Tick tock

Can you hear that?

Maybe it is one of the clocks in our front room.

Tick tock, tick tock.

Nope, that’s not it.

Tick tock… there it goes again. Only faster now – more like the stopwatch from the television show 60 Minutes.

Less tick tock, more tick-tick-tick. I wonder to myself, “Hmm… where is that coming from?”

It’s an annoying noise that is driving me crazy.

Not until my cousin Kirsten recently gave birth to her second child did I start putting the pieces together. Then, when my niece Anna was born August 23, it smacked me up side my head!

I realized that the incessant ticking is my biological clock.

GASP! My biological clock. It can’t be!

After all, children are not supposed to be in Dan and my future. Especially because both of us are living with Multiple Sclerosis. Us having children, well, that’s just a selfish, ridiculous idea!

Well, I mean… isn’t it?

Can a woman in a wheelchair even have a baby? How will my MS handle it? How will Dan handle the stress? Honestly, when you consider the chronic progressive nature of this disease and what our future could be, raising children and staying healthy seems doubtful, at least for Dan and me.

If we were to worsen, who would care for our child? Should a child be born into a world where he or she would likely have to care for a parent? Not to mention, what if the child were more at risk for being diagnosed with MS?

But then again, aren’t these the same questions all couples have when they think about having babies? Perhaps, but not all couples both have MS.

As much as I would like to have a baby, I want Dan to stay healthy more. Speaking of selfish, isn’t that thought selfish as well??

Oh how I detest MS. Having to ask these questions and face the reality of not ever giving birth to children are just more reasons why. MS affects everyone differently, and we have many friends with MS who have successfully moved forward with having healthy children.

But this is our situation and our choice.

So for now, I’m blessed being an aunt to Leah, Ryan, Ella and Anna. Did I mention Anna Michelle Digmann is my beautiful goddaughter who shares my middle name… how awesome is that?


7 Responses to Tick tock

  1. Jennifer, my opinion is this, if you have the financial resources in place (and I don’t mean college fund here), and you have a good support system to call upon when you need to (and you will need to), and most of all, you both WANT to parent a child, then I say Go For It. The rest will fall into place.

  2. Our choice was made before MS, well technically Patti had been DX’d with ‘probable MS’ but that was the way things were done in the early 80’s for a DX of last resort for unexplained intermittent neurological symptoms that went away. … Later I remember how overwhelmed I was holding our then 18 month old daughter in my arms as Patti was hospitalized with her first major MS exacerbation. She could never again change a diaper or safely hold her daughter. Juggling spouse caregiving and basically single parenting is certainly something to think about.

    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

  3. The decision is yours, of course, and the concerns you have are very valid. But by far the most important factor in being a parent is love, and from the perspective of someone who reads your words it seems like you guys would make great parents. But, you didn’t ask for my opinion, and you should feel comfortable with your own. And, I agree that being an aunt is pretty much the best thing ever!

  4. Thank you all for such thoughtful comments.

    No monumental decisions have been made, but you each gave me LOTS to think about!

  5. Oh Jennifer my heart breaks knowing what a difficult decision this is for you and Dan. My husband and I were fortunate in that my MS didn’t rear its ugly head until our eldest was six and our youngest three. I had some pretty good years in there and it wasn’t until the past three years, now that they are teenagers that I need their assistance. And my husband does not have MS. No one has a crystal ball, and whatever the two of you ultimately decide it will be the right decision. You are kind and wise human beings. Meanwhile, enjoy being an aunt and godmother…they grow up so quickly.

    I look forward to reading your book!

  6. Thanks for your comment, Laura. And thanks for your kind words! I am enjoying every minute of being an aunt and godmother – especially at this time of the year 🙂
    Fa, la, la, la, la…

    Hope you enjoy your book too. Dan put it in the mail today.

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