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Thread: Can I get pregnant

  1. #1
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    Can I get pregnant

    I was wondering if anyone has gotten pregnant after a revision surgery. I am fused from T-10 to S-!. I had to have a revision Jan 2012. My Dr said its fine and to go ahead but I am not sure if I can. I can't carry anything my muscles are all torn up from surgery and I am still in pain. But my husband is a only child and has no kids so I feel like I should at least give him a baby. He has had to take care of me since my surgery. I lost my job over the surgery and he stepped in and took care of me and my boys. So has anyone dared to do that? I Am only 33 so I am young enough still but I am not quite sure if that will hurt my back more or not. Any advise????

  2. #2
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    Hi annabeller,

    I am concerned reading your post about how you will feel if you have a baby at this point. You say your muscles are all torn up and you are still in pain, and that you can't carry anything. Having an infant to care for is just so demanding, and it is impossible to not lift an infant/young toddler. How do you think you will manage all of this? Raising a baby is physically hard in the best of circumstances. If you are already in pain why would you want to add to it by becoming pregnant and having an infant to care for?

    I am going to make this observation in the kindest, gentlest way possible...you say you feel like you "should" give your husband a baby, because you feel that you owe him for various reasons. But it is you that has to endure the pregnancy, and likely you who will do a large portion of the infant care. Do you really want to have a baby? Because it is definitely a labor of love being pregnant and raising a baby. For me it was constant lifting and carrying for the first 2.5-3 years. Lots of constant bending to help a toddler with things, and constant bending to pick up their things off the floor while they are small. I am fused T8-sacrum (revised in Feb 2012 for broken rods), and while I can get things off the floor, it is taking it's toll on my knees. It is also very difficult for me to sit on the floor for very long, and I remember countless hours of doing that playing with my kids when they were really little. These are all things to consider. I would also ask your OB about delivery options---likely an epidural is not an option.

    Please consider your decision carefully. Having a baby is not something you do for someone else. It should be something you do because you and your husband love each other deeply and want to expand your family and raise a baby together. It is difficult physically, and so exhausting. Are you really up to it at this point? Would you consider at least holding off on your decision until you have less pain?
    Last edited by leahdragonfly; 10-30-2013 at 08:04 AM.
    Gayle, age 49
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1


    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    5/10 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    5/16 6 yrs post-op, 24*T/ 22* L, mild increase in curves, watching

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

  3. #3
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    Hi Annabelle, I hope that you found the entry above from Gayle thought provoking. Gayle is always very thoughtful when she writes here, so I know that she carefully considered her response and her advice to you. I support what she said and want to add that carrying a pregnancy will add additonal stress to your back and I would think from your entry, additional pain. I worry about the effect of pain meds during pregnancy and the effect on a growing fetus. I also worry about your ability to care for a baby on most pain meds.
    All of this is a lot to think about, I am sure. A baby needs to be a decision that you make together as a couple. It sounds like your husband was a wonderful caregiver for you with your surgery and I assume now with your limitations. Your love for him is the wonderful gift that you can give him, a baby is not a gift.
    I hope that I have not offended you. You bring up so many issues that can make having a pregnancy and baby something that you need to rethink.
    I wish you the best, Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  4. #4
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    Thank you so much for your replies. I have thought about all of those things you have mentioned. And I just thought I would suffer through the pregnancy and at delivery have them put me under since a epidermal is out of the question. I asked my OB and showed her my fusion. I had the same thing you did with a revision. My rod broke too. This is off subject but did you try to sue the medical company who made the rod for breaking? I tried and none will take the case. So I was wondering if you tried or if you know why its ok for this to fail and none be accountable for it.
    I don't know. I am also so unhappy now and lonely. So I want a child too. I will stop the pain meds and I am raising a 9 year old and 13 year old now. So I know how hard kids are. And I totally get your points. Crap. Now I feel like such an idiot. What was I thinking! You guys are right. I probably can't give my husband a child. And I don't get to be a stay at home mom with a infant like I always dreamed of. I worked full time til my surgery in real estate but then my husband got a job in San Diego. I am from Utah so we had to move out here last Jan. And I haven't been real excited or want to get back into it since we moved here. Well thanks for your replies.

    Real quick though. Did any of you have a baby after a revision?

  5. #5
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    I would be concerned about a pregnancy without understanding why you're still having pain so long after surgery. Does your surgeon have any ideas? Can you describe your pain (where is it, what does it feel like, is it there all the time, or does anything make it better or worse?).

