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Posts tagged ‘diabetic mommy’

Gimme a Beet!

Beets haven’t always been top-of-preference for my palette.  I read somewhere that people either love the taste of beets or think they taste like dirt, and I used to be in the latter camp.  But these days, beets are most desirable and I am looking for a calendar dedicated entirely to them, preferably wearing suspenders … and only suspenders.

Problem is, I had no idea how to cook them and preparing them leaves my kitchen counter looking like a game of Clue.

“It was in the kitchen!  With the carving knife!  And included spinach salad … ?”

But the Internet! This is what it was made for: Googling problems and then solving them with pixel power.  A quick search for “simple beets recipe” on Google images brought me to photos, and then to recipes, that were manageable with my limited kitchen talents.  (I prefer to search by images because if the image looks simple and easy, then the recipe hopefully is as well.  Also, images help me weed out evil food things, like weird, crumbly cheeses.)

Raw beets are what I’m craving, so a simple wash, peel, slice-and-dice plan of attack works perfectly and makes the beets easy to toss into a spinach salad.  I’ve read on several sites that cooking the beets strips away a lot of their power (read: they can’t fly and their x-ray vision goes to shit), but this salad looks awesome and I’m trying this one later today (minus the crispy toast bit).

Desperately, this morning I sliced and ate a beet on top of toast with cream cheese.  Which might read as disgusting and vile, but slap some olives on the side and chase it with a decaf iced coffee and that meal fast becomes a breakfast my pregnant-self craves, while my pre-pregnancy self shudders in the corner and makes faces of disgust.

Guest Post: TWINS!

Today I’m excited to be traveling to the Las Vegas JDRF TypeOneNation event (and hanging out with Sara…aaah), so while I’m in transit, Meredith Pack has offered to jump in with a guest post.  Meredith writes (at her leisure) over at With a Side of Insulin and is currently pregnant with twins. She and I share the same due date but a whole different pregnancy experience so far, and she’s weighing in with her take on building two babies while managing type 1 diabetes.

  *   *   *

When I sent Kerri a message to tell her I was pregnant, the last thing I expected to hear was, “Me too!’ and the last thing I expected after that was finding out our due dates were the exact same.

Now, since the first exciting conversation of sharing that news, we’ve learned how each other’s current pregnancy stories are a bit different. We both have type 1 diabetes, of course, but Kerri’s pregnancy came after a bit of time trying, and mine came with … a bonus.

TWINS! Twins with no family history. My family is joining a smaller-than-you-might-think tribe of moms and dads that parent multiples (except when you find out you’re having twins, suddenly everyone and their mother knows someone with twins … kinda like when you’re diagnosed with diabetes).


After the initial shock wore off, we’ve continued to digest what it’s going to be like to have three under two (go ahead, groan and give me the “I’m glad it’s you and not me” face … I’ve seen it plenty of times already!).

Everything goes through your mind: two cribs, the diapers, two carseats, two high chairs, the diapers, the food, the diapers, finances, food, three teenagers. All. The. Diapers. And you also think of the double fun it will be, with double snuggles, double giggles, double hugs, double first steps, first words, double siblings for our oldest – I’m sure it’s not going to be the easiest journey but we’re not the first nor the last family to do it.

When my son was born (15 months ago!), my blog fell by the wayside. the things I wanted to do in my free time changed drastically, so I don’t blog regularly anymore. Ok, that’s a lie; I don’t blog anymore.  Although now I am starting to get mom guilt over the fact that I did weekly posts my last pregnancy, and what if someday these babies ask me why I didn’t do that with them?  I also find myself looking back at those posts and comparing pregnancies as well as reading things I had forgotten about, so I might pick the blog back up again so I remember everything about being pregnant with twins.

So far, it’s not too different. Minus the expanding belly bump happening earlier and the insane glucoasters I was on for the first month or so (which has since been explained … fraternal twins. two placentas, double hormones, double the crazy blood sugars).

Since then, my blood sugars have stabilized a bit more, and I am in weekly contact with Dr. Awesome to make adjustments as needed.

Kerri and I talk a few times a week, comparing second pregnancy notes (and contrasting twin vs singleton pregnancies) and making each other feel better about the challenge of pregnancy and diabetes that we’re rocking.

