Discussions By Condition: Sleep disorders

Post pregnancy sleep apnea

Posted In: Sleep disorders 5 Replies
  • Posted By: lrahbar
  • March 7, 2008
  • 03:15 PM

I just gave birth 3 days ago, and am having a horrible time sleeping. Of course, I am EXHAUSTED, but everytime I try to go to sleep, I feel like my throat is closing off and I wake with a start, lacking breath.
I had this exact thing happen after my 1st pregnancy as well, except those "sleep apnea" symptoms happened during the end of my pregnancy as well.
I went to see a doctor then and he said I had sleep apnea, but why would it only be for a week or two after my pregnancy and at no other time?? (this was how long I had those symptoms after giving birth) I don't think I can stand to have another 2 weeks like I did then. It was horrible being so exhausted, yet unable to sleep. Anyone know anything about this? :(
Thanks!
Lelsee

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5 Replies:

  • Hello I had the same thing happen to me after the birth of my first child, eleven weeks ago, and it was the worse thing I have ever been through. I found it so scary and I thought I would never be able to sleep again. I told my midwife that I thought I had sleep apnea but she said that you don't know when you've got apnea so it couldn't be that. I was still convinced that it was though and am only now trying to get to the bottom of it. Are you okay now? If I got pregnant again I would be so scared to give birth in case it happened again. I was very swollen at the end of my pregnancy and snored loudly (had never snored before) and my birth didn't go accoring to plan. After being induced and having twelve hours of labour I had to have an epidural but it went wrong so they did it twice. I then had to be totally numbed before having a C section. Following that I had two injections of morphine, quite close together. I believe there was also morphine in my epidural drip. My theory has been that the morphine caused the sleep apnea as I probably had too much for my body. I was badly affected in other ways too - I was seeing double, couldn't focus, couldn't keep my eyes open and had trouble speaking. Could you tell me if you had C section or morphine? Morphine causes respiratory depression. The hospital tried to get me to take more oral morphine too but I refused which is a good job as it could have made me even worse. I think it was only after a week, when the morphine had left my system that I managed an hour's sleep sitting upright. One of the worse things was that nobody believed me and they thought I was having panic attacks due to the traumatic birth. I couldn't tend to my son at all as I hadn't slept for a week and was exhausted after the C section, although I tried in vain to breastfeed him. My lungs also felt funny, sort of heavy when I laid down and wheezy. I went to A & E one night and they just gave me a sedative to help me sleep but I still kept waking, fighting for breath. I am still upset that this ruined the beginning of motherhood for me and that's why I want to know what caused it. If you know anything more, please contact me. Thanks. Christie
    pigbench 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hey Christie,Thanks so much for your post and I do feel for you! I didn't have the tramatic experience you had. I did have an epidural and stadol. It was an easy vaginal birth really.I did get some info from my pediatrician, believe it or not, about all of this. Why my doc couldn't help me is beyond me. He asked me if my feet were swollen, and yes they were, but only when I started receiving fluids at the hospital. My feet were still swollen about 2 weeks after Savannah was born.He told me that the reason I was having breathing problems was most likely because of all the pregnancy fluids, as well as everything they pump into you while giving birth. He said that can cause everything to swell, including your organs, and this can greatly affect your lungs. He asked if I ate alot of salt, and I told him I'm a salt junkie. He said that was making the problem worse- making me retain water. My baby is now almost 4 months and I haven't had any of those problems, so I believe he must have been right on the money.I did have to have my gall bladder out shortly after though, and I had so many gall stones, they blocked my pancreas ducts and caused pancreatitis. I was in the hospital in major pain for about a month, and am still having complications, with a 13 cm cyst on my pancreas now. I will now have to have surgery to remove this, and have been on Loritab for pain. This means I had to stop nursing my baby too, and I was heartbroken.I feel for you Christie. Having a baby is rough on the body isn't it? The reward for all of this is a precious life, but boy, what you have to go through to get there!I will certainly pray for you and your family, and I do hope you are feeling better! Please let me know how everything turns out. I hope this explanation helped, it made alot of sense to me!
