Let me just start by saying I started journaling about this last August 2017. It is a touchy and emotional topic for me, but it felt good to share because I am sure others are going through the same worry, wonder and questioning.
My husband and I have been debating about another child. I am honestly still so borderline. I am not sure what to do. Do we, do what will work for us in this situation or do what I want deep down for our family in the future? God is telling me to step out in faith and follow my heart even though it may be challenging. Sometimes there are two choices in a situation that both outcomes will please God. I think this is one of those times.
I feel sometimes we think too much into situations and it makes it that much more complicated. However, adding another addition to our family is a big decision, especially when you have a special needs child. I feel our family was meant to be more, that is why I have this feeling of “incompleteness” as a family when picturing us in the future. A third child was the plan.
We currently have a 6-year-old daughter Ava Kate and a 3.5-year old daughter Claire. Our sweet Claire has a few difficulties which you can read more about here
. Our 6 year old…well she thinks she runs the roost! To say life is challenging and busy now is an understatement. Most things in our household with Claire are challenging on a day-to-day basis.
Communication, mobility, tantrums (which 3 is difficult anyway), hospital stays, therapy appointments, and finding enough time to fit it all in, while keeping the faith and having patience for it all. I envision us having a bigger family, which we wanted, and I do still want. I then snap back into reality and see the more present situation. Which is, how hard it will probably be the first few years of having a new baby with the difficulty Claire already presents.
So, I am just lost in this situation. Is there a right thing to do for our family and for Claire?
If you are a parent of a special needs child, I think you can understand our battle that is taking place in our heads. You may have this longing for another child, but then you think…
Are you hampering your child who needs extra attention? Will another child take away from what your special needs child requires from you..your extra attention, your extra time, your last thread of patience? I am already trying to stay afloat and not exhaust myself (which I always feel I am well past that point).
At therapy awhile back, I ran into a mom of another little girl who has cerebral palsy like Claire. She is the oldest child and she has a younger brother that doesn’t have any issues. I asked her mom a few questions that had been running through my mind…
How old her daughter was when she decide to have another? Was she walking? Was it difficult with a new baby, while having a special needs toddler in the process of learning to walk?
I was surprised by her answer. She said yes it was hard, but he really helped push his older sister to have the drive to get moving and learning new things. Once he was headed for her toys and climbing on the couch, she figured she better step up her game so her little brother didn’t run her down and take over her stuff!
Although it would be challenging I am sure, there are many families with multiples in addition to other children that handle two children/babies at one time. Two in diapers, two learning to walk, two of this, two of that! They do it without losing their mind right? Maybe not so much but they are able to handle it….so why can’t we?
These sort of “big decisions” definitely need to have God and faith in the forefront of them. Don’t over think big decisions, give it to God and let him guide you. You must give it up to him; let him guide you through the situation with grace and humility. I feel like Scott and I have done that. Having another child has tugged on both of our hearts, its just the way to go about doing it. This was the next big decision for us…how to make this happen.
Not too many people know this about us, but if Scott and I want another baby it takes more than just “two to tango”. It is going to require some work with IVF and genetic testing. Claire’s genetic unbalanced translocation which resulted in her genetic disorders, comes from Scott. Scott carries a “balanced
” translocation of those genes which doesn’t affect him because it is balanced…no issues arise.
This last October Scott and I went through our first round of IVF with genetic testing. It was a process for sure. For those of you that have been through IVF multiple times bless you. I am sorry. I didn’t even do half of what you probably have to do if you actually have issues carrying or infertile and it was stressful on my body. Between the shots, the retrieval of the eggs and the disappoint you might have at the end its nerve racking.
After having 21 eggs removed, 10 were mature enough to fertilize, then 6 matured to be able to keep and test for genetic issues. Unfortunately all 6 embryos were abnormal and had genetic issues.
If you have gone through this before you know it is EXPENSIVE! I hated to think it, but after being filled with heartbreak and disappointment it almost made me feel like it was a waist of money. In the end though, if your hope is to grow your family you take the measures at all cost.
Something this IVF round showed us though is how much of a MIRACLE our oldest is. She has not been genetically tested (she will later when she wants to have kids). Either way though, she shows no issues, no signs of anything that would be abnormal. That means she has no genetic translocation or she is balanced like Scott. To have no issues and seeing how every embryo did just made us really think – WOW!
Timing can be everything in God’s plan. I was mentioning before that you could have two decisions and either one could please God. Sometimes its not about the choice, but when you make the choice. Scott and I have decided to try another round of IVF and Genetic Testing one more time. We pray that this is OUR TIME for our family.
Prayers would be much appreciated as we start our next round soon that we have a little embryo without any issues.
I know there are so many families out there that struggle with similar issues and questions on whether or not to have another baby. I pray for guidance in making a decision and comfort when going through the IVF process on everyone involved. It’s not easy.
With Grace & Gratitude – Renee