When I saw my endocrinologist this week, I expressed my concern over my A1C – which wasn’t high by any means – and how I wanted that number to keep dropping … ya know, mom worry sets in way before the babies are born. Moms, you can relate. He told me (and YES OF COURSE I remember the exact thing he said), “You’re doing a good job. You have two placentas, which means you have double hormones and everything else changing in your body to contend with. Your blood sugars are good, so keep up what you’re doing. All things considered, these babies will be just fine.’

Double hormones you guys. Double. Hormones.

I’m sure there are going to be many differences (and similarities) in the upcoming months. Here’s hoping those babies keep baking until 36+ weeks!

21 weeks left … but who’s counting?

Six Until You.

Dear Baby,

Six years ago, I gave birth to your sister.  It was the most incredible moment of my life, and up until recently, she’s been my top-notch, absolute favorite person in the world.

“But wait … now I’ll be your favorite because I’m your first, and my brother will be your favorite because he’s your last,” interrupted Birdy, who has taken to writing you notes and sealing the envelopes so I can’t peek inside.

Exactly.  She will always be my strange and beautiful Bird and you, you are becoming a little someone who will change our lives again in ways I can’t predict but I know will be awesome and overwhelming.

It’s been over two years that we’ve hoped for you and it’s been a rough go for a dozen reasons, but now, my heart has tried to leave behind that hurt in pursuit of fully investing in hope.  And every time I see your little face on the ultrasound screen or hear the technician say, “Wow, this one loves to dance around,” that hope is renewed.

For now, we wait.  Patiently.  While we wait, my health takes priority in efforts to maintain yours, which is a journey all itself, and I pick through bins of saved baby clothes from the basement, kept in hopes of your someday arrival. (Here’s hoping you like Batman.)

I love you, kiddo.  I have for a long time.  And we can’t wait to meet you and immerse your little self into the never-ending chaos of our family later this summer.

Love always and forever,
Mom

Looking Back: Put On Your Listening Ears.

While traveling for IDF’s World Congress this week (#wdc2015), I’m missing my little one.  Which is why I’m looking back at some posts that feature my little Bird, because she cracks me up … and also because she’s a supportive member of my diabetes team.  Today, I’m revisiting a post about a low blood sugar, the word “NO,” and a pesky little worm.

*   *   *

Our backyard is big and lovely and fenced in on all sides so that when Birdy and I are playing outside, we’re both safe from cars and giant woodland creatures (except the ones that can shimmy underneath the fence … I’m looking at you, groundhog).  I don’t keep my eyes glued to her while she plays, and we can enjoy the sunshine and the garden without feeling paranoid about passing cars, wandering off, etc.

Which is exactly what sucks about the front yard, because that’s the part of the house that the road is closest to.  So while I still need to do things in the front yard (getting the mail, tending the front garden, drawing hopscotch in the driveway), I don’t do anything of those things without having Birdzone front and center in both my mind and my actual line of sight.

Yesterday evening, Birdy and I were working in the front yard garden (I was clearing out some weeds and she was making “houses” for worms we discovered underneath a rock), when my Dexcom started wailing from my pocket.  In retrospect, I felt a little “off,” but it wasn’t until I heard the low alarm blaring from the Dexcom receiver that the symptoms kicked in fully.

“Hey, your blood sugar is whoa, Mom,” Birdy said absently, placing another worm onto a pile of dirt.

“Yeah, we need to go inside and get some snacks, okay?  It’s important,” I replied, looking at the “UNDER 65 MG/DL” warning on the Dexcom screen.

Normally, she listens.  Especially when it’s about blood sugars, because Chris and I have talked with her a few times about how listening is important, particularly when I tell her my blood sugar is low.  But she wanted to stay outside.  She liked playing with the worms.  She liked being in the dirt and gardening.  She didn’t want to have to cut playtime short because Mommy needed a few glucose tabs that she should have brought outside with her in the first place.  [Insert Mom Guilt here.]

“Nooooo waaaaaaay!!!” she said, flouncing away from me and refusing to turn around.

Under normal circumstances, I would have laughed (because “No way!” is a great response), but I was starting to feel shaky and my brain cells connections felt loose, like thoughts weren’t coupling up the right way.  We were in the front yard and I knew I needed to gain control of all potentially dangerous situations in a hurry.

“We need.  To go.  INSIDE right now.  My blood sugar is low.  This is not a joke.” I said.

“No!  I don’t waaaaaaant to!!”

My blood sugar falls fast.  It always has.  I don’t get the long, lingering slides towards hypoglycemia but instead the quick, breathless plummets.  Knowing that I was dropping and watching yet another car drive by our house meant I needed to get control fast and without issue.

Before my body completely caved to the low blood sugar, I scooped up my flailing daughter and walked into the house.  She was freaking out and still forcefully asserting her right to “NOOOO!” but I needed sugar more than I needed her to like me.  A few seconds later, we were both safely contained in the kitchen.  I had a few glucose tabs and waited for my brain to acknowledge them.  Birdy pouted in the corner, staring at her hands and still mumbling, “No way.”

A few minutes later, I felt more human.  “Birdy, I’m sorry we had to come inside.  But my blood sugar was low and it could have become an emergency.  So that’s why you needed to put your listening ears on and come inside.  I wasn’t doing it to be mean; I was doing it to be safe.  Does that make sense?”

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry we couldn’t stay outside.  But we can go back out now, okay?”

“Okay.  I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”

“It’s okay.”

She turned around and pressed her hand into mine.  Something wriggled.  She smiled.

“I brought a worm inside.”

No way.

 

A Matter of Apologies.

“I was low.  I was frustrated because of the low blood sugar.  I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” and I can tell she means it by the look in her friendly, brown eyes.

I used to be very terrible at saying, “I’m sorry.”  I would hold on to frustration and anger in a way that was not good for me or anyone around me, making a grudge or the need to feel like I “won” the disagreement take precedence over a relationship.  I’d keep “I’m sorry” under my tongue because I didn’t want to admit that I’d done something that hurt someone’s feelings.  I felt embarrassed to admit my shortcomings.  It felt awkward and bad.

It took a long time for my head to figure out that my heart was better off if I let the sorry fly, but once I came to that realization, I tried to embrace as often as I could.  (I also had to work on the “does this interaction make me better or worse as a person?”  This is still a work in progress.)  Now I’m less terrible at saying, “I’m sorry,” and I feel better for it.

As much as I hate to admit it, my blood sugars are not only influenced by my emotions (stress, anyone?) but they influence my emotions, as well.  The way my numbers make me physically feel can cause me to act like a total crumb.  It’s another reason to be aware of what my blood sugars are, and if I enter the Crumb Zone, apologize for it.

I find myself apologizing to my daughter at times for entirely blood sugar related reasons.  Sometimes I snap because I’m taking yet another bolus to correct yet another high and my body is riddled with sugar and rage, and I will be far less than patient with my little one as a result.  Other times I raise my voice because I’m trying to treat a low blood sugar reaction and she’s at my elbow asking to [insert rogue request from active 5 year old here].  Losing my patience during the course of run-of-the-mill parenting is something I am not proud of, but losing my patience because diabetes is leaning on my parenting style is something I want my kid to understand as best she can, because I don’t want her ever thinking my seemingly random outbursts are tied to her in any way.

It’s a weird balance between feeling like I’m blaming diabetes for my actions and simply explaining my actions.  Am I in the Crumb Zone (or Mayor of Crumb City, if you’re nasty) because of diabetes?  Nope.  Diabetes doesn’t get credit or get blamed.  But sometimes this disease is part of the explanation, and I want my family to have a sense for how, and why, I’m wired a certain way.

There are moments when Birdy assumes my attitude problem is diabetes-rYes, this whole post was an excuse to use the Siah-in-a-banana picture again.elated when it’s not, and I’m forced to fess up.

“Are you in a bad mood because of a low blood sugar?” my daughter asks, pointedly.

“Not at the moment.  Right now, I’m in a bad mood because I just realized I left a banana in the car while I was on my trip last week.  And now I’m afraid to open the door and confront the banana stink.”

“It’s okay,” she says.  And then adds, “Ew.”

 

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