Only Children

Body: 

I was wondering if any of you have/or are planning on having only one child. My husband and I have both pondered not having another child, but how to know if that's the right decision? I feel that even if I didn't have the prolapses that it would be a hard decision. My husband just turned 41 and I'll be 34 in a few months. I don't want his age or my prolapses to be the deciding factor. Oh how I drive myself crazy. I think about it way too much. Maybe it's my fear of worsening prolapses getting in the way.

Current research indicates only children are self-confident and well adjusted, not the spoiled little brats they were once labelled. I know it's our decision whether or not to have another child but just wondered if anyone else had anything to say on the topic of only children. I guess it would help me know if I'm having such a hard time deciding because of my body or just because it's a damn hard decision!!

Thanks,
Heather

It's a really difficult decision.

My husband and I are in a similar situation. We are not yet sure whether our family is complete, although we had talked in the past about only having one. The prolapse is definitely a complicating factor, now. We have both been traumatized by the birth experience as well, and since we're only 3 months postpartum, the memories are still too fresh for us to even think about more babies. I tell you what, though...if we do have another child I will be doing all that I can to stay OUT of the hospital.

I am with you as well in regards to fear of worsening prolapse during pregnancy and birth. Also, I can relate to your feeling of not wanting the prolapse issues to be a deciding factor. Hugs.

Hi,

I can certainly empathise with you, when I had my son in January of 2003, the last thing I could think of was having another baby. But in time I healed to a place that I am happy with, and in 2004 we decided to try for another child.

Unfortunately have suffered 3 miscarriages (nothing to do with prolapse), so as I am 37 I am CONSTANTLY worrying that my son will be an only child, as I have to come to terms with the fact that I may never carry a child full-term again. For me, it is all about the self-talk in your head, when I have the negative thoughts, I just keep saying life could be worse, and I remember what I do have - a beautiful son, loving Partner who I adore, wonderful family, friends and a beautiful place to call home.

Each time I have been pregnant before miscarriage, I have stressed about what type of birth to have and going through the whole birth experience again. But I have been lucky enough to find the right sort of support this time (my son's birth was a full Ob intervention birth), and now I have the network in place in the hope that one day I will carry a baby to term, I think that is a big plus.

For me, the day just came when I was ready to fall pregnant again, but if that doesn't come for you, thats ok, I have known alot of only children and they are all wonderful people.

Take it easy, and in time I think your answer will come.

Regards,

Deb

Deb - I'm so sorry for the miscarriages you've gone through. They must have been very difficult especially after you found the courage to go through another pregnancy/birth experience. You sound so strong and so wise.

I know what you mean about the negative thoughts that go through your head and how you really have to counter them with positive thoughts about what you do have. I'm constantly reminding myself how lucky I am too, to have the husband I have and our healthy son.

Thanks for your words of encouragement and you will be in my thoughts.
Heather

Mermaid - Even though you're only 3 months postpartum, I know from experience that thinking about whether/not to have another child is something that will come up often right from day one (every day if you're a little obsessive like me, every couple of weeks if you're not so obsessive like my husband). Good luck with your decision.

I also know from experience that the memories of the traumatic birth experience will fade with time. Of course you will have the prolapses that will remind you still, but even those thoughts will fade as you start to feel better.

hi

This is just a general comment for yourself and others who have prolpases and issues regarding pregnancy and childbirth. (It has some interesting ideas for the rest of us too i think!)

(The new layout has me a little confused and i can't find a way to post this without linking it to your enquiry- sorry)

Anyway i just wanted to mention that a fantastic site i found recently is MIDWIFERY TODAY and it has pages of info regarding pregancy and prolaspe. www.midwiferytoday.com

And I wish you the very best with your difficult decision.

for example i cut and pasted the following from there:

Question of the Week Responses

Q: I gave birth (completely natural) to my second child about nine months ago. Several weeks after giving birth I felt a vaginal heaviness. When I asked my midwife about it at the six-week checkup, she recommended that I kegel. I have been doing so for the past eight-plus months. I went back at six months, and she confirmed that my uterus was prolapsed. My cervix can be seen in the vaginal canal.
I know my doctors are going to recommend either surgery or a pessary (the device to "hold things up"). I prefer to treat it the natural way if possible (i.e. herbs, homeopathics, exercise). My husband and I want more children, but I am concerned about what it would do to my uterus and would it make the current situation worse.
— Danielle

A: Physical therapists who specialise in pelvic floor disorders can help you with exercises. From my own experience, good support from a physical therapist can make a big difference in the degree of the prolapse (also after another pregnancy).
— Hubertine Bussing
Coordinator relations health care

Weleda NL
A: Just received a copy of "Saving the Whole Woman" by Christine Ann Kent, which is all about natural alternatives to surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. ISBN # 0-970-1440-0-8, published by Bridgeworks (www.wholewoman.com), 1-800-841-8802, $16.95.
The author sent me a draft copy to read from a midwife's point of view, and no one has researched the options like this before! It is very detailed, offers lots of techniques, and educates the reader about what really goes on during the surgeries that are so often "the solution." This book may be just what you are looking for in your search for answers.

