question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

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sherry fisher
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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby sherry fisher » Mon Sep 18, 637015 7:55 pm

I think I recognize mine as more of a physical aspect at the point of the pregnancy. My motherly instincts kicks in for the children I have at home. I know that I need to stay healthy for them. After the baby is born, I kinda feel the emotional side kick in a bit. I feel cheated to not have this 'perfect' pregnancy like so many do get to experience. I think before I even got pregnant with #4 I knew that IF there ever was to be another, I would be in the same boat, so to speak. Although; I think I have come to realization a little better after SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many! LOL In the long run, I know that there is nothing I could have done any different, except to NOT get pregnant at all. You know how we are though; when we want something.........

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DH: Bill (35)
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#1) Alex 1/1/94-PE
#2) Abbie 12/17/97-PIH
#3 Will 08/03/02-PP PE
#4) EDD: 4/27/04

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby kimb » Fri Sep 08, 637015 3:48 pm

It is very much emotional for me even though six months later I am still struggling with the bp. I agree that the "ideal" pregnancy would be to have my son here with me. I was not diagnosed with pe until I was in the hospital and they told me I had pree and HELLP and we would have to terminate the pregnancy. I had just been to the peri 2 days earlier and had called my ob that day because of bleeding and was told - its just pregnancy. I didn't even get a chance to go on bedrest and try to keep my son going long enough to be able to survive. I find that I am a much angrier person than I used to be and I don't like that.

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby josiah1112 » Fri Sep 08, 637015 12:50 pm

For me my pregnancy ideal would have been for my baby
to make it. I also was cheated out of my 3rd trimester of pregnancy,
but that wouldn't of mattered at all if my son were here today.
I obsess more these days on thinking if we should try again in the future and if we do on what the outcome might be. Sometimes I get really scared... I would hate to bring another baby into this world to suffer...How I wish I could look into a crystal ball and then make my decision.

Gloria mom to Josiah 11/12/03 - 12/4/03 born at 26wks PE

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby bonnie » Fri Sep 08, 637015 12:32 pm

I have to start by saying that I am so grateful that Yoni only spent 2 weeks in the NICU. Although it felt like a lifetime at the time, compared to a lot of you, it was nothing but a "weekend visit" [:D].

Now that I've said that, on to my story. WARNING, this ended up being a lot longer than I had planned.

Shortly after my husband and I moved to Washington state, my Rheumatoligist (I have severe RA and have had it since I was 18) suggested I meet with an amazing Perinatologist in the hospital (UW) to discuss a plan of action for "planning". I had been taking a lot of drugs to try and control the disease, and knew that I couldn't become pregnant on them as they would almost certainly cause birth defects. The appointment was made and I had a battery of tests run, including a 24 hour, cardiac output, and some lung capacity tests, before I even met with the Peri. At that meeting, the peri placed me on 50mg atenolol and made me come back 6 weeks later to see how it had worked (we repeated the 24 hr and the cardiac output). After that follow-up appt I assumed that once I got pregnant I would then be followed by a regular OBGYN and said so in passing. To my shock he informed me that no, he'll be following me right through my pregnancy. He told me about this website at the time (the forum wasn't set up it, it was May 2001) and told me my chances were pretty high that I'd get PE, the hope was to get me as close to term as possible without my disease "flaring". We had a chart of how long I had to be off of each medication, which meds I could stay on, what we'd add at what point if things started to get bad and also how long I had to get pregnant. So, for those of you that want to skip to the end, to answer Laura's question,I had a feeling things might not be as I had seen on "Baby Story", although I was still hoping that they would be close to normal.

The clock starting "ticking" for me at the end of May, 2001. By end of June, I had successfully "weanned" off of my meds, and only needed to increase one med throughout our try. By New Year's 2001 I was pregnant.

We were ecstatic. I made it "JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME". If I hadn't been preggo by January I needed to go back on my meds as I was already showing the signs of a "flare" and we didn't want me to "start off on the wrong foot".

