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Has anyone with POTS gone through IVF?


Merrill
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Has anyone with POTS had in vitro fertilization? I'm going through it right now--will probably go through extraction and implantation within the next 5-7 days.

I'm 42, so the clock's ticking and I have to do this now--but unfortunately, I also feel like I'm going through a bad POTS spell. (I was diagnosed about 6 weeks ago; I've had it since a teenager, I believe. Some years better than others.) I don't have problems with fainting or BP--occasional dizziness, but big time tachycardia. The only time my heart rate is under 100 is when I'm sleeping; it's not uncommon for it to be in the 140s or higher.

At this point though, I don't know if some of the things I'm feeling are from the POTS, from the hormones, from this stupid head cold... Or if all three of these things are combining to make me feel just very very tired and awful.

Have other POTS people gone through in vitro? What was your experience with the hormone shots etc? Did you feel better once pregnant and blood volume goes up by 1/3rd? (That's my hope...) Thanks!

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Good luck with the IVF process. I know it can be stressful and doesn't always work the first time.

I have not gone through the IVF process.

I had POTS symptoms for years, but didn't know that was what I had until postpartum. Pregnancy (at age 33), about halfway thru, pushed me into severe POTS. It got somewhat better in the last month of pregnancy. Anyway, you can read my story (Katherine's story) on this website.

Every pregnancy experience and every woman is so different that I suspect it is hard to predict what you experience might be. Many POTS patients say they felt the best ever during pregnancy. The fact that you have a diagnosis and are under treatment for POTS should make your pregnancy experience better than for someone undiagnosed regardless.

If you look back throuh previous discussions on this board, you will find some other discussions on pregnancy experiences.

Again, I wish you the best.

Katherine

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Thanks for replying Katherine--and for sharing your story. It must have been so scary--and confusing--to start POTS during preganancy, at a time when your body's going through so many changes anyway! I don't remember if you said this in the long piece you wrote elsewhere (I'm definitely having trouble with cognitive issues & memory these days!) ... but I wonder how you're doing now and how old your child is. Were you able to take care of Giuliana after she was born and despite the POTS? Did you hire help?

It's such a drag for me to be starting on this grand adventure at a time when my body is already compromised--not only by age but also (and most dramatically) by the POTS. It's definitely been a POTS-y year, marked by unexplained weight loss, serious exercise intolerance (and when I say exercise, I mean walking and standing sometimes), heat intolerance, sleep disruptions, and fierce tachycardia all the time.

Sigh. But despite all that, life is good. I'm really hoping that the actual experience and joy of bearing and then parenting a child will make the physical stuff seem less important. (Caring for someone with greater needs than your own can take your mind off yourself, yes?) I'd love to hear from fellow POTS friends that it's really worth it! Is it?

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I truly admire your strength and determination to have a child. I had my son when I was very, very young...16. So, I'm 37 and he is going to be 21 and I feel about 90! ;) I finally met my soul mate, my husband, about 6 years ago and we were married in 2002. He has 2 children from a previous marriage. Although we love our children very much, it would be really nice to have a child together...a part of each of us. I do not feel capable however with my health or my nerves for that matter and we went back and forth wondering for these years now and basically did nothing to prevent pregnancy and I never got pregnant so I suppose to myself it is not meant to be and then I got sick anyway. I cannot imagine such a calm and bright-outlook person with a heart rate that high! That is so wonderful that you are not stressed by your symptoms. Bringing a child into the world is a wonderful thing and such a blessing. Good luck with the in vitro and when successful I hope you have a great pregnancy too! Keep us posted...I'll just live this one out vicariously through you :P

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It is most definitely worth it! I have two children who are my life!! I also showed first symptoms in my last pregnancy but I think it was mostly due to dehydration(I kept morning sickness all day for 8 months) But like ANY pregnancy story you will hear (POTS or not) they all have their discomforts and hard times but the MINUTE you hold the baby it's all worth it! Make sure to take extra precautions during pregnancy to get lots of fluids and lots of rest but keep your body strong also.

I dont know much about IVF but I wish you the world of luck! Try not to let this illness rob you of any experiences that you can help!

