Confused! 2vs 3 children decision with a child with cancer

(46 Posts)
ekkiethump Thu 13-Mar-14 22:08:23

We have 2 children 4.5 DS and 2.5 DD. Our DD has leukaemia and is currently having chemotherapy which will be ongoing for the next 20 months.
Before her diagnosis we were happy with our 2 children but since her diagnosis we are going round and round in circles about having a 3rd.
We both would love a third, and although our DD has a very good chance of cure, we still have to face the possibility of losing her and the thought of only having 1 child and my DS having no siblings is unbearable.
At the same time, it is very very difficult at times with hospital visits, frequent infections and hospital admissions and lots of chemotherapy and side effects. Am not sure we would cope with 3. It seems so difficult with 3 and we are already in a semi sleep deprived state plus there is the financial implications as well as less time for ourselves.
We are driving ourselves loopy.
Just wondering if anyone can throw a different angle to our dilemma or even possibly been through similar.
Thank you

girliefriend Thu 13-Mar-14 22:11:51

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AtSea1979 Thu 13-Mar-14 22:13:37

What girlie said. shock and sad

Quinteszilla Thu 13-Mar-14 22:18:04

Goodness me poor you, you sound very muddled. I am sorry to hear about your dd. But, these are little people, you can not really think about "ordering a replacement" or "a back up child"? It seems you worry that if you have another child, and your dd lives, you will have too many children, more children than you want.

I think a pregnancy may be hard to cope with when you have two young children, and one who is very ill.

ekkiethump Thu 13-Mar-14 22:25:29

To be clear - I would love to have 3 children and have secretly always loved the thought of this but was content with 2. Given the circumstances there are pros and cons to having a third.
No other child will EVER replace our DD who is an amazing brave and strong little girl.

greensnail Thu 13-Mar-14 22:26:33

I think you need to wait a while, it's obviously not a good time to be making such a huge decision at the moment.

Having said that I have a friend whose son died in his teens. She has two other children and had the second some time after she initially thought her family was compete. At the time she had no idea why she suddenly wanted another baby but now says she thanks God that she did although he is in no way a replacement for the son who died (her son died suddenly in an accident so she had no way of forseeing it when she decided to have a third child).

HelenHen Thu 13-Mar-14 22:27:12

Ah seriously, leave op alone! She never said anything about a replacement and it sounds like a bloody tragic situation to be in so who knows how anybody would react!

Hopefully somebody will come along with s helpful response soon op... I reckon counselling would be a sensible option though, you're going through a lot!

Sparklingbrook Thu 13-Mar-14 22:27:22

You do sound very muddled, and not thinking straight. sad

I think you have quite enough to be dealing with without another pregnancy/baby. Your DD needs you to be there.

I personally think adding to your family at this stage would not br a good idea.

BiscuitMillionaire Thu 13-Mar-14 22:30:06

Sorry you and your DD are going through this. If you're still young enough, I think you should wait a couple of years before having another child. Surely a new baby would be too much to cope with?

greensnail Thu 13-Mar-14 22:30:35

I have no experience of having a seriously ill child but I can see that if I was facing the prospect of losing one of my children some of my own reasons for not having a third would seem less important and I can imagine myself having the same dilemma as you are now.

QOD Thu 13-Mar-14 22:32:28

I know my cousin was advised to have a 3rd child, cord blood and all that, cord stem cells maybe?
She did.
I'd let nature take it's course, could take you 2 yrs to conceive, all the best to your little girl

Grumbliest Thu 13-Mar-14 22:33:50

I think that you want your kids to have a strong support network and I would go for it..wishing your dd a speedy recovery

Quinteszilla Thu 13-Mar-14 22:35:22

QOD is making a very good point.

Clobbered Thu 13-Mar-14 22:35:36

Maybe having a third would be a wonderful thing for your DD - a new person in her life to focus on, and a 'normal' sibling for your DS. I don't think you're wrong to think about having another child and trying to continue with your life as you would have done if she hadn't been ill. You'll be exhausted anyway, so what the heck... If you don't do it, you'll regret it and if you do, people will tell you you're mad. Just do what feels right for you.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 13-Mar-14 22:38:29

My Dhs nephew was diagnosed with Leukemmia at 3 and underwent the gruelling treatment your DD is currently having. The good news is it worked, and he is now a happy 14 year old.

His little brother was six months at the time and he really missed out on parental attention as naturally the focus was his sick older brother whose treatment demanded lengthy hospital stays, etc. I would not recommend a new baby to be in the mix.

Fluffalump Thu 13-Mar-14 22:40:05

I think you have had some really horrible responses here and I am very sorry for your situation. You have been forced to consider the possibility that you may lose your dd and who are we to know how anyone would react to that and obviously you are also thinking of your son later in life if something sad should happen. I cannot imagine being in your situation, but I don't think you will find any answers here.

