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Lupus and successful pregnancy?

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Old 03-04-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
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tammyd HB User
Lupus and successful pregnancy?

I know women are out there that have Lupus and have had successful pregnancies. I just do not know any. I have lived with the disease for 24 years. I am fairly educated on the the aspects of the illness except for pregnancy. I have had 2 miscarriages and recently lost a baby boy at 22 weeks. Got further last time but still no cigar. I went in to the hospital with severe pre eclampsia. It took five days to induce labor and a total 2 week stay in the hospital. Has anyone had a successful delivery after having developed pre eclampsia?

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Old 03-08-2006, 03:40 PM   #2
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Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

dear tammyd-

I wasn't dxd with lupus until after my two children were delivered, but there is NO way that what happened to me during those two pregnancies was coincidence. With my first, I bled nearly the whole time and my daughter was induced 6 weeks early due to IUGR (she weighed 4 lb, 4 oz). There had apparently been a clot under the placenta. With my son, my water spontaneously broke at 21 weeks. I was devastated. The baby was still alive, though, and I didn't develop an infection nor did I go into labor for 4 weeks (they did send me home, though, and told me that I should abort at that point...I said "no"). My son was born at 26 weeks, weighing 1lb 8 oz, and was very sick. We spent 3 and a half months in the NICU and we brought him home on oxygen. He is now 5 and full of energy and doing fine (although he's a little on the small side). I'm just amazed at what we had to walk through to get him here.

I do need to add that I wasn't dxd with SLE until my son was about 4. No one seems willing to admit that my pregnancy difficulties were due to something "sinister" going on like SLE, but from what I've read, it wouldn't be totally out of the question that SLE was the cause of the problems I had.

I pray that you, also, will be able to realize your wish of having a successful pregnancy. I don't know that mine would be considered "successful," however I do have two beautiful children as a result. I did have a great deal of medical intervention and help along the way, though. I also pray that God will meet you and heal your broken heart after the loss of your sweet babies.
Take care. You're not alone.

Last edited by Bryansmom; 03-08-2006 at 03:41 PM.

Old 03-09-2006, 03:12 PM   #3
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wifeofzenoops HB User
Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

I have had lupus since I was 14 years old. I am now 29. My husband and I want a family SO bad. I just went to go see a perinatologist on Tuesday for a 'prepregnancy consultation.' The thing with this is, I have done soooo much research on Lupus and pregnancy so I know the risks, however hearing him tell me the risks really had me petrofied. I know that dosen't make any sense especially if I already knew the risks. I just left the dr office, sat in my car and cried. My husband and I are still going to try even though we know the risks...The dr said one of his main worries with me is preeclampsia. We are not pregnant yet that I know of, but we are trying. I will keep you guys posted on how I'm doing if and when we finally become pregnant. Tammyd I wish you the best. Don't give up. We don't plan on it either.

Old 03-09-2006, 04:31 PM   #4
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southjerseymom HB User
Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

I have Antiphospholipid Antibody Disorder and I'm almost certain I have Lupus(my rheumie is leaning toward it but not "ready" to officially diagnosis it). I had severe pre-ecclampsia with my first daughter(didn't know about my auto-immune issues at the time), who's almost 11. I had spotted throughout my pregnancy with her and at 31 weeks, developed pre-ecclampsia. My protein levels were so high, the doctors and nurses couldn't believe I didn't go into convulsions. It became very dangerous because my placenta started to deteriorate. She was born via emergency c-section at 32 weeks , weighing 3 lb 5 1/2 oz. She spent 32 days in the NICU. Thank God, she is just fine in every way. In fact she's 5 ft tall at 10 yrs old and a bright student. With my second daughter, I had excellent medical care and was seen quite frequently because of my history. It was because of the excellent care I received that it was discovered at 37 weeks I had low amniotic fluid levels( wasn't leaking, my body absorbed it and wasn't manufacturing more). My daughter was born at 37 weeks, perfectly healthy. It was because of the care i got that all went well. It could have been devestating had I not had the extra testing and visits etc.
It is scary and I am so sorry to hear of your heartbreaks. My prayers are with you. I just want to let you know that through faith, prayers, and excellent care, it is possible to have children. I didn't realize until last year that my problems with my pregnancies were auto-immune related. Had I known, I'd be petrified too!! Have faith. Best of luck.

Old 03-10-2006, 08:30 AM   #5
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ColoradoJen HB User
Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

Wow, this thread really spoke volumes to me. I guess I didn't realize the major connection that lupus had to what happened to my pregnancies.
I have had 5 miscarriages, but finally found out I also have a blood clotting disorder that was also contributing to them, so I was put on a blood thinner. I got pregnant in 2005 and had my daughter in February last year. I had a pretty darn good pregnancy for the first 2 trimesters, but had a placental abruption at 28 weeks. I had awesome doctors. I was in the hospital from weeks 28-34, and Ihad my daughter at 34 weeks exactly, she broke my water herself with a major kick

My little girl has done great since the day she was born. She weighed 3lbs 15 1/2 oz. She was in the NICU for 3 weeks to gain more weight and learn to eat on her own. She is doing awesome now. She's now 1, and weighs 16.9 lbs and is crawling all over the place.

It was a long haul being in the hospital for nearly 6 weeks, it was really hard and emotionally draining not knowing from one day to the next whether or not you were going to remain pregnant another day, but it was worth it.

