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What are the odds that baby will be disabled/brain damaged/very special needs?

(114 Posts)
Flum Mon 11-Aug-08 20:18:51

I am expecting third baby and feel I am worrying overly that there will be a problem with this baby. It is as if I am trying to come to terms with it in advance (impossible I'm sure). I am worrying about how it would affect rest of family and worse still and am so sad and ashamed to admit this - that I would regret having third child.

Is there a website that actually lets you look at the true odds of things going wrong with babies in the womb/during childbirth, so I can get my head around the actual facts. Perhaps it would make me worry more though......

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 11-Aug-08 20:46:22

I don't think this is the best part of the website to post on really as you're unlikely to get reassurance that it isn't going to happen from people it has happened to.

The odds of disability vary depending on individual genetic makeup as well. So the odds of ds2 and ds3 being autistic was very high indeed- 100 times higher than the odds for someone without autism in the family (so ironically 100 times higher than ds1's odds- although he's the severely autistic one and 'high risk' ds2 and ds3 are fine).

Of course having a disabled child affects the rest of the family - sometimes in bad ways sometimes in good. But at the end of the day you have a child who you love just as much as your other children. I think realising that disability is a possibility is something that should be considered when having children really. My first experience of someone close to me having a severely disabled sibling was from someone whose sister was knocked over and left brain damaged in her teens.

Sorry this probably isn't what you want to hear, but no-one can tell you that your baby isn't going to be disabled. Although the odds are of course definitely in your baby's favour. I can't guarantee that ds2 and ds3 - although fine now aged 6 and 3 won't be disabled by this time tomorrow, this time next year or whatever. There aren't any guarantees. I don't however spend time worrying that they might be because whatever happens I love them and we'll deal with it. Hopefully, touch wood (and [presumably in all likelihood) it isn't something that we'll ever have to deal with.

I think if this is something that is causing anxiety you're better off getting proper counseling really as I don't think you'll get the answers you need on a website.

expatinscotland Mon 11-Aug-08 21:03:43

I don't think a website of any sort is going to be able to answer that for you anymore than any website is going to give you odds on any guarantees in life.

Lots of people are born healthy in life, after all, and then become disabled through accident or illness.

I have a daughter with a disability that could not be diagnosed by any antenatal test. We don't know where it came from, it's pretty severe dyspraxia, and there's no point in speculating. She's got it, she's ours, we get on with it.

Please speak to your midwife about your concerns and perhaps get some counselling.

Nat1H Mon 11-Aug-08 21:42:27

Why waste a pregnancy worrying about what the worst that could happen will be? You should enjoy this time. Worry about it if it happens.

I can assure you - you will love your baby just as much as your other children whether it is disabled or not.

If you feel as though there may be a problem then speak to your midwife or obstetrician.

r3dh3d Mon 11-Aug-08 21:56:25

Tbh, I have never heard of such a website and I doubt it exists.

It's hard to know what to say without knowing more - do you have friends or relations with disabled children? To be horribly frank, it does sound as if you are scared of the bogeyman a bit. Having a severely disabled child is nothing like I would have imagined it to be before I had mine (had I thought about it at all). Kids with SN are just kids. With SN. Honestly.

Tclanger Mon 11-Aug-08 22:07:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

misscutandstick Mon 11-Aug-08 23:24:26

Very soon after i was pregnant with my fifth son i worried that he might have some problem... that same thought followed most of the way thru pregnancy, it happens that it looks like he has autism...

However, i have 4 other children who are OK, was i worrying because i thought i was so lucky that my children were OK? i tend to think so.

How many hundreds of women have had the same worries and their children turn out to be just fine? Thousands i bet. It just so happens that I am here to tell you this story because i frequent a SN board having had a baby with special needs, of course on here you are going to find stories like mine. But if you stopped every mother on the street and asked them if they had worries about their babies before birth I would guess that a very great deal of them would say yes. The chances are very low of problems.

Please talk to your midwife and explain to her how worried you are, she will be able to tell you just how many babies she delivers each week who are fine and healthy!

Seuss Mon 11-Aug-08 23:27:32

Flum, i think, as others have said, you should chat to your midwife. You seem to have chosen to worry about something you have no control over - I get your reasoning about trying to prepare (I am a v. worst case scenario person) but it seems very irrational to be thinking so much about this. Basically it is something that you would deal with if it happens - that is as much as you can prepare, there are just so many variables. You can't keep worrying about this because where will it end? Will you analyse baby through all the developmental stages? (I do this with no. 3 so not judging!). I hope you can get past this and enjoy your pregnancy. Take care and good luck!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 11-Aug-08 23:33:41

I do have to add before I go to bed, that severely disabled though he is, I certainly don't regret ds1. I love him. Full stop.

