This is the post I thought I’d never write.
I have talked pretty openly and honestly on a number of occasions on this blog about the medical advice not to have another child. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find the positives in having one child, relishing the fact we were even able to have Alexandra and trying to come to terms with the massive, massive things that happened last year.
I was almost getting to the point where it wasn’t such a big thing every day anymore. Sometimes I could go a day or two without thinking about it. But now our whole world has spun on its axis again!
I’m writing this on September 5, three days after finding out I’m pregnant again. Although it will be a lot longer before I actually post this, I wanted to get down some of the raw feelings and immediate reaction. We hadn’t been trying for a baby, in fact quite the opposite, based on the advice we had been given. Even though I was nine days late and feeling as sick as a dog, I was pretty sure the pregnancy test would come back negative and we’d all go on with our lives as normal. But it wasn’t. And then the next one came back positive too.
It was days after we’d thrown away our bouncer and high chair. All Alex’s 9-12m clothes had just sold on eBay that morning. I’d given away her playmat the week before. We had absolutely no reason to think we’d ever be in this situation. I was on the same method of contraception as I’d used seven years prior to trying to conceive Alex with no problems. I know nothing is 100 per cent but we hadn’t even considered a shock pregnancy.
Because that’s what it’s been – a shock, a panic, a crazy surreal dream. We have a very long and probably very challenging road ahead of us before we can hopefully bring a healthy baby (and a semi-healthy me!) back home. We know this is going to be a very hard ride.
The medical side of it started straight away with many calls to make and appointments to arrange. My medication has to be completely swapped while I’m pregnant and I’ll have daily Clexane injections (oh what a bitch they are!) until six weeks after baby is born. As I write this I’m due to go to hospital in two days, firstly for an appointment with my haematologist (who specialises in my condition) and haematology midwife (who I met a couple of times while I was in hospital about eight weeks post partum, she was great and spoke to me a little about bonding with Alex and all the other things I was worried about at the time) at the hospital where I’ll give birth (not surprisingly I’ll be a high risk case!). Then it’s over to the hospital opposite to see a cardiologist who specialises in obstetrics, who will look after the heart side of things while I’m pregnant. She’s a colleague of the cardiologist I was under immediately after my heart attack.
Of course, the absolute aim is for me not to have another episode of CAPS and, although we know my heart function may deteriorate during the pregnancy, for me to come out the other side without having a trip to intensive care! The other, just as important aim, is a healthy baby. When we were pregnant with Alex I, of course, worried about the possibility of miscarriage – as any expectant parent does. This time round it’s at the forefront of my mind. We were so incredibly lucky to have a healthy baby born after 37 weeks with no problems. Will we get that lucky again? Will we get to hold another precious little parcel and take them home and watch them both grow up together?
We simply don’t know right now. It’s absolutely terrifying and I have a huge knot in my stomach 24/7. All these months of worry, injections, heart scans, appointments, more appointments and everything else we have ahead of us will be oh so worth it if we get that second chance at being parents together. How lucky we’ll be this time I just don’t know. The medical experts can’t tell us. It feels like betting your whole life on the toss of a coin.
Harriet, Alexandra and bump x