Triplet Pregnancy and MS
Last updated: August 2019
If you haven’t read any of my past few articles, then you probably have not heard my big news; I am pregnant with spontaneous triplets! It still feels surreal even writing that. I am officially 24 weeks and so far, I am blessed to say that everything is going well with the babies and they are all healthy! We know that we are having identical girls and a little boy, which we are thrilled about! My son is so excited and cannot wait to take on this new role of big brother. I’ve had a lot of people curious about how it’s going so I thought I would write an update!
While the pregnancy is going well and the babies are growing as they should, my body is worn out. I’ve obviously never carried more than one baby before, so this pregnancy has been a learning experience. It is known that most women with MS feel relatively well during pregnancy. However, there are symptoms that occur in pregnancy that also occur in MS. During this pregnancy, it has been difficult for me to distinguish what is actually a symptom of my MS and what is a symptom of being pregnant, much less pregnant with multiples. Some of these symptoms include:
Fatigue is a well-known symptom in pregnancy and it is my worst MS symptom. I feel like I’ve been hit with this extremely hard this pregnancy. During my pregnancy with my son, I remember being tired, but the fatigue I am feeling this pregnancy is much more pronounced. During the day, if I get a chance to close my eyes, then it is certain I will fall asleep quickly. It often feels more MS-related than anything, but then I’m reminded that I’m growing three humans. It’s very difficult to figure out what the cause is. Either way, I’m a tired woman!
The summer heat is in full swing where I live in North Texas. It is HOT and it is humid. Obviously, with MS, most of us have heat issues. I am having to stay in as much as possible because between this pregnancy and MS, the heat is even harder on me. I step outside and immediately feel weak and heavy. Can it be fall already?!
I’ve always said that one of the things that surprises me the most about life with MS is that you can be so incredibly fatigued all day and then as soon as your head hits the pillow at night, insomnia sneaks in. This pregnancy has been increasingly difficult in the sleep department. It is hard to find positions to keep me comfortable and able to sleep peacefully. Between insomnia, discomfort, and the need to pee often, sleep does not come easily. And as we all know, lack of sleep can certainly make MS symptoms worse.
Thankfully, I did not have much pain with my first pregnancy. Overall, I felt really good. This time though, everything hurts. While I’m in my late twenties, I feel like I’m temporarily stuck in the body of an 80-year-old woman. My joints hurt, and simple things such as getting in and out of a chair are painful. It even hurts to roll over in bed.
Fears of relapse after pregnancy
My biggest hope with this pregnancy is that I will not experience a relapse afterward. It is difficult to predict whether or not I will be at more risk for relapse, and if I do have a relapse, how severe it may be. It is frightening that there is that risk, especially knowing that after this pregnancy I will have 4 sweet little ones to care for, including my son. I am remaining in close contact with all of my doctors throughout this process, and we are all hoping for a great outcome! The plan is to resume Gilenya as soon as the babies get here. There is no proof anywhere that pregnancy with multiples increases your risk of relapse, so that in itself is comforting. And honestly, as unpleasant as all of these symptoms I listed above may be, I hate to complain. I’m just so happy that I am not experiencing any new MS symptoms and that these babies are growing and developing beautifully. That’s really all you can ask for as a mama! As weird as it may be to say this, I’m thankful I’ve had all of these symptoms before because I know that I can get through them one day at a time.
Parents with MS have to stick together
Now it’s your turn! I am wildly curious, are there any other multiple mamas out there with MS??? It doesn’t have to be with multiples either, would love to hear from any parents currently going through pregnancy! I’ll be looking forward to seeing your comments - as parents with MS, we have to stick together!
What does advocacy mean to you as someone living with multiple sclerosis? Please select all that apply: