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BSparl: 20 Weeks.

Dear Baby,

Daddy and I are at the halfway point in our journey to meeting you, and I'll admit - I'm a little surprised at how quickly this is happening.  I feel like I was just in Spain, hoping you were there with us, and then just at Joslin, wondering if they were going to tell us you were indeed hidden inside of me.

Baby, we know you are a little girl, and that every week, different parts of you progress in their development.  Daddy and I read through those books we bought and marvel at what's actually happening inside, when my outside just looks bulgy.  "She can hear us now!"  "She'll start kicking any day."  "Will we catch her sucking her thumb in the next ultrasound?" "Does she realize I don't know the lyrics to ANY songs, not even Christmas ones?"

Baby Girl Sparling, 20 weeks

And I've felt pretty healthy, Baby.  I am about 13 lbs heavier and wearing maternity clothes now (you'll see them when you're born - the crazy pants with the elastic waist bands that everyone was jealous of at Thanksgiving?), but a lot of the "pregnancy woes" aren't part of our lives yet.  Like heartburn.  And stretch marks (yet).  Just some back pain and I feel pretty tired a lot of the time.  Heating pads and naps work wonders these days. 

But Baby, I get very nervous about things that other people don't know about.  The stuff that isn't mentioned on the "What to Expect" websites.  We visit the doctor every two weeks, and I'm being followed very closely by my medical team, but sometimes my mind gets panicked about how capable my body is of taking the best care of you.  I can't lie - I know that diabetic women have healthy babies all the time, but Baby, when my blood sugars ring in at 200 mg/dl after a meal, no matter how carefully I've counted carbs and bolused insulin, I'm terrified that I'm hurting you.  Or this morning, when I woke up at 135 mg/dl at 7 am, I felt a pit in my stomach because I know that it's best for me to be under 100 mg/dl first thing.   I wonder, when the infusion set really stung yesterday morning upon inserting it, do you feel that pain?  Is it normal to worry about every little thing when it comes to your well-being?

Of course it is, moms and dads who have done this before will tell me.  It's completely normal for me to want the very best for you and to hope and pray for your good health and safety.  And it's also completely normal for me to worry about every little thing.  But what I worry most about are the things I am scared to talk about.  The things like blood sugars and hypertension and diabetes-related complications for you and I alike, that other people in my life think I have figured out but I just don't know how to do it right every day.  And the idea of doing it "wrong" makes my breath catch in my throat.  My numbers seem "good enough" and my A1C is lower than it's ever been, but those 200's that are creeping back in at at times terrify me.  So does the 31 mg/dl in the middle of the night.  And so does every single thing that threatens to affect you in any way.  Will I keep you safe enough? 

Diabetes is the shifting sand I'm trying to build my life on, and I can handle my being affected, but I don't want it to touch you.  Not even for a moment.

I love you endlessly, Baby.  I'm so grateful to even be this far, and I appreciate every moment I have with you, and will have with you in the future.  Don't worry, Baby.  I'm not spending every minute of our pregnancy in a panic.  It's just sometimes I feel so scared that I'm not able to provide to you everything that you deserve.  I'm very protective of you already, and I want to be a good mom to you.  When I feel you kicking around inside of me, I know you are exactly what I've always wanted.  You are a new life that your father and I created together, and I hope that I can give to you even an ounce of the joy you've already given to me in the last five months. 

I can't wait to meet you, and hold you, and know that you're okay.

Your Mommy


You and Chris are already such awesome parents. That baby is one lucky little girl!

Oh and my favorite go to lullaby is always "the Alphabet." You MUST know the words to that. :)

If only every mom and mom-to-be were like Kerri Sparling..........

I can always count on a good "Kerri-cry" whenever the posts turn to letters to the baby! And just before my endo appointment...BLAST!

It will be ok! It really will. Anyone who has been a mom has paniced at some point about if the things they were doing, or the diseases they had, will effect their baby. It's all part of the plan - that panic - it's what bonds us to our babies...for life and is what makes us more highly evolved. We care what happens to our babies. By the time your baby is born you feel like you've both been through a tremendous journey together and you're willing to stand infront of a moving truck to protect your child. It's that panic that is joins you to the ranks of all the other moms who have come before you.

Welcome...to motherhood. :)

I relied heavily on camp songs as lullabies :) Do you remember "Barges"? I'll post the lyrics for you on my blog.

Kerri: There's nothing that can be said to take away the panic and uncertainty that comes with being pregnant with diabetes, but believe me: you are under great control and it appears there's little to realistically worry about. My wife and I want to start a family, and I find myself with some of those same fears from the diabetic guy's perspective. I fear that my many years of poor control will impact not only our conception possibility but our baby. That scares the life out of me. Yet, I take comfort in hearing the stories of so many other guys who've lived with the D just as long or longer than I have (at 25 years), and have healthy non-diabetic kids. It really helps, but it also provides motivation to keep under the best control possible. Good luck to you and Chris!

