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HIV Life >> Women

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baby
Unregistered

having a baby
      #78406 - 11/18/03 09:11 PM

I am hiv+ and husband is - we want to have a baby. I have a infection disease dr that recommend me to a obyn dr. How do I know this dr is good for me and knows about giving care to hiv+ women having a baby? What are the questions I should ask, what are the signs that he's educated in this field. Any advise will help! Thanks!



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LoveIsNotAWord
Grand Master

Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Re: having a baby new
      #78407 - 11/18/03 10:42 PM

Dear Baby,

Do you have children, how long have you been positive, do you realize the antiviral medications can affect the baby in utero and just because the baby might test negative the toxic effects of this chemotherapy could cause problems of magnitude later in his/her life? Furthermore, a pregnancy can cause your HIV to progress, you could require a C-Section further compromising your immunity, are you willing to risk your life during the process?

I am a professional nurse, masters prepared; I have seen many welfare mothers when living in Virginia continue to impregnate some living in hotel rooms having such children. I have seen the children whose mothers did not take antivirals die of AIDS full blown before the age of 3. AIDS in a child is the most devestating experience one could ever have; no one with a heart would want this, no mother right? WRONG. An unborn child is not asking to be exposed to this virus; we have no cure for YOU or for YOUR child if indeed the child contracts the virus.

I am personally not an advocate of this choice; you must take care of the LIFE you have; a good physician will ask you these very same questions; they will not just pat you on the back and pretend it's ok for your body to take the risk, or for the unborn child either.

I would seriously reconsider what you are thinking. Your husband if he remains negative may be a single parent raising a HIV+ child who needs specialized care; care that many in the profession cannot adequately give. Such a child will be stigmatized for the worst aspect of this disease is emotional death to those who have it.

Am I cold hearted? No I married a HIV+ man in August of this year; we both have children; I do from my first marriage and he has a 4 year old son from his first marriage. His biggest fear even though only positive for about 2 and a half years is his son being without a father prematurely. One of my children will not talk to me because I married a HIV+ man. The true blessing is another child is flying out in 2 weeks (my husband if you read my other posts is finishing up a sentence for a former probation revocation so we spend our life free of any stressors minus the HIV) to see me since the marriage. I am filled with joy for in small measure she has accepted that the mother she loves married a HIV+ man.

You must realize this is a massive undertaking; this world we live in is not equipped to accept HIV as a disease; it has become a real stigma for most adults; many of which are intellectually sound, educated, and good hearted people who are not comfortable even telling their families.

What price love? I care enough to bring out the worst scenario to you because you indeed will be compromised from the pregnancy, and also the fear of not knowing the outcome of this unborn child growing within you. The antivirals are chemotherapy they mutate to such an extent that they cause HIV to slow in replication not stop. Think on all of this but do think SMART.

Good luck to you and your spouse.

Karen :)



--------------------
Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby new
      #78422 - 11/19/03 03:03 AM

This is the first time I see this web-site. Why, because I was just searching through the web info on HIV. I'm currently living with HIV. I was diagnosed in 1994, became a widow in 1995. In 1996 I met the most wonderful man who is presently HIV negative, we married in 1996. I told him about my condition 3 months after we met, his love was more powerful than the HIV virus and asked me to marry him. I have two grown duagther's from my previous deceased husband.
One is 16 and the other one is 13 now. Anyway, the Re: Having a baby, called my attention so much that this is actually the first time I respond to a message board. Why, because I went through the same feelings and emotions you are going through. When I married my husband in 1996, I knew it was not possible to have a baby due to my condition of HIV status and taking the meds. called the cocktail. Even my own doctor at that time told me,"If you even think about getting pregnant or get pregnant, I"m letting you know right now, I will not be your doctor any longer. I said ok! but I'm not thinking that don't worry.


Anyway, I waited 3 years and constantly got informed on the new studies going on over here in San Francisco on how mothers with HIV can have healthy non- HIV children. I became really interested and got all the information I could about this. I talked to the person in charge of the study going on. She studied my case saw my condition of HIV status, looked at the T-cell, viral load and she said I think you are a very good candidate for this. She advised me to talk to my Doctor and I did.

To my surprise this time even my Doctor thought that I was a very good candidate and even supported me on it. During that time my T-cells were in the 800-900's and the viral load was undetectable. To make a long story short, I got pregnant and I did not even knew about it. Why, you might ask. For some unknown reason my husband and I did not even remember about using protection that one time. I'm not advertising to do the same this is just my story.

