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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » having a baby

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Author Topic: having a baby
Windmill32
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I was hoping some of you would be able to give me advice on whether parenthood is something I should be considering knowing that I have lyme and have had it for a long time (12 years).

I had a long battle with this illness and for about 5 years was very sick without knowing what was wrong with me. I spent several years doing a lot better on different combinations of antibiotics and was back to work full-time when I had to stop the oral abx because of very bad stomach pain.

I was off them for 6 months when I relapsed and had to stop working. My lyme doctor said he wasn't sure it was a lyme relapse as I hadn't been off the abx for that long and an adrenal speacialist told me it was my adrenals so i spent another year working on the adrenals and getting sicker and sicker until finally I realized I had to get back on IV antibiotics despite the cost etc Almost as soon as I did I had a dramatic improvement in my health.

That was almost a year ago and in the past year, I have gotten married ( a smaller wedding than I would have gone for pre lyme but wonderful, princessy dress, flowers, cake etc)gotten a puppy who I walk for 45 minutes a day, had a honeymoon in Thailand which I was able to thoroughly enjoy while pacing myself a little, made another trip abroad for to see family,moved home and decorated our new apartment and have almost completed a one year course of study which should allow me to work part time from home.

I realize it would be a big strain on my body to work full time out in the world and studying at home keeps me very busy but also allows me to set my own schedule and that really helps. I hope to work from home either part time or full time for the next few years while continuing to work on going from 85% to 100% good health. My husband and I are lucky in that he has a good job and we have very supportive families on both sides who want to help us buy a house next year. I know we are very very lucky to have their support.

So my question is, can we have children?? I am almost 33 and my husband a year older and we would really like to start a family. My lyme doc says that I can stay on Zithromax during pregnancy and that is good because it is the drug I seem to do best on. Its just after such a long battle to get my health back I feel very aware of the risk we would be taking in becoming parents. I want my child to have healthy attentive parents and it scares me to think I might ever be so sick again.

On the other hand, all of the life decisions I have made over the past year have made me the most relaxed and happy I have been in a long time and that in turn seems to have boosted my health further.

I would love to hear the opinions of anyone out there who has experience in this area. I feel like I can only ask fellow lymies this question really, I don't think anyone else will really understand the risks/issues involved in having a baby after lyme. Im sorry this is so long but I wanted to give as clear a picture of our situation as possible and it is so tricky trying to summarise such a long saga;)

thanks in advance for any advice you may have!!

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sixgoofykids
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I didn't know I had Lyme when I was pregnant. I knew that something was wrong, but everyone tried to convince me that all I was feeling was normal.

I did have a bit of a flare up during pregnancy, but again, everyone told me it was normal.

I needed more rest than most, and I had more nausea than most but I was getting no treatment for Lyme. My kids were all born healthy. I'm actually glad I didn't know I had Lyme when I had babies because I would hate to have had to consider the risks.

That being said, we did adopt one child from Russia. He's 14 and I feel no differently about him than about the others.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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seekhelp
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I don't think anyone can truly answer this question. There will always be risks involved. It sounds like you have things pretty under control or at least can put the bullwhip on rearing Lyme easily when re-treating. That's a GOOD thing.

I'm a dad and have one child. If I knew I would have all these health issues beforehand, it would've been tough to decide. I love my child no matter what though. I just sometimes feel guilty I can't do what 'normal' parents can. [Frown]

It sound like you have a pretty good situtation though! If someone was going to buy me a house, that would take a ton of pressure off. I truly believe stress = illness. We all hit a cracking point and our bodies give out. With children, be prepared for a big escalation in stress if required to work and other factors.

