Positive Post-stroke Pregnancy Success Stories Wanted

Updated on May 18, 2012
C.T. asks from Chester, NY
10 answers

Hi Ladies-

I need some help in obtianing positive pregnancy success stories that focus around mamas who have had strokes or stroke-like conditions.

Here's the deal: I just recieved a phone call from my little sis (she is 31) after an gyn visit and she is freaking out and I can't comfort here so I am hoping you all can. She experienced a traumatic event in which she had 3 clots and a brain bleed. She was super super fortunate and did not require surgery and the conditions have been resolving on their own with a blood thinner regimen, but it was scarey to say the least and she is not "out of the woods" yet. The whole episode was attributed to her birth control (she readily admits that she was abusing her body with two very close together Plan B events).

Because she is not on BC, she is now a higher risk for pregnancy. (We have talked about abstaining and so far that is easy as she does not feel up to any romping). So, I guess the gyn brought this up and she ended up in tears because she wants kids but she is being told she is now a high risk mama and that she /will/ be a higher risk for miscarriage, that they will have to induce labor early, that it will most likely be a c-section, and that if she does not opt for the "C" that she will most likely stroke out on the table and die. Also, she will have to "plan" her pregancnies carefully because she will need to be on lovinox (a blood thinner that is apparently "baby safe"). She has this horrible horrible image which she is comparing to my labor/births which were pretty "normal" and "routine". She is scared and freaking out and I can't help.

I tried to make light of the situation and joke with her that she needs a ring first (she has a long term boyfriend that has not gotten off his duff but alas, that is another post entirely)....

Please help! I knwo the medical community will want to treat her differently and that there will be certain precautions she will need to take but I can't help but feel like she is being scared into a birth not of her choosing.

So, have you or someone you know gone on to have a successful pregnancy? How was the birth? What choices did you make and why? What advice would you give her in this instance?

Thanks so much.

PS. This is not a medical seeking question as we both understand that each siutuation is unique and personal, but I want to show her she can go on to have a "normal" healthy pregnancy and birth experience based on how she approaches things and by making the best choices for her, her husband and baby.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone for their positive words and insight into this situation. I plan on sharing all this wonderful wisdom with her tonight.

I do agree that the "how" baby comes out is not the concern - it is more the fear mongering that I am upset about and her being all worked up because of it!! Grrr. (Can you tell I am the bid sister??, lol) Although I know she likes this gyn, she is not a high risk doctor and I (personally) feel she should be ditched, but that is up to my sister. Also, the cumidin she is currently on may not even be necessary in another six to 12 months so, I keep encouraging her to focus on the "now" as many of you have said. But, that said, I wanted to offer her some hope which you all have done so nicely.

Thank you.

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answers from Washington DC on

I have a good friend who had a pregnancy stroke. THat was with baby number 3 or 4. She is now pregnant with number 7. All healthy kids, she is OK, although they watch her very closely and she is to always take things easy. THat is so possible with 6 other little ones. :o/ Her oldest is now 11.
I do not know if she is on any meds while pregnant or not. She is not a med taker anyway.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have a former co-worker who has two healthy boys after having had a stroke in her early 20's (in college).

She was high risk, had lots of support and extra appointments during her pregnancies, but I don't think she ended up with C-Sections, but I'd have to confirm that. Her boys are now like 10 and 13 so it was a while ago.

I don't have advice, but assure her that other Mom's have had successful and non-traumatic birth experiences following a stroke at a young age.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

C., I don't have any stories for you. But I do want to encourage you to tell her to talk to a counselor. She is certainly upset about the news. But I think she is also feeling guilty for the Plan B events.

Her guilt and her freaking out will not help her situation.

Perhaps a good counselor can help her overcome this so that she can get on with her life. Getting on with her life will help her find that "ring" you speak of (whether or not it's from the long-term boyfriend).


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

It's early in the game for her to worry so.
She's dwelling and trying to predict a negative future rather than currently healing her present.
This will be a test as to the character of the man she is currently involved with.
If he cares about her he will abstain and also will be on board sponging up info on high risk pregnancy details.
In time she may completely recover.
In all reality none of know how our body is going to handle pregnancy.
I hope it all turns out okay, but you need to help her not dwell on this particular subject or she will become obsessed and neurotic.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am hoping I can help you & your sister feel better. I have a blood clotting disorder(Thrombophilia) which causes early pregnancy loss. Because of this I was put in the high risk category & was also told high risk of miscarriage, pre-term labor & that they would take my babies early. I now have two beautiful children (5 & 1year). I was put on baby aspirin, lovenox (daily whole pregnancy) & metformin (the first 11 weeks) to help me retain the baby. I had to see in addition to my OBG a perinatal Dr. I had sono's every two weeks to monitor my kids. It's scary when they tell you what you have to do, but you would be AMAZED that you can do it & when they tell you to stop (just before birth) I was nervous - I felt like I was doing SOMETHING! I had a C-section for both kids & to be honest, I liked the planning part of it. My recoveries were fantastic & my doctors so supportive. My advise to her would be see a high risk specialist. I don't know where she lives - my Doctors were awesome (we live on LI) Tell her take a deep breath, the lovenox sounds worse than it is, you can & will go on to have healthy babies (I did! & I did it twice!) There are doctors out there that specialize in this. I am attaching a link to my perinatal doctor that explains some of these high risk pregnancies including blood clotting disorders. They were going to induce me, I ended up a C-Section because my son was breech. Email me if you want more information on doctors if you are on LI. here is the link to my perinatal (high risk) doctor http://www.kofinasperinatal.org/

