Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Maybe it's because before I got pregnant, I didn't really have a good diabetes routine. I didn't focus much on it. I checked here and there and bolused along those same lines, but it wasn't a focus for me. It was just there, and I had to deal with it to function, but it was certainly not a priority.
It was certainly not the priority it became once I was pregnant... maybe the better term would be obsession. I obsessed over it. I checked 25 times/day the first two days I found out I was responsible for another life. I cried when I had blood sugars of 130 for more than 30 minutes and I checked my CGMS every 10 minutes, at least, even when I settled down a bit. It was easy, though. Well, not easy, but it was worth it. All of the time, dedication, the finger pricks, the huge CGMS needles, the site changes... all of it was so worth it. It was for her. So why can't I do it for ME?
Well, here are my 6 things I'd like for you to know about diabetes, and they do all somewhat run together, but here they are:
1. There are no real rewards.
Sure, living, and especially living without complications, is a reward. But it isn't tangible. It isn't like we get a gold star or a tootsie roll at the end of a hard day's work. And even then, it isn't a guarantee. Even if I do everything I should, I could still have complications, and diabetes could still kill me.
I think that is why it was easy when I was pregnant...I was working toward a goal, a very tangible, perfect little reward. But now, and before? Well, I am already living, and shouldn't that just be a given? That I get to continue living, without having to FIGHT for it every.second.of.every.day...
2. It doesn't stop and it will never end.
...Diabetes is all day, every day, there are no breaks, and there are no vacations; the further you try to run, the harder it will hit you. There is no escape. It's always on my mind. I'm always calculating, wondering, and waiting. I never know when my next low will hit me, when the next time I'll be shaking all over, unable to focus or think clearly, covered in sweat, and faced with the fear that this may be the one that gets me...
3. It is scary.
...This may be the one that knocks me unconscious, the one that I'll never wake up from. The one that will leave me helpless, and maybe I'll have my daughter with me, or maybe I'll be alone. Or maybe it won't be that quick, maybe it will just debilitate me, leave me blind, or require amputations, or dialysis... These are not always conscious thoughts and I certainly don't live in fear... but the reality is always there, no matter how deep I try to bury it, and that reality won't go away, no matter how hard I try...
3. It is HARD.
...To do well is far from easy. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of time, a lot of thought and calculation. You have to always be on your A game, never slacking or losing track. There is no mindless snacking, or getting too busy to eat. Things that other people take for granted are the things that keep us alive. One wrong move, one guesstimation that is off can send us spiraling out of control. So we have to be determined, and dedicated and check check check to make sure we're on track, but that is no guarantee that we will be. No matter how hard we try, there is no such thing as truly getting it right...
4. I'm never in control and I'll never really get it right.
...Even when we're at our best, we're always susceptible to things going wrong: bad sites, bad insulin, wrong calculations, getting sick, and the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as total control. We are never really in control of anything... Diabetes always has the one up. So sometimes I just don't feel like fighting it anymore. What's the point if it's a losing battle, if it's a battle I can't win...
5. The fight is worth it and despite it all, I am truly happy.
...I guess the thing is, I'm not in it to win it. I'm in it to keep fighting, and it isn't a losing battle, just a continuous one. Life isn't guaranteed, diabetic or not, but every day I get to spend with my daughter, and my husband, and my family, it's worth it. That IS my reward, and they are certainly tangible. So what if the fight doesn't end, who said having somthing to fight for was a bad thing? It keeps me on my toes but it doesn't take away from my happiness. I have so much to live for and couldn't ask for more out of life. I don't want anyone's pity or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I don't need that, because, I'm okay. I'm truly happy. If given the option to remove diabetes from my life, would I take it? Yes. In a heartbeat, but then I would never have come to appreciate the value of a good fight, or the million other lessons that diabetes has taught me, and I certainly would not understand how close the bond can be between people who have never even met, but who rely on each other for support...
