My First Pregnancy with Multiple Sclerosis

Gina Gunkel Health Guide
  • Thirteen years ago this month, I became a Mom. It was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, turning points of my life. We just celebrated my son's birthday with a fun day at a skateboard park followed by a surprise gathering of family and close friends. Thirteen...Wow!


    About fourteen years ago, after visiting some friends that had just had a baby, my husband and I made the decision to "try." Of course, I was scared and nervous. The "plan" had always been to become established in my career and then have kids. The reasoning behind starting our family earlier was that I wanted a family while I was still healthy and able.

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    My obstetrician deemed my pregnancy "high risk" due to my multiple sclerosis. Which was fine by me, it meant more attention from the staff. In those days, there weren't any ABC drugs to stop taking. My doctor required me to get a note from my neurologist saying that it was OK to have an epidural - which ended up being very important because my son was over 9 lbs!!! I had an uneventful pregnancy and birth. Even my maternity leave was fine. I breast fed my son for six months.


    It was only while planning for my child's first birthday party that I experienced any problems relating to my multiple sclerosis. I became totally stressed out over the party. My husband was away on a business trip and I was left to take care of the baby, go to work, and plan the party in which over 50 people would be coming over. I started to experience some strange symptoms. My right eye became fuzzy and I couldn't blink away the white puff that I was seeing. The puff grew larger and larger so I called my doctor from work. She had me go straight to the hospital. I went on a five-day course of Solumedrol. Luckily, my parents could take care of my son. I just lay in the hospital bed thinking of everything that I needed to get done for the party. My husband came home immediately to help. It was very frustrating to just wait for the drugs to start working. I tried to make the best of this bad situation. I was finally able to go home, the meds had started working and the Prednisone made me SUPER energetic. I was able to pull the party together and heal.


    That was my only exacerbation connected to this pregnancy and birth. I just felt so tremendously blessed to have this joy in my life. The risk of an MS attack was not even an issue. Thirteen years later, I feel the same way. Having a child takes my focus off of me, and redirects it. I don't have the time to dwell and worry on the "what ifs". There are more urgent matters... like how to master Guitar Hero 3 on X=Box 360!

Published On: February 19, 2008