I too had HG, but not as severly as some others here it seems, and never was admitted for it. When it came time for the "triple screen", we were hit with a double whammy! The test came back with a 1/30 chance for downs for my age (29 almost 30 at the time) and I was also a carrier for Tay Sachs (a genetic disease that is 100% fatal). We agreed on doing the amnio, and my dh was tested to see if he was a carrier of Tay Sachs (if we both tested positive, we had a 1 in 4 chance of having a baby with the disease). The next 10 days were excruciating as we awaited the results. In that time, I turned 30 (my parents had come out to celebrate, but we were too nervous to do anything). I now know that this is pretty common on this board, the false "positive". Also, by this point my atenolol has been doubled and increased to 100 mg b/c my resting pulse (120) and cardiac output were literally off the chart.

By April, I was acutally starting to get relief from the HG (I was about 20 weeks). I then had about 5 weeks of actually feeling "okay". I never had that pregnancy "glow". But, I certainly liked starting to show and wearing cute outfits that I had bought. At 24 weeks, my dh and I went to Las Vegas for a last minute, last fling, before the baby was born. When we were away, my feet and hands swelled so much I couldn't bend my fingers and my feet were bruised from my sandals. I went to my usual appt (I was going every 2 weeks right from the start) and my protein was up (I had protein before getting preggo b/c of the autoimmune thing) and I had gained 14 lbs! I had been gaining about 2 lbs every two weeks for the last 6 weeks. I was sure it was a mistake. I started taking Lasix and once again my atenolol was doubled (now taking 100 mg two times daily). We discussed going back on a med that had not been used in preg women, but we didn't have a choice. The worry was supply, as at the time, there was a wait list for the drug. I hesitantly agreed and had no trouble getting it. We also discussed delivery. 32 weeks seemed unlikely, but we'd try!!!

Strict bedrest and several increases in atenolol later things took a drastic turn just before I turned 35 weeks (truly a miracle if you ask me!!). This was one of just a handful of appts that my dh missed. I had the all to familiar "headache" and again had gained an abnormal amount of weight. I promised that if the headache didn't get better I'd come back. I was also given a Rx for another drug for my RA. As I was leaving the clinic, I felt my heart racing so hard and fast I thought I would pass out. I was just going to walk a couple of steps to a seat and sit down, but I collapsed before I made it to the chair. When they took my pressure it was 190/100 and it only went up from there. The Peri told me that we were having a baby, and I said, "NO, I feel much better now, can't I go home? I promise to come back if I still don't feel well later." Clearly, I lost that argument. My pressure had been elevated at the NST and at my appt, but not very high and my protein was the same as it had been.

Yoni was born the next night at 11:44 pm. Even though he was nearly 35 weeks, he still had some issues, including Neonatal sepsis. He was in the NICU for nearly two weeks. I was in the hospital for a week. I am still on atenolol, and we're hoping to get the green light to try again this spring.

My disease was supposed to get "better" with pregnancy, but to quote every dr I saw during my pregnancy, I got the "short stick". It sucked. From week 26 through delivery I was at the clinic 2 times a week. That was my only venture out of the house. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! Am I scared out of my mind? More than most people can even imagine (except ALL of you here [;)]). I was so sure throughout my pregnancy that everything I was experiencing was normal I didn't bother to "share" most of my symptoms. I was told "It's your job to tell me EVERYTHING that's going on. IT's my job to decide if it's important." My dh makes me promise each time we talk about getting preggo again that I'll take it more seriously. I know myself though, it's going to be hard to complain, since I just don't like people asking me "how are you doing?". --I think it has to do with having this thing for so long.

SORRY FOR THE RANT . . . I just finally built up the courage to share my story with you all . . .

Yoni's ima

Yonatan 7/10/2002 (35 weeks PE)

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby catherine » Fri Sep 08, 637015 11:05 am

Lord this is a really good one Laura, how the heck are you going to keep this up?

I have to say that my perspective is a little different than most. I didn't ever have any time to decide what I thought my ideal pregnancy might be, not because I had preeclampsia, but because I miscarried the very first time I became pregnant. That was unplanned, my husband was living in another state at the time and the length of time between realising that I was pregnant and losing that baby was only a couple of weeks. My husband was stuck home in Ireland (year of the government shutdown and his passport was captive inside the US embassy there) and I hadn't even told him the news, I had wanted to tell him face to face. I was simply stunned, good catholic girls like me never give a moment's thought to the possibility that getting pregnant might not lead to a baby. I wasn't pregnant that long, and I hadn't even been trying but I mourned that loss so much. I didn't tell anyone, I didn't even tell my husband until about a month after it all happened once we could finally see each other face to face.

