I have never written a blog here before, but I have lots of thought floating round my head at the moment and thought the best thing to do was to write them down!! Just be aware there is a little sad news here though....
Pregnancy has always been portrayed as a wonderful, exciting and fantastic experience, but I have to be honest....I can't say I've enjoyed it too much - stress, roller coaster emotions, excitement, nausea, feeling self conscious.....
I'm currently 21+2 with my first baby (my bf's 3rd). I didn't think I was able to get pregnant so when it happened we were shocked, but very pleasantly surprised. The timing however, could have been a little better. That very same week we found out my bf was being made redundant and I am now the main breadwinner as job opportunities for him are not good at the moment.
I got booked in to my GP and saw them straight away and a quick and easy referral to my midwife. Booking appointment came and went, all very positive, and a lovely midwife! I felt incredibly lucky to have minimal/no morning sickness - just what I could only describe as a 'hangover' for about 3 weeks! At 7-8 weeks I woke and was unable to walk straight, felt dizzy, was nauseous and generally felt rubbish. I couldn't figure out whether this was just worse morning sickness or something else. A phone call to the midwife (and my mum), and a GP appointment later...I had labyrithitis. Joy! No driving ( I have to drive long distances for work), could barely walk, couldn't shower without assistance as I was stumbling like I was drunk! All in all 3 weeks off work. In this time it got me used to the idea of being pregnant and I got to thinking about all the practical things like the nursery, childcare, working....We were incredibly proactive and even did a little shopping even though it was early
Back to work I went - 12 weeks came and went. Scan was good - I was nervous at first but was so great to see our little BeanyOw on that screen - such a little kicker! We continued on - bump grew quite quickly, although there was a lot of bloating which made me look HUUUGGGGEE!! Thankfully this went after a few weeks and just the small bump remained.
I became unwell again, this time severe headaches and nausea with a general unwell feeling...maybe labyrinthitis again?! No, no cause, GP said it was likely a virus and work refused to let me go back until I was 100% better - I am in no way work shy and this drove me mad being off so much - but I think the rest was needed.
Then we hit the 20 week mark and off to the scan we went. My parents were very excited and really wanted to come with us so we obliged. We found we were having a baby boy - super excited as my bf has girls. The radiographer was fantastic and showed us everything on the scan but then gave us a bit of unexpected news....BeanyOw had a cleft lip and possibly a cleft palate but we would need a more specialist scan to determine the severity etc. We took this news on the chin - of course it was initially upsetting as you go in to the room and don't really expect them to say there is something wrong. We were seen by deputy midwife and the consultant straight away and lots of referrals were made and we got on with it.
We were very quickly given follow up appointments - another scan, another consultant and a specialist nurse would visit us at home to discuss surgery for baby and feeding. Okay I thought, we can do this - so feeding will be difficult. There are so many other things that could be wrong with my baby and this was pretty much 'just a cosmetic issue'. I realise that statement sounds wrong in some ways, but I work with children and see so much that I felt lucky (although upset) that this was all that was wrong with my baby. To be honest, I was more upset with the word 'DEFORMITY' that kept coming up. It would only mean my baby would have a bigger smile than the others.
The next scan was 6 days later. Again, everyone was so kind, supportive and fantastic. I cannot fault any of the care we have received so far! We were led into a large scanning room, had a quick chat with the consultant and he started the scan. BeanyOw did not enjoy it, he kept pushing the probe away and kicking but would remain still when they wanted to look at something!! My bf and I both noticed there were a few parts the Dr was focussing on... The face, obviously - and we could clearly see the cleft lip, and the heart. I think we both realised there was something else going on...We were then taken to a little private sitting room (which is standard practice at the specialist hospital) and the Dr began talking......
Much of what was said went in and straight out. He confirmed the cleft lip - we said we could see it clearly - and confirmed the cleft palate. He then began talking about the heart - BeanyOw has some fluid around his that shouldn't be there. The Dr explained that these combined could mean much more serious issues with baby....This was a massive shock. There is a high chance he has a "chromosome abnormality". The Dr was very very honest with us though - which we are very thankful for. We now have to wait for an MRI scan to check the baby's brain (10 days and counting) - we have been advised that if there is also brain involvement the prognosis may not be good. Understandably upset, we left the hospital and had the awful task of giving the news to family whilst maintaining the mantra 'Hope for the best, prepare for the worst'. How else are we supposed to react and deal with this news!?!
The cleft nurse specialist visited the next day - we showed her the reports and she reassured us and showed us lots of photos of other children pre & post surgery and the results are fantastic. I think its a rocky road ahead, but our Little BeanyOw is a kicker and a fighter! I can only believe these to be positive symptoms (in fact he's kicking as I type...)
I can't say these last few days have been easy, but we have support from family and amazing friends. The thing I need to remember is that ultimately, we won't have a full answer, diagnosis or prognosis until our baby boy is here.....I feel like its going to be a long second half!
I remain positive and hopeful that all will be fine in the long run and have asked for lots of positive thoughts from friends and family. Apart from this, there is not much else we can do! Ooh and here he is....
P.S. I apologise for the lengthy blog - it appears I got carried away!