I want to have a child but I'm afraid for my life - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-29-2016, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to have a child but I'm afraid for my life

Hello, moms! I'm not sure where to put this but I'm a young woman and I think I'm ready to become a mum. I've always wanted a child however there's something that makes me feel uneasy about it and it's rooted in the tragic past of the women of my family. My grandmother died while giving birth to my mother and my mother died while giving birth to me. And even though I want to have a child, I'm afraid to continue this awful pattern.

I don't know that much about my grandmother's case but if I think about it, I can think of some reasons for such outcome. It happened in the sixties, maybe medicine wasn't developed very much at that time and also my grandma was in her fourties when she was giving birth for her first child - my mum - so maybe her age also had something to do with it.

However, I can't find any explanation as to why my mum died, because she was a young woman, 26 years old, with no health problems. She died from bleeding out on the table.

My friends tell me not to be superstitious, that it was just a misfortune and that now medicine is very well developed. Yes, I agree that that it might be just an unhappy coincidence but if you were in my place, you'd worry too, wouldn't you? I really want to become a mother but I don't want to die, I know what it's like to grow up without a mum and I don't want to let my child to experience this as well.

What would you advise me? I'm seeing my gynecologist regularly, I'm healthy but so was my mum. Maybe I don't want a child strongly enough if I care for my own life that much?
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#2 of 13 Old 08-29-2016, 08:13 AM
 
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Interesting question. Honestly, this seems to be a deep-seated concern of yours. I would think you need some counseling to talk through your issues of grief and loss from growing up without your mother. In the meantime, have you considered fostering and/or fostering to adopt? They're excellent choices and it may help with your decision making. As you bond and grow with a child, you may feel a clarity on if you want to have your own children.


I hope you find peace on whatever decision you make.
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#3 of 13 Old 08-29-2016, 03:42 PM
 
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Given your family history it seems a reasonable concern to me. I agree that counselling would probably be helpful.

I would also try to get more details of your grandmother's and mother's circumstances if possible. Did they both die from complications associated with excessive blood loss? What was the cause of the excessive bleeding? Could there be an hereditary clotting disorder?

What does your gynaecologist say?

Statistically, maternal death from childbirth complications is very rare in countries with high level health care. But, with your history, I would want to know more.


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#4 of 13 Old 08-29-2016, 03:43 PM
 
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Also, I don't think there is anything wrong with deciding that you don't want to have children if that's what feels best for you.


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#5 of 13 Old 08-29-2016, 04:21 PM
 
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There may be some medical history, I agree, even pre-eclampsia?
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#6 of 13 Old 08-30-2016, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately I don't know that much about my grandma, because it happened a long time ago and I don't really have any documents about it but my mum was a healthy woman, that's for sure but when she started bleeding, they couldn't stop it for some reason. But if there was some inherited disease, wouldn't it show itself in other situations too? I mean, birth is not the only case when people bleed.
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#7 of 13 Old 08-30-2016, 05:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sonial View Post
But if there was some inherited disease, wouldn't it show itself in other situations too? I mean, birth is not the only case when people bleed.

Were there any other circumstances when she had a significant injury? It may be that she did always bleed excessively but, if the wound is only minor, it may not be particularly noticeable unless you're looking for it.

On the other hand, I'm not saying she did have a clotting disorder. Simply that it is rare for women in developed countries to die in childbirth and you have had it happen in two successive generations and the two women involved were primary relatives and one of them is a primary relative of yours. I think that is worth following up.




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#8 of 13 Old 08-30-2016, 11:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sonial View Post
Unfortunately I don't know that much about my grandma, because it happened a long time ago and I don't really have any documents about it but my mum was a healthy woman, that's for sure but when she started bleeding, they couldn't stop it for some reason. But if there was some inherited disease, wouldn't it show itself in other situations too? I mean, birth is not the only case when people bleed.
At least in the U.S., death certificates were pretty well detailed by the 1960s and include medical information about primary and secondary causes of death. All 50 states allow access to death certificates to at least direct descendants. I'm not sure what country you're in, but I think it would be worth requesting these documents if at all possible, at least for peace of mind.

Also, could you dig for information from extended family? Were your mother and grand-mother poor? How was their medical care? What other circumstances surrounded their deaths?

Finally, I know that many doctors and midwives can offer pre-conception counseling, which involves careful consideration of your medical condition and history and maybe even ordering some tests. It wouldn't hurt to speak with a professional about your concerns and any what-ifs looming in your mind. Then you can make your decision from there. Best of luck to you!
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#9 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 07:30 AM
 
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How old are you?

Back when I had my first, doctors were routinely scheduling births, which ended up in tragedy often. Babies were dying, mothers were dying. My oldest is almost 22 yrs old and has brain damage as a result.

