I am officially preggers – this is huge news! For me I’m barely 5 weeks but I’ll have a visible baby bump when this goes live. I wanted to share my story as my pregnancy is a bit different – I suffer from TBI but very few people have documented their journey with this.
I had a head injury 10 years ago followed by 3 more over the next 5 days. I lost 5 months of memory and a few months later I suffered another head injury.
TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury is basically the after effects of a head injury. As I have had multiple ones all within 9 months I suffered an issue that my brain would swell up if it got worried, stressed or a light knock in a way to protect its self. November 2014 I quit my job as I could no longer handle the daily travel and stress of such a high level – I was taking strong pain killers everyday and wanted to focus on me. For me this was the best decision I ever made as I started freelancing and helping lots of great businesses but I also had amazing flexibility to go to physio and doctors appointments.
Back in March 2014 I was told about some incredible research that pointed to a possible relief of some and even all of my symptoms by getting pregnant. Basically there are two studies going on at the moment that have really positive results in terms of helping those effected by a traumatic brain injury through pregnancy or related hormones.
One piece of research is currently at the point where they are testing on people (which means it is pretty far) where patients are given a progesterone treatment within 8 hours of the initial accident and continued for 5 days. While it won’t cure TBI, it has been proven to help reduce swelling and cell death as well as rebuild the blood brain barrier. This is huge news and if it is effective then it could help reduce disability and death all while increasing the rate of recovery. While my brain injury may be over 10 years old, reducing swelling would be a huge help – my doctors have tried other drugs but I suffer too much from the side effects. In other words getting pregnant could help me with 9 months of reduced swelling with the end result of a the family me and Tother have always wanted.
The other piece of research is at an earlier stage but the results are highly exciting. Basically they are testing the impact of pregnancy on animals with brain injury, IQ and memory. They started with trying to find out if getting pregnant increased intelligence and found that a very high percentage of those with a brain injury completely recovered. Their research has found pregnancy helps fix and improves the body to ensure the best for the mother and baby. This. is. huge.
Basically I was given a 70% chance of a full recovery if I got pregnant along with a very high chance of reduced swelling if it doesn’t.
Me and T’other have talked for years about the family we wanted and I have always wanted a bump before I hit 30. Not only was it the right time to start growing a family but it could help me recover – as you can imagine it wasn’t a hard decision for us.
After a few months of trying and failing we have finally managed to get one to stick and in three days time I’ll be at my first appointment.
I actually thought I had no chance this month – no symptoms or anything but a while I realised that I wasn’t feeling ill at all. In a week I’d had no headaches, no dizziness and I was able to go out in the bright sunshine without sunglasses on – this for me hadn’t been the case in 2 years. That was a week ago, I have hardly had any TBI symptoms.
I have had headaches but they are very different from my TBI ones and no where as painful. The dizziness has gone too. I have only been dizzy once but that was after a day full of my normal triggers not effecting me and then overheating from the oven.
Nausea has been the biggest issue – I have been constantly been feeling either sick, hungry or stuffed. Small meals and healthy snacks has been helping.
It really is amazing – I’m so happy and excited about it all. For years we have always talked about the kids that we wanted and even discussed what we would do if it wasn’t possible for any reason. T’other has always making dad jokes and then quips how he is practising since we started dating – all this week those jokes have increased. I adore the photo that he took when he found out – his smile is amazing and its one of my all time favourite photos of him and probably will be forever now.
Overall things are great and I’ll be sharing my story for anyone else interested. I am so happy and excited and although being pregnant is helping me feel so much better all talk and thoughts are about starting our own little tribe.
Have you found pregnancy help you? Have you heard of progesterone being used to treat those with TBI? How have you felt when you have been 5 weeks pregnant? How did you find out? I would love to hear about your story so leave a comment below!