I have never been an overly clucky person. I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a mum, but I never ruled it out of my life plan either. Now I am in my mid 30s … pushing 40. Is it too late? Now that I have Crohn’s disease and an ostomy, is it even an option?
Women are having babies later and later in life these days. Plenty of women have children in their late 30s and even 40s without any issues, but as you get older, the risk for complications increases. I also dislike the idea of being ‘old’ parents.
I have Crohn’s disease. I am in remission right now, but I could flare up while pregnant, or with a new born. Then what? With Crohn’s there are no certainties. The fear of passing Crohn’s disease onto my children has also crossed my mind more than once.
I have an ileostomy. There are thousands of women who’ve had babies with an ostomy, again many without any issues. An ostomy by no means rules out having children. However, it is another factor I have to consider. There are potentially additional complications that could come into play.
I’ve had post ostomy surgery gynaecological issues with my uterus that may cause additional problems and I know would mean I could not give birth naturally.
None of these are reasons NOT to have children. A young, healthy, non-Crohn’s, non-ostomate can still have complications. Even with complications, they say it is all worth it!
The bottom line is that we (my husband and I) are still so unsure.
We’ve had the baby conversation over and over. It goes around in circles. We’ve even discussed adoption. All the reasons we come up with for having children right now are not good reasons to try. We both agree we are not ready. We love our lifestyle and know how much that would change if we had children. We want to travel more and do things we couldn’t do if children were in the picture. I know that sounds incredibly selfish, but it’s honest.
Please don’t take this the wrong way. I know there are many women who desperately want children but have not been able to for numerous reasons. That is heart-breaking, and incredibly sad and unfair.
In many ways I feel like I am 4 years behind where I should / might be at had it not been for Crohn’s. My life was literally put on hold for several years when I was too unwell to do the things I had planned to do (live out my life plan!). It was like living in limbo. Maybe I’m now trying to make up for that time. Or maybe that’s just an excuse.
I do not feel like a natural born mother. I don’t even know if I am able to conceive. Becoming parents is a privilege and a huge responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. Everyone says that as soon as you give birth, it is the most beautiful thing in the world and your life changes. I do not doubt that.
I hear friends who are mothers talking about their babies with such joy, about the blessing of motherhood. Am I a bad person for not wanting or at least not knowing if children are what I want? Is there something wrong with me? Will we be missing out on something if we don’t have children of our own? Will we regret it?
We don’t have any pressure from family, and most of our friends have stopped asking! Yet somehow I still feel pressure. Maybe it’s pressure I put on myself, or worry that I know what a great dad Michael would be and not wanting him to miss out on that. This is his decision too!
How do you know? If we knew for certain in our hearts, wouldn’t it be less confusing? We wouldn’t even be questioning it, right? Or do you just do it and hope for the best? Hope that natural instinct kicks in and it is what you want?
Maybe in a year or 2 it will hit us and we will be ready. Maybe we won’t ever be ready. One of my biggest fears is that if / when we are finally ready, it might be too late.
It may mean additional difficulties, but I won’t let my age, Crohn’s or having an Ostomy stop me. They don’t have to. But surely, knowing if parenthood is what we want should stop us.
If we do eventually decide it is the right time and right thing, hopefully it won’t be too late for us. Otherwise Michael and I will grow old together happily just the two of us and have fur babies instead!
What are your thoughts on motherhood? Any stories to share on being a mum with Crohn’s or an ostomy?