So what's up with steroids?

I know that many of you don't understand why I wouldn't want to take steroids for the babies...just to be on the safe side... because you REALLY never know when they could come.

Corticosteroids are man-made drugs that closely resemble cortisol, a hormone that your adrenal glands produce naturally. Corticosteroids are often referred to by the shortened term “steroids.” Corticosteroids are different from the male hormone-related steroid compounds that some athletes abuse.

Steroids work by decreasing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system.

Steroids reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in order to minimize tissue damage. Steroids also reduce the activity of the immune system by affecting the function of white blood cells.

SOME of the most COMMON side effects of steroids that relate to pregnancy are...

Depletion of Calcium, Magnesium, Nitrogen, Potassium & Protein

Fluid retention

constipation

Myalgia (muscle pain)

Steroid-induced diabetes

steroid-induced osteoporosis

weight gain

bladder infections

decreased immune function

insomnia

impaired wound healing

not to mention the 'little' things like shakes, hot flashes, ect.

That's just me right... suck it up... do it for the babies...

What about this...

babies' risk of abnormal neurological development and slower growth.

experts now think the risks of repeated treatments probably outweigh the benefits. They've been associated in some studies with decreased fetal growth, suppressed adrenal gland function, and adverse effects on long-term lung development.

Some studies have also found that multiple courses of corticosteroids affected childhood behavior and may have caused delayed development. As a result the NIH and ACOG both recommend that you not have repeat courses of corticosteroids in preterm labor until the risks and benefits are better understood.

33% of infants born premature who were given steroids suffered from respiratory distress syndrome; 41% of infants born premature who were given a placebo suffered from RDS. That is only an 8% decrease.

I also read... but unsure if this is with fraternal or identical twins... that for some unknown reason when given steroids for a multiple pregnancy, even in a double dose, that the 1st twin is the one who receives it and the 2nd does not.

I take this all with a grain of salt... it is what it is and it's not 100% but it's all something to consider.

I am not someone who just says okay give me the shot, i'll trust you it's not harmful. I can't do that. I have to know the pros and cons and make an educated FAITHFUL decision.

***If I have the steroids it will be multiple doses... but not weekly. 2 Shots 24 hours apart and then a 'rescue dose' during labor.



27 comments:

  1. Good Job on being informed! I wish more people would look into medical decisions instead of blindly trusting. Unfortunately, most people don't so they look at those that do as crazy. Don't forget there is Someone much bigger than medicine, doctors and steroids taking care of your sweet little babies and you! :-) Take care and keep up the good work - your babies are lucky to have a momma truly looking out for their health :-)

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  2. Yay for an ultra-informed Momma. What's the likelihood your doctor would give you a 2nd dose (as that seems to be the worst part, multiple doses) at 34 weeks? At 34 weeks are you out of the danger zone almost? Or will she still want to dose you?

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  3. I really admire you for your willingess and ability to question and research your options. I am shocked your doctor used such a mean spirited scare tactic on you. I don't know about you, but when I was in labor I could have cared less who was there to deliver. So if you remember really, that delivery is about you, your babies and the memory of it with your hubby, maybe the "sting" of having your doctor bail on you will subside a bit.
    Either way, I hope you come to peace with whatever decision you make. And HOPEFULLY this is all just a non-issue because that test is going to come back NEGATIVE!!!
    When will you know?

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  4. NOT having done the research OR being the one to have to make this decision about giving myself a medication for my unborn babies BUT having chronic asthma and having been an RN for 20 years I know which way my decision would fall. I wish you all the best in making your decision. I guess my only advice would be in the vast scheme of life where does this sit for you??
    I really hope your relationship with your Doctor can continue, I know how important it is to have someone that you know and trust...gosh, hard times...GOOD LUCK :):)

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  5. I just read the comment previous to mine, we must have been typing at the same time and I do agree...at the time of delivery you just want SOMEONE that knows what they are doing...you don't HAVE to "know" them well. For two of my four deliveries my OB wasn't there and it didn't matter one little bit XX :):)

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  6. Nice of you to post why you don't want to take steroids but not really necessary.
    This is your experience and your babies and you have to do what you think is best.
    I'm one of those research people too and I've never regretted going against what the "professional" wanted versus what I felt would be best.
    I hope it all comes out okay so that you can hang in there without the steroids and 24-48 hours observation and i also hope your Ob will apologize for the way she handled this with you. I hope I don't sound too harsh 'cause I know I don't know her and you do but I'm just still shocked that she threatened to drop you as a patient. you should dump her when this is all over. Lol. Okay, I'm just being bad again... ignore it. Praying for the best for you.
    Hugs !

