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Bèing Disabled and Pregnant

Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
edited September 2020 in Disabled parents
Hi everyone, I'm hoping that some of you could share your experiences with me. If not then that's completely fine :)

Bit of background, I have Sensory Ataxia, Transverse Myelitis, I have central vision loss and am hard of hearing. Also, a possibility of Mitochondrial disease. I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant with our first child.

I've received conflicting advice as to birthing options. Some are saying it would be safer for me to give birth vaginally, yet some are suggesting a c-section. I know its ultimately my decision but it's just baffling me how health professionals are saying a vaginal birth would be safer, especially as I have muscle weakness and that amount of stress on my body could cause more problems.

Quite a few people shared their experiences with me on my personal facebook, which I am grateful for, however I would like to hear about mum's with disabilities who have given birth. I just don't know a disabled mum who has given birth vaginally, which has added to the baffling as to why medical professionals are strongly suggesting to avoid a c-section.

I'm very aware that my recovery would be longer, and I understand there are risks with any type of birth.

As I said above, if you don't feel comfortable in sharing publicly, then please feel free to message me. 

Thank you all in advance :)
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Replies

  • Lou67Lou67 Member Posts: 770 Pioneering
    Hi Aimi2301. I just wanted to congratulate you on your pregnancy 😊 I’m sorry can’t say what the best options for you would be, I have 3 children all grown now I had c- section with all 3 and although had to take it easy a bit longer but wasn’t to bad, but that was only due to my pelvis been to narrow, hopefully someone with the information your looking for will post, I just wanted to say Congratulations and take care😊
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you @Lou67 :)
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  • steve51steve51 Community champion Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Ami2301

    “Congratulations”
    🍼🍼🍾🍾🥂🥂
          @steve51



  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @steve51 :)
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  • steve51steve51 Community champion Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Ami2301

    You are Very Welcome 💐

    @steve51
  • JollyGJollyG Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I’m a long term reader of the forum and had to sign up to respond to this to say congratulations!! 🎉

    My disability isn’t the same and occurred during pregnancy so my experience may not be strictly relevant, but I had similar discussions with midwives and my consultants during my most recent pregnancy. 

    I was diagnosed with a blood clot on the brain and the high risk combined with the stresses of labour meant that some of the professionals involved in my care were pushing for me to have a c-section and the others were pushing vaginal birth. I had 5 different consultants from different departments involved in my case during the last two months of my pregnancy and was pulled in every direction. 

    It was absolutely terrifying trying to decide what to do for the best and I felt incredibly guilty whatever I leant towards. I’m sorry you’re in this position and I hope you have lots of support and know that whatever you decide, it is okay. 

    The controlled aspect of a c-section seemed much safer in my mind but the recovery period was terrifying and I was regularly reminded of how important it was for recovery and to prevent further complications to be up and mobilising, but the mini-stroke meant this wouldn’t be possible which is why some were pushing vaginal (no pun intended!)
    For what it’s worth, I’m no expert but I’m not sure how pertinent muscle weakness is, honestly my body just took over and it didn’t feel like it used muscles that are normally used if that makes sense? But that’s definitely a discussion to have with your midwife.

    I was terrified of the thought of major surgery and I’m a total wuss when it comes to pain and both of these swayed my ultimate decision. 

    As you said, it is your decision and if you’re comfortable with what you decide, that will be for the best. You know your mind and your body better than anyone else.

    My best bit of advice is to talk, talk, talk. Tell them (or write down) exactly what you’re worrying about, in detail. Ask as many questions as you need. They’ll either be able to allay your fears or understand your decision more and better support you. 

    Whatever you choose is okay. Don’t feel pressured into doing something that doesn’t feel right to you 💕
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience @JollyG :)

    Personally, I feel that my body just might handle a vaginal birth, at a push (excuse the pun!). At a recent appointment, an anaesthetic consultant (I can't spell the correct term) was sitting in the appointment aswell. She strongly recommended an epidural and various other ways to manage the pain.

    It's not that the pain scares me, it's how it would have an effect on my body that worries me, especially with my Ataxia. 

