It’s no secret on here that I have Chiari. It’s also no secret that I have a toddler, and I’m pregnant with my second child. I’ve mentioned all of these, though not together until now, plus 95% of you reading this are family or close friends, so you know all of this anyway.
When I was first pregnant with my son, I did as much research as possible on giving birth after having decompression surgery. Here’s what I found:_____________. Yeah, a whole lotta nothing. It’s not uncommon to have kids, and Chiari, but those of us who have had children after being diagnosed, are not out there talking about it, and even fewer who have been decompressed, (I know why, but more on that in a minute) so I was not surprised when a few of my Chiari sisters approached me with questions.
When you do research on this, you find a few horror stories, and a little bit of medical jargon that if you can make heads or tails of it, you probably went to medical school.
Most people who have no complaints, don’t speak up. This is true with most things in life if you think about it. I worked for a radio station in college where we would get complaints on the DJs, the format, pretty much anything and everything. The station manager told me that for every one complaint there are 100 people who like what you’re doing, but for every 100 written complaints, you will only hear one compliment. There is another reason you don’t hear from too many of us, and it needs to stop.
Chiari is thought to be (and sometimes is) hereditary. There are some very nasty Chiarians out there who take it upon themselves to try to bully everyone around them to make their pathetic little lives feel better. They try to make you feel guilty about considering having a child and passing this horrible condition on. I’ve known women who were told they were awful people, and they should have an abortion, etc… By the way, no one DARED to say this to me, but it was said about me. I’m not really one to be bullied easily. I see them for the sad little trolls that they are, but here is what I tell the women who come across these yahoos:
1) There is no telling whether your child will gave this or not. There is no bigger risk for this than someone who has breast cancer. Are you telling me women with a history of breast cancer shouldn’t have kids?
2) Saying that is the equivalent of wishing you were never born…… to your mother. I have never, ever, not even ONCE, wished I wasn’t born. I really haven’t ever wished I wasn’t born with Chiari. It’s made me who I am, and who am I to complain about who I am? I’m kind of awesome.
My first time around, I was more concerned with what the pregnancy and birth would do to my brain and spinal column. I had read that an epidural could negate me surgery, I knew that straining and laying in certain positions could put pressure on my spinal cord, and I knew that I would be giving birth roughly a year after my surgery. I waited until my six month checkup to make sure I was good, and my surgeon told me I could have as many kids as I wanted to, any time now.
I was still nervous, and even this time around, there are things that I don’t know if it’s pregnancy or Chiari.
I know this: it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy, a healthy baby, give birth, and even have an epidural post decompression. I didn’t want an epidural, I thought I could go without, but my contractions started getting to the point where I decided, “brain surgery wasn’t THAT bad,I have a good surgeon, if an epidural messes it up, I’ll go do it again!” Haha yes, I decided another brain surgery was worth the risk.
So I’ll try to post more about being pregnant, but if anyone out there is looking for answers, a brain to pick, or just needs someone who has been through it, don’t hesitate to comment or email me, you’re not in uncharted territory.