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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Do you want children knowing they could have crohn's?


 
03-11-2012, 12:09 PM   #1
zyamase
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Do you want children knowing they could have crohn's?

hi there,

i am young female, diagnosed a month now with crohns, strugglin with abdominal pains, and i wonder as i am single , if i want children knowing there's a 10% chance that i could pass this onto them.

do you have children? did you pass crohns onto them ? is it like watching them suffer ?

or did you decide to not have children ?

i was always on the fence with respect to having children, now i wonder ?

what is your opinion ?
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03-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
StarGirrrrl
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I am undiagnosed, but for me children are now a no. Even if my problem turns out to be something I can't pass on, there is the potential I will get into my current state again- can barely look after myself let alone kids too.

It's a very personal and individual decision
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03-11-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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My mother has UC and I was just diagnosed with Crohn's. She told me about her illness when I was old enough to understand what UC was. For me it's been a benefit to have her support and knowledge. I think it's been very hard for her to see me suffer because she feels like she did this to me but I have never blamed her for anything and I would never in a million years ever want any other mom. It's kind of cute that we take our medication together in the morning. I think if you want to have children Crohn's should not stop you.
03-11-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
Silvermoon
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I was diagnosed at the age of 11, so went trough the same questions you are asking. "Fate" dealt with it for me... been married for 14 years and couldn't get pregnant... and am now looking at having the 'plumbing' removed as it is causing more problems than what it is worth.....

My hubby and I often discussed adoption/fostering and were all for that - even got most of the paperwork in place at one time, but like Starrgirl, I often wondered how I was going to be able to take care of children when I couldn't, at times, take care of myself? Sure my hubby would help out - but after you go to all the trouble of adopting/fostering a child or two, and then can't spend any time with them because you are in bed all the time, is it fair to them? To you??


Plus the fact that even healthy parents can (unknowingly) pass genes on to their children that can cause issues in their life. So like liv has said, if you want to have children, having CD should not stop you from that .

I often wonder why, when it comes to the idea of having children, why it takes something like a chronic illness for us to think about the pros and cons of having children. To me, a totally responsible parent/family would be asking these questions of themselves anyway..... but that is TOTALLY just my opinion, and some of you know how whacked out THAT can be at times.... ......

Nothng wrong with asking the questions - just don't let the name of ilness stop you from doing what you want to do in life - whatever that may be....
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03-11-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
xX_LittleMissValentine_Xx
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I always thought I wanted kids. In recent times I have wondered why that is? And I think its just the way I was brought up, they way society lets us believe it is the norm. I have also thought about the same sorts of things about passing crohn's onto my kids. I think If I did I would be really upset. But I also agree with what the others have said, I don't think it should stop you doing anything you want to do. So I'm still on the fence, I am also single as well so I guess that makes a difference.
I think I could live with not having children, but if the right time and the right person came along then I don't think I would say no because of crohn's!
This has actually reminded me, my ex boyfriend (who at the time said he never wanted kids, although we were only about 17 anyway) once tried to suggest it wouldn't be ethical for me to have children! I think him suggesting that is actually unethical!
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03-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
Manzyb
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Gosh, I was just writing about how pissed I was hearing about other people with Crohn's (on another forum) saying that we have no right to have children. That it is unfair to the children that we have.

I think it is a personal decision, and I completely respect other's opinions, but for me, I wanted kids, and I am happy I did.

I was in a horrible flare, starting when she was about 6 months old is when it got really bad until I had my surgery in January. I honestly think that if I didn't have her to keep me going, and I knew that I had to be okay to take care of her every day, it seriously kept me going. I believe I would have been in way worse shape if it had not been for her.

Anyway, I had a child, and she's amazing and healthy. I know that I am going to give her everything I can and she will know how amazing and loved she is.

