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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Pregnant or TTC, crunchy and high risk's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
1:06 pm
Having Peripartum Cardiomyopathy and high blood pressure, I have to endure a scheduled birth. This includes being induced (fun fun) and an Epidural. With my first, I was drug free, until they had to induce to save my son (I was in labor for 41 hours).

So....I feel like I never get a good answer. What is an epidural like?
1. I am phobic of needles. I know I can't see it, but for me, that's more scary. It's like - what would be more scary to you? Having someone rip a chainsaw behind your back? Or in front of you?
Anyway, is it a tiny pinch? Or worse. I guess it's the whole tube incerted in your back thing that sounds super painful to me. And I'm not sure if I'll be having contractions during this or not. (Plan to ask my OB which comes first the day of, never thought of it before - epidural or pitocin)
2. Will I feel anything at all? Will I be paralyzed? Can I walk? I was told I'd feel numb, but to what extent, I don't understand what that means. Does it basically just not hurt to have contractions, and that's it? What is pushing like then?
3. Does it happen often that it just wares off, or doesn't work at all?

I have to have an Epidural because the lack of pain will slow my heart and keep me from going into heart failure, or having a heart attack during labor. But my anxieties over the procedure itself isn't helping.
Any kind words of encouragement? (No horror stories please, won't help me)

Oh, and "Labor Day" is about 2 months away.
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
2:36 pm
Intro to me.
Hi my name is Brittany, I am 34 weeks pregnate with a baby girl who has Hypoplastic left heart syndrom. Bassicaly the left side of her heart dosnt work the way it should. When she is born she with undergo 3 surgerys to make her heart work the way it should. As of right now she is growing small. She is only 3.5 pounds at 34 weeks. I am also having issues with her amniotic fluid dropping went from 9 to 6.7 in a week and a half. We see an obgyn 2 times a week and a cardioligst once a month. She aslo has a 2 vessel umbilical cord. I have a history of hypertension also. So to sum it up this pregnancy has been quite the rollercoaster so far. I have a 11 month old son also. We have nothing ready for a baby girl due to the fact that we dont know what will happen. Her first surgery has a 75% survival rate so hopefully things will go good.  

Current Mood: depressed
Saturday, June 9th, 2012
6:56 pm
Lets Talk Epidurals
So, until last Monday, I had no idea there was a such thing as a medical "need" for an epidural. I mean, for real? Turns out I may be one of them.

After finding out (by fluke, my OB ordered an endocardiogram on a hunch pretty much) that I have an enlarged arotra and left ventricle and a low injection fraction. What does that mean? It means that the further along I get, the harder my heart works, and the harder it works, the more at risk I am for heart to go "Kablooee".

So I was told I need to go back on my BP meds, no big deal. But that I would also have to have an epidural. What? I was just getting used to the idea of the nightmare of having an induction AGAIN, now an epidural too? Apparently it's supposed to slow my heart. But the more I read and the more I think about it, I really question it. And I will, for my next Monday morning appointment.

But in the mean time. Any stories? Did you have to have an epidural that was not of your own choosing? What was it like? What happened? Why did you need one?
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
8:08 am
Big Update....
Monday I went back to the Cardiologist. (3rd time now) My Mother drove from 2 hours away to go with my husband and I. It was, the hardest Doctor visit I've ever had.
Honestly we left with news that I could possibly die for having this baby. I have an enlarged aorta, and left ventricle, my heart is only pumping out about 30% when a normal heart pumps out 50%. And as I get more pregnant, this can only get worse, and my heart has to work harder and harder just to supply me and baby blood. Which could lead to having a heart attack.
I'm 30 years old, and my heart is as bad as a 70 or 80 year old who's had a heart attack. And my Doctors can't explain it. The cardiologist suggested we do a scan to see if my heart may have any clots. But this scan will expose the baby to radiation which scared the hell out of me.
Needless to say, I was a blubbering mess this whole time, I could hardly control myself trying to hold back tears. As soon as the Dr. left the room I nearly fell to the floor as my husband grabbed me and I burst into tears.
I wanted to go talk to my OB right away because the Cardiologist just couldn't answer so many of our questions. (Obviously, I am NOT his typical patient) But I was too much of a mess. I just wanted to get out of there. After going back home and letting myself have a good cry and calm down, My Mom and I did go back to see my OB to talk.
Luckily, he made everything less grim. I went from thinking "Ok, it's me or the baby" to him telling me I have a 1% chance of dying here. Right now, the baby is fine, aside from her kidney (Nephrohydrosis), but we don't know everything yet. Her heartbeat is normal, I still feel her moving daily. Still haven't gotten her genetics test back yet, even though they said we'd get it yesterday by 5 pm.
So for now, I'm back on my BP meds, taking my blood pressure daily. I cannot have any strenuous activity. I need to keep stress and anxiety down (so easy right?) and I need to keep my sodium down. For the birth they want me induced early, and I have to have an Epidural, which I HATE, but apparently it will keep my heart rate down, and keep me from cardiac arrest. So in that case, how can I argue? I need to have some more tests done, and go back to the Cardiologist in a month. I see my OB again in a week for more ultrasounds and talk more about my heart since when I saw him he didn't get a chance to talk to the Cardiologist yet about my results.
Thursday, May 17th, 2012
8:53 am
Labor Relaxation Methods
What have you done to help ease your labor? Relaxation techniques? Hypno birthing? Meditation audio on the ipod?

