So it’s official. I had my little bundle of joy over 7 weeks ago now. And although my life has changed for the better I am still terrified of the “what-if’s”. I love being a new mother, but it’s scary, especially not knowing what my chronic illness will do while I try to take care of another life.
So I guess I should back up a bit hey? To my 9 months of pregnancy?
The first trimester was packed with copious amounts of vomiting and never ending morning sickness. I survived on diclectin and gravol- which might have been more of a placebo as I still ended up throwing those meds up a lot of the time. I had quite a few UTI’s in which I had some antibiotic treatment for it. No biggie. The second trimester my morning sickness cooled down, my fatigue started to disappear and I was able to do things I previously couldn’t do, things that most of you who aren’t ill, might take for granted: like go for daily walks and do “light” cardio.
I was elated! I had some issues with my kidney leaking fluid and being inflamed, which caused me some pretty gross pain, but that only lasted a few days, which was apparently pregnancy related.
Then the third trimester hit, and the fatigue and morning sickness came back, except this time I wasn’t throwing up as much. But my blood pressure started to get a bit high, and I was having yucky dizzy spells. I started wondering if my lyme was creeping back into the picture. To calm myself down, I kept saying… “this is also normal in some pregnancies”.
See here’s the thing:
Most mothers worry about their child getting ill. I remember when I had ultrasounds I used to be so scared, because, I would say to myself, ” what if my child has a missing limb- or no heartbeat?”. I would brace myself for whatever possible outcome could happen, prior to entering the ultrasound room. Because knowing that I have a disease that “can” pass onto my child terrified me. Terrified me of the what if’s in a different way.
I think this is a normal part of mommyhood- we want our children to be okay. We so much want to be able to give them the best.
Now throw a chronic illness into the mix- like lyme disease- and the worries go up.
Will he catch it from me?
Will he get it- but it remain dormant only to rear it’s head years later?
If he gets sick, do I have the money to treat him?
Will my doctor leave us if he ends up getting lyme?
What if I relapse?
Will I be able to be a good mother and attend to my child’s needs with limited energy?
I was induced at 40 weeks and 5 days due to high blood pressure.
And now that he’s finally here my worries are:
Did he get it from me?
How can I tell?
Can I afford testing? Treatment?
What about me- am I relapsing? Or am I just sleep-deprived and iron deficient again?
I think the hardest part about being a new mother with a chronic illness is that people don’t understand what you really go through on a day to day basis. Every twinge of pain I feel worries me because I think to myself- “Is this a sign I could be going backwards?. I smile when I’m at family events and functions- but no one knows what is really going on inside my body. No one knows the pain I am grinning and bearing. Or the immense fatigue I feel.
I have limited amounts of energy with my illness- and now, that energy is being used to raise a child, all on little to no amount of sleep. It’s crazy! How do people do it?
Lord, please protect him.