Preparing for Pregnancy and Parenthood with a Chronic Illness

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[Editor's Note: Some people assume the decision to start a family is an easy one for everyone. You're in love? You're stable? Have a baby! For those living with chronic illness, like Christy at Life with Graves, it involves a lot more thought, planning and discussion. As someone with a kidney disorder, I related to a lot of what she said, though I must admit that she was a bit more thorough than we were! Have you ever had to deal with planning a pregnancy with a chronic illness? -Jenna]

Timing the Pursuit of Parenthood when You Have a Chronic Illness:

pregnancyWe needed to be mentally and emotionally prepared that I could have a high risk pregnancy. I am convinced after researching and talking to my (new, better) endocrinologist that success stories of pregnancies with Graves' Disease far outweigh the devastating ones. But I knew I needed to be prepared that any pregnancy could potentially NOT be a "normal" pregnancy. My endo was very realistic with me and explained to me the thyroid antibodies could cross the placenta and what the results would be. I did enough research I knew what the possibilities were - the baby developing a goiter, preterm labor, fetal demise - and although the likelihood was low I needed to be prepared to accept these challenges if they occurred. I'm not sure there is much you can do to prepare for those types of troubles, but an awareness about their occurrence was a comfort to me. Thankfully so far everything is perfectly normal and (although we still have a ways to go here at 24 weeks!) I am grateful to God that this pregnancy has been largely uneventful.

Photo Credit: joelleim.

Read more from Timing the Pursuit of Parenthood when You Have a Chronic Illness at Life with Graves

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