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
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  6. #6
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    hi annabeller
    you were thinking about surviving the pregnancy...a difficult situation
    for the healthiest of women...but i think you were not considering
    the years after the pregnancy...even if you could "survive" the 9 months...
    the caring for an infant part might do you in!
    please...take Linda's suggestion...and try to concentrate on feeling better...
    find out why the pain is continuing...either from your surgeon or a consult
    with another doctor...once you have conquered that, it might be time to consider the next step in your life...
    and babies do not cure lonliness...they are, as designed, needy needy needy...just part of their make up and stage in life.
    perhaps if you find a way to get involved within your community...by volunteering.
    joining some kind of a group, for exercise, or a group with a joint goal, you will
    connect with people who reduce that feeling of being lonely...
    are there hobbies you used to enjoy...? or dreams you used to have that you
    have stopped pursuing...??
    time to think a little bit more about YOU...

    best of luck..
    jess
    Last edited by jrnyc; 10-30-2013 at 08:59 PM.

  7. #7
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    Annabeller--
    Don't feel at all silly for your thoughts and questions. When you are in pain, it's doubly hard to think through difficult life decisions. These can be difficult when you are feeling fine. I really have no other advice than to reiterate what these wise women--Gayle, Susan, Linda, Jess--said. They have formulated some very, very good advice and things to think about. Keep in touch here as you think this through. Good luck. Janet
    Janet

    61 years old--57 for surgery

    Diagnosed in 1965 at age of 13--no brace
    Thoracic Curve: 96 degrees to 35 degrees
    Lumbar Curve: 63 degrees to 5 degrees
    Surgery with Dr. Lenke in St. Louis--March 30, 2009
    T-2 to Pelvis, and hopefully all posterior procedure.

    All was posterior along with 2 cages and 6 osteotomies.

  8. #8
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    Hi Annabeller,

    You have received some great advice so far from some very wise and compassionate women who I know only have your best interests (and that of your family) at heart. I wanted to add some thoughts to what Jess wrote above about other ways to try to cure this loneliness you are feeling. As you will see from my signature, my youngest child is 14. Even at this age, kids still need mom, although perhaps in a different capacity than when they were younger, but also in a much less physically demanding capacity.

    What I am trying to say is that there is still plenty of time to bond with and enjoy your children right now. You still have a long way to go before they head off to college or to start their own careers/families.

    I still get to do an awful lot with my youngest, who is 14. I attend all of his baseball games, we take weekly Sunday evening walks together, and are always watching something together on TV - last night we were switching between the Nets basketball opener and the World Series (OK, it helps that I am a sports nut)! The night before, I helped him study for a big Social Studies test.

    You get what I am trying to say. Jess is right - there are so many ways to relieve that loneliness you feel at not having a ‘little one’ around any more, and one way is by just enjoying this wonderful age when your kids are turning into little people that you can really have some good conversations with and share thoughts, philosophies on life, etc. I would hate for you to miss even one moment of those years wanting for something you don’t have and which could put a huge physical and emotional strain on you.

    Best of luck to you.
    Last edited by mariaf; 10-31-2013 at 10:43 AM.
    mariaf305@yahoo.com
    Mom to David, age 17, braced June 2000 to March 2004
    Vertebral Body Stapling 3/10/04 for 40 degree curve (currently mid 20's)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/ScoliosisTethering/

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabeller View Post
    This is off subject but did you try to sue the medical company who made the rod for breaking? I tried and none will take the case. So I was wondering if you tried or if you know why its ok for this to fail and none be accountable for it.
    Hi. I see this hasn't been answered yet so I will take a swing. Hopefully, Linda will correct me if I'm wrong. :-)

    This is not actionable because the rod didn't break due to a defect. It broke because you have a pseudoarthrosis (almost certainly).

    And the pseudoarthrosis is not actionable because it can never be uniquely ascribed to something the surgeon did wrong. Surgeons do their best and take patients as they come. I don't know the causes of pseudoarthoses but they must include how much the adult (not so much child) patient adheres to the physical restrictions. It is impossible for you to prove you adhered 100% and it is impossible to prove it wasn't something else in your physiology that caused the pseudoarthrosis.

    Not everything is a law suit which is probably a good thing. :-)
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Hi. I see this hasn't been answered yet so I will take a swing. Hopefully, Linda will correct me if I'm wrong. :-)

    This is not actionable because the rod didn't break due to a defect. It broke because you have a pseudoarthrosis (almost certainly).

