Monday Reflections: Epilepsy and Family

Yellow family parking illustration

Before the pandemic came and ruined a lot of things, I looked forward to spring, winter, and summer breaks so I could spend time with my nieces. Creating small themed parties for them and taking them to a movie, exhibit, or event was always fun.

Sadly, I didn’t get to do all the cool things I wanted to do with them last year. Luckily, with all the safety precautions our family has taken, I finally got to spend some quality time with my nieces last week. And, I couldn’t be happier!

During quarantine, the anime bug caught them. It was Fruits Basket this, Toradora that, and so on and so on. Since going out to places is a big no-no, I just had to create an anime-themed party for them. And, of course, this wasn’t just an excuse for me to make an anime-themed cake, games, and food. It was purely for their entertainment only. The growing anime nerd in me had nothing to do with it whatsoever. :p

Having them over was nice. It’s crazy seeing how much they have grown over the years. They each have their own personality and attitude now (which at times, can be a little difficult to handle), but they are simply amazing.

We had such a blast eating sushi, drinking boba tea, playing anime bingo and Pictionary, playing video games, and going out for a walk.

I have to admit though. Kids are no small feat. It takes a lot of effort catering to each one of them. By the end of the week, my husband and I were a little exhausted, and we were reminded just how much cleanup is needed when it’s not just the two of us.

Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Those three kiddos (and yes, they will always be kids in my eyes) mean the world to me. I’m so glad my sister lets me adopt them from time to time because they are my little girls, too. Because for me, having children has always been a complicated matter.

Having children is something I wanted, didn’t want, wanted again, and, well, was unsure about. My epilepsy plays a major role in this decision. The fear of what can go wrong terrifies me. I’ve already seen family members and friends devastated from losing a child due to a miscarriage. Seeing them hurt because they feel guilty that somehow the incident was their fault pains me. They didn’t do anything wrong. It isn’t their fault. An unfortunate thing just happened. And, I’m scared of feeling that way, too.

Epilepsy affects women differently because of all the hormonal stages we go through, and pregnancy is no small change. However, getting pregnant is still possible if you have epilepsy.

Planned pregnancies is the best recommendation. Your medical team can help educate, prepare, and guide you through the process. My doctors have been great at discussing the matter with us, and they have lessened the fears and anxiety we have.

However, having children is not an option I’m ready to consider at this time. Our family unit with the two of us and our four-legged daughter is all we need now. If we’re ever ready, I know my medical team will be there, along with all my family and friends.

In the meantime, I’ll continue enjoying the time I get to spend with my little angels (sometimes monsters) before I’m too old to be considered “cool enough”.

But, If you have epilepsy and are wanting to start a family, talk and work with your health team to plan your pregnancy. For more information about epilepsy and pregnancy, you can also check the Epilepsy Foundation’s website.

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

Published by Vero

About me? I’m never good at these things, but here are the basics. I’m a journalism and film graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a dedicated digital content nerd with over eight years of experience in digital content management, content writing, copy editing, and project management. Currently, I'm a staff writer for The American Genius, and I manage my personal blog that advocates for epilepsy awareness. I LOVE to bake! I like to challenge myself to learn new decorating and baking techniques. And although I’d love to say I’ve mastered everything and have never burnt a dessert, it simply isn’t true.

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