Labor Experience/Stories

Hey there,

I’ve been dizzy 24 7 with a diagnosis of MAV and Menieres. I’m 23 weeks pregnant and trying to prepare myself for labor. I’m pretty nervous about the labor experience and how it will affect dizziness. I’m thinking of trying natural and open to epidural if needed. I would love to do natural and also fear that epidural will cause dizziness. I’m very sensitive to medications. Anyone have experience with natural child birth or with epidural? How did it affect dizziness? Experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Hi Lucille,

I’ll share my childbirth story, but remember that it might not apply whatsoever. However, the childbirth part of it went fine! I had a great Bradley method class–what’s good about that method is that it gives you all kinds of tools for being comfortable during a natural birth, instead of teaching you when to ask for drugs. Birth was not that uncomfortable compared to a bad vertigo attack, where I would lie on the bathroom floor for 12 hours holding my head and eyes perfectly still so I wouldn’t throw up! It was a long labor, and I refused all drugs. I pushed for 8 hours instead of letting them near me with a knife and epidural–but you really need the support of a doctor or midwife who is on the same page. My doctor, who had been a midwife and was pregnant with her 2nd child at the time, even sent me a letter after the birth, telling me how impressed she was with my strength for doing this without drugs and not giving in to getting a C-section. To me, this was proof that instead of my being a hypochondriac–which some people tended to think–childbirth just wasn’t that bad compared to my vertigo! A doctor and former midwife who had attended thousands of births, including mine and her own, thought I had a difficult birth–yet it was easier than vertigo!

As far as the vertigo before and after: Before I had a child, the bad attacks were infrequent, and they only occurred when I ate dairy or garlic (took me a while to pin this down). After childbirth, the attacks were milder. I never again had a day with 12 hours on the bathroom floor, and the room doesn’t spin around me as noticeably–it’s more like being on a boat, or on worse days, like being in a fun house with floors at weird angles. However, when I was nursing, I had another hormonal event that changed the nature of my vertigo: my daughter went on a nursing strike for a week when she had a bad cold, and that sudden shift in hormones really affected me. What happened from there is a pretty long story, so I’ll just advise weaning very gradually, in case your MAV is affected by hormonal shifts. My daughter started nursing again after 7 days, but after that, I wasn’t about to ever wean her abruptly, as some people do. Instead, I let her naturally wean herself, which happened very gradually over a very long period, and there were no ill effects from weaning that way.

Hi Lor,
I am incredible grateful for your in depth story of your birth experience! Just reading it really helped me feel more at ease and confident. One of the scariest parts of all this for me is the alone feeling. There aren’t many people to talk about labor experiences and birth who also have vertigo and dizziness. I keep trying to feel brave, then feel petrified of the dizziness and fatigue taking over during birth and not being able to do it or cope. Ive been dizzy for 24 7 for 7 years now and its never gotten better. Nothing has helped. So I know I have no control over dizziness, but I want to have control over this situation and be prepared.

I’m so encouraged by your strength! That’s really amazing that your doctor’s really noticed your strength too and even wrote you a letter.

I agree I just couldn’t imagine anything even comparing to dizziness and feel like I could deal with anything after dealing with dizziness.

I’ve been reading about natural child birth and so is my husband. I know the better prepared we are the better. I’m going in with an open mind — because I know child birth can be quite un predictable. I think you’re incredible for sticking to what you had planned and desired and pushed for 8 hours! Wow. You’re unstoppable. Vertigo and labor are incredible difficult, but to do both at once head on either no meds - wow!

Thanks again for your shared experience! It really is helping me realize okay maybe I can do this.

As far as breast feeding I am planning on doing it and do worry about the hormonal changes during it and after birth. My dizziness is hugely affected by hormones. So that’s why labor and after scares me as I know they’ll be going haywire.

We will see. If I can push through for 7 years various things I assume I can do this too. This disorder definitely makes you stronger than you river realized you could ever be.

Hi Lucielle8,

You are not an easy person to track down. I came across your youtube videos an wanted to get in touch. Sorry for jumping on this thread but wasn’t sure how to get in touch. I have had very similar experiences and symptoms and would be interested to discuss your dizziness. I am now past 10 years and was finally diagnosed about 4 years ago. I definitely understand feeling not normal and knowing that something is wrong. Anyways, hope you are doing okay. Reply back if you would be interested to get in touch.

Hi Lucille I was wondering if you could tell us how your birth experience went? Thanks in advance!

Yes ! I would love to share my labor experience. I will share it in full once I get a chance. But it was a 34 hour labor! I went 22 hours without an epi. And then doctor really pushed for it because I wasn’t progressing much. I found out in the end my baby was “sunny side up” ( not in the right birthing position) so he wasn’t dilating my cervix. I was surprised how well I did. I was so nervous about the dizziness. It wasn’t any worse than it usually was. And I wasn’t super dizzy after. Just tired after a full 48 hours of no sleep. I have however had all kinds of new symptoms since having him - such as burning and cracked tongue and stomach issues and numbness in hands and feet that doctors can’t tell me what’s causing it. It wasn’t a bad labor and I’d totally do it again. The hardest part to me was having an epi and my legs being numb. I didn’t like that. Wasn’t a bad experience and if I can figure out what’s causing all these issues and know that getting pregnant again would be fine I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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Hi Lucille

How did you find your pregnancy and the first couple of months after delivery? Are you on any medication now?

Vikki x