If you have advice, I'd love to hear it.

My first labor experience I did not know how to relax. I had no sleep, and my labor was 41 hours long. Obviously, I don't want that again. So I'm looking for tips on things that really helped give others a nice birthing experience (drug free, of course)
Monday, April 30th, 2012
12:13 pm
Inducing Early
Hello again!

I am high risk due to high BP. I've posted a few times now.
One issue I've had with my OB is that they want to induce me at 39 weeks (I'm only a little over 16 weeks now). My Ob finally explained the whys to me. I sort of get it. But, I still do NOT want to need pitocin. I had to do it (emergency situation) with my first natural birth, and it was so painful.
Any advice on inducing yourself naturally, that have worked for you? (Anyone else that may have needed to be induced, but chose to do it naturally over pitocin?)
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
7:31 pm
High Risk Natural Birth
Has anyone with High Blood Pressure/High Risk gone through with having a drug free birth? I plan on going pain med free any way around it of course, but my OB wants to induce me before I'm full term, which makes me furious. (She won't be delivering my baby anyway, I'm moving) Is this standard for High Risk Pregnancies?

With my (now 7 year old) I had to be induced during my natural birth, 39-40 hours in because he was in danger. It took me 2 hours to finally decide to do it because I felt so conflicted. When you go through a Bradley Birthing class, you feel like a horrible person for agreeing to any drugs.
Anyway, it was so painful. My labor was already going on for damn near 2 days, and I was on NO sleep. I was so exhausted I was near delusional.

I don't want that again...ever. Especially if I'm not even in labor yet, and it isn't for the purpose of saving my baby's life.
Monday, April 16th, 2012
7:05 am
Name/LJ name:  Laura
Age:  35
Location:  WA State
Partner's name:  Steven
Kids' names and ages, due dates, or TTC:  TTC
Reason for joining:  Company, friendship, encouragement

Hi!  I'm here for the company while TTC.  I can't believe I'm trying to conceive!   Never thought I would.  I got married this last winter and that changed everything.  

First, the challenges.  I got my tubes tied 8 years ago (bipolar cautery).  I recently found out that I have a septate uterus, which means that my uterus is sort of divided down the middle and the membrane that divides it makes an inhospitable environment for an egg to implant.  I think some people call this a "heart shaped uterus".   I found one study that said there is a 40% early miscarriage rate due to the egg implanting in the septum instead of the wall of the uterus.  

A couple times over the years I've felt like I was pregnant and thought I was crazy.  This was before I knew about my septate uterus.  A tubal is permanent, yes, but not 100% effective.  Not even the most effective form of birth control.  So.  I'm thinking maybe my tubes healed themselves.  It's just scar tissue, and I have been drinking a lot of green smoothies.

Mid-march, I really believe that I was pregnant.  I had an 18 day LP and all kinds of symptoms.  Lately my LP has been 12 to 13 days.  My husband noticed that something was up too.  We surprised ourselves by wanting it.  Then I had an extra heavy period with cramps, and I never get cramps.  My husband's father passed away two weeks later, and now we find ourselves actually trying to conceive.  We believe in the power of faith and positive intentions.

