Advice needed from Mums with RA

jenzie06 Member Posts: 708
edited 4. Feb 2010, 11:45 in Living with Arthritis archive
I'm trying to get my options for the swiftly approaching delivery of my baby (I'm approaching 28wks but time is flying in a scary manner!).
I've got RA and Fibro and its totally uncontrolled and liable to be set off with even too much hoovering let alone anything else. I'm trying to get the pros and cons of planning a natural birth versus an elective c-section (I appreciate that even if we plan a natural birth I may end up with a section anyway).

I'm worried that the labour will cause huge stress on my body causing a massive flare (it was bad after Christmas, I needed to be dressed and looked after and I'd only been to see relatives for a few days) and I'll be so exhausted that I'll not be able to look after myself let alone the baby.
But then again C-section is surgery, carrying its own risks and the recovery time is longer than natural delivery.

Any suggestions/experiences people have which can help me? We're off to see my baby consultant this week but he doesn't have knowledge of RA (when I mentioned being worried about getting exhausted during labour he dismissed it with 'every woman worries about that' - not exactly helpful!).

Anyway, got to go dig out the gaviscon - indigestion again!!
Cheers, Jen


  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The staff wont leave you to get on with it.If you having difficulties they will do whatever is needed like a c-section.I wonder if a warm water birth might ease you with your arthritis.I wanted one but I only had a 55 minute labour so it was a mad rush. I felt winded after the birth.
    I was thinking about you yesterday. You have had a torrid time bringing this little one safely into the world with no drugs to help with the awful pain.You have put up with so much.We really want you to enjoy him when he is born.I am sure you will feel so relieved once he has arrived but I expect now you are feeling so fed up with being so ill.Get back on your strong meds after his birth and enjoy being a mum.Take each day at a time.
    I am sure my flare after the birth was cos of the delay in going back on medication so be prepared.I waited far too long.During labour I got no extra care, they didnt seem interested in my R.A and were very dissmissive when I needed oxygen.
    Good luck
  • suziev
    suziev Member Posts: 252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    oh this was me nearly 2 years ago now!
    docs not helpful cos they push a natural birth as much as they can.

    ok a couple of questions is this your first baby? i just can't remember if you have another child. the reason i ask is this if your birth was good the first time around chances are it could well be the second time around!

    i had a c-section for my first child, this was not a choice but it had to be done as little monkey was coming out backwards!(no ra at the time or so i thought!)
    second baby a natural birth, i have to say that i was quiet well for the later part of the pregnancy except for hips (which is not RA am now told)

    i would choice natural birth over section anyday and even with ra i think i would do the same, c-section are painfull for a longer period of time, it does take a long time to heal. plus you can't drive.
    natural your back up and out in hours, yes it hurts and yes it's painfull but the healing time is quicker by far, thats 3 weeks instead of maybe 3-4 months.

    as for the birth it's self, you could have an epidual and sit on your **** for most of the labour no stress on the bones there.

    the hardest party for me was the fact that i can't sit down whilst in labour and it's was a killer on my knees and ankles but as my labours were short i could cope.

    i hope my story helps but sometimes it's baby who makes the choice for us :lol:
    suzie x
  • chile168
    chile168 Member Posts: 384
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jen,

    First of all congratulations on being pregnant. I think water birth as stated by Elizabeth (tkachev) is a great idea.

    I too believe that they will look after you and like you said a C-Section may be hard and I won't say otherwise because I have had C-Sections. However, if it means it will be less stressful for you and the baby then it's the best thing. It took about 6 wks for me to start feeling better from the section but was so happy to hold the little bundle in my arms that the pain was worth it and years later Im still grateful they are hear even if my stomach looks like it has motorways or map of England :)

    Is there anyone else at the baby unit you can talk to about your fears or with your rheumy as to how they will look after you? Since you are 28 wks then I would continue to ask them until they listen to you.

    Good luck hun xxxxxx

  • jenzie06
    jenzie06 Member Posts: 708
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the replies everyone.
    Its our first baby and to be honest I've been very lucky with the pregnancy side of things. Very little sickness and bearable nausea in the first few months. Not a huge 'bloom' and tons of energy in second trimester, in fact my RA and Fibro flared throughout, which was hard. Now is the one of the last hurdles (bar labour!).
    He's a fairly active little soul, but he does have quiet days when I think he must be growing.
    I am concerned the docs and midwives are not really that bothered, I've only seen the midwife three times and she was ill for two of those times and I saw a replacement, who was rubbish. Kind enough, but extremely dismissive of my concerns.
    I think I need to know what happens if I can't cope because of the RA and Fibro and to know that if during labour if I say I need a section because of becoming exhausted before I reach the point where I can't think straight that the midwives and docs will listen to me.
    We'll see what the doc has to say on Wednesday.

    Thanks again, really appreciate it.
  • page35
    page35 Member Posts: 1,081
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jenzie
    Do you have anyone to help you at home after the birth?
    your OH or mum or friends?
    For anyone giving birth which ever way takes alot out of you and if you have someone to help you for a few weeks after the birth it can make life so much easier. even if its not helping to look after baby but to cook for you, do washing all the boring things that need to be done.
    which ever way you have your baby i wish you well.
  • poppy30
    poppy30 Member Posts: 67
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    First of all congratulations! I gave birth to my first child 3 months ago and had similar concerns about how my PA would affect me during labour. Don't want to bore you with the details but I ended up having an emergency c-section but this was nothing to do with my PA. It might be worth asking for an appointment with a senior midwife at the hospital where you are planning to give birth to discuss your birth plan and how arthur might affect you. It may be possible to ask for a c-section part way through labour if you and the staff feel you are struggling. This way you would remain in control of your labour and have the option of asking for intervention if you needed it and this will help you to feel more confident.

    I'm sure you will be fine and as you already know it will all be worth it when you are holding your little one in your arms!!! :lol::lol:

    Feel free to PM me if you want to ask any specifics! :D

    Poppy x
  • jenzie06
    jenzie06 Member Posts: 708
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the replies.

    My OH gets a couple of weeks paternity leave and then he also has 2 wks annual leave which he's keeping to tack on the end of the paternity leave. We've also got my parents living 10mins away and they are very keen to help. I'm also getting an assessment for my care needs from the council - its a bit of a battle but the disabled parents network is a massive source of support and information.

    I went and had a chat with my consultant yesterday and he was very positive and has plan a, b and c for me, all very flexible based on what the baby's doing and how I'm doing. Generally, I'll have a epidural as soon as I get to the hospital and then allowed 1hr pushing before intervention so I don't get so tired. I can shout for section during labour if I'm struggling and can request induction if RA and baby gang up on me before my due date.

    I'm pooped at the moment and have been all week, I'm 7months today and hoping that the tiredness is the baby rather than the start of a flare.

    Can't wait for a cuddle with my baby boy! Lots more excited than worried at the mo.

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