CFS/Fibromyalgia and having children...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by iLoveMyBed, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. iLoveMyBed

    iLoveMyBed New Member

    Hello to everyone...

    I'll tell you a little about myself before I start with my question... (if you don't have the time to read this, or just don't care, skip to the second part... :) My name is Kristen. I am 21 and have had CFS and Fibromyalgia for 9 years now, since I was 12. I used to go to a CFS chat room all the time but it was closed and I haven't really been in touch with other people who share my symptoms since. I've been thinking a bit lately though about a lot of things and decided to get back in contact with others who live like me, because I don't think anyone else can give me the advice I need as well. So here go's...

    My boyfriend and I are considering marriage. He is very supportive of me, of what I can and can't do, and helps me where he can. The one issue that's come up is that he has always really wanted to have children. I also have always wanted children but up to this point have always been seriously concerned if I would be able to take on the great deal of work involved in caring for a child. So my question is... have any of you been through having a child while already suffering from CFS or FM? I know plenty of people who have continued to take care of their children after getting symptoms but I haven't had any experience talking to someone who was already sick when they became pregnant. If anyone has any experience in this area I would appreciate your advice and suggestions immensely! I just want to know if it's a feasible thing for him and I to contemplate, and if it is, if there is any advice anyone could give on how they have found ways to make it possible.

    Thanks for the time and energy it took to read that... :)

    ~>Kristen
  2. tandy

    tandy New Member

    now I'm ready for bed again!! Yes sweetie...I have had a child with fibro. I have 3 children, I got pregnant for the youngest(and last)about 4 years into my fibro.Acually during the pregnancy my fm was'nt bad at all!! I had alot of good days whereas I did'nt prior to.
    But soon after the baby was born.....The Fibro kicked into gear!! It was tough,but I made it thru~ Its alot of work!!! I would say to go for it IF........IF you have a partner that is willing to help out alot~ Does your soon to be hubby act like he'll play a big part in raising and caring for this child? (have you seen him around other kids??is he good with kids?)My boyfriend helped me alot with the baby.And I also had help from grandparents. Without the help,I would have croaked!! Some days I was fine caring for the kids alone.But there will be plenty of hard days where you will need help. I can only give my opinion,and that is: If my life's dream was to become a Mother,I would'nt let Fibro take that from me!!! Just know that its work...but its really worth it!! Hope you make the decision thats best for you~ And lots of luck!! :)
  3. rdthewave

    rdthewave New Member

    Hi Kristen,

    THis is a tough one...............I say that because everyone is different as to their level of disability...........some people can barely get out of bed.........but I'm assuming you are definitely way above that level since you are even contemplating having children. When I got sick with CFS ............there would be no way I could have taken care of a child...........I was so sick....I wouldn't have even thought about it..............as it was I had to have my daughter go live with her dad........I could barely take care of myself...............so as you can see it would be hard for anyone of us to suggest whether or not you have children..........only you know how you really feel and if you can handle it.

    I know this wasn't much help but I do wish you all the best...........it's a big decision for sure.

    Tammy
  4. 30feeling80

    30feeling80 New Member

    I had my children before getting CFIDS/Fibro. (It came on unbelievably sudden in the delivery room about 10 minutes before my youngest was born.) In retrospect here is my opinion;

    There is no greater joy than being a mom. There are days/weeks at a time that I cannot take care of them. (They are 7 and 3) I rely a great deal on my husband and our family.

    I would hate to think that if I was sick BEFORE pregnancy I would have chose not to have children. I guess I would have had the same concerns you are having now. But being this far in the game, my kids brighten the days that CFIDS threaten.

    It is humbling to have someone else (in my case my sisters or my mom) clean up the house and feed/bathe the kids and take the oldest one to school. My husband who works all day is wonderful support for doing as much as he is able (and for his understanding).

    I think you are incredibly mature for thinking about and discussing these inevitable decisions. Sounds like the both of you will make great parents. However, I would expand my sources of support; summons your family, close friends. There will be days when you need them.

    During my most difficult days, a family member will take them for the day. It is a treat for my children. On bad days when we're all together, I ask THEM to read ME a book while I lay down.

    You are at an advantage knowing you have CFIDS/Fibro before having children. You have the opportunity to make a plan. Nobody knew what was wrong with me during delivery. Doctors thought it was the epidural when my whole body went limp, arms too weak to hold my son, neuralgia pain from the epidural site to my toes.

    After tests, they ruled "everything else" out and said "nothing's wrong". That drove me to try harder since nothing was wrong, which led to depression because I couldn't ignore the fact that I was not taking care of my kids.

    You have a diagnosis. You have support. You have a loving partner. I say GO FOR IT!!!!!