If you want things to go better, get in with a good midwife. Have a birth that does not involve scheduling. Arm yourself with all the excuses doctors will give to schedule an induction. And know how the last weeks of pregnancy are hard and an induction is something people jump. The most common excuse doctors give to induce is "baby is too big" followed by "you have signs of pre-eclampsia." Believe it or not, these are both bogus excuses. Real pre-eclampsia comes with more symptoms and blood work to DX. Blood pressure always goes up in the last days before going in to labor. BP going up alone does not mean preE.

Good luck!
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#10 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 08:55 AM
 
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I can understand your concerns as that is totally valid. Trauma has a way of limiting the choices we make in our lives, because we want to be kept safe. A counselor would help, as well as understanding more your own intuition vs. fear and making a decision from that place.

I can tell you my story. It might help or not help put your mind at ease. I can relate because I have a very similar fear due to bleeding out right after giving birth to my first (and only). She is so important to me that I hesitate in getting pregnant again for fear I won't make it through the next one. So I get what you are going through, even if I can't understand what it must have been like to grow up without a mother. I am so sorry for that.

It would be important to do some digging around the medical history aspect. One other thing - did either your mother or grandmother have particularly long or particularly fast labors? Both situations can increase chances of hemorrhage. Length of labor can be somewhat genetic only b/c of body/pelvic shape. You just want to be prepared with as much information as possible.

In my case, they never figured out why the hemorrhage occurred. No genetic diseases, nothing. My great grandmother passed giving birth to my grandmother but other than that, no family history of hemorrhage. I was healthy, 31 years old, low-risk pregnancy, eating well, passed the gestational diabetes test, etc. I suspect it may have been due to the fact that my labor was pretty quick but again - they didn't have any answers. I also gave birth at home with a midwife, so when I started bleeding she did give me the recommended medications, which did not stop it.

But you can plan for it by choosing a great hospital that's on the cutting edge of technology. There are so many life-saving procedures now that bleeding out (especially from a natural birth, with no induction, and no c-section) is not as big of a thing. I was VERY fortunate because the doctors used a procedure called Uterine Artery Embolization to stop the bleeding in my case which saved my life (and my uterus!). It is also very important for you to take good care of yourself, listen to your body, etc. I believe that if I had taken a nap during early labor instead of going grocery shopping and making dinner, things may have ended differently (I'm serious!).

There are also herbs you can take during pregnancy and acupuncture can help prepare your body for birth. I believe all these factors combined allowed me to survive despite the fact that I did suffer a class 4 hemorrhage.

My point is - we don't know for sure if that will happen to you. But if you find a great doctor and hospital, you should be able to prepare yourself for the possibility given your family history.
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#11 of 13 Old 09-01-2016, 01:29 PM
 
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There is nothing irrational or superstitious about your concerns. I wouldn't even call them fears - they are legitimate concerns which are based in fact.

I don't think you need to take "years" to do so but you do need to understand your familial health history and you need to understand what precautions that doctors, hospitals and midwives are able to take when there is a familial history of hemmorhage.

Shall we assume that you have health insurance? If you don't, obviously becoming insured is the first step in your journey so you can consult with doctors and/or midwives about the particulars of your history.

Is your father still alive? Have you asked him about your mother's pregnancy and death?

I think you can put the issues about "not wanting a child strongly enough" right out of your mind. Legitimate concerns about losing your life DO NOT mean you don't want a child.

I would think that if there is any concern that you might have a propensity to bleed heavily that your doctor would be able to have emergency back up measures in place while you are giving birth to speed up any intervention that might be needed. I would also think that you could be checked out before getting pregnant to see if there are any conditions which might lead to hemmorhage or internal abnormalities. Perhaps an MRI would reveal any irregularities of your uterus?

What does your husband or partner think? Is he (or she) concerned?

The one thing I'd like to see you take away fro this discussion is that your concerns are legitimate and that you are wise to address them before either getting pregnant or considering alternative ways to create a family. You are neither superstitious or fearful.

This might seem like a silly question but was your mother or grandmother a red head?
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#12 of 13 Old 09-02-2016, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 23 years old now. My husband is worried about this too, he wants a child just like I do but so scared for my life that he's considering adoption. That's not a bad option and something I'd probably do if pregnancy and birth really meant a great danger for me but I would much more prefer to have my own child.

Unfortunately I don't know my father, he left my mum before I was even born.

And only dark-haired women run in my family.
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#13 of 13 Old 03-20-2017, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sonial View Post
I'm 23 years old now. My husband is worried about this too, he wants a child just like I do but so scared for my life that he's considering adoption. That's not a bad option and something I'd probably do if pregnancy and birth really meant a great danger for me but I would much more prefer to have my own child.

Unfortunately I don't know my father, he left my mum before I was even born.

And only dark-haired women run in my family.


What do you mean by dark-haired women run in my family and what does that have to do with your original post?


Anyways, you're only 23. You have a long time to decide. You do need to see a counsellor that could help you with this fear. Fear is real to the people who are experiencing it and I know it's a completely rational feeling from your perspective. But to not take action would be doing yourself a disservice because you might carry this fear forever.

Don't imagine the worst incidents in your emotional life -- keep a positive attitude.
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