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Thread: My Pregnancy Concerns

  1. #1
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    Red face My Pregnancy Concerns

    hi everyone. i'm a C6/C7 quad wanting to have children soon. i'm trying to explore all my options -- carrying my own child, surrogacy, and adoption. i'd appreciate it if any of you SCI mothers out there could share your experiences and opinions. here are the questions i am most curious to have answered:

    What changes do you see in your body and overall health following pregnancy?

    If surrogacy were an affordable option (biologically your child, another woman carries) would you choose that option? Why or why not?

    What was the most difficult part of pregnancy?

    What was the best part of being pregnant?

    Did you have significant weight gain? If so, was the weight difficult to lose due to immobility? Did you develop pressure sores/skin problems due to increased weight?

    How was your bladder health during pregnancy? If you had problems, did they subside after birth?

    Did you go through labor or opt for a c-section and what factors went into your decision?

    Any blood pressure/dizziness issues during and following pregnancy?

    Did you breast feed? Why or why not?

    How much assistance do you need in caring for your child? Are you able to prepare food/bottles? Do diaper changes? Dress your child? Pick up/carry?

    i greatly appreciate anyone taking the time to answer my questions! i am looking forward to becoming a mom despite the obstacles i may be faced with!

    =jessica

  2. #2
    Hello Jessica. First of all, I think that the ones who can answer the questions you may have are mainly quad moms. I am para but did have my son after SCI. Maybe it may have been easier for me due to that fact. Not sure though. My pregnancy actually didn't give me any problems until the seventh month. I worked up to that month. My work was as a medical records technician so I believe it didn't put much of a strain on me. At the time I became pregnant, I only weighed 107 lbs. By the time of his birth I had only gained 20 lbs so my ob-gyn was pretty happy about it. He did consider it a risk from the beginning. But then this was 27 yrs ago. Doctors and science have improved since then so it may be somewhat easier now.

    Up to my fifth month I did not show much except for my breasts getting larger. After that time I did began to show more. On my seventh month, I began to spot and my dr ordered a sonogram. It showed that the placenta had begun to loosen. Placenta praevia he called it. He had me stop working also because my ankles began to swell. He told me to stay in bed for the remaining time. That was pretty hard for me to do since I have always been a very active person. I stayed in bed a lot of the time but not for the entire day. It became a bit harder to get into the bathtub to bathe and also to transfer onto the commode. My then husband would help me a bit also. He also would get me into the car. I stopped driving.. couldn't reach the steering wheel or the manual controls. The baby kicked and moved a lot all the time and I was able to feel him. Around my eighth month, the dr again told me that the baby had to be turned in the right position. When the sonogram had been done, it had showed him to be in a sitting position instead. It hurt when he turned the baby around but not so much that I couldn't tolerate it. About the end of my seventh month, I began to have some labor pains. False alarm two times. The second time, I got an kidney infection while in the hospital. Got really sick. Fever, nausea, cold and shivering. The pains got worse. The dr gave me an antibiotic through an IV. He kept telling me not to push because the baby wouldn't survive if he were to be born at that time. That his lungs were not developed completely. Thank goodness they stopped the infection and things went back to normal.

    On my ninth month, he had me due for the end of April, there were no pains. I was late two weeks according to the dr. I had counted on my calender from the beginning and figured that the baby was due around mother's day. He was born on May 11, 1979 at 12:30 by C-Section. He had to be delivered by C since the placenta had presented itself first. On the day of his birth, I had begun to spot since midnight. After calling the dr, he advised me to go into emergency only if I kept spotting or labor pains started. The pains woke me up around 5 in the morning. Was spotting more. Called him and he told me to wait till the pains were 5 mn apart. I did and about an hour later went into the ER. I only measured 5'2" at that time but my son weighed 8.5 lbs and measure 21". I did have a problem after his birth but it was due to the amount of anesthesia they gave me. They had a hard time to wake me up after the delivery.

    I think the hardest thing we have to deal with is the transferring from place to place. I only met nausea on one occassion. No dizziness, felt so hungry and ate five times a day. Sleepy like you have no idea. Had to splash water on my face during work hours. Took naps during my lunch hour. Felt exhilarated most of the other time. So happy to be pregnant and living that beautiful experience. But sometimes I wanted to kill my husband .. lol. I never thought about a surrougate because at the time there was no such thing.

