I’ve never wanted or let Diabetes stop me from doing anything. Sometimes to the extent that I may not have been as responsible as I should have been. But I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that for all the hardships and difficulties and annoyances that Diabetes has caused in my life, it has all been outweighed by the fact that it brought the amazing man I have the privilege of calling my husband into my life. Even though we’ll probably never know if either one or both of us is to ‘blame’ for the fact that Aiyla now suffers from the same condition, I would never ever change my decision to spend the rest of my life with this man, and I would never decide not to have had Aiyla. She will be a stronger person because of it, and is still a perfectly happy and blessed child.
But I want her experience to be different than mine. I don’t want her to feel like she has to push herself to be ‘normal’. I want her to embrace this side of herself, not let it define her while still being a part of who she is. If she wants to join the Peace Corps, I’ll fill out the application for her and coach her through the interview process. If she wants to hike mountains, I’ll fill her gear up with all the glucose gels and glucagon she could possibly need to make it possible.
When she was diagnosed I asked myself a lot of questions about the future. Whether or not we should have more children, whether I would be a hovering mom that controlled all aspects of her diabetes, if I’d put her through clinical trials. But one of the biggest things I’ve struggled with is Give. At first I decided I didn’t want Aiyla to feel like she had prevented me from doing something I loved or that our lives had to be different because of this disease. But as time has gone on, I’ve realized that this is one of those irresponsible decisions I’ve pushed myself into to keep up this façade of being ‘normal’.
I always dreamt of baking session with Aiyla, flour in our hair as we made whatever her little heart desired. And even at this young age, she has already loved to stand on her stool and help mama throw things into the mixing bowl and watch the ingredients come together. But she has also wanted to eat all the cookies, grabbed and eaten handfuls of sugar and batter, things that any normal kid would do. And every now and then, that’s fine. We’ll give her an extra shot of insulin and life will go on. But on a regular basis, I know I’m not being a responsible parent by continuing. I don’t have the capacity to continue this labor-intensive endeavor while trying to take good care of my daughter’s health and also bring a sibling into her life.
So I’m selling Give. I’m being a responsible mother and we’re moving forward. I’m still a socially conscious baker. I’m still a fair-trade enthusiast. I’m still an avid supporter of ethical businesses. I’m not giving up or letting Diabetes define us, I’m just being responsible while being true to myself. And on that note, I’d like to introduce you to my new endeavor.
You have probably heard me support Babies4Babies over the years. I’ve been ghosting a little recently until we formalized things, but as a lot of you know, I recently left Aiyla for the first time this past week. I was in Chicago visiting with my dear friend Kate (my college roommate back at GWU). She started Babies4Babies over three years ago, and has been my greatest peer mentor. This past week we hashed out a lot of details, and I came home with boxes full of inventory of the most amazing baby blankets you will ever come across and a full heart as I begin this partnership with her.
Babies4Babies is a niche baby textile brand. In a nutshell, we make super awesome fashion forward blankets, made through an ethical supply chain (trust me, I have been inside the factories we work with) while also giving back by providing safe birth kits for a mother in need with every purchase. Not only is every aspect of the business ethical, but the product itself is something we personally stand behind. They are the only blankets I liked to swaddle Aiyla in (she wriggled her way out of any other brand) and it’s still the one thing that is ALWAYS in our diaper bag (I’m guilty of actually having run out of the house without diapers before but I always have these blankets). 18 months later, we still use the first blankets (that have only gotten softer with time) as boogie wipes, towels, to wipe sand off at the beach, light stroller blankets, car seat covers and my favorite lately as Aiyla’s go to peek-a-boo blanket to name a few.
Thank you so much for being a cheerleader with Give, please understand why I might not be bringing homemade desserts every time I come over anymore, and please please please support Babies4Babies by sharing it with your family and friends, putting in on your registry when its time for your family to grow, and making it your go to baby shower gift. Check us out over at the site: https://babies4babies.com and let me know if you have any questions!