I have asked Chris to write a two part entry covering up to week 16 of the pregnancy, there is too much to cram into one entry! I want people to see the perspective of a Dad-to-be and get an idea of the overall effect epilepsy has on our lives as a couple.
The first entry is a quick introduction and covers up to the first Neurology appointment at ten weeks.
In the beginning:
Hello, I’m Chris (Faye’s husband) and she has asked me to contribute to her brilliant blog.
So let’s start at the beginning. When Faye and I first started dating she was very open with the fact she had Epilepsy. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, I was in a unique position that I had done quite a bit of First Aid training so I knew all about Epilepsy… well at least I thought I did. It soon became apparent that what I thought was epilepsy and what actually WAS epilepsy were two completely different things. But Faye was brilliant and explained fully what the differences between the different type of seizures and what she was affected by. As time went on I managed to get a grip on how epilepsy affected Faye and what I should and shouldn’t do to help her if she had any form of seizure.
Finding out about baby
So Faye dropped that magical bombshell 12 hours before I was due to run the Great South Run, and I tell you what, it helped me to get round those hard 10 miles! I was over the moon; I was going to be a Dad! Since then it’s been an emotional drag race, feeling overwhelmed about our family getting bigger and the fact that this small tiny human is going to be relying on me… a very daunting fact.
I obviously had concerns about Faye being pregnant and having epilepsy. How was this little person growing inside her going to affect her seizure control? How was Faye’s epilepsy and AED’s going to affect the baby? Faye as always was WAY ahead of me and had done her homework. She had researched what seemed to be EVERYTHING and her Neurology team had already gone through certain precautions to reduce any risks to both Faye and the baby years before we had even got married. (As Faye’s epilepsy nurse Adele said “Babies happen when they’re not expected, so let’s be as ready as we can be”)
Looking back in hindsight Faye’s epilepsy started playing up before we knew she was pregnant. She started to feel funny more often than she normally would and even had the odd partial, which was quite out of character for her epilepsy at the time as it had been under good control for well over a year. It’s not nice seeing the person you love being affected by something unseen. It’s even worse when there’s practically nothing you can do about it and they were getting worse as the pregnancy went on.
Neurology appointment – 10 weeks.
This was our first baby related appointment, and my first chance to meet Faye’s neurologist. She has always sung his praises and said how much faith she had in him so it was good to put a face to the name. We also met the obstetrician whom we both liked immediately.
Firstly I was surprised at how much of the medical terminology I was familiar with; Faye had explained it well over the years. There were a few things I wasn’t sure on, but the neurologist took the time to explain things he thought I wouldn’t be aware of and made sure I was completely in the loop with everything.
I had concerns for Faye, she had been really unwell between the sickness, epilepsy and not being able to keep her meds down. It was taking its toll. The neurologist addressed all of these concerns before we even raised them.
His initial suggestion was for a drug increase. I trusted his opinion, they are professionals and they know what they are doing. He went straight into explaining the risks before we had to ask. He talked about SUDEP, and explained the risks of a TC vs effects of a drug increase. He then explained he was there for Faye’s best interests and the obstetrician was there for the baby, but in his opinion without Faye there was no baby, her health had to come first.
Then came the best bit of the appointment, we got to see our baby for the first time.
Overall I came away from the appointment feeling positive, they were very professional and I had confidence in them to do the best job possible for Faye and baby.
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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.