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Looking for experience regarding pregnancy issues/post partum medical issues


adee07
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Hi! I wrote a previous post regarding having a 2nd child & am looking for feedback from anyone who dealt with issues during and/or after pregnancies. One of my main concerns having a 2nd child is honestly I'm scared of health issues that crop up.  I've had anxiety my whole life, so it doesn't help. However, at 28yrs old, my first baby came 6 wks early (I'm now 31).  No major complications thankfully. During pregnancy, lots of nausea/vomiting first 4 months, developed severe acne that EXPLODED after giving birth. HUGE cystic, painful pimples. I was so embarrassed. I'm talking horn like protrusions all over chin, forehead, back, neck, nose, in my eyebrows, hairline etc. I finally had treatment that took a good 6+ months to clear things up.

Also, IBS came back with a vengeance (previously recovered from IBS for 5 yrs). Couldn't hardly eat, was so sick especially in the evenings. SEVERE abdominal cramping&everything that comes with it. Lost 30lbs in 3 months; doctors were concerned about malnourishment (weighed 95lbs at lowest; I'm 5ft tall). Took a full year to calm my gut down and figure out the safest foods.

The scariest part for me, I developed what docs think is a mast cell disorder. Basically my mast cells (part of immune system) are "twitchy" and overreact, causing random allergic reactions. Mine is considered idiopathic, as they could never find a cause and there's no rhyme or reason sometimes for the reactions.  I have been decently controlled now on meds for the last year and I'm very careful with my diet as they believe when I have abdominal cramping, it sets off my mast cells in my gut to cause a reaction. Its a hard thing to explain and not many people know much about the disorder. It landed me an ambulance ride for anaphylaxis once (early 2019)...I swear I have PTSD regarding that event, its very difficult for me. 

Another issue, my eyes. Vision worsened along with them diagnosing a disorder that effects my corneas.  I had a procedure done in one eye, luckily other eye is stable.  My "bad" eye has never been the same and they really haven't been able to find corrective prescription for it so it's blurry always. They claim pregnancy doesn't CAUSE this disorder, however it can progress it.

Other notable health changes:  Teeth. Ended up with many cavities, 2 broken teeth that needed crowns. I was found to have vitamin D deficiency so now supplement for that. Developed vestibular disorder (1.5 yrs postpartum) where I struggled with daily, debilitating dizziness. Luckily, PT has helped with this so I just have a few bad days a month now. I have GERD that I have to stay on meds for. And last thing I'll note would just be the all around stiff/achy joints I've had since giving birth.  When I wake in the mornings, my hands/knuckles are always swollen/achy for the first hr of the day.  My hips&knees are stiff and pop/crack a lot...does that really happen already at this age?

Honestly, I know this looks like a lot of rambling (feels like it too), but I guess I'm looking for other experiences surrounding pregnancy.  Can one pregnancy really cause all these issues? Am I doomed if I try to go through another pregnancy? I feel like this is just so much to have going on at my age. We're really leaning towards wanting to add one more to our family, but I guess I'm looking for other experiences? It seems so unfair that I know SO MANY people (some with pre-existing conditions) who've had multiple pregnancies and they walk away with no further issues.....I hope I'm making some sort of sense with what I'm trying to get at. Anyone have health conditions that were stable after pregnancies? I do have an appointment (month away) to discuss these concerns with a new OB, but sometimes its more helpful to hear from real world experiences too. 

Thank you in advance from a very anxious person trying to make sense of the world!

P.s....I've suggested adoption to my husband, however its very pricey and my husband isn't interested. He's worried about my health issues as well. I practice regular yoga, daily walks, etc to try and take care of myself mentally/physically. 

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If you have had very serious illnesses since pregnancy and have major major anxiety over it, I would not have another child. If your husband is not interested in adoption please please please don’t push this. We tried adoption and my husband said no a week before the adoption was complete. It almost ended our marriage. 
 

I was physically only ever able to have one child. I had four miscarriages after him. My husband also has zero interest in adoption. 
 

While my son hated being an only child as a child he is now perfectly fine with it at the age of 24. 

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39 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

If you have had very serious illnesses since pregnancy and have major major anxiety over it, I would not have another child. If your husband is not interested in adoption please please please don’t push this. We tried adoption and my husband said no a week before the adoption was complete. It almost ended our marriage. 
 

