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Old 05-26-2004, 10:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
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taurus3 HB User
Pregnancy & Fibro

I am six months pregnant and I am wondering how others have handled pregnancy and motherhood of a newborn. How was delivery for you? I had an epidural which they believe caused some of my lingering worsened condition since delivery of my son. I know you're thinking "she's having another one" but I refuse to give up every dream I've ever had for disease. I am lucky enough to have a husband, friends and family who help a lot. And motherhood is pretty easy to adapt to resting often. I often feel like a bad mother because I can't take my son places or do certain things with him or for him. But I know he is happy and loved which is more than many children have. He gets the physical play from Daddy.

Anyway, the epidural did something to my right side. My leg was numb for about two months afterwards. So I'm afraid to get another one but I'm afraid that a "natural" birth would be to hard on me. So I was wondering how others had dealt with this since I know some of you have children.

Thank you.

 
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:14 AM   #2
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taurus3 HB User
Re: Pregnancy & Fibro

Well obviously I'm barking up the wrong tree. I see people read but nobody had any input so I'll take this off the table for now. Thanks anyway though.

Hope you all have a great day.

 
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Old 05-29-2004, 01:25 AM   #3
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Re: Pregnancy & Fibro

I am sorry no one replied to you right off - it could very well be that no one who has read your post was pregnant But, being 37 weeks pregnant myself right now, I didn't want you to think that no one was listening.

When I first became pregnant I posted here, and haven't been back since December according to my last login. There aren't many women who are either too brave or too stupid to get pregnant with fibro and post about it Some days I wonder which one I am - but am confident that at this moment it's about 50/50.

Of course, this is my first pregnancy, and I've yet to deliver - 18 days til the due date and no signs yet!

But, I was very interested to read that you felt that the epidural might have made things worse for you - I am concerned that for someone like me, a natural labor would wreak hell on my body if I was not sick to begin with. There isn't alot out there to read on women who have gone through pregnancy with fibro, and how the body 'normally' reacts after labor, but from what I have read, even without an epidural, symptoms are likely to get much worse the first few months after you give birth. So, if the epidural aggravated something in your body, and the fibro flared up after labor, it only makes sense that all of the pain and discomfort lasted so long for you.

Only you know how much you can tolerate, and the experience was worth it for a second go at it, and that's cool You know what your limitations are, have a great support system around you, and I'm sure will do just fine. I don't think anyone would feel comfortable giving you direct advice on having the epidural or not - that's just something that is a very personal decision, and will matter most to you in that moment.

Good luck with your next few months

 
Old 05-30-2004, 01:55 PM   #4
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taurus3 HB User
Re: Pregnancy & Fibro

BunnyBunny! Thank you! It's nice to know I'm not alone. I'm sure it's nice for you as well. Maybe we can be e-mail buddies as new Moms with limitations.

Being that I've been through this once already I have plenty of advice for you that might help with your pending delivery and caring for a newborn. I'm sure you will be overwhelmed but if the baby comes and you need anything at all or just to vent, feel free to e-mail me directly.

Just so you know, I had other things that happenned after delivery that were very rare complications which have made me worse. I don't want you to be worried for a minute because of my condition that you can't have a normal delivery and feel better soon after.

I have had lupus since I was 17 and fibro since age 24. I'm 35 now. Up until 3 years ago I managed to live a normal life with my illnesses and worked full-time as well as sang in bands. I can't pinpoint exactly what started the downgrade, it just happenned. And because I was working in the corporate world that really doesn't care what's going on with you, I had to keep pushing myself. If I had been able to take a month off or so I might have not deteriorated.

My first pregnancy went very well. I had a bunch of changes at work that were forcing me to work more than 40 hours a week and to sit in a training class for 8 hours a day for five weeks. So I started having preterm labor at 7 months from working too hard. My doctor put me on leave early. At this point I still had every intention of going back to work later.

My delivery was induced because my son did not want to come out. When I had the epidural I could feel it when he hit the nerve in my back. This caused the numbness and nerve damage later on. My advice on this is if you're going to get it, ask for it EARLY, sooner than you think you need it. By the time I asked for it I was having pretty hard contractions which made it difficult for them to get the epidural in smoothly. I did have an anesthesiologist and a surgeon both tell me about two months after delivery that they don't recommend epidurals for people with severe fibro.

Another piece of advice about delivery since you have fibro is to get support hose and insist on wearing them during your labor and delivery. In the old days this was common delivery practice in hospitals but thanks to HMOS you have to bring your own. Because fibro makes you swell from exertion anyway, the swelling from childbirth on top of it was horrible. Three days after my husband had to put me in an ice bath because my legs were so swollen I was on fire. I could barely walk and couldn't put on anything except some old bedroom slippers. My darling husband would bring me my son to feed and wrap my legs in cold towels. All of that could have been avoided if I'd had support hose which I will be wearing this time. Oh and don't let anyone tell you just to walk more. I was up and walking as soon as I could feel my legs after delivery and got up frequently because I knew it was important. Trust me, get the hose.

In the hospital, ask them to put you as far away from the nurses station as you can get in the maternity ward. They never shut up. Especially if you're breast feeding you will be fighting for sleep and there is nothing more annoying than the night shift coming in and talking about their weekend for two hours while you're trying to sleep.

If you have trouble with your arms/hands with weakness or carpal tunnel type of pain try to lie down to feed the baby as much as possible. It's amazing how much wear and tear you get picking up a newborn dozens of times a day. Just imagine if you started right now carrying around a bowling ball, picking it up and laying it down, ALL DAY LONG. By two weeks I had both arms bandaged and couldn't pick up my son. I didn't find out about the magic of breastfeeding while lying down until he was about 8 weeks old.