Kerri - You will be a wonderful mom. Welcome to the many feelings that moms feel, every day of every day, from before birth and on and on. Welcome.
Baby GSparl will be so lucky to have you as a Mom.

My little one is 6 1/2 months now. I felt exactly like you describe during my pregnancy, and I have to tell you....it doesn't stop after the baby's born. It shifts away from the "how-is-my-diabetes-affecting-my-fetus" concerns onto other things, but I'm learning that, as mothers, we will probably spend our whole lives worrying about our daughters (and whether or not we are doing everything we can for them) in some way or another. It means we love them :)

Your happiness is absolutely brimming forth from these posts, K... And I'm happy for you! :)

That baby is one lucky little lady.

Kerri, I'm new to following your blog, and I just wanted to let you know how much your posts mean to me. I feel like I'm reading about myself, and as I came to type one diabetes late in life (21!), I have felt very isolated in managing it. Your blog is an inspiration, especially as my husband and I are hoping to start a family soon. You are already a wonderful mother to little BSparl, and I hope that when I get pregnant I do as well as you do in managing everything (even when you don't feel like it). Reading your blog helps me believe that I can do it, and that I am not a failure when I get an unexplained high despite all my obsessive management right now. So thank you for sharing, particularly this post.

Kerri, you and Chris are going to be fabulous parents and little BSparl is a lucky girl! It's totally normal to worry about any and everything when you are pregnant (ie I was afraid I was going to go into labor and have to deliver my DD in my classroom behind my desk). I think the fact that you are concerned for the baby and cognizant of all you do will get you and BSparl through the second half of the pregnancy in great shape. :)

What a great post Kerri.

Hi Kerri!
Your letter to your baby sounded like me when I was pregnant. I feel like sending you my testing book for the time I was pregnant (yes, I kept a log book!) It was also thoughts like yours and worry that made me miss out on really enjoying my pregnancy... and then whooooooosh... it was over! It seems your baby is making you crave the healthy stuff!!! So, that's a good thing! I, too, craved OJ and pineapple at first then later on, I wanted real home-cooked meals (like meatload and baked potatoes!). Then I was admitted to hospital at 31 weeks and had to endure hospital food for 5 1/2 weeks!!!! I still cheated a bit. I had *some* ice cream or red licorice or a chocolate chip cookie. Everything worked out fine for me! STOP Googling! I know, it's easier said than done!! Enjoy your pregnancy and don't worry about an occasional high. They happen!! Take care!!

Oh Kerri. I don't think I've ever related so perfectly to another person's writing. I know EXACTLY how you feel. The worry about each blood sugar was terrible during pregnancy, but you're right, it's good training for motherhood.

There's nothing as strong as a mother's love for her child and it's amazing that it starts before you've met your child!

You're doing everything you can to give your daugther a wonderful start in life. Luckily, with the technology and knowledge we have today, your effort will certainly keep her very safe and healthy.

Those occasional highs are frustrating, but ultimately they won't do any harm. When you're monitoring so closely, you'll catch the high and bring it down quickly, so you're not spending that much time out of range.

Congratulations on the half way mark!

Kerri, don't worry about knowing the words to any songs. Once you start driving BSparl around, you'll find you don't WANT to know the words to the children songs in the car. I think I still know (shudder) the words to all the Barney songs.

My advice - get a copy of David Polansky's Animal Alphabet Songs and start practicing.

Kid's got to learn "Single Ladies" eventually. May as well start now.

You are doing such a terrific job handling everything - even the scary stuff. You are strong and smart and you & Chris are wonderful parents!!

PS: I first read this post on my iPhone and it made me cry . . . in the cafe at Borders. Which seemed embarrassing, until the lady at a near-by table had a "top-of-her-lungs" personal conversation on her cell phone that had the rest of us snickering and shaking our heads. Suddenly I wasn't the weirdest lady at Borders. ;)

Ohhh, you're halfway there...

(sorry I had to).

These posts are my fave. Kerri is my hero! :D And hero of baby Bsparl too

RE: Your December 16th comment
Great advice. Thanks for the plug.
David Polansky

So, obviously you posted this almost a year ago, but as a newly-pregnant T1 diabetic (and one who had a miscarriage 8 months ago), this post really speaks to me. I've been reading your entire pregnancy journey, hoping that I might get to where you are now - caring for your beautiful baby. Every blood sugar test is anxiety ridden, and I'm only 8 weeks along! I don't know how I'll last 9 months, but I just pray I get the chance. Your story is truly inspiring, mainly because of your honesty with your emotions. I can't thank you enough. And I'm so, so happy that you got your happy ending - a beautiful little daughter! Thanks for blogging and for giving me (and surely others like me) hope.

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