I love my niece to pieces and the joy she brings to me is immense-more than I can ever imagine. Often times, I imagine what it would be like to have a child of my own-how much love and joy can I possibly produce even more?

I'm seeing more and more posts on social media about my friends becoming parents and their children's milestones. I would hope to some day share a picture here and there of my own children. I'm getting to the age in where I can hear the clock ticking away and being reminded that my eggs have an expiration date.

There's a scary thought of maybe I can't have kids. I can barely take of myself some days, what makes me think that I'll be strong enough or healthy enough to take care of my own?

I held my friends new born baby and after just 2 minutes of holding this tiny thing, my arms got tired, started hurting and my elbows locked. What makes me think I can be a mom if I can't even hold a baby for more than 2 minutes. I was devastated and I really had to ask myself:
"Are kids in my future? Can I be a good and healthy mom? Would it be selfish of me to bring kids into this world when I can't even take care of them? Would it be selfish of me to not have kids because I'm thinking of my own safety and health?"

I have to factor in my health-I have to stop taking medication that keeps my pain and inflammation down 3 months before conceiving a child and stay off of the meds until after the kid is born (that's if I'm not breastfeeding). That means I have to sacrifice my body to endure pain and possible intense flare ups before possibly getting pregnant. I may be overthinking this, but I feel it would be selfish of me not to think of these long term possibilities and challenges I would face as a mother with rheumatoid arthritis.

It's ironic-I've never wanted to have kids, ever! But as time is ticking away, and realize I want to spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend and create a family; children are on my mind more than ever before. I'm scared to talk about this topic to my boyfriend because I'm afraid, I won't be able to give him a family.

My question to you all is-How did you deal or are dealing with this life changing decision?
Did you have RA before conceiving and how did you decide to just go for it? How did you manage your pain? Is it worth it?

Aimee Matsumoto