My Stance on Children

6:00:00 PM

Today, I went in for my follow up appointment with my Rheumatologist. Unfortunately, it did not go as planned, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me just rewind a little bit.

Earlier this year, my symptoms were quickly getting worse. I couldn't shower without nearly fainting, I couldn't stand up without getting dizzy, and I couldn't walk across my house without using the wall as a form of support. Finally, I had enough of being ignored by doctors, so I forced my Endocrinologist to do extra blood work. That's when everything changed.

Immediately, I was sent for more blood work and my Endocrinologist sent me for a consultation with a Rheumatologist. My original consultation then led to repeat visits. Soon enough, my Rheumatologist had requested a referral for every specialist under the sun. Here's what I learned:

  • After my original appointment, it was confirmed that I had Fibromyalgia and CREST. 
  • After two sleep studies, it was confirmed that I had Sleep Apnea. 
  • After a visit to my usual doctor, it was confirmed that I had IBS. 
  • After a normal barium swallow test, it was unclear what was causing my acid reflux. 
  • After a pulmonary function test, it was confirmed that I had lung restriction. 
  • After the CT scan of my chest, I was told that I had lung nodules. 
  • After an abnormal echocardiogram, I was sent to see a cardiologist who then diagnosed me with pulmonary hypertension and scheduled a right heart catheterization, which I wrote about here
  • After an evoked potential test, I was told that I did not have MS, which meant I did in fact, have Lupus. 
  • After a visit to an ENT, it was confirmed that I had Chronic Sinusitis and Chronic Tonsillitis. 

This just kept adding up. Visit after visit, I was scheduled for another test and sent home with a new prescription. I would do everything that was requested of me and crossed my fingers that it would make a difference. Of course, none of it did.

After a few more follow ups, it came time for another CT of my chest. My Rheumatologist wanted to keep an eye on my lung nodules and so did I. The only problem was, my appointment to go over the results of the scan weren't for another month or so.

At that appointment, I was a train wreck. My anxiety was through the roof and I couldn't help but panic. Just the thought of being diagnosed with Cancer was killing me. However, my technician informed me that my results would go online within a week and I could view them myself.

I waited the week and was stressed beyond the norm. So much so, that I was checking my online portal every couple hours, every single day. Until, the report finally showed up.

As soon as I read, "No new masses are identified. The trachea and major central bronchi are patent. Neither hilar nor mediastinal lymph nodes are enlarged." I could breath again. Of course, I wasn't 100% sure what I was reading, but no new masses and no enlarged lymph nodes sounded pretty good!

Then a couple weeks ago, I went in for my eye toxicity test. It's mandatory that I have one every six months since eye toxicity is a possible side effect from my Lupus medication. Based on the last test, I figured it would take about 30 minutes and the doctor would give me the all clear! Of course, that's not how it happened.

This appointment lasted TWO hours! My prescription had changed again and we couldn't find one that worked. Everything was blurry. Then he performed the eye toxicity test and he had to keep double checking everything. He asked me a bunch of questions he's never asked me before and he definitely did not give me the all clear. He wouldn't even tell me anything. Instead, he scheduled me for two more in-depth tests as soon as he could.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with kids, but I promise I'll come full circle in a minute! 

I went ahead and had the tests done and I already know I did poorly on one of them. Now I'm just frantically awaiting the results. In the meantime, I've been looking up alternative medications to treat Lupus. However, I haven't had much luck. The next one I found was well-known for giving patients blood clots and then there are various infusions and chemotherapy, which I'm definitely not ready for!

Today when I went in for my appointment, everything went wrong. It appears that my previous blood work showed inflammation in my joints, which she believes might be something more. She thinks the reason I fell last week is due to another sleeping disorder, so she's sent in a referral for another sleep study. Not only that, but after reading my CT results, she determined that we should get a second opinion. So the one thing that I thought was going well, is no longer true.

After dealing with all of that, I made sure to update my Rheumatologist on my eye situation. She was immediately concerned. She told me to stop taking Plaquenil and requested that I get a second opinion from another eye doctor. She then requested blood work and began talking about alternative medications. She mentioned the one that leads to blood clots, but before I couldn't even reject, she had already changed her mind. She then rattled off another one and said we'd try that one.

A second later, she looked at me and asked "Do you plan on having children anytime soon?" I quickly told her no. She then explained that the drug she'd be prescribing could harm any fetus and could potentially hurt my chances of becoming a mother later on. I accepted the prescription anyways.

Honestly, it didn't make any difference to me and here's why: if I have to make the choice between losing my sight and having children, I'm not going to have children. If I have to make any choice between my health and something else, I'm going to choose my health. It's as simple as that.

I know that some people think that's selfish, but I don't really care. If I'm being selfish for choosing my own health and the rest of the life that I have left, then I will gladly agree that I'm selfish.

More than that though, I think bringing a child into this world would be way more selfish than anything. What people don't understand is if I were to have a child, it would be because I want to have a child, not because I think it is what's best for the child.

I mean think about it this way. Is it not selfish to bring a child into this world that I could pass on one of my 15+ chronic illnesses to? Is it not selfish to try having a child when I know the simple act of being pregnant could harm both me and the baby? Is it not selfish to have a child when there is no guarantee that I can take care of it after it's born?

People have criticized me for saying that I don't want to have kids, but they have no idea what my reasons are behind that decision. Instead, they just force their opinions on me and expect me to want what they want. Of course, that's not going to happen.

To me, it doesn't make sense to put myself through the harsh realities of multiple miscarriages. To me, it doesn't make sense to try and have a child when it could put my own health at risk. To me, it doesn't make sense to risk the chance of giving a baby all of my illnesses. Nor does it make sense to me, to have a child only to realize that I can't take care of it.

Now I don't entirely mean it when I say that I don't want children. As I've mentioned before, I always thought I'd have three: two little girls and a boy. But the reality of the situation is this, I should not have children. Frankly, it would be selfish of me to even try.

What are your thoughts? Would you have made the same decision?

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  1. As someone who is 37 and doesn't want children, I know what it's like for other's to put their opinions on you, but it's your life, not theirs. I think that you're being a responsible adult! It isn't anyone else's business if you choose to have children or not.

    1. Thank you Paula! Others definitely like to think that they have a say in the matter, but it's often not their place. I think the worst of it was when my husband and I were engaged and right after we got married, but I think friends and family are to the point where they're just waiting for us to announce a pregnancy instead of asking us about it anymore. Little do they know 😂