Expecting a baby and worried about special needs - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 08-26-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Ladies, I have five children. The two boys have special needs and the three girls do not. I just found out that the baby I am carrying is a boy. I actually found the gender news to be distressful because I started worrying, is he going have learning disabilities, autism, speech issues  . . . . you see where I am going with it. Has anyone else dealt with these fears? What helped? I am also a loss mama and already having issues connecting to the pregnancy. Thanks!


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#2 of 14 Old 08-26-2013, 09:14 PM
 
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Actually, although I am not planning on having any more children, I will say that DH and I joke that having another autistic kid would be No Big Deal b/c by now we feel like experts. Honestly, it frightens me a whole lot less than it did when I didn't have kids, or my first was just a "normal" baby (i.e. before we knew she was Aspie). But that is just me, and does not in any way mean you can't feel otherwise.


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#3 of 14 Old 08-27-2013, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for replying Piglet! Having another SN child would be a big deal for me because of the financial obligation. We have to go to so many therapies that the schedule alone is a nightmare. My oldest DS goes to speech 5 days a week and that's just speech. It's a financial and logistical problem.
 


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#4 of 14 Old 08-27-2013, 01:56 PM
 
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Oh dear. I am in Canada and I don't pay for any of that stuff. So yes, that would definitely be scary! I'm always so shocked by how much medical expenses figure into the daily lives of American families. We don't even think about stuff like that. 


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#5 of 14 Old 08-28-2013, 05:39 AM
 
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Big hugs. Our first three have varying SNs. We realized DS1 was ASD during #4's pg. I was terrified about more SN, can't say I still am not. The baby is 2 and has been in speech therapy since 18 months. Every single kid of mine has had or is still currently in speech. Add in all the other therapies and medical bills and yes, I totally hear you. 


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#6 of 14 Old 08-29-2013, 06:43 AM
 
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I can relate(ish)  My children do not really have special needs (I say not really as there is some mild ADHD in the family and DD was born with a birth defect which has caused her recurrent infections) but I know they are not significant or impact our daily lives.  I am the aunt to two children with severe autism.

 

If I were to get pregnant again I would worry about special needs - particularly if I was having a boy.  The rate of autism in boys is so much higher than in girls, autism can be very difficult on the individual and family.   Special needs can rob parents of the innocence that everything is going to be hunky-dorry. 

 

It is a hard thing to admit out loud - that you have a gender preference, and that it is due to special needs concerns.  You are not alone.  hug2.gif


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#7 of 14 Old 08-29-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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I understand! I am pregnant with my 6th boy. My oldest three have SN. They are from my first marriage and have different genetics but my first boy with my current DH had a bunch of food intolerances as a baby and most of what I did to heal that in him I gleaned from biomedical treatments for autism. That freaked me out! He has some mild sensory issues and possible ADHD, though overall he is pretty neurotypical. I have had a bunch of anxiety with each pregnancy since my older kids' diagnosis because I worry about every bite, every body product I use, every medication, etc. I still think deep down I feel like I did something, somewhere to cause it and I am terrified of doing that unknowingly again. It can totally rob you of the joy of carrying a child. mecry.gif 

 

What has helped? Making some different choices. We chose not to vaccinate our last two. We have also strictly avoided antibiotics. And we have fed them a healthy, whole foods diet, for the most part. Avoided too much dairy and wheat, etc. Given them probiotics and lots of whole food supplements. Avoided toxins wherever possible. Basically anything I can look back on and think might be a factor in the development of autism in my older kids, I try to avoid or address with these younger ones. Has it helped? Who knows? But I took action where I could and that has given me some peace of mind. The other part is recognizing my limitations. To me autism is a million piece puzzle that is impossible for me to solve. So I know that despite it all, I may be fairly powerless. There is almost a strength I can get from admitting my powerlessness. I try to remind myself that stress during pregnancy is associated with developmental issues as well, and that I am not doing the baby any favors if I am totally marinating him in stress hormones either. ;)  


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#8 of 14 Old 08-30-2013, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I try to remind myself that stress during pregnancy is associated with developmental issues as well, and that I am not doing the baby any favors if I am totally marinating him in stress hormones either. ;)  

I know this! duh.gif Yet still I have been up since 4AM worrying about some unexpected medical expenses ($700) we had this month for DS2. It really threw our already very tight budget for a loop. I have literally had to choose between paying the electric bill and buying food (food won, hopefully I can catch up on the bill before we get it cut off fingersx.gif ). The baby boy I am carrying does have a different father than my other two boys so I really hope that makes a difference. 


