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!