What were the symptoms that lead you to the pediatrician?
Abbey complained of frequent urination – she was always wanting to go to the bathroom (a hard symptom to recognize if potty training), she was complaining of thirst, where she could drink an entire bottle of WATER in seconds, and she complained of hunger and all over “not feeling good”. She would say her legs would “hurt”. For me now looking back at pictures from the beach of summer 2006, she was extremely thin. Weight loss is another big part of new onset diabetes.
What were you hoping on that day in August of 2006?
It was the day after her 3rd birthday and I took her to my pediatrician with the hopes she was going to get diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. As a registered nurse, I unfortunately knew otherwise. She showed all the classic symptoms of a new onset type one diabetic. One of my jobs as a pediatric nurse is to teach the child and parent about the diagnosis. They don’t understand the disease and I help educate them and I just knew that this was the day that my education as a parent of a child with diabetes would begin.
When did you know?
When the blood glucose level of my daughter came back at over 400, my “hoping it is a UTI drs visit”, ended and I had to leave the room, go to the bathroom, and cry. I knew my sweet, sweet daughter, Abbey’s future and ours as a family was forever changed.
What would you like for other moms to know?
I am here to be the voice of “if it could happen to me, it can happen to you. I want to spread the word that YOU can be the hero mom and pass this information to any one you know. Awareness of the symptoms can save a child’s life. Undiagnosed for too long can land a child in the ICU with major respitory issues, which then leads to being transferred to a med/surg floor to deal with the diagnosis of “your child has diabetes”. I was very fortunate that my training helped me to recognize what was happening at an early stage but by trusting your instincts and being aware you too can help. If you are currently dealing with this please reach out. I would love to talk to you.
Tell us about “Walk to Cure Diabetes”?
This is a fantastic opportunity to help raise funds to find a cure for this disease. Our team, “Abbey’s Anatomy” has already raised close to $2000. The walk is held every April at Carowinds and it is a great family day. If you would like to find out more you can go to
I know that you have a “surprise 3rd” – is there a story?
The surprise third baby is as simple as getting a babysitter, going out, and peeing on a stick 4 weeks later. My coworkers named “her” Ava Oops. And HE is the sunshine of my day….the BEST surprise I could ever hope for.
How did you decide what was the best option for continuing to work?
One of the main reasons I went into the nursing field was due to the flexible hours. I have been working two nights a week for five years now, since getting pregnant with Abbey. I get the best of both worlds by being a stay-at-home mom and bringing a paycheck in as well. Insurance is a must and the hospital insurance almost completely covers Abbey’s diabetes supplies.
What is your favorite activity with the kids?
Favorite activity with the kids would have to be a big blanket in the backyard on a pretty day with lots of toys, games, coloring books, etc. and watching Ed cook something on the grill. “Watching” being the key word!
What is your favorite restaurant with the kids?
That would have to be The Roasting Company on Montford. The whole family can eat for under $20 with lots of good veggies. Very kid-friendly.
What is your favorite restaurant w/o the kids?
Ed’s favorite restaurant without kids is Sullivan’s. Mine would be Brio on the front patio outside or The Melting Pot.
Funniest thing your kids have ever said?
One day at my mother-in-laws house, Abbey passed by a 12-pack of Diet Coke sitting on a chair. Abbey asked her sweet, sweet grandmother….”When are you going to put your beer away?”
Best birthday party you have attended?
The best birthday party I ever attended was Abbey’s buddy, Isabel’s when she had a princess party at the YMCA where the girls were all dressed up and Disney character princesses all showed up. She LOVED it.
Favorite kids boutique?
I have to be completely honest on the boutique route, with a close friend who lets me borrow her now 2nd-graders cute, adorable clothes and with the help of two grandmothers who buy all the time for Abbey, I stay clear of the shops. Ed would kill me! If I am going to spend a little extra, I like buying from Ragsland or Just Ducky for a cute, new monogrammed dress.
Where do you go to find great deals on kid’s clothes?
As for everyday shopping and the boys, I like Costco, Target, Old Navy, and the Gap outlet in Blowing Rock at Shops on the Parkway….a fabulous place to shop!
What are your favorite parks in town?
We frequently go to Freedom Park and Latta Park in Dilworth….What I like about Latta is that the entire ground is covered with recycled tires for a very cushiony fall, a water park for summer, and Fuel Pizza delivers right to your blanket!
Minivan or SUV?
We are one-car family and very proud of it (Ed works out of the house, I work at night). Somehow it all works out in the end! We have an SUV and I would turn it in TODAY for a Honda Odyssey.
Favorite weekday activity?
Favorite weekday activity would be first and foremost…dropping as many kids as you can off at preschool!!!!! After school and naps we like to head to a park to play outdoors or cruise up to Joseph Beth Book Store at Southpark Mall on a yucky day.
Our FAVORITE weekend activity is to pack up and head to Lake Wylie where Ed’s parents have a house. We play at parks by the lake, swim at the River Hills Country Club, and take boat rides soaking up the sun! And on the other side of the family, as a weekend getaway we go to my mom’s house which sits atop Blowing Rock with the most amazing view. She just built an awesome deck off the front of the house, where we just “hang out” with my three brothers and their families or just us with my mom. It is so beautiful up there! Another thing we enjoy is parking the car somewhere along South Blvd., hop on the Light Rail, get off at ImaginOn, and eat lunch at Brixx Pizza, then heading back home for naps!
Best thing about raising a family in Charlotte?
The BEST thing about Charlotte for us is the proximity of both sides of our family. There are so many places to go, great schools, and we have developed such a fantastic circle of friends with kids close in age as ours. In fact I have recently developed a friendship with someone who has three children; a girl who is 4, a son that is 2, and a baby 5 months old…. Almost identical to my three children. And her daughter just got diagnosed with diabetes. I might not have met her had I lived anywhere but Charlotte.
I could not live without my…?
I could not live with out my Wipes and Ziplock bags…. use both everyday for everything! And my supper club with close girlfriends for ME time!
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
Maybe not such a secret, but Luxury Nails on Park Road at the corner of Park and Seneca….Mani and Pedi for $25 in massage chairs. A fun getaway with another mom to relax and chat.
I wish someone had told me sooner about…?
I wish someone would have told me sooner about…Yes, the grandma store, Aerosoles. I have had such good luck on a new pair of shoes to dress up or down each new season right in Southpark Mall. And oh so comfortable!
Natalie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We can’t wait to hear how Team Abbey’s Anatomy does!!