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Author Topic: Positive and Pregnant  (Read 4333 times)

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Offline pozandpregnantct

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  • Posts: 8
Positive and Pregnant
« on: March 31, 2009, 12:32:19 AM »
I have been browsing this forum for the past month or so and have found so much hope here.  I wanted to introduce myself and let you know a little about me.
I found out I was HIV+ about 5 months ago, 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant.  They were running all of the routine new pregnancy tests and when they listed them all I told them not to worry about the STD and HIV tests as I had just had them a couple of months prior and they were unnecessary.  The doctor told me that she would like to run them just as a precaution so I agreed and never thought about it again.  Two weeks later I received a call to come in for a follow up visit.  The brought me back to the doctors actual office and handed me a piece of paper.  I didn't understand what I was reading until I got to the end of it... it read HIV and across from it was the word positive.  I remember that everything went in slow motion.  I just kept asking, "Are you telling me I have HIV?".  I couldn't think and I felt like I couldn't breathe.  Gratefully, the insensitive doctor that did not even have the courage to tell me the results, just handed me a sheet of paper, left the room and the kindest, most loving nurse entered and she just held me and rocked me in her arms.  I hope to someday go back to that office and thank her, but I haven't been able to bring myself to return there yet.
I know who gave me HIV...  I was in a long term relationship with a man that I loved very much.  Unfortunately, he was struggling with monogamy and I decided to leave the relationship.  I met a man who was exciting and listened to me and I made the decision to have unprotected sex with him.  I had many reasons at the time for my decision, none of which matter now since he gave me HIV.  He has never apologized or shown any sympathy for giving me HIV.  He just says, "it's no big deal.  It's not a death sentence these days so just take your meds and you will be fine".  I know it is not healthy to hate but I HATE HIM.  Which is kind of stupid because I made the decision to have sex with him.  He didn't force me.  I guess it is easier to hate him then to hate myself.
I have since gotten back together with my ex and we got married on February 6th.  We are closer than we ever were and go to counseling to deal with both his past issues of infidelity and my being HIV positive.  Yes, he is negative.  He loves me unconditionally and that is both a comfort to me and hard for me to understand at times.  I struggle with how he could want to be with me now that I am HIV positive.  I wonder would I feel the same about him, as much as I love him, if the tables were turned.
My pregnancy is going great... totally normal, no complications.  I have decided to have a scheduled C section 2 weeks prior to my due date and I take Kaletra and Combivir twice a day.  I will not breastfeed and I opted not to have an amnio for the Downs Syndrome tests.  Because of all these decisions regarding the pregnancy and my ongoing medical care and medication, they tell me the chance of my baby having HIV is less than 1/2 of a percent.  MUCH lower than the chance that it would have Downs Syndrome or any other number of birth defects that could affect a pregnancy for someone who is 36 years old.
My parents know that I have HIV and they have been nothing short of amazing in their love and support of me.  I know they have had their emotional struggles dealing with this diagnosis and am grateful that they have a wonderful support system of friends to get them through.  God has truly blessed me with such wonderful family.
I think about having HIV every day.  Sometimes I will forget for a few hours and be in the middle of some normal daily task and then all of a sudden it hits me like a ton of bricks... I HAVE HIV!  These thoughts stop me in my tracks and I feel like my world is crumbling.  I am working hard to get out from under this dark cloud and start to really live again.  I try to focus on the positive things in my life and stay out of the negative and irrational.
Anyway, I guess that is it for now.  I hope I didn't go on for too long.  Thank you all for being here.
God Bless

Offline netta

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  • Posts: 396
Re: Positive and Pregnant
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2009, 10:56:58 AM »
Conngrats on your marriage!! I rencently got married,Febuary 12th, 2009.
I am so happy for you and your pregnancy. Let us know how its going, we are here for you.
You aare a very strong and brave woman, be proud. you will have good and bad days, but keep on, you have so much to live for. I have been poz over 20 years!
Praying for you and your family. be blessed.
"to thine own self be true"

Offline srmn98

  • Member
  • Posts: 133
Re: Positive and Pregnant
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2009, 02:18:42 PM »
Hi there,

I'm so sorry to hear that you are positive, but as you are learning, there are many treatments available today.

