Edited by herenow2 - 9/15/11 at 2:16pm
Tough spot. I think I would prioritize your husband getting the surgery. Is there any reason he can't get it now while things aren't so dire? I am just thinking that if he gets the surgery now, while he is healthier, he would recuperate faster and you could get to TTC knowing he is healthy sooner. I think it would be hard on both your fertility to be so worried about his health and it would be tough on the relationship to TTC through that.
While the desire to have another child is strong, I would not TTC at this point. An AAA is a pretty serious condition (which I know you are aware of). I am not sure the risk of rupture but *I* would not want to chance it. It sounds like you don't really like the idea of being a single Mom to two, so would three make that batter? Also, as you said, your financial situation would make it that continuing your life as a SAHM and in your home would both have to go if something happened.
I know there are plenty of people who are "You never know what's going to happen" and I agree! That is true for us all. I just see the stress in a condition like this is pretty high. That would make TTC harder as well as a stressful pregnancy. While we can't get rid of all stress in our lives, I don't see adding to it knowingly.
What is HE thinking? How does he feel about it? I would think he would have a pretty strong opinion one way or the other.
i think i would wait and see what happens. like someone said, you have to prioritize. 36 is still "young-ish" when you've already had two children. you probably won't lose your ability to conceive even four years from now.
you asked for opinions, here's mine: TTC in the face of this is selfish and done out of fear... fear that you will lose the chance forever. better to wait until all is well again, he survives the surgery and has a renewed life expectancy, a second lease on life so to speak. then TTC at that point would be an affirmation of "all is well."
plus, do you really want to put your man through the stress of a pregnancy, delivery and having a newborn, in the face of his already very stressful condition. does stress in any way make his condition more dire? can you ask his doctor's opinion and find out?
finally, be grateful for what you already have -- two healthy children. if in the future you are blessed with a third, it's a gift. but there is never any guarantee that the third pregnancy would be trouble free, that you would have another healthy child, etc.
you are in a situation where it is wise to proceed with caution, IMHO.
Part of me agrees that it is selfish to want another baby, but part of me wonders if it's equally or more selfish to not have one. We feel it is in our children's best interest to have another sibling, but my fear of being left to raise three kids because of an increased chance of death or disability of my husband holds me back. We definitely should consult with the doctor on stress affecting my husband's condition. He hasn't mentioned that being a factor thus far, but I suppose it could be.
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
I don't know much about your husband's condition, so I'm not sure I'm much help, but my father went through an open heart surgery 6 months ago, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. He was in the CVICU for several days, and they do not allow children. Every time I wanted to visit him, I had to leave my daughter in the waiting room. It was tough balancing the needs of my baby with trying to be there for my dad. I kept visits short. I would think it would be even harder as the wife of the patient. Then, he was off work, not sleeping well for a couple weeks and wasn't allowed to drive for almost 2 months. He had arrange alternate transportation to and from work and was working part time for a while when he came back. I think your husband is a wise man. If he's going to be needing the surgery pretty quickly, I think that's reason enough to wait until it's done. If it's growing quickly in the next few months, it might be worth waiting and having a less stressful pregnancy.
I don't think this situation is reason to postpone pregnancy indefinitely. It sounds like you're sure you want a third child and that while you really want your husband there to raise your children with you, you think that having a third child is best regardless of what happens to your husband. I would try to think of the surgery as something that you will likely have to go through at some point, but not something that is likely to take his life. Don't be so afraid that he is going to die that you feel like you need to TTC before it happens just in case. Again, I don't know really anything about your husband's condition, but is there anything with diet or lifestyle or natural treatment that he could do to stack the cards in his favor? Not to the exclusion of medical treatments, but to reduce the chance of needing them? I'd be looking at every option I had at this point. Eventually, it if looks like surgery is not going to be needed right away, there will always be some uncertainty, but you can't plan your family around what-ifs.
If it were me, I would:
-Wait 3 months to see how things are progressing and TTC if things aren't significantly worse.
-Plan now to TTC in 3 months. Work on preconception health for you both.
-Look into mainstream and alternative treatments for your husband's condition, and see what you can do to stack the cards in your favor.
-See what you can change about your lifestyle now to cut back on what you are spending, save for the unknown, and get used to a slightly lower standard of living. Cut out some descressionary expenses, look for cheaper alternatives for what you are doing, grow some of your own food. Balance saving extra and trying to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get out of debt, the easier it will be.
-Be flexible. Think positive.
The choice to have a baby is very personal and is something only you and your husband can ultimately decide. I do suggest, if your husband hasn't already, you seek out a 2nd (and even 3rd) opinion. Particularly on the condition, outcome, and best time for potential surgery. Some doctors are more conservative while others are more aggressive, so it may be helpful to hear different kinds of professional advice. Another suggestion, as also mentioned above, is to begin lowering your standard of living now, BEFORE something happens. You may find that you don't really need the bigger house or nicer car - and a simpler life often correlates with a less-stressful life. Sending out healthful and hopeful vibes to your family...
What a difficult and horrible position to be in, I am so sorry you are dealing with this! I agree with previous posters that this may not be the time for a pregnancy (I personally can't imagine having a newborn with the possibility of my husband needing significant care as well). That said, I totally sympathize with your dilemma. What are your husbands feelings about having a third child that he might not see to adulthood? If he understands and agrees with your desire to have another child with him, even in this worst case scenario, you might want to look into the possibility of freezing sperm, so that that option is still available to you, in the future. *hugs* It is a horrible thing to have to think about, but if you think you might want a third child with him no matter what the outcome, this would allow you to keep that option open while not adding the stress of TTC, pregnancy and a new baby while you also deal with your husband's illness.
I agree, you need a second (or third) opinion on your husband's condition. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now. My DH recently went through a second surgery for a life-threatening condition, and I can't imagine being pg through it. Or having a newborn instead of a 2 year old. The PPs were more articulate than I am, but I would also wait a few months and have a more concrete plan for 1) surgery timeline and 2) finances in the worst case scenario. I know you said you've been a SAHM and couldn't earn enough money to maintain your lifestyle, but could you start transitioning now towards a job and lifestyle that you could maintain if need be?
Obviously only you and your DH can decide, but under the circumstances I would be hesitant to go forward unless your DH is 100% in favor of adding a third child to the mix. Big hugs to you and your family.