Let me explain. I bought this cardigan nearly three years ago. I was 10 weeks pregnant. I suddenly miscarried the following week. We were devastated. This was my third miscarriage and at 38, I wasn't getting any younger. I suspected Lyme may have been at least partly responsible for my pregnancy losses as it is associated with increased miscarriage risk. Then two months afterwards, I relapsed with Lyme and co. My world fell apart and with it, my hopes of having a second child. Would I ever be free of this evil disease? If I did get remission again, would it prevent me from having another baby? I held onto that cardigan. It sat in the wardrobe where I glanced at it wistfully now and then. To me, it represented the hope that one day, I would be well again and we could complete our family.
Well, the amazing news is, I'm pregnant! We are obviously over the moon. Just out of the first trimester and things are looking ok. We have had three scans already, and the pup looks fine. I'm on azithromycin and amoxicillin to prevent transmission of Lyme to the baby and hopefully prevent miscarriage.
According to UK consultant obstetrician, Dr Sarah Chissell, the literature she reviewed suggested maternal Lyme infection is associated with an approximately 50% risk of intra uterine growth restriction, miscarriage or the baby being infected. That's in untreated mothers. In treated mothers, she estimates the risk to be 5%. I'm asymptomatic, and have been for several months, so I think that probably lowers the risk further still although there is no scientific evidence for that, it just seems common sense.
Of course, we are not out of the woods. I'm on those two antibiotics throughout pregnancy but am aware I could relapse with any of the infections at any time. Babesia is a particular worry as that has been a very persistent bug for me and I suspect treatment options in pregnancy are limited. I've had some night sweats but that is seen in normal pregnancies and they've not been associated with frontal headaches or not come in clusters of 3-4 nights which was the Babesia red flag for me.
So, we are keeping our fingers crossed and that cardigan is still hanging in the wardrobe.
I realise that there are many Lyme friends of mine for whom this news will be bitter sweet. For many, Lyme has dealt the cruellest blow of all, it has robbed them of the chance to become a parent. My heart goes out to you. Don't give up hope would be my message. There's always adoption or fostering and remission IS possible. You can get there. I've been heartened lately by several Lyme success stories, it's not just me who has recovered their health. See this inspiring story of recovery on Lyme light radio: http://thedrpatshow.com/shows/mak-141217-moore.mp3
Hold onto that hope. Hold onto your cardigan of hope, your dusty mountain bike of hope, your textbooks, walking boots, rucksack, killer heels, driving licence, kayak, beautiful bridal shoes of hope, whatever it it may be. You can get back to you again. Life can be yours for the living rather than the enduring again.