Sibling Rivalry: Diabetes vs Maya


I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seventeen years ago. That’s the amount of time it takes to raise a child. With all the TLC I’ve provided, Diabetes should be ready for college. Let’s hope he goes out-of-state.

Meanwhile, two months ago, I gave birth to an actual child. Her name is Maya.

When I brought her home, Diabetes was jealous. Holding her, feeding her, and changing those poopie Diapers made diabetes wonder where he fit in.  

I admit: I’ve been neglecting Diabetes. If you asked me if I had a favorite child, the answer would be Absolutely. Maya takes the cake.

Ironically, when I was pregnant with Maya, I gave Diabetes extra attention. I tested my blood sugar 15 times a day, kept my A1Cs in the 5s, and ate right. I did this so that Maya would be healthy. But now that she’s here and her health doesn’t so much depend on mine, I’m struggling to keep up with Diabetes.  

For so many years, Diabetes has been a top priority, maybe even to a fault. I can’t even remember the days when I woke up in the morning and didn’t instinctually reach for my meter. But now things have changed. Maya’s arrival instantly unraveled my deep-rooted routine with Diabetes. Checking my blood sugar is no longer the first thing I do. First I check on Maya. Then I proceed to feed her because babies wake up hungry. A few minutes into breastfeeding, I finally get around to testing my blood sugar.

I know, I know. Testing first is the smarter choice – for me and for Maya. Because what if I were low or high? It’s important to correct so that I’m in good shape to be a good mom. But in the moment, it’s hard to put Diabetes before Maya.

I’ve been repeatedly mumbling to my husband, “Once things settle down, I’ll get back to my old routine.”

If you’re a parent, you’re probably chuckling. That’s okay. I understand now too; there is no settling down! I can’t hang on to the memory of my old routine. There’s a new face in town (a really cute one); that means a new routine. The challenge is finding it. I know it requires multi-tasking. But I’ve always been good at doing one thing at a time. 

For now, I’m trying not to beat myself up. Taking care of diabetes and a newborn all at once is hard work! I hope to eventually strike a balance: one where diabetes gets the attention he needs, and Maya remains my #1.  

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9 years ago

You can do it! My two babies are now 34 and 28, and we all survived :)  It does get easier in many ways, and one of the benefits of juggling a chronic dis-ease while raising kids is that they get to learn first hand from you how to maintain a discipline which is life enhancing.  Bravo to you, Jennifer.

LeAnn Secen Gardner
LeAnn Secen Gardner
9 years ago

I am so excited to read your blog! Great post! I’m hoping to get in shape to have a baby in a few months ( just started my blog too!!!) so reading your blog is going to be really helpful and inspiring, and I already feel like I totally understand :) 
thanks for sharing 

Michelle Sorensen
9 years ago

What a wonderful post. Good luck! And yes, things do settle down a bit. Kids are always a challenge, but there’s nothing quite like a newborn. It does get easier. 

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