My Daughter Wants to Start a Family

Not sure how I feel about that

Tammi Brownlee
Jan 16 · 3 min read
Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

As our children grow up and become adults, we know eventually this means grandchildren. Now I am not against having some little rugrats to spoil every chance I get. I want grandchildren, I really do.

But there is more than a want to, this equation. For the last year and a half, my daughter, who is 22, has been on a medication called Methotrexate. She has a condition called Systemic Rheumatoid arthritis. This medicine means she can walk with assistance such as a brace, cane or crutches.

Methotrexate is a drug used to treat Cancer, but in small doses, that my daughter takes, has been proven helpful for conditions like this. But, like all drugs, this one has nasty side effects and require thinking ahead before doing anything, such as having a baby.

At my daughter’s third appointment with the rheumatologist, after having an exuberant amount of blood tests done, we were told of her condition. The doctor recommended this medicine for the following three months to see how she reacted to it and whether it would work.

Three weeks later and my daughter stopped complaining about the pain in her knees, after a month she stopped wearing her knee brace and we put her cane and crutches in the closet. Her instructions were simple, take 6 pills once a week and take the Folic Acid every day. Methotrexate depletes your folic acid forcing you to take a supplement.

The last instruction was to not get pregnant. The medicine would severely hurt an unborn baby therefore precautions need to be taken to ensure she didn’t.

“If you get accidentally pregnant, you will have no choice but to have an abortion.” — the doctor

In order for my daughter to have a baby she would need to plan it. She would need to come off the medicine for three months before trying, and take a different medicine during the pregnancy which won’t affect the baby. And depending on whether she is breastfeeding would determine when she can go back on the Methotrexate.

Now this seems fairly easy to do, but my concern is what will happen with her illness without this medicine. The alternatives are not strong enough to keep her symptoms in check so she could revert back to how she was before. I remember the pain in her eyes as she cried about how much it hurt to walk.

I know she would make a great mother, even at 22 she has the stability and mindset to take care of another human being, but I worry about her health. She is a cosmetologist, the fancy term for hairstylist, so she is on her feet all day long, putting an added burden on her knees which is where her symptoms like to show.

How will she able to work is just another question added to the list. So many things play a factor in her impending decision to have a child. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it is going to happen this year, but over the next few years I am sure we will need to handle this decision with care.

My daughter knows I will stand by her for any decision she makes, but I hope she understands how worried I am about the possible consequences. I would love nothing more than to have grandchildren, I am just not sure I am willing to sacrifice my daughter for one.

I wrote about my daughter’s condition before, it was essentially a missed diagnosis for years. I feel partly to blame for it getting to the point it is today, I am not sure if I made a different decision if things would be better for her. All I can do is help her make the right decisions in the future. Here is the article I posted before.

Tammi Brownlee

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