Friday, October 1, 2010

Selfish much?

I'm not an overtly selfish individual, and I never have been. That's not meant to sound conceited, it is just how I am. Something I feel selfish (and guilty) about is the dilemma presented to me by genetics. Let me explain. I am a carrier or a chromosomal defect that resulted in my sisters both having developmental, physical, and mental delays. Being a carrier means I have a 25% chance of miscarriage, 25% chance of a child like my sisters, 25% chance of having a child like me (a carrier) and a 25% chance of having a child unaffected by the abnormality. Now, 25% sounds like pretty strong odds, yes? If I had a 1 in 4 chance of hitting lotto, I would buy a ticket...if I had the same chance of getting hit by lightning on a particular day, I'd probably stay inside. I'm not a gambler. Never have been.

This has become a very difficult issue of late because my husband and I have been discussing the possibility of children in the next couple of years. My selfishness regarding this issue makes me feel guilty because I love my sisters and would die for them...but I won't deny that growing up with them has been incredibly hard at times. It scares me so much to think not only of bringing a child into the world that would have to suffer as they have, but I'm also terrified of the prospect of going through what my parents have...between hospital visits, brushes with death, and failed pregnancies...I know I couldn't do it.

There are options...checking fertilized eggs for the abnormality, for example. But as a woman who is pro-life, I don't know if I feel comfortable with the idea of fertilized eggs being "discarded". At this point, I think adoption or an egg donor are my best options.

But I feel like I'm chickening I'm I don't have faith that God won't give me more than I can handle. I realized tonight, laying here sleepless in bed...that I have never had a normal existence. My parents had a relatively normal life before the girls...I've never had a normal middle sister was born when I was around 3, and my youngest sister when I was 6. My whole life has been wrought with the difficulties surrounding them. So call me selfish, but I don't think I want to go through what my parents did. I want something normal. And I feel so guilty for that.


  1. Are you certain you are a carrier? I mean, have you been tested for it and all that? And even then, wouldn't this be a recessive trait? Wouldn't that mean Chris would have to be a carrier too? Shouldn't that mean you have a 75% chance for everything to go right (ignoring the miscarriage bit)? And even then, are you telling me that the two of you together can't accomplish anything you wanted? I'm not very good at the whole talking thing, but I do suggest seeing a video called "Including Samuel". It is 100%% likely to make you think a little differently about this sort of thing. Anyway, I believe in you guys and best of luck! =)

  2. Being thoughtful about things that may be is not selfishness.

    Many people become parents with no thought at all. Many more just want a baby. They don't think about the fact that a baby will be a one year old. A two year old. They don't consider toilet training.
    Or a teenager who wants to drive.
    Might need braces.

    I don't have advice for you, it's a path that you're going to have to find your own way on. But the fact that you're so deeply thoughtful bodes well for your chances.

  3. Thinking about what may lay ahead beyond a beautiful baby is not selfish... it's smart. I wish I had known all the genetic pre-dispositions I was going to pass along to my children before hand. Would it have changed my mind? Probably not, but I would have been a bit more prepared. Whatver you choose, it will be right for you both.

  4. I have no advice other than to say , it is a risk for anyone to get pregnant ,and hope to carry to term.There are so many things that can go wrong and millions more that can go right. Take your time , and be sure before you open or close any door. and no you are not selfish , just thoughtful as you should be

  5. Thanks everyone for the support...I still have a lot of thinking to do. And damien, yes I have been tested...I'm not sure if its a recessive gene...all I know is that there is an excess/lack of chromosome that can potentially be passed down from me. I plan to speak with a fertility doctor to better understand it.