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Mom’s Perspective: A Gluten-Free Diet In Baby’s First Year To Reduce Risk Of Type 1 Diabetes

(Alternate tittle:  “Bring out yer bread!”)

Now that the little bird is the big O-N-E, we have completed one year as parents.  And one year doing the gluten-free diet with our baby.  This was important to me because I felt strongly about the ties between the early introduction of gluten and type 1 diabetes diagnoses. And after doing some research and discussing this as a family, Chris and I decided to keep our BSparl gluten-free for her first year.

It was pretty easy, to be honest, keeping a little baby off gluten.  (Especially since she doesn’t have celiac, so our decision was elective instead of required.) The ease came mostly from the fact that BSparl breastfed for almost six months, and didn’t start on solid foods until just after she turned six months old.  All breastmilk and/or formula made for a pretty streamlined food schedule for that first half year.  When we introduced solid foods into her diet, we went with organic rice cereal and formula first, then mushed up fruits and assorted other mushed up items (like avocado and shredded chicken breast) mixed with food pouches like these from Ella’s Kitchen. Her diet was pretty mushy for a good long time, since it took about 8 months for her first tooth to bust through. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

What I Want Her To Know About Diabetes

After a tough low this morning:

I want her to know that she was wanted so much, well before she arrived, and that her parents went to great lengths to make sure her arrival was as safe as they could manage.

I want her to know that those moments when she has to wait while I test, or while I bolus, or the times when I have to set her in her crib and gulp down grape juice while she stands there with her big, brown eyes staring at me while her mouth tugs into an impatient smile, that I love her and I just need to deal with diabetes for a few seconds so I can be the best mommy I can.

I want her to know that if my eyes don’t get better, it’s not her fault. It’s not my fault, either. The fault lies with diabetes.

I want her to know that the reason I’ll sometimes frown at a soggy diaper or a voracious pull from the bottle isn’t because she’s being “bad” or doing something wrong, but because I’m worrying.

I want her to know that just because I have it, and because some of her best buddies have it, doesn’t mean that she will have it. But I also want her to know that if a diagnosis of any kind ever touches her life, we’ll manage just fine and take the best care of one another that we can.

I want her to know that when she smiles at me, it’s like a thousand online communities inspiring me all at once. That the hope of her was once the biggest incentive to improve my health, only to be superseded by her arrival in my arms.

I want her to know that regardless of what she may hear about this “diabetes,” her mommy is going to be just fine. Just fine.

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

More Babies For Diabetic Mommy?

While I was at CBC a few weeks ago, one of the staff members asked me if I was planning on having more children. “I don’t think so,” I said, without hesitation. ”I love my daughter endlessly, and now that she’s part of my family, I can’t imagine my life without her, but I can’t lie to you. I didn’t enjoy being pregnant. I wanted a baby, but spending nine months pregnant was very, very stressful.”

The staff member who asked the question looked disappointed. And in that moment, I sort of wish I had lied. “Oh, you look disappointed. I’m sorry! It’s not just because of diabetes stuff. It’s my own personal preference. I don’t want to lie!”

And I won’t lie. The end result of my pregnancy was the most beautiful, smiley baby I have ever laid eyes on, and having her as part of our family has been the greatest joy that Chris and I have ever experienced. Seriously — it sounds like a cheesy Hallmark card, but it’s true. This kid fills a hole in my heart that I didn’t even know existed until I heard her cry and I finally felt complete. But being pregnant, the actual journey of carrying her inside of me, was not an experience I’m looking to repeat. This isn’t entirely a diabetes-based decision, either. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

The Diabetic New Mommy

You know you’re a diabetic mommy when…

  • The bottle of glucose tabs is just as important as the bottle of breast milk in the diaper bag.
  • You have already started wondering how you’re going to explain juice as “medicine” to the kiddo.
  • When you wake up for 3am feedings and they double as a 3am blood sugar check.
  • You start cooing sweetly at your meter when it gives you a result of 100 mg/dl. (“Oooh, what a good meter you are! Yes you are!”)
  • Your baby ends up with a dot of blood on the back of her pajamas from your middle-of-the-night blood sugar check that didn’t stop bleeding right away.
  • When you talk about “the pump,” you need to clarify “the insulin one, not the boob one.”
  • Sometimes you have to draw numbers to see who gets to feed the baby. And by “draw” we mean blood samples.
  • Nothing makes you happier than a full baby with a clean diaper and a full pump with a full battery.
  • You need a diaper bag just for diabetes supplies.
  • Your bedside table has just as many burp clothes as used test strips gathered at its base.

And when the Dexcom starts to “BEEEEEEEP!” you wonder if it needs a diaper change.

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

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