Don't know what to do, please help!

(59 Posts)
Emmon Tue 05-Mar-13 09:49:58

This may be a bit off topic to go in aibu, however if mods can think of a better place, feel free to move it there.
My husband and I are both classified as severely disabled-although to be fair neither of us view ourselves as having disabilities and we do our best to live our lives to the full.
I have bipolar and my husband has a very severe form of a genetic blindness called retinitis pigmentosa or rp. Rp normally causes blindness in the late teens or early twenties but my husbands form is so bad he was registered blind at 10 months and now has no vision.
As rp is hereditary any children we have get a 50/50 chance of the disease. We already have one son who at 19 months is showing no signs of visual impairment and the doctors say it is now very unlikely he has the faulty gene.
Only problem is husband now wants child number 2. I don't. It is not just the risk of blindness. It is the fact I would have a 30% chance of a bipolar relapse and at 37 I feel too old. Also I run a business and work 90 hour weeks-it is a labour of love and the reality is if I had a child I would have to leave home and go live in my office for 3 months or so as a baby would slow me down (and yes I know may people may think that is a disgrace but I am a workaholic).
I cannot have an abortion or IVF with prenatal diagnosis for religious reasons.
What should I do?

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 05-Mar-13 09:51:40

I think the advice will probably be unanimous; you don't want another child, so don't have one! It really is that simple.

aldiwhore Tue 05-Mar-13 09:53:09

All I can advise is talk and talk and talk to your DH. Whatever your reasons or his, there is disagreement so you have to talk it through until you reach agreement. If you don't reach agreement, nothing changes.

You have valid reasons from your OP to not want another child. To be honest, you don't NEED a valid reason, I am not having any more children because I don't want anymore children!

I hope you and your DH can come to an understanding with each other.

MortifiedAdams Tue 05-Mar-13 09:53:15

If you dont want baby no.2 then stand your ground. Even without the medical probabilities, no woman should be forced to conceive a child she doesnt want.

Your dh may want a second child more than he wants to stay with you and only have one child, but this is no reason to force yourself to do something you dont want to do.

HecateWhoopass Tue 05-Mar-13 09:54:25

You should not have a child that you don't want.

That is unfair to you and it's bloody unfair to the child.

It's one of those awful, awful situations where there's no middle ground. You can't have half a child, or a child on weekends! It's either a child or no child.

You are not being unreasonable to not want a child. He is not being unreasonable to want one.

However, I think it is better to not choose to try to conceive a child when both parents don't want one than to choose to try to conceive a child when both parents didn't want one.

And, ultimately, it's your body and if you don't wish to carry another child - nobody has the right to try to make you.

But I can't stress enough that none of that means I think that your husband is unreasonable to want another child. I know what it's like to want another child when the other person doesn't. It's really painful.

AnyFucker Tue 05-Mar-13 09:59:35

Your body, your choice. It really is as black and white as that. I sympathise with your H, but that is as far as it goes for me.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 05-Mar-13 10:01:05

Health-wise you have a number of concerns. You don't say how old your DH is but even if you conceived tonight you'd still be 37/38 when your baby arrived, so at least 55 by the time your youngest reached 18. Nothing wrong with that of course but by then additional health issues may have arisen.

Is your DH worried about your DS being a 'lonely only'? Does he come from a large family himself? Being an only child doesn't mean your son will grow up to be solitary or insular.

At the moment you have a work-life balance that works for you. It makes sense to see what you have and how another baby would change things.

That makes me wonder - please don't take this the wrong way, is the question of another baby actually DH's way of anchoring you to the home, does he feel you are throwing yourself too much into working?

