I’ve always wanted to have kids one day. In my grand life plan, there’s always been children in my future. Even with all the diabetes horror stories I’ve heard, I’ve never been swayed the other way (we can talk about all the various opinions about having a child when you have diabetes in another blog post. That’s a tougher post to write because some people really have some strong opinions about that). Now that my older sister has a child, I’ve finally had some real-life glimpses of what that will look like for me and Jacob when we decide to start a family.
Most of what I’ve seen is not only awesome, it’s awe-inspiring. I can’t even put in to words how much I love my little, perfect niece. Everything she does is cute and interesting: she sneezes and it’s adorable. Each tiny little outfit we put her in is cuter than the next one. I don’t mind changing her diaper (just learned how to do that this weekend!), and I don’t mind when she spits up after downing a big bottle – even if it’s all over a new dress. She’s just perfect.
But what I do mind is diabetes getting in the way and the super-sized guilt trip it gives me. When I got low on Saturday while holding my niece, I was able to hand her back to her mom. That won’t be a reality when it’s my kid. I managed a one-handed bolus while holding her in my other arm, but it was tricky. I’m trying to imagine doing that 10 times in one day, and changing pump sites and sensors and finger sticks and Symlin injections and holy crap I’ve really laid the guilt on thick for myself about children that are still a few years away from existence. Catastrophic thinking much? Note to self: Chill.
These are the times where I need to remind myself that I am not the first woman with diabetes to ever want children. I won’t be the first mom with Type 1 diabetes, and I won’t be the first person to feel crappy when a low takes precedence over a screaming kid. There are plenty of happy, healthy diabetic moms out there who find a way to balance feedings with testing. And if the way I feel about my little niece is any preview to what I’ll feel for a kid of my own one day, then I know that it’s going to dwarf any fears I have about diabetes.