Written by Lisa Norman

In September of last year we found out we were expecting our second child. We were really excited about having a new addition but there was an underlying worry about having another premature baby. Me and my partner joked about ”how far I would make it this time”. One thing we knew for certain was pregnancy after a preemie was going to be an emotional roller coaster!

We found out at 6 weeks about the pregnancy and it was nice being just our secret for a few weeks. It felt private and nice to not have anyone else put a voice to our concerns. I called the doctors surgery and a referral was sent for me to attend a booking appointment with a midwife. The appointment soon came through and it clashed with our holiday. The receptionist I spoke to said they were booked to capacity for weeks! I may have to go to a completely different town for the appointment. A few days later a cancellation came through and I was able to see the midwife before I went away.

The booking appointment was for an hour! I didn’t remember it being that long the first time round. Maybe the time was exaggerated in order for them to better meet government timescales? Nope, the full hour was definitely required! I don’t remember there being so much paperwork to have a baby.

After completing the mountain of paperwork, providing a urine sample (the first of many) and doing a carbon monoxide test I was free to go. I left the appointment feeling like a reality had hit that I really wasn’t expecting.

Person writing. Photography credit: Green Chameleon
Person writing. Photography credit: Green Chameleon

What had I expected?

I was expecting that a pregnancy after a preemie would be closely monitored but I didn’t think I would have quite so many appointments. Also I wasn’t expecting to feel so excluded from decisions. I soon came to realise this was not the case though and the more appointments I went to the more decisions I became involved in. This became nerve wracking from a different view point as I was then worried I would be making the wrong decisions. Maybe it was the hormones but I was getting annoyed with myself! I am usually perfectly capable of making decisions and getting the job at hand done.

I was giving myself such a hard time which was so unnecessary. I’d gone back to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) so I was able to talk through my thought processes. I’m also lucky to have a great support network around me. I just needed to remember that they were there to support me. My husband was a good place to start (after all I was expecting him to support me through this and I couldn’t expect him to be a mind reader and automatically know my wishes).

How has the pregnancy been overall?

It has been gloriously uncomplicated! I have seen consultants and midwives every other week, sometimes multiple times in a week. The midwife I saw initially made sure I was put onto the multi scan pathway so that I received additional monitoring from 30 weeks. The 30 week scan was when my first baby boy was born via emergency c-section so I was really nervous about going to this scan.

The day of the scan I made a last minute decision to have a hospital bag packed. I put it in the boot of the car before my husband got up that morning. My thought was he might think I was overreacting but when he got up he actually asked if I’d packed one. I had to laugh when I told him it was packed and in the car.

Packed bag. Photography credit: Erol Ahmed
Packed bag. Photography credit: Erol Ahmed

The scan went perfectly. I came out and can’t really describe, even now, the relief that I felt. It was realising just how much I had been dreading the day and now that it was over hysterical relief set in. Milestones had become important to me. Each appointment that went well I would have a mini celebration. I even started to enjoy the pregnancy a little (until COVID-19 came along that is but that’s a whole different blog).

The last week

I am now entering the last week of the pregnancy and I’m booked in for a caesarean section on Friday. I’m excited and nervous but I know it will be very different this time around. Tiredness has been around for a few weeks now. It’s not been helped that I’ve been working full time and looking after a very active 3 and a half year old! I am very much looking forward to chilling out a bit more in this last week. I’m sure that my little boy will realise though that he can have my undivided attention so on the other hand I might be busier than ever!

Did you see…

Our last blog on caesarean or vaginal… all birth is birth?

Also did you see that our NICU diaries are now available on Amazon! There are 5 diaries to choose from:

Green diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
White diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
Duckling diary
Dinosaur diary
Giraffe diary