Monday, November 15, 2010

Lea's Story




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!

4 comments:

  1. I just found your blog while searching for some information on Lyme and pregnancy. I just created my own Lyme blog (lemonandlyme.blogspot.com), partially to be able to discuss my feelings about whether to conceive another child because of this battle with Lyme (I got sick six weeks after I had Kellen and believe that pregnancy is what ultimately forced it out of hiding). Thanks for writing about this!

    Also, I want to throw out there that formula fed babies do just fine as well (for more information on the breast is best line, see fearlessformulafeeder.blogspot.com). I had to stop breastfeeding because I was put on steroids for Bell's Palsy (oops!), but I also had low supply, and my son is very very smart and met all his milestones early.

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  2. Hey, it's Hooser51 (hope you remember me!) :) (letters left out of name so not searchable on google)

    I just wanted to thank you for your blog.

    Even though I knew about your blog for awhile while you were pregnant, I somehow never really followed it during that time, though I was thinking about you and your pregnancy, just keeping you in my thoughts.

    The reason I wasn't checking the blog then, is that I go through phases with my emotions from my miscarriage, where I try to avoid anything that would make me too sad about it. Then, the times when I did feel emotionally up to it, I just was too brain-fogged to read through all of it.

    A couple months ago, I finally felt up to reading through some of it, though I haven't read every post yet. It is fabulous!

    When I first got pregnant, I don't think this blog existed yet. I wish it would have, because it would have prevented a lot of "freaking out" on my behalf. I just think what you are doing here is incredibly valuable, and it will make a HUGE difference to the women out there that need to hear this, myself included.

    Now it seems like the blog is going to go even further, and incorporate multiple stories. How cool! I feel like this blog is exactly what many of us need, and it couldn't have come at a better time, when I'm seeing so many desperate posts on Lymenet, etc, of women sad and discouraged about what the future might hold. I certainly wasn't able to find anything like this back in 2008 and 2009 when I needed it.

    I honestly don't think I would have had enough gumption to put something like this together, so I consider it very selfless. So just wanted to say.....Thank you!!!!!

    And best of luck!

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  3. Sara-
    I just wanted to let you know that I just created a Moms with Lyme Group on Lyme Friends if you are on there. Several of us expressed a want to have a place to talk about some of these issues, so if you or your readers are interested, come join us!

    Also, I'm working on my story!

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  4. My Lyme story is similar to Lea's and I have been doing a lot of planning and thinking before trying to have kids. It is reassuring that she had such good luck and that since she was doing okay, her LLMD said she could breastfeed. I am hoping I will have such luck one day.

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