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What would YOU do?


JenniferInOhio
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I have 2 beautiful girls and dh has a vasectomy. He had his "V" before my POTS diagnosis. We were 99% sure we were done, but said that we would have it reversed if we changed our minds.

I have the baby bug again. I don't know if I should even consider getting pregnant again. I function somewhat normally with POTS with only a little bit of lifestyle changes (heat, exercising, walking fast). I have heard that after pregnancy, POTS can get worse.

What would YOU do? Would you even risk it? Especially since I have 2 daughters and am functioning somewhat normally?

Just wishing for another baby.

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:lol: Hi Jennifer...As a midwife with POTS and the rest I would say to you that this is something you need to discuss carefully with both your consultant who is dealing with the POTS side and an Obstetrician. It is true that POTS can be exaberbated by pregnancy and childbirth but there are lots of things that you can do to prevent this from happening as far as is possible. If I can be of any help please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Good luck in ur decision making!

Take care - Zoe x

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I have heard of many women with this condition who have temporarily stopped there meds for pregnancy, and with the care and help of there doctors have had successful pregnancies, without worsening of there condition. They resumed treatment with medication after the pregnancy. I don't know much more of this, but talking with your doctors about how feasible this is for you and how it can be achieved would be a place to start. I know it worth checking into, because other women with this condition have been successful with this. Good Luck with your decision. I hope that whatever you decide that it all works out in your favor. Take Care!

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I would definetly discuss this with your Dr. I spoke about this with Dr Grubb my last visit with him. I am similar to you where my POTS is mild.

He was optomistic that with proper meds, and the right team of dr's such as himself and a good high risk OB/GYN that pregnancy could be an option.

I think if you are comfortable with your current Dr, then you can discuss all the pros and cons with him to make your decision.

For myself I am on the fence about pregnancy... I am 34 so I have been actively thinking about it.

Good Luck with making the right decision for you :lol:

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I think that it depends on the person. I got pregnant knowing that I have POTs and I felt great during my pregnancy and had no complications with delivery. I agree with the above posts that it is something that you should discuss with your dr. I didnt, but everything turned out ok for me.

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Jennifer,

I wasn't diagnosed with POTS until after the birth of my second child who is 11 months old. I had major symptoms with both pregnancies and they got much worse afterwards which is how I was finally diagnosed.

My children are the most precious gifts and I would do it all again if I had to. One look at them and I forget everything I had to endure to get them here. :) I feel very fortunate that my symptoms are mild. I only take salt tablets 3 times a day and I am able to work prn.

I just wanted to share my story with you. I wish you well in all you do!! :)

Take care!

Kimberely

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The decision of whether and when to have a child could depend partly on what is causing the POTS. If you know what is causing the POTS, you might find better ways of managing it and you will be better able to guess whether your children will be at risk of developing it, too.

One of the things that has astounded me lately is the wide variety of other medical problems (besides POTS) that many of the forum participants have. Some of these disorders (e.g., Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) could explain why the person has POTS. Others might just be bad luck. Just because you have POTS doesn't mean that you are immune to all other illnesses. But if the POTS is "secondary to" (i.e., caused by) another illness, it might be possible to improve the person's condition dramatically by diagnosing and treating the primary illness, if it is in fact treatable. If the person has some other concurrent illness, just by the luck of the draw, then treating that condition might improve the person's overall level of health and functioning well enough that the POTS poses less of a problem. For example, allergies can aggravate POTS, so perhaps allergy shots could prevent the person from falling into a POTShole during ragweed pollen season.

If you know that your problem is hereditary, it poses some additional challenges. Your options will depend on several factors: the hereditary pattern of the disorder, whether the genetic basis for the disorder is known, whether the disorder poses a problem if treated properly from the beginning (e.g., celiac disease). If you have a serious genetic disorder that results from a gene that has been identified, you might still be able to have healthy children, especially if you can use in vitro fertilization with preimplantation genetic diagnosis. They can test the embryos for the disease before putting them back. In some situations, they can even test the egg cell before fertilization.

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Bearing a child is always a wonderful feeling. I guess the question you really need to ask is are you willing to take this chance. The doctors I am sure will support you in your decision. Not trying to discourage but you also need to consider the care you wil be able to give this child with pots and already being a mother of two. Sometimes extra stress can make things worse as well as when you feel bad you will have to have extra help. I wish you the best in your decision and can tell you that dealing with pots and parenting a baby is difficult but to me it is all worth it .

Good Luck,

Rita S

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I think it's great that some people are able to have a healthy pregnancy and baby in the midst of POTS.