    Weight gain was gone right after he was born.

    One of the hardest things during my pregnancy was my fear that (I know now that this was silly of me) my baby wouldn't be able to walk either.

    The best part of being pregnant was the joy of feeling this special being inside of me growing, kicking, moving, showing signs of life, and my dreams of being a mom coming true.

    My urologist gave me antibiotics at the first sign of any infection. Kept close tabs of me and my baby. He and my ob dr often had conferences to see how things went with the entire pregnancy. Incredibly I never had an infection until I entered the hospital on that occassion.

    After my son's birth, I went back to work at the same job. There seemed to be no physical changes/problems afterwards. No sores until he was almost a year old. That was due to my being up so much trying to be supermom and employee of the year. lol I breast fed my son for over a year. He ate food but I wanted to be certain that he had the best milk ever. His dad, his gramma and I worked it out so he would either breast fed or had my milk there for him in the fridge always.

    As I said previously, I think that being a para has made things easier during pregnancy and after. I took care of everything for him from the moment I would come home from work. Bathing, changing his diaper, picking him up, dressing, it all was left up to me to deal with by his dad once I was home. Gramma and dad only took care of him while I was at work.

    It is a beautiful experience to have your own child. Although adoption can also be a beautiful experience too. I did adopt a little girl before he was born. She is a beautiful girl. She did bring a lot of joy into my life also. I guess you have to live through all these things/experiences in order for you to fully know the joy they can bring you.

    Jessica, I truly hope that if you do have a baby, you have a wonderful experience and that you are also prepared in every way possible for what will lie after it too. Hope that your body works to help you in every way possible.

    Whew. Sorry for that long post. Just wanted to share with you my own experience and wish you the best of luck also.

    Raven

  3. #3
    What changes do you see in your body and overall health following pregnancy? Overall health is the same except for the excess weight I gained and am having a hard time getting rid of. Well and stretch marks - not SCI specific problems at all.

    If surrogacy were an affordable option (biologically your child, another woman carries) would you choose that option? Why or why not? No, because being pregnant was so cool! Seeing and feeling the baby move etc. etc.

    What was the most difficult part of pregnancy? Me, emotionally I was very hormonal and stressed out. I was in a new relationship, not even 2 years post, bought a house, was 'accidentally' pregnant - but I'd still do it all over again.

    What was the best part of being pregnant? Seeing and feeling the baby move inside me (i'm sensory incomplete)

    Did you have significant weight gain? If so, was the weight difficult to lose due to immobility? Did you develop pressure sores/skin problems due to increased weight? See first question - 3.5 years later I'm still carrying the weight I gained with my daughter. No pressure/skin problems from the weight though. My advice is make sure you have a scale you can use and do not gain anymore weight than is reccomended.

    How was your bladder health during pregnancy? If you had problems, did they subside after birth? Yes, I had a foley/indwelling during my pregnancy and it clogged up a lot and I had tons of UTI's - not symptomatic mostly but had to be treated due to UTI's increasing the risk of preterm labour. They had to be treated with IV antibiotics through a PICC line because many oral antibiotics are contraindicated during pregnancy. This was a huge PITA but soooooooooo worth it.

    Did you go through labor or opt for a c-section and what factors went into your decision? Natural labour with a heavy duty epidural, episiotomy but no forceps. C-Section was never a first option for me. Seemed unessecary and from stories I've heard from other paralyzed moms it seems our births go easy because our muscles are relaxed - just my personal theory.

    Any blood pressure/dizziness issues during and following pregnancy? i was hospitalized for 2 days due to a UTI causing AD, no Ad problems during delivery due to epidural, had to take T3s for a couple days after delivery for mild AD.

    Did you breast feed? Why or why not? I tried but was unsuccessful.

    How much assistance do you need in caring for your child? Are you able to prepare food/bottles? Do diaper changes? Dress your child? Pick up/carry?
    I started doing all this when my daughter was about 10 months old but probably could have done it sooner had I tried. I'm a C 7/8.