Hecate Mon 11-Aug-08 23:41:48

Are either of your other children sn? Is this why you are worried?

Otherwise, - who knows? Whatever will be will be. Every parent has these fears, will the baby be ok, will anything go's normal.

Having a disabled child is not the end of all things. There are many challenges and many joys in every child.

I have disabled children. They are perfect.
If you have a non-disabled child, it will be perfect, if you have a disabled child it will also be perfect.

And, tbh very blunt - any of your children could change at any time. Accident or illness could result in a disability. And you would love them and care for them because they are your children and your love for your child is unconditional.

TinySocks Tue 12-Aug-08 06:29:24

Oh Flum. sad. I hate to think that you are feeling scared during a time that should be filled with hope.
I can understand why you are so scared. I really can.
Why are you worried? What is different about this preganancy compared to your previous two?

For what it's worth, when I was pregnant with DS1 (who has special needs) I never dreamt he would have neurological problems. Never in a million years.
So you just never know either way.
Please try to relax.

mm22bys Tue 12-Aug-08 07:21:29

It happens all the time. It is just a fact of life. Chances are your baby will be fine, but there is alwasya small chance your baby might have problems.

Then again, there are chances that your baby will be born "fine", and then get a virus, or be in an accident.

It could happen to you even (or me or your DCs 1 and 2)!

No use worrying....

mm22bys Tue 12-Aug-08 07:25:56

Sorry if insensitive, and not what you wanted to hear, but the other responses on here are spot on. This is really not the best place to post this, when we are all dealing with exactly this (obviously to varying degrees).

What won't kill you will make you stronger. Enjoy your pregnancy and don't worry about something till you actually have to deal with it (and chances are you won't have to deal with it anyway).

Best wishes.

FioFio Tue 12-Aug-08 07:55:07

Message withdrawn

AbbeyA Tue 12-Aug-08 08:13:55

I don't think that you can come to terms with things before they happen. You think you know how you will react but you don't know until you are in that position. There is no point in worrying-even if everything is perfect children get ill,have accidents etc.I try and live for the moment and not worry about what might happen.

anniebear Tue 12-Aug-08 09:22:34

a funny question to ask on the SN section!

lourobert Tue 12-Aug-08 10:06:19

I cant help but feeling this post is a tad insensitive.

Hope you can relax and enjoy the pregnancy

TinySocks Tue 12-Aug-08 10:24:01

Ladies, give Flum a break. She's just trying to get some reassurance. She is worried.

expatinscotland Tue 12-Aug-08 10:38:23

I'm worried myself, Tiny, but then again, I have a child with SN again.

Still, we took the chance.

There are no guarantees in life, and sorry, but I do find it rather insensitive to go on an SN board and ask for odds on having a child like ours. hmm

Ilovehousemusic Tue 12-Aug-08 11:22:20

Sorry but I don't think this is just a tad insensitive. I find it extremely insensitive

sarah293 Tue 12-Aug-08 11:26:59

Message withdrawn

MannyMoeAndJack Tue 12-Aug-08 11:40:40

You could go for genetic counselling...the waiting lists are long and as you are already pregnant, it would be a little late in the day BUT by asking questions about your family history, the geneticist would provide you with a magic number statistic of how likely your dc will be disabled.

I'm not a geneticist but I'm guessing the statistic s/he would give you would be in the region of between 0.1% and 25%

There is no crystal ball, there are no guarantees. Even if you had invasive testing at 14/16wks to rule out certain genetic abnormalities, the rest of your pregnancy and eventual labour would not be 'protected' by the test results.

SixSpotBurnet Tue 12-Aug-08 11:49:42

Flum, I hope I am not being insensitive, but I really think that ratehr than going hunting for statistics, which I reckon will only wind you up more, the best thing you can do is to try and relax and enjoy your pregnancy.

There are just so many variables - e.g. what do you mean by "very special needs" - I would consider having had a son with talipes that it is so minor it hardly counts, but yet women have been offered terminations for talipes. It all depends.

I have one son who has an autism dx but who is very very high-functioning, one who was born with talipes, and one who has autism (not high-functioning). I know I have been whingeing on here of late about DS3, actually consider myself very very lucky indeed when I think what some people have to deal with. Maybe you should try and focus on the positives in your life, large and small, enjoy each minute of having that new life growing inside you, and try not to torture yourself with worries?

FioFio Tue 12-Aug-08 11:53:42

Message withdrawn

sarah293 Tue 12-Aug-08 12:03:18

Message withdrawn

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