Monday, August 15, 2011

Some Things Are Worth The Risk

Early this morning, I received a call.  

Immediately I recognized the woman's voice.  It was Gen, The Boy's Early Intervention ABA therapist.  I had just woken up and didn't have a chance to turn on the television or computer. 

I had been told this before, so for me it was no big deal.  After The Husband and I got the diagnosis, the doctor followed with, "If you're thinking of having more children, you should consider getting genetically tested as the chances of having a child on the spectrum..." Blah blah blah...

Truth be told, after the diagnosis, I told The Husband I didn't want any more children.  (Even the idea of intimacy frightened me.)  I knew The Husband wanted more children.  "If you want more kids, you'll have to have them with someone else.  I'll understand," were my exact words.  At the time, I was so set in my decision that I was willing to give up my husband. 

I don't feel that way any more, I think it was all part of the (for lack of a better word) grieving process.  

Once I decided I wanted another child, that was the moment I knew - I accepted autism.   

And when we became pregnant for the second time, I was elated.  Even though everyone kept asking me if  I was "scared."  I had taken a positive approach during those brief weeks of my 2nd pregnancy.  I told people that I wouldn't worry until there was something to worry about.  And if Child #2 had autism, at least I would know what to look for and what to do and where to go for help. 

If I were to become pregnant again, it is not autism I fear.

I fear a second loss of life.  That is the only risk. 

I fear The Boy one day asking me - why he doesn't have a brother or sister.  If we try and do not succeed, that's one thing.  But if we do not try  - out of fear of having another child with autism.  How could I look The Boy in the eye?

The Boy is our only child, I do not know what it's like to have a child without autism.  No, I don't want to cure him.  I love him.  And maybe because of autism, I may love and appreciate him even more.  Autism only adds to his personality, it doesn't diminish it.  

So if we have another child on the spectrum, then so be it.  I'm prepared.  I just want another child.  I want The Boy to to have a sibling, companion.  He'd be a great big brother and I want nothing more than to balance out our little family.   

The joy and privilege of being a parent far outweighs any risk.

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.