Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Broken Typewriter

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, 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?


ugly_poodle said...

As someone who's anti abortion that comment made me want to hurl.

is my child's life not worth living just because he's got a nut allergy? For heavens sakes!! I'm actually kind of angered! What a blessing my son is. He'd be a blessing even if he was alleric to more things.

Pez said...

It is not selfish but I can understand why you might think so. I too struggled with the decision about having baby #3 because my oldest is allergic to peanuts. In the end we decided it was worth it and while baby #3 ended up with a milk and egg allergy (with which came a lot of guilt thanks to ppd), I realize now that it is not my fault and I cannot fathom why on earth I hestitated to have another. He is now four and had outgrown his milk and egg allergies (only to be replaced with life threatening tree nuts allergy - yikes!).

Yes, food allergies are scary but can be managed. I feel it is my goal to educate people and help push for research for a cure for them. And by the way, child#2 has NO food allergies! So it is a crap shot apparently.

Good luck with your decision.

NoPeanuts said...

As the father of a child with severe peanut and egg allergy, I understand the way the mind of a parent works but I would not consider food allergy in one child a reason not to have another.

At this point our second child has none of the signs that our first child had. Our first child had eczema so bad that she pretty much molted at one point, whereas the second child has no eczema at all. Though not a guarantee, it certainly appears that our second child has a reasonable chance of avoiding food allergy ... we'll see!

I cringe at the thought of people not having kids due to food allergy, given all of the other more severe ailments that kids could have.

Food allergy is a life threatening condition but when managed your child is perfectly healthy.

Good luck!

It Takes A Village ...

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Oh my, I've had people say the same thing to me. We aren't trying for #3 because I can't handle the 2 crazy boys that I have, not because of any chance the third would have allergies. Although I joke around that #3 would be allergic to soy and corn and throw off my whole kitchen (really not funny, I know).
Babies are a blessing and food allergies are a really small problem in the grand scheme of things.
People never cease to amaze me with their questions. Ignore the ignorance and enjoy trying for the next baby (or if I'm getting the message correctly:Missed period - should we already be congratulating you?)

Gabs said...

No, no babies yet, but we'll keep practicing ;->

ruth said...

i agree with you and everyone else. having an older child with food allergies should not prevent you from having another kid. it might already be heaps easier to manage considering what you already learned and the experiences you had from your first child. and besides, as you've said, it's just possible that the next one would have allergies. it's also possible s/he won't.

-ruth from