Good luck, tell her don't be scared - she can do it & it is treatable.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

While I hve not been in that situation, the first thing I would do is tell her to find a different doctor! Yes there are additional risks they can be managed. And quite frankly I am surprised that a carfully monitored labor would be considered more dangerous that major surgery (aka c-section). Regardless, it sounds from your post that the doctor was going more for the fear factor than to reassure your sis that it she could still have children, albiet with additonal care due to the risk. (Sorry - personal pet peeve but I can't stand doctors who do that....)

She should find an OB that specializes in high risk pregnancies and speak with them. I KNOW she will find out that although there certainal are risks, it is not as horrifying as her doctor made it out to be....



answers from New York on


I had a stroke 10 days after giving birth to my first son at 34. I was told that if I ever wanted more children that the birth would be a C-section. I believed this for 4 years- after struggling with secondary infertility, I conceived at 39. It was my primary doctor who freaked when I told him that I was told a C-section was necessary. It said that a C-section should be avoided at all costs that it was actually more dangerous. For my 2nd son, I used a different OB/ Gyn who agreed with my primary doctor. I was seen by my regular OB and a high risk specialist practice for the entire pregnancy and at 36 weeks was forced to deliver due to complications from pneumonia and signs of preeclampsia starting. They wanted to induce me but the little monkey was breach. They thought it safer to wait it out one night and see if he flipped- in the AM he did flip and they induced me and I delivered him vaginally. (The doctors said it was one of the longest nights of their lives & there was a lot of consulting with the high risk specialists through the night) He is now a very active 3 year old. She just needs to find an OB and a high risk specialist she is comfortable with.

Best of Luck to her- it is def. a journey.



answers from New York on

I'm so sorry to hear that your sister is going through this, but I'm heartened to read the responses from people who have friends that were able to have children after experiencing strokes early in life.

I just want to address the C-section fear. I had both my children via C-section (medically necessary, not elective). My sister was SO concerned that I missed out on the experience of birth, but you know I still ended up with two beautiful children. So yes, it is major surgery, but if it's the safest route with her medical condition I wouldn't have a second thought about it - HOW you get your children out really doesn't matter in the long run; the end result is all she should care about (having healthy children and remaining healthy herself).

Good luck to her.



answers from New York on

I think the best person to talk to for your sister is a high risk ob. I haven't had a stroke but my good friend had one at 16. It was pretty serious and she lost a year of school, some vision and had to completely relearn to read. However, it didn't cause her problems during pregnancy except for a planned C-section. she also had asthma, gestational diabetes and was over 35. The asthma was actually the most problematic for her but both she and her daughter are healthy now (she has diabetes post pregnancy but it runs in her family). A planned c-section is not that bad a recovery (I had 1 failure to progress c-section and one emergency one and the non rushed one wasn't that bad).

I suggest your sister get her current condition to the point of being stable and use reliable non-hormone birth control for now. When she is ready for a baby she can talk to a high risk ob who has managed other pregnancies with similar conditions. I have another friend who had a blood clot in her leg and was on blood thinners for about 12-18 months after that. But she was able to get off them and even have gall bladder surgery while still on the blood thinners (I think she stopped them for a few days only). I don't know if your sister will be on blood thinners long term or not (even the doctor may not know now, it make take time and blood testing).



answers from New York on

C. - I am so sorry to hear about your sister and the difficult time she is going thru. I am 35 going on 36 yo and had a stroke when I was 13 yo. I had a dissection to my left carotid artery, which caused minimal blood flow to my brain. I still don't have 100% blood flow on the left side, but that did not stop me from having 2 healthy babies (a son age 6 1/2 yo and daughter almost 4 yo). I have been on aspirin therapy (81mg) since my stroke at age 13 and was only taken off of it 2 weeks prior to each of my c-sections (so I was on it during almost all of my pregnancy), but started back on it they day after my babies were delivered (and nursed both my babies until 9 months). I was told during my first pregnancy the doctors wanted me to have a c-section as they were afraid the arterial wall could not withstand the strain of labor/delivery. I was monitored with frequent visits, ultrasounds and NSST during my pregnancies (basically seen weekly from week 20 on). Both sections were planned for a week before my due date, although with my daughter my water broke 2 weeks early, so although a planned section it became more of an emergency section since my water broke and the doctors did not want me going into labor. At times during my pregnancy and post I was disappointed that I did not get to have the full labor/delivery experience most women get, but I have two wonderful children and I am live and can spend every day with them, so if it means missing out on one experience to have a lifetime with my kids, I would do it all over again without even thinking twice.

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