I believe the decision to have a baby is a deeply personal and important decision that should be made between two loving partners. However, I'd like to share a little insight into some of my thoughts throughout this process.
I have always wanted to be a mother. I love babies and children. I always loved babysitting and often feel like a child at heart. In my career I treat babies and children as a pediatric occupational therapist and without talking, listening and laughing with my patients, I would not be able to get through my day.
I always felt like I would know when the time was right. When most people are deciding to start a family they would like to be married, have a steady job, steady finances and a house or home they are comfortable living in. I've been lucky that I have known my husband for 11 years, so finding the right partner was not a challenge. I have a steady career and stable living situation. However, I feel like having JRA trumps some of the other factors in deciding to have children. I feel like I don't have the luxury to wait until we have our perfect house. I can not be sure of what the future holds for me medically. Will I need a knee replacement? Will I need more eye surgery? All of these questions made me want to pursue having a family while I was healthy and made the other factors less of a priority.
I have had relatively quiet disease activity since I graduated college. I felt like this was my chance. JRA is an unpredictable disease and I wanted to have a child when I was the healthiest I could be. I know that it will not get easier to be pregnant or care for a child as I get older. Therefore after talking with all my medical providers, they all agreed that I was healthy and were confident and hopeful with my plan. I know it may be the most challenging journey I have experienced so far, but I am very excited to begin it!