healthy. Like you I know that if that healthy status makes a change then I just have to keep him happy. Thanks for your post Kerri - it made me feel more normal :-)

Kim - Exactly. Diabetes or not, life is good. :)

And if her health status were to change, I'll make it my job to ensure that her 'happy' status doesn't.

spoken like a true mommy

Hey both my wife and I are TI's try and ask the Dr. about the odds they kind of do not know. Never had the notion to check them my guess is they will check themselves when I am not looking one day. However we do have my youngest son in a study out of UCLA checking on the food theory.

Oh Kerri. I'm so sorry. It hurts to have those thoughts.... even for a second. You said yourself that the chances are only slightly higher... who knows why D picks who it does. We have ZERO history of T1 in either family and somehow our precious 4 year old girl has the... honor... of being the first. We love our kids so that it hurts so much to even think that something unpleasant will happen to them. ((hugs)) to you. Know that no matter what happens in BSparl's life that you will handle it with style and grace!

This made me cry...(Of course I'm PMS-ing, so everything's making me cry, but still this breaks my heart.)

Actually I've been there too, ridiculously enough. I've actually tested Anna...she'd been fussy, eating too much, peeing hourly, and that was my first thought, even knowing how unlikely it was.

But her bg was 82, and seeing that number on the meter has never made me happier...

Just enjoy being a mommy....there is no Type 1 in my or my husbands family at all and BOTH of my children have been diagnosed. So, it would never be your fault and she is very lucky to be so well taken care of no matter what happens.

I am always freaking out that my child will turn out to be diabetic but I just have to remind myself that as an "extra-sweet" mommy, who better to care for him than me??? The increased risk for children of a T1 is so so so small over the "normals" that we need to just remind ourselves to stop worrying!! And if godforbid they do get diagnosed, they have us as role models to show that life doesn't end with diagnosis! Our kids won't hold this against us as otherwise, as someone else said, they wouldn't be born! (But despite saying all this, I already have a plan in place to test my child every 6 months after a giant run to the candy store...... see, I can't get rid of The Thought either and my child hasn't even been born. Must just be part of the innate worrying thing.)

I've been having "the thought" all weekend. Haven't broken the meter out yet (more difficult to wrangle a 5yr old who knows it will hurt), but she's been drinking like a fish, visiting the loo just as often and eating like she's about to grow 5 feet.

I'm terrified, but convincing myself its nothing more than a growth spurt during a heat wave.

Right?????

My husband and I had that conversation while I was pregnant and decided that, if she were to develop Type 1, who more prepared and knowledgeable to handle it than us? So I face the future unafraid of that possibility. I hope that, regardless of whether she is or is not a diabetic someday, she is healthy and brave. She will have watched me kick D's ass on more than one occasion and know that I would be there to show her the ropes. And of course, I'll hope it never comes to that. :D. Still, the child is going to get a few fingersticks in her life. Mommy is a curious one, after all. LOL

well, it's scary. But speaking as a mom of a child with type 1 - and I'm sure your mom can confirm this - that even if it does happen, which it probably will not, life is good for my child and it's good for you. Sure you want everything to be perfect for your child but it might surprise people (outside the D world and even some inside the D world) that I DO consider my child perfect.

Still, it's hard to let the thoughts go and even occasionally I will test my older child when she's weirdly sick or just "off".

IDK what the answer is other than to tell you that you're normal. :)

You made me cry! I know I will and already do have those same worries. How can you not?! Thanks for voicing your concerns to make us all feel a little more normal. :)

I LOVE what Kimberly (Meal Mommy) wrote...how TRUE!!!!

You are am amazing Mommy Kerri and if your child developed T1, you will love them just the same. I always wonder why people always say when someone is expecting that 'as long as it's healthy' when in reality, you end up loving that child, healthy or 'not-so-healthy' with all your might. Enjoy every day with BSparl and let the Thought fade to the background.

I think about this all the time. I was diagnosed at 12 years old. I have now been married for 3 years and of course we're thinking about children a lot these days. I wonder all the time about the health of a future child, and have already been questioned abou it by family members.

There was no history of diabetes in my family. When I was diagnosed, the doctors said that there was a 60% chance that my identical twin sister would be diagnosed within the year. 10 years later, she's still fine!

I pray my children will not have to worry about D. I'll try to push the thought out of my head as much as possible!

Just a tip... remember to wash her hands before you test. I tested my son at about 3 years old, constantly asking for water, and he was 158. My stomach dropped. Moments later I realized his hands were a bit red from the strawberries he had just eaten. a quick hand wash and he was 90 (although it took a little convincing to prick him a second time).