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  7. I think I'm done reading your blog.

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  8. I only received one round of steroids because of the studies you mention that show more adverse effects from multiple doses than one or two rounds. One of my sons have respiratory distress and one didn't, but I don't think it's a function of lack of steroids, I think it was due to distress in utero that caused him to be stronger. I had TERRIBLE insomnia for 24 hours after getting my round of steroids (one dose consisting to two shots), but that was the only side effect I had. The second round should you receive it is best given 24 hours before delivery for best effect from what I've read.

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  9. I understand your concern, but although the internet is a wonderful tool it can also scare the living daylights out of you. I would take your research and pose your concerns to your OB should the test admit you to the hospital and make your OB want to give you steroids.
    OB's have the highest malpractice insuarance rate and I believe are sued the most. I think your doctor has a 7 year history with you and although she might be concerned for herself, I think she probably has a close enough relationship with you that she is recommending what is BEST for you and your babies.
    The world of medicine is truly amazing and I trust my OB enough to do whatever she suggests, she is the specialist, not me.
    As for her threatening to drop you, I have witnessed this with several of my extended family members who would not do what a doctor recommended and the doctor said they would not treat them anymore.
    Good Luck! Just have a heart to heart with your OB and try to stay off your feet. I have two and don't know how I would do that if I had to go on bedrest with my current pregnancy, so I applaud you for doing it with 4.

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  10. I just read the previous post and I can only symapathize with how stressful this must be for you. It's never easy to fight for what you think is the right course of action! And, OH BOY is this steriods thing causing controversy. I hope that you are not letting the comments upset you further. You can always try to compromise by asking for JUST ONE round and not having the resuce dose. The round consisting of 2 shots is not considered a multiple dose.

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  11. Hi Brittany, Man oh man...I'd suggest that you do what your heart tells you to do, don't be pressured into anything regardless of their degree or expertise. I mean God created you, and these little one's inside of you, He knows what is going to happen, just seek Him and His counsel. He is the physician, I'll pray that you'd use discernment and that you wouldn't make any decision emotionally or if pressured to. You're body is going through so much right now, and the babies can feel the stress (I'm sure you already know that), so relax and seek Him who brings all truth and won't advice you to do anything that will harm you or your babies. Peace & Love in HIM ~ Heather

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  12. Amazing! So much advice! Here's mine..seasoned Mom, Grandma, and RN that I am...
    Thoroughly and confidently discuss your concerns with your Dr... even her "bullying" you.
    PRAY for wisdom
    Consult with and respect the input of your husband.
    PRAY and Trust The Great Physician
    Well-done research, by the way...but you know they have to list ALL of the potential side affects, regardless of how remote.
    I will be praying for you and yours.

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  13. Well, *sigh* boy does this bring back memories!
    My twins were born at 30 weeks 5 days. We had one round of the steroids (its a two shot-shot but only considered One round) and then a rescue dose at 30 weeks. I never thought twice about the shots as I wanted to do everything possible for my sons. (After all I had already been inpatient for 5 wks!) My boys both had RDS. The doctors were baffled by the state of their lungs after having had the shots.. but you know what.. I don't think I would go back and not get them. (What if the outcome had been even worse than it was?)

    Some people I know have had babies at the exact same time as me and had the shots and the babies did fabulous and were never even intubated. I think it honestly just depends on the babies.

    My sons are absolutely fantastic now and are well above their adjusted age developmentally (we have an early intervention team that comes to our house once a month to make sure the babies are meeting their milestones developmentally so I am not just saying that as a biased Mom)

    I won't tell you whether you need to get the shots or not, that's a personal decision, (and I fear with my story I may have steered you even more away from them?!)
    I will, however, send lots of prayers your way.

    On a side note: Your doctor just wants to be cautious.(and not be held liable I am sure.) I don't know how many times my doctors told me that if they started to worry about the decels they would take the babies as they would rather have preemie babies who were alive then push their (and my) luck and deliver stillborns. They called it just right as Baby B went into distress (heart rate decels) and came out needing immediate help.

