Infusing Love: Growing Our Family

Infusing Love: A Mom's View - A blog dedicated to mothers of children with bleeding disorders.
Time moves so quickly. As adults we blink and a year has passed. As kids, we couldn’t wait to be adults. I feel like it was just yesterday that we were adjusting to life with one itty-bitty baby, with a chronic condition. Now we are in a routine, his disorder is well managed, and he functions pretty much like a normal 6-year-old kid. Time has flown by. It feels like just yesterday we were talking about and considering having another child.
carrie_baby_candleHaving our second child was not an easy thing. Nicholas was about two years old when we started talking, thinking, debating, and planning. While we had a family history of hemophilia and were more comfortable than most, it was still difficult to make the decision to have another child. I had a serious amount of “Mommy guilt.” I knew I gave Nicholas hemophilia, I can’t deny that and there is no way around it. Hemophilia is an expensive and unpredictable disorder. Why would I want to give it to another child?
We took a hard look at our options. We always knew that we didn’t want Nicholas to be an only child. Neither my husband nor I are only children, and while we didn’t always love having siblings, we wouldn’t trade them for the world. I spent some time talking with my doctors. We talked with Nicholas’s hematologist. We even went and spoke with a fertility doctor. As a carrier of a chronic, genetic condition, we had the option of going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) to avoid the hemophilia gene. The doctors could actually test all of the eggs and pick the one without the defective X chromosome.
We had some really tough decisions to make. We had to ask ourselves, “This IVF process, while it is amazing, and can save tons of money in insurance costs in the long run; is it worth it?” We had not looked into that option for Nicholas, and we wondered, did it make sense to do it for our second child? As we were weighing our options for a second child, we had Nicholas’s clinic appointment. The HTC pediatric clinic is held in a building with tons of other specialties. We sat in the waiting room that day and observed tons of kids with serious medical issues, all of which were not going to be avoided by going through the IVF process. We looked at our son and saw a healthy, happy, two-year-old. We knew then that while hemophilia can be horrible, there are so many things that are way worse. We opted to not go through the IVF process. We crossed our fingers and hoped that at the very least we would have a girl.
Due to my carrier status, I was eligible for extensive bloodwork in order to identify gender and many other possible complications. We opted to have the bloodwork completed so that if we were having a boy, we were more prepared to seek other diagnostic tests to identify his hemophilia status.
We hit the lottery: we have a boy and a girl. I found out I was having a girl when I was about 13 weeks pregnant. Aleesia was born in September 2014. She’s already two years old! The blood work we had did not identify her carrier status, but she doesn’t seem to be showing any symptoms.
Time has passed so quickly. We went from having just one child and adjusting to our new life. In a blink of an eye, we have two kids and have re-adjusted.
Carrie lives with her husband Mark, and 6-year-old son, Nicholas, and 2-year-old daughter, Aleesia, in Maryland.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.