Dear Counsellor: Pregnant again and worried
Q: I am pregnant again and worried. Even my husband is worried. Two years ago we got married and had a child, but the child was born with multiple challenges and disabilities. We have tried many doctors, to little avail with some of the issues. We cannot even send the child to school because of his lack of development. Sometimes I am confused. Many times I cry. Sometimes I ask, 'why me?' My husband and I decided that we would not have another child for fear the other one would be the same way. We realise the toll this child takes on us even with the help of a full-time helper. To our shock and horror, I am now pregnant. We have grown to love our son, but we do not want another child like him. What should we do?
A: It does not follow that because the first child is challenged physically and/or mentally then the next one will be as well. In fact, many persons have had a first child with such challenges and gone on to have children unlike the first.
Furthermore, there are special schools for your child. You need him to socialise with other kids to aid his development. Send him to school. Perhaps it would be helpful if you and your husband read the literature about your son's condition. It could help you cope with the stress. In any case, raising children is not kid's play. In addition, you need to understand that your child can provide a useful role. By giving love to a child who might not be able to give you and your husband much utility value, shows the worth of human life beyond acquiring things and doing things. Every human being has intrinsic worth and value far beyond his mental, physical and social capacities.
But just in case you cannot manage a similar child, then you could ask a relative to help or give the child up for adoption, or ask an agency to allow the child to live in a specialist care centre.
Start seeing the ability to conceive as a blessing and be thankful to be able once again to bring forth life. Stop worrying unnecessarily because it is not good for the unborn child. Give the foetus the best possible chance of a healthy birth by changing your and your husband's attitude.
You need the help of a professional counsellor because you are not coping with the pregnancy and your child. Furthermore, it seems you are even uncomfortable to state the condition of your son.