This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from March 1 through March 31. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!
Normally I just write what comes into my head, so this post was a bit of a challenge. I was asked to take part in the Epilepsy Blog Relay again during the family and epilepsy week, but this time I had nothing pre-prepared. Ok, so my whole blog is based around pregnancy, family and epilepsy but I have been scratching my head and bouncing ideas off of Chris and Alex as to what would be of any use. So today I am going to share my (and others) advice for other first time Mums with epilepsy v the advice the hospital/doctors will give you.
When I was pregnant and in the hospital the doctors were full of advice. So here was what Igottold about being a Mum and having epilepsy: Never bath baby alone, carry baby up or downstairs in a car seat so if you drop them they are more secure, sleep when baby sleeps, change and feed them on the floor surrounded by cushions because then if you have a seizure they are safer. OK, all very interesting advice!
Now I think being a Mum is much like people say about driving lessons, they teach you to pass the test and then you learn to drive after, motherhood is much the same, you get the advice but then you learn as you go. That applies to every Mum, I think any first time Mum who says they knew what they were getting into when they had a baby is lying! Nothing prepares you :-). So here is my take on the advice and some I picked up along the way….
Never bath baby alone: This one haunted me for 8 months! I became scared stiff to bath Noah alone. To this I would say use your common sense, listen to your brain and know if you feel confident to do it. Don’t end up like me too scared to bath your little one, I now bath Noah alone and I love it, it is one of my favourite things to do but it took a long time. My Mum also got me a bath seat for Noah now he is a bit older, and this feels like a safety mechanism so he isn’t just reliant on me (note: I know children are not to be left unattended).
Carry baby up and downstairs in a car seat: Really? I mean really? Whilst this is great in theory have you tried doing this all day every day! I am not saying don’t do it but it isn’t very practical, it wasn’t for me. On the other hand I have been known to bum shuffle down stairs with Noah if I haven’t felt great and others aren’t around. To combat how often I would have to go upstairs with Noah I keep a stash of nappies and wipes downstairs and change him downstairs.
Change and feed them on the floor: This one is one of the easier and I do tend to do it, having said that in the early days after having a baby this isn’t always possible!
Sleep when baby sleeps: This never happened for me! I would love to know if it actually happens for anyone! I know you should but I couldn’t switch off, when Noah sleeps there is a pile of other stuff that needs doing and I couldn’t switch off and leave it. You will also have others offering to watch baby so you can sleep. I could never sleep then either because Noah is mine and if I heard him so much as whimper I felt I needed to get up to him. My mum got around this she would come over and say oh I’ll take Noah out for a walk, go lay down, and these were some of the few times I managed to sleep.
When speaking to others one bit of advice that came up time and time again was having a travel cot, somewhere that you could put baby down if you felt unwell and knew they were safe. One Mum suggested that rather than having a high chair buy one of the chairs that attach to a chair but rather than putting it on the chair place it on the floor again so that if you are to have a seizure the child isn’t high up. Another that cropped up is ensuring other people have a key to your house incase of emergencies.
The advice I would give with hindsight is this. Ask for help, not necessarily with baby but with housework, the little things that take up time and energy but need doing. This will stop you getting so tired.
Make sure you are in regular contact with your neurology team to iron out any problems with medication as soon as possible, my side effects as my drug levels rose were worse sometimes than the epilepsy! And on that note prioritise your health, yes baby comes first but you are of no use to your beautiful new bundle of joy if you are making yourself ill in the process. Eat properly, remember to take your meds, sleep when you can and drink plenty :-)
Find what works for you with night feeds (if possible). I am rubbish late at night, whereas Chris is a night owl. Chris is useless at getting up but I am an early bird, and it is a system that works for us even now on the days he isn’t working.
And lastly I think the most important piece of advice I can give is be honest, with those around you but most importantly yourself. Some of my hardest times since Noah have been have been because I was not honest with myself with how I am feeling.
Silverstone Half Marathon
On Sunday I ran my first Half Marathon in a long time all for Young Epilepsy. It was hard! Harder than either of my marathons, and mentally it was tough. However I finished :-) So please donate anything you can: justgiving.com/waddams
NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the TWO posts tomorrow. One can be found at http://www.becomingamumwithepilepsy.blogspot.co.uk and the other can be found at http://livingwellwithepilepsy.com. For the full schedule of bloggers visit the March Participants gallery.
Be sure to check out the Epilepsy Blog Relay Thunderclap to raise epilepsy awareness. And don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers on the #LivingWellChat on March 31 at 7PM ET.
My names Faye, mostly known for being a tea addict, swimmer and a swim instructor. I'm almost 34, 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.