Emmon Tue 05-Mar-13 13:10:05

@donkeys
You are right my husband comes from a big family (he is one of 6) and my MIL had her youngest child at 41. Having said that I feel my MILs parenting leaves a lot to be desired. When her youngest got in with a bad crowd she threw him onto the streets at 15 (he was TWOC-ing cars and truanting). He now lives with his severely schizophrenic dad who is unable to care for him and can be very violent and unpredictable.
My issues with having another child are as follows:
1. I hate having sex and have managed to avoid it for 6 months. Do not want to start again. I work too hard and am too tired and/or busy for it.
2. I am in my opinion too long in the tooth to become a mum again.
3. If I want a baby I will have to come off lamotrigine an excellent bipolar and epilepsy medication that keeps me really stable. There is a risk I will relapse and go totally loco without it.
4. If I have a baby I have a 30% chance of post natal psychosis (you may have read cases of this in the papers when women become so delusional they stab their own children). This would not happen to me as I would be tightly monitored and placed in Wythenshawe mother and baby psych ward. I have been in that dump once before (after having my son) and would rather do 2 months in Strangeways than that place. (My BIL and SIL have had a lot of experience being at Her Maj's Pleasure and they both agree it is a worse place than prison).
5. I LOVE my business and am a total workaholic. I have a highly addictive personality which caused me to throw away years of my life on hard drugs. Now I work. A lot and it gives me that buzz drugs used to give me. The reality is if I had another child I would probably just leave and live at the office for a few months as I do not like being distracted. I am aware this makes me a crap mum but I cannot stop working as I get very bad withdrawal symptoms if I stop.
6. I do not want to saddle a child with a disability. Although my husband coped brilliantly with his blindness not everyone does and is father in law really struggles day to day to cope.
7. This 50 50 chance of blindness actually reminds me of playing "red or black". We have gambled once with our first child and been incredibly lucky to have a healthy boy. All good gamblers quit when they are ahead and that is what I want to do.
My biggest problem is when I see my husband with my son. He is a loving doting dad and I know being a dad is a wonderful experience for him. I feel very cruel taking away that right.
Until recently I was going to have IVF with prenatal screening but having recently found God am now unable to have this.
Just do not know what to do.

TheChaoGoesMu Tue 05-Mar-13 13:26:02

I can understand you not wanting a baby for the reasons you have given around the bi polar. For the RP though, I'm not sure its as clear cut as 50/50. My sil had genetic tests/counselling as we have RP in our family, and the risk for her children was actually very low.
But if you think another baby is going to exacerbate your bi polar, then maybe its less selfish to stick with one and be a good parent, rather than having a really hard time and struggling to cope with two.

Twattybollocks Tue 05-Mar-13 13:29:30

Completely understand why you don't want to have another pregnancy/baby - have you considered adoption as a possibility?

MammaMedusa Tue 05-Mar-13 13:30:41

If you do want to explore further, can you talk to your priest / vicar / rabbi / imam? I know many religious people do manage to combine a belief in G-d with an acceptance of prenatal screening.

HecateWhoopass Tue 05-Mar-13 13:32:10

Do you think this baby idea is about sex? Does he feel rejected by you or is the no sex from now on something that you are both agreed on and happy about?

I'm just wondering if, perhaps partly, maybe subconsciously, this is his way of bringing sex back into the relationship, iyswim.

Of course, if this is something you both agreed, then forget I asked grin It's just with you saying you managed to avoid it, I wondered if there was a lack of communication about it that might be causing him to suggest this?

I think you are just going to have to be very honest. You never want another baby, (or sex) it's just not going to happen, you love him very much but you understand if this is not something that he wants in a relationship, etc etc.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 05-Mar-13 13:33:50

Your DH is a 'loving doting' father, (that shouldn't make you compare yourself and call yourself a 'crap' mum, btw), he can be so for DS, he doesn't need to expand his family with you to enjoy fatherhood.

It is a big decision and you have thought it through and been very candid here. As the other posters have said and I agree, it is your body your choice. Talk it over with DH, be as honest as you have been here. There may be other reasons for DH suggesting another baby, is he trying to evaluate what you currently have together and look at the future?

Emmon I'm not surprised you don't fancy sex as you're on lamotrigine. So am I for epilepsy. I also take topiramate, also for epilepsy and migraine. Although I believe topiramate is also used as a treatment in mental health. These meds kill your sex drive.

Women do concieve on AED's but the advice is to take very high dose of folic acid. That's a general comment. I respect your medical condition is different and you have been advised otherwise.

All your reasons for not having a baby seem to me the right option. Your are going to have to make your husband see sense.

