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Really worried that my body is not up to pregnancy! TTC, can anyone advise?

(8 Posts)
TigerseyeMum Sun 29-May-11 10:08:44

I posted a while back in the Giving Birth section about my health problems, but I would really value some ideas on how to take care of myself in case I get pregnant. I find it utterly terrifying as I do not have a baby-making body, in fact I have spent the last 20 years having treatment and avoiding getting pregnant at all costs!

Quite aside from the fact that it will take a miracle for me to conceive, my main concerns are my body's ability to physically cope with carrying a baby. there are 2 main reasons:

1. I have endometriosis and some internal organs are scarred and attached to the abdominal wall, so they do not move around easily and I get a fair amount of pain. This lead, 6 years ago to problem 2:

2. Two prolapsed discs in my lower spine where the spine supports the uterus. If I so much as strain when I am constipated I get pain and the discs threaten to pop out again blush

Also, problem 3: My old physiotherapist once remarked that I have 'funny hips' confused They do not bend like they should, and rotate outwards, placing strain on my lower back, instead of folding inwards to my chest.

So you see, I am very very anxious that being pregnant would be a difficult thing.

My back is much better than it ever used to be - years of osteo and physio - and the endo is finally in remission (hence the TTC). So there are plus points.

Can anyone offer advice on what I could do to help my body - exercises to strengthen, loosen etc? Anyone had similar problems and coped with pregnancy? Could my GP advise? I am worried that I can't even take my painkillers when pregnant (diclofenac).

I am utterly terrified of being pregnant, and cannot even begin to imagine how I could push a baby out shock

Any wise words, oh experienced MNers?

Coppernoddle Sun 29-May-11 11:13:38

Oh my goodness you poor thing!! Sounds like everyday life is a battle for you! Well, I have no experience of any of those things apart from my friend had a baby who had very severe back problems, they told her she wouldn't be able to carry and she had quite a good pregnancy! I think this is one for your gp, or even further, get transferred to a specialist who can deal with this in a pregnancy situation! Your very wise to get all the advise you need before starting as the last thing you want to happen is to damage yourself even more! Oh I do hope things work out for you and the advise comes flowing in! Best of luck x x x keep us posted how you get on x x

fallingandlaughing Sun 29-May-11 11:23:27

I have endometriosis, epilepsy, diabetes, IBS and back and neck problems.

Pregnancy has been great (I am 33+3 at the moment). Seriously, I have felt fantastic throughout. I love being pregnant. I have had some mild back pain on and off and some ligament problems in my foot, but otherwise no difficulties.

As for birth.. well I can't speak from experience yet. I just reckon it is part of the process and is a special experience, even if painful. If your medical issues stop labour from being feasible you will get a C-Section.

I guess what I am saying is try not to worry. Your body is stronger than you think.

TigerseyeMum Sun 29-May-11 11:54:30

Thank you both. I sometimes feel hopeful that my body will rise to the occasion but then other days, when I have back pain from just driving to work or sitting at my desk, I worry and think how on earth will I cope doing that plus carrying a baby?!

Falling you sound similar to me - I also get IBS problems when I have flare-ups, and I also get Chronic Fatigue (mainly over the winter months) so it gives me hope that your body has coped and you are doing so well grin

As I have endo I can have support through the JRH specialist team if needed so perhaps because of that they will support me with any birth needs. I think I might speak with my GP and see if there is a 'plan' we could come up with.

I may not even get pregnant, so I don't know why I am worrying so much! blush

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Sun 29-May-11 14:45:02

A lot of people with chronic illnesses, particularly those involving autoimmunity and pain, seem to report that pregnancy and the neonatal period actually helps to improve their symptoms. So you may actually find that, like fallingandlaughing you feel a lot better and cope a lot better than you expect.

And in terms of giving birth, it sounds as though you'd probably be offered a C-section, if that's what you'd want.

Given all your medical problems, though, it's no surprise that you're worried. Have you got anyone sympathetic and supportive you could chat things through with (eg family member, friend, counsellor etc) and think about how you might cope with your feelings? I've found that, although this pregnancy has been physically much harder than my last (I have ongoing heart disease) I have coped a lot better simply through doing more to manage my anxiety...

TigerseyeMum Sun 29-May-11 17:51:59

Hi Breastmilk, I have a good friend who is also a therapist (like myself) who I have talked to in the past but she is currently going through a very difficult pregnancy so haven't been able to see her much.

In fact, a lot of the people I know have had awful pregnancies, which doesn't help!

I help people manage their anxiety for a living, and I do use some techniques myself, but having someone to talk to is hard as any counselling I receive has to be out of my area. It doesn't help when I counsel people a lot who have had birth problems shock

Maybe I should talk to my GP and see what help there might be out there for me. That might help alleviate and fears.

I am not really all that knowledgeable about pregnancy so it might help to learn more. The unknown is the scariest thing.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Sun 29-May-11 18:02:32

Given the scariestness of the unknown, probably the best starting point is not to seek the advice of the people who have had the awful pregnancies... having to deal with people's birth problems professionally must be an absolute nightmare! But then equally, hearing people prattle on about how they breezed through each trimester isn't going to help if that's realistically not what you'll experience. (I remember at about 36 weeks with DD almost strangling a woman who complained to me she'd not seen a doctor for the duration of her pregnancy - as in, because she obviously hadn't needed to) So yes, not an easy one, I accept.

But I think what I'd also say is that nothing really ever prepares you for pregnancy. It's always a leap into the unknown, and your body and hormones will always make you feel and say and do things you'll never expect. So maybe no amount of preparation will ever suffice.

TigerseyeMum Sun 29-May-11 18:25:42

Yes that is true, and that's kind of how I have been seeing it - like leaping into the void!

I keep telling myself we just need to 'get on with it and do it' then take it from there. I'm trying not to overthink it.

And I've said no to the perinatal support group! Above and beyond the call of duty, I'm afraid, someone else can run it! grin

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