Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a Large Family
(Originally posted in October 2008)
I received this question from a reader and thought I would share my response in a post by itself since I know a lot of people are wondering this.
I love the information you publish on your website. Great stuff.
I am sorry but I just don’t understand, but in fairness to you, I have to ask THE question. And this question comes from someone who is a medical professional.
Why on earth would someone who has chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and discusses her constant fatigue, allow herself to become pregnant? And this from someone who is “disabled”?
I am at a loss. I treat many patients who have your medical issues and know how debilitating all of this for them. Why add more burden to your family members when you are barely able to cope on a daily basis? Not being mean-spirited, I just do not understand.
I can totally understand why people would wonder this. Here’s the thing, I am going to be sick whether I have kids or not. I became ill when I was 16 and have accepted the fact that I will be sick the rest of my life unless they find a cure or Jesus comes.
I have always wanted a big family. I wanted 6 kids in fact. After 2 we thought for sure we would have 4 and after 3 we thought we’d die! LOL Yes, we took a few years to recover.
The thing is, the amount of joy we get from our kids WAY outweighs any hardship.
My kids are not perfect by any means but now that they are getting older we are really seeing the rewards of our “hard work”.
Yes, I am sick but we have a system in place now that has made our lives much easier so we decided to go for it. We have talked about whether or not we should do this for 4 years. I wanted more kids but was not sure if it would be too much for us to have more.
Mike and I both prayed that if this was something we shouldn’t do that God would take our desire away for a larger family. After 4 years of praying, it never went away. We decided to start trying and figured if it wasn’t something we should do then God would let us know. Well, after trying the first time we got pregnant. With the other three, it took from three months to almost a year of trying.
It helps to realize that we give up some things so we can have a large family. We don’t have a church right now but when we did we didn’t do a lot of activities at church. We don’t do a lot of other activities like football for the kids and other activities that require a lot of energy from me. Do they miss it? No. If they really want to do something like that we will do it but we limit it to one activity at a time.
So the long and short of it is, we just feel like this is something we should do. The first three are older and help out a great deal so I really don’t think having another child is going to be huge burden on us after the first year or two.
Please realize that I have a wonderful mom and husband who do everything when I’m on bedrest the last 3 months. I think for Nan the rewards are worth it but you would have to ask her. LOL (So mom, are they worth it?)
One up side is that I feel WONDERFUL for the first 4-6 months of pregnancy. Two days ago, whatever it is that makes me feel so good kicked in and I feel like taking on the world! I wish I could figure out what it is and take it all the time.
Anyway, that’s why.
Grandkids are like chocolate: You never can get too much. Of course they are worth it! But I understand our reader’s question and where she is coming from too. The reality is that it will be hard but my kids have been ill since their teens and they had a choice to just get by or to try and live as much of a “normal” life as they could.
All people have struggles in their lives at some time or another and things that need to be overcome. Ours just happens to be a chronic illness. I think that is why God has given us families in the first place– to help and support each other all through our lives.
Hopefully, the situation will be easier this time than ever before. Michael was gone four days a week working out of town when the first two were born and we were in a strange town and didn’t really know anyone. It was pretty much me taking care of Tawra and then it was Tawra and the baby and then Tawra and two babies with Michael taking over on the long weekends.
We lived many miles from the store and from doctors, which was hard, but now it is just a few minutes to these places. Michael works at home most of the time now and the two older kids are a really big help already. Even little things like the fact we have central air and don’t have to bring in wood and build a fire makes a world of difference.
I won’t say we won’t be very tired but we have found that, “This too shall pass.” They do eventually get potty trained and learn to feed themselves and it gets easier. My daughter keeps coming up with more projects for us but, so far, this has been the biggest one of all.
-Jill (a very happy “Nan”) (that’s what my grandkids call me: short for Nana)
P.S. I, too, would like to thank the reader who asked the question for not being mean or judgmental about it. It is much more enjoyable to answer questions when someone is just curious or doesn’t understand than when the person wants to hit us over the head with a hammer.