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ME / CFS and labour..?

(11 Posts)
ErikaMaye Sun 11-Oct-09 23:16:15


Have been ill for about 20 months now, have to use a walking stick and a wheelchair for longer journies. My baby is due in five weeks (!!) and it crossed my mind today after a second batch of contractions that left me desperately tired that I might not have the energy or strength to actually push.

Can anyone share their experiences with me? I really would like to have a VB (am terrified of needles, and have never had an operation!!) but if this is being totally impractical please tell me so I can start looking into an elective!!! Thanks in advance

Have posted in disabilites too.

Littlemissmischief Mon 12-Oct-09 23:14:47

Hey ErikaMaye - I had ME/CFS about 5 years ago, was quite bad for a while but luckily got much better, I still get tired easily and am prone to every illness going as my immune system is shot to pieces. I gave birth nearly 3 years ago I think it is exhausting whether your ill or not to be honest but obviously you have to think of the possibility of not having the energy to get through it especially if you have a long labour, have you spoken to your midwife about it?

Congrats by the way smile

Littlemissmischief Mon 12-Oct-09 23:15:47

Have just realised that my post hasnt really given you any advie or anything but atleast its bumped so someone might come along with more help for you

Good luck x

ErikaMaye Tue 13-Oct-09 12:25:42

Thanks for taking the time to reply My MW and the consultant mentioned the possibility of a CS right at the start, but I totally underestimated exahusted I would be by this stage, let along when having contractions - just like every first time mum does I guess. She's coming to see me again today so am going to bring it up. Still have time for it to be arranged if that's what we decide needs to happen.

Littlemissmischief Tue 13-Oct-09 16:15:26

I know you said you dont want to have a cs and I know ev eryone is told its not the best option because it takes 6 weeks to heal and be able to drive etc. but I had a a natural birth and due to tearing I was like that anyway, coulldnt drive and took a while to settle down and heal, sorry not trying to scare you or anything im sure you will be fine but dont want you to consider the cs because of those reasons when it can be the same anyway, if that makes sense hmm

The only thing I can say for definate, when I was at my worst I couldnt even get up to make a cup of tea so dont think i would have been able to give birth, but in a book i read about ME there was a lot of people that had so i think its a personal choice hun.

Good luck x x

ErikaMaye Tue 13-Oct-09 16:27:17

Thanks. I am going to discuss having a CS when my midwife comes round later, I think its more I'm frightened of it than anything else - have neveer had an operation, and I hate hospitals, so would rather like to escape ASAP!!

I am frightened of tearing, its probably my biggest non-ME related concern to giving birth.

I am better than I was when I first got ill, but its sliding down a little again now. I'm probably in the middle, though slightly towards the "more ill" side, if you look at ME ability on a scale. For some reason the NHS screwed their paper work up, so have also been discharged from my specialist because of their mistakes, so can't dicuss it with him either!!

My main concern is trying for a natural birth, then getting too tired, and having to have an emergancy CS. I would much rather have the time to prepare myself mentally for it if that is what I need to do.

Catitainahatita Tue 13-Oct-09 19:54:09

My mother has had severe ME/CFS in various bouts over the last 20 years. This doesn't make me an expert, but it did make me want to post just to tell you CONGRATULATIONS for having come this far and to wish you all the best for the birth.

Being tired is part of being pregnant. I understand you are 35 ish weeks, I'm 36 just now, and am completely exhausted by everything. And I don't have ME/CFS. You might not be sliding down the scale, as you fear, but rather just suffering the normal pregnancy side effects.

I think you have to decide if a CS is for you. As far as I can tell, with my mum, uncertainty is a real stress trigger with her and can provoke negative feelings that make her MS/CFS play up. If this is the case for you you have to have a plan (agreed with you midwife and ccnsultant) for whatever scenario you decide, so that you can stop worrying about it.

CS are not the end of the world. Nor are they are sign of you "not havind done hings right". They are a big operation, yes, but nothing you won't be able to deal with. You won't see any needles or any surgery going on. You'll find things tough for a couple of weeks, but it will force you also to have lots of rest (which you will need).

Good luck. And congratulations again on having been able to get pregnant etc. I konw how hard it can be to battle ME/CFS.

ErikaMaye Tue 13-Oct-09 21:03:09

Thank you for your kind words, they are very much appriciated right now. First unplanned, teenage pregnancy with a few medical problems thrown in always leads to an interesting journey!!!

Could I ask what your mum did for birthing options?

I'm not too worried about the recovery - I know regardless of how I give birth it will take a while to heal, and it would do regardless of ME or anything else.

Thank you.

Catitainahatita Wed 14-Oct-09 03:01:07

My mum first came down with ME/CFS when I was about 12. But since you ask, she had two vaginal births with me and my sister.
I had an emergency cs with DS1 and will be having an elective with DD.

Regardless of what happens at the birth you're goig to need a few helping hands in the first few weeks then you can get the rest you need to recover from the birth (and the having a newborn!) I'm sure you have a routine of rests sorted out by now, but unfortunately your baby won't respect them! Is your Mum/DP going to be with you most of the time. I'm sorry to harp on, but if it were my mum in your situation the first thing I'd be trying to make surewe had sorted was a plan to ensure that she carried on having her rests throughout the day and she didn't end up getting overtired. The not sleeping because she's overtired can quickly spiral out of control.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 14-Oct-09 03:59:37

Erika, no personal experience, and I don't know if it helps, but bear in mind that your body really gears up for birth. People with quite severe illnesses do manage vaginal deliveries because you have so much more strength when you're going into labour and lots of hormones kicking around to get you through it. That's why women often get that nesting energy spurt. Hope that's reassuring.

ErikaMaye Wed 14-Oct-09 11:24:26

I live with my parents, and my DP will be coming to stay for the first month after the birth, so will have plenty of help. I'm very lucky.

Carmen, thank you. My midwife is coming on Thursday now after a change of plans, so will discuss it all with her then. Seeing the consultant on Monday anyway, too.

Thanks everyone

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