    Good Luck and keep us posted!
    God Bless!

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  14. Good for you, girl. Most people are not this informed and just allow anyone to pump anything into their bodies. And you are worrying about two little, helpless, beings! DO what you need to do!

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  15. Girl, you are very informed and that is a GREAT thing! It is ultimatly up to you! I support your decision!!!
    ~Elyse~

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  16. I would be doing and thinking exactly the same way you are. I do research in very simliar ways and just won't rest until I feel like I have as much info as possible.

    I believe that the test will be a big NEGATIVE and you won't be in jeopardy. I feel SURE. :-)

    I know God has His best plan for you & I know that with all that you are seeking out He will show you the right decision.

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  17. I would be so conflicted. Although you sound like you've pretty much made up your mind and for that I say, "Good girl."

    I am just gonna keep praying for you and those babies because as far as I am concerned THAT is the most powerful thing. ; )

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  18. WTG! It is great to see you are so well informed so that you can pray about making the decision that is best for you and your babies. God is much bigger than all of this.
    So sorry to hear about the bullying by your OB. I pray she realizes what she has done to you and helps you to make the best decision and not try to force you into something that may just be to cover all of her bases. Dr.'s are great but they are just human and do make mistakes. I know God will lead you and hubby in the right direction.
    I am praying for you, the babies and your family!

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  19. I just wanted to thank you for being so honest with so many people that you don't even know. I am glad too that you were able to answer the question about your stance on the steroids. What a position you are in with what is right on your heart & mind and with what your OB wants you to do. I don't envy you at this moment. Just remember that the Lord will lead you and protect you. He doesn't give you more than you can bare. I am sure that everything will be wonderful with the rest of your pregnancy and that your babies will be amazingly healthy!! ML

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  20. Talk to your OB about your relationship with her.

    Make an educated decision.

    Don't obsess about the information overload that you can find online.

    Your decision is important, but it doesn't need to consume every waking moment.

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  21. Good luck with the decision. Things will go great for you and those babies of yours. God's got this. He's in charge and He's so much bigger than anything in this world!!!!

    Check out my blog...I got something for ya over there!!!

    Lindsey :)

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  22. Interesting information, thanks for sharing that. During my first pregnancy and labor I WAS one of those people who just 100% trusted the doctors and let them do whatever they wanted with me. First they overlooked a health condition which almost cost my son his life, and then I ended up with an emergency c-section (Which was fine) but I ended up with extreme high blood pressure afterwards (the surgeon himself couldn't figure that one out, as a spinal block is supposed to decrease your blood pressure after surgery) and was on constant 24 hour blood pressure monitoring. They were panicked, sure I would stroke out or something. And I got SO many shots. Pain killers, other stuff, I don't even know but it really effected me even for months afterwards. Good for you for sticking up for yourself, I hope I have the guts to do that myself this time around.

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  23. To the "anonymous" blogger who said they are done reading the blog... GOOD FOR YOU! The beauty of the internet is that we don't have to read things we don't want to read. So just stop reading then! You don't need to be mean-spirited and "announce" you are done reading. She probably doesn't care! There is no need to be mean when obviously she already is going through a lot... If you aren't going to be kind to Brittany at a time like this, don't say anything at all!

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  24. Oh wow- I never knew this before!

    Steph

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  25. What is the chance you could get a second opinion from another OB on this? I wish you the best of luck and will be praying for you to make the decision that is best for you and the babies. Good luck Sweetie, I cant wait to see pictures of those babies

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  26. Hi, I don't know how I found you in the blogging world, but I found this post so interesting. I had ITP with my last pregnancy and they wanted to treat with steroids- did you find any other alternatives? Cute blog! do you really have four boys and twins on the way?

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  27. I took the shots both times. Preemie #1 was born at 29 weeks, and never needed oxygen in any form. I had rec'd two shots before she was born.

    Preemie #2 was born at 31 weeks, and was intubated for 4 weeks. I had rec'd 5 shots before her birth.

    I also tested negative, yet gave birth two preemie #2 within 18 hours of the test.

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Thank you for blessing me with your words!

Brittany