My husband and I chose to have more kids, knowing we have a 25% chance of having another child with cystic fibrosis. Are we selfish? Maybe, but I think my daughters are pretty grateful to be here.
Homeschool Mom: Is it selfish to have more kids when you know you and your husband have a bad gene and you have already passed it on to two kids? Frankly, I'm not sure. I know I love my kids and I am taking care of their health needs and they are growing and thriving, but I also know that they have a big burden in their lives. I have the burden as well, of course, but it is different when you are the person who is suffering with the physical symptoms. They definitely feel the burden, they deal with it, and they are not happy dealing with it. In fact, I asked each of my children with cystic fibrosis if they could change one thing about their lives, what it would be. Each one said they would want to be free of CF. My husband and I have the same wish. Even the youngest, who does not have it, said her second wish would be that her siblings no longer had CF (her first being that she wants a pony).
Let's face it, having a chronic illness that demands many inhaled breathing treatments, oral drugs, sometimes intravenous drugs, and hospital stays, and which causes you to have pancreatic insufficiency so you have to take pills every time you eat, plus a host of other symptoms and problems that would take up my entire page, is not fun. But does that mean that never having been born would have been better? Well, how can anyone truthfully ever know?
I do know my children are happy and as healthy as their friends. Their condition does not prevent them from doing anything. They do have to work hard to maintain their health, and they have to see many doctors on a regular basis, but for now they are as energetic and exhausting as any other kids. The tragedy would be if their health deteriorates while they are young and they succumb to CF. Obviously that is not something I contemplate too often, because it would be heartbreaking, but when I really consider it, I know that a tragic end does not mean a life was meaningless, it means a tragedy has occurred.
There are no guarantees when you have a child. I remember when I heard about the Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman, who lost his 5-year-old daughter when his son hit her while backing out of the driveway. Who could foresee such a tragedy? Children get cancer and other illnesses, and sometimes they die horribly and painfully. We do the best we can with our children's difficulties. I think my husband and I are good and loving parents who try to do the very best for our children. I would take my children's illness upon myself if I could. I would give my life for them, but I would never give them up, nor second-guess a decision to have given them life in the first place. The world is a better place because my children are in it, and you should all just count your blessings they are here!
|Homeschool Mom: Pam Heilman is a California Credentialed Teacher who once won some body lotion in a raffle at the Y. She is currently residing in Southern California with her husband Eric, and homeschools their three children.|