AuntieStella Thu 13-Mar-14 22:42:14

One angle is to ask how old you are, and also (although previous PGs are not necessarily an indicator of how future ones might go) how pregnancy was for you before.

I think it would make things immeasireably harder for you if you had a difficult pg when do concerned about your DD.

But if you always wanted 3, and if time is not on your side if you postpone for 2 years or so, then you may as well go for it. But do spare a (grim) thought for how you would cope with a difficult pg or a (heaven forbid) a miscarriage whilst caring for DD.

SquidgersMummy Thu 13-Mar-14 22:42:56

Hi Ekkie. I have previously worked with families where a child has leukaemia/other cancers and in cases of terminal illness. I just wanted to say many people might give you some grief over your post because it's a difficult subject. You are not thinking of replacing your child but at the same time it's hard to decide on whether you could manage a 3rd given all the appts, treatments etc that lie ahead. I think you should ask other parents in a similar condition. I don't think asking people who do not understand what you are going through practically, emotionally, socially and financially etc will be helpful. As an aside I have known families who specifically had another child as leukaemia treatment had failed and so they harvested the stem cells from the umbilical cord of a new baby to use for bone marrow transplant; again lots of people may gasp and wail at this however these were families who wanted a further child anyway and so it was win-win all round! I looked into harvesting stem cells when my dd was born but in a lot of regions it's so expensive and unreliable. Anyway, good luck with it all. I cannot say what you should do as I don't really understand how it is but I did wonder how you would all cope with all the appts etc and I did worry about how you would have the emotional capacity to meet the needs of a newborn whilst holding everything together for you dd and everyone else. But then again maybe a new baby would be a new lovely focus for everyone? Good luck. I really hope all goes well for your dd smilesmile

lolalotta Thu 13-Mar-14 22:42:57

Goodness me some of you up thread have been so very harsh on the OP! You should feel ashamed. I can sympathise with her after having been told that my baby had a 30% chance of not making it through a major operation at just six weeks old. The idea of telling my older DD that she no longer had a sibling was heartbreaking to me and she had only had that experience for such a short time! It must be very difficult for a child to go from having a sibling to being an only child an dim sure this is playing on OPs mind.
My heart goes out to you OP and I wish you all the luck that your DD gets better xxx

hackneyzoo Thu 13-Mar-14 22:43:51

Hi Op, I get where you are coming from. When DC2 was a baby and DC1 was 18 months DC 2 was very ill, he had a tumour and was in and out of hospital a lot. We had talked about a third before we knew he was ill, but it became very important for us to have a third for some of the reasons you mention. I had an immense fear of losing DC2 and didn't want DC1 to be an only child, so this made it more compelling to go for DC3. Certainly in no way to create a replacement, but because we felt a DC3 would complete our unit too.
We held off trying until DC2 was stable, and when DC3 came along we coped fine.
I felt I needed to concentrate my energies on DC2 when he was in hospital and was spreading myself thinly because I felt awful about being away from DC1 so much as she was still little too. So for us it made sense to wait until things were calmer and less stressful and we knew DC2 was stable and getting better. I couldn't have coped with pregancy/baby and being in and out of hospital and giving time to DC1.
Its a very personal decision and at such an emotional time sometimes you go with your gut feeling.
I don't understand why people are giving the OP a hard time, she's in a tough enough place as it is.
I hope your little girls treatment goes well OP.

thornrose Thu 13-Mar-14 22:44:24

Blimey, sarky strike outs and hmm faces are very harsh and unnecessary!

OP have you seen the children with cancer thread? Maybe people who have similar experiences may understand your complex feelings about having another child?

TheBuskersDog Thu 13-Mar-14 22:44:51

I wouldn't have another baby while your daughter is having treatment, you need to be able to be there for her rather than dealing with a newborn.

Also from the point of view of your son he is inevitably going to be getting less attention than his sister for a while, it's not really fair on him to bring another sibling into the mix, which will mean even less time for him.

hackneyzoo Thu 13-Mar-14 22:46:03

Can I also say what a positive impact DC3's arrival made on our family after two years of utter stress and worry. She fitted right in with Dc2 and DC1 and gave us back a huge sense of normality and something new and positive to focus on.

donttrythisathome Thu 13-Mar-14 22:46:11

Sorry OP. You've had some less than empathetic responses. Your dilemma made me think of this post sewliberated.typepad.com/sew_liberated/2013/11/expecting.html from a mother who was facing a similar dilemma. Maybe it will help you.
Wishing your family the best of luck.

PolyesterBride Thu 13-Mar-14 22:46:55

I think a good question is how you would manage if for eg your DD was in hospital and you had a newborn. Do you have enough support from friends and family for there to be someone to look after your other child?

Also, I'd also want to be sure that the other child - not sick, not the baby - wouldn't feel deprived of parental attention.

If I had a plan in place for the above, I'd say go for it if you want three kids.

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