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“The Thought” Of Your Child Having Diabetes

It wasn’t until yesterday that I thought “The Thought” for the first time.

She had a very wet diaper in the afternoon. And even though she had nursed for a long time and even though she seemed (and is) healthy and very strong, I still thought about taking out my meter and pricking her heel myself. Just thought it for a second.

I didn’t follow through, though. I didn’t let “The Thought” stay for more than a flicker, as I immediately finished changing her diaper and started singing her a song about the power of tiny spoons. (Don’t ask — my songs never make any sense.) I shook “The Thought” off the same way I shake off the thought every time I wonder if my niece or nephew might have dipped into my autoimmune grab bag. I don’t allow my brain to go there. It’s not denial, but feels more like a protective measure taken by my mind, protecting my psyche from letting “The Thought” permeate my daily life.

Because I can’t spend the rest of my life waiting to see. The chances of BSparl being diagnosed with diabetes are slightly elevated as a result of my diabetes, but not much more than your “normal” (read:  mom without diabetes) mom. But if it’s going to be part of her future, I can’t sit around waiting for it to happen. I can’t let every wet diaper and every “She wants to eat already?” thought prompt a panic attack. I can’t let this kind of fear own me. I refuse to let “The Thought” even progress into “A Fear.”

I had a lot of questions tossed my way during my pregnancy about the likelihood of my daughter ending up diabetic. I had some concerned family members who wanted to know if there would be a second type 1 diabetic among our numbers. I had some curious blog readers whose questions ranged from “Are you scared of passing it on?” to the irritatingly rhetorical “How dare you even take the risk?” (For the record, my one-line email answer to that rhetorical question was, and remains, “How dare you write that email?”) And the weeks before Chris and I decided to go for it, I was scouring the Internet for stats on the children of diabetic moms.

But the moment they told us “It’s on,” all those thoughts went out the window. I felt like any other mom, or at least I imagined it was how any other mom felt. I wasn’t fearing the worst, but hoping for the best.  Wondering what color eyes she’ll have (they’re slate blue so far), what kind of books she’d like (she loooves The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog), and how snuggly her hugs would feel (super snuggly). Diabetes was on my radar, but only as it related to my body and our shared pregnancy. I didn’t worry about whether or not she would get it.

It was weird, though. That very wet diaper. “The Thought” jumping right into my head, without warning or care. It was just there and it lingered for a split second before I literally shook my head and said, “Get out,” sending “The Thought” back into the gray abyss. It’s just a wet diaper. She’s just extra hungry sometimes. It’s okay. My baby is healthy. My baby is happy. 

And if her health status were to change, I’ll make it my job to ensure that her “happy” status doesn’t.

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

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