Kerri, I love reading your blog and your tweets. Thank you for sharing. My 10 year old was diagnosed with type 1 when she was 6 (last A1C=6.4). I know that she will be a fantastic mother and hope she will not let fear defeat life. My biological father died when I was 4. I did not know until this year that he had been type 1. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't miss a day with my Zoe. Life. Always life.

I have other daughters. I have "the thought" all too often. I balance on that fence between knowledge and paranoia by testing my 12 year old every 90 days or so. It gives her an appreciation for her sister and gives me 90 days peace.

I have The Thought every time I hear one of my kids wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

But just for the flicker.

Well put.

Kerri, I am also a diabetic Mommy, and I have to say I have tested my daughter a few times over the years. She is 10 and just fine. But every now and then (yes, even when she wasa baby) I'd think, she's too thirsty. What would it hurt to check? So I did, and felt better. I think I've done it, maybe 4 times. But you know...it's ok. It's just because we care. :)

I think the thought will come and go always. I did test my 2 year old because of the large amounts of juice he asked for and super wet diapers. It was 92 and I was SO relieved. I am sure I will do it again, too...luckily he was a champ and giggled when I pricked his finger.

Thanks for posting this blog. I think the thought lives with all of us with diabetes when thinking of the future and it is reassuring to know it is normal. Thanks for sharing about such a personal topic and letting us know how you have been dealing with it. It gives me hope for one day being able to have a baby myself.

I think you are right: we cannot let fear run our lives. However, I am type 1 and my oldest boy was diagnosed before Christmas, so my younger one is now at higher risk. Instead of poking him when I have thoughts too loud to let me sleep at night, I put a cottonball in his diaper, and test for keytones and glucose in his urine. This is painless for him, and always reassures me. I'm not advocating constant testing, but if you NEED to know, you can test your young child without them knowing.

Kerri,
I can relate to this post 100%. Except in my case, my husband and I are both T1's and so no one can really pinpoint our son's chances of inheriting it. So far he is 7 and I am thankful for everyday that his pancreas works. We have randomnly checked him since he was about 1 and now when he sees us checking ours he asks to check his and does it himself. We are ready to have another child and we get the dirty looks & comments from people and even my mother-in-law wants to know why we would take another chance. I asked her if she would trade her son in for a new model just because he had diabetes. Of course not! I am sure the thought of our kids getting it will never leave us but like others said, if they do then they will have parents who really understand. Good tip about washing their hands, b/c I had a freak out moment when he had oranges on his hands. =)

I think we have all been there as "diabetic mommies". I have yet to test my 2 year old but i'd be lying if i said i've never had The Thought. I'm sure i'll test her some day but i'm hoping that it's because she wants to try what mummy does and not because i suspect that something is wrong. You are so right about our job being to keep the happy status intact!

I can fully relate to this post, being Type 1 with my second baby on the way..
The guilt can overwhelm you if you let it..
and one night after my son was born, and I rocked him in a dark room, I sobbed thinking about how my Diabetes is going to affect him so much.. and I wonder if he will hate my Diabetes, just as I had.. and I wondered if I would pass my genes on to him.. and when my husband came in and asked what I was wrong, and I told him... he just looked at me and said "Well, then we will deal with it when it comes to that point.. but don't burden yourself with the 'what if's', because you'll drive yourself crazy" and so that's how I've tried to live my life as a MOM first, diabetic is somewhere far, far behind that role.

I figure that if my son, or soon-to-be-born daughter ever are diagnosed with Diabetes, I could give them so many tips and tricks of the trade.. that's one 'good' thing ;)

This is a great post!My husband is a Type 1 and we tried to conceive for over a year. It turned out he had malformed sperm. We don't know if his diabetes had anything to do with it. Since then, we have stopped trying. I have read some studies that there is a greater chance of passing down Type 1 from the father. Either way, we're happily married and will accept anything that comes our way.

This issue drives me bonkers. Ok, so some relatives really pissed me off recently about this - "Wasn't I worried?" I responded as calmly as I could - "What about me would you change? Didn't I turn out ok?"

It all goes part and parcel with the huge crushing guilt Type 1's carry throughout their lives. Guilt for not being perfect, guilt for having to prioritize themselves to get anywhere near perfect, guilt for not getting everything right all the time, guilt for everything being your fault, guilt for daring to want children -- even though it isn't our fault! It is diabetes fault!

