I am so grateful for this blog. It has helped me adjust to my diagnosis by giving me a place to vent my frustrations, acknowledge my successes, and record my story in the hopes that someone may find it and feel a little bit less alone on their own journey. It has also been the avenue through which I have "met" so many wonderful people dealing with various forms of arthritis in their own lives.
Many of these people have their own blogs with their own stories. I recently had the honor to "meet" Christina, who writes a blog called Curly Bones. Christina has had JRA since she was 3, which has resulted in several joint replacements. Her blog chronicles her current efforts to start a family while dealing with her own arthritis.
Christina says she has started her blog because there are so few resources out there for women living with arthritis and trying to get pregnant. I tend to agree. Even the book Arthritis, pregnancy, and the path to parenthood - which offers fantastic advice about being pregnant and parenting with arthritis - seems to skip over the fairly significant hurdle of getting pregnant in the first place.
But, for anyone with autoimmune arthritis, getting pregnant is no easy task. You have to stop taking a lot of your meds because they are unsafe for the baby - but for most of us those meds are the only thing controlling our arthritis to the point where we can lead a normal life! It's really scary to think about being without them. And some drugs, like methotrexate, have to be out of your system for a long, long time before you can start trying to become pregnant. Then, once you are safely off your meds, you have to deal with the physical pain and limitations of untreated arthritis while trying to, ahem, actively participate in baby-making. It's no easy task.
All moms sacrifice for the sake of their children, but women like Christina start sacrificing months, even years, before their children are even conceived. And Christina is bravely sharing her story for the sake of other women in similar positions. So let me be the first to say, thank you, Christina! And good luck!