On arriving home after the holiday Rich just mentioned in passing it was strange Ihadn’t eaten the chocolate we had in the fridge while we were on holiday. It got me thinking, my Mum had always saidwhen she was pregnant she went off chocolate…
I knew there was the possibility I was, I had had to stop the contraceptive pilla few months earlier as it was interacting with my epilepsy medication. I went out and bought a pregnancy test andthe next morning took it. It didn’t takelong for that word to appear on the screen, I was pregnant. Part of me was so excited, we had talkedabout having a baby, not just between the two of us but also with my epilepsyconsultant in London, so it wasn’t that we weren’t prepared, it may have justhappened a bit quicker than we had expected. Then I suddenly got a feeling of worry, the seizure I had had a coupleof weeks before… how could that not have had an effect on the baby? I remember walking in to tell Rich, I have toadmit it wasn’t that moment of intense joy I imagined, the worry of the seizurehung over me and so many thoughts about pregnancy and being and looking after ababy with my epilepsy. But Rich seemedso happy and said if the baby had made it through the seizure it must be apretty tough baby. Rich made me feelmore confident about it and we started to talk about the future with a babyaround.
As I was now being treated by a specialist at the National Neurology Hospital,they have an epilepsy nurse service that you can call whenever you need someadvice. As soon as I found out I waspregnant I rang the epilepsy nurse who rang me back after a couple of hours andreassured me my seizure was unlikely to have affected the baby and made me anappointment to come and see him and have a chat about pregnancy and parentingwith epilepsy.
Next we had to decide who to tell, I took a second pregnancy test to check, I didn’twant to be making all these decisions unless I was sure but that one came uppositive just as quickly. We decided wewould tell my Mum, she wasn’t just a mum to me but one of my closest friends, Itold her everything and she had supported me through all the years of seizuresand doctors’ appointments. Rich and myMum had become a little team when it came to my epilepsy, I could never havedealt with it without them. Because no-one could ever tell whether yourepilepsy would get better or worse through pregnancy and having had one seizureI knew the possibility of having more seizures was very real it seemed onlyfair my Mum knew the whole story. When Itold her she seemed happy but surprised, we were in the process of moving houseas well so it wasn’t really the best time to happen but then is there ever abest time to have a baby? A little whilelater mum said she was just surprised I felt ready to have a baby when myepilepsy wasn’t completely controlled but she said she thought we were verybrave and that she was very happy for us and looking forward to being a Nan,not a Grandma as that made her sound old!
Wethen told my Dad, my sister Nikki and Rich’s brother Dan as they all live withmy Mum and it seemed unfair to expect my Mum to keep it from them, we also toldmy Grandad as we were a very close family and my Mum sees him every day so itmade sense to tell him especially as it would be his first greatgrandchild. So going back to the point Imade before, my sister and Rich’s brother live with my parents, you may wonderhow that came to be… Nikki and Dan are in fact an item and have been for wellover a year now, pretty much since we got married. It may seem a bit strange and if I’m honesttook some getting used to but it has turned out as a truly wonderful thing, wesee each other all the time and have become a pretty strong little unit. It never surprised me when they got together;they had been practicing for a set they played at our wedding party, which wasamazing, so they had been spending quite a lot of time with each other. We always knew they had a lot in common,they were both very creative, both artistically and musically, and justgenerally were very similar in their outlook.
I also told my friend in Switzerland, Leti, she is probably my closest friendeven though we live so far apart and I really wanted her to know. I needed someone my age to talk to about itall with and she had had a baby about a year ago and so I knew I could ask herall the questions I so much wanted to ask but couldn’t because I didn’t wanteveryone to know I was pregnant.
I had to go see the occupational health doctor before I could return to work due to the seizure. Understandably to keep the children safe more limitations had to be put on my role, I didn't want to put the kids at risk, but it didn't make it any less difficult for me. It makes me feel very useless, frustrated and down that the job I chose to do I can't give my full potential due to epilepsy. It's one area where however positive I am about my epilepsy, it will understandably have a huge negative impact on my life :(
But as far as the pregnancy is concerned, I am not going to mope around, I will work as hard as possible for as long as possible :) pregnancy is not a disease!