One morning on my prayer time I talked to God as always and told him about my desires of having a baby with my current husband, before he would just not answer me or told me to keep praying. But this time he answered me and told me "YOU ARE PREGNANT!' I tough I was dreaming, or it that I was just wishing too hard. So, I asked God, Lord how do I know this is your word and not mine. He answered me once again, No this is your God. I tested God one last time and I said ok Lord, tell me I'm not dreaming or just hearing my own voice and I said to him give me a scripture to know this is really you. So, he did he said read 1 Samuel, at this time he just gave me that and no specific verse. I said 1 Samuel I never heard of that scripture before. I trusted God and went to that scripture. To my surprise it was the story of a women named Hannah who's womb was closed or in other words she was able to have babies. She also prayed continously to God of her wish of having a baby. One day God remembered her 1 samuel, verse 19. Even though I knew I was not barren, because I have my two other daughters. I felt like I was barren it just seem impossible to me.

But not to GOD. Beign HIV positive is a hard thing to take, especially if you want to have children. But don't give up. When God spoke to my heart about my status of being pregnant. I knew I was only 2 days pregnat. I went to the store and bought a pregnancy kit test. It came positive only on less than one week. After that I made an appoitnment were the studies were taking part.At the ucsf hospital in San Francisco, and again the test came out positive. Of course, my doctor supported me on all this, except for the doctors in ucsf they told me you are 35 years old there's all this other risks, like having a baby with bith defects, soo many that they didn't scare me. They were more scare than me. Why? because my other two daughters were premature the first one was 8mos one month early, and the second was 2 months early. The reason I had cholestasis of the liver only when pregnant. You are very itchy all over your body for the last or more months of your pregnancy. This stops only until you deliver the babies. So, you can imagine all the excuses they had for me to not have this baby. They said the baby can be HIV positive a 2% percent chance, have other defects, or be too early. It's just too risky they said, "Are you sure you want to have this baby , maybe you should abort him they said. I told them you know what! God put this baby in my womb, and I will not do any of the things you are telling me. I just know everything will be fine. Another thing, they said you have too have a cesarean this reduces the risk of passing the virus to the Baby. I went to my private doctor and told her about it. Her advice. NO, don't let them do that, you don't need that, your T- cells are fine and your viral load has been undetectable for years. When baby almost arrived I was asked again do you want a cesarean. I said NO. I want to have this baby vaginally like my two other ones. So I did , and my baby daughter is now 3 years old she in negative, she did have to take azt for 6 mos. and was tested for 1 year for the virus. All the test came negative and was a 8lb 9oz baby girl. She has been healthy for the past 3 years only with one ear infection in her life time and some colds on the winter season, other than that I feel she was healthier than the other girls I have. I don't regret going through all this. "It was worth it, and I will do it again." I don't know if you are a christian or not. But there's a true saying. Nothing is impossible to God. Believe in him, accept him as your savior and get close to him, get to know him and he will hear your prayers. Remember that he hears us more when we do his will. " For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope. Jeremiah 29:11. This means that the more we do his will and follow his word the more he blesses us. Other people might not aggree with what I did . Just remember I did not do it, God did he had all this planned for me before I was even born.

Good Luck.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Remember he loves you no matter what, he's waiting for you.
He is my only comforter and my only strength.

God Bless you and your husband.

Pray, Pray,Pray.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby new
      #78440 - 11/19/03 01:28 PM

Hello Karen,

I can understand the outcome...but don't you believe in hope. There are so many women having healthy babies. You see mothers that are all addicts I can understand you feeling that way, but look the life they chose. I'm not one of them...I had HIV since 1991. I understand that there are chances but if you are in good health and take the medicine the doctor says you may it can work out. I haven't gone through the process yet nor did I meet w/the obyn but when I am ready I'll know. I'll get the dr's point of view. Have a little faith and hope in GOD. I can only say that because in my life time I turned to god and he wasn't there but he has his own plans for me and I believe every bump I hit is what is planned for me. I am a very positive person and look at the bright things in life. Thanks for your honesty, hope all works out for you.



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LoveIsNotAWord
Grand Master

Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Re: having a baby new
      #78442 - 11/19/03 02:00 PM

Dear Anon (baby?),

I presume you are the original poster am I correct? I will answer you based on this.

You have had HIV for 12 plus years, and I am sure in those years have seen many succumb to the virus. You also seem a kind and loving person, think of what you are asking yourself to do? You are asking yourself to take the risk that your child will be born with HIV and not fare well at all, you will put your own life at risk being pregnant, lose a stable status (I presume you are undetectable), and also a potential exposure to your husband UNLESS you do invitro. And in that case how many doctors do you think truly want to take the responsibility for a planned action?

