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Feb 16

A baby and fears

A baby

I am pregnant! My youngest right now is 5 years old. Brody, my little guy with autism will be 8 years old around the time this baby girl arrives. The age gaps of our children are not ideal and by that, I mean what I would have planned it different but as I have learned from parenting and having children, not much is ideal! The decision to have this baby was a difficult one for my husband and I.

I have had a nagging feeling I wanted to write about this subject on this blog. I am reluctant and nervous but then again…maybe not many read my blog so instead I will just think of it as putting these feelings out there in the universe!!

Why is this a difficult subject, well, like everything in my life, my son’s disability of autism affects greatly the decision to have another baby. Women get pregnant every day.

When I had my second and currently youngest son, Brody was a few months shy of 3 years old. At that point, Brody was not diagnosed with autism. Instead, he was only slowly showing more symptoms of autism. With this pregnancy and since even thinking about wanting another child, it was a different story and difference circumstances. I was bringing a child into our family fully comprehending the additional challenges. I have worried and stressed for years when I knew I wanted another baby (though to be fair it is our third and last child).

One of the smaller stresses is that of the judgment of others. I felt the judgment in some conversations and comments made over the years and from things I have read in the online parenting world. I stressed so much that others would judge me. The sentiment was that we should not have another child because we need to deal with the hardships we currently have with Brody. It was tough to think that this is a reason I should not have another child. The way I interpret this attitude is that people do not think Jake and I capable of handling it all. As if we are hanging by a string and barely doing what we should now and if you add another child there is no way we will be able to do the things that we need to for Brody. It is simultaneously insulting our capabilities and the work we do with Brody now.

There is this imaginary scale in my mind. Pros and cons listed on each side. Over the years as I thought about the decision and my husband and I would discuss it, the scale would go back and forth. The weight of each pro and con were change as we talked about the importance or stress of each. It is tough because though some couples may go through the same struggle with deciding, our list would look very different from other couples.

  • The financial stress on our family is the same as others but with the added aspect is the cost of therapies and interventions that could help Brody (many not covered by insurance).
  • Will the baby take away time and care that could be spent on working with Brody. Yes, “working” with my son is something that is done daily and working on goals he needs to achieve which most 7 years do not have to do.
  • Ryan does not have a very healthy mental or physical relationship with his brother and it is difficult for both Ryan and Brody. There is no bond there and getting Brody to make eye contact is difficult let alone plays with Ryan. Another child in our home is a sibling for Ryan to interact and have a relationship with.
  • Another child ups the risks of autism as well as any and all health problems. Already knowing what life is like with a special needs child meant that my husband and I were so nervous about taking on this risk.
  • If Brody’s symptoms of autism do not decrease, it means life-long care by others. The responsibility is my husband and me right now. However, once we pass away or get too old the responsibility falls to Ryan, as he is the only sibling. Another child would alleviate the responsibility being just his alone. This is one of the most depressing thoughts but again, this is something we could not deny but a harsh reality.

These are just a few of the items that were on the pro and con list. The epiphany I had one day was that I could trust the feelings I had that our family was meant to have another child and the fact that I wanted that child. Everything else was full of fear, worry and stress. While raising Brody and trying to meet the challenges that come with it, I am constantly trying to pull myself out of a world of fears and worries and into one of hope. What is real to be is that my heart is big enough for another child and our family is ready for this little one to join our family. As much as I know that, I know even more so that I will never stop trying to help Brody. I will never stop working hard managing his care with the state, researching new therapies and sacrificing time and money to help him improve. Those are the two things I need to always remember. The decision to have another child is no different. I did not want to not have another child cause of this fear or that. It would mean my fears would win and the joy and happiness that a child would bring to our family would never be realized.

So to embrace my goal of overcoming fears I like reading the following quotes:

“There is no illusion greater than fear.” ― Laozi

“Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.” – Samuel Butler


“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”Rosa Parks
“Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”Audrey Hepburn

2 comments

  1. Delaina

    Golda trust me there will always be someone to judge.

    You have to be true to your heart. You and Jake wanted another baby. Yes, there are pluses and minuses. Yes, a new baby means more challenges and also more opportunities.

    Living and being alive means doing just that. You a Jake are fantastic parents. You love openly, you care deeply, and you strive to give your children the most of what the world has to offer.

    Let the judges, judge that is what they do.

    You and Jake are passionate souls, share that and what your love produces. It is within your strength and courage where your lives as parents and your children’s lives, that the possibilities of fulfillment live.

    Let the chatter and the fear go.

    Remember you have a support group that loves you. <3

  2. Rebecca

    I love you. I can’t imagine the stress or pressures you and Jake feel everyday all I know is that you have brought two very amazing children into this world and I am excited to meet your third. I love you both and support you and I am sorry that I am not there for you more. You are an incredible mother. You do so much and work so hard for your family.

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