It's a hard choice, but I have a perfectly healthy husband. I was born to two healthy parents, and here I am!!! Sick with Crohn's.
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03-11-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
Irene3
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I had my little girl before I was diagnosed with crohns. She's 8 now, and every time she has a tummy niggle, I just pray, please God don't let her inherit it!
But I love her so much, so to say that people with crohns shouldn't have kids, I think is a bit far. She can put a smile on my face, even when the crohns is flaring the worst some days. Iv told her about crohns. And in answer to your question, yes I do say she has more chance of getting crohns, and she understands at age 8, when I say, not having lots of chips and chocolate is probably best for your tummy. I gave her fish oil for a while, because she was having a bit of trouble going to the toilet, and it's something I want to start again. Also a much healthier diet, which I think over time as she's growing up, will be a benefit to be in a good habit of healthy eating, even though I hope she won't 'need' to thanks to crohns.
Would I have another child though? I don't think so. I didn't have a regular menstrual cycle before my first surgery, and since, crohns up and down because in that first resection, I had 70cm of bowels recected, so I dont know if I could absorb enough nutrients for a baby. But each to their own I guess
03-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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Thank goodness I didn't get Crohn's until after I had my daughter. If I had gotten Crohn's first, I would not have had a child (and I will not have another, now that I have it). But she is the light and joy of my life, and I am so glad she is here. I hope with my whole heart that she doesn't get it. The thought of her getting it makes me more upset and angry than anything else. It's one of my worst fears. But despite my guilt over the fact that she might get this someday, I love her so, so much, and am so glad I had her.
03-11-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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Yes! I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago, after some tough times, and finally being put on humira, I am in remission, and have been for almost 2 years. I have always wanted kids, and this isn't going to change that. My aunt has UC but no one else in my family has anything. I was fed antibiotics like they were candy when I was younger, military "cure all" drugs, and I am determined not to do that for my child. I don't think that something like this should end all hope of a family, it ends enough dreams as it is.
03-11-2012, 11:13 PM   #10
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I have 3 children, ages 6, 3, & 10 months. I was diagnosed with Crohn's 12 years ago so I knew I had it when I had them. I have a very supportive husband and my mom, sisters, grandparents, & in laws all live close by. I feel guilty sometimes having my mom watch my kids so I can get my Remicade infusions, but i really try not to think about any of them getting my disease. I guess it's just one of those things that I will deal with if it happens and will pray that it never does!!!
03-12-2012, 12:41 AM   #11
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Speaking as a parent that doesn't have Crohn's but whose two children do I don't think there are any right or wrong answers here, just personal ones.

To me a 10% chance isn't huge but of course that matters not if your child is that 10%. There are so many hereditary conditions out there that people don't give a second thought to when having children...heart disease, cancer, diabetes, mental illness....and on it goes. I personally don't think that if my children's desire to have children is so great then that shouldn't be denied on a what if. I wish with all might that my children didn't have Crohn's but it has also shaped them into the young adults they are today. They are driven, compassionate, resilient, funny, warm individuals that live life to the full and do not waste one second. They never cease to amaze me and I can honestly say that if they didn't have Crohn's I don't think they would have achieved to the extent they have.

I know it is cliche to say that nobody is perfect but nobody is. Many people say they don't want children until they can afford them, well short of being rich that is never going happen. I understand your concern about being there for them but children are very adaptable and it is far more important that you spend quality time with them rather quantity time. I think having Crohn's makes you more aware of that quality time and you are therefore far more in tune with not wasting it. My own Mother had her own health issues when I was growing up and I did not resent it one little bit but it did make me appreciate the special moments I did have with her. It made me realise that life isn't always easy and a given and some people struggle to get through from day to day. I don't think that is a bad lesson for a young person to be exposed to, it certainly makes you appreciate what you do have.

The choice is yours hun and whatever path you choose is the right one for you. There is no need to explain yourself to anyone just do what sits right with you.

Dusty. xxx
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03-12-2012, 01:02 AM   #12
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My fiance and I have decided to have children (when we're financially stable) even though Crohn's is in my family and his family has an undiagnosed history of bowel issues along with colon cancer.

Will I tell them about Crohn's? Of course I'll let them know that I have it because I may get sick often or take medicine in front of them and they will be curious. I don't see Crohn's as a death sentence and know that people can live (close) to normal lives. Remission is possible for everyone. I'll let my child know about the facts of the illness and if they ask if they can get it too I'll be honest and say that its possible but for now they don't and if they did I'm one of the best people they could possibly have at their side while they go through it (if they even really do get as bad as I did cause medications are always improving and some people have much more mild cases of it).