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#9 of 14 Old 08-30-2013, 04:44 AM
 
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Pattimomma, I wanted to chime in too and offer something that could help.  My first is on the spectrum, is a boy,  and five years later when I became pregnant with my second I went through a similar process that Earthmomma did.  I ran through the "list" of all the potential factors that could have contributed to my son's later developmental difficulties and I tried to eliminate them in my daughter's pregnancy to the degree that I stopped eating gluten and dairy while pregnant.  I also did the same for her after she was born, not eating gluten, dairy or sugar while nursing, and I nursed, for a long time...to give her a great deal of protection for her future digestion of food. 

 

So what helped me was to take control where I could but also get some help to let go of my anxiety.  Homoepathic remedies are completely safe in pregnancy and work very well for me and my family.  I was prescribed a wonderful remedy called arsenicum and I took it in 30c every day.  My homeopath explained that women can get a "pregnancy overlay", which is a personality or emotions that only occur because of the pregnancy, and is different from the every day personality a woman usually has. 

 

Arsenicum is a remedy for perfectionism, worry and anxiety over things that can't always be controlled, fear of poverty and concern for  "pure" food, water, drink, and a pure healthy body.  It was prescribed to help me be at peace with who ever my child would be while taking charge of what was possible.  Interestingly, it is also considered the preventative rememdy for preeclampsia because it helps to clean toxins out of the blood.  It may not hurt to try it.  At 30c you won't aggravate if you take it once or twice to see if you are more relaxed and at peace with potential outcomes.  My homeopath also told me that remedies transmit to the baby so any predisposition that the baby may have to "perfectionism" and anxiety will balance itself out providing for a more peaceful experience in utero. 

 

By the way, my daughter was born very peacefully (at home) surrounded by her family, didn't cry for the first hour of her life, just nursed and cooed at us and is to this day one of the most joyful people I know ;)  She is very soothing to be around because she doesn't worry, about anything! 

 

If you don't use homeopathy for you or your family this could be the time to try something new......a little support "energetically" to remind you how to be your best self is one way to look at  remedies.  I hope for you peace and a good pregnancy.

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#10 of 14 Old 09-01-2013, 02:14 AM
 
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 I ran through the "list" of all the potential factors that could have contributed to my son's later developmental difficulties and I tried to eliminate them in my daughter's pregnancy to the degree that I stopped eating gluten and dairy while pregnant.  I also did the same for her after she was born, not eating gluten, dairy or sugar while nursing...

 

 

Arsenicum is a remedy for perfectionism, worry and anxiety over things that can't always be controlled, fear of poverty and concern for  "pure" food, water, drink, and a pure healthy body.  It was prescribed to help me be at peace with who ever my child would be while taking charge of what was possible. 

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing this. That remedy description sounds like me to a T. I struggle with every single one of those issues! I too am considering doing a GFCF diet for myself. I am already 28 weeks and worrying (again) that it might be too late. We are poor and qualify for WIC so its hard to turn down the free milk, bread, etc which is such a boon to our budget, but in the back of my mind I am feeling like its so risky to even eat it. Then I worry I am being paranoid...and round and round I go....:( I wonder if that remedy would help with all of those issues. It is certainly worth a try!


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#11 of 14 Old 09-01-2013, 05:50 AM
 
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Earthmomma, it's your choice whether you want to try the remedy.  I can't prescribe although I'd love to be a homeopath one day when I grow up :)

 

If arsenicum is a good remedy for you it will help you feel less anxious and put in perspective that "one bite" of something won't kill you, isn't "the cause" of something etc.  That kind of thinking isn't going to help you make positive changes that will support your pregnancy either it will just sap your strength!  But it is also a remedy of discrimination....helping you to value your discerning mind, focus you on your elevated thinking and give you a clear focused determination to act from it.  It doesn't help you eat whatever you want to and not feel anxious.  It does the opposite.  It helps you have the strength to act from your convictions but know that the occasional slips won't hurt you.

 

A regular diet of food that is unhealthy would rightfully make you feel anxious not just because of the concern it may trigger developmental problems in your unborn baby but because you are potentially intolerant of these foods making you feel irritable and emotionally labile. 

 

I can't tell you how to handle your budget and if you are a mom of 5 you must think about your food budget a lot!  I am VERY grateful that I can feed my 2 children this way but I also feel it is a choice we HAVE to make.  A healthy body and a sound mind makes everything else possible.   I buy as much food as possible that I can cook myself....nothing prepared or prepackaged....and I cook like my grandma ;)  Very simple hearty fare.  Chicken soup with rice, potato, beef and carrots, split pea soup, lots of fruit, eggs eggs eggs, fried, egg salad, scrambled, hard boiled, lots of nuts nuts nuts.

 

If this helps, I sometimes buy in bulk on-line from places that sell well known products at a steep discount and free shipping.  You can just google and a bunch of places pop up (I don't know if I can post places here). 

 

About the wic food, I would absolutely BE STRONG and have the courage to pass it up.  Even, take it, and give it to the person in line behind you and ask if she'll give you her vegetables for  trade.  Give it to your neighbor for a favor.  Just don't eat it!

