Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Pregnancy Question

Every time I talk to a member of my family they want to know if I'm pregnant yet. Last time Mom came down to visit she asked me if I was even trying to get pregnant, and when I answered not yet she wanted to know why.

So here it is:

1. I'm 35 years old and already have high blood pressure. We've been playing with my meds to try to find something that is safe for a fetus but that will control my blood pressure - this has been a tough one.

2. I'm 100 pounds overweight - enough said about that

3. The last time I went to have a pap smear it came back abnormal. Additional tests came back inconclusive, so I have to go back in March for another pap. If this one comes back abnormal and inconclusive, they will do a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal section of my cervix (turns out the cervix is like skin - it sheds and grows back all the time). I'm not really sure what the consequences of that will be in relation to having a baby, but I do know that they don't want to put you under while you're pregnant and I don't want to be awake anytime they are removing anything from inside of me.

4. If the next pap smear comes back abnormal - cancerous, I wouldn't want to risk any treatment until after the baby was born. Chris' mom died when he was 8 years old of breast cancer, and he has a real fear of losing me to cancer. That's just not something I'm willing to put him through. If we find out I do have cancer, I want to be able to treat it immediately.

Note on number 4 - the most likely cause of the abnormal pap smear is the fact the I have HPV, which in itself can cause an abnormal result. However, since I was first diagnosed with it 4 years ago in April, and have had normal paps until this last time, and they weren't able to say for sure that it did cause the abnormal result, and HPV increases your chances for cervical cancer....You can see the concern.

The other thing about HPV that I just found out about recently is that it can cause infertility. I've often wondered if I could even have children. I can't take birth control in any form (and I've tried just about all of them), and I haven't always been careful. Okay, I've never really been careful until just recently. Anyway, I've never been pregnant, so I've wondered.

I do have some other fears. Our ages make the chance of birth defects higher than people under the age of 35. The massive amounts of drugs that I've done in my lifetime - all of my eggs have partied pretty hard. I worry about what damage I've caused them and does that increase the risk of birth defects? My doctor says not really, that the acid I did as a teen was the worst, but I can't help worrying about it.

Then there's our relationship. I KNOW that having children is going to change everything, and I'm sure that it will be for the better. But. But, I've heard stories of couples that find out once their children have grown up and moved out on their own, that the couples don't know each other anymore, have nothing in common, and just don't love each other anymore. Chris is the very best thing that has ever happened in my life, and I'm afraid that kids would change that. I know, I know, they would just enrich our lives and bring us closer together and blah, blah, blah. I still worry about it.

Then there's time - I work 40 hours per week, Chris works as much as the weather permits which this last year hasn't been nearly enough but we get by. I go to school 9 hours a week, and spend at least another 16-20 studying. Then time spent with Dad is a minimum of 6 hours per week - which isn't nearly enough but some weeks is more time than I get to spend with Chris. Paying bills, cleaning house and cooking (which my wonderful husband does most of - and no, you women out there can't have him, he's mine!)

So, given all of the above, do we want to have children? YES. At least 2 (I keep hoping that when it finally does happen, the twin gene will kick in and we'll have a little boy and a little girl and be done with it).

So, once this test is done in March (everyone pray it comes back normal) we'll be officially trying.

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