Time to meet baby
My hospital do things a bit differently, when you go for your first scan, you also see the midwife for the first time, and have all the routine blood tests. Sat in the waiting area I was so nervous, I dont think I still believed that this was actually happening.
We went in to meet the midwife first of all and answer the huge list of questions she had for us.This was going fine until it became clear that she had no idea about epilepsy and pregnancy. She barely glanced at the notes from the neurology appointment the week before.
she went on to suggest I may like a birth at a birthing centre. I had to stop her there and point out that having epilepsy meant I was a high risk pregnancy and this would not be possible. She carried on but kept making statements relating to the epilepsy that I either had to correct her on or ask what she was basing the statement on.
By this point I was worried. I have no doubt that these people would be able to deliver our baby, Id seen this hospital twice deliver my sisters children, but what about me? How would they deal with epilepsy in labour, or even pregnancy. I came out of that meeting more anxious than I went in and with a million questions for the neurologist when I saw him next. For example, would there be a member of the neurology team who routinely checked on me during labour? What would be the plan of action if I had a seizure in labour? Would midwifes be aware that pain relief such as pethidine could cause a seizure, and that I may not react well to gas and air?
Then it was time for the scan, however our baby decided it wouldnt play ball and so we got sent home to return the following week for another scan. Frustrating to say the least.
12 weeks + 5 days - second time lucky.
We returned for the scan. The baby still wasnt willing to cooperate but after a lot of jumping about and fizzy drinks baby had moved just enough for her to get all of their measurements. I still couldn't connect the image on the screen as being the baby inside me. However one look at my husbands face was enough to convince me this was actually happening! During the scan I kept asking the sonographer if baby was measuring small. I must have asked her about ten times and think I was driving her mad. She wouldnt commit to an answer one way or the other, just kept saying that the next scan was more detailed. I couldnt seem to make her understand that I was really worried about the effects of my medication. One of lamotrigines biggest draw backs is that it can mean baby has a low birth weight.
A simple all looks normal at this stage would have helped me no end. How do you explain to a stranger that you are carrying guilt for making what I cant help feeling is the selfish decision to continue taking my anti epileptic drugs. No matter how much my husband tells me it wouldnt be my fault its not something that I can believe. Deep down I know taking the meds are best for both me and baby, but my mind is full of what ifs and that nagging voice that says it would be my fault for making that choice.
Id be interested to hear other peoples views or experiences. Contact me on:
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.