Friday, 21 August 2015

Fear of the unknown

I'm a person who needs information. As much information as possible. I want all the gory details and all the possible outcomes. 

Medical professionals never understand this. They like to keep things from you. They don't like you to worry, but my worry is the unknown! 
I think I've always been this way but more so when I became pregnant with Lily. I was 18, not in a very stable relationship and had never even held a baby before, let alone looked after one. I couldn't imagine myself being a mum but I loved that little pip inside me from the moment I knew she was there. So I spent my spare time looking up everything. Reading books, sharing on forums and most importantly talking to my mum. My pregnancy was a breeze. I loved every second, but like any pregnant woman I worried about labour. My mum was very honest with me about the pain but it's still hard to imagine when it's all so new. I watched graphic videos and read about people's experiences. 
I felt I was well informed and this made it less scary for me. 

I refused to make a 'birth plan' much to my midwives disapproval. I couldn't imagine anything worse than planning out the perfect birth of your baby and nothing going how you wanted. Why add disappointment to something so wonderful? 
It was quite lucky because Lily decided to make an appearance 6 weeks early so nothing had been planned. I didn't even have a bag packed. 

Labour with Lily wasn't nice but I had done my research so knew what was happening. It wasnt scary and apart from having to be given steroids for Lily's lung development and my waters having to be broken 3 times, there were no complications. I was reassured my baby would survive when she was born, after all, babies survive being born a lot more prematurely than that. And she was fine. She was tiny and looked like a de-feathered sparrow, but she was perfectly fine. I leaped into motherhood with both feet. It's such a cliche but it really does come naturally. 

And that's how I cope when I'm frightened of the unknown. But what happens when you can't do any research, no one will share their experiences and no one has any answers? 

After the ectopic pregnancy I didn't know if I'd ever be able to conceive a viable pregnancy again. No one was able to tell me for sure if I would or wouldn't. No amount of trawling through websites or listening to other people's experiences was going to help. I just didn't know, no one did. 
I lived with this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach until I became pregnant with Albie a few months later and was told he was in the right place. 
It was like someone had turned off a switch in my brain. Suddenly I wasn't worried about wether I could become pregnant again. I knew I could. 
However, that was short lived. When we were told the possibility of our baby having a life threatening condition that feeling was back. It came over me like a dark black storm cloud. I thought tests would tell us what was wrong. The results took 4 agonising weeks, where every day that cloud would get a little bit darker. But they were all clear. The cloud stayed.

At our 20 week scan we found out the physical things wrong with our baby boy. But we still had no idea why, or what condition it was. All the doctors were stumped. We had more tests but they were all negative too. A post mortem was carried out but all that did was confirm the anomalies. No one could say what had caused them and no one could tell us wether it would happen again. 

We have since seen a genetic councellor who has delved into our family history, checked we aren't related (eww) and researched everything about our angel Albie. We're still no closer to finding out what caused him to develop that way and the professionals are all out of ideas. 

I'm having to learn to live with this cloud because I doubt we'll ever know why Albie was the way he was. And trying for another baby is so hard to do. The worrying sick feeling at the thought of this all happening again is indescribable. 
I'm not looking for the answer I want, I'm just looking for an answer. I just want to know either way so I can carry on with my life knowing, and not stuck here surrounded by the cloud. 

I'm trying really hard to just let the world keep turning and just walk into the unknown with my head held high. Some days I know I can do it. Other days I take a bit of persuading but what else can I do? 

After all, life goes on.