I was physically only ever able to have one child. I had four miscarriages after him. My husband also has zero interest in adoption. 
 

While my son hated being an only child as a child he is now perfectly fine with it at the age of 24. 

@Seraphim  thank you so much for sharing a piece of your story. I appreciate your input!

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It seems to me like you may have an autoimmune disorder that is exacerbated by pregnancy such as lupus or MS. I'm presuming your doctor has tested you for these, however.

I too became very ill while pregnant. I nearly died early in my third pregnancy. I had to stop trying to have children because it literally would have killed me.

P!ease discuss your concerns with your doctor, preferably with your husband present.

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41 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

It seems to me like you may have an autoimmune disorder that is exacerbated by pregnancy such as lupus or MS. I'm presuming your doctor has tested you for these, however.

I too became very ill while pregnant. I nearly died early in my third pregnancy. I had to stop trying to have children because it literally would have killed me.

P!ease discuss your concerns with your doctor, preferably with your husband present.

@boltnrun you are correct, I've had multiple doctors look for autoimmune disorders, but have come up negative to every test they've done. Such a frustrating process. Thank you for sharing your experience and I'll definitely be having further conversations. 

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I've been tested for Lupus (3 times) and for RA. All tests were negative. However, when I was pregnant my kidneys began to fail. Every time. And no doctor has been able to find a medical reason why. So I was advised to not have any more children as I likely wouldn't have survived.

Definitely book an appointment for you and your husband to discuss your concerns with your doctor.

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Fortunately, I was in 'spring chicken' mode with both pregnancies and my sons were born healthy.

Before my first pregnancy, I had very bad chronic fatigue syndrome for many years, experienced bad dizzy spells, fainted inside my office building's stairwell and it was very difficult for me to keep up with the rest of the world. 

I had a bit of nausea during my first trimesters with both pregnancies but never vomited.  Other than a few food aversions and drowsiness, both pregnancies were normal.  First son weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and second son weighed 8 lbs 11 oz.

Oddly enough, my chronic fatigue syndrome was actually cured after I became a mother and I don't tire easily anymore.   

I hope your new OB can give you insight.  I hope your second pregnancy will be a much more positive experience than your first pregnancy if you and your husband decide to have a second baby. 

What really helped me was to make drastic changes to my lifestyle regarding diet, exercise and daily habits.  Many of my previous symptoms disappeared once I began to seriously and diligently alter my lifestyle.  My skin is clear, I have more energy, don't fatigue as easily, I'm no longer lightheaded and my insomnia is no more. 

 

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I feel for you because you don't have any answers and  you have all these postpartum issues.  I'm sorry!  I was pregnant one time.  Age 41, gave birth at 42.  Other than some bad constipation (sorry if TMI) no issues.  But I had a postpartum stroke despite having had no issues with stroke - I was tested for autoimmune (negative) and genetic aspects (related I guess -negative) - but I was told if I got pregnant again I'd be very high risk and have to inject blood thinners (the stroke -full recovery very fast thank goodness and yes my teeth got really bad after pregnancy!) 

We agreed I shouldn't get pregnant again given the risks.  Before my late 30s I alway assumed I'd have two kids but when I got pregnant (naturally) I assumed we'd be one and done.  Thrilled to have one child (he is 12 now!).  We didn't really want to adopt or do surrogacy.  Would you consider surrogacy? 

I think this is such a personal decision.  I don't think I'd go through a pregnancy with your issues (particularly since I didn't with mine).  All the best to you and your family.

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Oh, and I was young too. First pregnancy I was late teens, second early 20s and third mid 30s. No reason whatsoever for me to get as sick as I did. But I did anyway.

You don't absolutely have to have two children if it would be too risky. But of course that is your and your husband's decision, not mine or anyone else's.

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48 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

Fortunately, I was in 'spring chicken' mode with both pregnancies and my sons were born healthy.

Before my first pregnancy, I had very bad chronic fatigue syndrome for many years, experienced bad dizzy spells, fainted inside my office building's stairwell and it was very difficult for me to keep up with the rest of the world. 

I had a bit of nausea during my first trimesters with both pregnancies but never vomited.  Other than a few food aversions and drowsiness, both pregnancies were normal.  First son weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and second son weighed 8 lbs 11 oz.

