Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm Sick...Do I Want Babies??

The relationship between parenting and chronic illness is the topic for the next ChronicBabe blog carnival.

Truth be told, I wouldn't know much about the issue.  I have no children, but I am in the age group to seriously start thinking about such things.  I have PCOS and take a LOT of medication for other chronic illnesses.  I'm not sure that these medications could ever be stopped, even if I managed to get pregnant with a ton of fertility treatments (OH GOD, I COULD BE THE NEXT OCTOMOM!...terrifying thought).

I've often wondered about adoption.  Alas, I have the feeling that no one is going to give a baby to someone with a history of mental health problems.

When I was young, I didn't even really want to have a family.  I wanted adventure.  I wanted to be able to get on planes whenever the urge hit, and visit all of the places in the world.  Writing about these experiences was my dream back in the day.  Now, I have become a mandatory homebody.  I make the best of my situation, but I must admit the place gets very, very lonely.  I would love to have a family to nurture.  The scary thing is, I don't even know if I fully could.

I remember one particularly traumatic experience at my old psychiatrist's office.  She received papers which had shown that I had visited our one fertility specialist on the Island.  I wasn't even there for pregnancy options, as I was needing further treatment for my PCOS side effects.  My psychiatrist took the visit to mean I wanted to get pregnant immediately, despite my comments to the contrary.  She proceeded to tell me that I would be a horrible mother, and to get the thought out of my mind entirely.  I cried and cried and cried and cried and got another psychiatrist.

Either way, I am not looking to have a child just yet.  Maybe never.  But I sure wish that the circumstances were different.  Chronic illness means that I have to devote more time to taking care of myself, and it leaves very little to spend on other people.  It looks like I will end up having the four-legged children instead (hopefully I can handle them!).

(Images from WeHeartIt)

I wish I could ask for advice, but this is probably a personal issue haha!



Sonja said...

*hugs* I totally understand girl.

Anonymous said...

I had three cats living with me before I got married. When I brought home a Hubby they started peeing everywhere. When I had a baby I found cat poop in the crib. But....cats make good fluffy purring lovely friends.

Selena said...

Here is my take on the issue: http://www.ohmyachesandpains.info/2010/05/not-exactly-mother-i-thought-i-was.html Perhaps it can help you decide between a cat and a dog, both of which make great companions (despite an occasional poo outside the box or puke on the rug.)

I envy that you didn't really wanted kids growing up. I did, which has made my infertility and chronic illness especially hard to bear in the family department.

Toni said...

These are such hard issues to figure out. I think it's great that you're thinking about it and considering options -- thinking out loud, really. I'm sure you'll make the right decision because you think things through so well.

Diana Lee said...

I'm still trying to sort out the human kid situation, too, but I know for sure you can take care of furkids. And they bring so much comfort and joy into your life! I have a dog and a cat. Sometimes I can't play with them as much as I would like, but I can almost always care for their basic needs or tell my husband what needs to be done. They make my life so much better, especially on the really bad days.

Annie said...

Mmm you guys are really making me want to get myself a fur child!!

Dominique said...

One of the things I love about you Annie, is that your not afraid to process. By that I mean you not afraid to take whatever issue comes up and chew on it, spit it out, and chew on it some more. That is amazing!

I think your ability to do that is huge. We cause more damage to ourselves when we leave things trapped inside, hidden. Not you. You get it out there and you confront it head on.

You inspire me to become even better.

You know I always wanted one baby. That's what I had. I never thought I would be good at having more than one. That takes a special kind of mom.

Maybe today isn't the day for you to have a baby, but who knows what lies ahead for you.

As for that counselor, thank God you got rid of her. My word. How she even thought that was an appropriate response is beyond me. Yikes!

I think you are an amazing woman!

Phoenix Peacock said...

It really sucks that illness is part of the decision factor. My husband and I discuss this often, since we both really want kids. But we want to make sure we aren't short-changing them or us due to the limitations my health puts on us.
It sure is frustrating. Especially since there is no right answer.

hayley said...

the four legged kind are the best! i have my own little tiny beast. he is rad and knows exaculty what you are feeling without saying but he also teaches me to enjoy life.

i am 25 but children is something ive wanted for the future. i get scared though caz its hard enough taking care of yourself when ill. its hard to imagine something else entirely dependable on you. i hope we get our dreams in whatever way we can.

Anonymous said...

You could always adopt an older child or teen. So many people overlook children who aren't babies, because everyone wants a baby! Those kids take work to raise, but they don't need you 24/7 the way an infant would; you wouldn't have to wake up every couple of hours to feed, clothe, or change a diaper.

I'm 21 and am planning on marrying the wonderful guy I'm dating. We both definitely want kids. There have been numerous times when my chronic illness has made me question whether I would be able to take care of a child. I think you just kind of have to learn how to manage your illness first, and then start thinking about different methods of support you could lean on when you do decide to have a child. Mike is more than willing to help me do anything I need help with, and both of our immediate and extended families have proven time and again that they are very supportive.

I hope like crazy that by the time we're ready to have kids, I'll have my chronic illness under control enough so that I won't be in too much pain to carry a baby carseat or to run around outside. My goal is to make damn sure I can do those things.

And please, please, PLEASE ignore that stupid psychiatrist. Some people in the medical field are such douches. I had a rheumatologist tell me to go see a psychiatrist because, after two visits, she couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I fully plan on paying her a visit when I do get diagnosed. You should pay your ex-shrink a visit when you begin your family. (:


Anonymous said...

Do I ever know where you're coming from. It sucks knowing that, like so many decisions, whether or not to have a child or children is complicated by chronic illness. I haven't figured it out yet myself, but I think it's important that we really are mulling it over, trying to decide what's in the best interest of these potential children.

But, furbabies really are awesome. I have a cat and a dog, and though they are a lot of work, I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Rachael said...

Discovering your blog and ChronicBabe has really inspired me to talk more on my blog about my heart defect. This is a very very sensitive topic that I have wrestled with my entire life...I wish I knew about the blog carnival beforehand so I could have contributed.