I've always been a regular ovulator and have kept a chart off and on.  My fertile window opened today. ;-)

And I have a question.  My husband likes to take baths.  I've heard that really hot baths can kill sperm, but in my  opinion his baths are not very hot at all.  Are moderately hot baths ok?

Sunday, March 25th, 2012
11:53 am
2nd Child, High Risk for Pre-existing High BP
Anyone still here?
I've been searching for somewhere where I could talk to people like me, better yet, people who prefer things natural, having to deal with having a high risk pregnancy.

I found out I was 10 weeks pregnant March 6th. (I already have a 7 year old) So it was a surprise. With my Son, I had a natural birth with a midwife, and everything went fairly well.
This time, I'm forced to see an OB (specialist). I was so upset hearing that news. I tried arguing maybe I don't really have high BP, every time I've had it taken (which since I gave birth in 2004 was twice in the last 6 months due to sickness) it was high, probably because I just hate hospitals, and I was freaking out when I did come in. I NEVER go to the hospital unless something is seriously wrong. But, it didn't matter. Now I'm sitting there upset, and filling with the fear that an OB will just take over my body with invasive tests, and at the end possibly just cut me open, or induce me or whatever else they feel like.

So I had my 1st OB appointment.....I hated it. Right away she wanted to put me on BP meds, without letting me try to lower it naturally with some supplements first. I believe she said "Yeah I don't know anything about that. You have to take the meds." Oh, thanks so much. "Are there side effects" she says"Well, all medication has side effects. If you followed that rule, no one would ever take anything" I said, "Yeah....that's why I never take anything." I meant that. I use herbs, not pills. So she said "Well, I have to look it up (the medication she wanted me to take)." I'm thinking, you have to look it up? You're a high Risk Specialist? Shouldn't you just KNOW this? So she turns the screen to me with a list of medical terms I have no idea what they mean - like I'm supposed to understand this. That was her way of assuring me. Seriously. She sent in a prescription anyway.

We drove home. I was waiting to decide if I wanted the meds, trying to think a way out of it. When I got home an old high school friend IMed me asking why I'm High Risk. I wasn't announcing it on Facebook, but she must have seen me mention it in conversation to my cousin. So we started talking. She was telling me about how she lost her daughter when she had preclampsia. I won't go into it, but her Dr. didn't seem it was necessary to take any extra precautions, and her baby died after it was born. I didn't know this story. I thought she had just had a miscarriage. So it was a big eye-opener for me. It really put my situation in perspective. Suddenly me hating Doctors, and not wanting this medication seemed silly. So I went and picked it up.

In the when morning I took my first pill at 8 am. By 9:30, I was hit by feeling hyper and jittery, my hands started shaking so bad. Then My scalp felt tingly, my mouth feeling dry. I called my Doctor and had to leave a freaking MESSAGE. Luckily, these side effect started to subside around 9:50, and I felt better by 10. But before calling, I looked up my medication, because all I was told for side effects was DROWSINESS and DIZZINESS. Not Jitters and hyperness or otherwise. So as I look up this medication, the first 5 where talking about how this medication hasn't been tested much on human pregnancies (after I was assured it was very safe) and can cause a multitude of Birth defects. Now I'm left here thinking "What have I done?"

Later that day, I was told to come back in to the hospital, I had to see the other OB on call, and he took the time to listen to me, gave me alternatives, and took me off my current meds and gave me safer ones with little to no side effects on the baby and minimal to me, with a slow release. So I felt much better.

So that's my story if anyone is reading.
Anyone else feel like without a midwife, you've lost all control of your own choices? How do you deal with all the testing, and interventions. and my biggest question - how do you deal with being told they want to induce you early? When I asked my Doctor why, she just answered with "That's just what we do" (Yeah she's REAL awesome at answering my questions)

So far, I've had my 24 hour urine test and my first blood draw. God knows what else I have yet to go through.
Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
5:42 pm
Pre-exisiting hypertension?
Hi I'm Ani, this is my 7th pregnancy (9 weeks today) but will *hopefully* be my third baby (I'm kind of prone to miscarriage). intro and babble about cardiovascular issues mostly high blood pressureCollapse )

Current Mood: anxious
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
3:07 pm
FEAR OF CHILDBIRTH Survey (xposted**)
Thank you everybody for your participation in our FEAR OF CHILDBIRTH SURVEY!   We are still looking for pregnant women in North America to complete a short, online survey about their preferences, concerns, fears, and expectations about childbirth.