    And just for spite, I wouldn't let this damned disease take away any more of my dreams. (certainly not one as profound as becoming a parent!)

    God Bless You!
    ~30
  5. anjie

    anjie New Member

    Hi Kristen,

    I actually posted a similar topic not too long ago. You could do a search, and I'm sure it will come up. I have FMS. I've been married for 7 years, and my husband and I are contemplating having kids soon.

    When I get home from work, I feel so tired without kids. I worry about the toll pregnancy would take on my body. From the responses I got, though, it seems that there is a remission of sorts during the pregnancy.

    I figure that if that's the case, I will make it through pregnancy, and the rest will fall into place.

    I plan on scheduling a "pre-pregnancy consultation" with my OB/GYN to discuss my concerns and find out what actions I can take to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

    There is also a teratogen hotline you can call to find out what risks your medications pose to the fetus. You can call the Center for Disease Control Birth Defect Branch at: (770)488-7160. There are also hotlines for each state. Just do a search on google for "+teratogen +hotline", and a whole list will come up.

    ~ Anjie ~

  6. Robbimo

    Robbimo New Member

    Hi Kristen,

    By the time I was diagnosed my youngest was 3, but I had symptoms earlier. I had (and have) a supportive husband, although it took him a while to truly understand my limitations. I think it is very important that your spouse does understand ahead of time that your abilities will probably vary and that you can't make accurate predictions- but who can? You could be the healthiest person in the world and get sick this afternoon. You have the advantage of being able to plan ahead for difficult days.

    One aspect to consider is the economic one. I did have to stop working. There was no way that I had the energy to be a good mother and work at the same time. Of course, we are all different, but I can tell you that children, especially babies, take more time and energy than you can imagine. Raising children is a challenge, with or without CFS/FM.

    That said, having children was one of the two best decisions I made in my life. For every sleepless night and stress filled day that I thought I would not get through, I have received infinite blessings. My children are grown now, and still manage to take my time and emotions, yet bring me more joy than I can express. I also have three grandchildren who I adore. I can't imagine life without them.

    My children have told me that growing up with a mother who was ill, yet did not give up and took care of them, made them better, more sensitive, caring adults. My daughter is a wonderful mother. I believe my son will be a fine father some day, but since he is only 19, it better not be too soon. Although we are a close and loving family, they are independent and secure in their ability to live life and overcome adversity.

    Only you know your own abilities and this is a very personal decision. I hope you are able to follow your hearts.

    Hugs, Robbie
  7. dsstarkey

    dsstarkey New Member

    This won't be the most popular answer, but here goes. I have 2 children, the youngest is special needs. Until my injury/diagnosis the past year, I was supermom. Worked full time, raised my kids, and everyone was doing great. Tay's ocd/tourette's was under control with the help of a fabulous mhc and a teeny dose of Paxil each morning. The teenager was making straight A's and heading to law school in a couple years. I had just put bf in business, my job was secure (and cushy!), and our financial future looked brighter than ever.
    Like everyone, my life has changed drastically over the past 11 months, and I can only do a tenth of what I used to - on a good day.
    Because my little one (Tayler - 8) has ocd, socks and shoes take longer than you'd expect and I've always helped my daughter get dressed. Since I got sick, there have been many mornings when my teenager had to pitch in. In August, I had to let the teen start home schooling so I wouldn't be alone during the day. Now she helps Tay in the morning, and I just supervise.
    Yesterday the little one got totally frustrated with my issues and yelled at me because I couldn't help get her dance tights on, and noone else does it "right". She has a terrible time getting them to feel "just right" without my help, and it takes forever. When she finally got them on, I tackled the bun. Imagine long, silky hair to her waist that needs to be pulled into a regulation ballet bun. Add that to a kid who must have perfectly smooth hair everywhere when the bun is done. Halfway through the torture, she yelled "God, you can't do ANYTHING anymore!!" and started crying.
    As a sidenote, I see definite signs of myofascial problems and chronic pain in both my daughters, and feel they are both headed in my direction unless I'm able to secure ongoing, appropriate medical care with an emphasis on prevention. Every day I worry that they will eventually walk in my shoes.
    I love my children for than I can describe. Would I do this to them again? I don't know.
  8. snomnky

    snomnky New Member

    I am 22 and have been sick with FM since i was 15, I am getting married in July and we do plan on having children. I know i struggle with my health often, but i also beleive that if there is a will there is a way, and it has always been my dream to have children. I am fortunate in that i will have the ability to be a stay at home mom, right now i feel this may be a life saver. I have heard a lot about going into remision during while pregnant, but as for me i'm not counting on that. Even though i don't plan to have children for another 4 or 5 years, i have already started to work with a Homeopathic Dr, I feel this gives me the advantage i will need if the FM gets real bad, I have had great results so far! All this said, i really think it is up to you, yes it is possible, you will need help, but you can do it. More importantly you need to be confident in yourself. Hope my rambling has helped, Snomnky
  9. Antenbunny

