From the moment you decide it’s time to expand your family, whether for the first time or the 5th, let’s be honest, it’s an emotional rollercoaster from the beginning. For some of us it’s the most beautiful journey we will ever find ourselves on, but for others, it’s by FAR the most challenging, stressful and endurance testing thing we will ever go through. I most DEFINITELY fit in the latter category…
Here’s the first part of my story about how the ‘2’ of us became the ‘3’ of us, and all the challenges endured while navigating through motherhood with a disability.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, deciding to have a child was everything BUT an easy decision. My husband and I literally discussed all the pros and cons for an entire 2 years and also consulted with my parents regarding the life changing decision we were facing.
For me, it was a no brainer… I HAD to be a mother. This was something I had envisioned ever since I was mature enough to realize just what being a mother meant to me.
When my husband and I first got married, I had already been diagnosed with MS, but I had not one single symptom other than the tingling in my arms. Therefore in my opinion, this was the absolute best time to try for a child. But after talking with my husband and parents, I was brought back down to reality as we discussed how a future could look like for a mother with MS.
The images were far from ideal… In fact, the images looked exactly like how my life looks now…
A mother who struggles daily to complete the simplest tasks like getting my son out of his crib, getting him a glass of water, a yummy snack or changing a poopy diaper… a mother who struggles daily to get up and go without severe pain and tightness so bad it’s taxing just to breathe (they call this symptom the MS ‘hug’…..seriously!!??😬)…A mother who can’t walk more than a few feet without grabbing onto walls and while doing so becoming so fatigued that JUST standing becomes the ultimate challenge.
I, WE, had envisioned all of this before it even happened.
So, We decided to wait…. but only 4 months after we said “I Do”, I started having symptoms of dropped foot. At that point it was still not a HUGE issue… But those symptoms quickly spiraled out of control, and in just a matter of 2 short months I could no longer play tennis or any other sport, and could no longer do a laundry list of simple things I took for granted before I could no longer do them.
We kept thinking this HAS to get better… I kept thinking if I do exercises and become stronger then I would still be able to handle the physical strain of pregnancy. But the problem with that idea was EVERYTHING.
I could not physically do the exercises…Trust me I tried…I tried Very VERY hard. I probably tried harder than I should have. The physical exertion of energy it took me to just do 2 squats left me feeling sick to my stomach, and the increase in pain it caused was torturous.
SO…We waited and waited and waited some more, but nothing got better it only got worse…and EVERY single time I thought ‘okay this is the worst it’s going to get’… it proved me wrong and stepped it up a notch.😭
In the meantime, I was waiting to be accepted into the MS Clinic in Hamilton, which had a 9 to 12 month waiting list. But thanks to my family doctor I was able to get in sooner than we thought. After meeting with the Neurologist for the first time, he decided I needed a 5 day course of high dose IV steroids to reduce the inflammation in my body. Nobody knew how much this was going to improve my symptoms, but we all hoped for the best and crossed our fingers and toes. 🤞
The good news is it helped immensely, and for the first time in over a year I went out for dinner with my family. I still remember that day with crystal clear accuracy. But just as quickly as I got better, I got worse again. 😓😡
Let’s for a moment, just take a short scientific/medical detour…
Most people with MS have times of relapses and remissions… And during the times of remissions most people regain some or all of what they lost during the relapse. But unfortunately for me, it has not been that way…and what I recently learned from my Neurologist in Ottawa, is that way back then… I had a MASSIVE attack on my spinal cord to which I never regained function.
It’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that ONE single attack is the root cause of all the suffering I have endured for the past 5 years…😡
But now let’s get back to when or what the turning point was that made us jump with ALL feet in and try for the most amazing child we could ever ask for. ♥️
I guess the turning point was when we both decided that we were strong enough emotionally, mentally and (one of us) physically to push through all the barriers placed in front of us. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy…We knew some people would probably think we were crazy, because for so long we had lived the life of MS and knew how difficult it was just to get through each and every day. But in the end the burning desire to have a child shone way brighter than the doubts that were dimming its light. So many things had already been ripped right out of our hands and this was NOT going to be another.
On April 4th 2014, we found out we were expecting, and were we excited???? Absolutely! But when you are forced to navigate through life with something so challenging clinging to your every single move, all that excitement comes with a whole LOT of fear!😨
Believe it or not, ALL of this was just about getting to the DECISION to have a child, which turned out to be the BEST decision we have EVER made.
In my next post I’ll talk about the major challenges I faced throughout my pregnancy (ones WAY bigger than I ever saw coming), as well as the daily adversity I must overcome being a mother with a disability.
But As I wrap up the FIRST part of this story, here’s a little food for thought..🤔
When you feel like you can’t do something, or when you think something is going to be WAY too hard, and just the DECISION feels overwhelming… Just remember all the battles you’ve already won in this life, and when you look back on your track record of getting through tough times, I can guarantee you it looks pretty rock-solid!💪
You are still here because of the strength, perseverance and resilience you’ve built during your toughest battles and your biggest wars.
So…Think back as far as you need to go, and if you happen to come across something you’ve written off as being IMPOSSIBLE, it might just be worth another look 🔎☺️
#personalstength #personaljourney #strongerthanyouseem #MSawareness #mamawithMS #persevere #burnfireburn