    Search for old posts by me relating to pregnancy/kids - I've written quite a bit over the last 4 years. Hopefully alissa will see this too as she recently had a baby.

    Good luck! You will never regret it, my daughter is the light of my life 9most days lol)

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Hello~

    I am a new member to this website. I also have a C6-7 injury & I am 5 months pregnant. As you know, there is not a lot of information out there for us.

    I've had a really great pregnancy so far. Thankfully, I have not experienced any problems with my skin, urinary tract, or any other areas. I have gained about 15 pounds, which has not affected my mobility at all. I use a manual chair and I am getting around with ease.

    As far as my OBGYN, I am his first SCI patient. He has been great & we have learned through the experience together. We are planning on a vaginal delivery with a epidural to avoid any problems with my blood pressure.

    My husband & I planned the pregnancy. Our "plan" was to start trying to get pregnant in October. Much to our surprise, we got pregnant right away & will be having a boy in July. We are on cloud nine and couldn't be happier!

    Right now, I am researching modified baby equipment. I have the same concerns that you do.....Will I be able to care for my son? Will I be able to bathe him & change him? Will the crib be an issue? I am optimistic that everything will be fine. I am a bit nervous, but I constantly remind myself that everything will work out. I am planning on caring for my son and not allowing my injury to hinder me. My way of caring will be a bit modified, but I'm sure I will be able to do it.

    I am half way through my journey and will be glad to answer any questions you have. By the way, we have the same birthday!

    Paige

  5. #5
    I would just add that if you are contemplating pregnancy, you should first have a good SCI check-up to be sure you are in peak health. It is not a good time to attempt a pregnancy if you have a kidney stone or are trying to heal up a pressure ulcer, for example.

    Be sure to find an OB who will work jointly with your SCI physician. Arrange this ahead of time. Joint management of UTIs and skin problems, as well as coming up with a labor plan (esp. for AD management) is critical.

    Also discuss ahead of time with both your OB and your SCI physician which meds you may want to stop PRIOR to attempting a pregnancy. Some common meds used by people with SCI should not be used in the first trimester.

    Good luck! Most women with SCI can have a successful pregnancy if they take good care of themselves and have good providers.

    (KLD)

  6. #6

    Pregnancy questions answered

    MY RESPONSES ARE IN CAPS
    Quote Originally Posted by jehsihkah
    hi everyone. i'm a C6/C7 quad wanting to have children soon. i'm trying to explore all my options -- carrying my own child, surrogacy, and adoption. i'd appreciate it if any of you SCI mothers out there could share your experiences and opinions. here are the questions i am most curious to have answered:

    What changes do you see in your body and overall health following pregnancy? I AM HAVING INCREASED LOWER EXTREMITY SPASTICITY. I ALSO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH BLADDER LEAKAGE WHICH I RARELY EVER HAD BEFORE. IT IS IMPROVING SO I AM STILL HOPEFULL THIS WILL GO AWAY. THE SPASTICITY IS MORE OF A CONCERN.


    If surrogacy were an affordable option (biologically your child, another woman carries) would you choose that option? Why or why not?
    NOT UNLESS I COULDN'T GET PREGNANT AGAIN.

    What was the most difficult part of pregnancy?
    I HAD A LOT OF TROUBLE BREATHING STARTING AT THE END OF MY SECOND TRIMESTER. I AM SMALL (5'2" AND BARELY 100LBS) SO THE BABY TOOK UP MOST OF MY MID SECTION VERY QUICKLY. I ALSO LOST MY BREATH EASILY, HAD RAPID HEART RATES AND DIZZINESS. THESE SYMPTOMS ARE NOT NECESSARILY SCI SPECIFIC, BUT I THINK THEY WERE MORE PRONOUNCED AND CAME EARLIER DUE TO MY SCI (I AM AT T-6/7 COMPLETE-INJURED 17 YEARS).

    What was the best part of being pregnant?
    WHEN I COULD FEEL HIM MOVING AND KICKING IN MY STOMACH. I WAS ALWAYS HOLDING MY STOMACH TO FEEL HIM INSIDE. IT WAS AWESOME.

