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.