It was 9:30 AM on June 1, 2012 and placed in my arms was my baby boy. I had anticipated his birth, and was so relieved it was all over. In my arms was my beautiful baby boy, my second born child who we had waiting for patiently for 9 long months. His sister arrived at the hospital and was so excited to see her brother, we took our beautiful new bundle home and he was everything we had ever hoped for. The first year of his life was wonderful, he was such a happy baby, I adored him, Greg adored him, and most of all Ashleigh adored him and was so grateful for a companion. His first birthday was such a joy, I distinctly remember him attacking his chocolate cupcake with a vengeance. He hadn’t ever tasted chocolate cake and he wasn’t going to let anyone take this newfound delicious treat from him. He guarded that with his life while devouring every morsel.
The next five months were filled with fun, joyous adventures with he and Ashleigh, and watching their bond with each other grow. It all lead up to November 20, 2013, when my world shattered. My perfectly healthy 17 month old was admitted into the hospital and diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I remember hoping the doctors were all wrong, I had proof that I produced perfectly healthy children, my four-year-old had absolutely zero medical problems and was the picture of perfect health.
Sorrow turned into devastation, which slowly turned into reluctant acceptance. Four lives changed in an instant, future pictures erased and replaced immediately with glucose monitoring, shots, insulin. I was overwhelmed. Survival became my mantra, and I was on a quest to find the best ways to accomplish that, not just for Carter, but for me, Greg and Ashleigh. We all had to embrace this change for it to be successful and it took a good 4 months for us to all be on the same page about it. Ashleigh and I struggled the most, it was difficult to welcome the idea of diabetes invading our lives.
As I sit, on my son’s two-year birthday, I am overjoyed at how far we have come. I see my son through new eyes, I look at him and see him cloaked in courage. I look at him with amazement at his immediate acceptance, and try to hide my disappointment and sorrow. I still struggle with grief, especially on his 2nd birthday, as this isn’t the life I wanted my son to have. We are making good memories given our new life and I know as the birthday’s come and go things will get easier, but for now I am embracing this and embracing my son even more throughout the day.