I am not talking drug addicts; I am talking women on Medicaid having children knowing they are HIV+ and not caring. I have held 3 children in my arms while they died of full blown AIDS; they had NO choice, nor any understanding of why they were dying. All 3 were born to women who repeatedly impregnanted themselves then when the child became deathly ill abandoned the child to the system. I will never forget the cries of one for his mother, and his mother did not want to be found. He was in pain physically and emotionally.

The medications to treat HIV to remit the virus are toxic chemotherapeutic medications. If you are not on them now you will likely have to take them during a pregnancy, and your baby born positive or negative will have to be on AZT for some time to prevent.

We have no studies long range on the effects of these meds on children later in life at the best maybe 10 years of doing this to insure they were born "negative" but not necessarily healthy.

What "if" you remain relatively healthy and your child contracts HIV and does not? How do you handle not only the specialized treatment and care he/she will need but the "guilt" of bringing this child into the world. These are very real and caring questions.

I spoke to my husband about it; this topic on a visit last month when I had responded to another couple thinking of impregnating or adopting a HIV+ child. They were both positive. My husband is so distraught about our son who is 4 (well my stepson actually not of my birthing I have children from my first marriage too) losing is father early in life, and or the stigma that may affect our son when he is older for the stigma today is endemic, it hurts so many. He believes no one with the virus should do this, no one. And trust me he loves his son and is a very kind, caring and compassionate individual.

I have a powerful belief in God; if it were not so I would not have married a positive man, I believe that God brought us together in love for a purpose, and that is to live the lives we have to the best of our ability, to have happiness, and do our small part to help others who may or may not be exposed to HIV.

I am a professional nurse who was injured and developed a rare pain disorder 82 times worse than end stage cancer; also evolved more pain disorders, some serious surgery and also might "die" for the pain can shut my CNS down. I feel powerfully that both my husband and I share a "terminal illness" and yet the will to live and do right are within us both.

I just ask you to consider when you pray to God for the right solution, the answers. You seem caring and I know the desire to be a parent is strong.

The other night at our AIDS support group I met a man who has been positive (he is gay) for over 14 years. He was "fine" and then as he put it "the bug hit me" he plummeted his 4's went down out of nowhere to 29 and his v/l went up to 80,000. He developed PCP high fevers and this six foot tall man went down to 100 pounds. I am sure God saved him; he is nondetectable today, his 4's around 225, but this struck out of nowhere. He tells me "when the bug hits it hits hard and no one knows until they experience it." He is very spiritual; he loves God, manages to work still (he is a hairdresser) but his eyes tell a story of a life that has become so precious that he even told his significant other to "go out and live" and sent him off to Florida. I tell you after speaking to this man I am even more convinced in what I share with you; it is so very hard for you to know the outcome of your own health at this time; God does expect us somehow to love "ourselves" enough to do what is right for those in our lives right now.

I would suggest you getting together with your local AIDS support group too and talk to them. Talk to those who have done what you would like to do; make yourself aware of all the outcomes.

I wish you both the best :)

Karen ;)







--------------------
Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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LoveIsNotAWord
Grand Master

Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Re: having a baby new
      #78443 - 11/19/03 02:07 PM

Dear Anon (2),

What a wonderful story of experience, strength, and hope. How blessed you have been. I am glad to hear you work with those who do the research studies. What are the results if I might ask of these children being on AZT from birth, and the mothers taking toxic medications while pregnant.

Continued blessings in your life.

Karen ;)



--------------------
Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby new
      #78446 - 11/19/03 02:23 PM

In the large cities there are clinics where there is a gynecologist in an HIV practice. Also read the guidelines...so you are knowledgeable http://www.thebody.com/treat/pregnancy.html



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby new
      #78448 - 11/19/03 02:58 PM

You are wrong! In study after study pregnancy does not cause HIV to progress!

If you are a nurse, please do your research!
Pregnant women infected with HIV do not have an increased risk of complications during Caesarean section delivery
http://www.aegis.com/pubs/aidswkly/2003/AW030703.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12640195&dopt=Abstract

There are many other links!! I know many many women who are HIV positive who have had children and they were all negative!! Read the great stories of these women here:
http://www.thebody.com/features/women/stories.html
http://www.thebody.com/features/women/profiles.html


This article is a little old but it's great
http://www.thebody.com/hivnews/aidscare/oct98/decision.html




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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby new
      #78449 - 11/19/03 03:08 PM

Karen:

Do your research before you preach. Read the "EXPERTS."
http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Women/

Read current research. They have not few adverse effects in children who took medications. Stop recommending things you know nothing about. A woman's choice to have a baby is personal. Lots of women with HIV are making that choice and the medical professionals are encouraging about this! So where do you get off discouraging women?




