Post # 1
Darling Husband and I had previously decided not to have children as I have Bipolar I and OCD and Darling Husband has Becker Muscular Dystrophy. I’m in recovery and work part time and Darling Husband works part time too.
Pregnancy and meds would be difficult and I’m at high risk of having post partum psychosis. Darling Husband uses a wheelchair and although he is fiercely independent, life is a struggle every day for him even with my help. His condition is also degenerative.
We are each other’s carers and we are going to have a PA help us instead of our carers who come in 6 times a week.
So children was basically out of the question and I started the grieving process over the last 6years.
However we have been to a workshop on Bipolar and pregnancy run by a leading expert on the subject. We were then fortunate enough to meet with the professor to discuss our personal situation for two hours. We have learned a lot on the subject and the risks involved but also that it’s not impossible either. Not once has he ever discouraged us. He treated us as two normal adults who wish to start a family. We will see him again soon for another appointment.
We are also going to meet with genetic counsellors to see what the options regarding DH’s condition
Whatever happens we’ll be able to look back and think we did all the research we possibly could and travelled far and wide to achieve it
But I’m now scared and my emotions are all over the place. We’re hoping to move to a flat with two bedrooms. If we don’t have kids it will become DH’s studio.
The grieving process has been disturbed big time but I’m still realistic
Is anyone else in our position? I know it’s complex…any kind advice or info would be much appreciated.
I’m 32 and Darling Husband will be 40 this year and we would love to be parents. We love our friends kids and they love us so much in return. Darling Husband is upset too and confused and trying to prepare both of us for the worst. (just wanted to add as politely as poss that comments on fathers with Bipolar won’t be very helpful as it’s the mother that is affected by the pregnancy/postpartum part.)
Thank you for reading!
Post # 2
Have you considered adoption? Seems like it would avoid most of your concerns about pregnancy and genetics.
Post # 3
The biggest thing that stood out about your situation for me is that you both work part time, would you be able to support a family?
Post # 4
Tisa85 : My mother has bipolar and other problems as well. She was a good mother. Only when she did not take her medicine was she not good. All 5 of the children do not have bipolar or any of the other problems.
One thing I mention is foster mother. If you are a foster mother the government will pay you to do this, which can help with money to raise the children. I hope you have the hope of your heart fulfilled. Much happiness to you.
Post # 5
loveisbrewing : adoption isn’t easy, and from what I know, it can be very very difficult, if not impossible, for people in situations like the OP to adopt as medical history etc is taken into account. Not to mention adopting an older child is not often easy if they will often have their own issues.
Tisa85 : OP I feel for you,this must be very difficult. One key thing to consider is the longer term; these days parenting is a 20 year plus commitment; is that something you have considered? How will your husbands condition be in 20 years,when he is 60, for example?
Parenting is extreme challenging, and a lot of hard work; it is often physically and mentally exhausting. I do think that these days there is an emphasis on having it all, and it isn’t always practical. I am not saying that people with medical conditions or disabilities should not have children; but the child’s wellbeing should come first. If you feel you can properly provide for a child not just now, but when they’re 5/10/15 years old then I say go for it; but if you are likely to be in a situation where that won’t be possible I honestly don’t think k it’s fair on the child.
I will probably be jumped on for this, and so be it; that’s just my honest opinion. And yes, I know situations can change; healthy parents may be struck down by cancer or involved in an accident, but IMO it’s different because it’s a risk/an unknown. The same applies to finances: very different IMPO for a couple who are financial statements le to have a child and then due to unforeseen circumstances come on hard times, than it is for a couple who can’t afford a child to knowingly have one.
Post # 6
what about fostering or adopting older children?
Post # 7
loveisbrewing : Unfortunately we’re not able to adopt, if we embarked on that journey there would be an impossible wall to climb. A lady from the county agency told me off the record that I wouldn’t be able to due to the Bipolar.
barbie86 : we have a lot of things to consider, you’re right. The ‘have it all’ mentality doesn’t work in our situation and we’ve known that for many years
Post # 8
mrsnyctola : Thank you for your reply, lovely to hear about your Mum. Fostering is something we’ve considered but we only have one bedroom at the moment. I would also find it hard to say goodbye, but I might look into it if we get a two bedroom place.
Post # 9
Tisa85 : I just want to make a comment about fostering. The kids in foster care are meant (if everything works out) to be reunited with their birth family. Foster care is supposed to be temporary to allow a family to recover from whatever situation put the kids in danger and be reunited. Fostering should not be done as a way to have your own family because those kids are only temporarily in your protection and you must be absolutely ready to hand them back to their parents. Additionally foster kids are often removed from their parents at an age where they know what is going on and will be dealing with the mental and emotional baggage that comes with that. You’d have to be prepared to deal with that. Finally, the money that the state gives you for foster kids is not enough to do a really good job raising them. So definitely don’t start fostering beause you want a family and this way you get money for the family. Foster because you want to help these kids.
Post # 10
Fostering could be great, as well as fostering kids who are older and need homes – i.e. ages 10+ who are much harder to place, but still need a family a nd love. Would be very hard, but the rewards could be incredible.
If genetic counseling doesn’t give you the answers you want, would you consider egg or sperm donoration, so you can still get pregnant/have a baby, yet not pass on genetic traits?
FWIW, I applaud you for carefully looking at the situation and making a decision. that shows you are responsible and will do the right thing.
Post # 11
I know everyone means well, but I think in the OP’s case fostering and/or adoption will not be the right answer for them. Aside from the emotional toll it takes on you, I think their medical history will opt them out right off the bat.
If you’re concerned about passing genetic issues on you could always look into IVF using donor sperm and eggs. I know it can be very expensive but the option is always there. I think talking with medical professionals who know you and your personal situation is the best way to go about it. If they feel confident in your ability and you feel confident and committed to the task I see no reason why you can’t have kids. My only concern would be, like someone else mentioned, that you said you each work part time. From that aspect the financial side of things would concern me a bit.
Post # 12
You and your husband sound like incredibly responsible people who are really thinking this through. Let me just say that in my eyes that makes you likely to be better parents than many other healthy people who don’t take all this time, don’t prepare for the incredible journey of parenting and don’t do any research. If you believe that you will be able to bring up your children to be great human beings and asset to the world, then go for it. There are a lot of people on the planet who are a waste of space (unfortunately… and I’m not saying I’m not a waste of space, maybe I am too). But there are also people who really stand out and make a difference and make the world better. Maybe your attitude to parenting can bring those types of people into the world.. that’s what the world needs. I think that if you are aware that you’re at risk for post-natal psychosis and your caregivers are aware of it, then you’ll be fine. Regarding your husband, there’s no reason why a guy in a wheelchair can’t be a great Dad. My friend’s Dad had the same condition. They just had the one child. He passed away when she was 15 but she doesn’t regret being brought into this world for one minute and loved her Dad very much.
Post # 13
I just want to say that i wish more people gave the decision to have kids the consideration you are. I really applaud you guys for this.
I can’t personally relate, but I did just want to wish you luck no matter how this turns out 🙂
Post # 14
Thank you for your replies bees 🙂 I’m going to close this thread now but I appreciate your support!