I admit it, I am the diabetes gestapo! Since my son was diagnosed at 22 months, I have always been on the look out for "the symptoms". My daughter was born a week after his diagnosis and yes, I tested her from time to time. Every time one of my other kids has a weird symptom, I want to test them. I try not to let it worry me now. That "thought" visits me every now and then, but when it changes from the "thought" to the "feeling"...that's when I'm in trouble! ;)

I guess we all succumb to the thought. Here's a trick. Only change her diaper about three times a day... then there's no doubt, it's just a really wet, needs-to-be-changed-because-I've-neglected-to-change-it diaper. *wink* :D Good job on being a normal mom. Seriously, you don't have to be a diabetic mom to have thoughts like that.

"The Thought" is part of being a parent with type 1 I think.

It is a struggle to wrestle with the guilt versus the strong will to be just a normal parent.

I always think about how the tools are better today than they were 30 years ago, and that I know a bit more about diabetes than my folks did.

It would still be very difficult, mentally, for me. But we would be just fine.

You know 3 of my 4 boys are t1...and I never think of my oldest getting it. Never. (Until yesterday.) It was a hot day and he said he couldn't get enough to drink. I let the thought linger as you had, for like half a second...and then let it fly. IF it happens...I'm not going to worry about it now. I choose not to live in fear and to enjoy every minute with my 4 blessings and their father. (((HUGS))) to you Kerri!

My daughter has T1 and I have 2 younger children. One day we were at a winter festival and my middle child who was 7 did not look well. She was white and told me she felt shaky inside. We tested her and she was fine. I would have to admit that my bond with my oldest is the strongest. Diabetes has made us very close. She is 12 now. And in an odd way I love hearing from her after each meal even when she is at a sleep over or a class party. I think I make my other children very aware of the symptoms. I even think it is possible that that day my younger daughter faked the symptoms for attention. Awareness is a great thing. My younger children and all my daughters best friends are randomly drilled on what they should do if my T1 gets a low. Her friends have thanked me for making them aware because they admitted they were scared of that day and now they knew what to do. I am really enjoying your posts and learning alot about the future with diabetes. Thanks for being you and for all your brave advice.

Oh, Kerri! {{{hugs}}} That thought goes through my head almost every day. As a Type 2 with a strong family history of Type 2s, I know that my children have such a high chance of becoming Type 2 as well. (Did I just put Type 2 in a sentence three times?) Shortly after I was diagnosed, one of my kids started turning green after a dentist appointment. Immediately I tested her glucose! (She was 92, I still remember) My mom sometimes blames herself for passing on the Type 2 to me and I'm sure I'll so the same if my kids become diabetic. Hopefully we'll find a cure before that happens though!

Kerri, I'm the same way. I don't think we would be good parents if we DIDN'T worry about this or have these thoughts. And unfortunately, there will be more "thoughts" like this to come.

Completely relate. I'm a type 1 and my son is 3 years old. The "thought" creeps into my mind when I notice him drinking alot or if he has a really full diaper. I haven't tested him yet but ... I keep on resisting the urge. I want him to not have to worry about taking "medicine like daddy".

I can relate to this too Kerri!

Just last week at Gabe's kindergarten physical, he had some protein in his urine and slightly elevated glucose and I was a Googling hysterical fool when I got home! He went back today to do another early morning urine test and all seemed well. As Moms, we will always worry.... but I know I try my hardest to just enjoy and be grateful for each day I'm given! Hugs girl!!!

I hear you, K! I am tempted and my child is adopted. :)

I can totally relate with your "anxiety flash". As a Mom you will have many differant kinds of "Flashes". Now the flashes are, "Is she peeing or sleeping too much." and eventully those flashes will change. As your child gets older and show shows independence you will have differant "flashes" "who's car are they in" "why isn't she home yet".

It is a natural mom instinct.

Kerri:
I haven't read all the comments so my comment may be repetitive. To those who would ask how you dared risk passing on your illness to an innocent child, your answer is correct and appropriate. Shortly after my second child was born I was diagnosed with a heart condition that each of my children stood a 50% chance of inheriting. But I didn't have a daughter that I did so desperately wanted. Nine years later we decided to take the chance and try for a girl. I got that indignant diatribe from just about everyone including the receptionist in my OB's office. My OB fired her and asked me if I felt that my life had been worthwhile, illness and all. Honestly, knowing that my days may be numbered by my next heartbeat makes me appreciate what I have now all the more. So is it worth passing it on? I think that my child is a blessing, and a sacred trust. She isn't an illness or a condition. And by the grace of God, I did not pass on my genetic disposition to any of my children. Even if the worst happened and bsparl should someday become a type 1, or any other disease for that matter, wouldn't her life still be precious and worthwhile? I am glad that you are enjoying thet happy healthy child that you have now. I hope it last always.

