Can I let you in on a little secret?
Mark and I are trying for baby #2. TMI? Well, we're not trying at this very second (that would be impressive, no?)!
I've told a few of my friends, and both, at different points in the conversation have asked if I was worried about having another child with a serious food allergy. It caught me a bit off guard. One even asked that if there was a test out there to have in utero to determine allergies, and it showed positive for PA, would you change your mind about keeping the baby? I stammered for a few seconds, and said "of course not, PA is manageable. everything else is fine with Bella. you just learn to deal with it. and we would do the same with another child if that was the diagnosis." All the while I am thinking "do I really want to call this person a friend? what a stupid question!"
To me, PA isn't a disability, so hearing that last remark was really off-putting. It's not like Bella wont be a functioning member of society. But I do think that other folks see it as a disability. Mainly because of the exceptions that are asked of food manufacturers, airlines, restaurants, schools, etc. I think us moms (or PA or other allergic folks) who are proactive about keeping safe get a bad rap, and it is perceived that because we are suffering each day, we in turn work at making things 'harder' for others by asking them not to bring peanut butter to school, have nutty products around, etc..like we're martyrs or something. We're learning to manage the allergy, not the other way around.
I don't know about you guys, but I feel stronger each day that Bella doesn't have a reaction (stronger, mind you, not invincible - I'm no idiot). Stronger that we can meet the challenge of PA and not bow down to it. So there is no disability - she is smart as a whip, is healthy, is full of energy (and some attitude)! Ok, I am rambling and feel like some sort of marching, patriotic music should be playing over this, so I'll stop.
But it is true that I do worry (actually I would downgrade that to being mildly concerned) that another baby may have allergies that adversely affect their life. But we would deal with it. I like to think that this journey has made us more sympathetic to others with allergies (or yes, other disabilities).
But I'm not pregnant. Yet. So I don't have much to worry about at this point. We'll just keep practicing and I'll keep you posted if that typewriter really is broken. Wink Wink.
What do you guys think? Would you have another child (or have you) after having one with a life threatening food allergy? Is it selfish to if there is a possibility of passing it on? Tell me!
p.s. get it? broken typewriter? missing a period? anyone? anyone? bueller?