    lrahbar 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello I had the same thing happen to me after the birth of my first child, eleven weeks ago, and it was the worse thing I have ever been through. I found it so scary and I thought I would never be able to sleep again. I told my midwife that I thought I had sleep apnea but she said that you don't know when you've got apnea so it couldn't be that. I was still convinced that it was though and am only now trying to get to the bottom of it. Are you okay now? If I got pregnant again I would be so scared to give birth in case it happened again. I was very swollen at the end of my pregnancy and snored loudly (had never snored before) and my birth didn't go accoring to plan. After being induced and having twelve hours of labour I had to have an epidural but it went wrong so they did it twice. I then had to be totally numbed before having a C section. Following that I had two injections of morphine, quite close together. I believe there was also morphine in my epidural drip. My theory has been that the morphine caused the sleep apnea as I probably had too much for my body. I was badly affected in other ways too - I was seeing double, couldn't focus, couldn't keep my eyes open and had trouble speaking. Could you tell me if you had C section or morphine? Morphine causes respiratory depression. The hospital tried to get me to take more oral morphine too but I refused which is a good job as it could have made me even worse. I think it was only after a week, when the morphine had left my system that I managed an hour's sleep sitting upright. One of the worse things was that nobody believed me and they thought I was having panic attacks due to the traumatic birth. I couldn't tend to my son at all as I hadn't slept for a week and was exhausted after the C section, although I tried in vain to breastfeed him. My lungs also felt funny, sort of heavy when I laid down and wheezy. I went to A & E one night and they just gave me a sedative to help me sleep but I still kept waking, fighting for breath. I am still upset that this ruined the beginning of motherhood for me and that's why I want to know what caused it. If you know anything more, please contact me. Thanks. Christiei HAD SLEEP APNEA DURING MY PREGNANCY.. i HAD TO HAVE MINE INDUCED AT 8 MONTHS. BABY'S HEART HAD 2 VSD'S AND A PFO, BUT I DON'T THINK I BLAME THAT ON THE SLEEP APNEA..I DID AT FIRST. I THINK ITS DUE TO THE GENETIC INFO ON HIS SPERMIES..ANYWAY. I BLAME MY HYPERTENSION, PIH ON THE APNEA AND MAYBE MY ELEVATED MSAFP LEVELS.GOOD LUCK ALLPS BABY IS DOING GREAT
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 11, 2009
    • 03:11 AM
    • 0
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  • The first time I experienced sleep apnea was when I was pregnant too.It freaked me out.Now I only get it when Im really tired.As Im falling asleep I can feel it its going to happen.It feels like Im that tired that Im falling into a coma like sleep.I believe its from being over tired.I also suffer from panic attacks.They come and go,depending on how well I look after myself.I have a tendency to put my needs last and burn out.I hope this is helpful.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 25, 2010
    • 05:39 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi Christie,Amazing to read your post. I had a little boy in March 2009 and the exact same thing happened to me. My labour lasted 48 hours and I was given an injection of diamorphine at 24 hours into the labour so that I could rest. (Ironically I didn't really need it, I was quite happy at the time with my tens machine!). 5 hours later I then opted for an epidural, also containing morphine, as we still had no idea how long the labour was going to last and I was pretty tired with all the contractions. I was also given a button to top myself up if I felt I needed it (which I used two or three times). So I was pretty full of morphine.However, while it took away all the pain, I immediately felt extremely drunk and could no longer focus. In fact I was seeing double for 2 whole days and could barely sign my name because the paper wouldn't stay still. The epidural brought on huge itching and I found it more difficult to breathe, so was gasping for air. I was also sick twice.After delivery, I experienced sleep apnea which was extremely scary - I would wake up in a cold sweat with absolutely no air in my lungs, and was terrified of falling asleep again. I still couldn't focus, and increasingly, I then began to see things that weren't there - pictures becoming animated and imaginary insects crawling up the walls. According to my husband I was also talking gobbledegook for several days, saying things that made no sense at all and coming up with random business ideas that made perfect sense to me at the time, but were apparently completely nonsense!By day 5 after the birth (discharged and at home) the Doctor isolated me for a night and I literally had to sweat out the drug effects with lots of apnea episodes, heart racing and very scary dreams over a 5 hour period. It was dreadful. In the end, the doctors decided that all of this was most likely caused by the morphine, exacerbated by lack of sleep, and being swollen at the end of the pregnancy (the drugs stayed in my system for a very long time and couldn't get rid of them and I was still gasping for air several days later, even in waking hours.) Drinking water was eventually the thing that helped to flush it all out of me, but the symptoms weren't completely gone till a good week after the birth.Our little boy had to be taken away for half an hour, once born, for respiratory monitoring, and I wonder whether this was also due to the morphine too? I was told that with such a long labour, the effects of the morphine would have worn off by the time he arrived, but that was definitely not the case!So on reflection, next time I think I'll stick to the tens machine instead! ;)Georgina
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 22, 2011
    • 08:37 AM
    • 0
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