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having a baby when you have RA
I am now 36 and I realized that I am quickly running out of time to have a child. I don't have any friends without children and I see how happy they all are in having families. My hubby is not pushing me to have a kid and the few times we have talked about it, he is fine either way so all the pressure is on me. I have to decide whether I am really doing something mean to a future child by being a bad mother and by possibly passing along the disease to them. I get rather guilty thinking about what I could be doing to their future.

To give you some background, I have poorly controlled RA. I have significant problems looking after myself many times and my husband helps me in many situations. I have been on numerous medications and nothing has helped me so far. I have a job that involves teaching several different courses so it is manageable for my body.

What do you think? Am I doing something cruel by bringing a child into the world?

The way I see it, every person out there can be passing on something bad to their children. What you have can certainly be passed down, but maybe it won't be and it generally doesn't kick in until mid-life as well...and is usually passed onto girls, which means a little boy has even less of a chance.

Yes, the idea of passing it on sucks, but it doesn't have to ruin their life even -if- they also get it. Medications haven't helped you much, so I'm sure it's hard to imagine, but it's manageable for many people....and in 30 years when your child may or may not have to deal with it, can you imagine the medications and procedures that could be available to them?

The important thing at this point is what -you- want and what -you- can handle. If you're in such bad shape currently, will you be able to care for them? That's what I would be thinking about more...whether you can actually raise the child at this point or if it'll be more on your husband? Do you want a child even or is it because you're seeing all your friends with families?
My opinion is that you should first ask yourself whether you want a family or whether you are simply observing what other people have and coming to the conclusion that you must do the same thing. I am in no way attempting to suggest you should not have a child but from your first paragraph, I was not certain as to your rationale for choosing to have a family.

If you want a family and you believe it will make you happier despite any difficulties you might face, then that is the correct decision for you. It is unlikely that you will be poor mother if you are so concerned about the future for the child even at this early stage. Your concern clearly indicates the capacity to adequately care for a child.

Thank you for your help. I believe I want a child but I have many doubts and the worries about their future. I worry that even if I am a good mother, I could be passing along the curse of this disease to them and causing them to suffer.

jacquelineC, as long as your relationship with your husband is good and both of you understand that he will need to help you even more then I think that you should have the family if that is what you want. Many a child is born to parents who have little love to offer. From your level of concern, I believe you would certainly make a caring mother.

Worries are natural even for parents without illness. A child changes your life forever so you must be willing to accept the uncertainty of the future. With respect to the risks related to passing on RA, it is not a condition that is often passed directly from parent to child. Many believe it has both genetic and environmental factors. I am not attempting to say that there are no risks, but rather that the risks are not especially high.

As is often the case, I am going to be the voice of dissent. I believe that knowingly taking the risk of passing a condition along to your child is somewhat selfish. I do not doubt your ability to be a mother, but exposing a child to the pain of this disease is putting your needs before theirs. The concerns you have are real and I believe that in considering them you are an intelligent person, but proceeding does mean that you are playing with your child's future. If my mother had knowingly passed the condition along to me, I would have some strong words for her.

alicejn962 is known for being direct :) and she does have a point, but I think we all take risks in bringing a new life into the world. If you and your husband are comfortable with these risks, then go make a baby or two. Enjoy family life. Just because you have a condition doesn't mean you should deprive you and your husband of the chance at a family. The risks of passing along RA aren't that high and not all people are as hard as she is.

Wow, its a lot to think of. Thank you too, alicejn962, for your opinion. I am glad I got opinions from all sides. My friends are all baby crazy and all they can talk about is when I will have children. It is good to get some realistic views on the subject. Having this condition means thinking more about the future than other people do. Thanks again.


I came across your posting looking for information on the internet for this very thing. I was diagnosed with Adult onset still's disease which is a mirror form of lupus I guess is the best way to describe this, though this Dragon is heinous!!!! The ironoy is My feelings are exactly as yours since my diagnoses I have been poorly controlled. None of my med's really work, either allergic to them or do not control the disease, in and out of the hospital, with complications, blood clots, infections you name it I have had it ! However I read an article that indicated that there have been studies that a pregnacy can put my disease and other autoimmune Ra conditions into remission, something about the hormones, and genetic testing stating the likley hood of you passing it on is very little because they do not know where exactly this comes from . More likley if you have other disorders IE asthma etc. which I do so I have seriously contemplated not having a child because there are days where my partner does everything cooks, cleans, packs my lunch for work does the cat box. what if I have a child. what if I did go into remission and one day I woke up again super sick and found myself with out my love? With out the help with a child who would care for them? easier for me to try to care for one person than two right? Than there is the thought of giving this to someone else, god I could not even imagine that pain and suffering for someone else the days where no one understands me where I can barely move wash my own hair ! How can I fathom giving that to someone else? I am glad someone else out there feels the same way! If you have anyother information medical or judegement I would like to hear it please write back as I am struggling with this right now
thank you !

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