    Antenbunny New Member

    Kristen,
    Good question. I have a 6 y.o. and we had him around the time I went on disability. I was soon nervous about this very issue. I just didn't know if I could deal with having a child. First I would say, your body learns how to compensate. For example I had a hard time holding him all the time, but I found ways to do it. I would lay on the floor and put him on top of me, I used a baby sling so I didn't have to have him in my arms as much. It's amazing how you can find ways to make it work. I would say make sure you have a lot of support, physical support, grandparents, partner, friends, aunts, uncles, someone you can call on those really bad days. Make sure your partner understands that he will have to be very involved. I would also say don't let this illness stop you from have the most powerful experience a person can have. I believe my son has helped me go out side of my illness. Illness can make us so narcissistic, you can't be when you have a child. Just one more thing and I'll stop. I take ritalin when I can't keep up with him, it helps a lot.
    Good luck
  10. Marahal

    Marahal Guest

    I was not yet diagnosed with FM when my children were born, but had increased problems with tendonitis of sh/neck with the need to carry the babies a lot. I had 3 daughters in 3 1/2 yrs.+ 1 miscarriage. It was very hard on me,but who is to say what might have been/I would not wish to have not to have them! In fact, I had problems before I was even married. I try not to dwell on those hard times now that I have such better pain control. I just enjoy my retirement and am anticipating some great-grandchildren someday.
    My advice to you would be to space them well or just have one. Good luck!
    Marilyn
  11. TracyV

    TracyV New Member

    felt better while pregnent with my daughter. I take of my daughter mostly by myself, I'm married, but my husband works lots of hours.
    I would not trade being a mother for anything! It can be done, and I have a very happy well ajusted child. Somedays I can run outside so we read, or make a tent inside. She learn to write her name when she was 3, most likely because of me having FM. She is a only child so I get her out alot in group activities.
    Good luck with your future.
    Hugs,
    Tracy
  12. Ivey

    Ivey New Member

    I had FM before getting pregnant and giving birth to my beautiful Mason. My symptoms completely disappeared during my pregnancy, but I have spiraled since giving birth. I wouldn't trade him for the world, but I wouldn't do it again. It is way too hard on my body, I think. I'm not sure I'll ever re-group from these new symptoms. My "baby" will be 3 in two months. Think about it long and hard. It is a wonderful, but life altering, decision. You can make it through - but may not want to do it again. Or.... maybe you will!!! Good luck. Ivey
  13. sweetsmile

    sweetsmile New Member

    Oh my gosh Kristen, you are just like me! i am also 21 and suffer alone really. i have been sick since 9. i am adopting a baby (by myself) He will be born in April...i am looking for a little support if you would like to talk sometime. i am at work, but will talk later. Please contact me. i will give you my email (can't remember if that allowed or not so let me know.) My body is mad at me today...i didn't get to bed until 12 last night as i was talking with the birth mother for a long time last night.
  14. angeljoe

    angeljoe New Member

    My children were born before I started getting signs of Fibromyalgia and CFS. My children are three and ten. I will tell you that somedays are sooooo difficult just to get through. With Children you do have to get out of bed. You are responsibile for them in every way. I have a hard time with my fibro but with children its harder because of the cfs. My two babies are well worth everything I do and have done for them. I wouldn't trade my children for anything. (including pain free days) I would say if you have a supportive husband it will be fine for you to have a child. Kids are so joyful I would do it all over again.
    Good luck
    Angela
  15. meowchowchow

    meowchowchow New Member

    Kristen - I am right there with you. I am 31 and getting married on the 7th of January, less than 2 weeks! I constantly think about having kids. I really want them but don't think I could care for them right now. My sister has a 2 yr old and a 2 mth old and just watching them for a few hours wipes me out.

    I'm working on getting better so hopefully I'll be able to have kids! I feel like my time is running out.

    Good luck,
    Meow
  16. russiankids3

    russiankids3 New Member

    Hi Kristen,
    My situation a lot different from yours, but I still wanted to comment..
    I was dx'd with CFS/FM when I was 27 years old. My husband and I tried for years to get pregnant and even went so far as an invitro attempt after meds and the rest failed. Well all that in itself was very stressful which made my CFS/FM more trying to deal with.

    We adopted 2 orphan brothers from Russia in 2000, ages 5 and 9 after realizing we really wanted kids in our life. Later, when we found their half-sis in another orphanage we decided to adopt her as well even though she was 13 and had some psychiatric and developmental issues due to her length of time in an awful orphanage.