Breathe and believe that your body will know what to do.
— Jenny West, LM, CPM, HBCE

A: I suffered a complete inversion and prolapse during third stage with my second child thanks to the intervention of my obstetrician. It was severe (my uterus was hanging out of my vulva). I was advised never to conceive again. I did conceive again—a surprise, and only seven months later. I was very nervous about subsequent prolapse. I did not have surgery. I drank myself sick of red raspberry leaf tea through my pregnancy and was very diligent with pelvic floor exercises, many times a day. I also practised pelvic tilts to encourage the uterus back into place (as advised by an osteopath) and legs up against the wall or pillows under the bum. I had a beautiful homebirth with no further prolapse and have since had another 9-lb baby at home with no complications.
— Julia

A: General strengthening and healing of the pelvic floor is a natural consequence of walking frequently. Even as little as 10–15 minutes per day will dramatically affect the vaginal muscles. Will it fix a prolapsed uterus? I don't know. But it can help greatly with incontinence, cystocele, rectocele, and general vaginal muscle tone. It doesn't repair torn muscle, but it makes the muscles in the area stronger so that they don't "gape" and allow things to sag as much.

— Jennifer Rosenberg
A: Consider finding an experienced yoga teacher who specializes in women's health concerns. The restorative/supportive version of these poses would allow for greater body awareness and deeper relaxation and rejuvenation. Gradually, introduce the more classical version of these poses.

Poses (asanas) such as downward dog pose, the great seal pose, bridge pose, legs-up-the-wall pose, shoulder stand, and half-plow pose, practiced regularly, will strengthen and tone the uterus. Proper attention to the breathing during the poses is another important aspect of the practice and healing.
— Nicole Gauthier-Schatz, prenatal yoga teacher, birth doula

A: After giving birth to my third baby (9 pounds), my uterus prolapsed to the extent that the cervix could be seen at the vaginal outlet. My midwife recommended that I lie on my back, bend my knees so that my feet were touching my buttocks and knees straight up in the air, lift my bottom up as high as I could so that my shoulders/head and my feet were the only things touching the bed or floor, and do hard kegels and hold each one as long as I could. This method worked beautifully. The uterus went back in place within 24 hours of doing the exercises often (not much strength because I had just given birth, but did the best I could). I continued to do the exercises daily for about six weeks to be sure the muscles were very strong. I gave birth to my fourth child two years and three months later with no uterine prolapse. I know of others who have tried this method with great success as well.
— KS

A: As a homeopathist I have some experience with uterine prolapse. This treatment can change the quality of tissues (weak, loose connective tissue may be one of the reasons for prolapse; if so, reposition and surgery may not help). We have several remedies for prolapse: sepia, lilium tigrinum, natrium muriaticum, stannum, cimicifuga, and others. Individualization is essential for homeopathic prescribing. Homeopathist must know the special features of *your* prolapse. Please, find a good homeopathic practitioner in your region or e-mail me on vmaslova@rol.ru. I'll need to know your symptoms in details.
— Veronika

Regarding uterine prolapse [Issue 7:8]:
A: The day after my fourth baby was born, we discovered that my uterus was prolapsed. We could see and touch my bruised cervix at the opening of my vagina. My midwife had arrived five minutes after he was born because I did not believe I was in labor until things were really moving.
My first labor lasted 3 days, ending in a cesarean for CPD with a 7 lb 7 oz 10-day "early" baby. My next was born after 13 hours with a 9 lb 4oz homebirth after cesarean (HBAC), 23 days "past due." The third HBAC was 7 hrs for 7 lb 12 oz, 17 days "late," and my last HBAC was 3.5 hours, 9 lb and 2 days after my dates!) I feel I pushed with a swollen lip, and the anxiety of having no one really listen to heart tones well (I had been a midwife for several years) made me just want it done, and the baby in my arms! I pushed so intently. He was in excellent condition.
I was anxious to do what I could to not have my cervix/uterus hanging between my legs, since surgery was not an option (we planned more children). I read and followed Anne Frye's recommendations in her suturing manual, with a twist. I did shoulder stands (most uncomfortable due to expanded blood volume of recent pregnancy), opened my vaginal lips to let in air so the uterus could drop easily into position. I lowered myself (with help sometimes) carefully slowly back to the bed for the next few hours and did kegels galore, until one day my uterus did not drop as much when I was upright for short periods. It gradually got better. (I also had a rectocele bad enough that I had to insert a finger into my vagina to direct pressure downward to show my bowel movements the correct way out!)
I noticed improvement in pelvic floor tone and uterine elevation to more acceptable heights as I continued the kegels and coincidentally began walking and doing lunges, other leg exercises, and abdominal work. It has now been years since I have had problems. Pilates has tightened everything further, making sex at 43 much better than I would have ever hoped. I would not have believed that exercises would have been so effective if I had not experienced it myself. If only that jelly belly skin were as cooperative!

For womb prolapses there are several good homoeopathic remedies. The most commonly prescribed are probably Sepia 30c, Calcium Fluoride and Magnesium Chloride. The potency would depend on how well the remedy matched the client. The latter two can also be taken as cell salts. I'm sure some exercises could be taught by a trained physiotherapist or yoga teacher.
-Glenis

thanks for the midwiferytoday.com website information. It's always helpful to hear about others with similar worries.

Heather