    Did you have significant weight gain? If so, was the weight difficult to lose due to immobility? Did you develop pressure sores/skin problems due to increased weight?
    NO PROBLEMS WITH EXCESSIVE WEIGHT GAIN, BUT THAT HAS NEVER BEEN A PROBLEM FOR ME. I AM BLESSED WITH AN AMAZING METABOLISM.

    How was your bladder health during pregnancy? If you had problems, did they subside after birth? I STARTED HAVING PROBLEMS WITH LEAKAGE. INCREASING MY DITROPAN DIDN'T HELP. I THINK IT WAS JUST THE WEIGHT OF THE BABY PRESSING ON MY BLADDER. THE BIGGER I GOT, THE HARDER IT BECAME FOR ME TO SELF-CATH, BUT I MADE IT THROUGH THE WHOLE PREGNANCY WITH OUT NEEDING A FOLEY.

    Did you go through labor or opt for a c-section and what factors went into your decision?
    I OPTED FOR A C-SECTION. I HAVE A HISTORY OF AND GENETIC PREDISPOSITION TO BLOOD CLOTS, SO I WAS ON BLOOD THINNERS (LOVONOX AND THEN HEPARIN) THROUGHOUT MY PREGNANCY. MY DOCTORS FELT, AS DID I, THAT THIS POSED INCREASED RISKS TO MY HEALTH IF I WERE TO GO INTO LABOR. I WAS ALREADY WORRIED ABOUT HYPERDYSREFLEXIA AND THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING TO USE A VACUUM OR FORCEPS TO GET THE BABY OUT. THERE JUST DIDN'T SEEM TO BE MANY REASONS NOT TO DO A C-SECTION. A LOT OF MY FRIENDS FEEL LIKE VAGINAL BIRTH IS A RITE OF PASSAGE AND SEEM TO THINK THEY'VE PROVEN SOMETHING BY GOING VAGINAL, BUT I'VE ALREADY PUSHED MY BODY TO THE BRINK AND BROUGHT IT BACK 17 YEARS AGO. BEEN THERE DONE THAT. I JUST WANTED THE SAFEST THING FOR THE BABY AND ME.

    Any blood pressure/dizziness issues during and following pregnancy? NO BLOOD PRESSURE ISSUES EVER. DIZZINESS DURING PREGNANCY AS I DESCRIBED ABOVE. THE DIZZINESS AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH WERE GONE IMMEDIATELY AFTER GIVING BIRTH. IT WAS DEFINITELY MY LITTLE GUY PUSHING ON EVERYTHING ABOVE AND BELOW. THESE TWO SYMPTOMS WERE MISERABLE DURING PREGNANCY BUT SOOO WORTH IT!!!

    Did you breast feed? Why or why not?
    I AM STILL BREAST FEEDING. I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. I AM DOING IT BECAUSE IT PROVIDES THE BEST NUTRITION AND HEALTH FOR MY SON. IT WAS A LOT OF HARD WORK TO GET MY MILK TO COME IN AND TO GET HIM TO LATCH ON CORRECTLY, BUT THE HARD WORK PAID OFF. ON A SELFISH NOTE, I HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE HELP ME WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF CARING FOR HIM BUT BREASTFEEDING IS ONE THING NO ONE ELSE CAN DO FOR HIM. IT HAS INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AS A MOTHER.

    How much assistance do you need in caring for your child? Are you able to prepare food/bottles? Do diaper changes? Dress your child? Pick up/carry?
    I CAN DO SO MUCH MORE THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD BE ABLE TO DO. PICKING UP AND CARRYING HIM IS CHALLENGING AT TIMES, BUT YOU FIGURE OUT WAYS TO MAKE IT WORK. I HAVE BOUGHT AND TRIED EVERY TYPE OF CARRIER, SLING, ETC. DIFFERENT ONES HAVE WORKED AT DIFFERENT TIMES. KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE CONSTANTLY HAVING TO FIGURE OUT NEW SOLUTIONS AS YOUR BABY GROWS. I ENJOY THE CHALLENGE!

    i greatly appreciate anyone taking the time to answer my questions! i am looking forward to becoming a mom despite the obstacles i may be faced with!