My husband and I have since gotten pregnant 2 months ago, but my doctors and my husband and I knew that my life would be in too much danger to go through it again, so I actually went through another miscarriage. We have decided to not have anymore children, which is a tough decision, but one that is necessary. I had alot of problems with pre-eclamsia during my pregnancy with my daughter, and ended up having an eclamptic seizure 3 days post-partum. And I lost a ton of blood having her. I actually had her vaginally. So, it's best that we don't.
But I understand the desire to have children, I really do. I would go through it again if we were waiting to have our first.

I wish you the best of luck!

Old 03-24-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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nickkaylee HB User
Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

Hi I'm new here but wanted to share my experience. I started having my lupus symptoms when my second child was a few months old. A year or so later is when I was officially diagnosed with lupus. I got pregnant with my 3rd pregnancy in Octor of 2002. I was considered high risk and had so many appointments and ultrasounds you wouldn't believe. They were really worried that my lupus could affect the baby's heart and some other complications. I can happily say that I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. My son broke my water at 3 in the morning by jumping inside lol. This was at 28 weeks on the dot. Labor and delivery were fairly quick uneventful and awesome. My son ***** Elijah Hill was born at 10:29 in the morning weighing 7.8!

Old 04-01-2006, 09:04 PM   #7
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Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

I am so sorry to hear about your losses. I cannot imagine what you have had to go through. I have had a successful pregnancy. Fortunately for me I had started feeling "normal" again and thought my new medications were working wonders, but in my case pregnancy made all my lupus symptoms go away. I had lots of check-ups, ultrasounds, and blood work, but I delivered a healthy 7 lb 12 ounce son in October 2004. My doctor did induce me 2 weeks early because of placenta problems. On the flip side in October 2005 I became pregnant again, but I lost the baby on Christmas Eve. My lupus got a lot worse this time. It is strange how the opposite happened this time. There seems to be no cut and dry way that lupus reacts to anyone or anything.

Old 04-03-2006, 11:09 AM   #8
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darkwater HB User
Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

Just thought I would contribute to the conversation. I just had an appointment with my rheumie and told him about my plans to try to get pregnant immediately after my marriage on April 15th. According to my blood and urine work, my lupus has been in a controlled state for over a year now and this would be as good a time as any to attempt a pregnancy. He is of the opinion that I should be off Plaquenil during the pregnancy. Yet, I have heard testimony from all you here and elsewhere that it can be safely taken during pregnancy. Your healthy babies are the best proof. But I suppose someone's doctor had a point when he said that if there is a chance, however small, that plaquenil could affect your adult eye, there is that same chance that it could affect the baby's developing eye, and just not want to risk it. My doctor wants me to go ahead and bump down to 5mg of prednisone from 10mg and that it is likely that I would continue to be on the prednisone during the pregnancy. He did the test for the clotting factor, to see if I may need to be on asprin or blood thinners to lessen the chances of miscarriage.

He also said that prednisone makes for a larger baby (they often give steroids to underweight/premature babies to boost their development and make them stronger), and that it does somewhat increase the possibility of a c-section, and lupus pregnancies already have an increased rate of c-sections due to early births to allieviate complications for baby or mother or both. Though I think that in a manner of speaking, I was "made" to birth babies, with my large frame and hips and larger pelvic opening, so that I would not likely have the problems that a woman with a small frame and narrow pelvic opeing would have with a larger baby.

I do feel you deeply on all the risks and uncertainties that you are dealling with, as I am dealing with them myself. And it is funny how when you already know all about the risks because you have sought out every possible source about becoming pregnant with lupus, yet when a doctor repeats all that stuff to your face, it is like you just heard it for the first time and it hits you like a sack of rocks.

I think the moment that I knew that I could deal with the risks came when I wondered if it came down to deciding to keep the baby and risking my life, could I make the decision to end the pregnacy? I have searched my heart and know that I would chose my life, though ending a pregnancy would be such a crushing thing. I fear for my mental health if I had to make that choice, though I would hope to get through it with support. There was a time when I thought to tell my family members that if I was unconcious and they had to choose me or the baby, to save the baby. Children are kind of like the lifeboat that you toss overboard from the sinking ship that is your mortal life. Saving the child is like saving yourself even if you perish, in a sense. But I no longer feel this way (most of the time). Though I want a child like I want nothing else, it does not have a right to take my life to come into the world. And that is really the answer to whether I am ready to take this risk. Yes, I am.

Old 04-04-2006, 01:50 AM   #9
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wifeofzenoops HB User
Re: Lupus and successful pregnancy?

Aquanegra thanks so much for that information. That REALLY helps me a lot. I completely understand what you're going through. You have no idea how much I understand. I have the same fears as you. I did SO much research and hearing those list of risks coming out of that dr's mouth really had me down for a few days. But I have such a wonderful support system that my family and friends helped me get right back up when I felt knocked down. Make sure you have a strong support system, if you don't already. We are here for you as well. This board has helped me so much. The people here are great.

I had to come to grips with the fact that as much as it would devastate me to lose my baby once I became pregnant, I would need to chose myself. I felt so selfish. But I finally realized that it's not selfish at all. We NEED to live. Not that the baby dosent, but our lives have been established and we can always try for another baby again. According to my doctors, my life comes first and the baby second. Typing those words out still makes me cringe, but it's true.

I have follow up appt today with the perinatologist for more 'pre-pregnancy counseling' and for him to go over some recent bloodwork he did on me. Wish me luck. We will see how everything goes. I must say, I'm really nervous to hear what he has to say. But I will be as strong as I can be. I will keep you guys posted. Thanks again for such a wonderful post!

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