Monday, June 10, 2013

Homebirth with Herpes

Relationships, Homebirths, and HSV2 (herpes in the nether regions) by Jessica N.

I am writing this to stand tall and proud for ALL who have been diagnosed with what, at times, feels like a life-long death-sentence. OK, death sentence may be a bit much. We’ll say, sentenced to LIFE without parole.

I had recently gotten sober, gone through the rehab, detox, outpatient, etc. Well, I decided to get STD testing, just to clear up as much of my past as possible. Group Health is where I had it done. I felt there was probably something wrong, but hoped for the best. A week after testing, I come home to my phone flashing that I had a message. I listen.

“Yes, Jessica, your results came back, and it was negative for everything, except HSV2. Call us if you have any questions!”

What is HSV2????? GOOGLE!!!! I had to get on GOOGLE because those insensitive bastards left me a MESSAGE telling me I have something that I don’t even know what it is!!!!

So, I Google “HSV2.” Oh my God. I have herpes.

What a nightmare. An, awake, not at all a dream, can’t run, can’t get away, no turning back, nightmare. It was one of the WORST nights of my life. Alone with this news, not enough support in the world to help me get this sick feeling out of my stomach.

The next morning, I called and was able to speak with a very kind nurse who helped me understand exactly what my test results meant. I am still pissed they left me that message. They could have told me in person; or had me call back. Not leave a message on my answering machine. Who does that?!?! Thoughts flashed through my mind.

“I am never going to have a natural birth, I will require a c-section. 
“No man will want to be with me."
“There is something wrong with me."
“I am dirty, damaged goods."
NOT!!!!  Not at all. In fact, no one has ever judged me for having Herpes. I am not going to lie, I wish my lady parts were not “tainted,” but none of my fears came true. None of my fears WERE true. Guess what else?

I went on, and I met a man who did not have Herpes who totally accepted this part of me….and *drum roll please* I had two homebirths! And if I have more children, I will have homebirths! My midwives barely blinked an eye when I told them I had herpes!

If anyone reading this fears the worst or is told a C-Section is the only option, I am here to tell you that is not the truth. If someone is telling you this, you are in a “CYA” environment, also known as cover your ass. 

There are, of course, potential risks as with everything, but if you have a person caring for you and your unborn child that you trust, then I am here to tell you, that you too can have the normal birthing experience that you deserve. I had breakouts very close to my due date with my first pregnancy. I was so nervous about having a break out during labor that I had been taking Acyclovir my entire pregnancy. My due date was nearing, and although symptoms were showing, all was OK in the end, and I had a very successful labor and delivery, naturally, at home, no antibiotics, nothing. 

My second son, I did not touch the stuff (Acyclovir) -and did develop some symptoms around my due date. I immediately went and filled a prescription for Acyclovir out, and also went to Super Supplements and got some lysine, both oral, and topical. This was the day before my due date. I felt sick to my stomach, oh man, this is it, and this time I am not going to be so lucky. The fear once again, set in. But guess what? My son was born 5 days past my due date, naturally, at home, no drugs, no antibiotics. 

I have been blessed with two healthy boys, born at home, and my wish is that no woman in this situation ever has an unnecessary c-section. Research. Ask questions. Research some more. Ask more questions. But do not accept “no” as an answer right off the bat. If I can do it, you can do it. And I know I am far from the only woman that has done it. 

I didn't meet a man who ran away screaming when I broke the news to him. I didn't meet a man who judged me for this unfortunate reality. It sucks. I am not going to lie. It sucks. BUT, it is not a death sentence. There are many worse things in life.

To make things EVEN better, there are nutritional things you can do for yourself that basically rid you of symptoms, if you are diligent enough to avoid certain foods, and eat enough of others. Also, reducing your stress levels helps. So, those choices alone could essentially get you through a pregnancy without an outbreak-although I have been told it is pretty common to have one near the end of your pregnancy, with all the hormones at that time.

So, enjoy your pregnancies and births! Much love, and you are not alone!! 

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