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Windmill32
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thanks so much for the honest responses, it really helps to hear from people who have experienced parenthood while still dealing with lyme. I hear what ur saying sixgoofykids and seek help about it being easier in one sense if u didn't know the situation beforehand or have to weigh up the risks. Its not just about me this time and truthfully i know no one can guarantee me that I will have a smooth journey ahead to perfect health. I know if I wasn't doing so well healthwise I wouldn't even allow myself to consider having a baby but just being where I am in life right now has it crossing my mind constantly and i don't want to make a selfish decision and be swayed that biological clock ticking. Its hard to think straight though when it is.

thanks again for such good advice.

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17hens
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The absolute hardest thing for me since having children was the 2 years it took each of my kids to sleep thru the night.

I was up at least once and most often 3+ times every night for 4 years. Exhaustion isn't the word. And I wasn't sick then.

Now, just two busy days or two sleepless nights can put me over the edge.

But if you can "pick" (I know, but wouldn't it be nice) a child who's a good sleeper, that would be huge.

If the abx can keep the baby safe, the rest is worth it.

--------------------
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26

bit 4/09, diagnosed 1/10

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merrygirl
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I am 5 1/2 weeks pregnant. My llmd said that as long as i take ny two abx, baby should be fine
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Lymetoo
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I always heard that amoxy was the safest drug to be on during a pregnancy?

Good luck on whatever decision you make! [Smile]

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Windmill32
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merrygirl, congratulations that is wonderful!!
17 hens, I know what you mean. We recently got a lab puppy and she had us up during the night quite a lot for the first few months but is now perfect. My friend has an 8 week old that only wakes up for 1 feeding per night so that sounds great but those are the scary risk with lyme, I mean I think I would be okay if everything went smoothly but there are no guarantees that that will ever happen;)!!

Lymetutu, I know that Zithromax is safe but i'm not sure what the other safe abx are. Zithromax has always been the best antibiotic for me, maybe because it is also somewhat effective against babesia and bart.

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17hens
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Oh my, you have a puppy! Beware! Dogs turn back into animals when babies come!

I've never been so annoyed with a four legged animal as when I was pregnant and had little ones!

I blame my kids' not sleeping on nursing. My friends who gave a bottle had wonderful sleepers for the most part. And since you won't be able to nurse (I'm assuming) you'll have a better shot at having a good sleeper. [Smile]

Congratulations, merry! Wonderful news!

--------------------
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalms 73:26

bit 4/09, diagnosed 1/10

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IckyTicky
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It's such a personal decision to make.

Personally... if I'd known then that I had LD I probably would have chosen not to have kids. Since all three of mine now have LD (the youngest two without a doubt in my mind got it from me).

But then... I also knew that I had a family history of hemophilia and that I had a 50% chance of being a carrier, and if I were a carrier I'd have a 50% chance of my son being a hemophiliac.

I took that risk, and now have a hemophiliac son with Lyme disease.

Do I regret having my kids? No way. But for their benefit, I just wish they didn't have Lyme.
I can't say that I definitely would have chosen not to have them if I'd known about my LD.... it's just hard watching my kids suffer.

I didn't get my really bad Lyme symptoms until my youngest was about 2 years old. But I could barely care for him when those symptoms did hit.

I'd say that if you really want to plan to have a baby, make sure you are on abx the whole pregnancy and hope that you don't have a relapse of symptoms when you need the energy the most!

--------------------
IGM: 18+, 23+, 30+, 31+++, 34+, 39IND, 41++, 58+++, 66+, 83-93IND
IGG: 31+, 39IND, 41+
Also positive for Mycoplasma Pneumoniae and RMSF.
Whole family of 5 dx with Lyme.

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blinkie
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It is a tough decision. I was 6 months into treatment when I got pregnant. Sick 10 years, rebitten 2 years prior.

I was very faithful about taking zith and omnicef throughtout the pregnancy.

My son has a mildly positive Igenex test and a CD57 of 40. He is starting treatment 2 days after Christmas.

If i had it to do over again, I would wait until I was close to, or in remission before getting pregnant and stay on treatment throughout the pregnancy.

