The four weeks since I had last seen the team had been four of the easier ones in terms of the epilepsy…I’m not saying it was great but I was doing ok, it would appear the med increase was finally doing something. I had a few days the week following the appointment where I felt like something was brewing but nothing came of it. I did however spend quite a lot of time in bed napping as the drug change was making me very sleepy. The week before this appointment Chris and I took the opportunity of no medical appointments to get away for two nights, not anywhere far, but just a bit of seaside fresh air. We remembered to pack the maternity notes so that there would be no mad dash if anything went wrong. But for once all went in our favour. I had auras both mornings we were away but neither amounted to anything. So it was a good break and it was lovely to spend some time being just a couple rather than everything being one medical appointment after another. However the pregnancy sickness hasn’t been any better in fact it has got worse again, lucky me and Chris!
36 weeks – birthing plan
Writing this entry has been a fine balance between wanting to share our choices in keeping with the reason for the blog but striking the balance that these are personal choices and sharing too much. Yet again I’ve looked to Chris for guidance in making sure I am not over sharing!
We had always known that the appointment at 36 weeks would be the one to discuss the birthing plan. Well with only 4-6 weeks to go it was time to make some decisions. As the neurologist called me in his first comment was “you suddenly look very pregnant”… I suppose that a compliment that it has taken me 8 months to look pregnant!
I was more than open to suggestions for the birthing plan, and I am not one of these women who want to go through child birth being a hero with no pain relief, if it is going to reduce pain pass it my way. Also please bare in mind that these are just my choices and not direction for anyone else in the same position, I can only tell you of my choices and why I made them, I am not medically trained. I discussed my concerns about being tired, stressed and in pain during labour. All a given and all things that have been triggers for me in the past. The obstetrician advised that an early epidural could be offered and the neurologist suggested Clobazam from the onset of established labour to be repeated at 12 hour intervals. I was in favour of both, like I say I am a wimp and will take any pain relief offered and as I have success with Clobozam previously I was willing to try it. My neuro seemed to be of the opinion that I would be able to try and get some sleep, sounded good to me! I was against gas & air, I have previously had issues with anything that has made me alter my natural breathing pattern so didn’t want to even try it. I was also anti pethidine, having heard it could cause seizures, no reason other than that, but I was happy with the suggestion of an epidural. It seemed to me as ever that both the Neurologist and Obstetrician were all over this and had a clear idea in mind of what would be best for me. They reassured me that when people have had seizures in labour many of them have still gone on to have a natural birth, I laughed, if I’ve had a seizure the only thing I will want to be doing is sleeping, not then having to push a baby out! Thankfully both I and Chris were in agreement with all they suggested, and they took the time to answer any questions we had.
It has also been written into my birthing plan that I was not to be discharged without seeing a member of the neurology team and an appointment being put in place for me to be seen in the ‘normal’ neuro clinic rather than the obstetrics. I was pleased with this, my neuro said that I had a window of 10-14 days where by my metabolism would start returning to normal which would obviously affect the lamotrigine working. The only thing I wish I’d asked was what would happen in terms of a long term med plan, but I knew in the first instance the plan was to bring the lamotrigine down as much as they could as relatively fast as they could. I wasn’t overly concerned about this as once baby is out I have my body back and what I do with the meds is only affecting me. Baby Waddams will have plenty of people around them to look after them if Mummy struggles a bit with med changes, thank God for family and friends!
My pressing question for the obstetrician was all being well how long would I be in hospital with baby. He reassured me that all being well it would be a solid 24 hours, rather than the 6 hour discharge policy the hospital have. I was relieved about this, I don’t want to be in there any longer than need be, and I want to be home with my family as soon as I can.
The neuro then went through care for after baby was born such as don’t bath baby alone, carry baby in a car seat in case I have a seizure, change baby on floor and make sure I’m surrounded by cushions when feeding baby. All things I knew deep down, and all things that are pretty much common sense but still not easy to listen to. I have concerns myself about how I’m going to handle early motherhood and epilepsy and this conversation just reinforced that, although I know that was never their intention. My concerns with all of this plays into why I am choosing not to breast feed. Sleep deprivation is a huge trigger for me, and by bottle feeding it means Chris or someone else will be able to help during the nights, especially in the first few days when I am recovering from labour.
All being well and Baby Waddams playing ball and arriving on time(ish) this is the last time I will see the Neurologist and Obstetrician together, as the next appointment would be at 40 weeks. It’s a strange feeling especially after seeing them every four weeks for the last 8 months! I have had no change to the meds I’m taking for the first time in the whole pregnancy things seem to be heading in a positive direction (touch wood) which is exactly what I need as labour approaches. The obstetrician has promised to keep an eye out for me when I go onto the labour ward and I know the neuro team will be floating about.
So now it is just a waiting game, I have midwife tomorrow and she is going to go through any questions with me that I may have about the birth after this appointment, and whilst my experience with midwives have been hit and miss the one I am seeing tomorrow has been a star. Then it is just a waiting game to meet our little one. I can’t wait on several accounts now
1) Pregnancy sickness and symptoms subsiding – they have been tough going.
2) After how tough this pregnancy has been just to have our baby and know everything is ok.
3) The one I am most looking forward to is seeing Chris holding our baby for the first time. That will make every single bit of sickness and hard moment in this pregnancy worth it.
I would love to hear others experiences of labour and epilepsy – so get in touch.
My names Faye, mostly known for being a tea addict and keen runner and swimmer. I'm 32, married and I had my 1st child in June 2015, oh and I also happen to have epilepsy. This is my story of Pregnancy, Motherhood & Epilepsy.