It wasn’t the easiest of starts, especially after the wonderful experience of our firstborn daughter, G. My first pregnancy had been easy and I had loved every moment of becoming a first time Mum. When, two years on, we decided to bite the bullet and go for baby number 2, I naively thought that it would be a similar experience, though a little more tiring as I now had an active and inquisitive toddler to deal with too.
However, from pretty much day one, my second pregnancy was tough. I suffered from morning sickness for months, developed SPD from 8 weeks and by month 4 was using a walking stick and eventually a wheelchair to get around. I suffered from low blood pressure and frequently felt faint and dizzy when standing. I stumbled my way through G’s second birthday party from the comfort of my rocking chair and just about managed Christmas too.
However, by the middle of January it was becoming obvious to everyone that something wasn’t quite right with my pregnancy. I was admitted into the High Dependency Unit of our local maternity unit at 26 weeks and that kick-started the roller-coaster ride to M’s birth on 8th March. M arrived 7 weeks early, weighing a mighty 5lbs 12.5oz (I dread to think what would have happened if I’d managed to get even close to full-term) and after an extremely harrowing birth experience for all concerned, M was born not breathing. He was resuscitated quickly and whisked off to NICU, without me even seeing or cuddling him. We had chosen a name and Daddy went with him and eventually came back clutching a polaroid photo of our new son for me to see.
Despite the extremely hairy start, M responded well and by just 3 weeks later, a full month ahead of when NICU would have expected it to be possible, we were sent home on Mothering Sunday with our baby boy in tow. It was, without doubt, one of the best Mothers’ Day gifts I’ve ever received – being able to be at home with both my children with me.
What we weren’t to know then, was that the following 7 years would be filled with a huge amount of tears and trials before we reached a diagnosis for the condition that would slowly appear.