6. Together, we are strong.
I have never known a more powerful group of people than the group of diabetics that we have in our online community. I am proud to be a member, and even when I feel weak, I can feel the strength of our group and know that it will be okay; we may fight our own individual battles, but we also fight together... and that is powerful, and to me, having that kind of support, makes having diabetes a breeze (most days!).
Monday, July 19, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I want to blog more about how the diabetes side of things are going since I've really neglected doing that. I want to eventually write about how the c-section went and then the first few days with Kate, but really just haven't had the time to do it!
Speaking of time, I feel like my diabetes has really fallen away from my focus now that I have all eyes on Kate. I feel like I don't have time to check like I should and sometimes even forget to bolus for food... I mean, how long does it take to check my blood sugar and bolus with my pump?? It's just hard because I usually have her in my arms, so it makes it pretty difficult.
Kate is 9 weeks old today and is only napping for a grand total of around an hour to two hours at the very most during the day, so I have very little time for myself! I don't know how she is getting so little sleep, but she is!
I am really trying to make diabetes part of my focus again throughout my day, because it is important and necessary, especially since I am still breastfeeding. I want to be around for my little girl, and would like to eventually have a couple more little ones, but I have to re-focus and get back on track!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I know, I know, it has been way too long since my last update!! I have tried updating before, but it takes so long to type my updates out (several days) that they have been deleted, and for some reason not saved in drafts, before I could post them!! I guess that is what my new life as Kate's Mommy is going to be like :)
Kate is 8 weeks old!! I just can't believe it! I feel like just in the past week or two she has grown so much... we've watched her transform from a tiny little newborn to a chunky precious baby! AND over the past several weeks she has slowly begun to work on her beautiful smile and started showing us little bits and pieces of it last week when she showed off her final product... and goodness is it beautiful! She's starting to laugh now, too. It is amazing how from the very moment I wake up in the morning, my main goal for the entire day is to see Kate smile!
She is also starting to coo and talk to us, which is so much fun. The first time she did it several weeks ago, I was so taken back by how much I loved the sound of her precious voice!! I was looking forward and excited about her cooing, but I had never thought about the sound of her voice as one of her "firsts" to look forward to! What an absolutely beautiful sound that !
Kate had her two month appointment and she is now 10 pounds and 3 ounces and is 22 1/2 inches long. We went with our list of usual questions, one of which always includes "how cute is too cute?" but I know the answer to that one :)
We have also been traveling and making sure Kate is getting out and about. We've driven the hour and a half to spend some time with my parents when she was 3 1/2 weeks and then a week or so later again when our a/c went out at our house (see Kate without a/c in her bouncy chair... in her crib for her night without a/c on the left; she sleeps this way every night, although usually covered up) and also the 5 hour drive to see Brad's parents. It was so much fun and it was so wonderful to get out of the house!! I never thought I would enjoy just getting out and seeing the light of day as much as I have!!
Kate has also continuing to roll over, which still just amazes us! Brad loves to show everyone her neat little trick and we are just so impressed with her. She still continues to amaze us with how strong she is and how well she holds her head up. She is also so alert! We recently took our first Mommy/daughter trip to Wal-mart and she just looked around at all the colors and things the entire time! She loves getting out of the house, meeting new people, and unfortunately, she seems to really enjoy shopping!! She is just so good and is a wonderful joy! I can't help but have this crazy, scary feeling that she will be crawling and moving before we know it!! Yikes!! :)
So, that is some of the things we have been up to. I will make sure to try to update you all more often, but it really is so hard! Kate is only taking two or three 30 minute to 1 hour naps during the day (but has been sleeping 5 and the 4 hours during the night!), so that leaves me with very little time to do much (I now have a toothbrush/toothpaste downstairs, as well as upstairs)!! But, I wouldn't rather be doing anything other than spending my days with her... waiting for that smile!
Please know that I do think about you all very often and the only reason I am looking forward to returning to work is that I will have more time to catch up with how you are all doing, as well as share more on what is going on in our lives. I really do miss you all!!
Monday, April 26, 2010
We are doing well and enjoying our time together while I am home (yep, already dreading the return to work :( ) and we trying our best to figure out the Mommy and Daddy thing ;) She's made it this far, so we must be doing something right!!
