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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been planning a homebirth ever since my wretched hopsital experience with dd in 1998 (simple, easy, uncomplicated labor and birth with no episiotomy/tearing--horrible interventionist hospital policies, monitors, IVs, pitocin given for no reason and without my consent... just awful awful awful, but once I got them to go away the actual delivery was great and I was up and around 2 hours later, wanting to leave the hospital ASAP!)

Unfortunately, I've just been diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis...just as dh and I are ttc. I am now hearing that MS confers an automatic "high-risk" designation.

Does anyone here have any words of advice, or know anyone who had a successful homebirth with MS?

Thanks!
Hala
 

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I have no specific personal experience, but a midwife's apprentice with whom I was speaking told me that she went with her preceptor to a birth at which the mother had more advanced MS, and the birth was grand.

I attended a wonderful homebirth of someone who soon after was Dx with MS.

Go to Midwiferytoday.com and search for the word sclerosis. A few things do come about MS .

When going the homebirth route, especially with a situation that seems foreign to many practitioners, it is most important to have an attendant who will not transport at the drop of a hat because of his or her own trepidation. You might compile information and after giving the midwife the 3rd degree, present the MS info. you have.
 

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MS is such a varying disease that your level of risk should be individualized. You would have to discuss it in detail with the midwife, I would think.
 

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I have had a doula client who had MS and was diagnosed before she got pg. She was in a wheelchair. She had an uneventful pg and short labor. I would have attended her at home if we knew of a homebirth mw. She had a special crib made and everything wheelchair accessible. I have moved, so haven't seen her since the baby was 6 months old. I would definitly have a hb. The pg was fine, and they didn't need to use any anesthesia, since she wasn't feeling anything in her cervix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Although one never knows what will happen with MS, of course,
: my current level of disability is slight-to-none--I have a very slight loss of sensation in my right hand, and when *extremely* hot/exhausted I have balance trouble and more numbness in the right hand/arm (this doesn't just happen when I'm tired, have to be very hot as well).

I run, swim and do yoga, and have a VERY active 8-year-old. I'm a normal weight and otherwise super-healthy. Again
:, women with MS VERY rarely have exacerbations while pg, so we probably wouldn't be looking at the situation worsening during pregnancy/delivery.

Supposedly, women with almost no disability "have to" be categorized with severely disabled women with MS for "insurance reasons," at least at my local hospital-based birth center.

I have a WONDERFUL gyn. who is also an OB, and seems very hands-off and natural--prefers to deliver at the BC, doesn't do episiotomies etc. However, if I go with her I may have to deliver at the hospital and this... is not an option (unless it had to be, due to a medical complication of some kind).


The mw I emailed hasn't gotten back to me... I really want to have this baby at home, but am NOT willing to do UC. Anyone with further advice PLEASE help... any positive stories of MS moms would help. I'm still reeling from this dx.

Best,
Hala
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by halalove

The mw I emailed hasn't gotten back to me... I really want to have this baby at home, but am NOT willing to do UC. Anyone with further advice PLEASE help... any positive stories of MS moms would help. I'm still reeling from this dx.

Best,
Hala

Keep pestering the mw. Every single mw i have talked to has said they do *not* always answer the first email/call. They really want to find out how motivated the client is for a homebirth. (this was news to me!, and i am an apprentice mw! ) so keep knocking that door down. Don't give up. As active as you seem to be I see no reason why a hb should not happen, you go, girl! There are other mws, too, so don't give up. You might not be able to birth in the birth center(stupid bc) but I would do a hb with no problem!
best of Luck....
 

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I'm sort of in the same boat as you with the diagnosis of lupus. I'd call up a bunch of mw and see if they would take you on as a client. In Oregon, there is some sort of list that tells mw whether or not they can take on certain clients. Lupus isn't on the list, but some MW still won't take me and some will only take me with an OB "on backup." I'll be following this thread to see what you find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update:

Well, I'm very very happy. The birthing center I looked at would classify me as "high-risk," but I didn't really want to go there anyway. Then the midwife who was my first choice got in touch with me and is perfectly comfortable with the situation.

Also, and this is perhaps even more important, dh and I had a wonderful conversation in which he expressed his TOTAL support for the homebirth. I'd been worried, since we'd never really discussed it before and i just assumed he'd be more "mainstream", but it turns out he's had numerous female friends give birth and is fairly knowledgeable about the whole thing, went on about "unneccessary interventions" and ranted about routine episiotomies just like I do! SO happy we're on the same page about this.


I'm now feeling much more confident. DH was with me in the hospital while I was having treatments for MS and so I have experience of how he reacts in high stress situations and it was really positive--a good balance between calming me down but remaining on my side, he never went into the "be a good girl and do what the doctors say" mode.

Anyway, just thought I'd post a positive update.
 

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Didn't read all the posts:

I have a friend who had two homebirths with MS. Her first she was having a really hard time, she said she drug one foot when she walked and couldn't talk well at all. She said that MS usually is good in pregnancy though, at least that is what her doctor told her, so it might be unusual. I think with her second she was pretty well. Anyway, she had great homebirths with both, she is the one that has really supported me with homebirth.
 

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The National MS Society states that a woman with MS who has little to no disability can be considered a routine obstretics patient.

I am in the same boat as you. I was diagnosed with RR/MS in the past year, but the disease seems to be moving very slowly so far for me and has been mild. I have no disability and my first (and only) excacerbation (so far) was over a year ago and brought with it only mild sensory disturbances. I'm not on any medication and am following a healthy diet (Swank) for MS which I firmly believe has made a difference.

I just recently found out I am pregnant and hope that legal liabilities or uneducated fear among caregivers do not hinder my choices for prenatal care or the natural birth experience I desire. The chance of MS getting worse during pregnancy is unlikely - pregnancy actually has a protective effect since it suppresses your immune system, particularly in the third trimester.

I have done considerable research about MS and pregnancy. I would consider home birth reasonable and would go for what you want! I will be happy to share my experiences in finding more natural care at a birthing center or a midwife for home birth as someone with MS, though at the moment, I, like you am still searching for information and looking for the right care.
 
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