Considering having a baby Advice?

My avm was operated on 20 years ago. I went through a strong anti-children phase. Seeing people with kids just made me ANGRY. I am aware of my shortcomings - i'm disorganised, grumpy,prone to mood swings, need rest, the list could go on. If I dwelled on my shortcomings there are probably 101 reasons why I shouldn't have a child,and, if healthy people considered their shortcomings, they probably wouldn't have one either. On the positives I'm financially stable, have a roof over my head and am good health. I also think a child would help balance me.

I'm confused about the baby thing as I don't want to be 50 and having regrets. But neither do I want to have another nervous breakdown. Would be helpful to hear from people who've had brain avms and have not had children and how they feel about it, and from those with avms and how on earth they coped, and what the hardest things were.

My dr says it could be done but would need to be planned and I'd need to see my neurologist cos of my meds. I know it is my decision but it would be helpful to hear some stories.

thanks

flower

Hi Flower,

Some of what you wrote makes me nervous thinking that you want a child.

..."i'm disorganised, grumpy,prone to mood swings, need rest, the list could go on......."

A child requires you to be organized, not be grumpy, and thrives best if you do NOT have mood swings. You will seldom rest having a young child around. A full nights sleep with a young child is an anomaly!

You didn't mention husband/significant other; going solo as a parent compounds the issues. When baby can't sleep, you would get the all night duty, night after night. Having a willing/supporting partner who steps up when you approach crying "The baby won't sleep, and I can't take another minute of the crying. Here, it's your shift." makes babies much more tolerable.

Saying "a child would help balance me" or "a child would help heal our rocky marriage" are two probably not very good reasons to have a child. I'm not totally sure what a good reason to have a child is, but with two of our own, who were 4 and 6 when Chari's AVM showed up, I can tell you that about 4-5 years after the AVM were not fun. Had we not had near live-in support from our Moms, it would have been much worse.

The other thing you mentioned is checking the meds you take as some of them are potentially harmful to a fetus.

Do you have a close friend or relative that you can "borrow" a baby from for a long weekend to see how that goes? If the baby is sick or has colic, that would be a better test, but most Mom's wouldn't give up their baby if they are sick.

I don't mean to be totally negative as kids are a beautiful gift and can enrich your life immensely, but they can also drive you nuts at times (grin).

Best wishes to you,

Ron, KS

Hi Flower. I am 52 and I do not have any regrets about not having had a child. When I was in my 20s I worked for Walt Disney World for 5 years and have had contact with thousands of kids so obviously I like children. My close friends and family have always included me in the milestones of their children's lives...graduations...picking out colleges...weddings...babies etc. I just don't feel like I missed a thing. I volunteer for several animal rescues. Have you ever thought about fostering dogs or cats? It may sound silly but a puppy or a kitten won't let you have a bad day. I know the shelters over here are desperate for people to socialize/foster puppies and kittens. Anyway...it's just a thought.

Hi Flower,

I am almost up to my two year re-birthday in April. I had my avm bleed and removed from my cerebellum. I am 35 and want to have my first child. I got pregnant in September but at 12 weeks lost my baby. We are trying again and hopefully will concieve soon.

Currently on disability and could go to long term here shortly (waiting to see what my neurosurgeon decides). But I am scared becuase my balance is off and my stamina is still not like it was before. I know these are two things you must have a lot of for kids.....my hubby will help with stuff though

Hi Flower,

I think Ron and others had very good input. I have an AVM in my brainstem and also have a 2.5 year old. My AVM was found after my daughter was born. I am incredibly grateful I have my daughter. She is extremely empathetic and sweet- last week I was in a lot of pain and she said "Mama, let me give you a kiss"- she kissed my head and then sang me "You are my sunshine" (Thats the song we sing together every night). We are very blessed. But what I will say is this- due to pain issues there are sometimes that I just simply cant play and that breaks my heart. Two year olds also have a lot of energy :) I am very fortunate that my husband is an awesome partner in everything- and so he just takes over and lets me rest, etc. He also just does a lot (getting her ready for daycare, he does all the cooking etc)- if I didnt have an equal partner in this - it would be so much tougher. I dont know if you have any symptoms still, but if you do I would personally find it very challenging to do it alone (maybe you have a partner, not clear on that- sorry!). We have had times when we were awake every 2 hours at night (for many, many nights in a row) because my daughter had to have breathing treatments around the clock due to illness and you need stamina for that. Even between two of us, it was completely exhausting.

