Sunday 14 November 2010

Coffee, Ankylosing Spondylitis and babies...

If you have been reading this blog you will know that I have an addiction to coffee and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) - a form of arthritis.

I also have Monkey. So the question I had before I fell pregnant was "How will the AS affect me, the pregnancy and Monkey?"

So here is what happened in my case... No idea if it's similar in all cases though, so don't take this as textbook.

The first trimester was hell. Before we were sure or even thought I was pregnant, I was put on heavy pain medication as I was unable to walk any distance without severe pain, I had trouble sitting, standing or lying too. Basically I was miserable. Then the nausea started and I thought to myself "!*!*!*!&*!*£ no one really gets pregnant after trying for less than a month!" But I took the test and lo and behold "my eggo was prego" (I love Juno).

This causes all sorts of drama. The meds were too strong to take and safely keep the baby, I had to change GPs due to my first one being an ass, I had to find a rheumatologist, I had to come to terms with being pregnant and tell my boss that I was going to need maternity leave (it's hard to find teachers like me!).

On top of all of this was the fear that I would pass AS on to my baby, that the meds would have damaged the foetus and that the pain I was in would carry on through the whole pregnancy.

It lasted the first trimester and then like my lovely rheumatologist said it would, the pain disappeared and I felt better than I had in years. It stayed away until I stopped breastfeeding. Hormones are weird and wonderful!

The meds didn't do any harm (sigh of relief) and I still don't know if Monkey has the gene but we are encouraging a love of physical activity that will stand him in good stead for the future. (Way better than me!)

Now I can see how it affects my ability to be the mum I want to be, but I have a very high pain threshold and can manage to do things that I probably shouldn't. I do have trouble carrying him but in my defence he weighs a tonne! It also affects my ability to rough and tumble with him... but Stud1 is AWESOME with that side of play...

So by now you're asking yourself "Ok enough about you... what about the coffee??"

Well here's the problem... Coffee is not good for AS... But I have tried giving it up a fair few times.... and the side effects are not pretty. So what to do, what to do!?


  1. I was wondering about AS in the pregnancy&motherhood context, it was really interesting to learn from your experience here, thankies C.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Hi, I have AS and have a 7 month old son - I had some relief from the symptoms during later pregnancy, but it wasn't pleasant for most of it with only Panadol for relief. My symptoms returned pretty quickly after birth as I couldn't keep up the milk production, and I have since gone onto Remicade (self-injecting once a week) which has been great as now I can actually lift and carry him (he is also a big boy too!). I am really concerned, though, about the possibility of him having AS, and am trying to find information about whether diet can bring on the disease in young children. Before I was pregnant I tried to avoid starch, which is really difficult, but now I don't have the time or energy to go to such lengths. Have you tried to avoid any foods with your Monkey? I would really appreciate any information or advice you may have. Thanks very much! :)


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