About 6 months later I was pregnant again, I had just been unable to go back to using birth control, I desperately wanted a baby. I guess with such an early loss there isn't a huge amount of guilt about the issue of "replacement". Again, it seemed like I might lose the baby. Almost a month of intermittent bleeding and what seemed like daily ultrasounds before I made it to the 2nd trimester. Somehow I believed that this time it would work out but I was so worn out from the daily worry of it all that I just never felt that it was an experience to be enjoyed. Pressures of work, relocating to the city where my husband was working, immigration issues etc. pushed pregnancy right into the background.

Fortunately I was symptom free, no nausea, no swollen ankles, no heartburn, if it weren't for the bump you would never have known that I was pregnant, and before I was ready, either in terms of mental preparedness (hadn't even finished the lamaze classes), or domestically (no clothes, no carseat), Finn (35w, 4d) was in my arms. I was thrilled and busy. I found the transition back to normality jarring but I was otherwise happy.

Four years passed and I was dying to try again. Finally managed to convince my husband. Couple of months of effort and the stick was blue. I was so happy, shared the news with all my friends. Then, the bleeding..again. This time around deep down I was certain that it wasn't going to work out. I loved my OB but once again, U/S, blood draws. I tried to work through it but I couldn't. I willed that baby to be ok but once again I was unlucky. Being me my timing was terrible, a D&C a week before Christmas and two weeks before I moved jobs and state. My OB's office tracked me down at my new address to get me to go for more blood tests to make sure that everything had gone back to normal!

Back trying again, a month later, pregnant (I do this bit well LOL). New job, new state, new OB (#3 of 4 pregnancies). Those of you who know me from the start of this forum will recognise typical "denial" behaviour, I refused to even be seen by the OB until I was almost 11 weeks pregnant. I couldn't bear to go through the hopeless monitoring if I were to experience the same early loss. Not this time, smooth sailing. I felt great, busy at work again. I guess I had hoped to make my pregnancy more of the focus of my existance but anyone with kids knows that time just doesn't permit. I got to 35w, 5d, and boom within 3 hours I was face to face with preeclampsia and HELLP. I don't remember much, I was too drugged and too sick but once that I knew that Lucy was going to be ok, I didn't really care. When I realised that I was going to walk away from the experience unscarred, I was elated. Once again, the transition back to the non-pregnant state jarred, worse, I needed to be back working as soon as possible, nothing had been left ready. Lucy, poor baby, spent a significant portion of her first 3 months snuggled up to me in my office.

Fast forward a year and a BIG surprise, pregnant without even knowing it. No symptoms, I was nursing and maybe that helped. In the OB's office (#4) I remember looking out the window and wondering what on earth I was going to do. Once again I hadn't told anyone (not even DH), I was afraid that they were going to tell me to abort. I was almost hoping that I would miscarry, I didn't feel pregnant and thought that I was going that route again. I nearly rolled off the table when the U/S tech estimated that the baby was almost 12 weeks. I had fast forwarded through my usual "mental anguish" zone oblivious. Such irony, I had bypassed the terrifying early phase only to be faced with the possibility of experiencing preeclampsia again at the far end!

So I tried the "denial" coping mechanism and it worked very well. I didn't tell people (not even family) until the last possible minute. There are some of my friends who still don't know that we have two daughters not one [:I]. I had such an easy time physically but as I got closer to 36 weeks I would wake up in the middle of the night working through nightmare senarios in my head. The forum here stopped me going nuts. I whiled away hours in my office reading posts here instead of working. I gave myself one enormous fright at about 34 weeks... but I survived... and Chloe was considerate enough to put me out of my misery by showing up at 35 w, 6 d.

I'm done, in every sense of the word you may be relieved to read. If I mourn anything it is the loss of preparation and anticipation time, if I regret anything, it it that I've never managed to make the time to enjoy the early days of my children's newbornness. However, I am so grateful for these experiences sad and crazy as they may have been because they brought important lessons about what is really important, that they have shown me that I can be strong and can cope with adversity and I have learned to treasure the things that really matter. I will never regret what it took to have these children, they are so worth all of it.

Catherine (37)
DH, Dave (40)
Finn (6)
Lucy (2)Preeclampsia & HELLP
Chloe (7/2/03)

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby sarab » Fri Sep 08, 637015 2:48 am

Wow, Laura, what a great topic!! I am in tears right now, this is very theraputic to read all of your responses.