Oddly enough, my chronic fatigue syndrome was actually cured after I became a mother and I don't tire easily anymore.   

I hope your new OB can give you insight.  I hope your second pregnancy will be a much more positive experience than your first pregnancy if you and your husband decide to have a second baby. 

What really helped me was to make drastic changes to my lifestyle regarding diet, exercise and daily habits.  Many of my previous symptoms disappeared once I began to seriously and diligently alter my lifestyle.  My skin is clear, I have more energy, don't fatigue as easily, I'm no longer lightheaded and my insomnia is no more. 

 

@Cherylynthat's very interesting regarding the improvement of your chronic fatigue syndrome! Honestly, both my parents and my in laws have tried telling me multiple times that another pregnancy may reverse my symptoms/ make me better, but I've always taken that with "a grain of salt", as they say. I've been doing a lot of reading/researching on things such as gut health that seems to impact the whole body. I see way more research being drawn to this area recently...if only I could get my gut to tolerate the foods it needs!! Anyways, thank you for sharing your story!

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52 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I feel for you because you don't have any answers and  you have all these postpartum issues.  I'm sorry!  I was pregnant one time.  Age 41, gave birth at 42.  Other than some bad constipation (sorry if TMI) no issues.  But I had a postpartum stroke despite having had no issues with stroke - I was tested for autoimmune (negative) and genetic aspects (related I guess -negative) - but I was told if I got pregnant again I'd be very high risk and have to inject blood thinners (the stroke -full recovery very fast thank goodness and yes my teeth got really bad after pregnancy!) 

We agreed I shouldn't get pregnant again given the risks.  Before my late 30s I alway assumed I'd have two kids but when I got pregnant (naturally) I assumed we'd be one and done.  Thrilled to have one child (he is 12 now!).  We didn't really want to adopt or do surrogacy.  Would you consider surrogacy? 

I think this is such a personal decision.  I don't think I'd go through a pregnancy with your issues (particularly since I didn't with mine).  All the best to you and your family.

@Batya33 I have briefly looked into surrogacy, but with it also being pretty expensive, it has put us off as well. My husband feels as though he doesn't know if he could connect with a surrogate or adopted child. I even thought about the type of surrogacy where they use my egg, his sperm....however I believe I'd be putting my body through the ringer doing the hormone injections for that too. 

I agree, this is all a very personal decision....I do best hearing from others and my anxiety leads me down paths of lots of questions and research. Sometimes I wonder if my anxiety went away, maybe half my problems would...haha. Thank you for your input/story as well,  I truly appreciate it. 

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37 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Oh, and I was young too. First pregnancy I was late teens, second early 20s and third mid 30s. No reason whatsoever for me to get as sick as I did. But I did anyway.

You don't absolutely have to have two children if it would be too risky. But of course that is your and your husband's decision, not mine or anyone else's.

@boltnrun That's interesting that your tests came back negative as well for everything you went through, especially because it's clear your body, like mine, wasn't right! I hope you have been able to recover from those issues! I think it just feels so unfair sometimes and I wish I could just be one of those people who seemingly have no health issues! But yes, this decision is so personal and it's a big one.  I struggle enough with easy things in life, let alone the hard decisions haha

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5 minutes ago, adee07 said:

@boltnrun That's interesting that your tests came back negative as well for everything you went through, especially because it's clear your body, like mine, wasn't right! I hope you have been able to recover from those issues! I think it just feels so unfair sometimes and I wish I could just be one of those people who seemingly have no health issues! But yes, this decision is so personal and it's a big one.  I struggle enough with easy things in life, let alone the hard decisions haha

I hear you. I always always always wanted more than one child. My second trimester miscarriage almost did me in and I was severely depressed for more than 5 years. I lamented not having another child almost a decade . Even after going through menopause I lamented again I would never again be a mom. If you want more kids this is something to be grieved. 

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4 hours ago, Seraphim said:

If you have had very serious illnesses since pregnancy and have major major anxiety over it, I would not have another child. If your husband is not interested in adoption please please please don’t push this.

I totally agree with the above. I wouldn't push it.  Sometimes we have to accept what life throws at us and learn to live with only having one child - that is a blessing in itself (imo). Make a good life for the child that you do have.