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Tincup
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You might want to check out the information on the site below about pregnancy and Lyme. Good luck!

www.DrJonesKids.com

--------------------
www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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jlcd1
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I've had "fibromyalgia" for 3 yrs. So I knew I was sick, but I didn't know I was sick when I was pregnant.

I have a 10month old. He is wonderful, and appears perfectly healthy. He smiles all the time, he's walking already, and him and my 5yr old daughter is really what keeps me going.

We are going to have him tested though. I pray every day that he isn't infected.

There is nothing more rewarding then being a parent. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

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merrygirl
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I didnt plan to get pregnant that for sure. Infact had an iud placed. But it moved and i became pregnant. So for me i believe it was meant to be. I was feeling pretty good before i fot preg.


I

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Windmill32
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thats great Merrygirl, it does sound like it was meant to be!! I really appreciate all the advice from everyone, I read out the posts to my husband too and we had a really good chat about it all last night. I have an appointment with my lyme doc in late January so I think I will talk to him about it then and see what he thinks. My husband also really feels the need to get the okay from him so that conversation might set our minds at ease a little bit.

I did check out all the links on lyme and pregnancy and it is very sobering reading but still I got the impression that if you are on antibiotics throughout the pregnancy the risk of transmission is very low. Still any risks at all do make you think twice but I think long-term it is a risk we may have to take. My lyme doc was pretty positive about my ability to have children last time we spoke but we were talking about another year from now so im not sure how he would feel about starting now.

I am almost back on antibiotics a full year now, and we have hit the lyme very hard with 8/9 months of IV and treating all 3 co-infections at the same time and we still are but now with orals.

I'm going to give myself a few more weeks before rushing into anything but it really helps to research and hear everyone's opinions.

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lululymemom
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I have asked this question of a prominent LLMD here in Canada and this is what he wrote. I was concerned for my daughter who wants to have children in the future.

"If you have had a course of treatment and there has been no recurrance of symptoms it is safe to have children.

However you can get some tests done to see if there is active infection using the Western blot IgM and IgG,Cd57+,LTT Melisa, Urinary kDa testing and a clinical examination.

Many of my treated patients have had normal deliveries and normal tests after delivery."

When I asked about treating during pregnancy he suggested:

"Using clinical findings and lab tests as being negative I would avoid the antibiotics as much as possible.

If there are any clinical or lab tests suggesting active disease I would use a lower dose of antibiotic.

Ceftin or amoxacillin can be used if there are no counter indications to their use.
Breast feeding is again is a judgement call depending on clinical and lab findings."

--------------------
IGM 41 IND, 83-93+ IGG 31 IND,34 IND, 41++, 58+, 83-93 IND

31 Epitope test neg.

Bartonella henselae 1:100

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Windmill32
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thanks for the information lululymemom, I don't know if I would feel very safe not taking antibiotics during the pregnancy though but I am glad to hear that many of his patients did well.
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lululymemom
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You're right windmill, it is a very personal choice.. Whatever decision you make, I wish you the best of health and your baby's as well.. It's a very exciting time, and I can't wait for my daughter to have this experience as well..

--------------------
IGM 41 IND, 83-93+ IGG 31 IND,34 IND, 41++, 58+, 83-93 IND

31 Epitope test neg.

Bartonella henselae 1:100

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Windmill32
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thats very true lululymemom, it is exciting and wonderful to be in a position where I can even consider taking such a big step. It has been a very long journey to get to this point so I am going to try to make a good decision and not rush things. I think for me, a lot depends on what my lyme doctor says as I really like and trust him. will be seeing him in a few weeks. fingers crossed he has something positive to say!!
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linky123
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I'm not sure if my kids got their lyme from me or not. They were both extremely fussy - beyond colic, screaming all day for months. My daughter didn't sleep through the night for a year and was up three, four, five times a night.

I didn't know I had lyme when I had them. I had just been tagged with 'fibromyalgia.'