When my doctor put me on meds for HBP at 12 weeks he didn't act like anything was wrong or could go wrong later, it just seemed sort of routine. I didn't even bother to read up on HBP, I just assumed that HBP was a normal part of pregnancy. Even when I was sent home on bed rest and told I'd be lucky to get to 32 weeks it didn't hit me at all. When I found this site and I began reading others' stories, I started to worry, but my real emotional trauma did not come until after Maggie was delivered.

After the c-secion, I was taken out of labor and delivery and sent to another wing of the hospital to spend my recovery days. I think this is because I wouldn't be having my baby brought into my room, or something like that, and they needed the bed. I was put in a shared room with an 18 year old girl who was 27 weeks pregnant and addicted to heroin. She was there because her baby was addicted, too, and the baby was having withdrawals. This girl spent her days (and nights) screaming at her doctors and her mother about how it was her life and she could so what she wanted. It was SO HARD for me to lay there (I was still on mag and couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom) and just listen to her. Here I was, hadn't even SEEN my own child yet, I had done everything "right" in my pregnancy, and she was yelling about how she didn't care about her baby and would everyone just leave her alone about it. Looking back, I should have just demanded a new room, but in my emotional state, that didn't even come to mind.

A few weeks later, I was given a baby shower and Maggie was still in the NICU. I showed pictures of course, and everyone was delighted to "ooh" and "ahh" over the presents, but no one even realized what I was going through. They all acted like I had a perfectly normal pregnancy and here we were, just having a regular baby shower. It was like Maggie was just napping at home or something. It seemed that everyone else thought I DID have an "ideal" pregnancy.

So anyway, to conclude my novel...[:)],definately my emotional recovery was MUCH harder. I really think I had pp depression (sometimes I still think I do), and our marriage suffered a lot, which just added to everything. (Things are GREAT now, though!) Physically I was in pain but it didn't even seem to matter. One afternoon I even drove myself up to the NICU (45 minutes away) after having my gall bladder out at a different hospital that same morning. Not the smartest thing to do, but hey...[:)]

Keep these questions coming, Laura! It is so theraputic for me to read that others went through the same feelings as I did.

Sara, 23
DH, Scott, 25
Maggie Lylas, 6/9/03, 29 weeks, severe pre-e

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby angelical » Thu Sep 07, 637015 11:30 pm

Thank you for posting this question. I have to say, it is good to read that so many of you have experienced the same feelings that I have. (although, I wish none of us HAD to feel any of this!)

For me, I can finally see now - - 20 months later - - how I really was.... broken. I just didn't know it at the time.

I had always assumed that I would have a perfect pregnancy. I had never had difficult periods, etc., so I assumed that that would translate into an easy pregnancy and delivery. My expectations were to enjoy everything about having a baby, have a drug-free delivery (maybe), nurse for my whole maternity leave, and then pump for a while after returning to work. The only negative I expected was to gain weight; I actually relished the idea of having a time in my life when eating some ice cream wouldn't be a problem and a little extra weight is expected.

But then, 10 weeks into my pregnancy, BAM! hypermesis hit AND my blood pressure went up. Well, I was still sure that my bp would be controlled and the MS would end soon. Yeah right! Four months later, the morning sickness finally stopped. I had lost 25 pounds. And my bp was still up - - and rising.

By the time I was hospitalized with preeclampsia, I should have realized how bad it was going to get. I toured the NICU with a sense of detachment; as if I were watching a TV show or something. I spent most of the week I was on bedrest reading paperback novels, when I should have had my laptop hooked up so I could be researching this disease. Nope... I still thought my body wouldn't let me down.

After I had Aaron, I went into a fog. I had this militant view that Aaron WOULD fight and win against all odds. I wouldn't imagine anything less. And I was sure that I was fine, emotionally. At least I knew it would take time for my body to recover. (Still really hasn't, though, my bp is still high)

During the 6 weeks that Aaron was in the NICU, I remained calm. My mom was so proud of how strong I was. What she didn't know, and I really didn't realize, was how thin the string was that was keeping me sane.

That thread almost broke during the next month. Aaron came home, and my sick leave ended. I had to go back to work, and leave my 4 lb son with my parents. My dh wasn't helpful then either... he acted like everything was perfect with Aaron AND I should be on my honeymoon (the pregnancy had caused a long, umm... drought.....). So, within a month, I was ready for a divorce. Oh, and I had to stop expressing milk too - - it was just too much in my tight work/childcare/sleep schedule...another disappointment.