Personally speaking, I think if I were in your shoes I would ask/inquire about the pregnancy but I would focus more on if I had the ability to care for more children with my condition. Of course, none of us knows how we will feel 1, 5 10, 15 years from now. But...I know in my case my personal choice (though it breaks my heart more than words could ever speak) I wouldd choose not to have a child at this point because I don't have the practical daily support, energy or resources to provide for a child in all the ways they need and deserve.

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Hi Jennifer,

I think this is a very difficult decision for you and your husband to make. I recognize the feeling. I've always wanted a lot of kids, my husband thought that two was enough. We were very lucky to get two wonderful boys. When our youngest son was 4 (almost 5) I got a skating accident (broke my os coccyx) which (after surgery) lead to POTS. From the time I broke my coccyx I wasn't able to properly look after our children. I was on bed a lot of the time, couldn't teach my youngest boy to bike (which is very important in my country), couldn't bring him to school and pick him up, and so on. I couldn't go play tennis with him, I couldn't go skating with him or take him (and his brother) to the beach or the woods anymore. The only thing I could do is talk with them and play a game like chess or something (because I was on bed). I felt so very guilty about that. We had a lot of stress at home because of me being so sick (especially when the POTS hit me), we couldn't go on vacations anymore and so on. Now, five years later, we're trying to live our familylife in a way that is best for all of us. But it's so very difficult. My cognitive skills are getting worse, I forget so many things and say strange things sometimes, which is also difficult on the children. We have to inform their schools about our homesituation, whcih I so hate, but it's necessary for our kids that their teachers know.

I wrote this down, not to discourage you but because I think it is important that you read this. Just to think about it! I can soooo understand you would love to have another baby!!!

Corina

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Thank you so much for your replies.

Deep down, I'm telling myself that it wouldn't be smart to risk getting worse. Right now, I can take care of the kids and function pretty normally. Last night, I felt selfish for even wanting another baby. I have to think about the 2 children I have now ~ and they need me to take care of them ~ not to be deep in a "potshole" how you guys refer to it.

I don't know what is causing my POTS. I was diagnosed after having a diagnostic laparoscopy ~ didn't do well with surgery. However, I think I might have had it in a very mild form before that.

I think dh will keep his vasectomy and I will come to terms with not having another baby. I think my question stemmed from a lot of my friends having babies and I want one too.

Thanks again,

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This is completely a personal decision, but it certainly helps to talk to others about it. I think there are many factors that went into my decision not to have a second child. Some are directly or indirectly related to POTS and some are not (and I won?t go into those). The issues for me are: my personal POTS ?triggers?, family economics, uncertainty regarding my POTS future, meds during pregnancy. First, my POTS was clearly brought on by pregnancy. Many women with POTS see an improvement of symptoms during pregnancy. I was the opposite. I was even more sick post-partum with it?after a c-section?which is what I believe really exacerbated the condition for me. In my specialist?s experience, women who have an onset of POTS during one pregnancy, tend to experience the same thing with subsequent pregnancies. Unfortunately there is no data out there on this, other than anecdotal. However, I feel I cannot afford to do something that is likely to make me disabled again?for economic reasons and for my long-term health. I have one child already and I want to be able to provide for her and care for her to the best of my ability in the future. My husband and I rely on my income as well as his. Also, I have no family nearby to help me with daily life should I become ill again. And so I am going to make decisions that I think are best for my health.

I know some women do take POTS meds (beta blockers, SSRIs, etc) during pregnancy. According to my specialist, this is far from ideal b/c of the unknown effects on the fetus?particularly in the first trimester. Again, the decision to use these drugs during pregnancy is a personal decision made with help from a specialist -- I would not judge someone else in any way for her decision. But, it is something to consider. The conventional medical wisdom seems to be that if you are stable with your POTS and not on meds, a pregnancy is not advised against. My specialist said that if I were to have another pregnancy, he would want me off all POTS meds (SSRI and beta blocker in my case.)

Bottom line, I agree with what others have said?that it would be important to consult with a POTS specialist (e.g., an electrophysiologist) about your care during and after a pregnancy, and have that person continue to be your partner throughout your pregnancy. I don?t know about a high risk ob-gyn. I guess I personally have a low opinion of ob-gyns and their expertise with POTS. Also many of us have had successful pregnancies and deliveries without a high-risk ob-gyn. POTS is not really a threat to a pregnancy?although issues of bp can cause problems. But, again, this is just my opinion?and consulting with your ob-gyn and a POTS specialist should help you make a decision about the care you would need.

My decision has not been made easily?and it is still sad to me that I will not have another child. BUT, I feel so fortunate that I have her, that she is healthy and happy, and that I have a good amount of health back now. And adoption is still an option for us.

Katherine

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