to ask for your help to decide whether I should have a child or not? (EDS related)(176 Posts)
A few people have made the link that conceiving (or not) a disabled child is equivalent to deciding whether the life of an actual living disabled person is worthwhile. This is wrong, a person who is in the world is not equivalent to a sperm and egg before fertilisation, or even immediately after, for that matter. A decision appropriate for one is not necessarily appropriate for the other.
Finances too. You talk about your husband dropping hours etc. Don't think the same level of state help with regard to tax credits etc will always be there. And dare I even think it, the most stable and loving of marriages can crack under pressure - the scenario of a wife and a child with a disability, plus financial hardship doesn't look good to me.
I have a lot of sympathy for you but just wanted to say I think you are possibly underestimating how relentless and demanding parenting is (most people do before they have children, I know I did).
I have no disabilities but have found having children the hardest thing I've ever done. I love them absolutely but the demands never end and I have a healthy 12 and 4 year old. Second what was said above, you may not get a compliant child who will stay with you when out etc. Both mine were/are physically very difficult to handle.
Also I really did expect my parents would be very hands-on and a big support. That didn't materialise at all. Everyone was working or just not interested. (They help my sister with her dc endlessly though, but that's another thread). I ended up with very bad PND which is still very much affecting me.
I understand how you feel and the longing but in your case I would concentrate very much on my own health and be a fantastic auntie and godmother, loved and adored by the children in my life. Maybe the best of both worlds?
Hope I've not said too much or upset you. It wasn't my intention at all and I think you are very courageous. Wishing you all the best xx
Hi first I think you sound very brave and I totally understand wanting to canvas subjective opinions. My situation is very different but this is my experience I had a car crash 5 years ago when pg had my ds1 at 26 weeks, I was left with multiple health issues, last year I fell pg again accidentally and was advised to terminate due to risks to both our health. Ultimately I couldn't and my ds was born at 24 weeks, he is doing great but I am still in hospital confined to a wheelchair. It is unlikely I will ever walk normally again. I am a lone parent with 3 children depending on me. Thankfully I have a wonderful supportive family but do I regret my decision even knowing what I know and the answer is no. Being a parent for me is the easiest thing I have ever done, I manage fine 95% of the time and they are my reason for fighting.
But would i have planned to have a second birth child and the answer is honestly no, simply due to the impact it has had on my dd and ds1 lives short term at least we don't know what the future holds.
I wish you all the best x
I have the genes for a genetic condition too - Huntington's disease. Whilst it doesn't affect me now, it will in the future. I have a 50:50 chance of passing it on. We tried pgd ivf at guys twice to stop passing it on. It didn't work for us. Bad luck and my eggs just couldn't cope with the procedures. I didn't think I could adopt- it used to be that I would have been banned because of the HD. But we went to a meeting and whilst the lady couldn't guarantee anything (she wouldn't have guaranteed anyone from a 10 min chat), she was very hopeful and said it wasn't a no. We were really keen on going for adoption but decided to have one more go at the ivf first. We went to Barcelona, changed tactics and had ivf via egg donation. I got pregnant! Childbirth was not straightforward, i had a back to back delivery, a 4th degree tear and now have some minor, manageable bowel issues. Whilst i can cope now, i do not know if this will make things worse with the HD when it starts. Our DS is 18 months now. It took three years, a near breakdown for me and a lot of counselling but we got there and he is worth it.
I know it's not the same situation but I thought it might help. I would never want to impose my experiences on you, it is yours and your husbands decision, no one else's but maybe there are more options than you realise? Egg donation, pgd ivf, adoption could all be routes forward. But I would say that counselling was vital for me to get through. Maybe a counsellor could help you to explore your options and figure out what you want?
A long post! Sorry! Good luck in whatever you decide.
Haven't read all your replies yet but my DH has EDS and there is screening - we had a cvs test done with our 1st pg to test to see if the baby had eds.
Also, EDS has now been approved for PGD with ivf so it could be possible to have a surrogate with your egg, and the embryo could be tested before implantation.
OP I'm in a similar boat, though as yet am not married so it's more of a theoretical issue for me.
I have agonised over this question for the last ten years; I adore children beyond anything and I would make a good mum. I have decided I'm not going to have children, and I've only really made up my mind since becoming an aunt and godmother. I look at those close to me who have children and think about what would happen if they rang and asked me to look after even one of them for the week. I just couldn't do it. With help all day from someone else I'd manage but unless I win the lottery that is too expensive. I would be so concerned about having a child with EDS, which might sound awful but I believe that life has huge worth and can be fantastic even with a horrible condition, but I know I couldn't cope day to day and I wouldn't want my child to see me suffering as I frequently do.
It is heartbreaking. I'm getting around my grief by spending lots of time with other peoples' children, volunteering and I hope to get a pet one day that I can love. It isn't ever going to be ok that I can't have them, but c'est la vie. Have a look at the organization 'Gateway women' which is for women who can't have children. They've helped me a lot.
there is screening for all types of eds except type 3 unless they find your particlar gene combination. We know as we have had a genetics consult.
The biochemical etiology of EDS, hypermobility type is unknown in most cases.