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59 minutes ago, adee07 said:

@Cherylynthat's very interesting regarding the improvement of your chronic fatigue syndrome! Honestly, both my parents and my in laws have tried telling me multiple times that another pregnancy may reverse my symptoms/ make me better, but I've always taken that with "a grain of salt", as they say. I've been doing a lot of reading/researching on things such as gut health that seems to impact the whole body. I see way more research being drawn to this area recently...if only I could get my gut to tolerate the foods it needs!! Anyways, thank you for sharing your story!

I don't know about another pregnancy reversing your symptoms! 

I'm a very picky eater and ever since I've changed my lifestyle 100%, I feel 100% better.  It's not just diet either.  It's my entire daily schedule, incorporating fitness and making time for good health.  Concentrating on taking care of your health is time consuming.  I've limited my electronic time (computer, TV, cell phone, etc.) because they're time traps.  Whenever I'm productive and industrious, my physical and mental health improves. 

Good luck with your and your husband's final decision. 

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could it be that your body was totally depleted of nutrients while you breastfed? Also there could have been a medical problem all along that extra estrogen masks during pregnancy.  change in sensitives to smell is normal.  are you sure you don't have hashimotos? 

i honestly would not have another pregnancy intentionally - as it sounds like you are falling apart, no offense. Get yourself healthy - spend the money on a dietician, specialists, etc to get your health manageable again.

You CAN adopt from the foster system very economically, but i would wait until your child is older and can speak before doing so -- you want to make sure the child can communicate. 

But i would wait on ANYTHING for a few years until your health is in order. 

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Afternoon Adee!

 

I don’t know whether I am late in on this but how you feel during and after pregnancy can be similar for some women each pregnancy they have or dramatically different. Just because you are very sick in one pregnancy does not mean the same fate for the next but, if you have health conditions without being pregnant (as it seems!) I would strongly suggest having a long conversation with your doctor before embarking on another one! 
 

As others have said, only a doctor will know medically what is sensible and right for you. Everyone is different. 
 

Pregnancy and child birth are funny things - you can have one woman, healthy as anything on paper, perfect, and have the worst pregnancy plagued with depression and health issues and a bad labour and then you can take an obese chain smoking red bull addict who sails through all the trimesters and doesn’t even gain one stretch mark and will tell you she even lost weight whilst being pregnant!

 

I know this is a little extreme and generally women tend to follow a pattern, the healthier and younger you are the more likely it is to have a smooth, complication free pregnancy but this as we know is not always guaranteed.

 

From a personal perspective, I have had three children up to now. I have a son, 3 and a half, I was pregnant with him at 27 gave birth at 28. Effortless pregnancy and labour but I suffered a great deal mentally, during and after I would say. But then again, I have always suffered with my moods. My second baby is my girl, she has just turned 2. I just felt more tired, running after a toddler. Again, had some mental hiccups after she was born adjusting emotionally to it all. I had my third baby girl a month ago. I was the most tired during this pregnancy and have found after the birth my body has not snapped back as fast as the other two and I still get aches and pains abs light cramping (after birth pains). 
 

Even in perfect health, pregnancy, giving birth and raising babies will test anyone! Don’t take the decision lightly (as you aren’t) but I also understand the deep desire brooding for another baby can leave you carrying around so, you want to take all that medical advice, have some long chats with your husband and armed with information make the right decision for you and your family. 
 

People get through a lot when things are sprung on them, but if you are actively going to plan another pregnancy I am sure you want to make it as smooth as possible for not only yourself but, your existing child and husband.

 

You can message me anytime!

 

PS - I had and have weird joint aches and pains that feel like almost mild arthritis after each pregnancy. I was shocked at 28, in very good health and fit and frolicking as a new born lamb to wake up with stiff, aching wrists and ankles for months and months after my son was born. It can do funny things to your immune system. 
 

PPS - maybe contact a medical specialist on autoimmune disorders to cover all bases? Some doctors only cover general medical issues and seeing a private consultant or specialist can really open the doors to investigating what is causing your ailments.

 

My dear, best of luck! I am sorry no one here can give you a straight answer but to go ahead with a pregnancy or adoption, only you and your husband can make that decision.

 

Best,

Lo x

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