Is it irresponsible for those with a history of mental illness to…

(This was prompted by a message board post, so there will be some repetitive information here.  I’m just saying.)

We have one precious child, five years old. I have bipolar, OCD and and ADHD. I take a great big handful of prescriptions and vitamins everyday. I was not diagnosed with this stuff until the baby was about twenty months old so I was blessed with an unmedicated pregnancy and 23 months of nursing. We were urged from every angle not to have more kids. This brought me much misery. All I wanted was a houseful of rowdy kids with mud on their shoes. My heart began to change though. What I really wanted was to spend a lot of time with my daughter, true, but I also *needed* to write, read, be. If I had a large family I couldn’t do that. There are also those bad times where I am so depressed I don’t change my underwear for five days. I care for her minimally. She doesn’t get her hair washed for almost a week. I feed her, but pull a blanket over my head while she eats. She got sent home from school once for an outfit I let her wear. I was warned many times that I shouldn’t have anymore children at all ever because of my illnesses. I wasn’t offended when I first heard this, but I could have been. In reality, what is so wrong with me? Yes, I do get depressed, and experience the glory and horror that is mania, but despite my suicidal thoughts and self-hatred I have never wished that I was never born. However, with my gifts and abilities and ministries, I believe I was not called to the ministry of a large family. Maybe that has something to do with bipolar, but maybe it doesn’t. After a lot of discussion, we decided on a vasectomy. Earlier this week I was throwing up a lot, my breasts were tender and we thought, “Wow!” He had the vasectomy five months ago but we never took in the sample for them to look at under the microscope. “We wanted a baby” my husband pointed out. I was excited at the possibility, too. I thought of all the names for her or him. My period came two days later. It’s funny how my heart’s desires don’t totally extinguish, but also that I was totally cool with it.  We weren’t going to have anymore children!  I’m okay with it!

When ever I tell anyone how I had wanted a large family they flippantly say, you could adopt.  No, I couldn’t.  There is not a country in the world or a county in the state that would let us adopt.  Mr. M is too old and I am too crazy.  I respect this.  But we don’t need another baby.  It’s not the risk or attachment disorder or other “problems” we’d have with a child we adopt domestically.  It’s me.  I have learned my limits, and my limit is one, .  Maybe when she is older we’d consider an older child, but my psychologist has warned adamantly against that because of the behavior issues older adoptees have.

We haven’t decided yet.  But, what’s great about life is that we don’t have to decide yet.  We are living out the plans God has for us and He knows who, when and if all these things will come to fall.  His plans are great, and for them, we will wait.


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