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LoveIsNotAWord
Grand Master

Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Re: having a baby new
      #78475 - 11/20/03 02:06 AM

Dear Anon,

Yes it does look into scholarly research; the change in hormones encourages the progression of HIV not to mention the burden and stress to the physical body of the mother carrying the child. I am right. However, this is clear if you do your research.

Karen :)



--------------------
Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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sweetpea9919
Master

Reged: 10/22/03
Posts: 140
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Re: having a baby new
      #78479 - 11/20/03 06:00 AM

Everyone, PLEASE, Stop!!! No more fighting, please!

The decision to have a baby when either one partner or both partners are HIV positive is a very, VERY P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L decision.

Karen, I understand that you are trying to help in your own way. I think the best advice to give women (and couples) is to talk to as many doctors as they can, and to get as much information as they can. Karen, I think everyone here will admit that there is a risk involved in having a baby. But once the risk is weighed, it is up to each individual person to decide if they can live with the risk.

I am 27 years old, HIV+, single, and dating. When I get serious with a guy, I tell him that I may or may not be able to have a baby. I tell him that it is possible, but will be difficult. In all of the relationships that I have had, the guys were understanding. We never got to the point of deciding whether or not to have children, but trust me.. the risks would have been researched, discussed, and then a decision would have been made. Heck; the decision is still up in the air for me! I have plenty of time left.

Here's a story: My cousin is married and has 3 children. She and her husband are perfectly healthy (no HIV). Her first child had mild epilepsy, learning disabilities, and extrememly poor eyesight. She had glasses at the age of 3. The 2nd child had more severe epilepsy. The 3rd child has such bad seizures, he had a magnetic device implanted into his chest. It kills me to see this poor this 4 yr old with a lump sticking out of his chest. With each child they had, my cousin knew the risk of the other kids having medical problems. Apparently she was okay with that risk.

It's true: We don't know the long-term effects AZT will have on kids 10 or 20 years from now. But times are constantly changing, and we are learning knew things all the time. Let's say I have a baby and it's healthy. That's great. Let's say I have a baby who contracts the virus; that's sad. OH WELL. Life is all about risk.

Karen, I think we all understand that you are against HIV positive women having children. That's your opinion and we respect it. You don't need to post anymore. We've gotten the message. Thanks.

Erika



--------------------
Erika
Married; 31 years old
HIV+ 10 years... and counting


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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby
      #78480 - 11/20/03 08:35 AM

This board is for support of HIV+ women. I don't really see how your opinion is supportive or how you can feel so superior that feel the need to lecture what we should or shouldn't do. You are a guest on a board set-up for HIV+ women. We don't need HIV- people's opinions. If you can't be supportive of people's decision and stick to giving them information they ask for, then just don't post.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby new
      #78497 - 11/20/03 11:10 AM

Um, Karen, as a nurse and all that good stuff, you do realize that the odds of a mother transmitting HIV to her baby in the U.S., provided she receives treatment during pregnancy and the baby a brief course of treatment after its born, is only about one percent?

The "some time" you refer to when sounding warning bells about the risks of giving AZT to a newborn baby is just six weeks. I wouldn't argue that those first weeks are important for the baby's development, but studies as of yet have shown no sign that the AZT causes any long-term health problems for babies who took it briefly after birth. Besides, if the mom were -really- worried about the toxicity, she could always go the short-treatment route, giving the baby Combivir for a week after it's born, or giving it a single dose of nevirapine. It's supposedly not quite as effective as the six-week AZT course, but it can still greatly reduce the chances of HIV transmission. Don't forget, too, that a healthy mother -- meaning a mother with HIV who has a high CD4 count and low viral load b/c she's already been on treatment -- already has a very good chance of having a negative baby.

I understand, and agree with, your concerns about inner-city HIV+ mothers with no access to treatment and no support systems having babies who are HIV+ as well, and then being unable to care for them OR for themselves. But the lady who started this thread doesn't seem to have any of those issues. Why frighten her with horror stories that don't apply to her? It's like saying malaria is a death sentence in Connecticut because people die from it so often in Africa.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: having a baby
      #78508 - 11/20/03 01:21 PM

Be careful!! Disgreeing with Karen causes her to go bonkers and take over the topic.
She's wrong here too, really though, just out of date...her information is years old.
Pos women are having healthy babies all the time, just get a great OB doc who has dealt twith this before, follow the advice of your HIV doc and do your best to stay well.



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LoveIsNotAWord
Grand Master

Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Post deleted by thebody new
      #78509 - 11/20/03 01:24 PM



--------------------
Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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