When our first-born child was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 15 months of age, thoughts of having a second child was the farthest thing from our minds. The first few months, we were fighting through our emotions just trying to get by day to day and keep Coral alive. The next two years were a struggle to adjust to our new lives and find financial stability to better provide for her lifelong medical needs. Some friends and family members couldn’t provide the kind of support we needed. We adapted and moved on with our lives because we had to for Coral’s sake. In fact, we waited four years until we finally decided to plan for baby number two.
Kaila [Kah-e-lah] finally arrived in early March four days past her due date at a local hospital in Santa Monica, CA. Kaila in Hawaiian means stylish or fashionable – just like her mama. Wink, wink. It would’ve been ideal if we could have stayed in Hawaii and gave birth to her there like Coral and myself along with all previous generations of my family, but life threw us too many sour lemons. We’ve made a new life in Los Angeles and lots of diabuddies that we’re grateful for.
Preparing for Kaila
We knew we were going to need some reinforcements and arranged for my Aunty to fly up from Honolulu, HI to Los Angeles about a week before Kaila’s due date. I spent a great deal of time gathering some resources from JDRF, Beyond Type 1, and Type1Basics – including my blog, to forward to her email prior to her arrival so she could familiarize herself with basic T1d knowledge and set some realistic expectations. The plan was to get her up to speed in hopes that she could help us take care of Coral before, during and after I went into labor.
My water broke about a quarter to midnight on Wednesday, March 6th and Kaila was born at 9:10am on March 7th. Coral’s Dexcom G6 sensor failed before its 10th day while I was in labor and I was texting my Aunty back and forth and passed it on to my Hubs before pushing Kaila out through my vag. Needless to say, that was the ultimate sensor fail to-date (see my full Dexcom G6 Review here). I was more concerned about Coral’s safety than my own and had confidence in this next child birthing experience.
Even though Aunty wasn’t capable of managing Coral’s T1d the majority of her stay with us, we were very thankful she was there to help us in that most dire time of need. Special thanks to one of my fellow pancreas momagers known as @t1d_littlemiss on IG for coming over to our house the next morning to further assist my Aunty with Coral until my Hubs could return home the next day. I seriously don’t know what I’d do without my Diatribe.
Thankfully, my husband is also doing night checks and changing her pods and Dexcom G6 sensors. He’s the brains behind all my technical reviews and I find innovative ways to make managing her diabetes less cumbersome. See our site changes via IGTV channel on Instagram.
Goats Milk Formula
Risk of Siblings Developing T1d
Worth the Risk
We probably would’ve been fine with Coral growing up as an only child, but understood the importance of her having a sibling to help her through the hard times and relish in her accomplishments in a manner that we might not be able to as parents. A strong bond with a sibling is something I never had growing up in a broken family as a middle child. I’m hoping Coral and Kaila will be the best of friends and it’s strongly evident already. Having this pregnancy, enduring a rather difficult postpartum experience, and seeing my girls grow together despite all these risks is indeed worth it. As parents of a young T1d child, we may always carry this fear of our second child developing an autoimmune disease. However, we also know how to use that fear as motivation to be more aware of the signs and symptoms if it ever happens again. We’re always hoping for the best and preparing for the worse. Ohana is stronger together.
In July, both my husband and I went to a small JDRF event and TrialNet was there. They did a blood screening and we received our results in about 3-4 weeks. We tested negative for two of the main five autoantibodies. This means we are not genetically susceptible to Type 1 diabetes which I kind of knew already since absolutely no one on either side of our families has T1d. Families or patients who carry at least two or more autoantibodies need to do further screening and should speak with their primary care physician and/or to seek a referral to an endocrinologist. It becomes a waiting game but eating a lower carb diet early-on might help prolong the life of any remaining beta cells. Learn more about TrialNet here. Always do further research on your own especially when a doctor/doctor’s aren’t giving you the answers you seek.
Look up clinical trials for T1d at Clinicaltrials.gov. Start with the sources I’ve listed below. Medical journals are always better than Healthline or WebMD. You can’t always trust whoever writes those articles especially if they’re not actually living with the same disease as you or your child. Definitely do NOT rely on social media for any sort of medical advice especially during the early stages of diagnosis. Stay strong and have faith.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. “Early exposure to cows’ milk raises risk of diabetes in high risk children.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1173447/. (Accessed 15th June 2019).
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. “A1 beta-casein milk protein and other environmental pre-disposing factors for type 1 diabetesUS National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518798/. (Accessed 20th June 2019).
JDRF. “Type 1 Diabetes Facts.” https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/about/facts/. (Accessed: 3rd July 2019).
JDRF. “Causes of Type 1 Diabetes.” https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/about/causes/. (Accessed: 3rd July 2019).
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Genetics Home Reference. “Type 1 Diabetes: Genes.” https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/type-1-diabetes#genes. (Accessed: 3rd July 2019).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Basics: Type 1 Diabetes.” https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type1.html. (Accessed 3rd July 2019).
Beyone Type 1. “Warning Signs of Type 1 Diabetes.” https://beyondtype1.org/warning-signs-of-type-1-diabetes/. (Accessed 3rd July 2019).
Beyond Type 1. “Type 1 Diabetes With Other Autoimmune Diseases.” https://beyondtype1.org/type-1-diabetes-with-other-autoimmune-diseases/. (Accessed 3rd July 2019).
Kids Health. “Other Autoimmune Diseases That Are More Common in People With Type 1 Diabetes.” https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/other-diseases.html. (Accessed 3rd July 2019).