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Guest shellyb

I need advice for starting a family, please.

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Hello everyone,

I found this website a few days ago & I have plenty of questions that need answers. My husband & I who are first cousins, have been married for almost 5 years. Our mothers are sisters. We are both 26 years old, & are quiet healthy. I think it?s time that we start trying to have children & now my husband is now concerned about this? Are the chances high or having a sick baby? I?ve asked both of our mothers if there are any genetic problems that our children could inherit & they?ve both said no. Nothing that would cause any deformities or mental illness. What runs in our family is what?s common in others, high blood pressure & breast cancer. I know the option for us to get genetic counseling done, but how do you go about doing that? I would not want our insurance to cover it due to my husband?s job offering the insurance. It has to be approved & so on. Is paying out of pocket for it expensive? I would get the testing done in Denver, CO & cousin marriage isn?t illegal there. If you have any other advice or knowledge, please let me know.  I would just let to take this next step in our lives & my husband is very concerned & isn?t sure he wants to take the chances of bringing a sick baby into this world.

Thank you for your time

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Hello and welcome to the site, shellyb. I would expect that genetic counseling would be quite expensive, probably in the thousands of dollars if it involves DNA tests and review of family histories.  What's more, it may not be all that conclusive or at least any more than what you already know based on family history.

My wife and I asked a doctor over in Golden, CO, back when we got married 20 years ago and he told us basically the same statistics that are on this site and gave us no real cause for concern.  Since that time, we've had two children, both very healthy and bright in their late teens.  Those genetic things they did inherit are ironically those things that my wife and I share in common from our unrelated sides.  Well, except for our youngest being incredibly petite, which is a feature of our common maternal great-grandfather.

If the genetic counseling will provide comfort for yourself and your husband, it may well be worth the investment.  Otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much... at least not any more than any other parents of newborns worry :D

Best wishes,

CM

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I have a baby boy with my first cousin. Our baby is very healthy. I wouldn't worry.  Good Luck!!!!

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I am currently going through this. 

We saw the genetic counselor yesterday.  To make a long story short, in so many words, write down both of your family histories and compare the odds.  Genetics is all statistics and even the doctors can not give you for sure facts with testing.  We learned yesterday that high blood pressure and heart attacks run heavy on my father's side and strokes on our grandmother's side.  The chances of having a child who will inherit these traits are higher than normal.  Can they give us a time, age, specific problem our child will inherit....NO.  We asked the million dollar question..."Will our child be normal?'  They said we share 1/8 the same genetic traits, and the chances are little higher to inherit an abnormality or rare disease but nothing they can give us definite answers on.  My age (40) was MORE of a concern than anything related to us being first cousins.  Already, (I'm 20 weeks along), the ultra sound has determined the baby is healthy, has all of it's organs, fingers, and toes, a special test that is 99.6% accurate shows the baby has no downs syndrome or cystic fybrosis.  These tests are routine for anyone in my age bracket and is an option for any expecting mother.  The genetic counselor and doctor, after asking us in depth questions about family history, really didn't see any dire need for us to go further on our genetic testing.  It's all about risks your family already have.  You can do this without a doctor simply by sitting down with your family and asking family history medical questions.  I felt, and this is my own personal opionion after the appointment was finished, that it was a waste of time.  They told us what we already knew.  Then there is the dileama, where you have to ask yourself, if you really want to know?  I don't think some doctor or test is going to make me feel any better for the remainder of my pregnancy if they tell me my baby may have a 50% chance of getting a rare disease.  I don't want that kind of stress to "worry about" while I'm pregnant. 

I hope this helps.  So far, in this wonderful miraculous experience, I have learned that my love with my 1st cousin is really as natural as if it was with anybody. 

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by the way... if your marriage was legal in the state where it was performed, then your marriage is legal everywhere. just because colorado doesn't allow cousin marriages doesn't mean that they can change the laws where you used to live. your marriage will be recognized as valid.

don't think of the visit to the GC as a waste of time (or money).... you and your cousin gained peace of mind. that's worth a lot :)

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