My Struggle to Motherhood
I was finally diagnosed with lupus in 2008 although I had been having symptoms for many years before. I had always wanted to have children and I rather naively thought that even after my diagnosis it wouldn't stop me from having a normal healthy pregnancy.
My road to motherhood was rocky from the start
At the age of 31, my then-husband and I decided it was the right time to start a family. After 6 months I fell pregnant. But about a week before I got my positive test, I was feeling really awful. I felt like I had the flu and I thought that's probably why I feel so bad but expected to get better as the days went on but the opposite happened.
I was becoming weaker and weaker. It got to the point where I could no longer stand up for more than 10 seconds or have a shower. My heart was racing all the time, my body couldn't sleep and my skin looked burnt.
A heartbreaking time
I remember feeling like I was going to die. It was truly horrendous feeling – so unwell – but it was equally heartbreaking. Upon seeing my healthcare team, they told me that the pregnancy was literally killing me and the only option was to terminate!
I have never felt so hopeless in all my life. All I wanted was my beautiful baby, but my body had failed me and nobody could help me. The scars of what happened ran very deep and it took me a long time to come to terms with what had happened. I was angry at lupus for all it had taken away from me. And then, a year later, my marriage failed.
I had newfound determination
I sought counseling and after some time, I was starting to feel emotionally stronger. I still had this strong feeling that I was going to become a mother and lupus wasn't going to stop me!
I started a new relationship and we both talked about how we'd love to have a child. Of course, for me, this was incredibly scary after what had happened previously. But time was not on my side as my biological clock was ticking and the thought of having regrets as I got older was an equally scary prospect. So I decided to try again!
My miracle baby girl
This time around I had a great team of people looking after me and they were happy that my lupus was under control. We eventually had 3 IUI treatments and it was third time lucky!
The first 11 weeks were quite tough but nothing like the previous pregnancy. As my pregnancy progressed there were no major issues apart from low blood pressure.
My miracle baby girl was born by c-section in September 2017, and I still can't believe that she is here. I feel so blessed. Out of all the heartache, it has taught me never to give up. We can achieve our dreams.
The one thing I would like to stress to any lovely lupus ladies out there that are wanting to start a family please make sure that your lupus is under control first and that you discuss it with your medical team. It's so important.
Does your employer provide workplace accommodations due to your lupus?