Flares, aches, pains and exhaustion

I have always heard mixed things about lupus flaring during pregnancy. I have heard it can flare pretty badly. I have heard that it can go into remission. I have heard it can go into remission and flare during labor (prefect timing, right?). I think it’s best to say that they don’t really know. I think that it depends on the situation. If it’s unplanned and you are stressed a lot about the pregnancy, you are more likely to flare. Stress + Lupus = Bad. Whether you’re stressed or not, there is still a fair amount of stress on your body as it changes with pregnancy. I have been extra cautious to make sure I am taking care of myself.

With my pregnancy, I have been pretty lucky. Most of my labs have remained fairly stable. The creatinine in my urine is starting to go up some, but nothing to worry about just yet.  There have been a couple of other lab results that are a little outside of normal, but again, nothing to worry about. These are just things to watch for now.

I have noticed that I have been achier lately. Our sub-zero, crazy Minnesota temperatures are not helping. With lupus, my hips and my legs have always been my biggest complaint. With the cold weather, and my added baby weight, it makes sense that I have been feeling achy. It’s not horrible and could be much worse.

Then there are the pregnancy aches and those are very different. Lupus pains are achy joints and muscles. Pregnancy pains are ligaments stretching, annoying Braxton Hicks contractions (I have been getting these since 24 weeks) and pressure. Both pains are equally fun!

I have also been very exhausted. Apparently growing a human is a lot of work! Last weekend I made some cookies and some supper and I could not believe how sore and exhausted I got just from doing something that I usually do all the time. Time to suck up my pride and let others help out more.

As my due date gets closer, I have also been asking my doctor more about the delivery itself, wondering if I was at a higher risk for having a C-section. She said not necessarily, as long as things continue to go well (and she seems confident they will) then I’m at the same risk as others. I’m not at a higher risk of a longer hospital stay either. The way I understood things when talking with my doctor is that I should be able to have a normal delivery, as long complications don’t arise. There are obviously several things that can come up to change that (as with a normal pregnancy).

Kristie Bauer

About the Author:

Kristie Bauer is a long-time Lupus Foundation of Minnesota supporter, Walk/5K attendee and volunteer and founder of the Leaf for Lupus event fundraiser. Diagnosed with lupus at the age of 17 and now 26, she and her husband Pete were exploring the possibilities of starting a family, but Kristie was frustrated with the lack of information available regarding pregnancy and lupus. As she LIVES this big milestone, she’s graciously agreed to share her personal story.
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