On the 8th March Carter celebrated his 9th Birthday and we as a family celebrated him. His life, his health that he fights for everyday. His amazing, strong, brave persona… He’s been through so much these last 12 months, more than any human should face in a life-time. In just 12 short months, he almost lost his life, had the fight of his life and now has a completely different life. He faced that with such strength, bravery and determination. He is amazing. A true warrior! And we adore him!
This boy came into our lives and threw our world upside down. As Morgan was 5 at the time and pretty settled with being the only child, the 3 amigos became 4.
Now, the 4th has always been the hardest work, the cheekiest, most loving; pain in the ass, with the biggest, kindest heart I have ever known – in anyone! He drives me absolutely insane and I shout more than I thought was possible, but the love he has taught me, I didn’t think was possible.
I was frightened to have a 2nd baby because I couldn’t imagine loving it as much as I loved Morgan, but then Carter happened and he created his own love, he didn’t take nor does he share the love I have for my eldest – Morgan is loved every bit as much as he always has been.
Carter created his own love and precious home in all of our hearts. He just brings it with him, wherever he goes, he oozes kindness and has this effortless, incredible ability to make you smile and feel better just by looking at you, stopping and taking your hand, or doing something really silly (usually stupid) to make you laugh and whatever was upsetting you; just fades away, replaced by the awesomeness that is Austin-Carter Beal.
And man, when he hugs you, he holds you so tightly, spilling out his love, he clings on and consumes you like he’s anchoring you to the world. The love and emotion in every single hug – those hugs that embrace you and overwhelm you. I’m so lucky I get that every single day, for forever!!
He’s my baby and I am so in love with him, my heart definitely had the ability to love a 2nd child and I am so honoured that he calls me his Momma.
So, we celebrated him. I’d spent weeks trying to work out how he could have the best birthday (god knows he deserved it), his first as a Type1 Diabetic – it’s a big deal. No longer can we pop to the shops for bags of treats or book a meal out somewhere without considering how this will impact his blood sugars and as we maintain a Low Carb Lifestyle, there’s even more to consider.
So, I hit the internet, searching for options, for treats we could buy him that wouldn’t affect his blood sugar’s..
I found some Hersheys sugar free chocolate syrup (he can use this on his favourite Low Carb Pancakes), some Pundits chocolate, some sugar free Reese’s peanut chocolate cups, some sugar free mints (for car sweets) and some Diablo chocolate wafers, and lemon sherbets. So far, he’s had good success with all of them. Oh, I forgot his favourite thing in the whole wide world – CHUPPA CHUPS Sugar Free LOLLYPOPS! My boy is a massive lollypop fan, he was soooo excited to learn he got them in his little hamper. I say little, I did the best job in the world of making it look massive, he could barely lift it.
I did find some sugar free chocolate from Tesco that I put in too but it spiked his blood sugars inanely high NOT suitable for a Diabetic. His older brother enjoyed taking that burden off him and he stuck to his beloved Pundits,.. and ChuppaChups 🙂
Over recent years it’s become tradition that my dad and step-mom have taken the boys out for their Birthday. Last year when they took Carter out (just weeks before he was extremely sick with his T1 diagnosis) it didn’t go well. They went bowling and to golf and Carter was violently sick afterwards. We didn’t know he had Diabetes, we thought he had GI Issues. But, this year my dad had found the ultimate place to take them.
The Swegway Park! It’s amazing! The first of it’s kind in the UK and right on our doorstep, literally 20 mins by car! He was telling me all about it and I had to keep it a secret for them, I was super excited and I wasn’t even invited. I promised to keep it a secret if Greg and I could go too. Carters friend had a Swegway, Carter wants one infact, they both want one but at £350 each, it’s not something I can whip up. They need to ask Santa, see if maybe he can help?
So, the weekend before his actual birthday (it landed mid-week this year much to Carter’s annoyance that he would spend his birthday at school lol), off we went to the Swegway Park. It was awesome, the boys got an hour in there, fully kitted out in safety gear and a short training / demo in the padded floor area. They could have taken longer in there but were pretty confident and zoomed off. It was brilliant to watch them. The Swegway Park has been a huge talking point ever since and we are planning to go back very soon!
Carter also sweet-talked his Grandad into taking them bowling too – the kid loves bowling – he’s an expert (or so you’d think lol).. He’s so comical bowling, proper leftie and bounces off the sides like a snooker player. He makes me laugh. We’d taken some lunch with us too so weren’t in any rush. I didn’t play bowls, my thumb/wrist is on a huge flare-up at the moment and with my job taking it’s toll pain-wise, I couldn’t afford to cause further problems. I literally feel like my thumb is held in the socket with an elastic band waiting to snap at any moment. The weight of the balls would just snap it off I could tell!. But it was fun watching, I love watching them have fun and laugh and we did both – lots of it – it was a grand day out!
Which leads us on nicely to Carter’s actual Birthday. He went to bed the night before promising to wake us up at 5am – he intended to open his presents before school. I compromised on 6am and a couple of presents before school. And a wicked ‘surprise’ Birthday Breakfast…
So, 6am he comes running in shouting and jumping (and yawning – hiding his tired) – fluffy as ever.. MORNING!!! It’s my BIRTHDAY!!! Wake up – Wake UP!!! Its MY BIRTHDAY!!!!
How can you resist THAT?!
So, we all bundled downstairs to see what all the fuss was about.. Had he got any gifts? Had he been good enough? What was the surprise breakfast?