Molecular Genetic Testing
Genes. Heterozygous mutation in TNXB is associated with EDS, hypermobility type in a small subset of individuals. However, skin hyperextensibility, easy bruising and other hematologic manifestations are not part of this phenotype (see Genotype-Phenotype Correlations).
Evidence for locus heterogeneity . A mutation in TNBX is not identified in most individuals with a clinical diagnosis of EDS, hypermobility type. Thus, the etiology and genetic locus/loci are unknown in the vast majority of cases.
Research testing. Serum tenascin-X protein testing is available on a research basis only.
sorry just read that back and that sound like im being bigheaded and aggressive. sorry
I will say the pressure it puts on a family and reltionship makes it very hard. My marriage after 15 years is breaking up. he cant take the pressure and is behaving badly. not easy.
I have EDS (hypermobility type but am about to push for a change of diagnosis to classical).
I didn't get a diagnosis until after I had DS. I wont lie, I had to leave my job about 8-12 weeks in as I couldn't walk without walking sticks and being in agony, my hips dislocated and subluxed umpteen times every day and the joints that I usually had dislocations with got so much worse.
I landed in hospital many times with heart and blood pressure problems.
I had lots of threads on here, the whole time was agonising and I have never recovered.
I was induced at 38 weeks due to the pain and SPD and other problems, they gave me an epidural which I wasn't keen on as anasthetic normally doesn't work on me and wasn't allowed to move even though the epidural failed as I thought it would, the MWs didn't understand my condition (it was queried at this point and definite dx of hypermobility) and kept using a wedge thing to put me on my side, the pain from my hips subluxing the entire way through labour was the most agonising thing I have ever felt, I would have killed myself if I could and begged DP to knock me out.
I went from 5cm to fully dilated and fully effaced in about 30 minutes (very common in EDS) but no one would believe I needed to push, eventually when they realised I was and was pushing the MW kept pushing my legs right up and making me put my neck on my chest, the pain was horrific and I begged for forceps.
Had episiotomy and forceps and DS was born fine but then needed stitches... they all tore out, I was in agony for weeks and weeks and still have ragged skin.
I have a suspected cystocele and rectocele and have been told that even if I didn't at this point I will need surgery for it at some point as it is so common with the EDS.
I have greatly struggled with the fatigue and breast feeding was painful because of the way I had to sit.
I have problems getting about with the pram, picking DS up, sitting feeding him for periods of time etc.
I do do it though, it fucking hurts and it isn't easy. DS seems fine so far but the Drs have noted that he has clicky joints.
Money is a struggle because I can no longer work and rely on benefits and I have needed constant physio since he was born.
I am now pregnant again (contraception fail) and really scared, I am now on anti depressants as I was starting to feel suicidal at being pregnant again, I am so worried for the future.
They put my legs in stirrups even though it was in my notes not to... I begged them to stop but she wouldn't listen and said "well they're in now so you're fine, it's only SPD". I think I had a rotten MW though.
I would be allowed a CS if I liked but am having a home water birth as this is agreed that it is best for me. I can guarantee the pool to take the weight off my joints and there is no temptations of epidurals etc and if I have a speedy labour then there is no risk of me trying to get to hospital.
I will have a very detailed birth plan and it is already in my notes that I can't hold stitches and am to have another anasthetic review, I am guessing this is in regards to if I need a CS, if that's the case I will most likely be given a general anasthetic as it's too risky otherwise.
I don't think you should entirely rule out the option of having children, you are doing the right thing learning as much as possible beforehand.
Also with children inheriting it, if you know young then you can take steps to minimise the impact. Lots of core exercises to try and gain joint stability etc.
MrsDeVere's idea is a brilliant one. You can get help from certain organisations and some social work departments for adaptations in the house and support groups for disabled parents.
I was offered it and wish I had taken it.
Schro - does tens work for you? I know o don't have eds but the tens machine designed for labour was effective when not in the pool.
You mentioned that you don't know anyone without children (which seems incredible...really...no-one at all?)
It might be an idea to go out of your way to meet people without children so you can get an insight into what life might be like without them, what possibilities there are etc. There would be positives as well as negatives.
You are in a very tough position. In your shoes I would not have children. I really could not knowingly take that 50% chance of passing an identified genetic condition to my child. I would concentrate on living the happiest and fullest life that I could and would enjoy spending mine and dh's money and time on each other. All the very best whatever you decide.
I don't have EDS only HMS and found pregnancy and childbirth quite a trauma. The epidurals didn't work and the final stage for my dd lasted about 5 hours. I also had excruciating Obstetric cholestasis with both although I don't know if it's connected.
Both my DD and DS have hms although to a lesser extent and not diagnosed as they only give diagnosis if you have suffered pain for x amount of time in x amount of joints. I wasn't diagnosed until I was nearly 40, up until then I was just the bendy woman.
My DD plays high level sport and it breaks my heart when she gets an injury solely because of her lax joints and I can't even begin to tell you scared I was when she had to have teeth out because her overbite was huge, luckily my dentist was patient and made sure that she was completely numb
unlike my previous bastard dentist who insisted I couldn't feel him yanking bits of broken tooth out of my gums
What I am trying to say is that it's hard when it is yourself going through pain but when it's your children it is a thousand times harder to bare.
The forum is amazing and the members so helpful.
I wish you luck whatever decision you make.
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