Elderly Mom. Have two Autistic children

Hi everyone
First time poster! Have a dilemma.
We have two gorgeous children, aged 6 and 4. Both have Autism. My husband also is currently being assessed for Autism.
For years, I have felt a longing for another child. I have felt that we are missing someone. I had a miscarriage and it was a girl. We then went on to have our second son.
I am 44 years old and I know that time is not on our side. I am also a single parent four days a week whilst my husband works away. I am also a sufferer of fibromyalgia so I am in a lot of pain and very fatigued.
Is it right to feel that I cannot now cope, although until incredibly recently I was praying to Mary for another chance at motherhood? Is Mary saying “you asked, I interceeded and now the time is right?” I promised Mary and St Jude (I went to his shrine) that this gift would mean so much and I would honour the will of the Lord. But now I am panicking.
Anyone else in our situation? We don’t have any extended family or friends who could help with childcare either as they are all in their 70’s and I feel awful asking for help when they’ve done their child raising with us!
Many thanks for your responses. x

God’s will be done. From a parent of an adult child with Autism I pray for you and your husband. Not easy but definitely doable and yes you can have a happy life.

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Thank you so much for your reply. It’s hard, isn’t it? I feel and look like I’ve aged twelve years in the past six haha. But I know I was gifted my children for a reason: to guide them and nurture them. I’ve learnt so much about autism and myself. They have made me more tolerant. I stopped teaching to care for them. It’s as if God was saying “you’ve cared for other children for 17 years. Time to look after your own and make a REAL difference.”

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First off - welcome to the forum!

Secondly, you’re assuming your prayer for another child will definitely be answered. God in His wisdom knows you, your family, you’re situation. There’s an old expression - don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Or don’t cross that bridge until you come to it, etc.

You may not fall pregnant again. You may fall pregnant again. Whilst we all like to plan ahead, and make our paths smooth sailing, have plans b,c,d in place for whatever comes - and that can be good - but where does that leave space for God to act?

Feelings are just that. Feeling you can’t cope, and actually being able to cope or not are vastly different. Nothing wrong in having a change of heart. God already knew you would before you petitioned Mary for another chance at motherhood, and made promises to both Mary and St Jude.

If God sends you another child, then pray He will also send you the means to cope/help needed. Trust in Him.

I have a relative who had two children by the time they were 21. One has clinical depression and other issues, the other is on the autism spectrum disorder and is now turning 15 shortly. There is another child who also has lots of issues, oppositional defiant disorder, is also autistic and two or three more which I’ve forgotten - they’re 16. 3 of the 4 children in this family have health issues like these.

They too do not live near family, and the mother has her own health issues too. It was hard, and is still hard. When the kids were smaller family day care was used, and also I think monthly the kids would stay overnight (obviously became good friends with the daycare mother). They just coped - there was no other option.

Even if in their 70s’ would they be able to mind one or two children for the day, say once a fortnight? Just to give you a small break?

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Yes life is certainly never dull but we survive. He has come a long way and we have also come a long way. It will be OK.

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When your circumstances allowed for it, you wanted another child. Now your circumstances are different, and you are seeing that it might be difficult, hard on you and on your children and husband, and re-considering that.

That is totally all right. Thank God every day for your family, welcome another if God sends another, but know that it is perfectly all right to realize that your situation now is challenging enough.

You situation has changed. There is no reason to feel bad about that.

Doesn’t sound like it to me. That is not how God operates anyway.

I suggest you talk to your priest, about proper spiritual formation. I don’t suggest you make these sorts of “promises”.

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I am not sure what to say. I am high functioning, so my brain is telling me I should be offended. I don’t think that is your intention, however.

I am 44 as well, with 3 children.

It is OK to feel now that you cannot cope. Special needs children have special needs! I would have a very hard time having a new baby in our lives. It is very OK dear soul.

I am 50 years old and have 6 children, ranging in age from 17 to 4. Two of them (teenagers) are on the autism spectrum and my youngest was born when I was 45. Life can be hard sometimes. Really hard. I am exhausted most of the time. Yet, I love my life. My children bring me great joy, especially the 4-year-old who has so much energy that she runs circles around me. I often feel like I can’t cope, but somehow, we manage.

Nobody can tell you what decision to make. It would be a legitimate decision to not seek out conception for any of the reasons that you’ve mentioned: two special needs children, your health, your age, lack of family support. Those issues likely aren’t going to change.

Yet, that longing remains. I would be cautiously, yet prayerfully, open. The likelihood of conceiving a child gets smaller by the day. Work with God and not against him. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have another child, but I think you will be at peace.

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This is the greatest gift that my autistic children have given me. I have learned tolerance and learned to be less judgmental of others. Kid in church with headphones and filthy shorts? (Maybe he can’t tolerate noise and wears the same pair of shorts every.single.day until his exhausted mother finds a way to sneak them off of his body to wash them. ) Kid with no table manners in the restaurant, eating with his hands and food all over his face? (Obviously, the poor child struggles with fine motor skills.) Kid in the grocery aisle throwing himself on the floor and the mother is just letting him? (Sensory overload!)

My children are still working on teaching me patience. I’m confident that it will come someday!

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No, it wasn’t her intention.

She only brought up her children with ASD, so that people would understand that she is a special needs parent who is also ill. In other words, she feels that she already has as much responsibility as she can bear. She is not complaining about her children or lamenting their ASD diagnoses or in anyway being negative about their diagnoses.

To the OP: there is nothing wrong with being concerned that at 44, with a chronic illness, and special needs children, a baby might be too taxing. Just remember that should you fall pregnant, God will make a way. Trust in His will.

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