YEP! He’d got a whole array of gifts AND, thanks to his Dad (and much to my annoyance), A Wad of Balloons – that are still everywhere, randomly popping to give me heart attacks when I walk past them (grrr), I swear they do it on purpose!
He was in his element! If he’s 1 thing my boy, he’s grateful! He’s so sincere and appreciative of the slightest things… He was in his element! He LOVED every single second of that morning before school…. And the breakfast?
LOW CARB Pancakes (3 of them) with lemon, sugar (sweetener), BACON, Syrup (SF) and a (not costa) Coffee! Oh, and a side of NORMAL, Healthy Blood Sugars! How can you get better? He wolfed it down, brushed his teeth and headed out to school – oh, he had to wear his ‘its my birthday badge’ much to his annoyance – I was smiling all the way 🙂 (he hates me)!!
Apparently his day at school wasn’t as painful as he expected either (he’s not the worlds biggest school fan, not helped by the amount of time he’s had off with his health). One of the gifts he’d opened pre-school was a wicked LED wrist band that flashes to sound. As he gets away with wearing bands to school (medical ID), he’d put it on and was the star turn for the day. Plus he had me bake 40low carb chocolate chip cookies that we took down at lunch (with his birthday dinner – hotdogs and of course a cookie), so they got handed out and munched down and for once (because the school day treat for the class wasn’t sugar loaded cream donuts, biscuits or ice cream), he was able to join in as one of the team and didn’t have to test his sugars or give insulin or stick to cucumber. Yippee!! He was happy!
When he got home from school he opened the rest of his gifts, he was very lucky and received some really cute things. His favourites were some Nintendo Plush toys that he’s been banging on about since Christmas (Father Christmas found out he wanted them too late, so they had to hit the birthday list instead), some XBOX games he’d also been banging on about for what felt like an eternity and a really funky smuggle pencil case. Also making the cut was yet more football kits, shoes and balls. He’s a proper spoilt monkey, worth every penny!!
I’ve written about his surprise gift from PUNDITS in a separate post, but it really was so sweet that they’d taken the time and generosity to send him something, we truly don’t know how they knew it was his Birthday. Carter thinks they’re superhero’s – I think he might be right?!!
We played, giggled and took great pleasure in our boy’s happiness, celebrating him, his life, health and birthday.
I had spent a lot of the day in the kitchen – not my favourite pastime! I’m not the world’s greatest baker but it was my boy’s birthday and he just HAD to have a cake. I found a suitable low carb recipe online and set to work. I made cookies and cakes and then I threw together some of Carters favourite meats and veggies into a Mixed Grill. What better Birthday Meal than something that a) he loves and b) won’t have any impact on his blood sugars. Mixed Grill: Lamb, Cheeseburgers, Steak, Chicken and Pork Loin Chops with Green Beans and Asparagus! YUM!!!
None of us could finish the meal but that was ok, I fully intended to make cold cuts with salad the next day so the more that was left, the better (easy peasy). We were stuffed full so there wasn’t much else to do…
Except sing happy birthday and eat some chocolate cake – yeah!!!
He LOVED it! We lit candles and sang to him and he stood proud as pie smiling away. We cut that cake up and served it with a dollop of cream and gobbled it down like it was our only food in a week! Who’d have imagined a Type 1 Diabetic eating chocolate cake… But he did, and his blood sugars were brilliant. In fact, I gave him too much insulin for it, I gave him 1.5units and he only needed 1. A standard cake would have required at least 10!
He loved it, everyone was happy! It was a really awesome day! Happy Birthday Austin-Carter Beal – we adore you!!
Then the weekend came and as Carter had never had a birthday party outside of the home, one of the things I’d promised him (as he lay in the hospital completely unconscious) was that if he fought and survived and came back to us; I’d throw him a birthday party, he could invite his friends and pick anywhere to go.. SO he did – and we did!
He decided he wanted to go to the Jump Park and he invited 4 of his bestest friends. I made a buffet of Low Carb foods and treats and we had the best day.. It was brilliant. He jumped and they laughed and ate and just had fun.. 2 of his friends came back to our house afterwards to play. Well, actually they didn’t, half an hour after we got home the door went and they were waiting for him to play – I swear there is ALWAYS kids knocking on my door – my boy is so popular – its lovely!!
He’d made a party invitation on his laptop so all his friends knew about his party and he’d decided what food he wanted, what he wanted to wear and drink. He had it all planned out and it played out exactly how he had hoped. He was a king for a day and he loved every second!
So, as I sat with a cuppa and my feet up after an awesome week of celebrating my boys birthday, I could hear the kids recreating their fun at the Jump Park in the Garden on our rickety old trampoline (I must get round to replacing that this summer!!). I reflected with such beaming love and happiness and overwhelming gratefulness – that he’s here, he’s 9 now. There was a time it seemed impossible, like he wouldn’t see his 9th Birthday. But he did, and it was everything we had hoped it would be.
I grabbed both my boys for a photo opportunity before bedtime, and we slept (well actually that’s a lie, they slept – I was awake all night as Carter’s blood sugars decided to give me a run for my money – we don’t even know why).. They slept, I was just happy. Happy that they’re happy and safe and healthy. And in a world like we live: That’s all a momma can ever really hope for!
Happy Birthday baby boy! Here’s to many, many more! We all love you very much!
Sparkles, Rose ❤