So I just don't know if it was lyme or not. There were other tell-tale signs that could have been lyme or something else altogether, but for the most part, they seemed healthly.

They were both bitten as children; my son got the rash, but my daughter didn't. They got into the same nest of ticks at camp. Plus, we spent a lot of time outdoors as a family.

I also had pre-term labor and had to do bed rest for a few weeks with both kids. Again, I don't know if it was the lyme. But we handled it and they were ok.

We've dealt with it and fought the battle. It's been hard, but they are doing well now. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Best of luck with your decision.

--------------------
'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' Matthew 11:28

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Windmill32
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thank you linky123, I am very glad to hear your children are doing well now. I guess I am hoping that knowing you have lyme will make a big difference in being able to prevent your children from getting it. I hope so anyway, that the antibiotics will do their job etc but there is no sure-fire guarantee I know. Thanks for the advice and input.
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merrygirl
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So far i an finding being pregnant a little difficult on my body. I have also been ill for 5 - 6 days with a bad cold. Idk , i have strong preg symptoms, combined with this cold and my normal state. I can tell its not going to be easy. Thank goodness hubby is on vaca this week. I feel awful. Hoping it wull improve, but nervous
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merrygirl
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So far i an finding being pregnant a little difficult on my body. I have also been ill for 5 - 6 days with a bad cold. Idk , i have strong preg symptoms, combined with this cold and my normal state. I can tell its not going to be easy. Thank goodness hubby is on vaca this week. I feel awful. Hoping it will improve, but nervous
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MamaBear11
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I have had lyme for 15 years, although I didn't know it. I had been treating my "fibromyalgia" for 5 years unsuccessfully when I decided to stop all meds for that and start our family. I figured I would resume treatment for it when I was done having kids.

My first pregnancy was relatively easy, but the baby made life miserable for the first year or so. She had colic and slept very little during her first 6 months. She didn't sleep through the night until she was almost a year old.

My symptoms got progressively worse over the next three years and we finally decided that if we were going to have another baby we had better do it soon since I was starting to feel so much worse.

The second pregnancy was much harder for me and I was amazingly laid off from my job shortly into the pregnancy, allowing me to rest more. I know I would not have been able to work through that pregnancy if I hadn't been laid off. The baby, on the other hand, was so easy to take care of. He was and continues to be a fabulous sleeper. I weaned him to formula at 4 months old to continue my "fibro" treatment, and formula feeding was the best decision I ever made. Physically it was so much easier on me than breastfeeding.

I have plenty of moments where I guiltily wish I had never had kids. But those are on the days when I am feeling my worst and want nothing more than to lie in bed all day and sleep. But overall, I can't imagine not having these two amazing kids. Years from now I will finally be healthy and feeling well, and I will have my kids and grandkids to spend time with.

I would suggest getting a good support system in place before you conceive; parents, siblings, etc. Plan whatever you can to make daily life as easy on yourself as possible. Then, go ahead and have those kids you want!

--------------------
Untreated Lyme for 25+ years.
Two kids, too much pain & fatigue, no hope of ever being able to treat.

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linky123
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Windmill,

Yes, it is great that you know about the lyme and have the help you need to get through the pregancy safely.

Many here on lymenet have been where you are and will be a great support as well.

Merrygirl,

Hope you feel better soon!

Take care and God bless.

--------------------
'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' Matthew 11:28

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momlyme
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Windmill- I found this a good read for wanting to have a baby... and precautions. Dr. K in 2004 talking about protecting the baby when there are complications like Lyme and heavy metals.

http://www.lymeneteurope.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=236

--------------------
May health be with you!

Toxic mold was suppressing our immune systems, causing extreme pain, brain fog and magnifying symptoms. Four days after moving out, the healing began.

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lululymemom
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that's a great thread, momlyme... gonna bookmark that one!