Luckily though over the next few months, my husband figured out what a great baby Aaron is, and my new doctor helped get some of the fluid off of me and my bp down some. So, by the time Aaron was a year old, I was almost completely well, physically and mentally.

Today, almost another year later, I think I'm about there. Aaron is doing wonderful...happy and healthy. DH and I are happy too; we have gotten through that rough patch pretty well. I'm settled in with my working mom role, although it will always be hard to leave him in the morning. And I'm more-or-less healthy, although the stress of the past 2 years hasn't helped my waistline. [:I]

So, to make a very long story (sorry!) short, I definitely think my emotions took a worse hit than my physical wellbeing - - and that says a lot, considering how close to death I came. [xx(]

I have to thank all of you here on the PF... I can count this Forum as one great source of strength during these months. Your understanding and comraderie has helped me put my problems in perspective and to give a voice to the fears that I have regarding pregnancies. If we could stop the ignorance about this disease, then it would help me to completely move on.

I can say this though, this pregnancy did help me to realize the important things in life.... it has given me a sense of purpose (volunteering to fight the disease), a closer relationship to God, and a wider view of womens issues.

Okay, I'll shut up now! [8D]


Sharel & Kevin
Aaron - 28 weeker
Born 5/2/02 due to preeclampsia & HELLP

Our miracle boy is doing great!!

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby aimeejane » Thu Sep 07, 637015 8:32 pm

Looking back, I didn't handle it as well as I thought I did at the time. I felt cheated out of a third trimester for well over a year, and it wasn't until Nicky was about 2 that I realized I suffered from PPD for awhile after his birth. The only thing I really remember doing for the first 9 months is sleeping, either in bed in the morning, with him next to me, or in the recliner in the afternoon, with him on my chest. (Which is why it's so sad to me that Kalen doesn't like snuggling on my chest!) I didn't open my front drapes for longer than that, which should have been a clue to myself and my family.

I also much prefer watching Maternity Ward to Baby Story - It just seemed so much more "Normal" to me, kwim?

As for the "diagnosis" - Hah. I never was diagnosed with PE. I assumed I would be, but I was the classic uninformed patient with this disease. I am an information hog - I had spent hundreds of hours researching things that could go wrond, so I'd feel prepared, just in case. But as far as PE goes, the only thing I knew about it was that two of DH's relatives had it and had been on bedrest for a couple of weeks. I think my thought was actually, "Cool, I can get off of work earlier!" when I thought the diagnosis was coming. I even worked overtime that night to finish up before I saw the doc again the next week. I wonder why I had a seizure the next day???? [:0]

Aimee - 28
Dh - 30
Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
Ds Kalen - 7/10/03 (36 weeks - preeclampsia)

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby lisac » Thu Sep 07, 637015 8:29 pm

I laugh when I hear "What to Expect when Expecting PE." I also think of ,"How not to Expect when you're Expecting." How cynical is that? I guess this next pg will be very guarded for me--at least until 28wks. I'm so consumed with what will happen in my next pg, that I don't spend too much time reflecting on how I'll never have an ideal pg. I obsess with whether I'll ever be a mom. I try not to dwell so much on the future, but it's very hard.
I try to remind myself that I made it through alive. I try to remind myself of all the other suffering in the world (earthquake just killed 28,000 in Iran), women dying of PE elsewhere. We'll all have something to deal with sooner or later, and this was my turn.
I feel for any woman who has had to experience PE, regardless of outcome. It pulls the rug right out from under you.

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Re : question of the day re: pregnancy ideals

Postby sonja » Thu Sep 07, 637015 7:47 pm

Because my dd was born at 37 1/2 weeks and PIH did not kick in until then I had a "normal" pregnancy. A few days before dd was born a co-worker delivered her baby at 26 weeks of severe PE - he was in the hospital for over 10 months. My OB asked me why I wasn't crying when she sent me to the hospital - and I did when I called my dh to meet me there, but I knew my dd was okay - had I not been so far along it would have been horrible. This pregnancy I worry more about myself at this stage then my baby (horrible huh???) because I have a little one to take care of. I am going to expect the unexpected and hope for the best.


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