Her birth was obviously anticipated, and we were so excited to welcome her, my husband and I, but none more than our oldest two Ashleigh and Carter. They couldn’t wait for her arrival and when she finally was born they never wanted to leave her side.
To say I was ill prepared to manage life with not just 3 children where the oldest is 5, but also with a 3-year-old Type 1 Diabetic in the mix is the understatement of the century.
I thought back to bringing Carter home, the transition seemed so fluid. He was just a welcome addition to our home and though the adjustment period lasted a bit, soon we were a well oiled machine just with one extra amazing addition to the home.
Adding a third child is challenging, but adding one into a home where their closest sibling is a Type 1 Diabetic is difficult. There are many times that I feel as though I gave birth to twins. My newborn needed me that second, as did my type 1 diabetic son. The choice was easy, take care of the diabetic first, as consequences of making him wait a second longer could lead to catastrophic results. It went against every instinct that my recently launched into postpartum self knew.
Waiting with my Type 1 Diabetic son, and lately having to coax him to consume carbs and sugars to fix low blood sugars, is unbelievably difficult with a crying hungry newborn in tow.
However, we have adjusted. Carter is learning to take a more active role in his care, Ashleigh is learning how to be the best helper ever, and Natasha is learning how to have patience with me when unforeseen circumstances arise.
As stressful as it is, through working together, we have all found a new routine. What I find interesting is at every doctor appointment since Carter’s diagnosis, my blood pressure has been uncharacteristically high. Just more proof of the hidden price we as parents of Type 1 Diabetics pay. We are continually under stress, every situation can change in an instant and we are fighting for our child’s life. Cut to a split second later when all has been fixed, we are celebrating our success.
This life is a definite roller coaster ride, filled with many highs and lows, and I’m not just referring to blood sugars. With every defeat and with every victory, there are lessons. Stopping my life because we were handed an unforgiving disease wasn’t an option.
We choose to live and not survive, and part of living is growing our family and giving my children a new wonderful sibling who can join our constant fight and advocacy against Type 1 Diabetes. Natasha is so small, and has yet to realize the strength of her big brother and big sister. In her short 6 weeks of life, she has proven, already, to have the same fighting spirit. A spirit that will reign supreme when it comes to assisting in making sure Carter’s rights aren’t forfeited, or that he is treated differently due to his disability. Yes little one, you fit on just perfectly and are already such a blessing.