The Physical Demands of Having a Child
Finally, it's important to think about the physical demands that a baby brings to your daily life. When they are newborns, there may be a lot of downtime spent on the couch or rocking them in a chair. But, there is still the constant flurry of feeding and diaper changing. Plus you'll have family members and friends that will want to visit, not to mention outings for the baby to the doctor, for walks, etc. Is this something that you think you can physically handle with your level of fatigue/pain from RA? Once they get older, can you get down on the floor with them to play, or carry them around when they need attention? How about starting school, playing sports or activities with friends? Will you be able to be there for them every step of the way? These aren't things most people worry about early on, but knowing that there is no cure for RA and there may or may not be treatments that continue to work for you down the road, it's really important to look at all the possibilities the future might hold for you.
Bringing a baby into the world is a big decision. For me, it was difficult to take a real look at my current situation and my health. I realized that, in all honesty, I can barely take care of myself and I have no idea what my future holds health wise. I can't imagine bringing a beautiful bundle of joy into the world only to have to sit on the sidelines as they grew up instead of being an active part of their lives. And, since I'm not getting any younger, the likelihood of ever having my own baby is highly unlikely. But we still haven't ruled out the possibility of adoption later in life if, by some miracle, my health takes a big turn for the better. That's always another option to consider...and another article to write!
Helpful Links & Information
- Heredity & Arthritis
- Pregnancy and Parenting
- Pregnancy & RA
- OTIS Fact Sheets: Medications Safety During Pregnancy/RA
- Rheumatoid Arthritis, Pregnancy & Parenthood: An Interview with Suzie Edward May
- Chronic Illness: A Beginner's Guide to Parenting
- Moms with RA
- DisABLEd Positive Parent
- Breast Feeding & RA Drugs: What is Safe to Take?
- Parenting Choices and RA: Extended Nursing and Medication
Carrie Beth Brown is the author of the blog Dancing in the Rain.