This past weekend we spend our time with Tim's family celebrating our nephew's first birthday, which was a lot of fun! Throughout the weekend, I got asked several times when we were going to start having kids, and told that 'we were next'. Tim's oldest sister is pregnant with her first child, due in December, and the birthday party was for his middle sister's first child. He's the last one (youngest) of his siblings, so I know that everyone's waiting and expecting us to have kids one day, too. We both want to have kids, so it's not stressful or annoying when people ask or make comments about us having kids - it actually gets me more excited because I know that they are all very supportive. It's one of my ultimate goals in life to become a mom and I can't wait for that day! Note: I am not pregnant. There's so much decision making and things to think about before even trying to get pregnant: finances -especially!, work, our schedules, living arrangements, support system, and so much more. It makes me so thankful that Tim and I have such good communication to talk about all of these things.
Another big topic of discussion for us is me having Cystic Fibrosis and wanting to get pregnant. Most men with Cf are infertile, but women with CF are fertile and can have kids. Hopefully for me it won't be too difficult to get pregnant, but I just need to make sure I stay healthy. My CF specialist and my OB/GYN are both on board with me getting pregnant, whenever that may be. Typically, they suggest that women don't get pregnant when their lung function is 40% or lower and mine is in the mid-80s, so that's a good thing and they don't think there will be any problems with that.
Along with me having Cystic Fibrosis, the baby could have CF, too. That all depends on whether Tim is a carrier of a defective CF gene or not. If he is not a carrier, than our children will just be carriers - meaning that they will not have CF, but they could pass it on to their own children. If Tim is a carrier, our chances increase for our children to have CF themselves. That is something I go back and forth about - I don't want to see my child go through some of the things I have with CF because I know what it's like. Even though I know they are so much closer to a cure now than they ever have been, there are so many more treatments, medicines and therapies, and people with CF are living longer, healthier lives; it's not something I would want for my child. I just think it could get pretty tough, especially right after the baby was born, to keep myself healthy and take care of an unhealthy child, but I know that Tim is going to support me 100% and that we have so much support from family and friends that we could totally do it. But then I don't know if I'm being selfish because I'm taking that chance of my child having CF because I want to have kids so bad.
Tim hasn't been tested to see if he's a carrier because he has always said that it doesn't matter to him whether our kids have CF or not (which I think is the sweetest thing - he's going to be such a wonderful dad!). I still go back and forth because on one hand, if he is a carrier I don't know if it's going to impact how I feel about trying to get pregnant, but if he is not a carrier, I think it will give me a little sense of relief because they can only be carriers. It's obviously something that we need to keep talking about, but it just goes to show you how much more there is involved with us trying to have a family than I think there is with other couples. That is what I wanted to get out there with this post. As much as I would love to have kids right away, there is so much to consider normally, plus with all of my health issues on top of it. Another huge factor, for me especially, is the finances. We are doing fine with the two of us and our jobs, but having CF definitely gets expensive. Between every prescription and multiple bottles of vitamins (hundreds of dollars a month) and doctors visits (little over hundred dollars for the visit - just to see the doctor - getting PFTs, x-rays and blood tests just add more, plus gas for 150 miles round trip every three months) things can definitely add up if we add a baby in the mix, especially if he/she has CF, too.
I'm not trying to say all of this to get your sympathy, or for you to feel bad for us, or to make it look like we're struggling because we're not. I just want people to know how much extra thought goes into this (on my part - I'd love to know what else Tim's thinking!) when I think about having children. Having a baby in a family where the parents don't have severe health issues is tough, so I know it'll be tough for us, too. I just think that sometimes people maybe forget that I have CF when they ask about us getting pregnant, and that's okay! I just want people to realize what's on our plate and that I'm still trying to make the best decision for us. Like I said before, it shouldn't be too hard for me to get pregnant (hopefully!), but it's a huge decision for us and I just hope that we're making the right one if we do get pregnant. I don't want to sound full of ourselves, but I think we're going to be awesome parents whatever does happen. :-)