I went through the illness as a child myself and know how bad it can be (I lived in the hospital for almost 3 months, had a central IV for a year after, went through countless tests, was hospitalized again and had a bowel resection etc). Tests and medications have improved A LOT since then plus I know the best place to go for great GI doctors just 4 hours away from where I live (where I went as a kid, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford Ca.). Kids are stronger than we think they are.
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03-12-2012, 01:32 AM   #13
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My wife and I asked this same question. I have crohns and she has UC. We were told there is a 50% chance that our child could get one of the conditions. We felt that life is still worth experiencing even with the risk, and a cure could be found at anytime. That said, first trimester down, hurry up and get here September! 😃
03-12-2012, 11:27 AM   #14
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I have two children and was diagnosed after I had kids. I couldn't have kids now because my disease is so severe, but I can't imagine not having children because there's a chance they might have Crohn's. There's a chance something even worse can happen and if we dwell in the negative, life's not worth living.
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03-12-2012, 12:20 PM   #15
Bamagrl
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My daughter is 11 and I was diagnosed 4 years ago

I was on another forum with same question and I had a long reply

I'll make this one short - I do believe that it is everyone's personal decision to make and had I been diagnosed prior to having my daughter, then no, I definitely wouldn't have planned a pregnancy but if I had become pregnant, which I did, I would not have ended the pregnancy either

I would just always be worried about what I had potentially passed down to her

However, I do believe that is someone is contemplating having a child that they take everyone involved feelings into account, even the unborn child

It really isn't enough that you are desperate to create this child and expect it to just roll with the punches because all kids are so "adaptable" or that your spouse, parents, or in-laws are expected to pick up the slack when you can't function - you may be lucky enough to have a wonderful support system in place and no one around you resents the extra burden that you are laying on them but is that your choice and only your choice to make
03-12-2012, 12:47 PM   #16
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I was diagnosed with my Crohn's in college. Maybe I was young and naive, but I never considered NOT having my kids. I was warned the beginning of pregnancy and right after are critical flare times, but honestly, I felt better during both pregnancies than I had since having Crohn's. Knowing there was no one in the family above me that had Crohn's possibly diluted my fears of having children who inherit it. I guess I left it in God's hands all around with my health and theirs. My husband was diagnosed with juvenile type I diabetes at 35 years of age (I know, right?) while I was pregnant with our son. Diabetes is also an immune system disease. So I do share the predisposition to both diseases to our daughter (she's a senior this year) but haven't my son yet, he's 10. I tell her in hopes that she will make wiser choices in eating and what not now, so she can start with a healthy body, but alas, she is a teen so this falls on deaf ears. Plus just knowing it's a possibility, if she starts presenting symptoms, she will be aware of what it can be, not clueless as I was for the first year. So, even the weeks in the hospital here and there since she was born, the surgery, etc, I still would not let the disease deprive me of being a mother. This was my personal choice, can't say it would be everyone's.
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03-12-2012, 07:30 PM   #17
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I have crohns and although I'm a male, I can't wait to have children, when I'm ready of course. I read that there's a 7% chance if one partner has crohns and 40% if both have it. To me, it's worth the risk. There are much worse things that could happen and I personally wouldn't hold back from giving a person a chance at life because of it.

Like another person has said though, if I ever found out that I could not have children because of crohns or medicine I've taken, I would sign the adoption papers the second I found out.
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03-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #18
Manzyb
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It really isn't enough that you are desperate to create this child and expect it to just roll with the punches because all kids are so "adaptable" or that your spouse, parents, or in-laws are expected to pick up the slack when you can't function - you may be lucky enough to have a wonderful support system in place and no one around you resents the extra burden that you are laying on them but is that your choice and only your choice to make
This is irritating to me, because it's not that I was "so desperate" to have a child. No, I will not be "burdening" my husband or the grandparents if I'm sick and need a little extra help. It was a decision that I made with my husband, who also wanted kids. We both knew possibilities of the slight risk I will pass this on to my child or that I might not always be able to do everything for her. However, that doesn't mean that neither one of us should be able to bring a child into this world and that our child will not be able to lead a normal or happy life with us.
03-12-2012, 08:36 PM   #19
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Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Children however are not a burden. If someone gets sick or breaks their leg they don't expect others to pick up the "slack." If others want to help then that is their decision (for instance my parents were physically abusive when we were very small and child services asked my father's parents to care for us, all 4 of us and they said "no," yet my mother's parents offered to care for us because they wanted to). Life happens and yes we all have to roll with the punches and that includes children. Not everyone has a support system yet that's not and never will be a requirement for having children.
03-12-2012, 09:08 PM   #20
Bamagrl
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Obviously my opinion has angered a few posters

