It’s difficult to explain why my husband and I decided to have another baby. For many people, it seems reckless. Others seem to understand the power of the maternal urge.
After our first daughter was born almost three years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare heart disease linked to the final stages of pregnancy. I basically went into heart failure in the days after her birth and spent the next year getting my heart back in shape. I’ll likely always be on medication to keep my heart pumping efficiently, but for now, it’s back to normal.
At first, doctors said I should never get pregnant again. But then as I recovered and my heart got stronger, their opinion changed to an “It’s up to you if you want to risk it” response. I begged several doctors just to tell me what to do, but they all said it was up to me if I wanted to take the roughly 50/50 chance of relapse during another pregnancy.
My husband and I struggled for years with this decision. We prayed about it, we talked to everyone about it and I saw more doctors. We even had our initial visit to an adoption agency. In the end, here’s the conclusion we came to: We want to try to have one more child biologically and then we will try to adopt until we feel our family is complete.
Sometimes I feel it’s a selfish decision. There’s a chance my daughter may lose her mother in the process of me trying to get what I want. Other times, I feel indignant and angry that I shouldn’t be able to have what so many other women take for granted.
But mostly I feel scared. I know that our decision is the right one for us, but that doesn’t make this process any less terrifying. Every chest pain, every irregular heartbeat or shortness of breath makes it all come screaming back again.
I knew the risks. I chose this, and I would choose it again. But now being 12 weeks pregnant, it’s all suddenly very real.
So I’m doing the only thing I can do: I take it one day at a time. I try to remember that this is what I wanted and what I felt was best. I try to have faith. I try to spend quality time with my daughter.
And most importantly, I take one small step at a time while holding on tight to the hand of my husband, my doctors and the Lord.
Have you had to face the decision to have children despite health concerns? What decision did you make and why?