One of the best things that happened to me in my epilepsy treatment was being referred up to London to an epilepsy specialist. I had felt like my neurologist at my old hospital wasn’t listening and got the feeling he didn’t know a lot about epilepsy, which after seeing the consultant in London turned out to be true. I feel bad taking up the time of such a specialist when all I really wanted was to see an epilepsy nurse. But looking at things now I feel like I have a plan for the future and that is all thanks to my specialist and the team at the National Neurology Hospital.
I had an appointment with the epilepsy nurse in London, my Mum came with me for support. At work I was constantly being told what a risk I was to the children, not to pick them up, not to be left on my own with them. I started to think that I could never look after my own baby, all that time just my baby and me and the risk of me dropping them. The epilepsy nurse made me feel so much better, he pointed out that in comparison to a lot of people’s epilepsy mine was well controlled, one seizure a year wasn’t going to put my baby at a huge risk and we talked through some of the things I could do to reduce the risks which is something I’ll talk about a bit later in this book. They also took bloods to check my medication levels in my blood, as with all AEDs but Lamotrigine particularly your medication levels in your blood can drop significantly due to having an increase in fluid in your body and changes in your metabolism.
Mum then took me to Westfield’s to go shopping for Maternity clothes. I hadn’t bought anything so far for this pregnancy. I guess part of me thought that this pregnancy would never work out. I had read somewhere 1 in 6 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and I knew the first 12 weeks were the highest risk, having had a seizure and with all the problems epilepsy can bring I just thought it would all end in tears and I didn’t want to tempt fate by going out and buying things. But it was my birthday coming up and it made sense to be bought maternity clothes for it so I decided I had been being silly. We had a lovely day, I spend a lot of time with my Mum but often it’s while she’s working or while we’re busy with other things, but spending some time just the two of us was wonderful. Talking to my Mum and actually buying maternity clothes got me thinking, we had decided not to tell Rich’s parents until after the scan but somehow that seemed unfair and I suddenly got scared they would find out through someone else somehow. So after talking to Rich we decided to tell them. They seemed very happy, it would be there first blood grandchild and they seemed to be excited and happy for us.
A lot of it is common sense, I won’t bath the baby on my own, I’ll avoid carrying the baby up and down stairs too much by having changing things downstairs as well as upstairs and if I do carry the baby upstairs I’ll carry them in a car seat. Then things like changing the baby on the floor and breastfeeding while sitting on the floor. I won’t let the baby sleep in our bed as my medication makes me sleepy. I also planned to get a buggy with dead breaks but that was going to prove a little difficult…