I stand by everything that I have said

I said that the other feelings of everyone should be considered and that the sole decision should not be based solely on your wants and desires

From what has been posted in response to my earlier post, it would appear that a lot of thought went into your choices

That was my point - if hubby, mom,dad, in-law's are all up for it then fine and dandy but how many posts are devoted to the unsympathetic spouse

My husband is wonderful and I consider myself blessed that he is so understanding but on the flip side, I've seen spouses leave one another when it really counted because they couldn't take the stress of it anymore

For me, had I been sick before my daughter was born then I would have been good with the decision of not having children

I don't see why that statement seems to cause such an uproar

To me, anyone who suffers from genetic disorders and decides to go ahead and have children is playing Russian roulette with someone else's health - you may end up shooting yourself in the head and that was your choice to make but everyone around you lives with the consequences

Currently, I am living with the consequences and I do worry about the "what if"

I don't see what is wrong with aknowledging that not everyone feels the same way
03-12-2012, 09:28 PM   #21
Manzyb
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I do respect other people's opinions. Whatever you do or would have done is your choice, and that's great.

It wasn't necessarily your opinion that made me mad, it was the way that you put it.

Yes, I got defensive. Which I don't really do too often because I take things with a grain of salt, but it was the way that I perceived what you wrote, it almost seemed accusatory to me.
03-12-2012, 09:40 PM   #22
Bamagrl
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How can it be accusatory when it was not directed to any particular person but to the general public instead

The only person I have directly responded to was on another forum with same thread and I thought it was very insightful because she grew up with a chronically ill mother and she did not have a rainbow view of growing up like that and did not want to pass that down another generation

I have a child whom I love very much and I would not trade her for anything but I would not have another now knowing what I do
03-12-2012, 09:52 PM   #23
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To me, anyone who suffers from genetic disorders and decides to go ahead and have children is playing Russian roulette with someone else's health
you've said a couple of times that it is the individual's personal decision to make yet you say the statement quoted above?
i think that's a slightly judgmental and general statement to make. just saying.
you haven't been in the position many of us are in i.e. living with the disease and not yet had children...you have a child, therefore you may never really know for sure what you would have done in this position.

for me personally, i am aware of the 10% chance of passing the disease on, i want nothing more in life than to be a mother, i don't think i'm being selfish, my grandmother had crohn's- had she have chose not to have kids i would not exist. i've been through a lot with my crohn's but i am so thankful to be alive and i enjoy my life.....

a great % of people in the world are going to either develop or already have some kind of serious illness- many of them being genetic, should they not reproduce? hmmm.
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03-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #24
Bamagrl
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Yes, I did say Russian roulette - it represents my thought process and how I view my daughter's chances of all ending up well with her

You make a very valid point of, I've already had my child - I say yet again, I would not knowingly get pregnant knowing what I do now but I would not end a pregnancy should I become pregnant

I just would always be worried and it would kill me if she ended up in my shape or worse

I don't see why my comments are so controversial - I would be lying if I said anything different
03-12-2012, 10:46 PM   #25
Jennifer
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I don't see why my comments are so controversial - I would be lying if I said anything different
A lot of people say that they wouldn't have kids because they don't want to have their child go through the same thing they did and that's their choice yet they leave it at that. You on the other hand go further as to almost judge/put down others by what you say. It's how you say things like, "...did not want to pass that down another generation," or "the sole decision should not be based solely on your wants and desires," or "I've seen spouses leave one another when it really counted because they couldn't take the stress of it anymore," or "anyone who suffers from genetic disorders and decides to go ahead and have children is playing Russian roulette with someone else's health," or "everyone around you lives with the consequences," or "desperate to create this child and expect it to just roll with the punches because all kids are so "adaptable"," or "your spouse, parents, or in-laws are expected to pick up the slack when you can't function," and finally "resents the extra burden that you are laying on them..."

All of those comments are very negative and that's why people are reacting the way they are because those comments above paint us as disrespectful, uncaring, neglectful, wicked, rude, lazy, abusive, murderous, irresponsible, the list goes on and on. You pick a negative term and it fits with those quotes above.

