Shana Cozad, Tulsa, Okla., Diagnosed in 1993; Mom to James, age 21; Danica, age 11; and Mallory, age 9
Relax!!! That is the one thing I know now that I did not know then. I was happy yet nervous with my first (HIV) pregnancy. If I knew how to relax more and just enjoy my pregnancy, I would have had more time feeling good and less time being unnecessarily worried. I wasn't worried about HIV transmission because I knew our risk was 1 percent or less from mother to child. I was worried about the long-term effects of the medications on such as fragile young baby. I thought things like: "What if she's born with only eight toes?" or "What if her organs are failing because the meds are so toxic?" or "What if her brain function won't be optimal because the meds are so hard on the nervous system?" Lots of "what-ifs" ran through my mind about the power of these medications and what their repercussions might be.
And yet all of them were unfounded.
So ladies, if you are reading this: Please relax. Allow yourself to glow and enjoy their time of life in your womb. Your baby is safe and so are you!! Your baby will be more beautiful than you can imagine. The meds for baby after labor and delivery are manageable and the six weeks will fly by. I thank goodness I live in an area of the world where we as women and mothers have access to the medications. Because we must not forget there are women and mothers out there who do not. So breathe. Relax. Feel the sunshine on your face. You can be an HIV-positive woman and bring beautiful life into the world that is not HIV infected, rest assured. I've done it twice!!