My husband and I are contemplating another baby (on hold right now because of my AVM), but we have discussed the work involved in having 2 v. 1, the potential issues with health, and of course how absolutely wonderful it would be to have another. I love being a mom, and if we had the resources, I think we would have many more (again, if no AVM issues either), but every person, every family is different. It always enters my mind though what I can offer a child if we choose to bring them into this world- I have had guilt issues when I literally couldnt sit up or move because of pain and I didnt want my baby to see this/understand this or ever have to deal with this.

I don't know if this helps at all- it is a big question and one only you can answer- just wanted to give you an idea of some of the issues.

On the medication note- my neurologist said if I choose to get pregnant, he did not want me on any meds. He was very absolute on that though I know some doctors do allow you take certain ones-

Good luck with your decision.

Patti

Georgia,

I just wanted to say I am so very sorry for your loss. Good luck with everything.

Take Care,

Patti

Georgia Thompson said:

Hi Flower,

I am almost up to my two year re-birthday in April. I had my avm bleed and removed from my cerebellum. I am 35 and want to have my first child. I got pregnant in September but at 12 weeks lost my baby. We are trying again and hopefully will concieve soon.

Currently on disability and could go to long term here shortly (waiting to see what my neurosurgeon decides). But I am scared becuase my balance is off and my stamina is still not like it was before. I know these are two things you must have a lot of for kids.....my hubby will help with stuff though

Hey i had my first bleed in july 2009 i was then diagnoised with having a avm, 2 weeks later i found out i was pregnant i was advised to have a termination but i was determin to not let my condition stop me, all the risk was explained. During my pregnancy i had to go and vist my midwife once a month and also the hospital where me and baby was carefully monitored. My pregnancy was problem free, although i did worry and the risks where high my son was worth it. I was booked in for a c-section and my baby was born at 37 weeks perfectly heathy. Try not to let ur avm control you best of luck

I had 5 children pre-AVM (Catholic-not crazy)Having my children was the joy of my life When my youngest daughter was 3 my husband took a job out of state. It was sad but the kids and I bonded together He missed us terribly. AS THEY SAY distance makes the heart grow fonder.....I went to visit him out of state while my parents kept the kids AND WELL HELLO2 weeks later we knew #6 was on his way My AVM ruptured in the 5th month of pregnancyI had no symptoms before or with the first 5 pregnancies Joseph was carried to term My parents keep him now since I was paralyzed from the AVM and can't care for an infant without an arm or a leg on my left And my Husband has to work away from home every day. Parenting is very tricky post-AVM I don't drive either so its hard to get them to all their kid activities. I say go for it ONLY if you have a willing and able support system and Husband!

Nicole L. in Pennsylvania

Hi Flower,

I would agree with everyone as well. Patti said everything I would have! Best of luck to you and remember kids are a 24/7 job and no time off!!!! Its not fair for them to deal with our mood swings, I feel horrible when my son gets yelled at just because I'm mad at nothing. Its the worst feeling ever. I had him before we found my avm, or else I might be nervous to have a baby for the 1st time now. You know what you can handle and what you really want in life!!!! Dont let anyone make your choice for you, you have to live with your decision which ever you choose :)

~Andrea~

I had a baby years after my first surgery and embolization.........c section........no problem.........she is now 13 and when she was 10 my AVM had grown back and I had to have all kinds of proceedures and then 18 hours of surgery..........everything went well.....I was told my pregnancy could have made my AVM come back with a vengance

Hi

This is definitely a big decision and not one that I think anyone but you will ever know the answer to. All I can do is speak to personal experience. I was diagnosed with an AVM in my brain around 2004 and have been under treatment for seizures since 2000. A year or so before I got pregnant, I went through the process of changing my meds to a safer prescription without history of birth defects and my OB and neuro monitored my pregnancy for any issues. I didn't have a single problem and have a healthy, busy 14 month old boy.

I had a lot of mixed feelings about having a baby and a lot of fears and doubts while I was pregnant. Like you, I am a disorganized person, I have mood swings, and don't operate so well on sleep deprivation. After my son was born I battled post-partum depression and have just recently come off the medication for it. It was vital for me to have a strong support system of family to get through it. Some days have been a struggle for me, but I think any parent will say that's the case. Now, over a year later, my life is constantly changing around the needs of my boy, but I wouldn't have it any other way. He has completely changed my outlook on everything, my goals, and the way I live my life. I'm not perfect. I'm still not that organized, but I try. Sometimes I have to ignore whatever mood I'm in and just keep smiling, but more often than not, he make me laugh and forget about my petty things. It's just like anything else.. you just find a way.

Like I said, I can't tell you if you should or shouldn't, but I know that if I had waiting until I was 100% "ready", it would have never happened. I don't know if it's even possible to be 100% ready for a baby.

Good luck in whatever choice you make! Take care!