This research is being conducted through the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Here is a link to the 15-minute survey: http://www.motherinfantwellness.ca/library/Fear_Of_Childbirth.pdf

For more information on the Mother-Infant Wellness Lab visit http://www.motherinfantwellness.ca/

Please message me if you have any questions or concerns. And thank you again for your participation!

** We apologize for cross-posting! We are trying to reach pregnant women in as many different communities as possible!
Thursday, May 19th, 2011
2:36 pm
a project on miscarriages (xposted)
Hi, I'm new to the community. This might seem a bit unorthodox but I am a photographer who is currently creating a body of photographs on the topic of miscarriages as a way to educate people on their prevalence and the types of experiences that women have because of them (though I am also interested in hearing from partners too).

If you are interested in reading a bit more about the project, please read the rest of the post after the LJ cut. Thank you. :)

click here for more detailsCollapse )
Friday, July 2nd, 2010
9:33 pm
Hello there.  I am happy to join this community and will be glad to read the posts.  Also, I want to spread the word about a community that may be of interest to some of you here.  Check it out:


Are you an individual or one-half of a lesbian couple out there who approaches trying-to-conceive with a commitment to calmness, happiness, positivity and a sense of humor? This community is for those of us who have to go an extra mile or two to make pregnancy happen, but desire to keep stress at a minimum and faith in our bodies and the process at a maximum along the way. In addition, this community is designed for those who subscribe to the “if pregnancy is meant to happen, there is nothing that will prevent the miracle from happening” philosophy --- or those who basically believe in that philosophy but also believe a good tip or two might go a long way. The purpose is to share useful tips, stories of miracles that have happened, philosophies of yourself and your family on trying-to-conceive, positive observations you have made during your journey toward creating a family, values of personal health and wellness surrounding conception and pregnancy, information on good nutrition, research on appropriate topics, happy photos, and tips on avoiding the stress-inducing, frantic approaches of trying-to-conceive. There is a need for this type of peaceful community among the LJ trying-to-conceive networks. The need is for a space in which positive, calm, happy pathways to conception can be discussed among friends. This is the un-technical (or at least less technical) approach to a community about lesbian baby-making! Let’s give it a go!
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
2:57 pm
Saying hi
Name/LJ name: Michelle
Age: 37
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Partner's name: Eric
Kids' names and ages, due dates, or TTC: Delia 3 in June, due 12-20-10
Reason for joining:

I'm considered high risk both because of my age and because I'm attempting a VBAC. I'm not thrilled about the label, of course, because it means I can't give birth in the birthing center. I did find a practice that has two CNMs and either one will attend my birth so that's a load off. I really want to keep it natural this time around and I don't trust an OB-GYN to do so. I know that many of them think they're natural birth friendly, but when it comes down to it they're surgeons and I feel like their first response is going to be medical. I've even investigated having a HBAC, but my insurance is notorious for not paying for homebirth even when they say they will. I'm just not willing to fight about it. I fought the induction with my daughter and fought to have some kind of control over my birth and I still lost. I want to find a way to give birth the way I want without having to fight and fight and fight. We'll see how that goes.
Saturday, January 9th, 2010
7:37 pm
Name/LJ name: Amanda

Age: 25

Location: Maine

Partner's name: Matthew

Kids' names and ages, due dates, or TTC: I have a four-year-old son named Owen, and we're trying to conceive another one

Reason for joining: because of my recent recovery from anorexia, I've only just started getting periods again. I'm officially in a healthy weight range now, or close anyway, but because I was malnourished for so long my cycles have been very irregular and my body may not be able to support a pregnancy for awhile. So if I get pregnant in the next couple months it will be considered high risk. You might think, why not wait a few months, then? I don't know. We've been trying for so LONG, I can't stand to wait any longer now that I'm having periods again. I've been taking vitamins and eating as much as I can. My weight's been stable for two months. I can do this.
Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
4:03 pm
Miriam's Birth Story
Even with PCOS, and a difficult to manage thyroid, I found a midwife who wouldn't risk me out of homebirth. Here's the story...