As littlefreebird said, "a great % of people in the world are going to either develop or already have some kind of serious illness- many of them being genetic, should they not reproduce?"

That's what this topic eventually boils down to which is why we don't debate the issue just share our own personal choice. If we left the judgement out of our posts then it wouldn't turn into a debate at all. We've had this discussion on the forum before and many have had the same views as you and we all respect each others opinions, we really do. Its just that we like to keep it civil on the forum and do our best to try not to judge or label others. That may not be what you were trying to do but as you can see, some of the things you said struck a chord with some people. That's all we're saying.
03-12-2012, 11:03 PM   #26
Bamagrl
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With all respect, my intent was not to insult; be dismissive, cruel, hurtful, etc

If my choice of words were out line then I do sincerely apologize

It doesn't change my mind but I am only responsible for myself and my actions, not everyone else's

I was attempting to explain my views and why I hold them, nothing more, nothing less

Life isn't always rosy and I truthfully don't see the problem with reflecting on the thornier issues instead of always looking at the beautiful bloom and ignoring the thorns

I will from now on be very careful in how and on what I respond
03-13-2012, 08:11 AM   #27
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I have wondered if my husband and I should have another child now that we know we already have one with crohn's. The only thing that really gives me hesitation is that I don't want to be too busy with a baby to take care of my son. Everyone has these sorts of issues when facing having children and we just have to work through them the best we can.

I will say that crohn's disease treatment has changed dramatically in the last 20 years and will continue to do so. But there are more kids being diagnosed now than ever before. There is every reason to hope that this disease will be much more manageable in the future.

The only thing I would have done differently was to put both of my kids on Vitamin D when they were little. I have read a bit of research on this and I think it is an important link in all autoimmune disorders. And it won't hurt them.

I will say it would break my heart if I thought my son wanted children in the future and decided not to have them because of his crohn's. I wouldn't want the disease to take something as wonderful as being a parent away from him. And although it is hard having a child with this disease the joys far outweigh the sorrows.

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03-13-2012, 09:07 AM   #28
Bamagrl
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hi there,

i am young female, diagnosed a month now with crohns, strugglin with abdominal pains, and i wonder as i am single , if i want children knowing there's a 10% chance that i could pass this onto them.

do you have children? did you pass crohns onto them ? is it like watching them suffer ?

or did you decide to not have children ?

i was always on the fence with respect to having children, now i wonder ?

what is your opinion ?
I think that answering your question honestly has taken a back seat to a debate in ethics and morals which as several people have pointed out is not conducive to a pleasant forum

You do not currently have children and it would appear that the question is a hypothetical one, so here is my hypothetical answer

When you do meet the person that you want to spend your life with and if the question of children arises, I think that you need to honestly and openly evaluate your individual situation with your significant other and bring your support network into it also and get their opinions before a final and irrevocable decision is made to have children

If you and all around you feel comfortable with the idea of having children and everyone is on board with the fact that they may need to help out more than is usual and customary, then go for it

However, if there are any dissenting opinions amongst your family unit, then their feelings need to be carefully weighed and considered

If the desire to parent is strong but there is the fear of passing on Crohn's to any unborn children, then weigh the option of adoption

I know the argument to that will be, you don't know what an adopted child has the potential of developing and that is true but you do know what you are capable of passing down

The decision is personal and apparently, highly controversial but you do owe it to yourself and your "living" loved ones to hear their opinions and to consider them before diving into the pool
03-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #29
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Missouri
Bamagrl, while I understand what you are trying to convey, I just want to say that even at it's worst, my Crohn's is never going to make me say that my life isn't worth living, or is less. That's a slippery slope to head down, to me. I have Crohn's. Plain and simple. While it would be nice to know the exact cause, I don't know that we ever will. It is what it is, but I will not let it defeat me. And should my children develop this, or any other disease, I hope they will go into it and thru it with a positive attitude and a knowing that it's not a doomsday sentence, but cross to bear.
03-13-2012, 09:39 AM   #30
Silvermoon
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alberta
There are so many hereditary conditions out there that people don't give a second thought to when having children...heart disease, cancer, diabetes, mental illness....and on it goes....
Thank you!!! You always are able to write out EXACTLY what I try to mumble out in my posts! From now on I am just going to let you do the posting for the both of us....LOL!!
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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Do you want children knowing they could have crohn's?
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