People believe that pregnancy is a blessing.
And whilst I’m not disputing that, my pregnancy has defined every day of the almost eight years that have passed since.
HG changed my life in every possible way. HG robbed me of the person that I once was. HG taught me who cared, how strong I could be and that complete strangers, working under almost impossible conditions, could show such a wide range of compassion.
As a young woman, I’d dreamt of a glowing, healthy pregnancy. When I found I was expecting, I already knew, because the sickness had begun. I was first admitted into hospital at less than six weeks pregnant, and the following 33 weeks consisted of trying to stay alive, whilst looking like a heroin addict. I lost more than four stone, all my dignity and any confidence that I once had. I was robbed of my healthy dream.
I was asked several times if terminating the pregnancy would be a better option – especially as liver failure took hold and the already stretched emergency doctors tried to restart it, whilst trying not to harm this unborn ‘thing’ inside me. I resented this ‘thing’ (and that’s exactly how I regarded my unborn child), but I was stubborn and didn’t want to be beaten, so I carried on regardless.
The following months involved trips back and forth to the hospital, the unknown of whether the incredibly strong drugs I was taking to keep me alive would affect my unborn baby, watching my relatively new marriage fall apart right infront of my eyes. I felt more alone and more scared in those few months that I’d ever felt in my life before. And still, I felt cheated.
Everyone said once she was born, all signs of HG would disappear. And they did. Or at least I thought they did. My health never recovered completely – still I suffer every day with what I believe to be the after effects of that pregnancy. My marriage broke down pretty soon after the HG ended. I was eventually diagnosed with post natal depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
But, amongst all of this I was so lucky. I learnt so much about being strong. I learnt who cared, who could look after me and who couldn’t.
And more than anything, I was blessed with an almost perfectly healthy little girl, who knows. She knows that she’s special. She knows that the bond between us is unbreakable. She knows how much we’ve been through together. I’m her best friend. I’m her constant parent, she’s the reason I keep getting up every morning, even when I see no real reason to.
So, yes, my pregnancy was a blessing.