Deciding whether or not to have another child...

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Deciding whether or not to have another child...

Postby elly » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:28 pm

Hi Everyone,

I never thought that i would be on a ms forum asking this question to a group of people that i don't know but unfortunately i have something in common with.

We have got 2 beautiful children but we always thought that we would have 3. Now a spanner has been thrown in the works as ms has decided to "wake up" after the birth of my second son. I have probably had it for 13 years and have thankfully only had mild sensory symptoms that are so mild that i often thought i was imaging them.

I have only just started Avonex for the first time and i'm titrating up to the full dose.
I've spoken to doctors about having another child and i have been told to go for it if that's what we want. They say that many patients with ms have more children, some do great and others not so great.

I'm currently struggling with thoughts like.."will having a third child rock the boat? will i become worse?, what if i'm not able to be the active healthy mother that i am and always want to be?

I know that anything can happen but i also know that i might stay with a mild ms course but it's the not knowing that i hate.
At least now i know that i have ms and at least there are treatments available and there will possibly be a couple more that may be superior to the ones we have now in the next few years ( i'm hoping of course).

Have any of you had to make this kind of decision?or know of anyone who has?

I don't even know what kind of replies that i expect as there is of course no answer unless one is psychic :roll:

I keep thinking the i've been so well for 13 years and am still well so hopefully that could be an indication of things to come but i'm not that arrogant/deluded that i don't realise the reality of the possible outcomes of this disease.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Elly
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Postby DizzyDean » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:11 am

My DW and I had to consider this exact same issue, and in the end we went ahead and had kiddos anyway.

In the past, it was standard advice to tell PwMS to not have children. My personal take on it is that we are on the verge of some huge breakthroughs in MS treatment within the next 5 to 10 years (even though a true "cure" is probably not coming in the short term), so this advice no longer automatically applies, especially for those who have RRMS as opposed to progressive forms of the disease.

Take a look at the clinical trial pipeline - one good site that grew out of a thread on this forum is http://mspipeline.wordpress.com note that there are around 100 drugs in trials now...including quite a few which are "off the shelf" substances such as hormone treatments, statins, and cancer chemo drugs...100 drugs in trials for a disease that the last 15 years of so-called "progress" have given us about half a dozen drugs to treat...

My belief is that anybody with early stage MS today, provided that they can hold it together 5 more years or so accumulating no to minimal disability along the way using today's drug regimens, should have treatment options to "freeze" future progression of their disease.

As an aside, I would certainly NOT avoid having children, if that's what you decide to do, because of the fear of "passing" MS to the next generation. There will be plenty of treatments (or even possibly a vaccine) for it 20 or so years down the road when its likely to become a problem for any children you have now.

The only valid reason to not have children is that you are afraid of your own ability to care for them, and as I've said above, I think for most RRMS'ers its unlikely to be a problem unless one has very serious disease / disability already.

Bear in mind, with or without MS, there's still plenty of bad things that happen in life that are beyond our control!
Last edited by DizzyDean on Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kids/MS/Avonex

Postby NHE » Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:43 am

elly wrote:I have only just started Avonex for the first time and i'm titrating up to the full dose.

Note that Biogen recommends that you not be on Avonex if you're planning on getting pregnant. I just thought I should mention this since you're new to Avonex.

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Postby elly » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:38 am

DizzyDean thanks for your reply.
Your link doesn't work unfortunately.

I can' t help but also be positive about future treatments, I just hope that i stay like this for the next 5-10 years at least to be able to benefit.
I must admit though that the thought of chemotherapy as a treatment for ms does not excite me.

NHE thanks for the advice on Avonex, i've spoken to so many people about it as i was also breastfeeding up til today :( so i certainly wouldn't get pregnant while on it.

Thanks again

Elly
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corrected link...remove the comma!

Postby DizzyDean » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:52 am

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