Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One Half of One Year

Zoe is 6 months old now. Time has gone by so fast it is unbelievable. Even though this is a fun milestone for her to hit, this was a crucial day for me reach. It's about to get serious up in here...

Before we had a baby, Yannos and I liked to say that we were too selfish to have kids. We like sleep and free time and all those other things that disappear when you have a baby. In actuality, I struggle with something that is quite the opposite. Instead of me thinking we were too selfish to have kids, I sometimes  can't shake that it was selfish of me to have one.

Most of the women I know with Multiple Sclerosis got their diagnosis after they had their children. I had a child knowing that I have this horrible disease, and sometimes I feel like a bad person for doing that to Zoe. There is no getting around the fact that her life is going to be harder as a direct result of my having MS. It is even a little more likely that she will end up with MS since her mother has it.

We would have discussions about whether it was fair for us to have children knowing that they are going to have a parent with a chronic illness. We made ourselves feel better with the fact that every family has something hard they have to deal with. I was comforted by stories of children being more compassionate because they are exposed to disability at home.

My neurological symptoms have slowly returned to my pre-pregnancy baseline over the past 6 months, but  I am so comforted by the fact that I am relapse free so far. I still have double vision when I get up in the middle of the night to feed her, but that's OK, I just get to see 2 screaming adorable babies. I still have arm weakness that gets so severe when I'm tired that I have to lie on the floor with Zoe instead of being able to pick her up, but she doesn't mind playing with mommy on her blanket. I still get too fatigued to shower and get dressed in order to leave the house, but she is content staying inside and singing songs while we lie in bed.

Sometimes my hand is too weak to snap her clothes or fasten her diaper so I find something easier for me to put on her and move on with my day. Sometimes my leg is too tired to take her for a walk so I read her a book. Sometimes my eyes are too bad to read a book so I sing her songs.

I'm sure she won't always be this forgiving. I doubt a newly walking toddler is going to be content sitting on the couch instead of practicing her new skills. A four year old may not understand why mommy is too tired to take her to the park today. I hope I can be creative enough that she will hardly notice all the things I can't do with her.

My biggest fear is that she will resent me for burdening her with this.  I am certain that the net gain in her life will be positive over negative. That having me for a mother will be worth it and not a hassle. Sometimes that is hard to remember when I'm trying to figure out how to feed myself with my non-dominant hand because my right arm is too tired.

The one thing I can promise her is that I'm not a quitter. Hopefully it will comfort her to know that I always do everything I am capable of. It may take too much of my energy to run around the park all day with her, but it hardly takes any at all to give her kisses and tell her I love her.


  1. I can say without a doubt that having you for a mother will be worth it. No childhood is perfect and no child chooses the uphill battles she ends up fighting... but we all fight them and they make us stronger, more empathetic, more determined, more loving, more human. Don't ever think this was a selfish move.

  2. Zoe is so lucky to have you as a mom and we're so lucky to have her in our lives!

  3. I hardly think she will resent you for "burdening her with this life", I'm certain she will love you for who you are and how much you love her (minus a few teenager hormone riden outbursts).
    Sounds like you are (and will be) a wonderful Mom!

  4. Christina, Tamara, and Jen,
    Thank you so much for your support :)

  5. Ashley, I had no idea you had MS! You are amazing and not selfish at all! Zoe is lucky to have such a strong mama!