My questions (with paraphrased answers) from our first LLMD (Lyme Literate Doctor) pregnancy visit (at 6 weeks pregnant):
Q: You're totally mad at me for getting pregnant right now, aren't you? A: No, but he wished I'd waited a little longer to make sure my body was ready and the Lyme was in check (In all honesty, he seemed a little irritated.)
Q: Since the Lyme is all of a sudden active, (as opposed to the last pregnancy when I was feeling ok) will I pass it on to the baby? A: It would be hard to pass it on to the baby since I've been in treatment for so long. The highest chances of passing it on come from acute Lyme cases (when the mother is bitten while pregnant). The baby will also be protected because I will be on antibiotics for the entire pregnancy.
Q: Are the antibiotics safe for the baby? It won't come out with 5 arms or anything, will it? A: Entirely safe, as long as they are on the approved list of antibiotics. The Zithromax I am on is safe. A lot of drugs in the penicillin family are safe (though I am allergic to Penicillin). No Biaxin or tetracyclines. My baby will not have 5 arms. (Phew.)
Q: What's better, oral antibiotics or IV? A: IV is always better, because you lose a lot of the pills' effectiveness as they're digested. With IV, more will cross the placenta.
Q: So there's another PICC line in my near future: A: Not in my case. There are only a couple IV safe drugs to use, as I'm allergic to penicillin. I had trouble tolerating a lot of the IV antibiotics I was on last time, and the he wants to play it safe/not rock the boat with baby on board. And even though I have an OBGYN I love, I should consult with a Lyme Literate OBGYN (who happens to be only an hour away) to make sure we're taking the right steps in terms of treatment
Q: I'm in crazy amounts of pain. Can my baby feel this? A: No. The baby is well protected floating around in there, and it doesn't share my neurological symptoms. I have nothing to worry about in that department
Q: Have you had pregnant patients before? A: Yes, very many. One baby was just delivered last month. Happy, healthy.
Q: Have you had any tragic Lyme baby losses: A: Knock on wood, no, not yet. If you are being treated, you will be fine.
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.