This is a photo of me at my baby shower! My beautiful friend Julie gave me the very sweetest baby shower I could have ever hoped for and it was a lovely time. (She also let me nap on her couch for an hour before the party so I could function through it. My friends know me so well!)
At this point I’m using my arm crutch full time and have resigned to using the super germy scooters at the grocery stores, if or when I even go. Mobility has become a HUGE problem and short distances leave me in severe pain and completely fatigued. Between this giant belly, my hips getting all loosey goosey in preparation for baby, and my spine and legs giving up hope on me, It’s just been an uphill battle. Let’s not leave out the fact that my nervous system is working overtime so the neuropathy and nerve pain is just ridiculous as all get out. “Oh Lisa, but what were you thinking getting pregnant when you already have a debilitating disease?!” (Anyone get asked that frequently?) I’ll take a pass on the judgment and I’ll tell you why!
Transverse Myelitis has stripped away so much from my life. It traps me at every corner and threatens to hold me under, but I’m not having it! I won’t allow TM to define me, to decide that I can’t do anything that is in my heart to do.
Despite all that my body is not able to do anymore, it still carried the ability to grow a miracle. As hard as this pregnancy has been, can you even begin to grasp what that feels like? My body has failed me on every level….but still….here we are. Baby Jaxson is growing and healthy. It’s beautiful beyond measure and I’m abuntantly Blessed. This blog doesn’t serve as a means for me to complain about my pregnancy, but I do think it’s important to impart the reality of what it may be like to go through pregnancy with a chronic illness. It’s a sacrifice. It’s going to hurt, it’s going to drain you, it’s going to require you to pull more strength from yourself than you ever thought possible and you know what? For me, it’s 100% worth it.
A few lessons I’ve taken from my journey so far:
- Beware of the Judgment Zone – It may come from your parents, your friends, your in-laws, or even your own doctors. You are allowed to take a pass on the judgment. Until anyone has walked, tripped, or stumbled in your shoes, they may absolutely NOT pour their opinions about you becoming pregnant with a chronic illness into your life.
- You can do this – I’m not some big bundle of strength. Many times throughout the week, I break down. I get tired of hurting, feeling helpless, and being overcome with guilt about this pregnancy and bringing a baby into this world when I already struggle as a parent. At the end of the day, I have to just remember that if my body wasn’t capable of handling this pregnancy, then it would have rejected it. I can do this. You can too.
- Be nice to yourself – This one is the hardest. We are our own worst critics. Be nice to yourself. Thank God every day that your baby is healthy and your body is carrying on. Breathe deeply – Inhale the positive and exhale the negative. Focus on sending positive thoughts to yourself and your baby. Let the judgement of others be washed away by the support of your friends and family. ❤