It feels somewhat surreal to be sitting here, on the precipice of parenting a 1-year-old and reliving the memories of events and emotions leading up to my daughters birth (which I promise to write about at some point), and realising that on my 17th Diaversary I was being induced. I wasn’t being induced because my little Moomin was overdue, or because of complications with my pregnancy, but because I live with T1D and a baby born around the 38th week of pregnancy tends to have better outcomes. I remember sitting in the dazzling May Bank Holiday sunshine, in the unusually quiet grounds of the hospital having a picnic, knowing that the process of my baby’s arrival had begun. I remember thinking how serendipitous it was that this much dreamed about moment (becoming a Mumma, definitely not labour), was happening 17 years to the day that Diabetes came into my life; serendipitous because without my T1D I would not have met my incredible Fiance/MoominPapa.
Living with Type one diabetes is not easy, it’s full time and no two days are the same. The last 18 years have certainly been a literal rollercoaster, it gets you emotionally, mentally, physically…..there is not a part of your life that isn’t affected by it or which it affects. I admit I’m weary. At 18 most parents are letting go a little to give their children a smidgen more independence; I feel sometimes that my Diabetes is regressing and needs more attention. A little like an older sibling may react when a new baby comes into its life. It is petulant, defiant and it’s demanding so much of my time and thought processes that I feel Mumma guilt when I have to treat a hypo or correct a hyper and Moomin is speed crawling towards me calling “MumMA, MumMa”. But I know this exhaustion is temporary, there are always better times ahead and just as a new parent has moments of wondering how they can go on amongst the exhaustion of suddenly existing solely for this little life that has come into the world, so do those living with a long term condition. It’s not just OK to have moments like this, periods of time where you just coast along in the hope that you’ll catch your breath and be able to forge ahead with the level of gusto and enthusiasm you had before. Nope, it’s not just OK, it’s normal, it’s expected, it helps you survive and more importantly, it’s human.
Throughout the years I’ve never really marked diaversaries, possibly because of my initial misdiagnosis and the resulting lack of understanding of the impact this condition would have on my life. Sitting here now, reflecting on the impact it’s had on my life over the last 18 years, I actually can’t help but focus on the friendships, the opportunities, the support and the strength it’s given me. This one will be spent doing last minute preparations for Moomin’s first birthday but considering the part, Diabetes has played in her arrival….perhaps that’s the most appropriate way of saying Happy Diaversary?! (Plus we still have some leftover cake from her Naming Ceremony/Birthday party at the weekend so I’m not really breaking any rules by not doing anything specific right?).
There’s so much I’ve learned on this 18-year journey, and I’m certain there’s much more still to absorb, for now, I’ll leave you with this;
The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
Until next time…