    The advice may change as my pregnancy progresses, I just want whatever is most safe for our baby and myself. 
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  • littleacornlittleacorn Member Posts: 107 Courageous
    Congratulations. I dont have the same disability as you. I have lower body deformity in my hips and legs. I have had 2 natural births. My consultant said that we should try vaginal birth and see how it went. Luckily it worked for me. I do want to point out the recovery period after a section does take an extra toll on your body but if that is what is needed to give birth safely than so be it. I agree with the abjve suggestion is write your questions down and make sure they dont try to hurry you out. Do what feels right for you. If you can discuss vaginal birth and what would happen if things dont go as planned. Good luck and enjoy your pregnancy.

  • Rhodie72Rhodie72 Member Posts: 16 Connected
    While I have never given birth...

    Different people will have different ideas. You are the ultimate expert in "you".

    I don't I know anything about your disability but I can tell you my experience from looking after my disabled wife for 12 years before she died that the experts are not even proper experts in their ideas. Different professionals have different experiences and therefore they tell you different options. Usually they want you to do what is easiest for them. Very few of them will understand your particular case as well as you do. A natural birth is very stressful and can take minutes to days to deliver. You need to weigh up the worst case scenario of that against the CS method. Base your decision on which case offers least risk to both yourself and the child in relation to the actual delivery.

    I know which one I would ptefer for you but it is ultimately your signature that gets the job done the best way.
    Dream big, plan well, achieve goals, live the dream.

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    Congratulations @Ami2301. I hope others will be able to share their experiences and that you are doing well. :)
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  • emmarenshawemmarenshaw Community champion Posts: 693 Pioneering
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you everyone!
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  • willow12willow12 Member Posts: 280 Pioneering
    @Ami2301 congrats on your pregnancy hope your doing well giving the situation your in if it was me I would ask for c section it's worth talking with your midwife and Express any concerns you have any pregnancy advice you would like give me a shout takecare stay safe 
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you @willow12 :) I will be having an elective c-section. Just under 6 weeks to go, can't wait to meet her now :)
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  • willow12willow12 Member Posts: 280 Pioneering
    @Ami2301 ahh that's fab news I have 6 kids 3 have complex needs but I love all my kids the same I have had a planned c section which went fine but I had too have a emergency c section in 2017 which was bit scary but in the end me and bubba was fine all other births was natural hope you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy wont be long now before you meet your beautiful baby girl 💖
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry you had a scary experience, but I'm glad the other births went well :) I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can, but I've been struggling with pelvic girdle pain the last couple of weeks so moving/transferring has become difficult. I feel like a whale haha! I was going to say something else but I've forgotten... damn pregnancy brain!  🤣 hope you're doing OK :)
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  • willow12willow12 Member Posts: 280 Pioneering
    @Ami2301 ah bless you I had girdle pain when I was pregnant with my twins but they arrived safely in 2015 boy and girl born at 37 weeks biy weighed 5lbs 12oz and my girl was 5lbs 3oz not overly huge but my back was breaking as I was carrying 2 babies lol I felt like backend of a double decker bus pmsl I'm fine thank you hope you are aswell 🙃
  • willow12willow12 Member Posts: 280 Pioneering
    Boy weighed that was meant too say 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,376 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ami2301 How are you getting on?  The big day is getting closer  <3
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  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 6,994 Disability Gamechanger
    @willow12 I take my hat off to mums who carry twins, or more for that matter lol! At her last growth scan, she weighed 3lbs 10oz which I've been told is a good weight for just under 32 weeks. That was only last week and she has definitely gotten bigger since! I feel for the expecting mums i keep reading about in a Facebook group who are 34 weeks and their babies are weighing 6lbs something already! 

    @Cher_Scope I'm not too bad thanks, despite the aches and pregnancy insomnia. How are you? Our 4D scan was amazing! It was like looking in a mirror, she looks so much like me! Even has my button nose which I'm happy about! She has lots of hair too.

    Can't wait to meet her now 🥰
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  • willow12willow12 Member Posts: 280 Pioneering
    @Ami2301 yeah very exciting times ahead altho docs on babys weights aren't always correct with 1 my sons b4 he was born docs said he should weigh bout 7lbs at birth how wrong they were he came out at 8lbs 6oz lol 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,376 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ami2301 I'm great thanks.  It's lovely following your pregnancy  <3  I hope you manage to get a good nights sleep soon! 
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    Ah that;s so cool that you've been able to see what she looks like @Ami2301! We're all thinking of you.  <3
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  • willow12willow12 Member Posts: 280 Pioneering
    @Ami2301 hi just checking that your pregnancy is going well hope you and your lil 1 are ok 😊
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