A fellow LymeFriends member wrote to ask me a great question, and I thought it might help to post it here. She is considering trying for a baby soon, but is concerned about morning sickness with Lyme and wondered if it intensifies when you have Lyme and co-infections.
Here's my response:
Truth be told, I've been a little out of commission due to morning sickness.
This is my first child, so I have nothing to compare it too, but I'm not going to lie. The morning sickness has been rough, and having Lyme on top of that is no picnic. I threw up for the first two months and then told my doctor that I was so weak and couldn't stand it anymore. She put me on Zofran and it has helped tremendously. Completely safe for the baby. They give it to chemo patients, so I figure it must be some good stuff.
I try to take as few drugs as possible, especially with baby on board, but I feel like this assistance is completely worth it. I still have nausea during the day, but the Zofran takes the edge off so I am able to function, and right when I hit the three month mark I stopped throwing up completely.
If I keep healthy (Lyme friendly) food in my stomach at all times, the nausea is not that bad. Water with lemon has also helped.
The hardest part is staying away from the crackers and carbs! Starches have always helped settle my stomach, and I find myself wanting toast when I'm sick. In this case, if I eat bread, I feel better immediately, but it hurts me more in the long run (by the end of the day I'm shaky and I feel bloated/heavy/gross). I just stick to foods that resemble bread, like brown rice and quinoa, and that's only if I can't stand the nausea anymore.
Fatigue has been pretty bad, but it's lessening now (at 16 weeks weeks). I try to look at it this way: we're so used to fatigue--bring it on! You're probably going to have a combination of Lyme fatigue mixed with pregnancy fatigue, and to me, it's impossible to tell them apart. Both make life difficult. I find that it's easier to accept the fatigue now because it's for a good cause. Lyme fatigue = woe is me, I'm hating life right now. Baby Lyme fatigue = it's ok, because this means that my baby is growing the way he/she should!
As soon as I show signs of fatigue, I sit down immediately and rest for just 15 minutes or so. (If I need more time, I take it) I find that the more I push myself, the quicker I crash, so being proactive is key. Little rests here and there and I can function all day.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the easiest, this pregnancy so far has been a 7. It's a high number, but I'm just being honest. But again, it's getting better now that I'm in the 2nd trimester. I'll also say that I would do it again in a heartbeat, because love for our children is much stronger than discomfort, and it's totally worth it!
I am a mother and writer with Chronic Lyme, on the road to acceptance and recovery. I was bitten in 1996, diagnosed 2008. I am living proof that it is possible to live meaningfully and have happy, healthy children while battling this terrible disease.