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Kathleen’s Story: Pregnancy and Epilepsy

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Kathleen is chronicling her pregnancy and epilepsy on a blog titled Partially Complex. She has taken a moment to give us a sneak peek into her world.

My name is Kathleen. When I was a toddler, I was diagnosed with complex partial seizures. I recently found out that they were caused by a congenital brain anomaly I have (that sounds way scarier than it actually is). Basically, there is a section of my brain where the synapses never fully developed. When you look at the MRI, it looks like there’s a giant hole in my head.

I’m completely okay with this diagnosis. I am a very lucky woman. I have an amazing husband and family/friend support system, I’m able to drive, I’ve graduated from college and have a job in marketing for a software company. I also haven’t had a seizure in over 20 years thanks to wonderful doctors and monotherapy.

I will need medication for the rest of my life but without it, I absolutely would seize again.

Pregnancy and Epilepsy

My husband and I decided that we wanted to have children. With a diagnosis of epilepsy, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and endometriosis, we knew we had an uphill battle. We worked closely with my Neurologist and OB/GYN to make sure I received the best possible care to conceive and keep myself and our future child safe.

I started a blog, called, “Partially Complex” that documents our journey to having a family and monitoring my epilepsy. It is my hope that this blog will help others realize that having a family and epilepsy is absolutely possible – and that the couples in our situation are not alone.

Please check it out, leave comments/questions and spread it to those you think it would help or be interested.

Jessica K. Smith
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Founder and CEO Jessica brings a unique perspective to this leading epilepsy blog as she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teen. She also brings 20+ years experience in marketing.

4 Responses

  1. carol
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    Even though my epilepsy is not bad at all, medical science was slightly different twenty one years ago when my son was born. i needed to go to a high risk doctor, was taken off med and went through a regime of going to the gyn and hospital for fetal tests every other week.

    i wound up with a very healthy boy and was told that since he was born healthy, I can go as many times as I want too and it would be fine. And so it was.

    You will have an amazing pregnancy, birth and mommy hood!

  2. Kathleen
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    Carol, thank you for your response. I’m glad you were able to have a healthy baby boy 🙂 I am going to a high risk doctor to monitor the baby’s health. We were able to receive genetic testing to make sure that the baby is okay despite me being on antiepileptic medication.

    Feel free to pass my blog around to those you think would benefit from it or enjoy it. Also, feel free to leave comments and questions 🙂

  3. eleanor morelli
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    I am 69 years old. I have epilepsy. I was not diagnosed until I was 25 when taking a physical exam for a job. This all started when I was 13. I believe you can do anything you want to do with a few restrictions. My medications were not changed and I am on three. It began with absence seizures and I am grateful I had one in a doctor’s office and he recognized it. I received good care at the time. Of course, when I was a teen I drank alcohol and had a grand mal. No alcohol…no problem. I had another when a doctor gave me antacids and it broke down my meds. I was in the car when I had a seizure. Luckily I was not hurt. So began my research on what I was taking that caused this. A doctor had given me Tums for calcium. I went to Washington and got a wonderful nurse who went down the whole list of what would affect the meds. The last one was antacid. I am a fighter. On the bottle of Tums is now in bold print not to take this if you have seizures. I have not had a seizure for a long time. I take good care of myself. Undue stress can be a problem. I meditate and keep calm most times. I agree that there is not enough research for epilepsy. The brain is so misunderstood. I also have two TBI’s. One caused when hit by a drunk driver and one caused by a fall in a large store. Guess what, I am still here and writing this hoping to give hope to those who live with epilepsy. I have two children and four grandchildren. My one granddaughter was recently diagnosed with epilepsy…she is 12. I do know it is genetic. I also exercise a lot to keep my bones safe. I take one med that breaks down your bones. Thankfully the meds have improved. I thank you all for your stories. They help me understand myself and know I am intelligent and can hold down jobs. I stopped driving in 2001. It is a great loss of freedom. I take taxis and a bus to get out. Thank you for the honor of listening. Ellie

    • Jessica K. Smith
      Jessica K. Smith
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      Thank you Ellie for sharing your story.
      Jessica