Congratulations on your pregnancy. I had a baby just a few weeks ago. I did the same things as you -- Combivir and Kaletra, C-section, not breast-feeding. The new guidelines in the US say to test the baby for HIV virus at two weeks, four weeks, and four months. They also recommend 6 weeks of AZT starting at birth-- you give it to them every 6 hours for the first 6 weeks of life. My baby tolerated it pretty well, the main side effect is that their hemoglobin can get a little bit low but they say it bounces back up once you stop the medication.

My  little one tested negative at 2 weeks and 4 weeks, now they say he is "presumptively negative." (yeah !!!) The 4 month test is considered confirmatory, and then they do an another antibody test after about a year to re-confirm.

So yes, your chances for your baby are very, very good -- less than 1% and likely less if you follow the guidelines and maintain a low viral load.

Having HIV is not fun, but it does get easier. The cloud will lift, you are lucky to live in a place with good medical care. I still think about it every day (I've known for about 2.5 years) -- but it is not so crippling anymore and I no longer let it define me like I did when I was first diagnosed. Consider getting a good therapist if you can ....

Best of luck, and feel free to email me directly if you want to talk about anything pregnancy related.


Offline Snowangel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,416
Re: Positive and Pregnant
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 08:36:00 PM »
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis but congratulations on your pregnancy and your marriage.

I have had 2 pregnancies since becoming poz in 97. If they don't give you anything to dry up your milk, have someone bring you a cabbage to the hospital, something in the leaves helps to dry them out.  My first son was supposed to be a c-section but he came a month early and very quick. I thought my milk coming in was more painful than the labor.  :-\

That is so nice to hear that you have the support of your parents.

What part of CT are you in?  I am in Springfield, MA.

Welcome again!
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline pozandpregnantct

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Positive and Pregnant
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 12:52:34 AM »
Thanks so much for your responses... it has been so nice to become a part of this forum.
 I am from the CT shoreline... halfway between New Have and Hartford.
I will keep posting updates as my pregnancy progresses for those who are interested.
God Bless!

Offline pozandpregnantct

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Positive and Pregnant
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 09:50:47 AM »
Things have been tough lately.  I am now on bedrest for the next 2 months (if I can hold on that long).  It seems my body wants to go into labor early.  We found out it is a girl and we will be calling her Bella (short for Annabella, after my grandmother)... so that is good news as we already have 4 boys (3 for him and 1 for me).  I am feeling very frustrated with my body... I cannot keep food down and have severe diarrhea... they seem to think it is my medicine.  Due to this I have lost 9 pounds over the last month.  My counts are all still good... verging on undetectable... so they seem to think it is just the medication that is making me so sick.  They took me off the Kaletra and I am now on Reyataz, Norvir and Combivir.  Hopefully this will cut down on the nausea and diarrhea, but it hasn't so far.  I feel very frustrated and depressed lately... I guess that is all part of coming to terms with being positive.  I just with I didn't have HIV... life would be so much more simple.  I hate taking my meds and struggle with it though I do take them because I am afraid if I don't the baby will be positive and that I would not be able to live with. 
I need to get back into a more positive mindset but am struggling to do so right now... I will keep updating here and let ya'll know how it is going.
Thanks for everyones support.  God Bless!

Offline BT65

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  • Member
  • Posts: 10,785
Re: Positive and Pregnant
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2009, 08:26:38 AM »
Poz, thanks for the update.  Have you ever tried drinking flat ginger-ale?  My grama used to swear by that.  Or keeping soda crackers next to your bed and eating a couple when you first wake up?  I don't know if either of these would help, but it may be worth a shot. 

Love the name Bella, by the way.  Very cute.  Hang in there, it's almost over.
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Offline Snowangel

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  • Posts: 1,416
Re: Positive and Pregnant
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2009, 05:06:52 PM »
I have to agree with BT and try the gingerale, that has helped me alot in the past.  I can't remember if you can take immodium while pregnant but maybe you could start taking it with your meds.
I went on bedrest at 25 weeks and only made it 45 days.  I had my son with me so we made my bed into "Camp Bedrest" and I had my computer on one side of the bed, a small fridge on the other side and the TV with a VCR for my son to watch his movies.  I read a lot of books and did a lot of surfing the web to bide my time.  In fact, if you need any books to read I will send you some. Try to keep your head up and keep positive thoughts, I know laying there hour after hour, day after day, can be complete hell, but you can do it.  That is a beautiful name.  Good Luck!  Let me know if you need any books or want to chat.
Take care and Good Luck!
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.


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