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The stresses of pregnancy, labor and having a new baby

The stresses of pregnancy, labor and having a new baby

Stress has always been my biggest trigger for my lupus. If I have an overly stressful day, I pay for it. The stress of pregnancy is starting to take its toll on my body. I am not sure if my body just realized what was going on, but this last week, I have gotten increasingly more sore and uncomfortable. I can’t complain too much because everything with my high-risk pregnancy has gone smoothly so far. With my hips being one of my biggest complaints with my lupus, I had actually expected this soreness to start earlier than it has.

I had an appointment with my rheumatologist last week and we discussed what happens for the rest of the pregnancy and following delivery. She said that there is an increased risk in flare the six weeks following delivery. Labor puts a lot of stress on your body and it makes sense that lupus wouldn’t like that. The stress on your body from ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
0

The unknowns (34 weeks)

The unknowns (34 weeks)

As I get closer to my due date, I’ve been thinking about how things might play out. One of my least favorite things about lupus is how little control I have over it. Outside of keeping stress low and eating healthy (you know, the stuff everyone should do,) lupus is completely unpredictable. One week I can be considered stable and the next week I could end up in the hospital for six days (this has actually happened). My lupus being unpredictable makes my pregnancy unpredictable.

There are so many unknowns with my pregnancy. I know I’m at a high risk for delivering early, but what does that mean really? It doesn’t mean I actually will go early. I will most likely develop preeclampsia at some point in my pregnancy, but when? I could be past my due date without an issue at all. The pressure on my kidneys could get to be too much and my lupus could start affecting those ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
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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 ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
0

Another big milestone: 32 weeks

During pregnancy, there are several big milestones. I’m not sure how the milestones differ from my pregnancy to a normal risk pregnancy but I would imagine they are similar.

The first big milestone is getting past the first trimester. Like I said in my previous blog post, the first trimester for me is huge since the risk of miscarriage is high. Pete and I did not tell our family we were expecting until after we got through that first trimester.

The next big milestone for me was 24 weeks. Some people like to think of it as a halfway milestone, but I didn’t really. At 24 weeks or later, if I delivered early, they will attempt to resuscitate the baby. Before 24 weeks, they simply don’t. So once I hit 24 weeks, I knew the baby had a chance even if something happened and I was forced to deliver early.

After 24, there was the 28 weeks milestone. My doctor told me how ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
0

Celebrating my birthday with some unexpected and unexplained surprises

Celebrating my birthday with some unexpected and unexplained surprises

Just before Christmas was my 27th birthday. I’m at an age now where birthdays are not that important to me. Turning 27 is not a special age. But for some reason, my 27th birthday did not want to go on unnoticed.

The night before my birthday I was at my mom’s, celebrating not just mine, but my nephew Hunter’s birthday, as his is three days before mine. As soon as I got there, I started getting horrible cramps and didn’t feel good. I tried to suck it up and go to the table and eat. I’m so used to sucking up pain and moving on with lupus anyway. I ended up leaving and going into the bathroom halfway through dinner so I could curl up a little without making a scene. I finally just told everyone that I needed to lie down. I had horrible cramping on my right side where it hurt to even move. I got up long enough ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
0

The top five ways you can help as a caregiver

The top five ways you can help as a caregiver

My husband and primary caregiver, Patrick, wants to get in on the blogging, so I’m turning this post over to him. Here it goes:

Hi all!

My name is Patrick Spott and I thank you for this opportunity to “speak” on the topic of “caregiving.” Some of you may know that my wife Chris was the 2013 Lupus Foundation of Minnesota (LFM) Ambassador. Our 14 years of marriage have been burdened not only with lupus, but rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease and a host of major surgeries including a heart valve replacement. I have been the chief caregiver for my wife during this time.

After hearing many stories from fellow caregivers and people living with chronic disease, I asked LFM if I could throw in my two cents on caregiving in this blog. My only hope is that I will be able to help at least one person benefit from my experiences and save them from making some of the mistakes I made. So, ...

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chriscronick
Chris Cronick
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My pregnancy first scare

My pregnancy first scare

Being pregnant adds a whole new meaning to a lupus scare. It’s not just you you’re looking after.

I woke up one morning and took my socks off. They weren’t very tight socks, but they had left big indents and my legs were very swollen. I had suspected a little swelling over the course of a few days, but didn’t think anything of it really.

But when I noticed it in the morning, it threw me off a little bit. With my past kidney involvement with lupus, I know that when my legs are swollen, it’s not normally in the morning. In the morning, your feet have been up all night, so not too swollen. So my concerns forced me to call my doctor, just to be safe.

I was expecting a response of “that’s pretty normal, just keep an eye on it.” The nurse called me back and asked several questions. One was asking if I had been getting headaches. Headaches are ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
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What I was told about lupus and pregnancy

What I was told about lupus and pregnancy

My lupus was fairly stable for about a year and a half before I got pregnant, so I am able to see a specialty OB, (one level above a normal OB) but do not have to go to the maternal fetal medicine doctor (the highest specialty level) on a regular basis. In the University of Minnesota system, all lupus patients who are pregnant see the maternal fetal medicine doctor at least once during their pregnancy. I had my appointment at 19 weeks. This is the appointment I was probably most nervous about. It’s where they talk to you about all the risks and what could happen, what might happen, what they do if something does come up. They then develop a plan and work closely with the OB throughout the rest of the pregnancy. Here’s a summary of what they told me.

It is recommended to have your lupus under control for at least year before trying to conceive. They stressed ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
0

Uniting for a common purpose

Uniting for a common purpose

We recently finished the Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K in Plymouth on September 14, Rochester on September 28, and the last event in Duluth on October 5. Time has flown by, as it seems like it was just last week we were in Duluth. I’m grateful to have participated in all three Walk/5Ks and even more grateful my body decided to cooperate with me through the weather, travel, and excitement of it all.

As Ambassador, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people and made some friends for life. I have never been a part of a fundraising event before, but God willing, I know I’ll have my team walking for years to come. My friends and family were amazed at the outpouring of love and support they experienced that day. I recall thinking how empowering it felt to be united by a common purpose: to raise awareness and funds for lupus research. It was such a powerful ...

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chriscronick
Chris Cronick
2

Surviving the first trimester with lupus

Surviving the first trimester with lupus

I can imagine that the first trimester for every pregnant woman is nerve-racking. The first trimester with lupus is even more so. It’s nerve-racking, overwhelming, exciting and scary all at once. Not only do you have to worry about taking care of yourself AND a baby, you also have to worry about miscarriages and how your lupus is going to affect your pregnancy (and your baby).

With lupus I was at a higher risk of miscarriage. I have talked to a couple of lupus patients with kids and they both had at least one miscarriage. One of them had three. Knowing this, Pete and I prepared ourselves for a miscarriage. We expected it. I completely disconnected myself with the situation so I wouldn’t get too excited or attached. Every time I didn’t have a doctor’s appointment for a few weeks, the week before I was extremely nervous. The minute it took to find the heartbeat when I wasn’t that far long ...

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kristiebauer
Kristie Bauer
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