    I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A CAREER-ORIENTED, NOT SO BABY ORIENTED, PERSON, BUT I JUST LOVE BEING A MOM. HAVING A BABY HAS BEEN THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE. I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT, EVEN THE HARDEST TIMES ARE SUCH A JOY. I HAVE A VERY SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND, EXTENDED FAMILY, AND FRIENDS FROM WHOM I HAVE LEARNED TO ACCEPT THE HELP I USED TO REFUSE. STILL, AS I SAID, I AM ABLE TO DO MUCH MORE OF CARING FOR MY BABY THAN I THOUGHT I WOULD.

    GO FOR IT AND GOOD LUCK!
    =jessica

  7. #7
    This thread gave me the warm fuzzies. So happy for all of you!

    I can't think of another spot where you could get this kind of expertise. And (no offense KLD) all the experts in the world can tell you something but the ones that lived it can always tell you best.



    Best of luck and happiness to all of you, and your families.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by betheny
    This thread gave me the warm fuzzies. So happy for all of you!

    I can't think of another spot where you could get this kind of expertise. And (no offense KLD) all the experts in the world can tell you something but the ones that lived it can always tell you best.



    Best of luck and happiness to all of you, and your families.
    I couldn't agree more, Betheny. I'm c6/7 and had two successful pregnancies despite the weight gain, bladder leakage and loss of independence in the last trimester.
    I sure wish that i had CareCure then or even internet for that matter!
    My biggest problem was AD when in labor. My OB did a C-Section at the time (1994) and that got rid of the AD so when I was preggo with #2 (1999) we just scheduled another C-section to avoid a chance of AD.
    If I had it all over to do again today with all of this internet info, I might have tried to have a vaginal birth.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!
    Shannon
    C6/7 incomplete
    20 yrs post sci

    "falling is easy it's getting back up that becomes the problem, becomes the problem" Staind
    "A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.:" :-)
    - Burt Bacharach

  9. #9
    Senior Member scaligirl's Avatar
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    I don't get online much these days, so sorry I was late in replying! I have a 16 month old boy and I am also pregnant with boy #2. I'm due 8/8/07 but will be induced 2 weeks early. I'm a C7 incomplete. So to answer your questions:

    What changes do you see in your body and overall health following pregnancy? Following pregnancy the same types of things the AB experiences..flabby stomache, hard time losing baby weight, etc.


    What was the most difficult part of pregnancy? BP's became difficult to do, had to stop taking some medications, losing independence in transferring, bending over, fatigue, all the normal pregnancy related issues (sickness, heartburn, etc.)

    What was the best part of being pregnant? Feel the baby move inside and knowing that the pregnancy was/is going to be over soon!

    Did you have significant weight gain? If so, was the weight difficult to lose due to immobility? Did you develop pressure sores/skin problems due to increased weight? I gained 40 lbs with my first and lost 20 of it. But then I got pregnant again a year later so I didn't get to lose it all...yet. This time I haven't gain as much because the nausea was longer and my appetite is different.

    How was your bladder health during pregnancy? If you had problems, did they subside after birth? The only issue I had with both pregnancies is constant UTI's. After my son was born I was put in antibiotics via IV for a day while in the hospital. They will do the same thing with this one.

    Did you go through labor or opt for a c-section and what factors went into your decision? I was induced 2 weeks early and will be again this time. I had no epidural and doubt I will with this one.

    Any blood pressure/dizziness issues during and following pregnancy? no

    Did you breast feed? Why or why not? Yes, I breastfed for 4 months. I had issues with production, but also I went back to work after 6 weeks. Pumping at work was difficult so we made the decision to wean him at 4 months.

    How much assistance do you need in caring for your child? Are you able to prepare food/bottles? Do diaper changes? Dress your child? Pick up/carry? I can do the feeding, some diaper changes, and pick up/carry. But as soon as he became more mobile it was difficult to do. The only thing I did not do is bathe him or put him in/out of the car.

    If you have more questions, email me!!

  10. #10
    hey scaligirl, wow, your life has been exciting. nice to see you back.

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