Before Lily was born, my wife and I agreed that we both wanted two children. Many parents with this same progeny plan carefully time their second pregnancy around their desire to either have their children grow up together (i.e. get the child rearing over with and out of the way), or have their children grow up separately (i.e. parents can’t bear to think of chasing two toddlers around the house). For us, that particular decision was directly correlated to another, even bigger decision… whether or not to adopt.
As you know, even the speediest adoption procedure can take years. On the other hand, my wife will be 35 in December. So if she were going to give birth to another baby, it would need to be sooner rather than later. Our decision, though, was based on factors that only parents of a special needs child can relate to. My wife and I never felt guilt over Lily’s birth defects. After all, the defects were chromosomal, not the result of irresponsible behavior on our part. Still, we weren’t sure if we wanted take the chance of having another baby that was less than 100% healthy; for our sake and the baby’s.
My wife’s chromosomes were tested shortly after Lily was born, but the results were inconclusive. For me to get tested, it cost $5000, and the doctor even admitted that if the test were to come back positive for chromosomal deficiencies, there was no guarantee that these deficiencies would result in birth defects. Obviously, we couldn’t afford to spend that kind of money on a test with no right answers.
We had watched Lily struggle with her defects. Yet, we had also watched her overcome them and grow into a happy, almost 100% healthy little girl. We had also watched ourselves struggle and grow as parents, and husband and wife. In the end, our experiences with Lily did have a major impact on our decision. They gave us the confidence and belief that we could tackle anything that came our way. As a result, it is with great pleasure that I announce that baby #2 will be arriving in December.