You may need to be prepared for help with taking care of a newborn with POTS though because the stress of delivery will wear your body out and it does take us longer to reclaim our energy. Things as simple as the sniffles can exaserbate(sp?) our symptoms so just hang in there and we will pray for you! ;)

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Thanks so much for the well-wishes! It's lovely to hear your words of encouragement.

And I know about the sniffles wearing us out--I'm still dealing with this cold and having the first major procedure tomorrow egg extraction. Funny -- aside from looking forward to having these things taken out of me (it kind of hurts to sit and to walk right now), I'm really looking forward to the IVF fluids! Isn't that silly! But I know I'll be needing them--I can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight, and the procedure is scheduled for 9:30. At least I know I'm the second patient of the morning. I asked to be first, so this is close!

Keep a good thought, and thanks!

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Merrill

Hope the procedure went fine (today?).

To answer your questions, my daughter Giuliana is 16 months now. I don't know what I would have done without my mother. She essentially lived with us for the first five months of Giuliana's life. I would never have managed on my own. We would have had to hire someone.

I am doing quite well now. I do have POTS symptoms, but they are relatively minor most days, and I am able to work 24 hours a week and take care of my daughter the rest of the time. I am still on low dose beta blocker and low dose SSRI. I make sure to get plenty of fluids and at least one serving of a high salt food a day.

Despite all I have been through physically and mentally with this illness--yes, it is all worth it a thousand times over. Really, the illness has made me a stronger and more emotionally mature parent than I might have been otherwise. And my daughter is the light of my life.

I wish you the very best and look forward to hearing how your journey towards parenthood goes.

Katherine

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Merrill,

I should have responded long before now, I love coming to this board but always get caught up in the hustle bustle of the daily grind and don't get to respond to posts as often as I'd like.

I just wanted to wish you the very, very best in your attempts to conceive. Having a child is an amazing experience. It's difficult to predict how your pregnancy might go, as I have heard from many women who have an easy time, and others who have it very hard...all you can do is hope for the best and know that pregnancy is a temporary condition :unsure:

My son is 15 months old and it was DEFINITELY worth every hardship! He is my best little buddy (I call him my velcro baby), and he reminds me every day that the little things in life are what matter, and keeps me going when things get rough. As a mother, you have to take care of your child no matter what, and there hasn't been a time yet when I wasn't able to (except after a small surgery when my mom came to help out). It's important to have help available, even if you do need to hire someone, just in case...but if you take care of yourself and do everything you can to help your condition, things are liekly to work out for the best. Like Katherine, I have to have 9 hours of sleep and take a nap a few days each week in order to function at my best- and exhaustion has been my biggest problem since I became a mother (normal for anyone with a baby, I think!).

Anyhow, let us know how everything goes, and I wish you only the greatest happiness :angry:

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Gee, thanks, you guys! What an incredible group--I swear I feel like crying when I read these posts (and others on every topic under the sun). What a wonderful, supportive group I've found! And how lucky am I??? You all sound like such fantastic mothers--full of love (which is what it's about, right?)

Well even at my ripe old age, I managed to crank out 15 (count 'em!) eggs; all fertilized and waiting for me to show up Friday! (In the meantime, I feel pretty icky, but for once I don't think it's the POTS--I think it's the procedure and the hormones and the sleepy drugs from yesterday. I'm very very crampy...)

My husband and my parrot are the lights of my life--if I'm lucky enough to have another light (or two?!?), I'll have to wear shades! :unsure:

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Merrill, 15 good quality eggs is AMAZING! My neighbor has been doing IVF for a few rounds now... we've gotten to know more details than most of her friends and family because we've been the ones giving her all the shots (her husband is terrified of needles and both of us have experience giving injections...). She got far fewer eggs than you each time...and has had multiple implantations, pregnancies, and unfortunately, miscarriages. It's been exhilarating at times, and devastating at others. Currently, she's pregnant, but this one was a SURPRISE made the old fashioned way :unsure: We all think the previous cycles of IVF may have "primed" her system. We're all holding our collective breath.

My neighbor does not have POTS, but is very medically complicated. She's got diabetes, is prone to blood pressure problems especially when pregnant, and a whole host of other issues... anyway, she's felt pretty blessed to be with a really good high risk pregnancy group. With your 15 eggs, I'm already under the impression that your docs have you covered!!

I will be thinking fertile and healthy thoughts for you and your baby (babies?) to be! :angry: Nina

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