    And the pseudoarthrosis is not actionable because it can never be uniquely ascribed to something the surgeon did wrong. Surgeons do their best and take patients as they come. I don't know the causes of pseudoarthoses but they must include how much the adult (not so much child) patient adheres to the physical restrictions. It is impossible for you to prove you adhered 100% and it is impossible to prove it wasn't something else in your physiology that caused the pseudoarthrosis.

    Not everything is a law suit which is probably a good thing. :-)
    Sorry, didn't see the original question, but the answer above is correct. There is no way to know why one doesn't fuse in one or more spots. You could try to sue the surgeon, but I'm about 99% sure you would not be successful, as non-fusion is a well known complication that you almost certainly would have been consented about prior to surgery.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  11. #11
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    Annabeller,

    I'm going to add my two cents to your pregnancy dilemma. I haven't been fused but I have significant pain with my scoliosis. I also have significant lower back pain due to DDD. When I remarried, I thought I didn't want any more children and neither did my husband. After a while of being with someone who I truly love, those feelings began to change in both of us. I might add that he is much older than I am. So having a child for him would mean dedicating his retirement years to raising a child. It's hard to make those baby hungries go away. No matter how hard I tried, it still isn't completely gone. We actually ended up getting pregnant four times on our own not doing anything out of the ordinary. We lost all of those babies very early on. So I went to see what was wrong. I have some female problems that were surgical in nature (endometriosis) and have had that removed twice. I've had tumors removed twice, too. I ended up going in for fertility treatments (I really don't know how we got sucked into that, but we did). Nothing happened. My pain was worsening as we were going through this process. I talked to my OB and fertility specialist about my meds and they were totally comfortable with my pain meds and some of my other meds. No to the benzodiazepines, though. Well, suffice it to say, I haven't been pregnant in over six years and haven't done anything to prevent it. Some say I'm foolish and they are probably right.

    Meanwhile, during this whole process, my teenage daughter thinks she wants a baby and goes out and gets pregnant and has my grandson. I have been very actively involved with him and he is now five. He's lived with us for three of his five years. When he was a baby, I was taking my daughter to the ER for something and was carrying him in his car seat. BAM! I ended up being the one seen in the ER. It was a little embarrassing to say the least. There have been several instances during his infancy and toddler years that landed me at the doctor because "I thought" I could do the same things that I did when I was younger. I'm telling you, it just isn't happening anymore. I was about your age when we started this whole process. I was 34 when I had a tubal reversal for reasons other than having a baby. I was 35 when we got pregnant for the first time together. It's been a very emotional journey. Having my grandson has opened my eyes to how hard it really is to have a baby around. He's five and it is still difficult and he's not going anywhere. So it's almost as if I had the baby without the pregnancy part.

    As for the loneliness: Babies don't cure that. I was a single mom with three kids for over four years. I felt as lonely as anyone could feel at times. Kid company isn't the same as grown-up company. Of course, you know that. You're a mom. Just a question for you: What would you do, or what safety measures would you need to put into place if some pain crisis hit you while you were alone with baby or toddler? You have to think about that. You have to be able to get help for yourself and keep baby safe.

    You are probably physically fine to have a baby. Your doctors would have to monitor your meds if you can't do without them. Is it ideal to be on meds during a pregnancy? No, we all know that. But the reality of the matter is that there are many women with serious health conditions requiring meds that have babies. That's something personal you and your husband and your doctors have to decide. What everyone else has mentioned is very valid. However, I'm a person that understands that desire to have a child with the man of your dreams. You already have children, but probably wonder what it would be like to have one with THIS man. I totally get that. I shared my story because it's real. Your situation may be worse or better than mine, I don't know. It's just some food for thought. Talk it over with your hubby. HE may not want to put you through any more than you've already gone through. If you both decide that you want to have a child, it's no one's business but your own. However, think about what everyone has said, as I know you have. You have to be 100% committed because once it's done, it's done.