--------------------
IGM 41 IND, 83-93+ IGG 31 IND,34 IND, 41++, 58+, 83-93 IND

31 Epitope test neg.

Bartonella henselae 1:100

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Windmill32
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thanks momlyme that is really helpful!
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Windmill32
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thanks also mamabear and linky123, it is so good to know we will have so much support and help here going forward, Im sure there will be many more questions as time goes by.

Merrygirl, I hope you are feeling better?

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feelbetter
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Im almost 38 weeks pregnant now and will give birth soon..

I have been on antibiotic during my whole pregnancy.

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Windmill32
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that is great feelbetter, congratulations!! how was the pregnancy, did it affect your energy a lot? I definitely think antibiotics during the whole pregnancy is the way to go. Is your lyme doc very supportive?
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feelbetter
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Its hard for me to have both lyme and pregnancy symptoms but I don't work so I always take rest but it still hard..
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iamgreek
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follow your heart, and let the spirit of God lead you.

God is bigger then you or possible theories . You'll know through

prayer.

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savebabe
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I took bicillin during my pregnancy and now have a happy and healthy baby girl!!
Posts: 1603 | From ny | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lightparfait
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Dr. K gives great advice and can actually test the baby with ART in the womb for lyme! He is giving a talk this Feb in NYC about healing chronic lyme without antibotics, and you may benefit from asking him pregnancy questions. He is not negetiveto antibiotics when they are necessary, but knows how to do individualized protocols geared to the pregnancy and the unborn baby. He is rarely on the East coast...so many are going from the NY/NJ/PA lyme community.

Many blessings with your decisions.

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Windmill32
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that is great savebabe, congratulations!!

lightparfait, thank you for telling me, I really like Dr. K and find his approach really useful and interesting. For me, antibiotics have been the key but im not sure how well they would have worked without all the supportive supplements, herbs etc
I would love to go to his talk, will check it out.

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greengirl
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Hi,

I was undiagnosed and untreated when I was pg with my twins. But, I knew something was "not right" with me, but didn't expect it was anything that could harm my kids. I was extremely fatigued and put on bedrest, but, generally being pg was a better time in my life in the last 15 years. After their birth my symptoms spiraled and that's what lead me to search even harder for what was going on. At this point my kids are almost three and show no signs of illness. But, they have an aware ped who is watching for any reason to think they may be infected. Unless you count my son's insistence on pooping in the corner instead of on the potty, they're "normal." [Smile]

All that said, I'm now deep into treatment and no longer working and still need to send them off for the day for daycare b/c caring for them daily is just not possible (the two days on the weekends is hard enough). As someone said, above, the worst part is feeling like I'm not giving them a "normal" mom. But, I think that is outweighed in that they get the benefit of all that I have learned and my increased empathy and understanding. At the end of the day, I believe that will be more important to them.

At this point, I would not consider having another b/c of my condition. But, if I were feeling better and had a bit of time with no relapse (and wanted another...but I think I've had enough poop in the corner), I'd go for it, but be on the antibiotics during pg.

Good luck!

GG

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feelbetter
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Greengirl:
What's your symptoms??

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Windmill32
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Greengirl, sorry to have taken so long to reply, just wanted to say thank you for your input, we are still weighing things up and looking forward to hearing what my lymedoc has to say at my next appointment in a week or so. I hope he gives me the go-ahead but I know he may suggest I wait longer. I would just like to have his support so that my husband and I can make our own decision knowing we will have the back-up we need. It is a very complicated issue though and I don't think you are ever going to have an answer that is 100%.
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lpass
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Windmill - I'm curious to hear what your llmd says about getting pregnant. I had planned on getting pregnant this past summer until i was diagnosed with Lyme. Then i decided to wait until I was "cured" but I'm still not there yet and really want to get started on baby #2! My llmd has known of my desire to get pregnant since day one and he has told me to go for it. He said that many of his patients have had healthy babies while under his care. I was trying to wait to see if i could go off antibiotics while prego but he says he would probably still want me on them as a prophylactic. When i was prego with my son I took nothing but a prenatal vitamin so i feel a little nervous about taking all sorts of antibiotics for the entire 9months. I guess I'm afraid of side effects. Either way I will probably start trying to get pregnant this summer.