Now in spite of all those problems I did start to feel better quickly after delivery and was even able to leave the house alone with my son after three weeks. I was on the mend and had my six week checkup. The next day I began having some pain in my bottom which I hoped was hemmorhoids. When I was 19 I had something called a rectal abcess which had left scar tissue in a bad spot.

Sure enough two days later I had the old abcess again. Delivery had stretched things out enough that it had reopened and infected. So I had to have emergency surgery on my butt. Hence the reason I learned to feed my son lying down. I could not sit for about a month. That surgery didn't fix the problem so I had to have it again two months later. So between the delivery aand the two surgeries with major anesthesia that's what caused me to get to the bad condition I'm in now.

I healed from the surgery but it left permanent damage to me and I now have rectal incontinence with chronic diarrhea. So my story is kind of unique. I may have to have a c-section because of the butt thing. If I get any more damage I have to have a sphincter replacement (how hilarious is that to say to someone) four hours from home. And there's no gaurantee it would work. But if I can safely delivery the old fashioned way I'd rather avoid surgery and anesthesia because both things make me sicker.

My long drawn out point is that what happenned to me was rare and I'm sure you will be more sore than a totally healthy Mom but heal just fine and enjoy your new baby. I just didn't want you to think that just having my son made me have to stop working and doing the other things I love.

You must be so excited. As you pointed out, I'm doing it again so it must be worth it! It is worth it! The whole time I was recovering, having surgery, recovering, surgery again and recovering I thanked God every day that I had my son to care for so that I felt like I had a purpose and that in some strange way all of it put me in the position of being home with him. Otherwise I would've recovered eventually from labor, gone back to work and missed so much.

Now that I'm somewhat better I cherish Andrew's joy and laughter and his company. Even when I feel really lousy and don't have much patience I'm grateful that I have been able to keep and hold one of my dreams by being a Mom. The others have all drifted away. I really believe I would've wound up disabled one way or another because of my steady decline before I even got pregnant. If I had to be home all the time, in pain and unable to work, unable to perform on stage, with nothing making me feel needed, I would lose my mind.

Thanks again BunnyBunny and best of luck to you. Congratulations to you and daddy.

 
Old 09-27-2004, 08:51 AM   #5
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apriltones HB User
Re: Pregnancy & Fibro

hi, hope this helps you and your daughter xx

 
Old 09-27-2004, 09:11 AM   #6
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imdunn HB User
Re: Pregnancy & Fibro

Hi there

I'm new to the boards (just registered today, in fact!) but I've been a big fan of online communities since I first started working for one 8 or 9 years ago (No, I no longer work for said community, nor any others -- I'm in the mortgage business now, so I'm **not** soliciting )

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia while I was working for one of these sites, and frankly, if it weren't for the site, I'd have been lost and alone!

I have two children, 9 and 3 (girl and boy) and I imagine I had Fibro before the first pregnancy, but wasn't diagnosed until 2 years later. I became pregnant with my son in 2000 after years of battling the fibro fog and pain.

I delivered both of my children naturally - the first with a midwife and the second in a hospital. Honestly, I have a great fear of the damage that can be done by the epidural -- I mean, anesthesiologists don't go to school all that long! The risk just wasn't worth it for me.

With my daughter's delivery, it was a piece of cake -- she just kinda' popped out with a bit of nausea and yes, pain. My son had some complications due to me getting a horrible flu about a month before birth -- but, he was induced about midway through labor -- I do NOT recommend induction for any reason! The petocin causes the pain to be about 2-3x worse!! To make it worse, he fainted and I had to climb on all fours (while in severe pain) and breath through an oxygen mask with some sort of powder on it that caused me to sneeze the rest of the labor LOL They had to put a monitor on his head because he fainted and I was bed-bound from that point on. After all was said and done, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.

In any case, I'm in the process of getting pregnant again (I could be already, in fact) and I can tell you after both experiences, I will still go the natural route and avoid the induction/water breaking/petocin and will still not have the epidural - especially with the fibro -

Keep in mind, even if you don't have an epidural, and the pain seems to be unbearable, they can still give you something to take the edge off the pain through the IV.

As far as tips after birth? Stay in the hospital as long as you can!! I know, I hate the hospital, and I came home as fast as they'd let me --- with my daughter, I was home 2 hours after birth - but take advantage of the nurses there! If you're planning on breastfeeding, take the first night off! Let them give the baby a bottle or three - it won't kill the nursing, but it'll sure let you get rest!

Once you get home, it's all on you, and waking up 10-15 times a night can really kill the rest you need! With my daughter, I nursed her (for 14 months Ack) and she slept next to me on the bed, and when she cried, I rolled her on top of me and let her nurse away -- very little disturbance in sleep!

With my son, I bottle fed him, knowing that I might have to go back to work at any time, and my daughter wouldn't take a bottle for those 14 months -- unless it was water or juice (she's STILL picky!!). He loved his bouncy chair and slept buckled up in that while I slept on the couch. I had 5-6 4oz bottles filled with water and a can of powdered formula next to it. So when I had to wake up with him, all I had to do was pick him up and mix the formula -- no trips down to the kitchen in the middle of the night! Still back to sleep within minutes.

Another thing, nap as often as you can when you first get home -- when the baby is asleep, lay down on the couch and get some quick Zzzz's - I know you want to maintain the house and do things while he/she's sleeping, but in the beginning, listen to your body! Do things in short bursts -- 10 minutes at a time. It will get done! And your body will thank you for it

Best of Luck!!
Gentle Hugs,

Meghan

 
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