I have had The Thought a lot more than I anticipated when I was pregnant. My DD is now almost 19 months old and I enrolled her in the TrialNet study just because I feel like I HAVE to know if she's got the antibodies. A hospital lab drew blood from her last week (for TrialNet, you can get the blood drawn at any local hospital/lab and then FedEx it in) and I'm supposed to get the answer sometime in the next month. I feel like if she has them, then at least I'll be able to prepare myself for the dx and research the drugs that can prolong the honeymoon period, etc., you know?
Thanks for posting this. And keep telling The Thought to stay away!!

Yes indeed - how dare they?
You ARE like any other mom.
Good for you for pushing it aside.

I can TOTALLY relate to this. My mother has Type II Diabetes (and is convinced that because there is a hereditary component to Type II that all of her relatives are going to come down with it...). My husband (my daughter's father) has Type I Diabetes (diagnosed at age 22) and is TERRIFIED that our daughter will inherit from him. I've tried to convince him that the likelihood is SLIM, but at the same time, I've gone as far as taking my daughter to the doctor to have labs done on her. She had 16 wet diapers during one day (grandma kept track) which sent my paranoia into HYPERDRIVE!!!! ot of fluids which clearly explains the output of urnie!!! She didn't have any symptoms and she does drink a l Thankfully, all of her labs were normal, but you are not crazy. You're a MOM!!!!

Keep your fingers crossed!!! Hopefully soon there will be a cure!!! (For Diabetes, not for being a MOM!!!)

Oh I hate that thought. I hate that it flashes through your mind. And I hate that it will probably come back many times over the years. But I'm glad that you kicked it right to the curb. BSparl is a completely happy, completely healthy baby, from what I can see. And a cutie too!!

I, too, have had "The Thought", and I've pushed it away. However... and my mother reminded me of this when I was telling my sister about cutting my son's nails for the FIRST time. Like ANY mother (so I've heard!), I knicked his finger with the nail clippers and without giving it a second thought just grabbed my meter and put a stick in and tested his sugar!! LOL Far be it for me to let the blood go to waste!!! ...lol Then after DS realized that OUCH... THAT HURT, he cried and cried and bled and bled!! His sugar was completely normal and I didn't think about it again until my mom reminded me months later when I told my sister about cutting his nails. :)

So well put. I had to read it out loud to my husband and when I looked over at him afterwards, he just smiled knowingly. Knowing that I've had The Thought more than once, and while several times I've vocalized it {and a couple of times, actually tested my son}, more often than not, I just push it out of my brain.

I'm just relieved to know that I'm not the only one dealing with "The Thought".

I can totally relate to this! Both my brother and I are Type 1 with no family history of diabetes. This is devastating to my mom, and she constantly worries that my sister will also be diagnosed!

Aw man! I thought I was the only one doing this...so thanks for sharing! I haven't tested either one of my twins yet but I must admit I look at their wet diapers like some professional diaper inspector and I make mental notes about how they behave and ughhh It's all about gathering info so I can convince myself my kids are fine. I feel like what we think can become reality, in fact I believe that to be true. Did you know I thought I was going to be diagnosed type 1 diabetic when I was 10 years old and a few months later by age 11 I was surely enough, type 1 diabetic!? I really need to stop worrying. You too, I mean keep doing what you've been doing, when those thoughts come, just throw them away. And don't think "My child won't have diabetes" because you're still throwing "diabetes" out there. Think simply about how healthy, funny, adorable she is.....and I'll try to do the same...:) Love your posts!

This made me feel so bad when I read this Kerri, I think that we probably all feel guilty sometimes wondering if we passed down our more undesireable traits or flaws. For very brief moments it's almost crippling, that feeling of almost selfishness. No one can come remotely close to being as tough a critic than you are to yourself. From the outside it's such a different view. whoa, deep. See ya Sunday :)

I totally get it. My first has T1, and when my 3rd has a very wet diaper or has been drinking a lot, I have the same thought. I even tested him once, poor guy. He was fine.

Kerri - I try to keep The Thought out of my mind. And mine are now 19 and 15. And our family has a classic generational skip for Type 1 (going back 6 generations) so I don't worry much. But every time my 15-yo goes into a "peeing frenzy" she's the one who asks me to get my meter out and test her. And she's always a perfect 90-100 something and then relieved. Sometimes it isn't just we mothers who have "The Thought".

Your reaction is normal. About 6 months after my 11 year old was diagnosed, my 16 year old started showing some of the same symptoms - fatigue, hunger, weight loss, pale complexion. My husband and I both had THE THOUGHT. I tested him. BG was normal. He DID have mono, though. FYI breastfeeding babies eat more often and digest the food more rapidly.

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