Children: Can I even have Kids? The 4 uncomfortable questions answered.

Hello my friends and welcome to another blog! I hope you all had a great week, and commemorated ANZAC day in your own way.

I got up for the Currumbin Dawn Service, and then grabbed some pastries and went out to the Cemetery to visit my Grandfather. Day’s like yesterday are super touching, since he was a military man, and I always reflect upon him and the memories we have with him. Oh and let’s not forget the annual ANZAC Footy game against Collingwood and Essendon… Despite my distain for both clubs, I will not go a year without watching that game on ANZAC day, it is tradition!

Anyway, this week I wanted to touch on another subject that was mentioned in the ListenABLE podcast episode. All things, Baby and Children.

This question is perhaps the most asked to any married couple or individual. ‘Are you going to have children?’ ‘When are you going to have children’, ‘are you pregnant? You look a little bigger around the middle’. And the list goes on and on!

However, the question that isn’t asked to many people is ‘can you have children?’ or even ‘do you want to have children?’.

It is safe to say, some people can be pretty insensitive when it comes to this topic. I wish it would become not so frowned upon whether you decide to have children or not.

However, I want to talk about my experience with this decision, and what I think about having children myself.

Children: Is it even possible?

a black and white photo of a baby's hand holding the finger of a hand.

So yes, it is possible. Let’s just get that out the way right now.

What is different is the chances of conceiving a child with my condition, and whether or not I will be able to be pregnant myself safely.

At the moment, the answer to those questions, I received when I was 16. I had a genetics appointment, where they discussed my strand of Muscular Dystrophy more, with all sorts of medical and biological terms that I could only just understand thanks to my year 12 biology class.

The Doctor then proceeded to what I was really anxious to hear. The good old ‘chances/ probability’ conversation. He told me what I had already has known for years: a 1 in 2 chance of having a child with MD if I decide no medical intervention, and they said that they may not allow me to carry the baby myself, due to risk of falling over, and the potential risk to my health.

Trust me that is not what I wanted to here right before having to start my school day. At that time of my life, I thought that a woman’s only role on earth was to have children, and who would I be if I didn’t do that?? So, safe to say when my friends asked how it went, I broke down in tears and ran late to my English class.

However, where I am at now my outlook on child bearing has changed. I realise that that isn’t just my only job on earth, and I am comforted by that.

So, what now?

a hand holding a pen. the pen is pointing to a graph on a piece of paper. The paper has numerous graphs and charts on it.
Photo by Lukas from Pexels

This was something I talked about a bit with Dylan and Angus. There is medical options, such as IVF.

From my understanding they will check for healthy eggs, and then ensure that the baby doesn’t have the MD gene, and then go from a petri dish into a womb for the full cooking process. I could be really wrong with that description though.

The other thing that they also brought up with me is surrogacy. This was something that made me cringe. I really didn’t not want to go down this road if I didn’t have to. However, I think it is something that if I want a family, it is what I will have to do and be ok with.

Sure, for those who want to have children, we want to be able to do the ‘whole thing’ ourselves and not need any sort of medical intervention. However, we all know that sometimes that just isn’t a possibility.

The sooner we can surrender to that idea, we can start looking at the positives.

For me, it will be a case of wait and see. I am not planning on having a family any time soon (for obvious singleton reasons), and I really value my ‘me time’ and ‘beauty sleep’ a little too much at the moment. 

Even the thought of the reasons behind what I call ‘genetically fixed’ baby, doesn’t sit too well with me. Even though I hate the idea of having  child knowing they will go through some really horrible times, and I know exactly what I am asking them do live with, I also hate the idea of ‘playing God’.

Although, like I said, I have a long time to ponder these scenarios and questions. I feel really sorry for any doctor who has to talk to me about all of this!

The ‘H’ word.

a bunch of exercising gear. A purple sports bra, a smart watch, sneakers, headphones, balance ball, yoga mat, resistance bands and weights. All are out on a marble floor.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Now this is another thing that Dylan and Angus talked about on the Podcast. The word that every single human uses when describing a newborn baby. Healthy. ‘baby is healthy’ or ‘welcome our healthy baby….. to the word’. Everyone uses it.

Even I describe my brother as ‘healthy’. It has become normal language. Pre-Podcast recording, I didn’t see anything wrong with saying ‘healthy’.

Simply because I believe that when someone says their baby is ‘healthy’ I think no complications, no breathing trouble and is enjoying tummy time or their first bath. I never thought the word could have also meant ‘they have no disability’ when they are a baby.

Perhaps the meaning of the word changes as they get older and any disabilities are highlighted.

I feel as though it is the manner in which you use it, determines whether or not it could be conveyed as ableism or not.

Yes, I do apologise for saying my brother is ‘healthy’. I should have rephrased to say that he didn’t have any disability.

Life is all about learning our lessons though!

Caring for kids.

Photo by Daria Obymaha from Pexels

For those wondering if I will be able to be the so called ‘traditional independent mum’, first of all there is no such thing, but second of all the answer is no.

I know now that I won’t be able to do everything that other parents can do. I won’t be able to lift my children up if they want a cuddle, or lift them out of a cot, or chase them around the house when they misbehave and get into the Nutella.

However, there will be a lot of things I will be able to do still, and things that we will adapt to.

And that alone is something I am looking forward to.

Sure, I will need a lot of help from my future partner, parents and in-laws. But that I am ok with. Needing help my whole life, I know what kind of people my future children will have around them to help if needed. And that I am so grateful for.

My motto is ‘we will cross that bridge when we get there’.

All in all.

two parents and two children standing on a  jetty. the sun is setting and the sky is pink. the jetty is above the ocean with slight waves

Parenthood and having children is such a tricky topic. And it should be handled with care like Penguin parents doing the good old egg shuffle to make sure their egg doesn’t touch the ice.

Being disabled, not many people ask when and if you will have kids, however, I can only imagine those who get asked about it every single time they turn up to a family function.

For me, I am going to enjoy my singleton childless time for a bit longer, and will cross that bridge when I get there. Sure it will be uncertain, and scary, but I know it will be the right decision regardless. Most importantly, it will happen one way or another, and I will be happy with whatever that looks like. There is so ‘normal’ way to have children, and my journey along with every other disabled person will be super special and memorable.   

till next time! I hope you all have a good week. I would love to know what you would like me to write about next. I want to write about things you are interested in reading! no idea is too crazy!

It is crazy to believe i have almost been blogging for a whole year! go check out my first blog post!

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