On the whole, my pregnancy was actually really good. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the morning sickness was awful. I was sick throughout the duration of my pregnancy and even ginger biscuits did nothing for me. I say it’s because of how many of them I ate, though, that Oscar’s hair is such a bright orange.
When I fell pregnant I was on the highest dose of both ‘Keppra’ and ‘Epilim.’
It didn’t take my specialists long to jump into action and take me off of Epilim, leaving me on just the one medication (They didn’t want to risk putting me on something new). It took me a while to realise I was pregnant, I was 16 weeks by the time I did, so I was on Epilim for quite a while, whilst carrying and growing my Gremlin.
Let me explain why it took so long, especially means I told you earlier I was sick constantly, basically my medications have all sorts of side effects including sickness and cramps. I had not long started Keppra when the morning sickness started, instantly I blamed the tablets and thought nothing else of it. It went on for quite some time before I decided to get an appointment with my GP. I wanted to give the medication a chance.
It was only because of my mother that I took a test, when she asked me, rather sarcastically ‘You aren’t pregnant are you?’
‘No, don’t be so silly’ I had laughed.
Proved me wrong didn’t she? The GP was no longer needed for the original reason.
My midwife didn’t waste anytime causing panic however. She reeled of the list of possible problems that could be caused from my medication. The horrors that may become for my child seemed endless. Ranging from things such as Deformation, Spina Bifida, Cleft Palate to Delayed walking and talking, Poor speech and language skills, Memory problems and Autism.
‘Of babies whose mothers take Sodium Valproate (Epilim)
during pregnancy, up to 1 in 10 (10%) are at risk of having
a birth defect, and up to 4 in 10 children (40%) have
problems with development and learning as they grow.’
At the age of 19, I was left terrified and wondering if I should even continue with the pregnancy. It took a lot for me to turn round and decide firmly on a yes, now I couldn’t be happier that I did.
My seizures seemed to have developed drastically in the past year or so, whilst I was pregnant they weren’t that bad. I had one main incident, set off by stress and arguments.
One evening, an argument erupted between my partner and me. Anger swelled between us.
“You had a go at me earlier because I spent too much money on clothes, yet you just ordered a Chinese again!” I had complained.
It was the most ridiculous argument, I mean who falls out over a takeaway? Money was tight, and we were still in the process of buying baby items, ready for O’s arrival. That’s who the clothes were for! Not me, despite the fact I barely fit into any of my own clothes anymore. Yet, I was the one in the wrong! God knows how that man’s brain works. The argument had continued until there was nothing left to say.
“You should go to bed.” Looking back, I know Richard had only said that to look after me, not wanting me to have a seizure.
“No! Im not a child, I’ll do what I want and go to bed when I want to.”
I couldn’t of acted any more like a stroppy teenager if I had tried that night. Eventually I did get up and go to bed, it wasn’t awfully late, but later than usual for me. I had made a pit stop in the bathroom, that’s when everything started to go wrong.
I was 6 months along, or there about, and stressing immensely due to arguments and bills (first time living in my own house without my parents). My head was heavy, my mind spinning from overload. My eyes were dropping, my breathing becoming more ragged when, suddenly, my knees bent, giving way beneath me. This was my first serious seizure whilst pregnant. I fell into the wall, tummy first. I don’t know what happened in between then and me realising I was sat on the floor shouting for Richard.
At that moment I didn’t remember we had argued. I didn’t recall the stress of bills. I didn’t realise I was in the bathroom, in nothing but pyjamas. I did notice my, normally active angel, wasn’t moving. I did know something wasn’t right.
The fear that gripped my heart, squeezed relentlessly as I was guided to our bed. We didn’t wait around to see if he was just being lazy, tucked up in there all cosy. Richard phoned his mum (She was only down the road, I mean, no offence, but if I had had the choice it would have been my mum. What girl doesn’t want their mummy when they are worried. Am I right?) and the ambulance. Both were there in the background pretty quickly. I didn’t care. I just lay on the bed crying.
I told myself over and over again, if something happens that it is my fault. I was to blame. I should have fell another way. Looking back, I pity myself in this moment.
It wasn’t my fault, there was nothing I could have done to prevent it, if there was I wouldn’t still be having seizures two years later. How could I have made myself fall differently? Simple, I couldn’t have.
I was taken straight into hospital in the ambulance where I was scanned, prodded, monitored and more for the whole night. It wasn’t until lunch time the next day that I was cleared to go home. I was told pretty quickly that O was fine, just sleeping and snuggled up, but they wanted to keep an eye on me. The speed of the staff in the hospital was amazing, I was so grateful and pleased with them. Not only that though, I was lucky. I don’t know what I would have done had the outcome been different, thankfully it went the way it did.