A Mother's Guilt?

Some nice feedback already, so that is welcome.
A little background … Olivia and Claire are two of a set of triplets. They also have a brother named Ben who has not (yet?) been diagnosed with diabetes. There are two older brothers as well - Max is nine and Devon is seventeen. They have been checked and are in the clear but it does kind of feel like waiting for the other shoe to drop. There is no history of diabetes in the family … even through three pregnancies, I had no gestational diabetes and there is a pretty high risk of that in triplet pregnancies. It was uneventful. I carried them to 37 weeks and they were 19 pounds in total and all went straight to my room with me, skipping the NICU and special care unit all together. They were all perfectly healthy. But I feel like I am at fault for this in some way. Not rationally. I KNOW I didn’t do this. But in my heart, I think it is the mother thing. I want everything to be perfect for them and since I made them, I did this. They were pieced together in me, all their parts and pieces knitted together in my heart. I remember the night I found out they were triplets and the wave of anxiety that swept over me when I got to thinking about six arms, six legs, thirty toes and thirty fingers; three brains and hearts; three new people. How could I have enough to make them whole and not mix up all the puzzle pieces? It was a bit of an eye-opener because until that moment I was just caught up in the excitement of it. And I did make perfect babies. They are perfect.

Yes they are…perfect just the way they are!
My Mom cried when I was dx’ed type 1…she thought it was her fault. It wasn’t and it isn’t your fault either.
XX Robyn

My mom blamed herself when I was diagnosed type 1. I think it is a mother thing. As I told my mom when I was old enough to understand her guilt, it is not your fault that your children have type 1. You did nothing as a mom to put them at risk. Just know that your kids will be fine as diabetes treatment is so much better now than it was many years ago. And they are perfect, just the way they are. Just like I am and you are too!

It is NOT your fault! In our case, endo believed the environmental trigger was being exposed to the coxsackie virus (not getting coxsackie, just being EXPOSED), activating her T Cells to destroy the beta cells of the pancreas. He said beta cells “look” like the coxsackie virus. He had had 16 newly diagnosed cases that spring, and all year, very few. Enteroviruses are everywhere; can’t wrap them in a bubble; no way to protect them. Genetic predisposition can occur even if there is no known recent cases of Type 1 in your family. If in the NICU, they would have been exposed to all kinds of things; less germs staying with you. It is hard enough to bear dealing with this disease in young children, no sense emotionally torturing yourself with what ifs…

My son is Diabetic and I know how you feel. I don’t quite have the same feelings but I deal with my own guilt. I have never cried over my son’s diagnosis. It’s been just over a year and I have never cried. I worry about him A LOT and feel sad sometimes but no tears. I chalk it up to my experience with my first husband breaking his neck and because of that it made me strong. But I still hurt inside.

Anyways, you cannot be at fault. Children can come down with all types of conditions that we have no control over. Diabetes is no different. Your children are all perfect and beautiful.

They are perfect, whole & beautiful. How lucky you are to have five children.

Mothers feel responsible for everything even though they’re not. Loving your babies is wanting to protect them & feeling like somehow you can control everything that happens.

I was diagnosed Type 1 at 53 with no history of diabetes in my family. My mother feels it’s her fault. She recounted her entire pregnancy & my childhood looking for a reason why I’m diabetic. I begged her to stop the guilt. All it does it make her sad & me sad for her to be upset. Instead, I listed all the wonderful things she gave me & asked her to think of these.

Ditto what Gerri said, try not to feel guilty on any level, you’ve been dealt a loaded deck of cards but it’s no-ones fault and you couldn’t/can’t change it, you have to try to roll with the punches and give your beautiful girls the tools and strength to manage and whack this condition in to order.
I felt awful, just awful realising (as I grew up) just how intolerably hard it must have been for my parents to have inject me and prick my finger and keep me home from slumber parties because there was no-one adult there interested enough to learn how to care for me etc, how they wished they could take this on for me or make it go away, I felt like I was stealing time with them, from my brother.
Please don’t feel guilty though x x x


My mom was type 1 and she was very ill with gestational diabetes before I was born and after I was born mom got better but when I was six she was diagnosed as a type 1 and she died at age 46. Her sister was a type 1 who died at age 13. Mom wanted more children but was so ill during the pregnancy that her doctors strongly advised against it. I was a 13 LB baby.

When I was 17 I was diagnosed with type 1 and my mom fell apart. After thinking things trough, she had to admit, that she did not know the risks when she decided to have children. Second, she trusted things would be better for diabetics in the future. Mom volunteered for every trial and test she could. She was determined to do her part to beat it. Mom, came to understand that she could not rethink her decisions but she could change the future by being proactive.

When I was 22 I became a father to my first son and another followed at 24. I was and am so scared one day, one of them will be diagnosed, as Type 1. Mom told me then, what I will tell you. The best years lay ahead, kids are a joy that every one should enjoy without fear or regret. But more important, when you feel scared, do not take it out on yourself. Take it out on the disease. Make it your mission to beat the disease. Our issue is not that we have or want children, our issue is doing nothing to beat the disease.

Mom was in the original pump trials, in the early 70’s, she sent money to JDRF, She voted for diabetes research. Mom visited new diabetics in the hospital and helped new diabetic families even while blind and on diaysis. Mom was certain that her efforts would pay off for her son, and her grandchildren. I hope you can see that working on the future is the best most productive thing to do. Having children is a joy and a big responsibility. My mom would say right off, beat it don’t blame yourself, turn that frustration and angst into beating this disease.

rick phillips