Miriam Bathsheba joined our family on 12/13/09 at 1:07 PM, weighing 8 lbs and measuring 21 inches long.

I'm still, days later, in awe at what a difference this experience was for me...emotionally and physically. In a way this was so much harder than Naomi's birth was, and yet, in a way, it's been so much easier. The pregnancy with Naomi was easier on me physically, even if it was high risk. Naomi was born as intervention free as possible in a hospital, with an OB-the safest place to be with her, and I respect that, but I'm so glad that I had the option to choose a homebirth this time, because for me, for us, it was the right choice. I'm sitting here, days after Miriam's birth and mentally I'm in a place I absolutely couldn't have been at this point after Naomi's birth. (For what it's worth, I probably should have been evaluated for and quite likely treated for PPD after Naomi's birth, but I was foolish and stubborn and didn't ask for help when I needed it-and I know how it affected my relationship with Naomi, too.)

So Miriam's birth story...Collapse )
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
6:51 pm
Name/LJ name: Kate
Location: Seattle area
Partner's name: Drew
Kids' names and ages, due dates, or TTC: Cora, age 12, baby ?, due July 1, 2010
Reason for joining: baby diagnosed at 12 weeks with giant omphalocele, getting a cvs next week to look at other possible issues.
Sunday, November 8th, 2009
10:16 pm
New Member Intro
Name/LJ name: Celeste / vampgyrl
Age: 35
Location: Seattle, WA
Partner's name: Ian
Kids' names and ages, due dates, or TTC: Jonas turns 10 in December. 
Reason for joining: Tomorrow afternoon we see our perinatologist to go over the results from the blood tests she ordered when we lost our son at 21 weeks gestation.  My son Jonas, from a previous marriage, was born at 26 weeks and my recent pregnancy was not considered high risk.  In fact, we only met our perinatologist two days after my water broke.  She confirmed that the baby's heart had stopped beating and took charge from there.  We delivered him that night, without the need of drugs to induce labor.  Now that I've got two episodes of preterm labor under my belt, I'm terrified of getting pregnant again, and terrified of being told that we shouldn't even try.  I'm also high risk because of my ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE (dun dun dun) so if we want to get on the procreation pony, we'd better know all our risk factors, y0.  We're not planning on TTC right away as it's only been six weeks and we'll need plenty of time to heal from this devastating loss, but we are hopeful that we'll get some news that will let us hope for another pregnancy. We're of the "let's not not try" persuasion so we won't chart of do any of the other blahdahdeblahdeblahs that many people turn to when trying to conceive.  We're trying to be as natural as possible about another pregnancy, and are pretty hopeful since we only had one cycle after I got my Mirena IUD removed before we got pregnant this time. 

I'm joining this community because I am hopeful that we'll get some good news tomorrow.  "Good" news meaning some knew insight that would help us feel comfortable ever proceeding with another pregnancy.  Wish us luck?
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
9:03 pm
Hiya :)
Name/LJ name: Candi
Age: 29 (30 in Sept)
Location: Idaho
Partner's name: Jason
Kids' names and ages, due dates, or TTC: TTC our 1st
Reason for joining: Hubby & I are ttc our first child :) Im high risk, because had gastric bypass, Im still overweight (surgery was successful, im just not gonna be a size 2), and I have Bipolar II disorder.
I Just talked with my psych today about my meds, and Im dropping one completly (known risk of cleft lip/palate), and lowering the other as far as I can. I wanted a home birth with a midwife, but thats not gonna happen. When we conceive Ill get a doula, and work with my dr to have the most natural hospital birth I can :) Im planning on breastfeeding, and still debating on cloth diapering or not XD

Are there any herbs that help with conception? Also, I consume quite a lot of soy products. Ive read things here and there about soy messing with estrogen and making it more difficult to conceive. Should I cut down/eliminate soy from my diet?

ETA: I also have an ovulation microscope. Ive used it off and on the past few years to get an idea of what ferning looks like and stuff. Has anyone had luck using one to track their fertile days?

Candi :)
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