    Best Wishes. It's a tough decision either way.
    Last edited by rohrer01; 10-31-2013 at 01:20 PM.
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  12. #12
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    I worded things wrong. I am not lonely due to my kids getting older. I am more lonely because when my back went out I was not insured and the pain got so bad I could not leave my bed. I lost my job as a realtor,lost my house and my 1st husband left me.That was 3 1/2 years ago. I finally had my surgery in Jan 2012. He told me that it would not make my pain go away due to the fact I have degenerative disc disease,ostiroarthitis,stinosis,hernitated discs,scoliosis and a rod broken in two places. The rod crushed my lower vertebra as well. So I am in pain still because my back is jacked. I had no support during this time as well. Once I was able to get insurance and was about 6 months post op my new husband lost his job. I was not making any money yet being a realtor so we had to move to San Diego from Utah. My oldest son did not want to move and he stayed with his dad. So yes I am lonely. He is out of state. I cherish every moment with my 9 year old. I go to his soccer games and he is my best friend and only friend out here. I am lonely because I moved away from my life. I was a very successful realtor before my back went to shit and I lost everything. SO I am healing emotionally more then anything now. I saw a new orthopedic surgeon out here and he said that my rod and 23 screws put in look like they are healing and that it is perfectly normal for me to be in pain still and that I probably will be in some sort of pain forever. I guess I am just searching for a way to be happy again and a reason to get up during the day while my son is at school. And like I said my husband has no kids and I would like to give him that joy and yes me that joy too. I feel like we are a broken family and that will make it complete. Is it wrong of me to want to have a child with my husband? Didn't you guys all have children with yours? I am only 33 and I see you are all a bit older then me so I can see how you can just throw out that me wanting a baby is selfish and "not a gift" a child is a gift.
    I was just curious if anyone had been pregnant after a revision. Obvioiusly not as you are all 30 years older then me. I appreciate the advise and I understand it will hurt. Thats why I am waiting. I am going to start training to get my core as strong as possible and start practicing carrying things that are heavy so make sure I can. Sorry if I am sounding grouchy. My feelings just got hurt a little even if you guys were trying to word it nicely.

  13. #13
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    Annabeller,

    I'm sorry if I provoked some grouchiness in you. I wanted you to understand that YES, I do understand how you feel. That feeling hasn't left me completely, either, and I'm 44!!

    I don't think it's selfish to want another child. Having a child is the MOST selfless thing a person can do when they are committed to that child. I think what everyone is encouraging you to think about is if you are able to give that much being that you are in so much pain. I will tell you that much of the time my 5y/o grandson can be a distraction from my pain. When I take him to the park or the children's museum I sometimes take my meds late because I'm distracted and having fun. The reality is that I have been sent into pain flare-ups by overdoing things at times.

    If this is truly something that you want... Go for it! I've literally had people tell me I'm nuts because I'm not on birth control. I may not have any more kids, but I'm not doing anything to prevent it, either. If I get pregnant, I'll worry about getting off the meds I need to be off of. My hormone levels are that of someone in their 20's, so I'm a LONG way from menopause. I was hoping that you could see that, while it might not be the best circumstances, there are people out there that DO understand how you feel. Like I said in my previous post, it's a personal decision between you, your hubby, and your doctors. My fertility team is still willing to work with me! I've just hung up the fertility drugs, take my folic acid and prenatals and let whatever happens, happen. That's where I'm at. It's apparently not where YOU are at.

    If you feel well enough to go through a pregnancy and raise another child, then go ahead. I will tell you that your fertility will rapidly decline in your thirties. If you are serious about this you need to get your hormone levels checked to find out where you are at in relation to menopause. Your FSH and estradiol will tell you a lot about how much time you may have before perimenopause starts creeping up on you. Grouchies go away! Your life isn't over. Live it the way you want to live it.


    (((hugs)))
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  14. #14
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    Annabeller:

    It's a shame no one answered your original question. I'm sorry I can't either. However, I just wanted to say that you don't need anyone's permission to have a baby. You are a grown woman, and you should use your own intuition about what your body is capable of. A women's intuition is one of our greatest gifts. Start using it and reap the benefits! Best of luck to you and your family.

  15. #15
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    Annabeller,

    I think it's possible for you to have a baby - eventually.

    But the first step is to address your back pain. It sounds to me like you should visit another top-notch revision specialist. Where in California are you? Maybe Linda Racine could recommend someone. You're almost 2 years postop, so you probably shouldn't be in as much pain as you are in.

    Get on this, sister!!! Go see a scoliosis doctor and see what can be done.

    I am saying this because you are still young. You could have another surgery if necessary, recover, and still have another baby a few years from now.

    After my second child I delayed having a third because of concerns about back pain. Eventually I went ahead with the fusion surgery. Now I feel I could do it (post surgery), but I am 41 and my youngest child is 7. It is one of the biggest disappointments I have that I attribute to scoliosis that I never got to have that third child. So I say, go for it! But fix your back first!!

    Best wishes,
    Evelyn
    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

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