(written by contributing writer Jessica)
All of my life I dreamed having a large family. I must have been sheltered because I never once remember hearing things like ‘miscarriage’, ‘PCOS’, or ‘chronic illness’. I thought if you wanted a baby, you would have one.
My bubble of security was busted after my first miscarriage. My feelings were all over the place, but fear of never having a child ranked high up in my list of worries.
A few years down the road, I also never imagined I’d have to weigh my health into the equation about the decision of trying to conceive.
The decision to wait until I’m healthier has been a heart breaking one, that included a lot of prayer and conversations with my husband. It is a joint decision that we pray is the right one at this time. Our hearts are ready to try but my body is not.
Chronic illness, in many cases is a delicate balance from day-to-day depending on the condition. A delicate balance that pregnancy can completely offset.
How do you decide if it is the right time to try to conceive when you are managing a chronic health condition?
Here is a brief list that helped me to logically see the answer that was right for us.
Prayer is the first step that our family uses when making a decision.
What does your doctor say?
While I don’t think your doctor is the end all be all in making this decision, they should have an educated opinion on how your condition is going to effect a pregnancy and your baby. They may also have helpful things to do to get your body ready to try to conceive. The other great thing about doctors in this situation is they do not have the same person feelings invested and can give you a logical look at things.
How would your illness effect a pregnancy?
Some times the chronic illness itself until controlled can negatively impact a pregnancy and the baby. Or, will the supplements or medications you need daily have an effect on the pregnancy or baby while in the uterus? These are two things to heavily factor into the process of deciding if it is the right time to try to conceive.
How do you feel?
If you are in mid flair or experiencing a lot of symptoms, how would a pregnancy effect that? I know in my heart right now that a pregnancy would add a very large burden to my already very taxed body. I would be short-changing a new little life and depleting myself of already scarce resources.
What is your time line for healing?
What if by waiting a few months your body can be more fully loaded and healed to take on the burden of a pregnancy? It’s good to have a goal and then prepare the body for pregnancy.
There are so many things to weigh when making a the decision to try to conceive while you are manage a chronic health issue. It’s even more tough when your heart is already longing for a child. However, taking the time to heal and get your body in shape is only going to help pave the way for a healthier you and pregnancy.
What are some of the things that you had to consider when making the decision of trying to conceive during a chronic illness?