Preparing for a Baby: From a Dad-to-Be with Type 1 Diabetes

Editor’s Note: I am so excited to introduce you to our newest guest blogger, Chris Stocker, from The Life of a Diabetic, who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 19. Originally from Pennsylvania, Chris resides in South Florida with his wife, Amanda. Managing his own search engine optimization (SEO) company, CSI Marketing Solutions, in Delray Beach, he spends most of his time working, learning about search marketing, and advocating for diabetes. We’re thrilled to have him blogging for us, kicking us off with sharing his perspective on preparing for his first child. Please welcome Chris!

July 2013 was an amazing time in my life because I married the love of my life, Amanda. Fast forward to July 2014, my wife and I were not only celebrating our one year anniversary, but also celebrating the news of having our first child.

After all the initial excited reactions between my wife and me, I could not help but think, “what if our child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?”

It is a question that has popped into my head at least once a day for the last six to seven months. I usually tell myself there is nothing I can do about it if that day does come, so I cannot live every day in fear of it happening. But as a first time father-to-be with type 1 diabetes, I cannot help but think about it.

Preparing for a baby from my perspective has included many more decisions other than what brand of diapers or bottles we want to put on our registry. We have had to discuss and research different items such as cord blood banking, to breastfeed or to not, a special diet for mommy while breastfeeding, what can we do during the early months of child to try and help prevent a diabetes diagnoses, etc.

Preparing for Baby Stocker also made me realize how much more important it was for me to pay attention to my own health. This led me to pay more attention to my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and not continue to use the philosophy of, “I’ll correct later, it’s not that high”, and most importantly, stop guessing on Bolus deliveries and actually count my carbs correctly, and use the technology I am so privileged to have access to.

Another part of my preparation was speaking to other fathers who have type 1 diabetes, seeing how they handled these thoughts that were going through my mind, and if they had any special suggestions for me. Along with speaking to other fellow fathers with type 1, I also sat down and spoke with my endocrinologist for over 30 minutes about my thoughts and concerns.

My healthcare team was able to provide me with plenty of reading material on the diagnosis of children with a father who has type 1 diabetes. Being able to read and better inform myself helped in my preparation.

I have decided worrying everyday about the possibility of my child being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will make me miss out on all of the great times of fatherhood.

In preparing the baby’s room/nursery, we decided that we would have a “Daddy’s Low Area” and built in a little section to stash some of my favorite candy to fix a low blood sugar, instead of traveling to the kitchen to treat a low. Amanda and I have also discussed the importance of the CGM and being able to predict a low based on a trend shown on the graph while I am home alone with our daughter or if Amanda is preparing to leave soon.

These are all scenarios, concerns, and thoughts that we have discussed and tried to prepare for along with the million other things to prepare for having your first child.

Do you have any parenting with type 1 diabetes tips you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below!

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