Lea emailed me about a week before I gave birth. I was so unbelievably nervous about the events that were about to take place, and I was terrified that I was about to become an example of a horror story. Up until Lea emailed me, I'd received a lot of encouragement, support, and a bunch of questions, but I hadn't actually heard from a new mom who was feeling pretty good after delivery. Lea was a blessing. Her email was short, and to be honest, quite unexpected--she just wanted to tell me that she'd recently gone through the pregnancy experience after having chronic Lyme and she thought she'd let me know that all went well for her and her daughter. Most importantly, her little girl was healthy and "awesome." Hearing her success story gave me hope, and I hope it does the same for you. Here it is, in a nutshell:
I contracted Lyme and Babesia while camping in Utah in the Spring of 2008. I knew immediately something was wrong, but it took six months before I found out what was wrong with me. A week after returning home from camping, the right side of my body became numb and tingly. I was having hot flashes, vertigo, and nausea. I went to the doctor who said he was suspecting that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I saw specialist after specialist, who all concluded that my symptoms were “all in my head.” Luckily, I researched all of my symptoms, and found an LLMD.
I treated Lyme and Babesia for over a year until I felt I was about 90% well. We spoke to my LLMD who said I could start trying to get pregnant. I was still taking medications that were unsuitable for pregnancy when I found out I was pregnant in September of 2009. I was still experiencing numbness in my limbs and face and vertigo when I became pregnant. I had horrible morning sickness and a very rough first trimester. After that, I still experienced symptoms, but to a much lesser degree. About two weeks before I delieverd I experienced a surge in symptoms, and my LLMD upped my medication. I was on Omnicef 900 mg and Zithromax 500mg, and then switched to 900 mg of Omnicef after I delivered. I also received two shots of Rocephin while in the hospital. Surprisingly, my OB/Gyn and all the doctors I encountered either were interested in Lyme or didn’t really care. I didn’t encounter any difficulties, and was referred to a high risk specialist to monitor my pregnancy (which just meant that I got really cool pictures of my babe in utero!).
My delivery was great. I chose to deliver without any medication because I am terrified of anything in my spinal cord, especially after experiencing numbness in my extremities! My water broke naturally and my labor progressed normally. I delivered my daughter vaginally and did not encounter and difficulties. Recovery was as easy as it could be! The hardest part of recovery was the first three months of my daughter’s life due to lack of sleep and little help.
My daughter has tested negative for Lyme, but I still worry. I think that is the hardest part about being a mom with Lyme. I worry everyday that I may have passed this to her. My LLMD and I decided that since I was doing so well during pregnancy and had few symptoms, that I could breastfeed. I felt the benefits outweighed the risks, but I don’t know what I would have chose if I was really symptomatic before I delivered. My daughter has met all her milestones on time and is a very alert child. She is pretty awesome!
Right now, I feel pretty good. I still get episodes of vertigo occasionally, but it is manageable. I am still on Omnicef twice a day, and I take fish oil and probiotics. I feel worse when I am really run down, but I somehow make it! Overall, even though it was scary, having a baby was the best decision I have ever made in my life! I truly can’t imagine my life without her.
Thanks for sharing, Lea, and congratulations on a beautiful, healthy girl!
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.