--------------------
Lyme IgM: +31, +34, +41, 23-25 and 83-93 are Indeterminate.

Currently taking Oral Biaxin and Bicillin Injections.

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Windmill32
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Lpass I know what you mean, it makes me nervous to think of taking my antibiotics throughout the whole pregnancy but at the same time it makes me more nervous not to, what a double-edged sword!! I know my lyme doc is supportive in general, i just don't know what he will think about the timing...

I will let you know what he says, its always interesting to get the opinions of other lyme docs though i am thinking since you are from new york maybe you have the same one as me?!!

I think if i was waiting to be 100% well before having children it would be a long wait and since i am turning 33 this month im not sure how much time i have before it will become more difficult to get pregnant.

My doc seems pretty confident that by taking the right precautions the risk of the baby having lyme is very very low, hope he is right.

good luck with your decision-making whatever you decide, it really is a tough one to figure out...

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lpass
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You are so right - it's totally a double-edged sword!! Ah you're right, we may in fact have the same llmd!

I agree, I cannot wait till I'm 100% because I'm 32 as well! Not getting any younger ;-) And my it doesn't seem that my symptoms are going away anytime soon!

Another question -- have you talked to your OB about this yet? I'm wondering what mine will think about being pregnant and taking all the antibiotics. But I agree with you - it's probably better to take them then to not take them.

--------------------
Lyme IgM: +31, +34, +41, 23-25 and 83-93 are Indeterminate.

Currently taking Oral Biaxin and Bicillin Injections.

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Windmill32
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lpass, thats funny that we are the same age!

I have not talked to my OB yet, in fact I moved from pennsylvania last year and I haven't found one in NJ yet, been so busy catching up on the rest of my life, getting married etc;)

I guess ill see what my lyme doc says first and go from there.

just curious as to how much better you are now after treatment so far? you must know what its like then caring for a young child while undergoing treatment?

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lpass
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Ahh, seems like you've been very busy! Congrats on your marriage!! That's great!

I'm actually from NJ originally so I may be able to send you a few OBs if you need. I go to a practice in Soho which I love but that may be too far for you!

I first got sick around November of '09 and I had no idea what was wrong with me. Went to a bunch of docs, had MRIs done, etc and no one could give me a diagnosis. I was having major panic attacks which I never had before in my life, had shortness of breath, air hunger, numbness, etc. During that time I was kind of depressed and afraid I was going to drop dead so I was scared to be home alone with my son. Once I started treatment in June, I immediately started feeling better, not close to 100% but better enough to take my son on vacations and be home alone with him, etc. There were definitely still days where I was useless, believe me! Thank god my husband is so supportive! Now after several months of treatment, I am much better but I cannot get rid of my head wooziness!

How long have you been in treatment?

--------------------
Lyme IgM: +31, +34, +41, 23-25 and 83-93 are Indeterminate.

Currently taking Oral Biaxin and Bicillin Injections.

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Windmill32
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I am so glad to hear you are getting better! I know it is so horrible in that stage when you have no idea what is wrong with you and going to all these docs etc. I did that for about 4/5 years unfortunately until I had the igenex test for lyme. I believe I was infected originally about 12 years ago so it went a long time undiagnosed. I have been so much better on treatment though and have so much of my quality of life back. The only time I relapsed was when I was off antibiotics because of stomach pain and believed this adrenal specialist who said the lyme was healed and I should treat the adrenals for a year. What a mistake that was!

After a terrible year went back on IV antibiotics and have had the best health so far since getting sick in the first place. My goal is to get to that 100% place or as close to it as possible but I know it will take time as it has been a long journey.

Would love some recommendations of good OBs in NJ, thanks!

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