17 months ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
16 months ago I found out I was pregnant.
9 months ago my little boy was born.
What a whirlwind that all was!
I’ve not really written about what it has been like over those months of getting my head around having MS and then finding out that after 5 years of trying for a baby we were finally pregnant. There are many posts I should have written and maybe I will do still as I struggled to find others that were in my situation and writing about it. But the fact that it is MS Awareness Week this week has prompted me to write a post about how I’m managing my MS, new parenthood and the demands of my 9 month old.
Gosh even writing that feels weird, my baby is 9 months old (well nearly!) I have survived 9 months of him being in and 9 months of him being out alongside dealing with MS.
How’s it been? Good days and bad days, but isn’t that living with MS but also parenthood? Part of me is glad I got pregnant so close to diagnosis, I didn’t have time to dwell on it, I just had to get on with things. MS brings fatigue, New Baby brings extreme tiredness, where one starts and one ends is hard to tell sometimes but having my little boy to look after means that I have to dig deeper than I ever thought I could to make sure I’m there for him.
Day to day I still have a lot of residual symptoms from my major relapse post diagnosis. I find that I can only really focus on one thing, the baby comes first and I do find that I probably am doing a disservice to the rest of my life but currently I’m okay with that.
I’ve learned to adapt quite well, I have a particular way I can lift him up from the floor, a way to carry him down the stairs, a style of clothes that I know I can deal with without getting frustrated my fingers aren’t working well. Poppers on babygros are the Bain of my life but I can manage as long as I don’t try to do things in a hurry!
I organise everything for him the night before, write everything in my diary and have reminders set on my phone for important things on the days that brain fog sets in.
I am still breastfeeding him, something I never actually thought I would still be doing. It helps not to have to remember formula but is hard because I can’t just hand him to someone else.
Tiredness is probably the hardest part. If he doesn’t sleep or has an off day/night with no naps or lots of broken sleep then I really feel it, all my residual symptoms are exacerbated. Like today, he didn’t sleep so well last night for no real reason but today my left sided weakness has gone crazy! Today is a day where I know I have to be more careful, a day to not rush things, a day to get to bed early!
I don’t know what it’s like to have a baby and not have MS, what I do know though is it is totally possible to have a baby and have MS. We are prove of that.