I'm a 29 year old nearly-newlywed - and I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed just over a year ago, only a few short months after my wedding. It's been a bumpy road over the last year, but I am finally at a point where my health is in fairly good shape and I am essentially in remission (meaning I have limited swelling, pain and fatigue). But, that remission comes at a cost. That being some serious medications.
As of 2 months ago, I was on twice weekly shots of Enbrel (25mg/shot), plus daily doses of 10 mg of Arava, 200 mg of Plaquenil, 1 mg of folic acid and 50 mg of Zoloft. And about 2 months ago, my biological clock started ticking loudly. So - at my last rheumatologist visit, after finding out my white blood cell count was in the dumps again thanks to the Arava (I was at 2.6, with a normal reading being 4.5-10!) and after talking about the possibility of pregnancy some day - we decided to stop the Arava. (Arava is known to cause birth defects in animal studies and is considered category X for pregnancy. It also stays in the system for up to 18 months, so prior planning is essential for mothers-to-be AND fathers-to-be.)
Now I'm on everything but the Arava - plus regular doses of ibuprofen (400-800mg every few hours, depending on my level of pain). And, my research about pregnancy and rheumatoid arthritis has started in earnest. So, I decided to start this blog to keep track of my ramblings, my research and possibly my first-hand experience (though that's a long way away - as we're still not 100% sure about all this).
Right now my questions are:
Is this the right time to have a child?
Will my RA limit my ability to be a hands-on mother (considering my hands don't always work right)?
If we do decide to have a baby, what medications are safe for me to stay on?
Would my pregnancy be considered high risk?
If you're a mom with rheumatoid arthritis - or are considering becoming one - I'd love to hear from you!