    All 3 kids have many psych issues and our youngest boy now 10 is severely affected by fetal alcohol syndrome (birthmom was alcoholic and drank heavy through this pregnancy) and other disorders that cause him to be mildly mentally retarded and aggressive. He requires 24/7 care as his mentality is around 3-4 years old. He also steals constantly and tries to hurt himself. His frontal lobe of his brain was damaged and this controls all impulses and learning of socially appropriate behaviors. This can never be corrected so we do our best with him.

    If we had to do it again I can't say that we would, but we truly felt we or should I say I could handle these kids even with my illnesses (there are others on my profile), but it has been tough on both of us. We love our kids to distraction, but my health has deteriorated rapidly since 2000. Even so our kids are so much better off and we are very dedicated to helping them achieve all they can and be happy.

    You are very young yet and I feel if you want a child you should go for it. Youth is on your side and once one little one comes you and your young man can see how it goes and decide if you can handle more. I strongly agree with a previous post by someone who said to consider all aspects of your life as it is affected by your illness. There are many single moms out there who do not have the support of a strong and true partner and their family has suffered emotionally and physically when mom can't work or spend the needed time with her kids due to her illness.

    Go with your heart and I will be praying things work out for you and yours.
    Sue
  17. pinkstar

    pinkstar New Member

    but i am DEFINATELY NOT adopting anyone anytime soon... i do have a small dog... it's hard enough to keep her walked and exercised... not to knock the girl who is adopting by any means! just so not for me!

    before this illness, i didn't think i wanted kids of my own. i would have adopted if anything. but now having this for some years, i have seen what i faced throughout the weeks. there is no way possibe for me to care for someone else when i need sleeping pills to keep me asleep... or pain pills cause it murders me when i stand up too long... or anything of that nature... add in a crying 20 pound baby to that mixture and i would fall apart....

    so for me, i am almost certain it will not happen in my lifetime for me.

    but this is all a personal choice. from growing up i have learned not to be so trusting of others moreso when you need them. so i know my supports would not be so amazing. but if you have that and you can count on it, you can do almost anything. good luck and keep us informed!
  18. ~Sibyle~

    ~Sibyle~ New Member

    Hi, I am a 26 year old mom to two boys. Ages 5.5 and 7 months.

    The fibro became active when my 1st was about 6 months old. During my second pregnancy the fibro went away. I had one whole year symptom free.

    I do ok. I have to rely on my DH quite a bit sometimes. One thing you must do is to have a very high quality diet. No refined sugar or carbs. Lots of fruits and veggies help me feel better.

    I also work full time mostly from home. When I feel my body telling to slow down I do it. Quiet games on the floor with the kids. Watching a movie cuddled on the couch. You can work around your bad days. For the really horrible days I have a wonderful baby sitter.

    My children are the light of my life and even on the bad days I am always happy that I have them :)

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  19. Mamalovinit

    Mamalovinit New Member

    I have 7 children ages 13-2 years old. So yes it can be done with fibro and cf. All but my first was done with this stuff.

    Keep yourself on a good diet like someone else said. I take vit.b-12 shots, Pre.Nate vitamains, folic acid and drink plenty of water. I also will take Vistaril for sleep only when needed. It is safe during pregnancy. It is really easy to eat junk food and not take good care of myself with proper amount of sleep and so on when I am pregnant. Because I go into total or partial remission. I have done it enough times to know I pay more after the pregnancy that away.

    I need more help right after the babies were born than any other time.My husband is totally supportive with me and we our a team. If you want more ideas just let me know. I don't want to load you down with that kind of info if that isn't what you are looking for.

    Would I do it again.YES!!!

    Would I let my illness stop me from my dreams? No Way.

    Mamalovinit
  20. lease79

    lease79 New Member

    I'm Lisa (aka Lease) 26 y.o. married Sth Aussie Mum of 4. Imogen 8, Leah 6, Rhiannon 4, & Ethan 2.
    I have a wonderful husband that helps me out with the kids. Without him I don't know what I'd do. On the days that I am unable to get out of bed I lay the kids clothes out for school & kinder the night before, & then hubby gets up with them the next morning, gets them dressed, fed & does their hair. Then if I am too bad to get up & drive them, he drives them to school & kinder & then goes to work.
    It's been very hard & if I had to start having children now, I don't think that I could do it, my body's just not capable anymore. That said, I did have all 4 children whilst having cfs/fms. My pregnancies were very hard, but I delivered all of them naturally, & had really good recoveries from the deliveries. Unfortunately like others mentioned, anywhere up to a couple of months after the 'crash' would occur & things would become pretty chaotic with the cfs/fms.
    ~*Goodluck*~ with it hun.

    Lease