I used to love going to Facebook and checking in with old friends. Lately though, it is becoming harder and harder for me to go to the site without a barrage of emotions running through me. Like a lot of little girls growing up, I used to play “House” with my best friend and while the story lines would vary, one thing always remained the same: We always played the role of mommy to our baby dolls. While I outgrew playing with dolls, I never lost the desire to be a mother. And until I turned 31 and was diagnosed with MS, I was able to hold on to that dream.
Does having Multiple Sclerosis prevent you from having children? No, so if you are newly diagnosed and just reading this, stop panicking! Like everything with MS, it is something that is individualized for each patient. In my case, however, I was advised not to have children. I have an aggressive form of MS that will rear its ugly head as soon as I am off my medication for even a month. After 3 months, I have over 20 new active lesions. I have no clue what 9 months off of medication would do to me, and staying on my treatment while pregnant is not an option. Sure there is adoption and surrogacy, which are both wonderful options, but at this point, I have realized my own limitations and without going into any further detail, these were just not avenues I could explore.
So that brings me back to Facebook. Halloween photos were abound yesterday and I couldn’t help but feel my heart drop as I looked at the smiling faces of babies dressed as pumpkins, or little girls dressed as princesses. That was supposed to be me! I was supposed to be getting my children costumes for Halloween, taking them trick –or-treating, and then watching their excitement as they emptied their booty onto the kitchen table at the end of the night. Ok, I’ll admit it: I’m jealous of my friends. Is that horrible? I mean, I’m happy for them. Honestly. But there is also this ugly little part of me that is jealous, that feels like I got cheated, like I had my dream stolen from me. My friends are wonderful people and they deserve their happiness, so I have started to adopt a new mantra when seeing these pictures: “I’m happy for my friends, but sad for me.” I’m just really trying to keep everything in perspective….
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