WARNING... this post may contain a little TMI
I know a lot of cf women are curious about pregnancy and cf. I know I was. I wondered if I could actually get pregnant, if my lungs could make it an entire 9 months since my immune system would be lowered, If my baby would come early, and if my baby would have cf like me. I know this blog kinda goes back a few years but I thought I would share my experience with everyone. Hoping maybe to encourage my fellow cf women. This is my story....
I met my then boyfriend in October 2004. After a few months of dating him I realized I could see myself having children one day with this man, that was when I realized I really loved him. I had never wanted children, maybe because growing up my parents had drilled it in my head that I couldn't have children. After a couple years and much talk of marriage and children and a long and happy future together, I became obsessed with the idea of having a baby. I saw pregnant women everywhere and I HATED them because I so desperately wanted a baby I was like a woman possessed. I began searching the web looking up cf pregnancy. I happened across a girl who was at the time pregnant and she had cf, at that moment I had hope that this could happen for me too.
Me and Jason in 2007
In January 2008 after my period being super late (I'm usually like clockwork) I decided to take a test. Because I was still living at my parents house I went to a friends and took 2 tests they were both positive. After only 3 months we were pregnant! (we weren't trying but not doing anything to prevent it either). We were so happy (he had popped the question on Christmas the month before).
It just worked out that I had a clinic appointment 3 days later. I wasn't expecting the reaction I got from my cf team. I thought I'd be lectured, since they were dead set against me being on birth control a few months earlier. I got a huge stack of papers on cf and pregnancy and was told because I was so healthy I should have a normal healthy pregnancy but if i got sick I couldn't take my usual miracle drug cipro I'd have to be hospitalized. The amazing thing was my pfts jumped to 90% up from 75 three months before ( I had been lazy) I knew right then and there God had his hand on me and everything was gonna be ok.
That night I started reading the pile of info I got on cf pregnancy. I learned that if Jason was a carrier my baby had a 50% chance of being a cfer. I also learned that weight gain during pregnancy was a big concern and so was preterm labor. I knew God was with me but I was suddenly terrified my baby would come early.
On our wedding day
On the 26th of January ( a couple weeks later) we were married
My first OB visit went pretty good. I learned I was 9 weeks and got to see my little one. The ultrasound tech said my baby was about the size of a gummy bear so Jason gave it the nickname of GB. My weight was good 136 and my bp was awesome.
My pregnancy was very uneventful with the exception of having a slightly elevated chance of having a baby with down syndrome and failing my one hour blood glucose test (I passed the 3 hour) and I was anemic. So maybe I had a few problems but most every woman I have met that's been pregnant had these issues and they were easily fixable. At 34 weeks I was "kicked out of high risk" yay! And my OB thought that was awesome.
I was still worried about her coming early so I thought please just let me get to 36 weeks my OB said if I delivered at 36wks there was a 1% chance she'd have any problems. 36 weeks came and went. But I just knew at any moment I was gonna go into labor.
Me at 35 weeks. I loved my belly so I have many belly pics lol
But my due date came and went. It just happened my pregnant cat had her kittens on this day. Two days later I asked about being induced. At this point sleeping was so hard because she was squishing my lungs. They didn't want to at first they'd rather have things happen nauturally. At this point I was dilated 1-2 and could go at anytime and he wanted to wait another week before doing anything. I kinda got mean at this point and decided I was having this baby! They called the doctor on call at the hospital and I was induced. I was hooked up to an IV (the most painful part of the whole thing. That nurse had no idea what she was doing) and given pitocen.
When my contractions Finally started coming the doc came in and said I was at 3 and we should have a baby between 9 and midnight. My contractions seemed to be coming pretty fast compared to what I had read labor was supposed to be like. I was in some pain but I had decided a long time before I was not getting that epidural. The idea of having a needle shoved in my spine was scarier then feeling the pain of labor. But I decided to get the stadol.
After I was given that I don't remember a whole lot. I passed out asleep. I would wake up in horrible pain thinking I had slept a few hours (I had the craziest dreams) but it had only been about a minute. At this point Jason was making fun of the crazy faces I was making and the funny things I was saying (I don't remember this, but he told me about it later. An hour later I was no longer waking up every minute or so with pain. I was wide awake from my contractions that only gave me a few seconds to rest before the next one hit. Around this time I was feeling the urge to push. I thought it can't be I was 3 an hour ago. I was checked again and was at 8! 3 to 8 in an hour! At this point I was told if I didn't get the epidural I wasn't gonna get it. The way my labor was progressing.
Ten minutes later I got my epidural. I thought this was going to be a horribly painful procedure but I didn't feel it. I was having contractions the entire time and that's all I felt. The guy was confused and only gave me a small shot of it. I wasn't feeling any better. They informed him that I was at 8 and needed more. He came back with this huge syringe and I remember my legs going numb almost immediately. No pain nothing. After this I was checked again and was told to give a little push to see if I was ready. Oh yeah I was and I was informed my daughter had a head full of hair.
The doctor came in and two pushes she was out. She aced the apgar thingy lol. And was perfect! 18 3/4 inches and 6lbs 6 1/2oz of healthy baby girl. I was proud of myself. I had done it! The easiest labor that I could have asked for. I was a little bummed though that I had gotten the epidural I wanted to be tough. But I wouldn't change any of it. I was told if I had another I'd better come to the hospital as soon as I knew I was in labor or I'd deliver on the way. My mother always had quick labors she was in labor 5hrs with me and 3 with my sister.
"Hello World" Before she was cleaned up. She was born at 6:54 PM after 4 1/2 hours of labor.
I will have to say having stitches down there sucks when you have cf. Everytime I coughed I thought I was gonna pee on myself from the pain and I can only imagine how painful a c section would be with all the coughing.
All in all I gained 22 pounds (not the 25 I was shooting for) and my pfts dropped the 20% they said they would drop throughout the pregnancy. And for the most part I could breathe great. After Lily was born I noticed I could breathe so awesome I guess I had gotten used to the 20% lung function I had lost and being able to breathe even better was awesome.
I know this was a very long post but I wanted to encourage all cf women to not let cf stand in the way of their dreams of becoming a mother. That God is amazing and to praise HIM for always being with me and giving me the most amazing gift of motherhood.
Misha and Lily