Brad is an absolutely wonderful Daddy and Kate has him wrapped around her very long little finger already! Brad has a way to make Kate fall asleep and is so gentle with her; he can even make her stop crying by, get this, holding her tiny little hand!! They definitely love their Daddy/daughter time and I love watching them!
Kate is such a joy and is a wonderful baby. She makes us laugh and smile all day (and night) with her feisty little personality and all of her funny faces and little grunts...and boy are there lots of them! My favorite is when she yawns really big, and then she follows it with a long grunt and a face scrunch, all in one silly flowing action. She is also so alert and will open her eyes wide and just gaze around her. I know she can't see much quite yet, but you'd swear she could.
She is also so strong! She cranes her head back and turns her head from side to side and she can even roll from one side to the other. She can hold her head up for an impressive amount of time and can even lift her little body off of us when lying on our chests....and has been for a couple of weeks!! We definitely see a lot of determination and a dose of stubbornness in her, too. Kate is definitely a spunky little thing and is just so full of amazement. Every day we are so incredibly in awe of her and we are already so proud of every little thing she does!
Breastfeeding was a challenge at first, but we are doing better now... it is definitely one of the most difficult things I've ever done, mainly because it was so important to me and I had no clue what to expect, so I was constantly second guessing myself. What I thought was an inability on my part to satisfy her ended up being her love to pacify on me! Introducing a pacifier was a lifesaver for us, even though I was extremely hesitant at first, since "they" say you shouldn't! But, she does fine with it and I am feeling better about all of it. We do still have to supplement her with a few ounces of formula at night, but we are trying to stop that, too... although, we will see how that goes!
Even when there are no more lights in the sky and all is quiet in the world except for in our little house, we can't help but smile and laugh at our precious little Kate. What an awesome adventure we are now on, one that I am sure will bring lots of ups and downs, but mostly lots of love and happiness in our hearts and in our lives. Brad and I are just so thrilled to have Kate with us and we cannot wait to see the little person that she will become!
Thank you all for your love and support and we can't wait to share this incredible new journey with you all!
P.S. - If there is anyone out there who has questions about diabetes and pregnancy, or just questions about life with baby, please please don't hesitate to let me know. I am certainly no expert, but I am happy to be an open book about my own experiences!!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
That's her furrowed brow expression at 2 days old...oh Mommy and Daddy are in BIG trouble!
Whooo, what a whirlwind it has been... Kate is napping and I finally have few minutes (seconds...??) to catch everyone up. I have not watched tv or been online since her birth... and no I can't imagine what I've done all that time either, especially since only 2 -3 hours/day has been sleeping... so here it is, my precious girl's "birth story":
Kate arrived on March 31 at 12:42 weighing 6 pounds 8 ounces and is 19 3/4 inches long. She's beautiful and more than I could have ever imagined! I went ahead and decided to have a c-section due to a more controlled environment and my retinopathy. You were all right, even though I was extremely scared of the surgery, it wasn't so bad after all and once I saw my beautiful daughter, it didn't matter anyway.
I am having trouble breastfeeding and it has been quite a challenge... one of the things I wanted most was to be able to breastfeed, but it doesn't seem to be coming naturally for me. I've gotten about 2 hours of sleep each night since she's been born (is that normal?!?) and am pretty tired, but trying as hard as I can. I am not giving up easily, but know that it may not work out... she is continuing to root around even after I feed her and never seems to be satisfied, but i don't know if it is lack of milk or if she is starting to pacify herself at the breast because she frequently falls asleep right when I put her back on. I guess we just have to figure it all out and I keep telling myself that regardless of what happens, she will be okay.
I just wanted to give you a quick update while I could. Kate is just so precious and it has definitely been love at first sight and even though we are struggling a little, she really is just perfect in every way and even in between tears and sleep deprivation when I see her little face, I can't help but smile and even with the exhaustion, frustration, fear and anxiety, this mommy thing is pretty awesome!!