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The Baby Decision By: Samantha Traina One year, two years, five years, or ten years, those were my options. At eighteen I was sitting in the waiting room of my gynecologist and I had to check a box. When do you want to have kids? A simple question you would think, though I remember wondering why there was no never option, but I am someone who wanted a family, not yet, but someday. So ten years that should be my box, except I was being tested that day to see if I inherited from my mother Anti phospholipid Syndrome. I called it the baby killing disease. When you’re in high school suddenly you are posed with so many questions about your future. What college, what career, which city, which dorm or apartment, All of these questions that determine your future, yet a major one, “do you want children?” that never comes up. My girlfriends and I talked about it of course, it’s rare to go through high school and not at least hear of a pregnancy scare happening. Health class barely touches on it, worried more about the sex than the actual product of it. Babies are treated like herpes, or chlamydia, just something else you can get from not using a condom. Like parts of a puzzle we plugged them into our ten-year plans, seeing our selves married at twenty-five, with kids at twenty-six or twenty-seven. We all thought about baby names, just our favorite characters in TV shows, or from boy bands. We would try them with our crushes last name to see if they went well, planning and yet knowing it most likely wouldn’t happen. Babies were so far in the future, that they just didn’t seem real. I have friends now of course that don’t want children, and I remember being young at fourteen and thinking I was like them. Kid’s were expensive, needy, and took a huge toil on your body. They just weren’t worth the effort, and since no adult ever sat me down, like they had with college and careers, and discussed the pros and cons of children, I stuck with that train of thought till I seventeen. Even then it was still just a maybe. My mother had nine miscarriages while trying to have my sister and me. I shouldn’t be the eldest and she shouldn’t be the youngest. I only remember seeing my mother breaking down, crying in the bathroom, once. She was sitting on the toilet, balled up toilet paper clenched to her face as she sobbed. I just watched her through the crack in between the door and the frame. I didn’t understand why getting her period was such a bad thing. I didn’t understand why she was bleeding so much more. Anti phospholipid Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder, where basically antibodies attack phospholipids, a major part of living tissue, instead of attack diseases in the body like they should. APS can be huge problem for women trying to have children because it can cause miscarriages late in the pregnancy, by cutting off blood supply because of clots, which kills the child. It is more common to appear in women and it can be passed to your kids. When my mother told me about it she said that age also has a part of it. Because she was trying to have kids in her late twenty early thirties, the disease affected her more. If she had tried when she was younger, before twenty-five, it wouldn’t have been such a problem.

So I was sitting there, at my gynecologist, never really having thought seriously about children, having no one asked me the question before of do you want kids and when? All of that suddenly could be at risk. It was in that waiting room that realized I really did want a family, not only that I wanted a big family. I loved how when I went to family reunions I saw so many aunts and uncles, so many cousins. I wanted my kids to have that experience as well. My mother had me at 32, and had to be on constant drugs to keep me alive, my sister almost died in the womb several times only four years later. After her my mother couldn’t carry any kid to full term.

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