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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Heathen Offline
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Name: Jordan
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Considering the possibility of future pregnancy - September 10th 2019, 12:44 AM

I don't know if this fits better here or in Sex and Puberty. Please feel free to move it if it fits better elsewhere.

I have always steadfastly maintained that I do not want children. When I was a kid my parents basically told me I shouldn't have kids because of my Bipolar Disorder. Though they were the ones who voiced it most, they were not the only ones who said that. All my life it's been drilled into me that it would be irresponsible and selfish to have children. For a long time I listened.

However, in the last couple of years something has shifted. I have found myself considering the possibility of getting pregnant. I don't have a partner in mind or anything, and I am currently single, but after breaking down in grief in a group therapy session over the thought of not having children I thought maybe it would be something to at least consider.

I have not told many people this. Just both my exes and those who were in group therapy with me. This is something I feel is very private and I feel if I talked to most people about it they would shame me, etc.

My Mirena IUD expires next year. It will be time to consider birth control options again. I want to stress I do NOT want to get pregnant right now so I will definitely be getting some form of contraception. The problem is I don't know what to choose. I really like IUDs because I don't have to worry about them; once it's in there it's in there. I like the Mirena because I have no periods. I'm afraid if I get one of the newer IUDs that are only good for two or three years I might have periods.

I have, for a long time, considered the possibility of getting my tubes tied. It's VERY hard in my state for unmarried, childless women to find a doctor who will perform this procedure but there is one in my city who will. I have thought about seeing her. However, I know if I told a doctor I had EVER thought about having children they wouldn't do the procedure. This makes me hesitant to consult a medical professional on any of this.

I also think I am being stupid. I can't be on most or all of my meds while pregnant, and me without meds is a disaster. I was off them for three days a few weeks ago and I was a wreck. How can I suspect to sustain that for nine months? Not to mention I am overweight and have PCOS so I imagine a pregnancy might be risky.

So my questions are the following:

1) Is it a fool's dream to want to have children?

2) Am I being selfish and irresponsible if I eventually want to get pregnant?

3) Knowing it's a bad idea, should I go ahead and just get my tubes tied?

4) If I don't get my tubes tied, what's a better birth control option?

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No one had to know
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Re: Considering the possibility of future pregnancy - September 11th 2019, 10:09 PM

Hey Jordan,

Sorry to hear that your parents and other people have told you that it would be irresponsible and selfish of you to have children when you have Bipolar Disorder. It makes sense that this would affect you and that you feel it's a very private subject and worry about being shamed.

Having Bipolar doesn't mean that you shouldn't have children, or that if you did, you would be selfish/irresponsible. What it does mean though is that you'll likely benefit from more support during pregnancy and child rearing. You'll need to make sure that you're looking after yourself and taking advantage of any kind of support you might need- both for you and your child. Parenting is hard and parenting with mental illness can be harder, but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't have children.

It's also understandable that since you had thought about getting your tubes tied, but now find yourself thinking about potentially having children in the future, that you wouldn't want to consult with medical professionals. Maybe you could contact them anonymously? Getting your tubes tied is more of a permanent solution, compared to having an IUD. You can have sterilisation reversed but I believe there is no guarantee you will be fertile and there may be a risk of further complications. For more information on female sterilisation and other contraception methods, feel free to check out this article.

Managing bipolar, medication, other health issues and pregnancy can seem impossible and it is best that you consult with a professional about the best way to go about this. You might also want to check out this leaflet for more information on bipolar and pregnancy.

If you decide not to have children, you may experience feelings of grief like the ones you had at group therapy. This is natural and deciding not to have children doesn't mean that your parents were right. You may also want to consider other options if you decide not to have biological children. For example, maybe you could adopt or foster or find other ways to show your love for example volunteering/working with children and young people. It won't be the same as having your own child but it can help with having an outlet to show care and appreciation and watch a child grow knowing that you helped them.

Hope other people can give their insight too!

Take care

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