Emmon Tue 05-Mar-13 13:59:29

I cannot adopt. As a bipolar sufferer and recovered drug addict I have already had one run in with the SS. It was them who placed me in the mother and baby dump. I was not unwell but they deemed it necessary for my parenting to be formally assessed for 2 months before I was allowed to have my son in the community.
Having SS involvement was one of the most unnecessary, humiliating and degrading experiences of my life. When I was placed in the dump (mum and baby psych ward) I was not allowed to touch or hold my son without having a nurse within arms length of me for the first two weeks. Obviously having bipolar makes you Myra Hindley doesn't it! Once they trusted I would not go loco and drop kick my son like a rugby ball I then had to pass a formal assessment of whether I had the capability to push a pram near roads! FGS I have a double first from Cambridge and both a car and a motorbike driving licence. However being bipolar means I am such a hafta I cannot be let loose near a main road!
Eventually the SS got bored and decided to leave me alone claiming that I parented to a high standard but the damage was done. It had a massive effect on my bonding with my son and I genuinely believe it has caused me permanent psychological damage.
I have spoken to my priest about prenatal screening and he told me in no uncertain terms it would be a sinful act. The way it works is about 8 embryos would be created and all tested for the RP. Around half would test positive and they would be destroyed. Of the others all but one would get frozen and one would be implanted. On a personal level I have to say I am very uncomfortable with this as I would basically be creating 8 or so tiny people and then condemning the disabled ones to death. Even if the Catholic Church was to allow this I cannot on moral grounds. I used to think it was OK but have changed my mind.
@thechao
There are different genetic patterns of RP transmission. Unfortunately ours is autosomal dominant so it is 50/50. Your SIL's form will be autosomal recessive which is far less likely to get passed on to children.

Emmon Tue 05-Mar-13 14:01:46

@fortified
Oooh I love topamax. They took it off me as it was raising my mood too much and making me too thin.
Am now too fat but doctors do not seem so bothered about that!

GettingBig Tue 05-Mar-13 14:12:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Emmon were you on real topamax. I loved that side effect. Dropped to a size 12. But had my dose lowered and it came off licence. Weight crept up. Now on original dose but using generic topiramate cheap scape government policy. Now fatter than I was originally, size 18. Also on citalpram for depression, its not that great.

Sorry for going off topic.

MammaMedusa Tue 05-Mar-13 14:13:24

Emmon, fair enough. I think you have made the decision that is right for you. Hope you and your DH can come together on it.

Emmon Tue 05-Mar-13 14:17:16

Yes real topamax. I loved it but had difficultly finding words. It was like lots of my vocabulary was on the tip of my tongue.
I get very annoyed I am on bipolar meds which cause a lot of weight gain (lamotrigine does not but my quetiapine does) and I am not being given a gastric band on the NHS. I have to pay for it.
My husband does OK as a dad but sometimes I feel he could do more. he is a couch potato and spends his days watching Bargain Hunt and Deal or No Deal on TV rather than interacting with him.
I have already made it clear that if we have another child the parenting will fall to him. I do not want to do it.

GettingBig Tue 05-Mar-13 14:25:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheChaoGoesMu Tue 05-Mar-13 14:26:40

There are different genetic patterns of RP transmission. Unfortunately ours is autosomal dominant so it is 50/50. Your SIL's form will be autosomal recessive which is far less likely to get passed on to children.

Thats interesting. At the risk of sounding ignorant, how do you know yours is autosomal dominant? Would this just be tested by the pattern in the family, or something more?

Emmon Tue 05-Mar-13 14:29:27

absolutely!
At the moment he does all of my son's nappy changes and dresses him but I feel he is sometimes negligent in his care for him. He just sits there glued to daytime TV and does not seem to interact with him that much. When I ask him what my son has had for lunch he sometimes says "crisps". Sometimes he just microwaves a sausage roll and then just dumps it on his high chair feeding tray.
Last week I wanted to spend £50 of my wages on a toy and he did not want my son to have it as it was a waste of money.

Nanny0gg Tue 05-Mar-13 14:31:03

Emmon, frankly, if you're asking for objective opinions, you haven't mentioned one good reason for having another child (not baby, child) other than your DP 'wants one'. And your last post where you said 'My husband does OK as a dad but sometimes I feel he could do more. he is a couch potato and spends his days watching Bargain Hunt and Deal or No Deal on TV rather than interacting with him.' empahsises the fact that no, you shouldn't have another.

Emmon Tue 05-Mar-13 14:33:09

@thechao
I taught genetics at Cambridge Uni. There are 3 main types of genetic inheritance, autosomal dom, auto recessive and sex linked.
we have 2 copies of all of our genes called alleles-one from mum and one from dad. In auto rec diseases BOTH have to be faulty to get the illness. In auto dom only one needs to be defective.
Sex linked is just because the X chromosome is bigger than the Y. This means women who are XX need 2 faulty genes but men who are XY only need one as the Y cannot compensate for a faulty X.
what type of inheritance can be calculated by looking at a detailed family tree.

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