Here's a progress update for those of you interested in how you might feel going through the final weeks of pregnancy.
Due to the neuro stuff I've been griping about for the past few months, my OBGYN gave final approval for an early C-section. The big day is scheduled for July 22nd (just three weeks from now!), which will put me at 36 weeks. I will have an amnio done the day before to make sure his lungs are developed (of course we won't do anything if there's an issue in that department), and if all goes well, our little guy will greet the world early the following morning. July 22nd also happens to be the same day my son, Wyatt, was born. Definitely not intentional, but our guys will share a birthday. We're hoping they'll think it's cool someday if we spin it the right way.
Wyatt was also born at 36 weeks, and contrary to what the very opinionated anti-c-section-or-any-kind-of-birth-earlier-than-40-or-more-weeks mothers on many baby forums have to say, 36 weeks is a fine time to pop out a kid if medically necessary. Wyatt was healthy as a horse and huge. 7 pounds, 11 oz at 36 weeks huge. He breathed just fine and sucked down a 2 oz bottle within minutes of his birth. He has also been on or ahead of schedule when meeting his milestones. We never even thought of him as an early bird.
I also don't want to tempt the Universe, and I do realize that, like pregnancies, all babies are different, and baby number two's development may be lagging compared to his brother's. That's why we're doing the amnio. Worst case scenario, he briefly gets some air when he comes out. When I expressed my concerns about early delivery, both of the OBGYNs I see said that 36 weeks is definitely in the safe zone, and there are kids born naturally at 40 weeks that need assistance; Some come out at 34 weeks screaming their heads off. You just never know.
We're not delivering early for the baby's sake. He is fine and happy in there, and has no idea that his mom wants to jump off the roof sometimes after a long day of twitching and feeling like she's a bug being electrocuted in a zapper. Bottom line is that the pain has gone on long enough, and I need to get back on some antibiotics that will treat an active case of Bartonella more effectively. It's getting harder and harder to get through the day, both physically and mentally The quicker I start feeling better, the faster I can start being a better mom. Within a couple of months after Wyatt was born, I was already seeing a difference in my health. More energy, far less pain, and my twitching only happened occasionally, mostly when I was overtired. I'm hoping the same will happen this time around.
I want to point out that a cesarian is not the only option for delivery during Lyme pregnancy. This was actually a personal choice I made (and the doctor agreed it was the best route for me.) My first labor lasted nearly 24 hours, and I made no progress. The toll it took on my already broken body was astounding. Once I finally went in for the section, we were all like, "Duh--why didn't we do this earlier?!) Recovery time afterwards is definitely longer, but I found that the section did not effect my Lyme symptoms either way. I was used to the down time of healing anyway.
There have been many ups and downs to this pregnancy. Thank God for the ups, because they always came at a time when I really needed them and gave me hope that I could get through this. Much like last time, the end of pregnancy has been mostly on the down side, however, one out of every three weeks, I'll have a surge of energy, I'm able to join the world and do normal mom things like take my son to the park next door, play with him in his kiddie pool, and sometimes do the cleaning and nesting around the house that comes with a normal pregnancy. Then I crash for a while, but it's worth it.
I nap a lot, I'm crabby as hell, full of anxiety, retaining massive amounts of water, and I cry at just about everything, but I think that can be said for most pregnant women. Overall, these final weeks could be better, and I'm looking forward to having my own body back and working on healing, but I realize that it could be a whole lot worse. Or maybe I'm just painting this nicely because I've been through this before, and I know the happiness that's waiting right around the corner (I maintain that our mental state and perception of the world makes or breaks our physical health).
Right now we're just looking forward to meeting our son, hoping that he's healthy and that the big day goes smoothly. And I don't care one bit it if contradicts the recommendations for Lyme--once I have this baby and I'm off the pain meds they give me, I'm having a big fat margarita, maybe even two!
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.