 

When I was pregnant I LOVED bananas, cucumbers and steak.  Go figure.  :)  It is such a blessing to be carrying a baby.  It is still possible to enjoy it and still live in the world we do!  I think that part of living in this world today is having courage, a great deal of it, to stay the course of our convictions even if most people around us don't think the same thoughts.  It absolutely helps to fortify yourself by talking to other people who have the same concerns.  It is a blessing to meet people, even if they are online, who have or who are wrestling with the same dilemmas.  I'm glad if i've helped :)

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#12 of 14 Old 09-01-2013, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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 I still think deep down I feel like I did something, somewhere to cause it and I am terrified of doing that unknowingly again. It can totally rob you of the joy of carrying a child. mecry.gif

 

I think genetics more so than diet is the issue. I used a variation of the Brewer Diet with all five of my pregnancies so I ate dairy and gluten. I ate more organic with my 3rd-5th pregnancies as organic food was not readily available in my area during my first two pregnancies. My first, third and fifth children are girls. Two of the girls are gifted and the other one is borderline gifted. None of the girls have LD, autism, or anything. The boys issues are easily genetically traced. LD, speech/language, ADHD and autism (use to just be called severely emotionally disturbed) can be traced for generations on dads' side of the family. While I believe that environment can contribute, I don't think it's as significant as people like to believe. So don't beat yourself up over it :Hug

 

My experience is 5 kids, 4 different dads, same mom (me :)), similar diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Outcome girls are typical boys are not shrug.gif The autism (high functioning) isn't even the hardest part. The LD and DS2's articulation disorder has been much harder to address.


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#13 of 14 Old 09-01-2013, 03:30 PM
 
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Pattimomma, statistically girls are less likely to be autistic, have ADHD or have sensory integration issues because the higher amounts of estrogen that wash through their bodies and brains have a protective effect over environmental toxins and triggers. 

 

The field of epigenetics is the study of how environmental triggers alter how our genes express themselves making even identical twins different.  This field of study is looking very closely at why in some people genes "switch on" and activate a disease process for example, like heart disease, and why in others, with the exact same gene sequence, the genes remain dormant and do not activate.  We are usually very clear that what we eat, how we exercise and how we feel, effects whether we will get heart disease, whether our father had it or not so we give ourselves the best possible chance to have a different fate.  I think it is fair to apply the same process to our children not to give ourselves more reason to feel guilty (mother's know guilt so well!!) but to truly take charge of our fate in what ever way possible.  I will add, however, that I don't ever think it is "too late" as gene expression can be switched on and off.  Science is looking very closely at the mechanism of how to do this with accurancy and predictability, but, meanwhile, why not try to figure out how to do it ourselves with whatever we know might possibly work including dietary changes.

 

The theory I have read as to why a gluten and dairy free diet is helpful for those with a predisposition to spectrum or developmental disorders is that they are "glutamate saturated" foods and those with a genetic predisposition to spectrum disorders have an inability to regulate their gaba/glutamate balance due possibly to faulty gaba receptors.  This also explains why children on the spectrum often have other inflammatory issues like asthma and allergies as well as sleep issues as gaba regulates and controls inflammation in the body.  Glutamate is excitatory.  Removing glutamate rich foods from the diet goes around the problem by preventing those who are predisposed from having to balance gaba and glutamate at all thereby eliminating the potential for a host of symptoms and reducing inflammation everywhere including the brain.  Dr. Amy Yasko's work on pathways of healing has great information on this.  A gluten dairy free diet is helpful for a host of health problems as excess inflammation is the root of auto immune problems.

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#14 of 14 Old 09-01-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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I think genetics more so than diet is the issue. I used a variation of the Brewer Diet with all five of my pregnancies so I ate dairy and gluten. I ate more organic with my 3rd-5th pregnancies as organic food was not readily available in my area during my first two pregnancies. My first, third and fifth children are girls. Two of the girls are gifted and the other one is borderline gifted. None of the girls have LD, autism, or anything. The boys issues are easily genetically traced. LD, speech/language, ADHD and autism (use to just be called severely emotionally disturbed) can be traced for generations on dads' side of the family. While I believe that environment can contribute, I don't think it's as significant as people like to believe. So don't beat yourself up over it hug2.gif

My experience is 5 kids, 4 different dads, same mom (me smile.gif ), similar diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Outcome girls are typical boys are not shrug.gif The autism (high functioning) isn't even the hardest part. The LD and DS2's articulation disorder has been much harder to address.
Just to reaffirm your genetic train of thought, I had read the men are more likely the source of genetic mutation and odds increase as they age. http://www.nature.com/news/fathers-bequeath-more-mutations-as-they-age-1.11247
I hope that you and earthmama4 can find peace of mind and enjoy your pregnancies.
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