Last updated: February 2023
Let’s talk pregnancy with MS. I have planned since my son was born to give him a baby brother or sister if my health would allow it. But, as we all know with MS, our bodies and symptoms are incredibly unpredictable, so I’ve always tried to be realistic in knowing that I might not be fit and able to have two. However, I’m so grateful to say that my MS is doing well at the moment, and my doctor said I’m at a perfect place to pursue pregnancy. I seriously cried when he told me because I was so happy!
Being a mom with MS
My dream since I was young was to be a momma, and after the joy, my little boy has brought me, I’ve had such a desire in my heart to have just one more. I feel like our little family will be complete with two little ones filling the house with happiness (and terror lol). Having my son completely changed my outlook on life. He filled every little piece of my heart that I never knew was missing. Being a mom with MS isn’t always a walk in the park…in fact, sometimes with a crazy little guy it’s more like Jurassic Park, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the entire world. He’s the best thing to ever happen to me. It’s true; you never know how much love your heart is capable of holding until you have a child.
The risks and benefits of pregnancy
Many women with MS don’t experience symptoms and may even feel better during pregnancy. It even seems to reduce relapses, especially during the second and third trimester. Thankfully, studies show that there is no evidence that women with MS have impaired fertility or any other issues having a successful and healthy pregnancy. Other than a pretty severe tremor during the end of my first pregnancy, I felt wonderful. However, relapses do tend to rise during the first 6 months of postpartum. I was so relieved I did not experience this after my first pregnancy, but there is always the fear it could happen the second time around. The risk of a postpartum relapse is 20-40%, but most of the time these relapses do not seem to come with increased disability.
Fear of the unknown
The scariest thing for me the first time was all of the unknown. I had no idea how I would handle being a mom with MS. I was terrified I would be too exhausted and weak to be able to care for my own child. Praise be, this was not the case for me. While before having my son, I didn’t take priority over my health, becoming a mom pushed me to see the big picture and start making my physical and mental health more of a priority. It wasn’t just about me anymore, I had an entire little life in my hands.
One day at a time
I still have many hard days, but we make it work, and we get through it. We just have to take it one day at a time. If you’ve read my other articles about my son, you will know he is very HIGH energy. He’s a non-stop ball of fire. It forces me to be active though, and I love that. I need that more than I realized before I had him. I do have to have my days where we lay around more and tone things down a bit, but even though I’m technically young, I don’t always feel that way. He helps keep me young though; he pushes me to get out of my comfort zone. And as nervous (and excited) as I am to add one more into the mix, I can’t help but hope that another little one will just complete me even more.
I know expanding our family will be hard, but it will be so worth it, and I’m so excited for what the future will bring. Good and bad, I’m ready. I’m ready for pregnancy, newborn cuddles and watching my baby become a big brother. I’m even prepared for the sleepless nights and countless diapers. Yes, I’m crazy! I’m terrified but in a good way. If you’re a praying person, please send a little prayer up for us as we do this, and send all of the good vibes! So momma’s with MS, it’s your turn. I would love to hear your journey with motherhood! Tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am anxious to hear how being a momma has changed your life.
What does advocacy mean to you as someone living with multiple sclerosis? Please select all that apply: