When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), I was 26 years old and newly married. I was working full time and had just started graduate school. I remember wondering early on in my diagnosis if I would ever be able to have a child. Some of the things that ran through my mind were:
With so much going on in my life, my husband and I decided that we would hold off on having a child until I was almost finished with graduate school. We used this time to seek out answers to the questions that I had.
It took a little bit of searching, but I was able to connect with someone who had a baby after her diagnosis of MS. Finding this person was not easy. I started by emailing support group leaders and asking them if they knew anyone. I had to put myself out there and ask, but I am so thankful that I did. Connecting with someone who understood my concerns and knew what I was going through was extremely helpful.
After doing some research, I found an MS specialist who was able to address some of my concerns. The first question I asked him was whether I could have a baby. He was very helpful and willing to answer all my questions. Some of the other questions I asked were:
In my final semester of graduate school, I became pregnant. My husband and I were overjoyed. My pregnancy was very positive. I embraced the emotions and moments of that time. We took pictures every week of my growing belly and settled on the name Jacob when we found out we were having a boy.
Nine months later, my husband and I welcomed Jacob into the world. We were so happy. We finally had the little family we planned.
Keep in mind, everyone's situation is different and this is just my own personal experience. Pregnancy may not be appropriate or possible for everyone. Please talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions relating to pregnancy and MS. He or she will help you make a decision based upon your specific condition and weigh the potential benefits and risks.
Having a family has always been a dream of mine. And for me, deciding to have Jacob was one of the best decisions that my husband and I ever made. I am thankful that we decided to have a baby regardless of my MS. Since having Jacob, my condition is not the only focus of my life. Being a mom with MS has motivated me to make the most of every moment spent with my family. Being a good mom was something that I aspired to be. Now I am one, and I just happen to have MS too.