To make a long story short, we have three beautiful children. DH and I are considering adding one more to our family. The thing is, we're fairly sure that at least the older two children (who are 5 and 6) have a chromosomal mutation that our nephew has been confirmed to have. We're waiting for genetic testing to confirm they have the same issue. It presents much like autism, but isn't quite autism, if that makes sense. Our nephew is really highly affected and has seizures and hallucinations and is frequently in the hospital.
Our son was moderately affected. His infancy and toddlerhood was absolute torture for the family, but he has largely grown out of the severe delays through therapy. He's very smart and affectionate, though he does still have sensory processing and hyperactivity issues. Our middle child also probably has it, but it's much milder, and she's actually on the gifted end of the spectrum with a sky-high IQ. Our third child does not show signs of having the mutation, but then again, neither did our middle daughter until she was around 4.
DH and I both want a fourth baby and have almost gotten as far as TTC, but held off on it. We probably won't take the chance if the geneticist confirms the family has the mutation. It probably wouldn't be fair to our existing kids if a severely affected child was born. But then, there is a 2 in 4 chance a child wouldn't be affected... And if they were, it might not spell doom and gloom either. Our nephew is on the far extreme as far as severity goes.
It's a hard decision, to be sure. Has anyone grappled with something like this?
Having 4 children, 2 or 3 with special needs, wouldn't be the right choice for me.
We did at one point considering having another child, knowing that there was a chance of repeating the same issues. We decided, for a lot of reasons, that our family was complete.
But that was me. A different decision could be right for you.
but everything has pros and cons