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August 2, 2011 / multiplesclerosis1209

To Breed or Not to Breed

I really have no idea if I want children.  Is that weird?  Since we got married over the age of 30 just about everyone asks us when we are having kids like it’s an obligation and that we have to do it NOW.  We have friends our age that have gotten married this year and last year that are already pregnant.  I understand that I am 32 years old and that I don’t have a lot of time to drag my feet, but I do have a couple years to make up my mind.  I am as on the fence as one can be.  I love the idea of being child-free and free to do what we want whenever we want but I also love the idea of seeing Hubby teaching our son (or daughter) how to play baseball or watching Hubby’s eyes light up when our child learns to walk.  I’m not good with kids and to be honest, I don’t really like kids.  I don’t get all warm and gooey when I see a baby and immediately want to hold them.  When my friends have kids I don’t feel the need to rush to their house and meet them (there are a total of two children that I actually enjoy spending time with).  Babies are loud and needy and they grow into loud and needy toddlers who grow into adolescents who then become the dreaded teenager…..  The noise alone can send me into a rage of annoyance but maybe that would be different if it was my child crying/screaming.  Is it possible to raise a baby that doesn’t scream or make a ton of noise as they are growing up?  The whole thing just seems exhausting and annoying but then when I think about NOT having a baby I get a little sad.  It’s a decision you can’t take back later in life.  Hubby says that my health is more important but I think he might not feel totally fulfilled if we don’t have a kid or two (I would be hoping for one-pregnancy-two-kids…..).  I’m also afraid that Hubby takes on enough of the family burden already so why add more for him to have to help with?  I have a progressive disease and how it will progress is unknowable.  I’m hoping that a Hawaiian vacation next Spring will help bring clarity to this matter.  We will see how difficult it is to travel just the two of us before we decide if we could possibly travel with a youngster or two someday.  Plus, I’ve heard that Hawaiian breezes have answers to all of life’s questions.



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  1. prisoneroftoday / Aug 2 2011 11:24 am

    a very difficult question indeed. to me, it sounds like you don’t want kids but because of all the pressure placed on you to start a family, you maybe feel a bit guilty about not having children. no one can decide for you, and you still have plenty of time to have children (my parents had another child when they were both in their mid to late 40’s). one thing to keep in mind MS-wise is that yes, while a lot of women experience pretty much a holiday from MS during the pregnancy, there can be an extremely hard crash once the baby is born (much worsen of symptoms). you have to make sure both you and your husband are ok with you being unable to care for a newborn at all and needing to be taken care of much more with a little one. not an easy thing to do at all.

  2. Matt / Aug 2 2011 6:54 pm

    Before I start, I want to say that having kids is a natural part of life. And often it’s something that’s very important to women, so once someone has a child or decides to definitely have a child, I’m happy for them and wish them the best.

    Now that I have that out of the way, there are a ton of reasons not to have kids, so I’ll list a few:

    1. Having a child is a horrible thing to do environmentally. You are responsible for all of the aluminum cans, plastic bottles, fossil fuels, and nuclear waste from power that your child and his or her progeny will use. If you don’t want kids and can stand not to have them, it’s a great gift to the earth.
    2. The world is quickly getting overpopulated. You child is likely to live in a world where owning a home and getting an education that is good enough to provide them with a job is going to be prohibitively expensive.
    3. There are a lot of kids already born who need loving parents. If you must have the experience the raising a child, does it have to be your biological child? My friends who have been adopted sometimes get mad at our friends who have their own biological children because they know how important good parents are to kids that don’t have them. This is a discussion that comes up frequently. To have not only raised a child, but to have “rescued” them is something to be truly proud of.

    These are rather progressive (yet true) statements. I would never try to persuade someone who wants to have children not to have them. It’s human nature, and often a near biological “need” for many people.

    However, if you’re someone who’s on the fence and feel guilty about not having children, don’t! The greatest thing you can do for the planet and the rest of its population is not have kids.

  3. MS Warrior / Aug 2 2011 9:49 pm

    First, thank you for the comments. I’m definitely worried about not being able to care for the newborn. Most women do have a major relapse right after they finish breast feeding. I have considered adoption for many reasons such as saving my body. Also, I advocate rescuing dogs so why not kids? Hubby wants twin boys so we could be patient and get exactly what we want, right? 🙂 I’m sort of hoping that if we’re meant to have a kid, I’ll just end up knocked up while on birth control….let the Universe decide for us.

  4. Sue / Dec 3 2011 5:59 am

    I had a baby shortly after being diagnosed with MS (aged 36), and was determined not to have the sort that screamed all day. I thought if I work hard enough I will meet a baby’s needs before they need to scream too much. I didn’t bargain for the fact my little one had a vocal personality and a strong pair of lungs to match. He still makes a HUGE amount of noise which I find really hard, but I gave up work to survive and make sure I sleep when he sleeps, plan his meals so I don’t have to try and think when he’s screaming, and try to accept my life is a bit on hold because I have no other choice if I am to survive it. Its a huge sacrifice and that comes hard when you’re in mid-30’s and used to having a life that is you-centred.
    All of that said, I cannot imagine having a life without him now, hard though it is. Also I find as he grows (he’s just under 2 years old as I write this) he gets easier for me to manage. We’re now in that difficult decision of “do we give him a sibling” or not, we’d like to but not sure whether its viable energy/MS wise.
    So in a nutshell, my personal view is quiet baby’s are around but very rare and are pure chance. I know 2 people who have quiet girls but even they have had their fair share of yelling at the top of their tiny lungs. I am so chilled as is my partner, but our little boy is busy-busy and very loud so it doesn’t automatically follow that you will have a chilled baby if you are that way yourself! If you are prepared to accept a loud baby and grit your teeth through it, or pay for some live-in help (which we could neither afford nor felt like the intrusion in our home), then I’d say go for it and enjoy because it does have it’s rewards to be a parent. Its like any relationship though, you get days when you wonder “WHY!!!????” and days when you have a really special moment, but all in all you know you wouldn’t want to be without them now they’re here. Something changes within you I guess.

  5. Sue / Dec 3 2011 6:07 am

    Oh and fostering/adoption sounds great if you want that. But the hard work will still be there, just guess you avoid the potential relapse after giving birth.

    My symptoms prior to pregnancy were unsteadiness, dizziness, memory and concentration problems. After giving birth they were slightly more obvious because I was so tired with the sleepless nights. I also had a new strange sensation of water trickling on my leg but that came and went over a few months and I never get it now. My MS specialist said that was a post-birth relapse but it didn’t affect me in any way shape or form – my kind of relapse!!!
    When well-rested my residual MS symptoms of dizziness and poor memory etc are much less of a problem. Though I appreciate everyone’s MS journey is different.
    I suppose my view is I don’t want MS to make me so fearful I don’t do anything in life and that, if I looked down the road in 5 or 10 years time and had no relapse, I might wish I’d taken more chances. But I would also say that it seems sensible to have a plan B of help should the worst happen, and depending on which type of MS you have, there’s a high chance of full or partial recovery from each relapse anyway.
    Good luck with your decision process!

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